Saturday, August 31, 2019

Is the Surgeon General Right About the Risks of Marijuana Use During Pregnancy?


Surgeon General Jerome Adams yesterday issued an advisory about the "health risks" posed by marijuana use during pregnancy. He considers it "alarming" that "many retail dispensaries recommend marijuana to pregnant women for morning sickness." During a press conference explaining the advisory, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar declared that "no amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is safe."  read more>>>

Will Opioid Litigation Take its Toll on Pharma Companies?

Indrajit Bandyopadhyay

Opioid Epidemic and Substance Abuse

AUGUST 30, 2019

The Oxford House held its annual convention in Washington, DC focused on the opioid epidemic and substance abuse recovery efforts. The…read more>>>

There's a Secret to Getting Yourself to Meditate

By         Expert Author Kevin Schoeninger

As a meditation teacher, I've heard countless students share their excuses for why they didn't meditate in the past week. They wanted to. They know it would be good for them. They just didn't do it. At least, not consistently.
Something always seems to get in the way: they need more sleep, the dog needs to be walked, the kids are up, they had to work late or had an early meeting, they felt too anxious, worried, or irritable... Meditation just didn't seem as important as other things they had to do. Yet, all those things they did didn't give them the peace of mind they desired.
Of course, meditation is about changing your relationship with all the events, worries, and anxieties in your life. It's a daily ritual-like eating, sleeping, and brushing your teeth-that creates a more relaxed, healthy, meaningful, and intentional way of living. It's a powerful practice to realize the deep peace of mind we all desire. So, what's the secret to moving from excuses to practice?
The answer is: you've got to have a strong "Why?"
Where do you find your Why?
The answer may surprise you.
The Secret is Body Awareness
Your body is not just a mechanical vehicle for carrying out all the activities in your life. It is a highly-sensitive bio-feedback system.
Your body can tell you what is good for you to eat and how much, when you need to rest, when you need to relax and have fun, when you need to get up and move, and when you need to be alone, have contact with others, be in nature, and spend time in meditation. It connects you to when, why, and how much to do anything. If you're paying attention.
In our context, it connects you to WHY you might want to meditate in the first place. At least it has the potential to do this-if you pay attention. Yet, how often do you pause and really pay attention to your body's signals? How often do you stop to sense what it is telling you?
Why aren't you doing this?
First off, we have a culture that encourages just the opposite. We are encouraged to focus outwardly rather than inwardly. We are encouraged to do as much as possible. We are encouraged to gather as many products and as much wealth, data, and sensory input from the external environment as we possibly can.
We are encouraged to react quickly and are discouraged from taking time for well-considered and deeply felt responses. We are conditioned to quick reactions and sound bites on news and social media. We are impatient with anything that takes time. We go, go, go, until we are too exhausted to continue.
Do you feel this exhaustion?
Yet, are you worried about what might happen if you stop? Are you worried you'll fall behind and be left out? At a certain point, you may decide you just don't want to live this way anymore. When you reach this point-or preferably long before that-take a moment to pay attention inside. Notice what all this thinking, doing, worry, accumulation, and stimulation is doing to you.
Is there another option?
Meditation Creates a New Way of Being
Meditation interrupts nonstop thinking and doing and gives your body a chance to relax deeply-something you may not even get to do in a restless sleep. Consciously relaxing, as you do in meditation, unwinds tension accumulated beneath your awareness in the past 24 hours as well as in the years of your life up to this point. It slowly dissolves the reactive mental-emotional patterns that drive you on the hamster wheel of nonstop activity. It quiets your mental chatter.
Now, when you first start to meditate, you may not notice this relaxing, quieting, and calming effect. You may become even more aware of how busy your mind is, how conflicting your emotions are, and how tense your body is. If you have mistreated your body through over-stress for a long period of time, initial moments of Body Awareness in meditation might not feel so great.
Or, you may feel little to nothing at all. All that thinking, doing, and pushing yourself to do things you feel you "have to" or "should" do may have cut you off from how you feel. You may have lost touch with your vital sensations and feelings. You may just feel bored without external stimulation keeping you distracted.
Yet, discomfort, boredom, or numbness, when you face them honestly, directly, gently, and without judgment, as you do in meditation, can alert you to just how much you need to activate another way of being.
If you heed this signal and take time to sit, breathe, and mindfully notice what's happening inside-the layers of stress will begin to unwind and your vital senses will reawaken. As you unwind, Body Awareness may tell you just how exhausted you are from the way you are going about your life.
As you pay close attention to what your body has to say, you might find that all those things you've been chasing after may not be as important as they seemed. You may discover you don't want to live on the human hamster wheel of incessant activity, worry, and anxiety any longer. You may be inspired to make new choices that reflect your soul's deeper desires.
Meditation beckons you to a more relaxed, healthy, meaningful, and intentional way of living-and your body will tell you just how important this is-if you pay attention.
Want to get started meditating? You'll be gently guided into deep relaxation and calm clarity with Clear Quiet Mind Meditations. Just click "Play" and follow along. Download on CD Baby or Download on ITunes
Kevin Schoeninger is a writer and teacher of Mind-Body training, including Mindfulness, Meditation, Qigong, and Reiki. He is the author of the book "Clear Quiet Mind" and numerous guided meditations and programs in the field of personal empowerment and spiritual growth.

