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Addiction News & Policy Update for Week Ending May 14, 2021

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Many Older Americans Aren't Telling Their Doctors They Use Pot
Aging potheads are now past 50 and still puffing away, but new research shows that many don't disclose this to their doctors. Folks who use marijuana for medical reasons are more likely to tell their doctors about it than recreational users. Still, just a fraction of medical marijuana users opened up about their use, the study found.

How Schools Can Help Kids Heal After the Pandemic's Uncertainty
Kai Humphrey, 9, has been learning from home for more than a year. He badly misses his Washington, D.C., elementary school, along with his friends and the bustle of the classroom..

3 Reasons Real-Life Social Support Is Best for Mental Health
Although using social media for support during difficult times doesn't appear to impact mental health negatively, new research suggests that it doesn't have a positive effect, either. A recent study ( Meshi & Ellithorpe, 2021 ) compared the pros and cons of social support using real-life contacts versus social media platforms. Their findings were published online April 10 in the peer-reviewed journal Addictive Behaviors .

Drugs, addiction and the tough truth
I vividly remember one of my first encounters with the anguish of opioid addiction. It was more than 20 years ago, and I was a counselor sitting across from a 17-year-old who shared her recent experience of using heroin with a friend in a car parked outside of a bar on a freezing winter night in suburban Chicago. She overdosed, and the "friend" pushed her out of the car onto the frozen ground and drove away in fear of legal consequences. The paramedics arrived to find her unconscious and near death. Miraculously, she awoke the next day in a hospital room fortunate to be alive.

What is languishing? Alonely? A mental health glossary to explain what you're feeling
The vocabulary of mental health has seeped into our everyday lives. While some people may use these terms to speak about a specific diagnosis, others use these phrases casually, colloquially, without paying much attention to distinctions. Emotional exhaustion, for example, isn't a clinical term, but that doesn't mean the experience of it is any less real.

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