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Are drugs responsible for more deaths than we think?

Rising drug use in the United States is taking its toll on mortality rates, according to a study that has shown drug-associated deaths to be twice as high as stats suggest. On average, in what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have dubbed a drug epidemic, 130 people die each day in the U.S. from an opioid overdose. Death by drug poisoning or overdose has surged since 2000 in all regions and among all ethnic groups. In 2017, more than 70,200 people in the U.S. died as a result of a drug overdose. Some 68% of these deaths involved opioids, with the number being six times higher than that in 1999. Opioids include prescription drugs, such as some pain relievers, and illegal drugs, such as heroin. Opioids induce euphoria and are potentially addictive. Among this subset of the population, 9% of deaths were drug-related, based on data on overdose rates. This figure has gone up by 4% in less than 20 years. We estimate that the impact of drugs is responsible for the reduction in U.S. life expectancy at age 15 since 2010.” says Prof. Samuel Preston. If one were to eliminate those deaths we estimate to have been caused by drug use and abuse, we estimate that life expectancy at age 15 in 2016 would increase by 1.4 years for men and 0.7 years for women, Prof. Preston added. (Credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

What to know about depression at night

Several things can cause nighttime depression, such as being unable to sleep due to insomnia. Depending on the cause, possible treatments could involve psychotherapy or antidepressant medication. Depression is a common mental health condition that can lead to low mood and feelings of hopelessness. In some people, these symptoms can worsen at night. The symptoms of depression include:
* feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
* a persistently low mood
* irritability
* loss of interest in hobbies or activities that used to be pleasurable
* fatigue
* difficulty concentrating or remembering
* insomnia
* suicidal thoughts
* restlessness
* feelings of isolation
* feelings of emptiness
At night, some of these symptoms can become worse, making it harder to sleep. In turn, this could worsen insomnia and fatigue the next day, which can further worsen the depression a person in experiencing. The causes of depression are likely to be a combination of factors relating to genetics and the environment, such as experiencing trauma or chronic stress. It is less clear why these symptoms may worsen at night. People who experience insomnia as a symptom of depression may feel frustrated about their inability to sleep. The frustration likely peaks at night, when a person is unable to sleep despite feelings of fatigue and

exhaustion during the day. Being unable to sleep could worsen depression symptoms such as irritability or low mood.
For people experiencing night time depression, getting a good night’s sleep will also help though this can be difficult. Some tips for getting a good night sleep include:
* doing something relaxing before bed, such as reading a book
* not napping during the day
* going to bed and waking up around the same time every day
* exercise regularly
* making sure that the bed is comfortable
* restricting bright lights within an hour of bedtime
* not consuming caffeine in the evening
* avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals near bedtime
(Credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)