February 6, 2023
As anxiety and depression increase, more Floridians turn to medical marijuana

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As anxiety and depression increase, more Floridians turn to medical marijuana

| 12/20/2022

As anxiety and depression increase, more Floridians turn to medical marijuana

Not only did COVID-19 unleash a virus that affected the entire globe, but the growing pandemic also triggered an epidemic of anxiety and depression among America’s Generation Z and millennial populations. And many people turned to cannabis, as opposed to prescribed medication, to calm their minds. In 2021, cannabis sales increased to $30 billion, 40% higher than the previous year. The United States is expected to make up 75% of global cannabis sales in 2026. More from Health News Florida and WUFT.

Florida’s mental health care system is a ‘mess.’ Group will pitch reforms.

Two years ago, the Florida grand jury tasked with investigating school safety problems and other issues after the Parkland mass shooting issued a scathing report about the state’s mental health care system. “To put it bluntly,” the report said, “our mental health care ‘system’ — if one can even call it that — is a mess.” The grand jury found “deficiencies in funding, leadership and services” within the state’s “patchwork of interlocking, often-conflicting” sources of mental health treatment. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Medical examiners: Fentanyl is Florida's most lethal drug among all ages and races

A Florida medical examiners report released this week says 6,000 residents died of fentanyl overdoses in 2021, making it the most lethal drug across all ages and racial demographics. Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass says the epidemic is exacerbated by counterfeit versions of Adderall, Xanax (alprazolam) and other prescription pills. “Many victims aren't even aware that they're taking fentanyl, and DEA lab testing shows that six out of 10 fentanyl laced fake prescription pills contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl. Six out of 10 pills,” Glass says. [Source: Health News Florida]

Experts express confusion, concern as Surgeon General Ladapo begins new COVID-19 study

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo announced this week that he is embarking on yet another study of COVID-19 vaccination and myocarditis, a form of heart disease caused by inflammation of heart muscles. Some medical professionals and researchers worry Ladapo may be doing harm by stoking fear about vaccines without sufficient evidence. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida isn't alone in challenging Biden over allowing Canada drug imports

The Biden administration is facing mounting pressure some states to let them import medicine from Canada to help lower prescription drug costs. Colorado on Dec. 5 became at least the fourth state to seek federal permission to use the strategy, following Florida, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. In August, Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration claiming the agency has “dragged its feet” on a the state's proposal to import drugs from Canada. [Source: Kaiser Health News]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› AdventHealth Orchestra made up of doctors and nurses who use music to heal
In Central Florida, AdventHealth is known for, well, health care. But the organization is made up of people – individuals who have put everything they have into caring for the community. And now, they say they have a new way to help – and to heal: the AdventHealth Orchestra. Watch the video below to hear from orchestra members about what making music means to them.

› Florida health department building in Orange still closed after nearly $2 million in hurricane damage
The Florida Department of Health in Orange County’s main office is about to reach month three of closure, with at least another month to go as repairs continue. The four-story Central Health Center building in downtown Orlando sustained nearly $2 million in damage during Hurricane Ian in late September, after heavy rain wrecked the roof and flooded the building’s interior, said Reed Knowlton, financial advisor to Orange County.

› United Healthcare, Optum donate $50K to Florida Behavioral Health Association for Hurricane Ian recovery
United Healthcare Group businesses UnitedHealthcare and Optum gave $50,000 to the Florida Behavioral Health Association (FBHA) to support the group’s members with Hurricane Ian recovery. The FBHA is Florida’s largest trade association representing community treatment providers. The grant will help members in Southwest Florida, the area hardest hit by Hurricane Ian, rebuild and recover from the storm’s impacts. United Healthcare continues to serve clients in the region.

› Alzheimer's treatment built on Sarasota research heads toward FDA approval
Thirty years ago, doctors with Sarasota's Roskamp Institute were the first to discover genetic causes of Alzheimer’s Disease. Now, a drug built on their findings, is likely heading for FDA approval. Beta-amyloid is a protein that tends to form clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer's, and ultimately results in the sticky plaques that have become a hallmark of the disease. Dr. Michael Mullen is executive director of the Roskamp Institute, and was one of the doctors who first made that connection.

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