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Oregon First in Addictions but Last in Treatment, Link Between Narcissism and Addictions, and Acute Alcohol Consumption Linked to AF
Here is a recap of some of the top industry-related news stories of the week:
Study finds Oregon ranks 2nd in country for addiction, last in treatment
Research has shown that Oregon has the second highest rate for addictions while ranking last in access to treatment. During the pandemic, alcohol and drug addiction, and deaths and overdoses all rose.
This is at such a rate that the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 1 in 5 people in Oregon suffer from addiction.
The state ranked first for prescription opioid misuse and methamphetamine use, but Director of Oregon Recovers, Mike Marshall, says that alcohol use is the biggest concern. He says this was also the case before the pandemic and that the state took the wrong approach to the situation.
“The state decided to promote alcohol consumption in order to generate more revenue when in fact, that was the last thing that should happen during the pandemic,” Marshall says. “The fact that people are waiting 4, 5, and 6 weeks to get into treatment and access to treatment continues to go down is just completely unnecessary.”
Is there a link between narcissism and addiction?
A link has been found between narcissism and addiction. The American Psychiatric Association defines narcissism as a personality disorder that produces a pattern of behavior involving a lack of empathy for others and a need for consistent and excessive validation. A person with narcissistic personality disorder may have an inflated or grandiose sense of self-importance or worth and experience feelings of entitlement.
Self-esteem plays a large role in the link between narcissism and addiction. Both fluctuating self-esteem and low self-esteem can lead to the use of alcohol, drugs, or other addictive behaviors as a method of validation.
There are many commonalities between people with narcissistic tendencies and those who abuse drugs, including:
inability to see the consequences of actions
lack of empathy
feelings of superiority
problems with fluctuating or low self-esteem
defensive behaviors to deflect scrutiny
A 2020 review of research on narcissism and substance use disorders concludes that low self-esteem that requires external validation from others can increase the risk of substance use disorders. It also highlights that a lack of empathy toward others and feelings of invulnerability allow people to continue the problematic use of drugs, despite the obvious damage they cause to the people around them.
Research also supports the idea that people with narcissism are more likely to develop impulsive and abusive behaviors when using alcohol, drugs, sex, or even social media, leading to an increased risk of addiction.
Acute alcohol consumption linked with increased risk for atrial fibrillation
A study from the University of California, San Francisco, has found that acute alcohol consumption has been linked with a higher risk of atrial fibrillation (AF). Researchers found an association between increased drinking and hospital visits for atrial fibrillation in a large population, and a link between acute alcohol consumption and an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation in previously undiagnosed individuals.
AF contributes to about 158,000 deaths in the US per year.
Breathalyzer data for 36,158 individuals was assessed. Researchers identified 8 holidays or recurrent national events during which users consumed more alcohol than normal, then reviewed records of emergency department visits coded to a diagnosis of AF between January 1, 2005, and December 30, 2015.
The findings showed that there “was a significantly elevated number of hospital visits for AF when all those empirically identified events were compared to all other days of the year.”
Senior study author Gregory Marcus, MD, MAS, a professor of medicine at UCSF and associate chief of cardiology for research at UCSF Health, said “This may be kind of a wake-up call for those individuals who have an identifiable trigger for their atrial fibrillation, who we might presume would be more highly motivated to avoid alcohol consumption and subsequently to experience a lowering of their atrial fibrillation risk.”
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