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August 2017

Total solar eclipses and health

This HND piece looks at health myths, as well as some interesting facts about this eclipse--the first one visible from the US since 1979.  This time, the US is the only country worldwide that will be in the path of totality.  The last time that happened on our landmass was more than 500 years before our country was even founded.

I put plenty of informative links into this story, including a resource to eclipse data covering six millennia.

Read the complete article.



A look at the opioid crisis

This HND piece start out by defining terms, and then segues into the heavy use of prescription drugs, especially for chronic pain issues. For many pain sufferers, addiction would seem to be the least of their problems, since in some cases they can develop a tolerance to the meds, not to mention hyperalgesia—an acute sensitization to pain.

But then, providers will cut back on the flow of the drugs, driving too many of these patients toward heroin. Heroin, in pharmaceutical grade, is an effective pain medication, but pharma grade isn't exactly what's being sold on the streets. Worse, street heroin can be mixed with potentially deadly fentanyl.

We also touch on endorphins—our body's own natural opioid—and relate some pretty disturbing statistics on the opioid crisis (Drug overdoses now kill more people than gun homicides and car crashes combined).

Read the complete article.