Thinking like a Scientist

Would life really be better if everyone thought like a scientist? I don't know and I am uncertain. That's the mark of a scientist. We realize what we don't know and we pursue matters so that we are more certain. But we acknowledge and live with uncertainty. An unyielding curiosity and willingness to see the… Continue reading Thinking like a Scientist

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Personal Responsibility

Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish. - Marcus Aurelius I mentioned before the view that addiction should be viewed as a chronic disease, but that is not the whole story. Yes, I think there should be more compassion from the general public in this area, but… Continue reading Personal Responsibility

A Drug for a Drug

It is perhaps ironic that the opioid epidemic that everyone is worried about is something that we have the most ability to address. The main pharmacological treatment (i.e., treating with drugs) for opioid addiction is known as Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT. The rationale for MAT is use other opioids to reduce cravings, highs, and withdrawal from… Continue reading A Drug for a Drug

Medicaid’s Limits for Non-compliance — Janaburson’s Blog

The opioid treatment program where I work accepts Medicaid as payment, starting a few years ago. Overall, it’s been so beneficial for hundreds of our patients. However, when Medicaid patients have repeatedly positive drug screens, Medicaid overseers threaten to cut off their funding for treatment. Our state’s Medicaid system is divided into counties, and […] via… Continue reading Medicaid’s Limits for Non-compliance — Janaburson’s Blog

Risk Factor: The Pursuit of Happiness

The Epicureans say the highest good is happiness. Thomas Jefferson enshrined the right to pursue happiness in US law. Our society considers happiness the ultimate goal for every citizen. Think about the messages we receive. Prescription drug ads that promise perfect health. Sponsored posts on Facebook the one little secret that will make you seven… Continue reading Risk Factor: The Pursuit of Happiness

What’s this brain reward system you keep talking about?

Mesolimbic pathway by User:Slashme; Patrick J. Lynch; User:Fvasconcellos licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 In my last post, I talked about the hijacking of the brain's reward system and the role it plays in addiction. I need to expand on that, because this is a lot more complicated than it looks. It is fascinating from a Stoic viewpoint: How much… Continue reading What’s this brain reward system you keep talking about?

A Disquiet in the Machine

What greater test for Stoicism is there than addiction? How would you know what is truly in your control when there are external forces that can hijack that control? By now, we know that addiction is just as great a disease as hypertension and diabetes. None are immune to its pull and all are at… Continue reading A Disquiet in the Machine

On Opioids

Vicodin, Lortab, Oxycontin, morphine... They are the source of all relief and of all ills. Of course, I exaggerate, but judging by the discourse around opioid deaths, we appear to be in a life-or-death struggle with these classes of medications. I would not presume to tell someone whether they should take opioids for pain or… Continue reading On Opioids

What’s up with the p-value?

Some of you may be familiar with this Nature news article describing the effort to lower the threshold of the p-value (from 0.05) for statistical significance. In the wake of major reproducibility crises in psychology and biomedicine, this issue is more pertinent. What's the p-value anyway? In the language of statisticians, it's the probability you… Continue reading What’s up with the p-value?