Michigan cracks down on prescription drug overdose with updated monitoring system

About eighteen thousand people die every year because of prescription drug overdose but with Michigan’s improved way to keep track of patients prescriptions it is predicted for overdose and abuse to decline. “Maps is the collection of controlled medication that patients get  the state collects them in a file  so that a doctor or pharmacist can see how much did they get when they got it,” said pharmacist from Knight Drugs Polly Cove. 

Maps helps to make sure patients aren’t taking too much of one medication, duplicating medications or seeing more than one doctor and having them not know about each other. Drugs that are painkillers like morphine and oxycodone are usually what doctors and pharmacists check for when using the MAPS system. 

“Sometimes as a pharmacist my job ends up being drug police,” said Cove. “I have to be the tattle tale that has to call and let the doctor know that the patient is not being straightforward.” The maps collection system has been around for 10 years, but the new system is much faster. What used to take up to 5 minutes now can be seen in the instant click of a button.

Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever and the cause of most spring allergies, has all demographics reaching for the tissue box.

Spring showers bring May flowers — and allergies for many of us

Springtime in Michigan exhibits an abundance of sunshine and rising temperatures. Adults begin to tend their gardens and flowers, soccer fields are filled with joyful cheers of children and college students begin working on their tans or are studying for final exams outside. But, some of them are forced to stay inside, balled up in bed with half-used tissues crumpled on the side table. Spring allergies vary depending on your location, but Michigan is among the worst states for people who suffer from seasonal allergies, says Dr. Richard Kustasz, a family medicine doctor at Olin Health Center, located on Michigan State’s campus. “Because Michigan has four regular seasons, allergies become more concentrated in those times of the year,” Kustasz said.

MSU student Ryan Bradley has been earning minimum wage through the Residential Hospitality Services at Michigan State University.

Earning only the minimum wage linked to health declines

With graduation rapidly approaching colleges across the United States, a new wave of potential employees are hitting the open market, eager to jump on the next opportunity in their professional careers. Unfortunately, some of those wide-eyed alumni won’t be finding jobs in the field they set out for, at least not yet. Nor will those who drop out of high school, as they’ll be making about 65 percent of what college graduates make. For the ones who decided college wasn’t for them, but earned their high school diploma –– they’ll get 80 percent. College students who don’t make it into their desired field right away often resort to taking minimum wage jobs to start the payback of student loans or to have some extra spending money.

Dennis Martell is an expert in student wellbeing and mental health. Photo courtesy of MSU Today

Stress, anxiety peak with finals week on campuses

Dr. Richard Kustasz, a family medicine doctor at Olin Health Center located on Michigan State University’s campus, regularly sees around 40-45 college students come through his exam room door every day he works. The reason for visits often varies by the time of the year. More students with cold and flu-like symptoms come in during the late fall and winter and students with allergy symptoms in the spring. But two times in the year –– once in early December and again in late April –– Kustasz sees a large influx in symptoms related to final exams.

“Every time spring rolls around, the office gets more people with allergies and asthma, but it also gets a large increase in students with symptoms of stress and anxiety with finals coming up,”  Kustasz said. It’s no wonder why the American Institute of Stress calls stress “America’s leading health problem.” It can affect you in a number of ways, as it can cause visible physical symptoms such as headaches, insomnia and fatigue, as well as affect one’s mental health through anxiety and in severe cases, depression.

Journalism at Michigan State University

Stress at work is killing us

According to a Harvard Business School study, job-related anxiety contributed to more than 120,000 deaths in the year 2015, and Joe Robinson believes the reason why is stress due to working several hours a week and individuals placing too much pressure on themselves. Robinson is a work-life balance trainer and is one of the most quoted work-life experts in the country regarding stress management. Robinson has been on the Today Show, CNN, NPR, and several other media outlets informing people on how to properly balance their work and social life schedules. “People are more stressed today than 30 years ago,” Robinson said. Robinson says that the reason we are more stressed as a nation is due to recessions, job insecurity, overworking, and company downsizings.


Technology as addiction: Q & A with licensed psychologist Dr. Scott Becker

According to a study done by The Kaiser Family Foundation over the past five years, young people have increased the amount of time they spend consuming media by one hour and 17 minutes daily. Dr. Scott Becker is a licensed psychologist who has been researching and presenting on the topic of how media affects the lives and development of children between birth and adolescence. 


Dillon Carter, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 9 years old, has learned how to combat his illness.
Photo Credit: Dillon Carter

Diabetes forces some to practice healthier habits

Deanna Russell and her husband Josh Russell were hiking the Pyramid Point trails along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, as they often do. This particular trail is over 2 ½ miles long. The end of the path overlooks the picturesque light blue waters of Lake Michigan. It is a sight that is well worth the tiresome march through the woods. But the hike is also somewhat of a risky proposition for Deanna Russell, who was diagnosed with late onset Type 1 diabetes a little over five years ago.