Health Alert 7-13-12

By: Gina Pitisci Email
By: Gina Pitisci Email

July 13, 2012 - Overdose deaths from powerful painkillers have been surging at an alarming rate in the U.S., but there's some good news the number blamed on methadone appears to have peaked. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Methadone accounts for nearly one third of prescription painkiller deaths. Methadone is known mainly for treating heroin addiction, but is also prescribed for pain. Health officials say most of the overdose deaths are people who take it for pain, not heroin or drug addicts. CDC officials say, too much methadone can disrupt breathing, causing death. It also can cause a fatal irregular heartbeat.

Also, a report published online in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine suggests that the sending and receiving of sexual photos and messages via cellphone and computer, or sexting, is common among teens and may be linked to their sexual behaviors. The study authors say more than 1 in 4 adolescents have sent a nude picture of themselves through electronic means, about half have been asked to send a nude picture, and about a third have asked for a nude picture to be sent to them. Among other findings, authors found that teens who sexted were more likely to start dating and to have engage in sex than those peers who did not sext. Moreover, teen girls who sexted were more likely to report engaging in risky sexual behaviors, such as using drugs or alcohol before sex and having multiple partners.

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