6 Steps for Hospitals to Take to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse, Diversion

Hospitals are under increased scrutiny from regulatory agencies over prescription drug abuse and the potential for drug diversion from medical institutions. For hospital leadership, it is a patient safety issue. It is an employee health issue. It is a clinical quality and readmissions issue. And it is a legal and compliance issue.

The traditional approach to alleviating patient pain by using prescription opioids as the primary solution has created an environment where opioids are plentiful. And because hospitals hold a high inventory of regulated pharmaceuticals, they risk becoming a prime source of prescription drugs hitting the streets, where their value becomes highly inflated.

By taking a hard look at policies and oversight, hospital administrators can help reduce their institution’s risk of prescription drug in…..click here to read full article.

What’s Good for Mental Health is Good for the Economy

The Lancet PsychiatryExternal Web Site Policy recently reported that mental illness costs the global economy $1 trillion each year. In the United States alone, it’s estimated to cost approximately $105 billion in lost productivity and nearly $200 billion each year in lost earnings.  Approximately 30 percent of total disability costs are due to mental disorders.  These numbers have increased between 1990 and 2013 as the number of people with depression and/or anxiety around the world increased by nearly 50 percent.  Disasters and ongoing conflicts continue to contribute to these increases.  Yet, governments spend, on average, only 3 percent of their health budgets on mental health. For individual well-being……click here to read full article.

Let’s Treat it Together


A 20 minute video on opiate addiction in Ohio, including updated statistics, addiction theory, how medication assisted treatment may be utilized, inspiration from judges, and a call to action issued by our own Chief Justice.  It is a follow-up video to the Judicial Symposium on Opiate Addiction, which took place in Columbus on June 30, 2014.  Please click HERE to view the video.


An app for mental illnesses…really? Check this out….

PsyberGuide provides information, reviews, and ratings on apps for mental health.  Click here to review their product list.  For example, you can find a product by on of the following listings, feel free to use any of the links below:


Alcohol and the Holidays… two must reads:

The Truth About Holiday Spirits: How to Celebrate Safely This Season

We all want to celebrate during the holidays, and more people are likely to drink beyond their limits during this season than at other times of the year. Some will suffer adverse consequences that range from fights to falls to traffic crashes. Sadly, we often put ourselves and others at risk because we don’t understand how alcohol affects us during an evening of celebratory drinking.  Read more at:  http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/RethinkHoliday/NIAAA_NYE_Fact_Sheet.htm

Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol and your health

Do you enjoy a drink now and then?

Many of us do, often when socializing with friends and family. Drinking can be beneficial or harmful, depending on your age and health status, and, of course, how much you drink.  Read more at:  http://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/

Coping when faced with emotional distress….

Incidents of mass violence such as the shootings in San Bernardino, CA and Savannah, GA on 12/2, Colorado Springs, CO on 11/27, and many others, can lead to significant levels of emotional distress or other behavioral health concerns among those impacted: survivors, loved ones of victims, first responders, rescue and recovery workers, or anywhere in the country, particularly among those who may have experienced a similar trauma and for whom news of these events may be especially distressing.

The following resources are from the Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH), a program of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), administered by Link2Health Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mental Health Association of New York City. For additional information, resources, or questions about the DDH, please contact Christian Burgess, Director, cburgess@mhaofnyc.org / 1-212-614-6346.

Disaster Distress Helpline: Overview

  • The Disaster Distress provides crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Calls (1-800-985-5990; Spanish-speakers can press “2”) and texts (text “TalkWithUs” to 66746; Spanish-speakers can text “Hablanos” to 66746) are answered by a network of independently-operated crisis centers around the country, who provide psychological first aid, emotional support, crisis assessment and intervention, and referrals to local/state behavioral health services for follow-up care & support.

DDH/SAMHSA Resources

  • See attached for a summary of DDH services/information (Overview of SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline.September 2015)  and a copy of the DDH brochure (Disaster Distress Helpline English Brochure.December 2014)  that can be forwarded to contacts or printed for use as a resource, including during the days/weeks/months ahead as this will no doubt be a long recovery process for those most directly impacted by the shootings.
  • Bulk copies of DDH brochures, wallet cards and/or topical brochures on common mental health concerns experienced by those impacted by incidents of mass violence (tips for talking with children, trouble sleeping, grief/loss, PTSD, etc.) can be sent to you/other contacts at no cost; if you/contacts are interested in receiving additional copies, contact Christian Burgess (cburgess@mhaofnyc.org) to coordinate.
  • The SAMHSA DDH website has a page dedicated to Incidents of Mass Violence distress risk factors and warning signs + resources for coping http://1.usa.gov/1FoyCwz that can be added to any online resource web pages created in relation to the San Bernardino shootings or other incidents of mass violence.
  • SAMHSA Coping with Traumatic Events: Resources for Children, Parents, Educators, and Other Professionals http://1.usa.gov/1NLO8ND
  • SAMHSA Behavioral Health Response App allows providers to access critical, disaster behavioral health-related resources for clients/contacts affected by incidents of mass violence  http://1.usa.gov/X7ctoE


13 Tips for De-stressing the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, including all the insanity that all too frequently passes for follity at this time of year. We are bracing ourselves for the massive blitzkrieg of full-scale holiday marketing and all the stress that can go with it. Click 13 tips to destress over holidays for ideas to help you and loved ones relax and enjoy the holidays!
Courtesy of Belleruth Naparstek of HealthJourneys.com