Slideshow: Exercise May Fight Depression, Mindfulness Could Help Reduce Drug Use


With the mental health crisis worsening in the United States, recent research explores novel treatments and underlying causes.

The mental health crisis in the United States has steadily been worsening over the past several years and was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Three in 10 adults in the country now report experiencing anxiety and depression, suicide deaths reached an all-time high in 2022, and more than 111,000 people died from a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending April 2023.1,2,3 In order to deal with the public health emergency, which impacts all segments of society, expanded access to services, more mental health professionals, and new forms of treatment are desperately needed.

1. Panchal N, Saunders H, Rudowitz R, Cox C. The implications of COVID-19 for mental health and substance use. News Brief. KFF. March 20, 2023. Accessed January 22, 2024.
2. Curtin SC, Garnett MF, Ahmad FB. Provisional estimates of suicide by demographic characteristics: United States, 2022. CDC. November 29, 2023. Accessed January 22, 2024. cdc/135466
3. Rossen LM, Ahmad FB, Spencer MR, et al. Methods to adjust provisional counts of drug overdose deaths for underreporting. CDC. August 2018. Accessed January 22, 2024. data/nvss/vsrr/NVSS-methods-drug-adjustment.pdf
4. Rahmati M, Lee S, Yon DK, et al. Physical activity and prevention of mental health complications: An umbrella review. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2024;160:105641. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2024.105641
5. Low intensity exercise linked to reduced depression. News Release. Anglia Ruskin University. April 24, 2024. Accessed May 8, 2024.
6. Cooperman NA, Lu S, Hanley AW, et al. Telehealth Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement vs Usual Care in Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder and Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2024;81(4):338–346. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2023.5138
7. Mindfulness training enhances opioid addiction treatment. News Release. Rutgers University. May 6, 2024. Accessed May 8, 2024.
8. Grummitt L, Baldwin JR, Lafoa’i J, et al. Burden of Mental Disorders and Suicide Attributable to Childhood Maltreatment. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online May 08, 2024. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2024.0804
9. Childhood maltreatment responsible for up to 40 percent of mental health conditions. News Release. University of Sydney. May 8, 2024. Accessed May 8, 2024.
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