Viewpoints: New Opioid More Dangerous Than Fentanyl; Are We Making Kids’ Anxiety Worse?
Editorial writers tackle nitazenes, mental health, snake oil cures, and more.
What Are Nitazenes? Drug Could Make Fentanyl Look Like 'Good Old Days'
While politicians and policymakers amp up calls for more brutal crackdowns on fentanyl smuggling, a “new” class of synthetic opioids has been showing up in overdose victims with the potential to make America look back on the fentanyl crisis as “the good old days.” Chemists refer loosely to this category of drugs as “nitazenes,” even though the term is incorrect; it should be “benzimidazole-based opioids.” (Dr. Jeffrey A. Singer and Josh Bloom, 1/23)
Parenting A Teen With Anxiety Is Hard. Here's What Kids Like Me Need
Your child may be struggling with anxiety, as 32% of teens have anxiety disorder. It is hard to see your child suffer and not know what to do. You want to help but your instincts may be making their anxiety worse. (Quincy Kadin, 1/23)
The New Year Resolution We Need Is To Avoid Miracle Cures
January offers a bounty for purveyors of snake oil. In the wake of holiday season excesses, a slew of detox diets, immune-boosting concoctions and an avalanche of dubious supplements emerge to profit on our insecurities. Across social media, influencers and celebrities push a litany of miraculous medicines—to our collective detriment. (David Robert Grimes, 1/22)
We In Cook County Have Decided To Abolish Medical Debt This Year. Join Us
As we usher in a new year, Cook County is setting forth a bold New Year's resolution: helping to abolish medical debt through our transformative Medical Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). Cook County is well known for its criminal justice reform efforts, but we recognize that true justice extends even further into accessible and affordable healthcare for all. (Toni Preckwinkle, 1/22)
The Washington Post:
Dry January Can Improve Your Health In Four Big Ways
“Dry January” has been picking up momentum in recent years. Last month, a survey found that nearly half of adults 21 and older who drink alcohol reported being “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to take part in the month-long abstention from alcohol, with Gen Z respondents expressing the most enthusiasm. These are promising statistics, because trying Dry January can lead to both short- and long-term improvements in health in four key ways. (Leana S. Wen, 1/23)
Should You Be Concerned About Rise In COVID-19, RSV, Flu Cases?
With the new year, three upper respiratory viruses have begun to spread among Americans. COVID-19, seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, have all been infecting people and making them sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been doing what it does well, which is the tracking of these viruses. So where does the nation stand right now, and should you be concerned? (Sheldon H. Jacobson, 1/23)
Update The Apgar Score To Remove Skin Color
In medicine, inertia can be a strangely powerful force, but Virginia Apgar never succumbed to it. She brought incredible energy to her work in anesthesia, neonatology, and dysmorphology (the study of birth defects) and questioned the status quo when she thought it might save lives. With gratitude for her tireless work, we have reevaluated the eponymous health assessment Apgar developed more than 70 years ago and concluded that one of its components — skin color — should be abandoned. It’s a step Apgar herself might have encouraged; she knew this part of her evaluation method was weaker than the others. We have a chance now to correct that bias. (Amos Grunebaum, Monique De Four Jones, Dawnette Lewis and Frank A. Chervenak, 1/23)