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What We're Reading: Comparing Opioid Treatments; Obamacare Mandate Repeal; Teen Depression


Study finds 2 competing opioid treatments have similar outcomes; GOP tax bill includes repeal of the ACA's individual mandate; and a study finds a correlation between screen time and depression in teenage girls.

Competing Opioid Treatments Are Equally Effective

A recent study has found that 2 of the main treatments for opioid addiction, Vivitrol and Suboxone, have similar outcomes. According to The New York Times, researchers found that 52% of those who started on Vivitrol, a monthly shot that blocks the effects of opioids, relapsed during the 24-week study. For those who started on Suboxone, a daily strip that dissolves on the tongue and contains a mild opioid that helps minimize withdrawal symptoms and cravings, there was a 56% relapse rate.

Obamacare Mandate Repeal Added to GOP Tax Bill

On Tuesday, Senate Republican leaders announced that their tax bill will include a provision repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s individual mandate, reported The Washington Post. The mandate requires Americans to purchase health insurance or else pay a fine. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the repeal of the mandate would free up over $300 billion in government funding over the next decade that Republicans can utilize to finance their proposed tax cuts, but it would result in 13 million fewer people having health insurance. CBO also estimated that repealing the mandate would increase insurance premiums by roughly 10% for many Americans.

Study Finds Correlation Between Hours Online and Teen Depression

According to NPR, a recent study has found that increased hours spent on computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices might have contributed to the increase in symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts in teens, especially girls, over the last several years. Reponses to national surveys showed that between 2010 and 2015, the proportion of teen girls who answered “yes” to 3 or more questions about having symptoms of depression increased from 16% to 22%.

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