The Opioid Crisis: How the candidates would solve it

What are the plans, and are they enough?

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  • The opioid crisis in this country has drawn the attention of several presidential candidates.
  • A few of the largest, most well thought out plans are examined here.
  • Experts agree a huge investment in treatment is needed over a long period of time.
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Politics & Current Affairs

How psychedelics work: Fire the conductor, let the orchestra play

Michael Pollan explains what goes on during the mental fireworks of a psychedelic experience.

  • If your ego had a "location" in the brain, it would be the default mode network, where much of your self-critical mind chatter happens. Taking psychedelics down-regulates this brain network.
  • Researchers describe the effect of psychedelics as "letting the brain off its leash", or firing the conductor to let the orchestra play. Without the default mode network acting as a dictator, areas of the brain that don't normally interact meet, producing phenomena like hallucinations and synesthesia.
  • An overactive ego may be what punishes those of us plagued with anxiety, addiction and mental health disorders. Psychedelics can have a beneficial effect by temporarily killing the ego, jogging the brain out of negative thinking patterns.
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Mind-altering drugs: The magical history of LSD and mushrooms

Why did government officials stop psychedelics from reaching mainstream culture?

  • In the '60s drugs escape the lab and become a very important ingredient In the creation of the counterculture. Timothy Leary, a psychologist at Harvard in 1960, has something to do with this.
  • In Cambridge, he starts the Harvard Psilocybin Project which focuses its research into learning more about this promising drug. Because of its medicinal properties, and apparent positive effect on mental health, Leary believed that everyone should use acid, or psilocybin.
  • Richard Nixon called Leary the most dangerous man in America. He felt that LSD and other drugs were sapping the will of American boys to fight in Vietnam.
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Videos

How opioid abuse is lowering our average life expectancy

Normally, life expectancy increases every year. For Americans, the opioid epidemic is changing that.

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  • Americans' life expectancy dropped between 2014 and 2017, a significant downtrend that hasn't been seen since World War I.
  • An analysis by the CDC identified the opioid epidemic as the cause.
  • How did the opioid epidemic get so bad, and what can we do to stop it?
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Politics & Current Affairs

Marijuana is somehow making millions violently sick

A recent Colorado study of ER visits is alarming medical professionals.

Photo credit: Sion Touhig / Getty Images)
  • Millions of long-time marijuana users are developing intense stomach pain, nausea and bouts of vomiting.
  • The condition is called "cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome," or "CHS."
  • What makes it happen is unclear, but the only way to stop it is to cease consumption of cannabis.
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Surprising Science