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Don't Be a Vulgar Tree on a Cold Hill

By        Expert Author William T Batten

There's a story often repeated by Zen monks. I adore this story and feel terrible because I'm probably about to butcher it. Even so, I have to do my best, because it contains a powerful moral worth sharing.
Ignore the lesson in this story at your peril. It describes one of the greatest dangers with meditation - one that, if you meditate long enough, have a good chance of blindly stumbling into.
And once you make this mistake, it's difficult to reverse.
The story is this:
Many monks live off the charity of others. They have no money - they left all that behind when joining the monastery. And it's not like they can hold down part-time jobs or sell information products online.
Their food and often their clothing come from the generosity of others.
An old woman had been donating food to a particular monk for decades. She would give him food and he would calmly accept it.
And when I say calmly, you can imagine what I mean. This is a monk, after all. It would have been like giving food to a statue. Maybe he bowed in gratitude or something, I don't know.
Anyway, one day the old woman finds a young, beautiful girl. She gets the girl to hug the monk, then asked him how he felt about that.
He replied something monklike, such as, "I am a barren tree on a cold hill, as if the seasons were always in the depths of winter."
The old woman was furious. "I can't believe I've wasted food on such a vulgar fellow for so long," she said, before burning down his monastery.
Now I'll admit I'm missing some key cultural context here.
Still, I love this story.
The minor moral is that Zen Buddhism is cooler than you think. Admit it - that's a wild story. A random old woman burns down a monastery... and she isn't the villain.
Is she the hero? Maybe?
The deeper moral is this:
Meditate long enough and you can become cut off from the world and yourself. Some sects even encourage this. Most use this story as a warning. When diving deep inside your mind, you have a choice.
You can enrich your connection with the world and everything beyond. You can use it to find the bliss of nirvana and become complete.
Or, you can become a hollow void where a human used to be. Dead but still breathing.
You'd think it'd be an easy choice. Pleasure over nihilism, right?
Mind training is perilous. You always need a guide, or at least, an instruction manual.
Some people lose themselves within themselves. Others find there ways to better connect with everything around them.
To simply be better.
If you want meditation that guides towards the greater of those two paths, then get your unvulgar, warm as summer hands on this:

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Tips to Meditate Effectively and Focus Better

By       Expert Author Nazia Hirani

There are times in life when you feel not very positive about life, doubt your decisions and seem confused about future. For people who do not catch themselves in earlier times end up in long-term effects like anxiety, depression, back-pain and other physical issues. Guidance then takes longer to reach them and better living seems rubbish or impossible from their perspective.
Any negative thought or negative emotion is an indicator that you have lost your connection. The earlier you realize and reconnect, better it is for you. We all are connected to each other through consciousness/energy/God or any other name you wish to call it. This connection is important for the survival. Sometimes when we observe something or experience some kind of loss, the connection is thinned out for sometime and generally gets reconnected when things/thoughts/emotions change.
Meditation is one of the ways of reconnecting and making the connection stronger. When you are connected, you feel energized, enthusiastic for life, feel love for others and overall you are a positive person. You can understand others situation and are willing to help. More connected you stay better your personality becomes. Meditating every day is one of the best practices of successful people. But is meditation possible in this age?
Meditation can be as short as 2 minutes and can be longer than 2 hours. Given below are few tips that can be helpful.
1. Start Early
The best time to meditate is as soon as you wake up. Yes you need to get on with your day, but 1-2 mins in your bed before you get on with your day will not cause much harm. Before you get up, close your eyes for 1-2 mins and just breathe.
2. Your Breath is the Key
Whenever you feel confused during the day or when you wish to meditate, start with your breath. Focus on your inhalation and exhalation for few breaths. Close your eyes and just breathe normally. See the difference. Doesn't take long, try it.
3. Your thoughts are guests
Most asked question is what to do with the thoughts that come when we meditate. Your thoughts are like your guests in the house, they are meant to leave right. Watch the thoughts come and go. Don't go out with them. You stay in your house.
4. Don't punish yourself for not doing it
When you have made a routine for meditation, there will be time when you are unable to follow it. Don't get mad on yourself for this. Let it go, there is next day to practice. Don't stay in past, look forward for next moment to meditate.
5. Don't expect
Let yourself free when meditating. Don't expect any particular experience during meditation. You will be surprised at what will come. Just enjoy the nothingness
Hope the tips are helpful to you. You can contact us anytime to help you meditate. We love you to stay connected to your source. Don't forget to check out the free healing and meditation sessions at The Vitality Cafe.
The Vitality Cafe is an Online Energy Cafe that can help you recharge your body, rejuvenate your mind and restore your emotional balance. There are various services provided using pranic healing, meditation, counselling and Yoga. You can visit to know more...

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Impact of Various Drugs on the Brain


Dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders is a big pain. When there is a substance abuse problem and a concurrent mental illness, it is called dual diagnosis. The predicament of a person identified with dual diagnosis is more than those who have only an addiction problem or just a mental disorder. The dual diagnosis treatment, touted among the best in the country, witnesses numerous such cases when an individual is both an addict and a mental patient.
Each drug has immediate and long-term effects. Here, we take a look at the effects of various drugs on the brain and psyche:
Cannabis: It is also known as marijuana, weed, dope or skunk, and is abused extensively by people. The short-term impacts of smoking marijuana include delusions and difficulty in remembering. It can also result in paranoia and anxiety attacks. What is taken as a means to get high often results in confusion and memory problem.
People abusing cannabis for over a period may end up with mental problems like schizophrenia, depression and psychosis. For those who have a family history of these mental conditions, cannabis can severely hasten things.
LSD and magic mushrooms: These drugs are highly hallucinogenic and capable of inflicting both long-term and short-term damage to an individual. Sounds and sights become blurry after taking LSD. Long-term abusers often experience psychosis and become victims of paranoia.
Crack cocaine: Instant gratification is what cocaine provides an abuser with. One feels highly energetic, with a sudden surge in adrenaline and confidence reaching over the top. However, long-term users might end up becoming dependent on it and de-addiction requires treatment in rehabs. Withdrawal symptoms for addicts can be excruciatingly painful and could also prove to be fatal when de-addiction is tried without supervision.
Heroin (smack, diamorphine): Heroin use can substantially reduce physical and emotional pain. That is the reason why people start using heroin in the first place. But an overdose can lead to death. De-addiction is quite painful and long-term addicts tend to become patients of depression.
Ecstasy: It is a highly popular stimulant which induces an instant feeling of relaxation. People feel high and motivated to party all night. Overdose can prove to be fatal at times. Long-term abusers might have sleep problems, depression, low energy level, drastic weight loss etc.
Ketamine: It is an anesthetic which makes one relaxed and high. It might also lower the body temperature and aggravate any existing mental condition. Long-term abuse may lead to memory loss and trigger psychotic symptoms.
Speed and crystal meth: It can result in an instant surge in energy quotient and confidence level of a user. But its side effects can cause panic attack, irritability and paranoia. Long-term users may experience memory loss, inability to think coherently and become incapacitated to solve problems or handling emotions in the right manner.
Tranquillizers (benzodiazepines): Tranquillizers like valium are often used for their effects of inducing relaxation and sleep. Long-term use of these drugs makes one resilient and crave for more. Addiction can be pretty quick and withdrawal becomes a colossal task. It is particularly dangerous for those who take a high dose of benzodiazepines. It is not advisable to detox without expert supervision.
Steroids: Immediate effects of steroids include muscle strength, violent behavior and a propensity to be sexually abusive. Depression, sleep problems and paranoia are other effects of steroids. Long-term abuse makes one dependent on the drug and corrodes the confidence level.
People who try to self-medicate, whether for physical pain or emotional turmoil, become addicts, which then calls for an external intervention to go sober. Using any drug, other than medically prescribed, certainly leads to trouble.
Barbara Odozi is associated with Florida Dual Diagnosis Helpline for many years. The Helpline provides assistance in finding dual diagnosis treatment. For more information call 866-337-7631.

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Suboxone Treatment: The Frontline of Recovery

By      Expert Author Anna Woodward 

Doctors have turned to the use of new medications to treat the disease of addiction. To curb the ever-growing problem of opioid abuse, Suboxone treatment is on the rise and is now a popular option among physicians. Traditional methods such as methadone or inpatient rehabilitation, while still in use, are being replaced as a primary option. In combination with counseling and social support, Suboxone carries people along the process of recovery and restores hope to countless individuals.
Catalysts of Recovery
The life-changing drug is a combination of Buprenorphine, a synthetic opiate, and Naloxone, which acts as an opioid blocker. Buprenorphine attaches to the same pain receptors as other narcotics such as heroin or oxycontin. Due to its chemical structure, it relieves the patient of detox symptoms but does not produce the "high" associated with painkillers. Also, its ceiling effect lowers the risk of overdose which can be a danger of methadone use.
Sturdy Foundations
Physicians report its use as being a critical part of the recovery process for their patients. While allowing outpatient access, patients adhere to strict dosing limits and times during the first phase of their treatment. Being a requirement for some programs, group therapy and meetings with counselors create a well-rounded regimen. Patients are still able to fulfill vocational requirements and meet family commitments without having to attend a costly inpatient rehabilitation center.
Assistance of Authorities Key to Ending Abuse
To combat the accelerating opioid epidemic, the federal government has shown support for suboxone treatment. Expanding availability and allowing providers to prescribe the drug to more patients has been proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In defense of the proposal, the previous limits on the number of possible patients cut down access to the pharmaceutical. Therefore, people who need the assistance will not be able to get it.
The Affordable Care Act has created several more opportunities for patients seeking Suboxone treatment. Substance abuse is now required coverage by plans on the government's insurance marketplace. Likewise, new plans seeking to lower drug abuse and overdoses have been proposed. Naloxone has also been encouraged by federal programs as an effective drug in combatting addiction.
Accessibility: From First Responders to Local Pharmacies
Naloxone quickly reverses the effects painkillers have on the body. It is commonly used by emergency rooms to recover users from overdoses, but in the past, its availability has been confined only to hospitals. On some occasions, people have died en route to the hospital or while waiting for ambulances to arrive. In 2016, the federal government issued funds to states to help distribute the drug and train first responders on how to use it. In some states, Naloxone can now be purchased over the counter at local pharmacies.
Suboxone treatment, with the support of the government and the number of lives being saved, has given new hope to people suffering from drug addiction and doctors alike. Buprenorphine, a safer opiate replacement to assist in detox, in combination with the life-saving properties of Naloxone, is now a primary medical option.
When considering suboxone treatment, visit R Health Matters. Learn more at

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Benefits Of De-Addiction Programs: A Boon To Human Society

By      Expert Author Dr Satinder Singh

The term addiction or addict can be used in both positive and negative tone. A bookworm can also be an addict to knowledge. But usually, we consider an addict in a negative term if the person is found to be alcoholic or remain under the influence of a drug or taking any other substance to set free from the human sanity. From teenagers to frustrating middle-aged men and women are spotted under the influence of dangerous substance besides doing alcohol or nicotine. Those who want to get out of the situation and come back to the normal phase of life are often asked to attend de-addiction programs from where they can come out clean and move into the normal stream of life.
The benefits of de-addiction programs-
The listeners are there
The de-addiction programs are mostly residential which is like a medical rehab run by specialized doctors, nurses, and therapists helping the people that have been lost in the middle of nowhere because of the addiction of alcohol or drugs. The families or friends that are taking the responsibility of admitting the person to the rehab or the anti-addiction program should be well-aware of the staff and their behavior. They are supposed to be amiable and compassionate towards the person seeking help in the center. They are ought to be great listeners with a compassionate heart trying to reach the source of the depression or the reason for which the person took this dark lane of losing himself or herself.
Finely equipped
The rehab centers conducting the de-addiction programs are finely equipped with the state-of-art tools and medical instruments they require for the treatment. The patients are treated with medicines besides therapies. Certain doses of medicines are injected to them or offered orally to soothe their nerves in the initial phases when their body demands the chemicals or alcohol that they were addicted to. The doctors and the nurses out there are always available so that they can take immediate action during the emergencies.
Gifted with a new life
Mostly, the people tagged as addicts get back to the normal flow of life after attending the de-addiction program. They are gifted with a new lease of life where they can roam around like a free man or woman without doing the slavery of any addiction even a cigarette.
These are some of the most significant benefits of the de-addiction programs.
I've successfully run a de addiction program helping thousands of men and women fighting hard to come out of the influence of addiction they are in. My articles are also based on the related topics highlighting the benefits of the rehab programs.

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8 Signs to Know You Are Addicted


Rose was a young intern at a financial agency. This was her first experience of working in corporate sector and she was pretty excited. She adjusted to the work culture soon and performed well to gain rewards and promotion. Long hours of work would often end with a glass of wine or two with her colleagues at a club or a café.
Soon, the occasional drinking sessions became regular as it made her feel happy and relaxed. Slowly, she got addicted. She needed alcohol to relieve her tense muscles and prepare her for the next day. As the work pressure increased, she started binge drinking. This resulted in night outs, hangovers, absence from work and the day came when she was fired. Her addiction cost her the job she loved and was so proud of.
Like Rose, many of us develop liking for something that causes more harm than benefit. One could be addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, video games, gambling or even shopping. And when the matter goes out of hand, a person has to be encouraged to seek help from an addiction help center that treats the underlying problem in a holistic manner during recovery as well as through an aftercare program.
It is possible to control the situation and prevent it from worsening. All one needs is to watch out for the signs that signal an addiction and take action immediately. Some of the red flags could be:
  1. Continuing an addiction despite negative effects - When an addiction takes over, the affected person has the tendency to ignore the red flags and continue pursuing the substance or a habit regardless of the impact it might have on physical and psychological health, relationships or job.
  2. Quitting social events - Those addicted could become so obsessed with their addiction that over time, they may quit attending social gatherings they liked before as the events may not give them the opportunity or time to use their substance of abuse.
  3. Suffering from withdrawal symptoms - When a person tries to quit addiction, he/she may suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms. This is because the body gets so used to a substance that it gets distressed in its absence. The withdrawal symptoms could be physical as well as psychological, and in some case life-threatening too.
  4. Keeping addiction a secret - People tend to mask addiction by keeping it a secret. They fear being judged, so they try to hide their habit from friends and family.
  5. Increasing tolerance - When an addiction develops, over time, the body starts getting used to it and to produce the same high, it needs more amount of the substance, leading to tolerance. Addiction can take over mind and body completely.
  6. Not being able to stop - Addiction can be so overpowering that despite the best of intentions, a person is just not able to quit or taper off. One loses self-control and allows himself/herself to be swayed by it.
  7. Taking risks - An addicted brain has a tendency to take risks. Under the influence of a substance, one might lose his or her guard and indulge in risk-taking behavior. An addicted person might steal something, indulge in unsafe sexual practices, drive under the influence or pick up fights and get abusive.
  8. Making excuses - When a person develops an addiction, his/her life becomes a web of lies and excuses. When friends and loved ones express concern, he/she may resort to all the means to evade them and shut himself/herself in their own world.
Seek help before it's late
Fortunately, it is possible to deal with alcohol or drug addiction if one agrees that he or she has a problem and is willing to take help for the same. Delaying the matter will worsen health and diminish chances of full recovery.
If you know someone who is looking for evidence-based drug addiction treatment, contact the Arizona Drug Addiction Helpline. The experts available at the 24/7 drug addiction treatment helpline 866-576-4147 can help you with the information on relevant therapeutic programs for addiction recovery and connect you to the best rehab centers near you.

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Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Are Unable to Combat Overdose, Finds Study


Prescription drug monitoring programs are now being used extensively in several American states, but there is a dearth of data on their effectiveness in curbing the number of opioid overdoses, as found out by a recent study. The rationale behind using these programs is to prevent the replication or overlapping of prescriptions for opioids - the practice commonly known as doctor shopping.
Chris Delcher, from the department of health outcomes in the University of Florida College of Medicine, said that it is important to understand if these programs are helping in any way by curbing the fatal and non-fatal overdoses. According to him, in an era where the changes are being made and implemented at the federal level to combat the opioid epidemic, it is natural to assess the utility of such programs.
Delcher and his team published their findings in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine in May 2018. The study was sponsored jointly by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and it was led by the scientists from the University of California, Davis and the Columbia University.
The team of researchers investigated as many as 2,600 scientific publications and found that only 10 linked prescription drug monitoring programs to overdoses. Even in these 10 studies, the team found an exceedingly low evidence of the effectiveness of the programs in reducing fatal overdoses, leading to inconclusive outcomes.
Inadvertent outcomes
The study authors came across some surprising findings. Three studies showed that after the implementation of the prescription drug monitoring programs, there was a rise in overdose-related deaths due to heroin. A 2013 study showed that in Philadelphia and San Francisco, there was a transition from prescription drugs to heroin because of the latter's easy accessibility and cheap cost.
Moreover, in 2011 in Florida, after the implementation of the program, the number of overdoses dropped due to oxycodone, but there was a concomitant rise in overdoses related to fentanyl, heroin and morphine. Delcher explained this by stating that crackdown on prescription opioids facilitates transition to other drugs.
The researchers found three parameters from the prescription drug monitoring programs that impacted the number of fatal overdoses. These were:
  1. Reviw of patient's medical history by the doctors before writing a prescription.
  2. Increase in frequent updation of patient's prescription data.
  3. Increased accessibility of patient data to the providers.
Delcher shared that investigating the efficay of the prescription drug monitoring tool is one of the ways to improve its efficiency and usability. He said that the tool could be made more refined and spontaneous so that it comes handy to the busy physicians, and they are better able to classify patients' risk of misuse, abuse or overdose. Delcher is presently striving to improve the patient-risk algorithms, overlying medication dashboards, and other data-influenced methods to enhance the database.
Opioid overdose deaths on the rise
Nearly 350,000 people succumbed to opioid overdose - both prescription and illicit - between 1999 and 2016. The overdose-related deaths manifested through three phases:
  • The first phase began in 1999 when the prescriptions for opioids increased (methadone, natural and semi-synthetic opioids).
  • The second phase commenced in 2010 when overdose deaths increased due to heroin.
  • The third phase began in 2013 when overdose related fatalities increased due to fentanyl. Many times, fentanyl is laced with heroin and cocaine, and sold in counterfeit pills.
Road to recovery
Addiction usually begins from a prescription and when the prescription runs dry, people fuel their addiction through illicit drugs. These drugs can have a catastrophic effect on every area of one's life. Thus, one should take drug abuse help from a good drug abuse clinic before it is too late.
If you know someone who is addicted to opioids or any other prescription drug, you can seek help from the California Prescription Abuse Helpline. Our representative can give you details about some of the finest California prescription abuse treatment centers, where recovery is facilitated in a safe and secure environment under the supervision of trained therapists. Call us at our 24/7 helpline 855-738-2770 for more information on some of the state-of-the-art rehab centers in California.

