A Solution to the Youth Opioid Epidemic is Urgent

At 2014, the prescription rate of opioids increased by threefold since 1999. This exponential growth means that there is an increasing number of substances available to the public.

According to a national survey, youth and young adults state that it is easy to obtain and share opioids. Specifically, 32.7% of the respondents say that prescription opioids are easy to acquire and 49.5% of them state that they could do so within 24 hours.

As the availability of opioids aggravate the psychological vulnerabilities of substance use, the youth become increasingly susceptible to using these substances. However, programs designed for adolescents are absent.

Amidst the growing availability of opioids, programs that helps specifically the youth is vital and urgent in effectively step toward to solving the adolescent opioid epidemic.

https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2019/01/02/peds.2018-2752.full.pdf

https://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/education/bcr/addiction-research/youth-opioid-attitudes-ns-0415

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Teen Opioid Use Linked to Parental Use

Recent studies have shown that teens have a higher risk of addiction to opioids if their parents struggle with the problem. This study shows similarity to the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana among teens in relation to their parents’ use of those substances.

Further analysis shows that 8% of teens who did not have parent that abused opioids compared with 14% of teens with parents that abused opioids.

https://www.aappublications.org/news/2019/02/25/opioids022519

 

 

 

 

 

Public Health Crisis of American Indians

As African Americans lack representation within the medical field American Indians and Alaska Natives have even less representation.

Only 62 American Indian or Alaska Native students have graduated from the University of Wisconsin of Medicine and Public Health within the past 37 years out of 5,481 graduates.

The low number of American Indian/Alaska Natives graduates can be attributed in part due to internalized learned behavior from boarding school experiences passed from one generation to the next. It can also be attributed to lack of representation of physicians to serve as role models to other American Indian/Alaska Natives. Even so, sometimes American Indians/Alaska Native do not have access to physician care so they do not view that as a feasible attainment for them.

This not only impacts the number of American Indian/Alaska Natives physicians but the knowledge and way to treat American Indians/Alaska Natives is not very well understood.  A large majority of Americans lack knowledge of key health issues that impact their community the most and the best way to address such issues.

https://badgerherald.com/news/2019/02/19/native-american-representation-in-medicine-crucial-to-combating-public-health-disparities-report-suggests/

 

Impacting Disparities in Health Care

The national average medical school in United States is composed of 59% Caucasians. City University of New York (CUNY) School of Medicine, which has been in existence for two years, is comprised of 53% underrepresented minorities. Not only are racial and ethnic minorities take into consideration but also economically disadvantaged students as well.

CUNY is on a mission to diversify the medical profession in addition to providing healthcare to under-served communities. This is important because students from those under-served communities are highly motivated to become doctors to fix problems they have seen within their communities and deliver healthcare to people that resemble their families.

Research has proven that it is of the most importance that patients have physicians and clinicians that they are able to relate too. This goes beyond the ethnic and racial component but to the training of a physician/clinician. They must be trained with empathy, cultural competence, and comprehension.

 

https://diverseeducation.com/article/138891/

 

 

$1 Million Kids Oral Health National Partnerships comes to Texas.

Guardians partnership

Guardians Life Insurance Company of America committed $1 million to the Children’s Health Fund. The donation launched the Guardians of the Smile partnership to provide quality dental care and education to children in underserved communities across the United States.  From January to June 2018, Children’s Health Fund’s programs provided more than 7,500 dental encounters to children in Washington D.C., Dallas, Idaho, Los Angeles, New York, and Southern Arizona thanks to Guardian’s support.

The spokesperson for the Austin branch of the Guardians of the Smile is former pro-football player Michael Griffin.  Michael Griffin will lead the partnership in Austin starting with Cook Elementary School. Students at Cook Elementary School learn about the importance of good oral hygiene at a fun and interactive event. K-2 students at the Austin school will brush larger-than-life teeth, wrangle giant floss, and meet the Tooth Guardian™. For more information visit check out their website: