Medical notes this week…

It might not be doctor’s prescriptions that started the opioid crisis after all. A new study finds the people we trust most––friends and family––may actually be at fault. The study published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases finds that most opioid abusers surveyed received their first pill from a family member or friend. Researchers say this first offering from a trustworthy source makes opioids seem harmless or commonplace, and that makes it easier to fall into abuse, especially for younger people.

Vitamin D may do more than just strengthen your bones. Research presented to the American Society of Clinical Oncology suggests that vitamin D may also help cancer patients live longer. In studies of more than 79,000 patients, researchers find that those treated with vitamin D for at least three years have lower mortality rates. It’s not clear why it helps, but researchers urge doctors to prescribe it more to their patients. 

And finally, you might want to think twice before dozing off with the TV on. A new National Institutes of Health study finds that sleeping in front of the TV could throw off your metabolism, making it easier to gain weight. The research adds to mounting evidence that disrupting the sleep cycle with exposure to light may contribute to poor health.

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