Resentment

One thing about having giant student loans is how helpless you feel. You see a giant money sink crushing your hopes and dreams beneath its current. All sweat and tears go to feeding that behemoth. No wonder Dave Ramsey and the financial independence blogs urge us to kill it immediately. No wonder people my age… Continue reading Resentment

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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

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

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

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