Facing Addiction in America

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On November 17 The U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy released the first ever Surgeon General’s report addressing substance abuse and addiction. Entitled “Facing Addiction in America” this remarkable 500 page document summarizes all that we know about this disease and its treatment and creates a hopeful roadmap for the future. As General Murthy points… Read more »

Risks of Proton Pump Inhibitors

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The overproduction of stomach acid and our sensitivity to it is one of the most common reasons people visit a doctor’s office.  Of course, many lifestyle choices contribute to that as well (overeating, obesity, smoking, alcohol use, to name a few). Drugs that suppress acid production have been blockbusters for a long time.  In 1990… Read more »

How Doctors Spend Their Time

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Doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who work as primary care providers have always been busy and through much of the history of modern medicine, that busy-ness was balanced by a high level of job satisfaction, well above average compensation, and a position of esteem in society. But over the past decade that balance has… Read more »

Hepatitis C

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Hepatitis C is a very important cause of liver disease and damage in the US and across the world. Once infected, 80% of people will develop chronic infection and 20% of those will develop cirrhosis, and the risk of developing cancer of the liver is also increased.  75% of those who develop cirrhosis will die… Read more »

We Can Do More

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Over the past 20 years the rate of teenage pregnancy has steadily declined, and with that trend the rates of pregnancy termination have declined as well. This is a success largely fueled by the availability of contraception and improved patient education. Yet the U.S still has a teen pregnancy rate 7 times higher than that… Read more »

Maine Opiate Collaborative – Law Enforcement Task Force

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Last month I reviewed the recommendations of the Prevention and Harm Reduction task force of the US Attorney’s Maine Opiate Collaborative.  This month I will share the recommendations of the Law Enforcement task force of the collaborative, which was made up of representatives of law enforcement agencies spanning the state. And let me preface this… Read more »

Maine Opiate Collaborative

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Last fall, U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty, Attorney General Janet Mills and Commissioner John Morris formed the Maine Opiate Collaborative following Senator King’s roundtable forums on opiate abuse and the governor’s forum on the same topic. The Collaborative consisted of three task forces:  Prevention and Harm Reduction, Law Enforcement and Treatment.  Each of these task forces,… Read more »

An Overview of Naloxone

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Naloxone (Narcan) is a life-saving antidote for opioid (heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl and others) and PCHC is committed to making it as widely available as possible. With 272 opioid overdose deaths in 2015, a 31% increase from 2014, we are faced with our most significant public health challenge in decades and we must respond at all… Read more »

You Gotta Get Some Sleep

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It seems like every time I am asked to talk or write about a disease or healthcare challenge, when I look into disease management and maximizing health, good sleep is among the top recommendations.  Whether it’s an inflammatory disease, heart disease lung disease, diabetes, anxiety, depression, stress or chronic pain, adequate, restful restorative sleep improves… Read more »

10 Causes of Heart Attack — Part 1

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In addition to movie discounts and joke fodder for my children, my AARP membership sometimes also provides some interesting medical information. It’s usually pretty reliable and often useful but a recent Facebook posting by AARP caught my eye.  It was entitled “10 Surprising Heart Attack Triggers” and it’s a very interesting list, but before we… Read more »