Posts Categorized: Behavioral Health

E-Cigarettes: Friend or Foe?

Sales of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are exploding rapidly, and so is controversy over them. Are they a breakthrough aid to help stop smoking or addictive, harmful devices? E-cigarettes are battery-operated gadgets that heat liquid nicotine, flavors and other chemicals into a vapor that users inhale. The amount of nicotine they deliver varies widely and their… Read more »

Extreme Binge Drinking: 10+ Drinks in a Row

Alarming numbers of high school seniors try extreme binge drinking–consuming as many as 10 or 15 alcoholic drinks in one sitting, according to a research recently published in JAMA Pediatrics. The new study marks the first investigation to dissect extreme binge drinking in a representative group of teens. Investigators analyzed data from more than 16,000… Read more »

Phobias Are Real–and Manageable

Superstition about Friday the 13th is related to the fear of the number 13. Both are examples of common phobias–that is, uncontrollable, irrational and persistent fears of a specific object, situation or activity, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) may seem trivial, but phobias can be quite serious. Some… Read more »

Remembering 9/11 Survivors

As construction on the Freedom Tower nears completion and the 9/11 Memorial pays tribute to the lost, let’s remember the World Trade Center (WTC) first responders, volunteers and construction workers who put their health at risk. Many Ground Zero workers still suffer health consequences caused by exposure to a toxic mix of chemicals. My editorial… Read more »

Molly Brings Agony, not Ecstasy

Two attendees at the Electric Zoo Festival on Randall’s Island died this past weekend after taking the illegal drug called Molly. Formerly called Ecstasy, Molly’s popularity is on the rise, as are its risks. There were more than 20,000 Molly-related emergency department visits in 2011, compared to just over 10,000 for 2004, according to the… Read more »

The Relationship Between Guns and Suicide

Recent evidence supports a strong relationship between access to guns and suicide: According to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than half of the nearly 39,000 people who reportedly killed themselves in the US last year, did so with a firearm. A comparison of states with high rates of… Read more »

PTSD Affects Non-Veterans, Too

With our country’s recent military conflicts, the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has gained attention because it affects so many of our soldiers (up to 20 percent). Yet this condition can strike anyone—not just those who have been to war. PTSD is a reaction to trauma. Trauma is a Greek word that means “wound.”… Read more »

FDA Approves New ADHD Test

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new medical device to help assess attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for youngsters between 6 to 17. But the new ADHD test does not eliminate the need for a careful clinical assessment by a physician, psychologist or other licensed professional. Focusing on EEG (electroencephalogram) patterns, this is the… Read more »

The Dangers of Smoking Alcohol

It seems some people are always looking for a new way to get drunk. Now, some teens and college students resort to smoking alcohol rather than drinking it. The idea is to get bombed and save calories—thus the term “drunkorexia.” Using various techniques, smoking or “vaporizing” alcohol delivers it to the bloodstream via the lungs,… Read more »

No One Deserves Bullying

It used to be taken for granted, but bullying is not “harmless fun.” In fact, it makes headlines. Parents, healthcare professionals and educators now realize that this destructive behavior has far-reaching after-effects–not only for the target, but also for the bully and the bystanders. As news coverage of it increases, sometimes the definition of bullying… Read more »