ADHD medication might help encourage children to avoid risky behaviors, new study shows

Researchers have found that medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is more common in Kentucky than any other state, may offer some additional long-term benefits by discouraging children from risky behaviors.

“Treatment with ADHD medication made children less likely to suffer consequences of risky behaviors such as sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse during their teen years and injuries,” says a Princeton University news release.

The latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that Kentucky leads the nation in the percentage of children ages 4-17 with ADHD at 15 percent; the national percentage is 11 percent. Almost 70 percent of children who are diagnosed with ADHD are treated with medications, according to a Kentucky Health News article.

“ADHD is such a major issue, but no one seemed to be able to give a very definite answer to the long-term effect of the medication,” researcher Anna Chorniy said in the Princeton news release. “For our sample population, we were able to see everyone who had an ADHD diagnosis and track their health over time to identify any potential benefits of the medication or the lack of thereof.”

The study, published in the journal Labour Economics, looked at Medicaid claims for nearly 150,000 children diagnosed with ADHD in South Carolina between 2003 and 2013.

 

Heroin symposium to put focus on treating addicts of all ages and from all areas

Heroin SymposiumThe heroin epidemic plaguing our city and our state continues to increase. It has been several years since the re-emergence of heroin in our area, yet 95 percent of clients arriving in The Healing Place detox facilities are coming in for heroin, according to a column written by Laci M. Comer, development project manager for The Healing Place, in The (Louisville) Courier-Journal.

“The new addict is 18 to 30 years old and comes from the suburban, more affluent ZIP codes,” Ms. Comer writes. “The face of addiction is absolutely changing and has a huge impact on our community.”

To help doing something about this, The Healing Place and Passport Health Plan are planning a daylong symposium called “Heroin: About Face – Reversing an Epidemic,” on Wednesday, October 28 in Louisville. It is encouraged that physicians, social workers, counselors, human resources personnel, and certified drug & alcohol counselors who work with families and clients attend this symposium, along with families who deal directly with addiction.

Guest speakers will include:

  • Tara Conner, Miss USA 2006, who will share her story of abuse and recovery
  • Dreg Jones, MD, medical director of the Kentucky Physicians Health Foundation
  • Geoff Wilson, LCSW, CADC, a clinical social worker and certified alcohol & drug counselor in Kentucky for more than 20 years
  • Mike O’Connell, Jefferson County Attorney
  • A “Community Impact Panel” with representatives from law enforcement, corrections, and the health department

The symposium has been approved for 2.5 CME from the Kentucky Medical Association and 5.75 CEUs for various professions. The symposium begins at 7:30 a.m., and cost is $150.

For more information about the symposium or to register, go online to www.thehealingplace.org/heroin, send an email to events@thehealingplace.org or call (502) 357-1983.

 

CMS Proposes Mental Health Parity for Medicaid Managed Care

Medicaid recipients who get services through managed care organizations (MCOs), such as Passport Health Plan, or alternative benefit plans would get the same access to mental health and substance abuse benefits as provided by private health plans, under a new federal proposal. According to an article in Modern Healthcare, the proposed rule would ensure beneficiaries have access to mental health and substance abuse benefits regardless of whether services are provided through the managed care organization or another service delivery system.