A Tale of Two Ages: Duke Scientists Study Alignment between Chronological and Biological Age

by Rachel HaakeNovember 18, 2021 No Comments

Written by Ariana Pirzadeh, BSEdited by Sarah Banducci, PhD and Rachel Haake, PhD Age is just a number, or so the old adage goes, and a recent study may confirm it. In the United States, chronological age determines eligibility for social security, healthcare subsidies, and retirement. However, those who will actually be in need of these benefits and many other age-related accommodations is difficult to discern from chronological age alone.   Chronological vs Biological Age   A study led by Maxwell Elliott, a Clinical Psychology...

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House Bill 17: Pilot Project to Treat Opioid Overdose

by Rachel HaakeJune 9, 2021 No Comments

Written by Carol Gianessi, Ph.D. Edited Sarah Banducci, Ph.D., Ryan Bell, Ph.D., and Rachel Haake, Ph.D. June 9, 2021 Abstract Opioid overdose deaths have significantly increased over the past two decades in the United States and within North Carolina specifically [1]. For every opioid overdose death there are approximately 30 non-fatal overdoses, occasions that may be well suited for policy interventions to reduce morbidity [2]. House Bill 17 aims to continue the Quick Response Team Pilot Program in Wilmington, NC...

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The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on College Students

by Rachel HaakeMay 27, 2021 No Comments

Written by Ariana Pirzadeh, B.S.Edited by Sarah Banducci, Ph.D., Ryan Bell, Ph.D., and Rachel Haake, Ph.D. Making it to class on time, balancing social life and academics, finding time to do laundry, studying for exams--these are the types of challenges a college student anticipates. All of these tasks are stressful on their own, let alone when a global pandemic is added to the mix. Trying to manage those day-to-day tasks, while focusing on daunting issues such as the health of...

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The Power of Thought: Using cognitive fusion to understand Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

by Rachel HaakeMarch 7, 2021 No Comments

Written by Ariana Pirzadeh, B.S. Edited by Sarah Banducci, Ph.D., Ryan Bell, Ph.D., and Rachel Haake, M.A. Thoughts can be powerful, but for some individuals they can become paralyzing and take an unhealthy amount of control over behavior. This phenomenon is known as cognitive fusion, one commonly observed symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Linking cognitive fusion to OCD A recent study posits that those with OCD risk being swept up in their intrusive thoughts and associated behaviors, which may...

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The Cost of COVID-19 in North Carolina: State Funding for Mental Health Services

by Rachel HaakeFebruary 16, 2021 No Comments

Written by Rachel Haake, M.A.Edited by Sarah Banducci, Ph.D. and Ryan Bell, Ph.D. Since March of 2020, COVID-19 has ravaged the United States, both exposing and exacerbating pre-existing crises like the “Deaths of Despair” epidemic—the increasing rates of death by suicide and drug overdose among US adults. Sustained recovery from the pandemic will require scientifically informed policies. Among these should be expansion of funded programs addressing the far-reaching consequences of COVID-19 on mental health and substance use. Nationwide, reports of...

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Senate Bill 544: Establish Non-Opioid Treatment Alternatives.

by Seth HurleyDecember 17, 2019 No Comments

Written by Seth Hurley, Ph.D. December 2nd, 2019 Abstract Senate Bill 544 aims to provide improved access to non-opioid treatment alternatives for pain. Opioids are very effective pain relievers; however, they also have additional negative side-effects. Over-prescription and reliance on opioids for pain management has led to a nation-wide opioid epidemic that has severely impacted North Carolina [1]. The North Carolina Senate proposed a bill to provide non-opioid treatment alternatives to reduce the likelihood of opioid addictions precipitated by opioid...

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House Bill H318: Opioid Prescription and Treatment Opt Out Act.

by Seth HurleyOctober 30, 2019 No Comments

Written by Seth Hurley, Ph.D. October 28, 2019 Abstract The Opioid Prescription and Treatment Opt Out Act allows individuals to voluntarily opt out of receiving opioid medications. The bill was drafted in response to over-prescription of opioids in North Carolina. Prescription opioid medications have an addiction potential and over-prescription of opioids has contributed to an ongoing nation-wide opioid epidemic with overdose deaths and opioid prescription rates in North Carolina higher than the national average [1]. Given the severity of opioid...

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Senate Bill S601: School-Based Mental Health

by Rachel HaakeSeptember 5, 2019 No Comments

Written by Rachel Haake, M.A. August 7, 2019 Abstract The School-Based Mental Health bill responds to the growing incidence of youth suicide in North Carolina, which has nearly doubled in the last ten years and has become the second leading cause of death for children ages 10-17. The bill requires schools to implement school-based mental health plans including a mental health training program and suicide risk referral protocols. The bill appears to be broadly supported given the high rates of...

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What Neuroscience Reveals About Effective Treatments for Substance Use Disorders

by ryanbellNovember 30, 2018 No Comments

Written by Ryan Bell, Ph.D. October 12, 2018 For a link to the original article, click here. From 2016 to 2017, deaths from drug overdoses increased by 12% according to the National Center for Health Statistics. In North Carolina, such deaths went up by 6.3%. From the same data, we learn that in the United States drug overdose deaths are the primary form of mortality for people under the age of 50. Evidence like this shows the need for immediate...

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House Bill 968: Legislative Response to Emerging Contaminants Act

by joshfrostNovember 2, 2018 No Comments

By Josh Frost November 2, 2018 Abstract PFAS are chemicals in many products which accumulate in the environment and in humans, potentially causing adverse health effects. Two companies in North Carolina have been found to be contaminating the Cape Fear River with GenX, a PFAS. The Legislative Response to Emerging Contaminants strengthens pollutant regulations, as well as provides significant grants for studying and monitoring emission of PFAS and other chemicals into North Carolina waterways. Support on the bill is split....

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