Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Against The Backdrop Of Persistently High Suicide Rates, Program Finds Success With Veterans Helping Veterans During A Crisis

KHN Morning Briefing

Authorities are touting a Los Angeles County program as a breakthrough in policing that could save lives of veterans who are having a crisis. Since the program’s launch in September, local law enforcement agencies answering such 911 calls have dispatched not only deputies or officers but also two-person teams from the Veterans Affairs hospital in Long Beach. Supporters call the program the first of its kind and hope it will be replicated nationwide.

CDC Report Paints Grim Picture Of Rapidly Escalating Fentanyl Overdoses That Have Hit Vulnerable Communities Hard

KHN Morning Briefing

The death rate among African Americans from fentanyl-involved drug overdoses rose 141 percent each year, on average, from 2011 to 2016, and the death rate for Hispanics rose 118 percent in that period every year on average. Altogether, the records revealed that more than 36,000 Americans died with fentanyl in their systems during the study period. The majority of those deaths — 18,335 — occurred in 2016 alone. Meanwhile, the nation’s top medical advisers say that medication for addiction is vastly underused.

University Of Illinois At Chicago Acknowledged Failure To Catch Warnings Signs Over Child Psychiatrist Who Violated Research Protocols

KHN Morning Briefing

According to new documents, the University of Illinois at Chicago Institutional Review Board, the committee responsible for protecting research subjects, improperly fast-tracked approval of Dr. Mani Pavuluri’s clinical trial, didn’t catch serious omissions from the consent forms parents had to sign and allowed children to enroll in the study even though they weren’t eligible. Still, UIC officials have continued to blame only Pavuluri, and have downplayed the institution’s role in the research.

New Treatments Might Provide Hope To Patients With Rare Genetic Disease That Turns Tissue Into Bone

KHN Morning Briefing

The genetic disease, fibrodysplasia ossificans, in which the body’s machinery for healing goes awry, growing immovable bone where it doesn’t belong, had been languishing as nothing more than a medical curiosity. But a community of patient advocates rallied, and now there are three medicines in human trials, the most advanced of which could win Food and Drug Administration approval next year. In other public health news: weight lifting, primate emotions, the “bliss point” in food, and psychic mediums.

Contraception App Claims It’s 99 Percent Effective, But Questions About How To Even Test That Rate Remain Unanswered

KHN Morning Briefing

The app gives users a window of about 11 to 13 days during which they should use a condom or another birth control method to prevent pregnancy. Although a new study shows that it can be effective if used correctly, that data assumes the people who don’t respond aren’t pregnant, which is an underlying obstacle to proving efficacy on apps like these. In other public health news: the microbiome, broken heart syndrome, depression treatments, pre-term births, fish oil, medical marijuana and heart health.

The Road To Curing HIV In South Dependent On Tackling Racism, Poverty And Homophobia

KHN Morning Briefing

Drugs already exist to prevent and contain the virus. But there are formidable social obstacles that have to be conquered before there can be meaningful headway made. In other public health news: depression, having children, terminal illnesses, immunotherapy, Ebola, antibiotics, TV’s effect on the aging brain, and more.

Sharp Increase In Mental Health Illnesses In Young People May Be Linked To Social Media, Cultural Trends

KHN Morning Briefing

The report also said that lack of sleep could be a contributing factor. Between 2008 and 2017, suicides among young adults in age brackets between 18 and 25 grew by as much as 56 percent, and the rate at which these young people entertained thoughts of suicide rose by up to 68 percent. “It’s an alarming trend,” said Dr. Ramin Mojtabai, a Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist.