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Treating Addiction Like A Disease, "CPR For Mental Health," And More: Weekly Roundup

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NANETTE HOOGSLAG
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GETTY IMAGES/IKON IMAGES via NPR

"Before it was called 'Obamacare,' it was called 'Hillarycare,'" -- So claimed Clinton during Thurasday night's debate, while sparring with Sanders about whose plan for health care would be most effective. She went on to promise, if elected, to improve upon the market-based system until there's healthcare for all. Meanwhile, insurers are figuring out how not to lose money on sick people, and our sitting President is planning an ambitious, expensive effort to counter the nation's opioid addiction epidemic. Read on for more great stories you couldn't see behind Trump's hair and Bernie's voluminous slacks.  
 

Addiction Is A Chronic Disease, So Let's Start Treating It Like One

When Kim Manlove went to treatment for addiction to alcohol and anxiety drugs, he learned how to live life as a person managing a chronic disease. But he says the existing supports for people in long-term recovery -- mostly 12-step groups run by volunteers -- are not enough. Side Effects has Kim's moving story of losing a son, losing himself in the fog of addiction, and becoming an advocate for a new approach to recovery
 

Obama's Billion-Dollar Opioid Addiction Plan - A Reality Check

Lately, we've been reading a lot about medication-assisted approaches to opioid addiction treatment. That's where a patient addicted to heroin or prescription painkillers is prescribed a less harmful opiate - like methadone - to wean the body away from dependency. Medication-assisted treatment is key to the President's $1 billion plan to tackle the opioid epidemic - but according to STAT News, there are significant challenges to putting it into play. 

Can "Mental Health First Aid" Prevent School Violence?

Think of it as CPR for mental health: some West Virginia schools are using a federal grant to train staff in identifying mental health issues before they escalate into crises. West Virginia Public Broadcasting has the story

Insurance Companies At Odds With Administration Over Obamacare Rules

Here's a crack in the armor of Obamacare that we don't talk about enough: insurers are losing money on marketplace plans. A particular sore spot for the industry are people who sign up outside of the open enrollment period. They tend to be sicker, and insurers say the feds aren't enforcing the rules on who can enroll. So insurance providers are taking things into their own hands, in a way that's making advocates upset. Kaiser Health News reports
 

Education May Reduce Dementia Risk

Dementia is on the decline in the U.S. - and it's dropping faster among people with at least a high school education, according to the authors of a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Even your parents' education level may influence your likelihood of developing dementia. NPR has more