Top Six Depression Tips- Struck By Living

February 22, 2012 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION, VIDEO


The State of Teen Drug Abuse

February 21, 2012 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

As the use of drugs and alcohol continues to plague our youth, it is the duty of not only parents, but educators, counselors, and government officials, to keep abreast of the latest trends and statistics.

 

The Positive Side

When researching the current statistics of teen drug use, we often turn to Monitoring the Future (MTF), which is a survey that measures the way teens feel about drugs and alcohol, along with their use of these substances.  MTF has been surveying teens since 1975, which gives a more reliable look at teen drug use.

The research shows that teen substance abuse is declining when it comes to cigarettes, alcohol, and methamphetamines.  Each has dropped at least 1% over the last few years.  The research has also shown the awareness level of these substance’s harmful effects has increased, thus showing that teens are receiving the message of the grave dangers of these drugs.

 

The Negative Side

On the other side, Marijuana use has increased by an astounding 6%, as well as the abuse of hallucinogenic drugs, inhalants, and prescription medications.

Because Marijuana is becoming so acceptable to society, and there is always talk of its legalization, the fact that most teens don’t even consider it a drug comes as no surprise.  We have to consider the message we are sending to our youth when we rally up to pass certain bills.

The abuse of Hallucinogens has risen alongside the attendance of all-night dance parties by teens, and has also begun to seep out of those club doors and into the realms of teenage parties.  The accessibility to these hallucinogens, such as ecstasy, has become much easier.

Inhalants are commonly abused by teens because they are easy to acquire, cost little money, and are easily hidden.  Household cleaners, gasoline, or even paint, can be quietly huffed. Most teens who abuse drugs are looking for an easy way to get high without getting caught.

Neck and neck with the rise in marijuana use, is the rise in the ever so available prescription drug.  While most people have prescriptions to treat the many ailments that seem to plague our society, a parent easily becomes the unknowing dealer to their child, or even their child’s friends.

 

What the Community Can Do

First and foremost it is important to realize that not all teens are abusing drugs and alcohol.  The message on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse is getting through, to some.  As people in the lives of children and teens, it is crucial to persevere when it comes to drug education and awareness.  We need to not only stay on top of the latest facts and trends, but also be aware of the warning signs of drug use.  Sometimes being just a little more attentive to actions and behaviors can prevent a major problem from developing.

As far as continuing to educate our youth, all community members must take an active role.  We need to continue educating at home by talking openly to our children, starting at a young age.  We also need to continue that educations in schools, not only by alerting teens of the dangers of drug use, but also by lending support to those who abstain, letting them know that they are by no means alone in their healthy decisions.

 

Where Narconon Vista Bay Stands

Narconon Vista Bay plays an active role in educating the community.  Often going into the schools and presenting tons of information to the youth, as well as attend and support many drug free community events.  By working with those addicted to drugs and alcohol, they are constantly learning new ways of preventing drug and alcohol abuse.

If for some reason, despite the efforts and education, you or someone you know becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, you must get help.  The Narcanon Vista Bay Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program has reported a 76% success rate.  This program is designed to get you off drugs, rid your body of drug residuals, and give you the skills necessary for living a life free from drugs and alcohol.

 

This post was written by Daniel Manson. Daniel is dedicated to helping those with addiction problems recover to live a fulfilling life.  A graduate of the Narconon cocaine treatment program Daniel has been sober for over 8 years.  Daniel writes for the Narconon Drug Treatment Network.

 

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Filed under Featured, OBESITY, Video: Exercise and Fitness Tips


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10 Great Tips for Staying Sober

February 16, 2012 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

Just stay sober. It’s easy for everybody to say, but it’s not that easy to do. If it were, then everybody would do it! If you or someone you know is trying to stay sober (or just get that way), then here are some tips that might help.

 

#1: Decide to do it (and really mean it).

Make the decision, and then write down all the good things that will come out of being sober. Next to each, write a reward that will come with it. Some examples:

–I’m going to be able to save money and get a new car.

–I’ll be on time for work every day; I can now work towards the promotion that I want.

–I will finally go back to painting, which will make me feel more peaceful.

#2: Do positive things for yourself – the more, the better.

Put some music on, light some candles and take a bubble bath (yes, guys can do it, too). Read that book you’ve wanted to read for a year and a half. Do something – anything – that will make you feel a little more special than you did yesterday.

#3: Get in touch with yourself spiritually.

This is something that is very important, and it’s not about religion! Connecting with yourself spiritually means finding out what makes you, you; what makes you unique. There are many ways to do this: yoga, meditating, going for a walk… Whatever it is that you have to do to get back to being you – find it, and do it.

#4: Redecorate your house.