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Avoid Opioid Problems

By      Expert Author Desiree Lotz

With the recent over 9% increase in drug-related deaths, the opioid crisis has the attention of the masses. Itself killing nearly 50,000 Americans it is growing more difficult to ignore.
One element, however, remains little-known, and that there is a painkiller more powerful than any opioid: calcium GLUCONATE.
Calcium gluconate turns out to be one of the more powerful painkillers, and it's deficiency can be causing or exacerbating pain. Therefore, treating deficiency becomes key, and can be an answer to an otherwise dependent reliance upon potent, dangerous drugs.
Abnormal muscle function and deficiency...
Muscle function physically, is totally dependent upon nutrient levels chemically. Though nerves and bones depend upon certain minerals, the very function and action of muscles rely on it.
Contraction and relaxation are the main functions of muscle activity and allow a variety of movements. Calcium and its partner mineral, magnesium, are the key to these vital actions.
In deficiency, muscles are already at a disadvantage and can malfunction. This can be a predisposition to feeling pain. Tension, spasm, cramp or any other muscle disorder can result from lack of these life-giving minerals.
More potent than Opioids?
Injectable calcium has already proven to be a powerful painkiller in medicine. But its use isn't difficult to understand once you understand the body's need nutritionally.
Calcium and magnesium are partners. They work in tandem. The body requires both of them to be able to utilize either one.
But it doesn't end that simply. There must be a certain "acidic climate" for them to react and only one of the many forms of each is acceptable.
These crucial conditions already make getting sufficient supply a challenge. And in this day an age, the margin for error is enormous.
How taking extra calcium can make you DEFICIENT!
Considering the precision of the body's utilization of these minerals, it becomes easy to see that mistakenly taking an unusable form of calcium can cause other issues.
Painful conditions, such as arthritis, are caused by deposits of such minerals accumulating in surplus in the joints. These deposits tend to occur when absorption isn't possible.
Logically, getting a proper balance of calcium in its correct form is not only important, it is vital. Without it, pain and related conditions result.
What crisis beats out painkiller addiction any day of the week?
If you want to label a crisis, it is perhaps better to get down to basics.
With nutritional deficiency statistics at "out-of-control" levels and nearly a third of the planet suffering some sort of lack of nutrition, the opioid crisis seems rather minuscule. Further, painkiller addiction may be more reliant upon deficiencies than previously suspected.
With the slim tolerance of the correct forms and balance of calcium along with the conditions in which it is absorbed, it is easy to see how, even with a prudent nutritional plan, one can become deficient.
Can Getting Minerals In Sufficient Supply Offer Resolution to the Opioid Crisis?
While its debatable whether or not direct inroads can be made to an overall solution, it is easy to see that solving deficiencies can create a marked change in the existence of painful conditions. Pain, in many cases, is not necessary and can be the result of some predisposition brought on by deficiency.
Having the proper ratio, form and combination of calcium and magnesium is not just some recipe for pain relief, it is not a mere preventive measure, it is essential for proper function itself, both minerals being responsible for hundreds of body processes.
Instant CalMag-C is a supplement designed in the laboratory, reverse engineered from how the body utilizes essential calcium and magnesium. The result is a fast-absorbing, useable and effective combination that supports body functions too numerous to list.
A body which has its essential minerals and other nutrition tends to function at optimum and tends to be pain-free. Try Instant CalMag-C and find out what supplementing the two most vital minerals can do for you, and perhaps for a worldwide crisis too!
To find out more, go to or to order some Instant CalMag-C (made with calcium gluconate specifically), go to

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Saturday, August 10, 2019


The Recovery Oriented Campus Center (ROCC) at the University of Southern Maine is a collegiate recovery center (CRC), fostering a supportive community for students in recovery from substance use and other mental health conditions.
learn more>>>

