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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord . Jim has over 35 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on StudyFinds.

Over 42,000 Americans died in 2016 alone due to opioid overdoses, according to the CDC. But, how are so many people getting their hands on these drugs in the first place? It’s all in the family, apparently. A new study reveals that relatives of individuals prescribed an opioid medication are nearly three times more likely to suffer an opioid overdose than others.

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston conclude that access to a family member’s prescription opioids could be a strong risk factor for overdose among people without their own prescriptions.

“When prescriptions are filled and there are extra pills in the medicine cabinet, family members with access to those medications could overdose or become dependent,” says lead investigator Joshua Gagne in a media release. “But few studies have systematically examined and quantified this risk.”

The investigators utilized health care data collected by a large U.S. commercial insurance company between 2004-2015. In all, 2,303 people who had overdosed on opioids were matched with 9,212 controls. All studied individuals had never been prescribed opioids by a doctor.

Researchers discovered that a family member on the same insurance plan being prescribed opioids was associated with a 2.89-fold increase in the odds of an individual without a prescription overdosing. Researchers say accounting for age made no difference, both adults and adolescents were more at risk of an overdose if a family member was prescribed opioids.

The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Source: StudyFinds
https://www.studyfinds.org/family-of-those-prescribed-opioids-nearly-three-times-more-likely-to-overdose-study-finds/

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.

About 4.8 million American kids aged 10 to 17 -- just over 15% -- were obese in 2017-2018, according to a new report.

"These new data show that this challenge touches the lives of far too many children in this country," said Dr. Richard Besser, the president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which produced the new report.

It found that the five states with the highest youth obesity rates were Mississippi (25.4%), West Virginia (20.9%), Kentucky (20.8%), Louisiana (20.8%) and Michigan (18.9%).

The lowest rates were seen in Utah (8.7%), Minnesota (9.4%), Alaska (9.9%), Colorado (10.7%) and Montana (10.8%).

Progress against child obesity seems to have stalled: The report's authors said that no states had statistically significant changes in obesity rates between 2016 and 2017-2018.

The report also noted large racial and ethnic disparities. Obesity rates among black and Hispanic youth (22% and 19%, respectively) were sharply higher than among whites and Asians (about 12% and 7%, respectively).

Source: HealthDay
https://consumer.healthday.com/vitamins-and-nutrition-information-27/obesity-health-news-505/nearly-5-million-american-kids-are-obese-new-study-finds-751078.html

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.

More teens are attempting suicide by overdosing on drugs, and new research suggests they are often turning to over-the-counter (OTC) medications like ibuprofen and aspirin in their efforts.

Antidepressants, antipsychotics and antihistamines were also common choices, the researchers added.

"What we were seeing was youth increasing suicide attempts using medications readily available in the home," said study author John Ackerman, suicide prevention coordinator at the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

"People think that youth are thinking deeply about which medicine to take, but when someone is in crisis, it's what's in the medicine cabinet. These drugs are having very serious medical outcomes for young people," Ackerman added.

Girls were much more likely than boys to attempt suicide by what is known as "self-poisoning," and suicide attempts by self-poisoning in children and teens were higher in rural communities. These types of suicide attempts occurred more often during the school year, the study found.

When people survive a self-poisoning suicide attempt, they may have heart problems or seizures afterwards. Ackerman said that the drugs may have an impact on brain function as well.

"This paper is a call to action for parents to increase their safe storage practices and talk to kids about their mental health concerns," he added. "Ask your kids how they're doing."

From 2000 to 2018, more than 1.6 million young people between the ages of 10 and 25 attempted suicide by self-poisoning. The rates of these suicide attempts in young people aged 10 to 18 started to increase in 2011, the study found.

Almost one-quarter of those attempts resulted in a serious medical outcome. The drugs most used in these attempts were OTC pain relievers, antidepressants, antihistamines and antipsychotics. Opioids were only involved in 7% of cases with a serious medical outcome.

ADHD medications were more commonly used in the younger group -- 10- to 15-year-olds.

The findings were published in Clinical Toxicology.

Source: HealthDay
https://consumer.healthday.com/general-health-information-16/suicide-health-news-646/aspirin-antihistamines-kids-often-use-otc-drugs-in-suicide-attempts-750962.html

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