No Spike in Overdose Deaths From Relaxed Buprenorphine Regs

Measures enacted in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to increase access to buprenorphine did not lead to an increase in the proportion of overdose deaths involving the drug, new research suggests. Researchers say the data add weight to the argument for permanently adopting the pandemic-era prescribing regulations for buprenorphine, a treatment for opioid … Read more

Music Tied to Improved Mood, Less Stress During Times of Crisis

Regularly listening to music during times of crisis can significantly improve mood and relieve stress, new research suggests. In a cohort study of more than 700 adults, music listening during the COVID-19 pandemic was “prospectively associated” with lower momentary stress levels, better mood levels, and calmness–music perceived as “happy” was especially beneficial. The study corroborates … Read more

Pandemic May Be Limiting ED Access for Sexual Assault

Emergency department (ED) encounters for sexual assault increased before the COVID-19 pandemic, decreased immediately after lockdowns were implemented, and fluctuated as the pandemic continued, an analysis of more than 10,000 such visits in Canada’s most populous province shows. Dr Katherine Muldoon “In 2020, we hoped that the COVID pandemic would only last a few months. … Read more

Medical Student Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the initial stage of the COVID-19 pandemic US medical students were suspended from in-person clinical interaction. This decision was based on specific guidance from the Association of American Medical Colleges and subsequently implemented in medical schools across the United States.1 Our research project addressed students’ stress level before and after clinical in-person suspension and … Read more

Endocarditis Tied to Drug Use on the Rise, Spiked During COVID

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Centre. A new study provides more evidence that endocarditis associated with drug use is a significant and growing health concern, and further demonstrates that this risk has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The rate of infective endocarditis among individuals in the … Read more

With NYC Plan for Mentally Ill, Hospitals Face Complex Task

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s latest plan to keep mentally ill people from languishing in public is billed as a common-sense strategy to get them help. By encouraging police officers and city medics to take more psychologically disturbing people to hospitals, even if they refuse care, Mayor Eric Adams says he’s humanely tackling … Read more

NPs Can Offset Psychiatry Shortage, Tackle Mental Health Crisis

With many psychiatrists not accepting insurance, and fewer psychiatrists billing Medicare due to reimbursement cuts, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) are seen lately as part of the solution to the shortage of mental healthcare providers in the United States. In many states, these specialized nurse practitioners can prescribe medication, unlike psychologists and other therapists, … Read more

Overdose Deaths up 81% in Pregnant, Postpartum Women

Drug overdose deaths in pregnant and postpartum women rose by about 81% from 2017 to 2020, researchers report in a JAMA research letter published online Dec. 6. Pregnancy-associated overdose deaths were highest in 2020 as the COVID pandemic began, according to the researchers, Emilie Bruzelius, MPH, and Silvia S. Martins, MD, PHD, with the department … Read more

Which Patients Are at Risk for Depression During Pandemic?

A history of depression was “strongly” linked to having depression in the fall of 2020, data suggest. In an adjusted analysis of more than 22,000 participants in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), patients with a history of depression were 3.79 times more likely to have depression during the pandemic, compared with those with … Read more

Why We Just Can’t Look Away

Halloween Ends? Yeah, sure. Like that’ll happen. The market for horror remains robust 44 years after the original Halloween movie premiered. Part of the reason (besides Michael Myers’s charm) is that we humans appear to be hard-wired to enjoy getting scared. Whatever happens in Halloween Ends, the latest entry in the long-running film series, you’ll … Read more