Young Adults: The New Face of Heroin Addiction

An epidemic of heroin addiction is spreading among young adults, yet for the most part, the problem remains hidden. Shamed parents, blaming themselves and wondering what they did wrong, struggle alone. As one  boomer mom told me, “No one wants to announce to family and friends that their son is a drug addict.” To publicize the problem of addiction, a “Stop the Silence” rally is planned for Sunday, Oct. 4, in Washington, D.C. Organizers from a new national organization, Facing …

5 Steps to Cure Binge-and-Purge Shopping Disorder

I once had a dirty little secret. No, it wasn’t an online flirtation, a crush on actor Mark Rylance (that’s common knowledge) or a tendency for midnight fridge raids. It was a brief problem with BPSD, aka Binge-and-Purge Shopping Disorder, and it’s why online retailers such as Amazon, Target, Sephora and Beauty.com are such a success. Women 50 and older are the biggest buyers of online beauty and fashion. Buy, try, return, repeat is a familiar but addictive habit. The revolving door …

For Many Veterans, the Battles Don’t End With the War

It seems so easy. We pass a veteran in uniform in an airport or on the street and we nod and say, “Thank you for your service.” It is a gracious greeting that is much appreciated by these men and women who have fought or stood bravely for the ideals of freedom for which America stands. But the fact is that, though veterans respond in kind to appreciation, many have brought the battlefield home with them in various ways. >> …

Painkiller Death Rate Highest Among Older Adults

The rate of overdose deaths from powerful painkillers has nearly quadrupled since 1999, but new government figures show that since 2006, the rate of increase has finally slowed — except among older adults. According to a newly released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, the rate of fatal overdoses from prescription painkillers is still highest among those ages 45 to 54, with the fastest increase in deaths over the past decade among those 55 to 64. In 2011, …

Is Your Coffee Habit a Mental Disorder?

My husband knows not to talk to me before I have my first cup of coffee in the morning. Maybe not even until after the third. And the times I’ve been forced to forgo those daily cups? Headache, crankiness, fatigue-and did I mention crankiness? Obviously, I must have a mental disorder. Or at least I do according to the new edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s mental health manual, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5. See also: …

The Takeaway: 1 in 5 Older Adults Have Mental Health or Substance Abuse Issues

A new report finds 20 percent of older adults suffer from mental health or substance abuse problems. With an aging boomer population and a serious shortage of doctors, nurses and other health workers trained in mental health care, “the burden of mental illness and substance abuse disorders in older adults in the United States borders on a crisis,” researchers say.