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July 10th, 2012
12:20 PM ET

IOM: Elderly need better access to mental health, substance abuse care

Baby boomers in need of mental health and substance abuse services may have a hard time finding health professionals to provide that care unless the treatment system is revamped, according to a new study from the Institute of Medicine.

"The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Americans: In Whose Hands?" report concludes that Medicare and Medicaid payment codes must be revised to ensure counseling care and other critical services are covered so that doctors are willing to treat patients with these conditions.

"There is a conspicuous lack of national attention to ensuring that there is a large enough health care work force trained to care for older adults with mental health and substance use conditions," said Dan G. Blazer, one of the report authors and the J.P. Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.

"These conditions are relatively common, they can be costly, and they can have profound negative impacts on people's health and well-being. This report is a wake-up call that we need to prepare now or our older population and their extended families will suffer the consequences."
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FDA announces new safety plan for opioid use
July 10th, 2012
11:22 AM ET

FDA announces new safety plan for opioid use

The Food and Drug Administration has announced new safety measures for a class of opioid medication used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain.

Opioids are powerful - patients who suffer from chronic pain say the medications can do wonders. But if they fall into the wrong hands or are used for recreational purposes, these meds can cause serious harm, including overdose and death.

“Although many Americans don’t realize it, prescription drug abuse is our swiftest growing drug problem. Many of those abuses involve opioids," said Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. "In 2008, nearly 15,000 Americans died where opioids were involved. In 2009, that number went up to 16,000."
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Most kids don't get enough PE, says study
July 10th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Most kids don't get enough PE, says study

Most schools in the United States are not offering children the suggested amount of physical education, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Bryan McCullick, a kinesiology professor at the University of Georgia, examined all 50 of the United States and found six states where elementary schools followed recommended physical education guidelines. Two states followed the guidelines at the middle school level, and no states had strong enough regulations at the high school level.

Several other states had some form of physical education requirement, but they did not reach a threshold the researchers thought was appropriate.

What’s the issue? McCullick says schools may be cutting time for physical education to increase time for other subjects, in the hope of raising standardized test scores.
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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