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Unmanaged needle fear is very distressing for those affected and can influence health-care choices. Science-backed methods can help people manage their phobia and get vaccinated. (Shutterstock)

Needle fears can cause COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, but these strategies can manage pain and fear

For the one in 10 people with a significant fear of needles, getting a vaccination is distressing. This can disrupt vaccination campaigns, but there are effective ways to manage pain and fear.
One potential way to make opioids less addictive is to make them target injured tissue rather than the healthy brain. PM Images/Photodisk via Getty Images

Designing less addictive opioids, through chemistry

While the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, the opioid epidemic got worse as drug overdose deaths soared. New research proposes a way to chemically modify opioids to reduce the risk of addiction.
One-year-old Quentin Brown is held by his mother, Heather Brown, as he eyes a swab while being tested for COVID-19 at a new walk-up testing site at Chief Sealth High School in Seattle on Aug. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

6 tips to prepare your child for easy COVID-19 testing

Child health psychologists offer research-based strategies to prepare kids for pain-free and distress-free COVID-19 testing.
Harvey Weinstein leaves the court after prosecutors completed their closing argument in his rape trial on Feb. 14, 2020. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Weinstein trial begs a question: Why is the pain of women and minorities often ignored?

Studies show the physical and emotional pain of minorities and women is often discounted by both the U.S. justice and health care systems. That has serious consequences.
Exercise is recommended as an effective non-opioid strategy for non-cancer pain such as fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain. Yet most adults living with chronic pain do not exercise. Or they exercise very little. (Shutterstock)

How exercise can help tackle the opioid crisis

Research shows that exercise offers promise – as an alternative to prescription opioids – for relieving chronic pain.
When should you ask your doctor for opioids? Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Is it wrong to ask your doctor for opioids?

A scholar explains why there is no one answer. Some pain is devastating, and sometimes such pain responds well to opioids. On the other hand, there is evidence that some physicians overprescribe.
At present, surgeons vary widely in their approach to opioid prescription and some patients use opioids for prolonged periods post-surgery. (Shutterstock)

Surgeons and the opioid crisis: We need prescription guidelines

Surgeons are big prescribers of opioids. But while guidelines are in place for dentists and for doctors who prescribe opioid-based painkillers for long-term pain, there are none for surgeons.

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