Friday, August 9, 2019

Warning Signs of Cocaine Addiction and Abuse

By      Expert Author Scott Solt

Cocaine, also known as crack, is a very addictive substance that a person can get used to easily. This addiction is very easy to develop but hard to get rid of. The addiction of cocaine is considered a disease like any other disease and this is medically stated by health professionals. The main reason why this is considered as a disease is that there are various symptoms and signs of this addiction. There are many common symptoms and signs that are not visible but turn up as mental and health problems at a later stage. There are various people out there who often wonder if their family members or friends are consuming cocaine. These warning signs and symptoms will help you know whether or not your friend or a family member is possibly taking cocaine.
The first symptom is issues with the nose such as a red, stuffy or runny nose. There are various people who sniff their cocaine to be absorbed via the nasal membrane. Nonetheless, continuous consumption of cocaine causes damage to nose. Irregular behavior is another warning sign of cocaine addiction and abuse. Lying to family members and friends becomes very common. This not only is because they are feeling guilty but the requirement to hide the loss of money linked with buying cocaine. This is the most common reason why they usually break the relationship with friends and family.
Muscle spasms or muscle tightening is another common symptom associated with cocaine abuse. This is because the addictive substance hits the nervous system instantly upon use. This substance decreases the flow of oxygenated blood which automatically influences the functioning of brain.
Loss of appetite, inability to sleep and high energy spurts are also very common signs of cocaine addiction. These are visible symptoms. The main reason why most of the people try cocaine is to get the energy spurts, either for the inventiveness caused by the spike or for the energy. The main problem that most of the people don't even realize is the threat of heart attack or stroke.
The person who is suffering from cocaine addiction also feels dullness, edginess, let-down feeling and depression. The person feels these signs when he is in between highs, and after that it becomes a roller coaster ride, the drug addict goes up and down during the usage of drug. Other common symptoms of cocaine abuse are degradation in personal appearance and loss of personal hygiene. Since the person becomes focused on only one thing, they lose focus on personal requirements.
A drug addict can suffer from mood swings and the person withdraws himself from others. In addition, they lost interest in others opinions and thoughts. The main goal of the drug addict is the next hit.
These are some of the common signs and symptoms which are caused by cocaine addiction and abuse. These symptoms will help you know that the person is possibly using cocaine. One needs to approach talking to the drug addict regarding this with sensitivity, since any of these could also be symptoms of other sources.

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Fighting Substance Addiction and Abuse The Right Way


Here are some tips that someone can take to help fight substance abuse. While fighting substance addiction can be tough, it's been proven that it can be done with the right attitude, support, and patience.
First, get a pen and a pad of paper and write down the activities that you use to do before your addiction. List about 3-5 activities that you enjoyed, and create a step by step plan on how you can begin to enjoy these activities once again. Not only will participating in these activities bring back enjoyment, it will give your mind and body relief needed from thinking about your addiction. Examples I've seen used as activities include walking the dog, building model airplanes, or playing the piano.
Second, make contact with a friend who doesn't do drugs, is trustworthy, and is reliable. Be open about your current situation, and ask them if you can rely on them to help you during the harder times that you might go through during withdrawal. When talking to friends and family about your substance abuse issues, it's important to be as honest and open as you can. You being honest about your issues help you commit to your desire to change; it's been shown that your chances of recovery are much better if you're able to deal with confrontations with your friends and family.
Self talk techniques are also recommended for people fighting substance addiction. Self talk is simply the act of having a conversation with yourself, either out loud or inside your head. Using self talk in a positive way helps relieve stress, while negative self talk can have a negative impact on your actions. Often times when someone hears about self talk techniques, they say 'Talking to myself? That's for crazy people!' Nonsense - self talk is commonly used as a confidence booster in all industries.
Last but not least, overcoming these issues will require a lot of patience. When you decide that you want to stop using drugs, you have to understand that you've agreed to go into a battle that won't be easy. That said, with the right approach and determination and an understand that this will take time to overcome, you will be rewarded.
If your goal is to safely achieve a medically-monitored withdrawal from dependent substances, then you need to check into drug rehab centers in your area. Substance abuse treatment does not always require inpatient residential treatment.

