News: How to change your mind

In this edition of Brain Pickings, Maria Popova dives into Michael Pollan’s recent work titled ‘How to Change Your Mind’. His work dives into new studies and neuroscience exploring the benefits of treating depression, addiction, and iminent mortality with a rediscovered catylst that’s proven effective and rewiring our perspectives.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: There’s No Limit to Longevity, Says Study Reviving Human Lifespan Debate

How old is old? Depending on how youthful our spirit is, we’d all probably answer that question differently. But biologically speaking, there may be fewer to limits the upper reaches than we might assume. Scientific American has the article the sparks the debate on living forever — and not just figuratively.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: To help poor Americans live longer, doctors are copying Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Brazil

What does a health care delivery model that’s working in some of the poorest parts of Africa have to do with health care in one of the wealthiest countries in the world? Everything when you acknowledge that the conditions on the reservations of the northern prairie are in dire need of improvement. Quartz has the story on innovation that is improving and increasing life.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Department of Health to open medical marijuana dispensary applications next week

The long road to medical marijuana may be drawing to an end, but for Minot, the wait will be longer. The Department of Health will begin accepting applications for local dispensaries starting July 10, but only for the Bismarck and Fargo regions. Applications for the Minot region are expected to open until 2019. The Bismarck Tribune has the story.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: North Dakota’s first syringe exchange program tackles trust issues

Among the hard-to-measure longterm costs associated with the nation’s opioid epidemic — the future health care costs of former abusers who’ve contracted a disease through sharing needles. And while controversial, needle exchange programs have been shown to reduce the spread of infection, thereby lowering future healthcare costs and demands. North Dakota’s first program is getting off the ground, and the early challenge is establishing trust with addicts.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Engulfed in Opioid Deaths, Ohio Turns to Science

A huge contributor to the opioid epidemic is the over-prescription of pain medication. In other words, a big percentage of those addicted get their start at the doctor’s office. And that fact is driving a number of research-based pain reduction techniques and technologies. The idea: if we have alternative pain treatment methods, we don’t have to risk writing the original prescription. Ohio is leading the way, this article from...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Drug company billionaire arrested on charges of opioid conspiracy

When it comes to moving product, it seems some in the pharmaceutical industry are far more concerned with the bottom line than medical ethics and basic human scruples. And when those values combine to bolster sales of a highly addictive opioid-based painkiller, the results are both tragic and criminal.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Backyard chicken trend linked to spike in salmonella cases

The discussion about allowing backyard hens in Minot is taking place right now. One of the factors being considered is whether these animals a risk to public health? And how do we balance that against the benefits of fresh, locally sourced food? On the public health side of the equation, this story out of Des Moines is worth reading.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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Commentary: Enlisting Educators in the War Against Prescription Drug Abuse

The opioid epidemic is not unique to Minot; it’s a nationwide problem. And the solutions aren’t simple either. But in the opinion of Tammy Wincup of Everfi, one tool we should be using is an education curriculum that empowers and educates students about the dangers of prescription drugs. It’s worth a read, Everfi may even be a resource that we should be pursuing in Minot.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Depression treatment discovered in natural but illegal source

Depression is a disease that becomes ingrained as the neurons in our brains fire and connect in repeated but unfortunate patterns. Successful treatments have been shown to break those patterns and one source that’s so far effective at helping ‘reset’ the brain — psilocybin — the active ingredient in illegal mushrooms.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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On health care and everything else, the path to compromise is available

Commentary: On health care and everything else, the path to compromise is available

Contrary to most, I was not surprised that Congress has failed to repeal and replace “Obamacare”. “Repeal and Replace” has been the unifying slogan of the Republican party since 2009. That slogan may have become fact except for one minor detail. Like the Democratic party, the Republican party is merely a coalition of various diverse factions. Political parties have historically been bottom up rather than top down organizations....

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News: Drug experts see confluence of factors behind opioid crisis

In Minot, the Mayor’s Committee on Addiction met this week. When it comes to dealing with the effects of the opioid and larger addiction problem, they’re going to divide and hopefully conquer. They’ll be splitting into several sub-committees to deal with different arms of the larger animal. It’s important work, but the method also invites the larger question, how do we prevent the problem before it starts? That...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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