When correlation collides with causation

Recently, an article caught my eye (link) entitled "Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?" It discusses the possible deleterious effects that smartphones may have on young people, or those born in the mid-1990s. The unique aspect of this cohort is that they were born after the start of the Internet age. For all their lives, they… Continue reading When correlation collides with causation

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Kratom: Curse or Cure?

Recently, the US FDA issued a public health advisory warning the public not to use kratom, a substance purported to treat pain and opioid withdrawal. They give the following arguments: 1) There is no reliable evidence that kratom effectively treats opioid withdrawal; 2) use of kratom can lead to death; and 3) it can worsen… Continue reading Kratom: Curse or Cure?

A Challenge to the Behavioral Addiction Concept

While I do believe that behaviors in excess can be called addictions, I must consider the counterpoint that doing this can actually worsen the chances of improving health. When observing a new phenomenon, say Internet Gaming Disorder, it is recommended to follow a theory, a systematic set of concepts that explain the relationships between variables.… Continue reading A Challenge to the Behavioral Addiction Concept

Benzodiazepines: Another Face of the Crisis

A little-commented on aspect of the opioid epidemic is the polypharmaceutical nature of the overdoses. For many deaths, it isn't just morphine or oxycodone found in the drug toxicology report. There can be antidepressants, stimulants, alcohol, and perhaps of most concern, benzodiazepines. If you think opioids are overprescribed, then benzodiazepines, or benzos, are on a… Continue reading Benzodiazepines: Another Face of the Crisis

Boredom

Boredom. The bane of modern existence. It is the trigger for relapse. It can also be extreme enough that it is a sign of depression. With few exceptions, the hyper-technological, air-conditioned, screenbound world we live in bores us to tears. All basic needs are met. No longer is the imperative survival and procreation, by self-fulfillment.… Continue reading Boredom