EAP NewsBrief
Dec. 16, 2014

Depression: The 'common cold' of the workplace?
Human Resources Director Magazine
Depression is notorious for affecting engagement and performance in employees as well as physical health, and there have been many discussions about how to combat the illness. Past research has shown that Australian businesses lose over $6.5 billion per year by failing to provide early intervention or treatment for workers who are suffering with poor mental health. But new research suggests that depression could in fact be infectious — and it might be contaminating your workforce.More

Both serotonin and dopamine affect susceptibility to addiction
Medical Xpress
Serotonin levels during initial drug use are critical to whether someone becomes drug dependent or not. "The higher the serotonin levels someone has, the less likely they will become addicted," says researcher Sarah Bradbury. Once drug use escalates and becomes frequent, the anti-addiction effect of serotonin is decreased. "Another brain chemical, dopamine, seems to be the critical determinant of drug addiction during this phase."More

Workplace wellness programs popular, but do they improve health?
Chicago Tribune
Workplace wellness programs, one of the pillars of the national health care overhaul, are increasingly popular among employers who believe they can help control costs and workers who see them as a perk. But experts caution that wellness programs vary greatly and question whether many versions actually improve health, let alone save money.More

Obamacare gives boost to addiction rehab industry
Reuters
Investors are pouring money into the operators of U.S. rehab centers as many more Americans get health care coverage for addiction treatment, driving up valuations and triggering a consolidation of businesses in the fragmented sector. Under President Barack Obama's healthcare law, new health plans must cover 10 core health benefit areas. This includes substance abuse and mental health disorders, opening up services such as alcohol and drug detox or addiction therapy to many Americans who previously couldn't afford them.More

Overmedicated: The real drug problem in nursing homes
NPR
It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear is not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.More

UK workplaces need more programs for people with mental health issues
The Huffington Post
"The majority of workplaces are still reluctant to prioritize the well-being of employees while many staff worry about telling their employer if they're experiencing a mental health problem. Huge numbers of people continue to fall out of work because they are not getting the support they need; and too few people with mental health problems are being helped back into work," according to Paul Farmer, CEO of UK charity, Mind.More

Incidence of PTSD after terrifying incidents lower than expected
BBC News
Whatever form it takes, an appalling ordeal like a car crash or a natural disaster can have a significant and long-lasting impact on the human condition. One common assumption is that everyone is prone to developing post-traumatic stress disorder, and in the 1990s this led to attempts to get people to participate in a single counseling session or psychological debriefing. This approach has not been shown to be effective.More

Smoking may hamper treatment for alcoholism
Headlines and Global News
Smoking can make it harder to recover from alcoholism, putting people who have both addictions in a potentially harder position, University Herald reported recently. Study clients who smoked stayed in alcohol treatment programs for a shorter length of time than those who don't smoke and also have less effective treatment outcomes than non-tobacco users. Researchers at the University ay Buffalo Research Institute studied 21,000 adult patients from 253 outpatient substance abuse facilities in New York.More

Mental health issues can be costly if employers ignore the warning signs, experts say
The Daily Astorian
Mental health disorders cost employers billions in lost productivity, but programs can help employees overcome their problems, a benefit for themselves and their bosses. Depression, anxiety, chemical dependency or gambling problems may sound like personal issues that employers would be wise to avoid, but nationwide it cost employers 200 million work days and at least $44 billion in productivity lost to symptoms of mental health disorders, according to various sources including the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the National Institutes of Health.More

Dismantle the college drinking infrastructure
The News Journal
By now, we know that drinking and college life go together. Headlines of accidents and tragedies remind us of that fact every semester. So do scandals and occasional riotous behavior. More recently, the debate about drunken sexual assaults on campuses is a constant in the news. At heart, that too is a debate about college students drinking.More