Deciding to file for disability

I’m a girl who never says die. I’ve lived on my own since I was 19, paid every one of my bills since I took my first job at 15 — and I had to give up my financial independence three months ago, when I filed for disability. It was the most difficult decision I’ve made in my adult life…

HypeWatch: Cannabis Bone-Healing Study Oversold

Glatter says he expects it will be another five or 10 years before doctors have CBD on hand to treat fracture patients in the ER — assuming CBD proves itself in human studies…

“Implicating PLOD 1 in the mechanism of action of CBD may have far-reaching significances, beyond the improvement of fracture healing, in instances such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, bicuspid aortic wall-associated aneurisms, and cancer metastases,” wrote the authors, who included the so-called “grandfather of marijuana,” Raphael Mechoulam, PhD.

Decades ago, Mechoulam, now a medicinal chemist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was the first to identify THC in cannabis.


(4/3/2015) More than two thirds of people taking antidepressants ‘may NOT actually have depression’: Doctors discover many do not meet the official criteria

Prescriptions for anti-depressants have more than trebled since 1998 in the world’s richest countries, a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found.
The research noted a particular rise in in the use of SSRIs like Prozac and Seroxat. The OECD figures showed Iceland to have the highest prescribing rate, at 106 doses a day for every 1,000 inhabitants in 2011, up from 71 a decade earlier.

Behind Iceland is Australia, then Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Portugal. The lowest levels were seen in Chile and South Korea. Separate data from the US shows 11 per cent of Americans over 12-years-old use anti-depressants…

Doctors commonly use antidepressants to treat many maladies they are not approved for. In fact, studies show that between 25 and 60 percent of prescribed antidepressants are actually used to treat nonpsychological conditions. The most common and well-supported off-label uses of SSRIs include…

(9/1/2014) Are Antidepressants Really “Over-Prescribed” in the US?

As psychiatrists, we often hear the claim that antidepressants are “over-prescribed,” or that there is an “epidemic” of antidepressant use in this country. Typically, this claim comes from psychiatry’s vociferous critics—but in many cases, it is voiced by psychiatrists themselves. So… have we really become a kind of Prozac Nation, to reference the title of Elizabeth Wurtzel’s 1994 memoir?

By and large, I don’t think so. In many respects, the claim that “too many Americans are taking antidepressants” is a myth. A myth, of course, is not a lie or falsehood—it is a narrative that often contains a kernel of truth, but which is wrong in important respects…

To be sure: in some primary care settings, antidepressants are prescribed too casually; after too little evaluation time; and for instances of normal stress or everyday sadness, rather than for MDD. And, in my experience, antidepressants are vastly over-prescribed for patients with bipolar disorder, where these drugs often do more harm than good: mood stabilizers, such as lithium, are safer and more effective in bipolar disorder. But these kernels of truth are concealed within a very large pile of chaff.

For example, the media often report that antidepressant use in the United States has “gone up by 400%” in recent years—and that’s probably true. Specifically, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported that from 1988-1994 through 2005-2008, the rate of antidepressant use in the United States among persons of all ages increased by nearly 400%. But the actual percentage of Americans 12 years or older taking antidepressants is about 11%—a large proportion of the population, for sure, but not exactly Prozac Nation. Furthermore, recent increases in antidepressant prescribing probably reflect new but legitimate uses of these medications for non-depressive conditions, such as neuropathic pain, PTSD, and panic disorder—for which several antidepressants have FDA-approved indications…

There has been a good deal of misinformation in the general media regarding the efficacy of antidepressants. The best available evidence supports the conclusion that compared with placebo, antidepressants are effective in the acute treatment of moderate to severe major depression. Their efficacy probably decreases (vs placebo) as we move toward milder cases of MDD—and, to be clear, antidepressants are neither necessary nor appropriate for instances of ordinary grief or every-day sadness. We also know that for some patients, antidepressants have potentially serious adverse effects and should be prescribed only with the patient’s fully informed consent…

Thinking of you, Sandra Bland

There are still a lot of questions to be answered about the arrest and death of Sandra Bland, who recently died tragically after three days in a Texas jail. A video released by the Texas Department of Public Safety captured a portion of the confrontation between Bland and a police officer after she was pulled over on July 10 for a routine traffic stop. Perhaps most striking is how quickly the situation escalated, leading to the forcible arrest of Bland, and culminating in her untimely demise. It’s also a reminder of how important it is to know your legal rights, and what is and is not permissible when you are pulled over by a police officer.

There’s the law—what is legally permissible for the police officer and the motorist to do. And then there’s the sad reality of how such encounters with the police sometimes play out in practice. Given that reality, there are some things to keep in mind in order to try to prevent the situation from becoming contentious or dangerous…

5. As difficult as it can be, try to remain calm and be as polite as you can. Even if your rights have been violated, you’re not going to argue your way out of the problem. It’s also always a good idea to make sure the police can see your hands, and that you don’t make sudden movements, interfere with what the police are trying to do, or give false statements. In other words, don’t give the police an excuse to mistreat you or pile on additional charges.

Generally, the best advice is to pay close attention to the situation whenever you are interacting with a police officer. If you’ve had a negative experience, or believe that your constitutional rights have been compromised, you should take note of all of the circumstances surrounding the encounter, including the police officer’s name and badge number, and pursue a complaint afterwards.

Jason Williamson is a lawyer with the ACLU.

This is probably good advice for white people.  But I’m sure for many people in black, Hispanic, and poor communities, this advice will not help them.

When Wall Street Offers Free Money, Watch Out

One of the major problems with pension bonds, for taxpayers, is that they transform a relatively soft obligation into a hard one. Many governments have made deals to trim pension obligations, especially cost-of-living adjustments. But you can’t trim back bond obligations without painful and messy restructuring.

In Pennsylvania, the Republican-controlled legislature would rather trim benefits than incur a hard obligation by supporting Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to sell $3 billion in pension bonds.

Wolf wants to pay for the bonds with $185 million a year in projected profits from expanding sales at state-owned liquor stores. On Thursday, he vetoed a Republican package that, among other things, would have converted future pensions into a less-generous 401(k)-style plan…

“Projected” profits — money they don’t have — from a government-owned liquor store used to pay for gambling debts on Wall Street.  Why not?  Everybody’s doing it.  Again.

You can’t make this stuff up.  Which addiction is worse? Opioids, alcohol, or greed?

States are still looking to the financial industry to make easy money, but refuse to require corporations to pay their share in taxes.  Looks like us poor folk will once again be footing the bill for our government’s addictions.

Twitter: “Somebody bring me weed. I’ll pay for it.”

FLORIDA – A careless marijuana procurer who goes by the name @Rosa_Sparkz received a shock, when her quest to buy the drug online was met with a keen response from the Palm Beach County’s Sheriff’s Office (PBSO), and then went viral…