Problematic Alcohol Use on the Rise Among Physicians?

Problematic alcohol use by physicians appears to be increasing, new research shows. However, good data on exactly how common this is and on salient risk factors are lacking, investigators note. In a systematic literature review, investigators found the prevalence of self-reported problematic alcohol use varied widely, but could affect up to one third of physicians. … Read more

Behavioral Treatment Tied to Lower Medical, Pharmacy Costs

Outpatient behavioral health treatment (OPBHT) for patients newly diagnosed with depression, substance use disorder, or other behavioral health condition (BHC) is cost-effective. Results of a large retrospective study showed that patients newly diagnosed with a BHC who receive OPBHT following diagnosis incur lower medical and pharmacy costs over roughly the next 1 to 2 years … Read more

Aerobic Exercise Augments PTSD Therapy

A brief aerobic exercise intervention can augment the benefits of exposure therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), new research suggests. Investigators randomly assigned individuals with PTSD to receive either exposure therapy with aerobic exercise or exposure therapy with passive stretching for 9 weeks. At 6 months post-intervention, participants in the aerobic exercise group showed greater … Read more

Suicidal Ideation Associated With Increased Alcohol Use During Pandemic

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians were more than twice as likely to report suicidal ideation if they had increased alcohol consumption, according to a new report. Men and adults over age 65 were the most likely to have links between alcohol consumption and suicidal thoughts. Mélanie Varin “Suicide is an important … Read more

Heart Failure Drug a New Treatment Option for Alcoholism?

Spironolactone, a potassium-sparing diuretic typically used to treat heart failure and hypertension, shows promise in treating alcohol use disorder (AUD), new research suggests. Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and Yale University School of Medicine investigated the impact of spironolactone on AUD. Initially, … Read more

Psychedelic Drug Therapy a Breakthrough for Alcohol Dependence?

Psilocybin paired with psychotherapy is associated with a robust and sustained decrease in drinking among adults with alcohol use disorder (AUD), new research suggests. Results from the first randomized, placebo-controlled trial of psilocybin for alcohol dependence showed that during the 8 months after first treatment dose, participants who received psilocybin had less than half as … Read more

Local Public Health Efforts in Schools May Not Work

Efforts to prevent and curb substance use in schools through public health engagement (PHE) appear to be effective where use of cigarettes and cannabis is high but had the opposite impact in where use of alcohol and cannabis is low, according to a cross-sectional study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health. The study … Read more

Smoking, Drinking Tied to Increased MS Risk, More Severe Symptoms

High alcohol consumption may contribute to more severe neurodegeneration in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) — and smoking may make a diagnosis of MS more likely, new research suggests. “Our results add to the understanding of how health-associated behaviors, such as alcohol consumption and smoking, interact with neurodegeneration in MS,” lead author Iris Kleerekooper, MD, … Read more