Doctors Will Get Less Money for Treating Medicaid Patients Starting in January

With about 63 million enrollees, Medicaid serves more patients than Medicare, which has about 54 million beneficiaries. (Some people are eligible for both.) But Medicaid doesn’t have the same political clout. Medicare is a top priority for the influential AARP lobby, and its older beneficiaries are more reliable voters than generally younger and poorer Medicaid recipients.

Brainy quotes on Addiction

“Addiction isn’t about substance – you aren’t addicted to the substance, you are addicted to the alteration of mood that the substance brings.” Susan Cheever

(Is pain relief considered an alteration of mood?)

“A lot of people think that addiction is a choice. A lot of people think it’s a matter of will. That has not been my experience. I don’t find it to have anything to do with strength.” Matthew Perry

“Although the Chinese had used opium as a medicine, there was no widespread addiction before the British arrived.” Robert Trout

“Not everybody is comfortable with the idea that politics is a guilty addiction. But it is.” Hunter S. Thompson

“I have a writing addiction.” Prince

“When I have a creative insight, there is a high. I think back in the day, I made music as much as I did because it made me feel so good. I think you could argue that there is a creative addiction – but, you know, the healthy kind.” Lauryn Hill

“My bulimia was my addiction. Hurting myself was my addiction… The music is what saved me. That’s the only thing I can trust.” Nicole Scherzinger

“Romantic love is an addiction.” Helen Fisher

“MySpace is an addiction.” Paulo Coelho

“I think golf is literally an addiction. I’m surprised there’s not Golf Anonymous.” Larry David

12/17/2014, Why some antidepressants may initially worsen symptoms

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most widely prescribed class of antidepressant drugs, and they work by increasing levels of a brain chemical called serotonin. While this boost in serotonin occurs within minutes to hours after an SSRI is taken, patients usually have to take the medication for about 2 weeks before experiencing any relief of symptoms. During this delay, the drug may actually aggravate depression, in some cases even increasing the risk for suicide.

12/22/2014, Study links suicide risk with insomnia, alcohol use

The study found that alcohol use was significantly associated with suicide risk among women. However, further analysis revealed that insomnia symptoms explained a significant proportion of the relationship between alcohol and suicide risk. For men, there was no direct effect of alcohol use on suicide risk, but there was a significant indirect effect of alcohol use increasing suicide risk through insomnia symptoms…

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that excessive alcohol use leads to about 88,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and shortens the life of those who die by almost 30 years. Accounting for more than 38,000 deaths each year, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the CDC.

7/17/2014, Most of Us Still Don’t Get It: Addiction Is a Learning Disorder

By Maia Szalavitz

In fact, despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent on neuroimaging research, we still don’t have a scan that can reliably separate addicted people from casual drug users or accurately predict relapse…

This is why simple exposure to a drug cannot cause addiction: The exposure must occur in a context where the person finds the experience pleasant and/or useful and must be deliberately repeated until the brain shifts its processing of the experience from deliberate and intentional to automatic and habitual…

Five Drug Scares In 2014

Or as one of the authors put it last year, “It didn’t seem as though [vaping] really proved to be a gateway to anything.”

And although deaths related to 25I-NBOMe seem to be pretty rare, they are more common than deaths related to LSD, which has been used by around 25 million Americans without being linked to any fatal overdoses…

That single incident generated more talk of a “heroin epidemic” than everything else that happened in the previous 12 years. Needless to say, the heroin-related death of a gifted and widely admired actor, though tragic, tells us nothing about the prevalence of heroin use or the direction in which it is headed. Judging from the survey data, coverage of the putative epidemic really took off around the time when heroin use started to fall.