A new place for a new you! Start with one room at a time, and go out and hit a thrift shop or a garage sale. You can get some great things at these types of places for very little money, and it’s amazing how much happiness you can find in the smallest of things.

#5: Establish new patterns for yourself.

Any positive change is good when you’re trying to stay sober. Buy some gourmet coffee (with the money you are saving by being sober), get up just a little earlier than normal and enjoy a great cup of coffee. Go to a park and have a picnic, join a league and go bowling, have a barbecue at your house and invite your sober friends and family. Do something positive that’s different.

#6: Surround yourself with people who care.

You always hear people say, “A great support system will help you, blah, blah, blah,” and you may feel like it’s just recovery garbage, but it is important to have people around you who support your decision and the progress you have made. Pick up the phone and call just one friend whom you really care about (a sober one), and try to reconnect. Having someone around to enjoy the new sober you is important.

#7: Don’t forget the music.

Seriously, music is the one thing that will always be there to make you feel good. Put it on while you’re getting ready for work. Crank it up while you’re doing the lousy dishes. Music will always make you feel better.

#8: Get outside!

Sometimes you may feel trapped inside the house, afraid to go outside (yes, even when you’re sober). Do it anyway. Run to the store, take a drive, go for a jog… anything to get yourself moving and out of the house.

#9: Clean the house!

Cleaning may be an evil, but a necessary one. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel when the kitchen is clean when you get up in the morning and how good it feels to know that you did it!

#10: Do something for someone else.

There are people out there who need you. Older people especially love company, or you can join Big Brothers, Big Sisters and be a mentor for a child. Look for ways to help people.

When you achieve sobriety, you become part of the world again, and you can make it as special and real as you want it to be. You will realize that you are worth it, and being sober is the one thing that will make you feel that way.

No matter how you choose to spend your days, all that matters is that at the end of each one, you can say, “I stayed sober. There is no other thing harder to do, and I did it!” Because you can. You are working on becoming better than you have ever been and ever could have imagined. That right there makes it all worth it.

 

This Post was written and contributed by Ricky Stanton.  Ricky has over 10 years of experience helping people with their drug and alcohol rehab programs.  He hopes to continue to help educate others about the dangers of drug and alcohol addictions.

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February 11, 2012 by  
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Flesh-Eating Cocaine Hitting the Streets of Major Cities

February 9, 2012 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

It used to be that if you snorted cocaine, you took the risk of rotting your septum. Now if you snort cocaine, you run the risk of rotting your skin.

Cocaine is an addictive stimulant of the central nervous system. Snorting, injecting and smoking cocaine are the main ways to for a person to use it. When sold on the street, it is common for dealers to “cut” their cocaine to stretch the supply and make more money. Cheap cocaine can sometimes be cut up to ninety percent. Called fillers, ingredients used for cutting cocaine include baking soda, Vitamin B12, cornstarch and talcum powder.

Recently, however, large supplies of cocaine are being cut with levamisole, a veterinary antibiotic that farmers normally use to deworm cattle, sheep and pigs. Drug cartels from South America are reportedly sending the cocaine overseas and into the U.S. already cut with levamisole, which is baffling officials.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) first reported seeing significant amounts of levamisole-tainted cocaine in 2005. A 2010 DEA report found that between October 2007 and October 2009, the percentage of seized cocaine bricks containing levamisole jumped from two percent to seventy percent. This trend has continued, and the DEA’s most recent estimate is that up to eighty-two percent of street cocaine is now cut with levamisole.

Studies in rats suggest that levamisole might stimulate the same brain receptors that cocaine does, which may explain why dealers would choose to use it as a filler; users get a more intense high for as cheap a price as if it had been cut with baking soda, making them more likely to come back for more. Why the foreign drug cartels ship cocaine already containing levamisole remains a mystery.

However, while it may be cheaper to get a better high, the user could end up paying a bigger price physically.

Los Angeles and New York recently reported outbreaks of a flesh-eating disease linked to cocaine use. Doctors discovered that the affected individuals had all used cocaine cut with levamisole. The disease follows a predictable progression: the day after exposure to levamisole, the flesh begins to rot due to an immune reaction that damages the blood vessels that supply blood to the skin. When that happens, the skin receives no oxygen, which causes it to change to a dark-purplish color and die. Necrosis—dying skin—usually occurs on the scalp, ears and face of users of the tainted cocaine. Not all users are at risk; some are more vulnerable to the levamisole-tainted cocaine than others.

“We don’t know who this is going to happen to,” said Dr. Lindy Fox, the University of California-San Francisco dermatologist who first connected the horrid skin lesions on cocaine abusers to levamisole.

