Put your heart into it!

All too often, substance use disorders can be viewed as health challenges that exist separately from other conditions. SAMHSA (the federal Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration) has been a partner in the Million Hearts Initiative with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This initiative has focused on preventing heart disease and stroke, especially among people with severe mental and/or substance use disorders who are much more likely to die from heart disease than the general population. (This year it is promoting a campaign in which younger folks spread the prevention message.) February is National Heart Month – a great time to check out the useful resources on both the SAMSHA and Million Hearts Initiative websites.

Deadly synthetic opioid taking lives

A deadly opioid is causing a record number of overdose deaths in the Midwest. The drug is a synthetic opioid (meaning, it is made in a lab, not from poppies) called carfentanil, and experts say it is “100 times more potent than fentanyl, the prescription painkiller that led to the […] Read more »

Historic letter on opioid addiction

The epidemic of opioid use disorders is a subject that has been in the news nearly every day for months.  In what may be the most significant development in the public health crisis,  Dr. Vivek Murthy, the Surgeon General of the United States, has sent out a letter to ALL […] Read more »

Wise words from NYT Columnist

In his New York Times column “Heroin Doesn’t Have to Be a Killer” columnist Nicolas Kristof has again looked closely at an issue that is often overlooked, even by top journalists and medical writers. The June 6, 2015, column says in part: “It’s a subject we find hard to talk […] Read more »

Oregon healthcare in the news

The Oregonian reports that some 50,000 people were able to get coverage by year’s end through the state’s healthcare exchange, Cover Oregon. Those people are in addition to “more than 100,000 people who were enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan using a streamlined process set up by the state to bypass Cover Oregon,” writes […] Read more »