Singer Meghan Trainor opened up about her struggles with anxiety and depression this week. While co-hosting the Today Show on Monday, the 24-year-old singer said she didn’t know how to describe her feelings until she heard Carson Daly talk about his generalized anxiety disorder. “It’s the most confusing, frustrating thing ever because you’re just trapped in it until you can figure it out,” Megan told co-host Hoda Kotb. “I went up to [Daly] and I was like, ‘You don’t know what you’ve done for me, but it was amazing,’” the “No Excuses” singer said. Earlier this year, Trainor revealed that she suffered crippling panic attacks that would keep her home for days.
“I was crumbling in my bed,” she said. “You feel like there’s something wrong with you and you’re embarrassed to talk about it. No one can help you. It’s your brain. It’s chemicals.” Trainor said she “fell into a crazy, deep hole of depression and anxiety,” following surgery on her vocal cords. She notes that she’s recently begun to overcome her mental health issues, thanks to slowing her schedule down and seeking professional therapy.
New Bill Would Make Prescription Records Available Without Warrant
A new proposal in North Carolina targeting the opioid crisis might overstep some boundaries, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) warned this week. The bill would give unchecked (and unprecedented) power to law enforcement officials, allowing officials to comb through a person’s history of prescription drug use if they’re under investigation for a drug crime. According to the ACLU, North Carolina state law currently puts restrictions on law enforcement access to both pharmacies as well as the state’s Controlled Substance Reporting System database. While sponsors of the bill contend that the move will help law enforcement strengthen their ability to prosecute individuals, the ACLU says it “erodes civil liberties” by eliminating the need for a warrant or court order, which is a “crucial protection for our constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures.” It also allows officials to search prescription records after a single drug offense. “Do you use birth control? Take medication to treat depression or anxiety? Ever taken antibiotics to treat a sexually transmitted disease? North Carolina law enforcement would get to know all that and more,” the ACLU story observed.
Social Media Companies Try to Dial Back Smartphone Addiction
The very same social media giants that got the world addicted to smartphones is now working to curb our addiction to our devices, TheStreet reported. Facebook continues to be the most-used app by a huge margin, the story says, with Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, YouTube and Chrome also burning the most bandwidth. Apple, for one, has announced a raft of new features in its next operating system, iOS12. The update will include a number of tools to help iPhone users better understand how much time they’re spending on their device. Among some of iOS12’s features include “Do Not Disturb, which suspends notifications for a set period of time, suggestions from Siri on turning off notifications that you don’t need; Screen Time, an activity log summarizing how much time you spend in apps; and App Limits, a means of allotting budgets for app use.” Apple is calling their initiative “Digital Health,” with other social media companies offering similar solutions with different names, such as Google’s “Digital Wellbeing” and Facebook’s “Time Well Spent.”
Heather Locklear Hospitalized Hours After Arrest
Actress Heather Locklear, best known for her roles on “Melrose Place,” “T.J. Hooker” and “Dynasty,” has had a rough week. Just one day after being released from a three-day psychiatric hold, all thanks to attacking a police officer and an EMT while being “extremely intoxicated and very uncooperative,” police were again called to her address. The Los Angeles Times reported the return trip, this time confirming a TMZ report that “a person was transported to a hospital” because of a “possible overdose.” Privacy laws prevent identity details to be shared publicly. Still, the subject was transported to Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center. The LA Times also cited TMZ’s report that Locklear planned to voluntarily check into treatment and was in stable condition. “The “Spin City” actress was reportedly hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation earlier this month, and placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold at the time after allegations of chocking her mother and attacking her father,” the Times added.
Kids’ Exposure to Medication Increased by 215% in Three Years
A new study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, revealed that the number of children exposed to addiction has jumped exponentially in recent years. CNN Wire reported that more than 11,200 calls about children’s exposure to the opioid medication buprenorphine were made to US poison control centers from 2007 to 2016. Of that number, 86% were children under the age of six, while 89% of the exposures was accidental. It was an especially baffling statistic given that the drug is never prescribed for children under six in the first place. “We’re not quite sure why it stands out so much,” the director of the Central Ohio Poison Center said. “Perhaps the parents who have this may not think it’s as risky as their other opiates because it doesn’t have the big effect that the other opiates do for them.” Regardless, between the years 2007 and 2010, there was a staggering 215.6% jump in exposure to drugs like buprenorphine. “This is not the first study to show these data, but it is the latest study to show a medication whose design it is to help adults with narcotic or opioid addiction is ending up poisoning, mostly unintentionally, children and in particular those who are most vulnerable,” one expert noted.
New Technology Can Track Opioids in City Sewers
According to a fascinating feature from STAT, the Cambridge, Mass.-based tech firm Biobot Analytics can leverage technology to track drugs in wastewater. In fact, the firm believes its telltale reports can “help to reveal remarkably detailed patterns of drug use” and “give communities a powerful tool to detect emerging public health threats.” Given the ever-worsening opioid crisis, it’s an advantage that many cities should desperately want. “Our goal,” said Newsha Ghaeli, one of the company’s co-founders, “is to transform sewers into public health observatories.” That said, not every city is on board with the plan. “The question is whether communities are ready to reveal their own secrets,” the feature said, arguing that wastewater-based epidemiology might simply be too much for some communities to submit to. European cities currently use the technique to find illegal substances within their sewers, though Biobot’s technology is far more advanced and might reveal more than many people are prepared for.