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Heroin - Use and Abuse


Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug and the most rapidly acting of the opiates. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants.
Heroin is typically sold as a white or brownish powder or as the black sticky substance known on the streets as 'black tar heroin'. Most street heroin is cut with other drugs or substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk etc. Typically, in Malta heroin or as it is better know 'smack' is sold in paper packets, not more than a finger nail in size, at Lm10 each. Heroin abusers never know the actual strength of the drug and so are always at risk of overdose or death. Other problems stemming out of heroin use is the transmission of HIV and other diseases that occur from sharing needles
How is heroin used?
Heroin is usually injected, sniffed or smoked. A heroin addict may typically inject up to four times a day. Intravenous injections provide the greatest intensity and most rapid onset of euphoria, (7 to 8 seconds) while intramuscular injection provides a relatively slow onset of euphoria (5 to 8 minutes) Heroin that is sniffed or smoked does not produce a rush and its peak effects are usually felt within 10 to 15 minutes
(Adapted from the National Institute of Drug Abuse)
According to NIDA researchers all three forms of heroin administration are addictive. The short term and immediate effects of heroin use are the rush, depressed respiration, clouded mental functioning, nausea and vomiting and suppression of pain. (Parker, 2002a:15) After the injection or inhalation, heroin crosses the blood barrier and is converted to morphine in the brain. That is when abusers report a rush. "Take the best orgasm you've ever had. Multiply it by a thousand and you're still nowhere near." This quote taken from the book and film 'Trainspotting' by Irvine Welsh best describes the heroin induced bliss addicts feel. Heroin is particularly addictive as it enters the brain so rapidly. 'The rush is then accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth and a heavy feeling in the extremities which may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and severe itching. '(Parker, 2002b:15) The long term effects are addiction, infectious diseases for example, HIV and hepatitis B and C , collapsed veins, bacterial infections, abscesses, infection of heart lining and valves , arthritis and other rheumatologic problems. (Parker, 2002c: 16)
Addiction is the most detrimental long term effects of heroin. Addiction is chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use and by neuro chemical and molecular changes in the brain. Like abusers of all other drugs, heroin users gradually spend more and more time and energy obtaining and using the drug. The heroin abusers' primary purpose in life becomes seeking and using the drug.
'Junk is not like alcohol or weed, a means to increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life.' (Burroughs, 1953a)
Physical dependence develops with higher doses of the drug. Withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced or stopped abruptly. Symptoms of withdrawal include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhoea, vomiting, cold flashes (where the term cold turkey comes from) and leg movements. Physical dependence and the emergence of withdrawal symptoms were once thought to be the key features of heroin addiction. But cravings and relapse can occur weeks and months after withdrawal symptoms are long gone. This may be because the patient in pain is simply seeking relief and not the rush sought by the addict.
The Socio- Psychological explanation of its use.
There is no characteristic personality style that can be called 'the addictive personality'. However, there are common personality traits, symptoms, and psychodynamic factors that occur in clusters of addicted persons. Many psychologists have come up with theories to try to explain addiction.
Stanton et al.'s (1982) findings about symptom function in families of drug addicts, (heroin):
1. The regressive heroin euphoria, which is characterized by infantile fusion with the mother, permits the addict a symbolic reunification with the mother and family of childhood. The drug's blunting effects permit the addict to feel distant from overwhelming fears of incorporation while maintaining an illusory intimacy. This is true of other depressant drugs.
2. Heroin produces a sense of power and omnipotence that may unleash aggression towards family members, especially parents. This rage enables the addict to feel temporarily autonomous and freed from family bonds. The addicts chosen life is also a defiant 'quantum leap' from that of the family.
3. The regressive, sexually equivalent heroin high, and the resultant 'ripping and running' lifestyle, prevent the male addict from developing lasting and intimate relationships particularly with women. In the latter stages of addiction, drug use eradicates the sex drive.
4. As a result of the first three factors as well as underlying narcissistic personality, addicts form only pseudo families of procreation."(Kaufman, 1994a:10)
Milkman and Frosch (1973) found a difference between heroin addicts and amphetamine abusers who had abused both drugs and experienced a preference for one of the two. For those whose choice of drug was heroin suffer from depression and despair, and relived anxiety by withdrawal from others and repression of conflict through satiation by the drug. In a later work, Milkman and Frosch (1980) emphasized the heroin addicts' need to relive sporadic rage with opiates. Khantazian (1979) noted the specific muting and stabilizing effects of narcotics on rage and aggression. In a study of 200 heroin addicts, he also found developmental deficiencies that led to outbursts of rage, poor impulse control and dysphoria. Heroin then moderated the threat their violent feelings posed to themselves and others. On opiates, they experienced a sensation of total physical relief, which they described as mellow and calm. (Kaufman, 1994b:26)
Heroin users usually belong to a sub culture. Both heavy heroin users and controlled heroin users are bound together in small isolated groups that develop idiosyncratic, rigid rituals and social sanctions. These groups are always very fragile and drug centered. Compulsive users and controlled users rituals are usually the same. In both groups, people squabble over who gets off first, belts are used as ties and so on. The addict's ritual is an expression of wistful identification and the outlaw's bold stance is attractive to them.
Media, films, music and stars have in the past few decades put the spotlight on heroin use and have in some way added to its glamour. In the mid 1990's a waif looking, emaciated, drug addicted look was popular in the fashion world. Pale skin, dark circles underneath the eyes and jutting bones were seen on the runaway models showcasing the 'heroin chic' look. Calvin Klein ads featured these looks in 1997. Fashion designers, model Kate Moss and movies such as 'Trainspotting' and 'Pulp Fiction' were blamed for glamorizing the heroin chic look and life style. The heroin chic fashion provided much controversy. In 1997, Bill Clinton felt he had to voice his opinion on this. President Clinton decried 'heroin chic' fashion photography, for sending a message that using the once feared drug is 'glamorous' or 'sexy'. Clinton speaking about US drug policy took note of recent admissions by magazine editors that the 'wasted addict' look in some fashion layouts had glamorized heroin use. He continued to say that the glorification of heroin was not creative but destructive. It was not about art. Clinton continued to say that while cocaine use had declined, heroin use had gone up and he said that part of the reason was 'the images that are finding their way to young people'. David Sorrenti, a fashion photographer, who used these images, died aged 20 of a heroin overdose when Clinton made these remarks to the press.
Long before this 1997 incident, heroin has been the main protagonist of lyrics, books and deaths. The first book to be written on heroin was by Thomas De Quincy - Confessions of an Opium Eater in the 18th century. The Beat Generation, mostly William Burroughs, wrote very important books on the subject. The most famous is 'Junky', which is autobiographical. Through out the years, we have witnessed many fatal overdoses in the show business, both in the movie world like River Phoenix, a promising young actor and numerous other deaths in music bands.
