Expert Views on Psychoactive Drugs at Odds With US Policy

Psychiatrists’ perceptions of the safety, therapeutic value, and abuse potential of psychoactive drugs are inconsistent with current drug policy, results from a new survey show. Adam Levin, MD “The consensus among experts, including psychiatrists, about specific drugs is not consistent or congruent with the schedule of these drugs” in the United States, lead author Adam … Read more

They Call It ‘Tranq,’ and It’s Making Street Drugs More Dangerous

Approaching a van that distributes supplies for safer drug use in Greenfield, Massachusetts, a man named Kyle noticed an alert about xylazine. “Xylazine?” he asked, sounding out the unfamiliar word. “Tell me more.” Tapestry Health Systems nurse Katy Robbins hands bottles of water to Kyle as he visits the harm reduction mobile unit in Greenfield, … Read more

No Added Benefit of Adjunctive Psychotherapy in Severe Depression?

Adding psychotherapy to pharmacologic treatment does not appear to improve treatment outcomes for patients with major depression, new research suggests. Results of a cross-sectional, naturalistic, multicenter European study showed there were no significant differences in response rates between patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who received combination treatment with psychotherapy and antidepressant medication in comparison … Read more

Cannabis on Par With Opioids for Pain Relief, Study Suggests

Cannabis-based products may control chronic pain as effectively as opioids, but adverse effects are common, and long-term safety remains unknown, according to a new study. Several other systematic reviews have recently evaluated cannabinoids for treating chronic pain, but the new study’s methodology was “distinct” in “important ways,” leading to “conclusions that differ from other reviews,” … Read more

Antipsychotic Tied to Weight Gain, Higher Cholesterol

Increases in use of the antipsychotic risperidone (Risperdal) are associated with small dose-related increases in both weight and blood cholesterol levels, new research suggests. Investigators analyzed 1-year data for more than 400 patients who were taking risperidone and/or its metabolite paliperidone (Invega). Results showed increments of 1 mg of risperidone-equivalent doses were associated with an … Read more

The Stigma Associated With Mental Illness and Antidepressants

The good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s easy to talk about the good, but when it comes to having real conversations about mental health, it’s sometimes an uphill battle. We see so much about mental well-being, services, and hotlines available for those in need. In fact, it’s almost expected for schools and workplaces to … Read more

Youth Mental Health Hospitalization Rates Rose in 2020

Mental health hospitalization rates rose for Canadian children and youth between ages 5 and 24 years in 2020, despite a slight decrease in the overall number of hospital visits, according to new data. Hospitalizations for eating disorders increased significantly, rising nearly 60% for girls between ages 10 and 17 years. “One of the key questions … Read more

Do Psychotropic Meds Raise or Lower COVID Risk?

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Different psychotropic medications are associated with different risks of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients with serious mental illness, a new study suggests. Investigators found that second-generation antipsychotics were associated with a 48% lower risk of COVID-19, while valproic acid was associated with … Read more

The Problematic Use of Tramadol Is Increasing in France

This article was originally published in French on Univadis. Key Takeaways According to French addiction surveillance data compiled from 2013 through 2018, the problematic use of tramadol is increasing in France, even though prescription levels remain stable. The rate of dependence among patients treated for pain seems high, and tramadol could become the opioid analgesic … Read more

Methylphenidate Is Overprescribed to Children in France

The prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is difficult to evaluate, and the diagnosis is based primarily on clinical criteria. In 2008, a French study estimated the prevalence to be between 3.5% and 5.6%, but the study’s design was questionable. Treatment of this disorder consists first and foremost in educational, social, and psychotherapeutic management. Only if … Read more