New Legislation Targets Opioid Crisis


Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 pic
Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018

Dr. Carol Lynn Childers serves as a consulting psychiatrist for Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare and at Healthcare Alternative Systems. With more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers is an advocate for mental health care reform.

Recently, Lamar Alexander (R) of Tennessee sponsored Senate bill (SB 2680), titled the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. The legislation aims to reduce the impact of the opioid epidemic and improve access to treatments and other professional interventions.

Legislators say the bill offers government assistance to address the opioid epidemic, considered the most tragic drug crisis in the country’s history. The law’s legal and regulatory provisions include the following: 1) make treatment for opioid addiction more accessible to everyone; 2) allow for federal agencies to coordinate with each other in preventing synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil from crossing U.S. borders; and, 3) encourage research on non-opioid pain medications.

Moreover, this new legislation creates a program that would release grants to Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers. This provision will help these centers meet needs for treatment and recovery.


Symptoms of Postpartum Depression


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Postpartum Depression

Dr. Carol Lynn Childers concurrently serves Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare and Healthcare Alternative Systems as a consulting psychiatrist. In her practice, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers works with patients who undergo postpartum depression.

Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal about 20 percent of women experience postpartum depression symptoms while pregnant or at any time after childbirth. This condition results from a combination of changes, not only physically and emotionally, but also chemically, socially, and psychologically. New mothers with postpartum depression may experience the following:

Abnormal sleeping habits. A new mom with postpartum depression may have trouble sleeping or may excessively spend all her time in bed. She may not be able to rest even when the baby is sleeping or at the time she is supposed to, no matter how tiring her day was. Or she may struggle to stay awake, preventing her from performing daily tasks.

Frequent mood changes. A new mom experiencing postpartum depression may experience an overwhelming feeling of guilt as a result of being worried, confused, scared, impatient, irritated, and angry. She may feel worthless, hopeless, and helpless, and may think of hurting herself or someone else.

With early diagnosis, postpartum depression can be dealt with through proper medication and counseling.

Exercise and Neurotrophic Factors


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Serving patients as a consulting psychiatrist with Healthcare Alternative Systems and Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare in Chicago, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers has experience treating patients with a variety of mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. Dr. Carol Lynn Childers has a particular interest in the beneficial effects of exercise for her patients.

Exercise has been shown to have substantial health benefits for those with mental illness and substance abuse disorders, partly because it increases chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine in the brain. However, its wide-ranging benefits also include better cognitive function because it causes nerve cells to increase the release of neurotrophic factors in the brain.

A group of proteins, neurotrophic factors play a significant part in a variety of cognitive functions. They improve neuron growth and survival, as well as enhancing plasticity of synapses. Consequently, neurotrophic factors have beneficial effects in areas ranging from functioning of the nervous system to the storage of memories. And since they control cell differentiation, they can also help prevent neurological disorders.

Studies Highlight Role of Exercise in Mental Illness Treatment


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In addition to treating women with postpartum depression through a Jennifer Mudd Houghtaling Postpartum Depression Foundation grant, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers serves as a consulting psychiatrist for Trilogy, Inc., and for Healthcare Alternative Systems, where she assists with a residential substance abuse treatment center. Dr. Carol Lynn Childers has a particular interest in the positive effects of physical exercise on her patients.

Scientific studies provide extensive evidence that physical exercise, especially aerobic exercise, substantially improves treatment for those with substance abuse disorders. Incorporating an exercise regimen into the treatment plan has also benefited those with mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia.

The positive effects of exercise come from its influence over various biochemical and physiological processes in the body. These include the release of endorphins, balancing neurotransmitters, and reducing inflammation. Exercise also affects the hypothalamic-pituaitary-adrenal axis, mitochondria, and other parts of the natural mood regulation system.

These physical changes resulting from exercise play an important role in easing depression and anxiety. They also assist with abstinence from substance abuse and decrease symptoms of withdrawal.