If we analyze the lyrics of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground in the song with the self explanatory title, "Heroin", we notice that like many authors writing on heroin, it is the centre and all of addict's life.; 'it's my wife and it's my life', ' because when the smack begins to flow, I really don't care anymore' The calming effect and the pain relief that heroin produces to its users is crystal clear in these lyrics, from the way it effects the brain and blood and the immense effect on the person's thoughts and sense of being. Many post- Woodstock artists have penned songs on heroin. Some songs written about heroin: Neil Young : The Needle and the Damage Done, Rolling Stones : Dead Flowers, Red Hot Chilli Peppers : Under The Bridge, Velvet Underground : Heroin, Guns N' Roses : Mr Brownstone, The La's: There She Goes, Dandy Warhols : Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth, Wolfsheim : Heroin, Velvet Underground : Waiting for the Man, The Ramones : Chinese Rock, Lou Reed : Perfect Day, Pink Floyd : Comfortably Numb, U2 : Heroin and The Stranglers : Golden Brown:
"Golden brown texture like sun
lays me down WITH my mind she runs
throughout the night
No need to fight
never a frown with golden brown"
The Social Correlates and Consequences
In Malta not only trafficking but also possession of illicit drugs is a criminal offence. All drug users, because of possession run the risk of criminal charges. In 2003 the drug squad made 597 arrests of 528 persons. 74% of these were only for possession whilst 22% where for possession and trafficking. These were mostly for heroin and cannabis. (The National Focal Point for Drugs and Drug Addiction)
30% of Malta's prison population is charged or sentenced for drug law offences. All inmates are tested for drugs on admission. 50% tested positive for drugs. The main drug of use was heroin, with a staggering 81%. (2004 National Report: Malta Drug Situation)
Many heroin users suffer from dual diagnosis, where a person has both a drug problem as well as an emotional/psychiatric problem. To recover fully, the person needs treatment for both problems. The most common problems are depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and in some cases even the onset of schizophrenia and personality disorders. What develops first? Most times it is the psychiatric problem that develops first, in other episodes drug dependency is the main condition and then may develop into psychiatric conditions.
In 2003, there were approximately 1,200 persons with heroin problems, in treatment- 1,000 of these are problem users based on the criterion of daily heroin use. About 700, from this client population are in substitution treatment, taking methadone for a period of three months or longer. (2004 National Report: Malta Drug Situation)
The National Focal Point for Drugs and Drug Addiction believe that there are around 350 unknown injecting drug users. About 80% of heroin users inject. Syringe data indicates that approximately 220,000 syringes were distributed in 2003. The mean age of treatment clients with a heroin or cocaine problem is usually around five years older than those with a cannabis problem. Data from heroin clients treated for the first time in 2003 showed that they started taking heroin at around 19. The mean age in 2003 was 28 years. 86% were male clients. (2004 National Report: Malta Drug Situation)
Heroin clients are the most problematic. 71% are daily users, with 63% injecting. The majority of clients who use detox are heroin users, making up 85%.
Legal Aspect and punishment
The Dangerous Drugs Ordinance controls possession and dealing in narcotics, including equipment or material used for drug production. Part II of the law forbids importation and exportation of opium. It covers offences for manufacturing, selling or dealing or usage. The law also specifies dealing as including cultivation. Penalties for trafficking are severe especially if it occurs within 100 metres of a school, youth centre of if it supplied to a minor, pregnant woman or to a person undergoing rehabilitation. (Chapter 101 Dangerous Drugs Ordinance)
Punishment is set out in the said ordinance. The court of Magistrates is competent to try out all offences against the Ordinance. The Attorney General has a right to appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal from any judgment given by the Court of Magistrates in respect of criminal proceedings arising out of the provisions of this Ordinance. The Criminal Court hands out from twelve months to ten years plus a fine not exceeding Lm10000 for possession. For selling and dealing, the Criminal Court may give a life sentence, the only exception being when the verdict is not unanimous and when the age of the offender, previous conducts, quantity and nature of drug or social circumstances ask for this measure. In this case court may give a sentence ranging from four to thirty years plus a fine between lm1000 and lm50000. When the case is tried in the Magistrates court, punishment is less severe. For possession one may get three to twelve month's imprisonment or/plus a fine of not more than Lm1000. For selling and dealing one can be sentenced from six months to ten years plus a fine between Lm200 and Lm5000. For the crime of trafficking there is life imprisonment plus forfeiture of property. In the case of cultivation the court may confiscate property used for cultivation.
The punishment increases if the trafficking/selling occurred near a school or involved minors or pregnant women. Probation and suspended sentences are only rewarded in the case of possession. In the case of possession of drugs by foreigners, they are not persecuted if they surrender drugs to customs officials and it is obvious from quantity it was for their own use only.
Heroin addicts that are sentenced to Corradino Correctioal Facility can benefit from the rehabilitation programme offered by SATU (Substance Abuse Therapeutic Unit) which is at Mtahleb or Caritas which also has a prison inmate programme based at Bahar ic - Caghaq. In both cases, prisoners can avail themselves of these services in the last two years of their sentences
No specific treatment is valid for all drugs addicts. It is important that treatment is matched to each individual's particular problems and moods. Treatment has to meet the individual's needs. To be effective it has to address the addict's drug use which may be linked to medical, social, vocational or other problems.
(Adapted from NIDA concerning drug abuse treatment entitled 'Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A research- based Guide)
Counselling (individual or group) and other behavioral therapies are critical components of effective treatment for addiction. In therapy, patients address issues of motivation, build skills to resist drug use, replace drug using activities with constructive and rewarding non drug using activities and improve problem solving abilities.
Medications are also an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counselling and other behavioral therapies. Methadone and levo-alpha-acetylmethdaol (LAAM) are very effective in helping individuals addicted to heroin to stabilize their lives and reduce their illicit drug use. (Parker, 2002d:168) In Malta, the majority of heroin abusing clients are seen at the Detox centre, while 29% in community services and 20% in rehabilitation programmes. (National Report-Malta Drug Situation 2004)
Medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long term drug use. There are many types of treatments available. There are out patient drug free treatments, long term residential treatments, short term residential treatment and medical detoxification. When treating criminal drug abusers and addicts there are two effective ways, prison based treatment and community based treatment. Research shows that combining criminal justice sanctions with drug treatment can be effective in decreasing drug use and related crime.
In Malta Caritas and Sedqa offer nearly identical services for heroin addicts. There is also Oasi in Gozo offering a residential rehabilitation service. Caritas and Sedqa both offer outreach and rehabilitation programmes. They also offer information for parents and children and counselling for all the family.

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