International News Desk – At Home: In Treatment – Around the World: The Breakup

At Home: In Treatment

The ever-present problem of alcoholism is an issue that may not be front and centre in the news, but still lurks in the background. Health care providers and governments alike have sought to lessen its effects on society, but their efforts always seem to fall short. Traditionally underfunded, the treatment of alcoholism requires significant resources in order to have long-term success. If the addiction is the elephant in the room, then its treatment is the elephant in the hospital.

That may be about to change. As the CBC reports, British Columbia recently formally ?recognize[d] alcohol addiction as a chronic medical condition.? It is the first province to make such an official statement.

This is more than merely a label. Treatment of alcoholism involves more time and resources than general practitioners and family doctors are usually able to provide, but the official statement means that doctors will be compensated for the ?extra time it takes? to deal with the problem. Doctors will also receive ?tools to help intercept problem drinkers.?

The province hopes that the additional ?time and resources? will allow patients to be treated more fully from the outset, before the addiction ?becomes a bigger and more expensive problem for the health-care system and patients.?

Around the World: The Breakup

Many of us have been through?or are currently dealing with?a bad breakup. And along with the loneliness, the fear for the future, and the sense of loss that accompany the demise of a romantic relationship, few things can compare to the mental anguish such a split often brings.

Apparently, the pain isn’t limited to the metaphysical. As National Geographic‘s Daily News site reports, a new study suggests that ?romantic rejection . . . causes physical pain.?

The study examined the brain scans of individuals who had been through a bad breakup within the preceding six months. During an MRI, the subjects were asked to think about the demise of the relationship. The study leaders then compared the brain scans with those from studies involving other ?negative emotions [like] fear, anxiety, anger, [and] sadness.?

The results of the experiment: when thinking about romantic rejection, the subjects registered activity in ?the parts of their brains that manage physical pain.?

Other negative emotions, however, did not activate the same areas of the brain, suggesting that romantic rejection brings actual physical pain in addition to emotional pain.

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