The association between flesh-eating skin infections and levamisole-tainted cocaine was first identified in April 2008 from a cluster of 11 cases in New Mexico. In 2009, there were five patients in Minnesota admitted with confirmed levamisole-related infections, two of whom died. Since then, there have been numerous cases reported throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Over the past few months, cases of the flesh-eating infection have been cropping up around the country, suggesting a possible future epidemic. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology recently described six cases where users developed ghastly splotches of dead skin after snorting or smoking cocaine laced with the drug levamisole, and more cases are reported every month.

“It’s probably quite a big problem, and we just don’t know yet how big a problem it really is,” said Dr. Noah Craft, a dermatologist with Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute.

Cocaine users may experience yet another dangerous reaction when using cocaine cut with levamisole. In addition to rotting the flesh, levamisole prevents the bone marrow from producing disease-fighting white blood cells. This cripples their immune systems and leaves them open to infection.

“It’s a little bit like having HIV,” said Craft, adding that without medical intervention, the condition can be deadly. “About 10 percent of those patients will die from severe infections. They may be walking around like a time bomb.”

 

About The Author:

This Post was written and contributed by Ricky Stanton.  Ricky has over 10 years of experience helping people with their drug rehab programs.  He hopes to continue to help educate others about the dangers of drug and alcohol addictions.


A buyer’s guide for assistive listening devices

February 3, 2012 by  
Filed under HEARING

English: Artone bluetooth loopset is a small w...

Listening to the television and radio, using a telephone, or even answering the doorbell are things some people take for granted, but if you are hard of hearing these things are a real struggle. Assistive Listening Devices (ALD) can help. Here, we will look at how to choose the best device for your needs.

Many people who are hard of hearing often wear hearing aids to help listen in their everyday life. But these might not always work very well, especially if you are driving or are in a noisy restaurant. Hearing aids, unfortunately, are not 100% perfect and may you need an additional device such as an Assistive Listening Device to help hear clearly. Using the two together will be a significant improvement.

Benefits of Assistive Listening Devices

Assisted Listening Devices have several benefits for those who are hard of hearing:

  • Lots of devices to choose from. From phone amplifiers to TV listeners, there are devices to improve your everyday life. You can even get baby monitors and smoke alarms.
  • ALDs bring distant sounds to your ears, so it almost appears that someone is talking into both of yours at the same time, making sound that much clearer.
  • ALDs cut out background noise. Microphones are much closer to the speaker’s mouth than other devices, so you only pick up the sounds going into the microphone, not anything else. Meetings, restaurants and parties become much more enjoyable with an ALD.
  • Many ALDs are portable. You can take a personal amplifier wherever you go, even on holiday.

Downsides

There are some downsides to ALDs which users need to be aware of:

  • Some ALDs can be expensive.
  • Battery powered devices may need frequent battery changes.
  • You may still need to use a hearing aid with them.

Types of ALDs available

There are several kinds of ALDs available to buy. They use several types of technology to help you listen. No technology is completely perfect and you may find some types work better than others. Choose one suited to your needs, budget and accommodation/situation. Technologies available include personal amplifiers, radio systems, induction loop systems and Bluetooth systems.

  • Personal amplifiers are small portable devices which amplify ambient sound e.g. in the cinema, group conversations and watching TV. These amplifiers can be used with an induction loop system for the hard of hearing in public spaces – you don’t even need to use your hearing aid.

If you are in a meeting or personal conversation, you can also clip a lapel microphone to the person you are speaking to, plug it into your personal amplifier, attach a neck loop and listen to the person through the t-coils in your hearing aids. This helps to cut out any background noise. The downside to this is that you are wired together and can’t move around easily.

  • Radio systems use radio waves to send sound to your device. Because they have no wires, you have greater freedom of movement and range. You can sit at the back of a lecture theatre, for example, and listen to the lecturer. You do need to ensure the speaker will wear your transmitter/microphone.

You can also buy TV amplifiers which use radio technology and are ideal if you don’t want to trip over any wires. Doorbells, telephones and alarms are other devices which use this technology.

  • Induction Loop systems use magnetic fields to send sound from the speaker to your ears. These are often the most affordable devices. You need to have a hearing aid which has t-coils to use them.

You can buy neck loops to wear around your neck for personal use and install a room loop to help hear the TV. With these loops, you can hear it anywhere in the room.

  • Bluetooth systems use Bluetooth technology to listen to devices even if they are in your pocket or bag. They are perfect for use with mobile phones and laptops.
  • Whilst not a technology, telephone amplifiers are available to help increase the caller’s voice.

ALDs can improve the quality of life for the hard of hearing. The range of devices available can help listening wherever you are and make everyday tasks accessible once more.

About the author

Samantha Harvey is a personal health writer and has contributed this guide on behalf of Sarabec Hearing Products – the personal listening device specialists.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.