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Nation's First Supervised Injection Site Opens, Studies Show No Amount of Alcohol is Healthy, and Experts Declare a Children's Mental Health Emergency
Here is a recap of some of the top industry-related news stories of the week:
Nation’s First Supervised Drug-Injection Sites Open in New York
Last week, New York opened the nation’s first supervised injection sites in an attempt to combat the surge in overdose deaths. The facilities are located in East Harlem and Washington Heights.
The sites have trained staff who provide needles, discuss treatment options, and administer naloxone to reverse overdoses.
There are many differing views on the facilities; supporters recognize the sites offer a less punitive and more effective approach to addressing addictions, while those in opposition claim that the facilities are magnets for drug abuse.
Before transforming into a safe injection site, the two locations were operating as needle exchange programs, which members of the public already expressed concerns about.
Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, NY City Health Commissioner, says the opening of the two facilities if a step forward for addressing a public health crisis. “Every four hours, someone dies of a drug overdose in New York City,” he said. “We feel a deep conviction and also sense of urgency in opening overdose prevention centers.”
On the first day of operation, staff reversed two overdoses on site.
Drinking This Much Alcohol Increases Your Risk of 3 Common Cancers, Study Finds
New research shows that any amount of alcohol consumption can be linked to cancer, not just binge drinking. The National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services state that alcohol is a known carcinogen that affects people regardless of the amount. The National Cancer Institute has similar views. They state, "The evidence indicates that the more alcohol a person drinks—particularly the more alcohol a person drinks regularly over time—the higher his or her risk of developing an alcohol-associated cancer.”
Studies have found that even one drink a day can increase your risk of esophageal, gastric and colorectal cancer.
The CDC also claims that drinking alcohol can lead to cancer of the mouth and throat, voice box, liver, and breasts. “All types of alcoholic drinks, including red and white wine, beer, cocktails, and liquor, are linked with cancer. The more you drink, the higher your cancer risk,” the health authority warns.
Pediatric health experts declare children's mental health a national crisis
Pediatrician and President Elect of the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Chris Peltier, said he started seeing more children for mental health visits before the pandemic and that the pandemic has made the numbers grow even higher.
In 2020, office visits for children with mental health concerns were up 25% for children ages 5-11 and 30% for children 12-17. Groups like American Academy of Pediatrics, the Children’s Hospital Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry have noticed the trend and declared children’s mental health as a national emergency.
To help protect children and to try to combat the issue, parents can monitor changes in behavior, including changes in school performance, social interaction, appearance, sleeping habits, and mood, as these are signs of anxiety and depression in children.
If parents notice changes in their children’s behavior, Peltier recommends scheduling a visit with the pediatrician.
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