The Washington Post – The CDC and WHO are teaming up to end the ‘contagious disease’ of child violence
The world can be a dark place for many children: the “lost boys” from Sudan, refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria, child sex workers in Brazil, baby girls abandoned in China, kids pulled into gang drug wars in the United States. Such suffering by children is more common than most people might think and represents what some believe to be one of our biggest public-health crises of all time. A study published in January in the journal Pediatrics puts that violence into stark perspective by estimating that as many as half of the world’s 2 billion children experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence in the previous year. The trauma can inflict a physical toll as well as a psychological one. Research conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente in 1995 and 1997 found that those who experience violence in childhood are at higher risk as adults for a diverse range of conditions including cancer, diabetes and obesity.

Tech Times – Cycling May Help Lower Risk For Type 2 Diabetes: Study
A two-wheel ride instead of four could help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes among adults, a new study in Denmark revealed. People who rode a bike to work or cycled just for fun were less likely to get the illness, researchers found. This was true even for those who only began habitual cycling later in life. The cohort study, which was led by Martin Rasmussen from the University of Southern Denmark, involved about 24,000 males and 27,000 females from Denmark who were recruited at the age of 50 to 65 years old.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Opioid crackdown driving overdoses, officials say
Efforts to rein in opioid prescribing have driven painkiller abusers to heroin and other illicit narcotics, pushing fatal overdoses into record territory for the second year in a row, according to data released Tuesday. Pennsylvania saw 3,383 people die from drug abuse last year, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration compilation of coroners’ data. That’s up 23.4 percent from 2014, driven largely by increases in most southwestern counties. “We’re seeing folks continue to not only become addicted, misusing and abusing prescription opioids, but to make that transition from the opioids to street heroin,” said Gary Tuggle, the DEA special agent in charge of Pennsylvania and Delaware. Heroin, fentanyl, prescription opioids or combinations of the three were found in 81 percent of the overdose victims.

Politico – Obamacare and mental health: An unfinished story
America’s mental health system is having a breakdown. Suicide rates are at a record high; drug addiction is epidemic. There aren’t enough therapists, particularly not enough who accept insurance. And too often the most vulnerable and severely ill end up on the streets, or fill our prisons and jails. The Affordable Care Act was never meant to mend every crack in the system. It did zero in on the insurance side of reform — but there’s still a lot of heartbreak. The 2010 health law includes mental health and substance abuse treatment as one of 10 “essential benefits,” meaning that all health plans sold in the new exchanges and Medicaid must include it. It broadened the reach of a 2008 mental health parity law, so all insurers must cover behavioral health on the same terms as any other type of medical treatment. Significantly, it forbids health plans from rejecting people with preexisting conditions, including mental illness and addiction. That’s a big deal.

The New York Times – A Cavity-Fighting Liquid Lets Kids Avoid Dentists’ Drills
Nobody looks forward to having a cavity drilled and filled by a dentist. Now there’s an alternative: an antimicrobial liquid that can be brushed on cavities to stop tooth decay — painlessly. The liquid is called silver diamine fluoride, or S.D.F. It’s been used for decades in Japan, but it’s been available in the United States, under the brand name Advantage Arrest, for just about a year. The Food and Drug Administration cleared silver diamine fluoride for use as a tooth desensitizer for adults 21 and older. But studies show it can halt the progression of cavities and prevent them, and dentists are increasingly using it off-label for those purposes.