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Posts Tagged ‘Substance abuse’

Want to Quit Smoking: What to do?

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on November 14, 2012 at 11:51 am

Plan the right time to quit.

Think about a good time to quit. Make sure that you plan to quit at a time when your life is going to be reasonably stable – when you have no major events over the coming month or two such as getting married, birthday parties, exams, holidays such as Christmas, and so on. On the other hand, many people find that quitting just before they go on holiday is a great time to do it, as the change of scenery and lack of all those familiar smoking triggers can reinforce their new non-smoking habit.


Tell people, who you know are supportive, that you’re quitting.

It’s always nice to have support and encouragement. These are the people you know you can turn to when your resolve is wavering, or who you know will give you those little words of encouragement just when you need them. Avoid at all costs those who would delight in your failure!


Get rid of all your smoking paraphernalia just before your hypnotherapy session.

Throw out your ashtrays, your lighters, and your stash of emergency cigarettes. You won’t need them any more. Once they are gone they won’t be there to tempt you from the straight and narrow. And ensure that your home becomes a strict no smoking zone.


Do something that you know will increase your motivation to quit.

You’re motivated, but what else can you do that cranks up that motivation? Half-fill a jam jar with water and drop your old dog ends into it after you smoke each cigarette. Every so often, shake it up and smell the mixture. Nice! That’s what’s going on in your body each time you smoke. Or take another jam jar and each time you buy a packet of cigarettes put the equivalent amount of money into it. At the end of the week count it up and see how much you are spending on ruining your health. And then think how much you save once you have stopped. Plan to do something nice with that money.


Seeking treatment for Eating Disorders

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on September 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

Questions to Ask When Considering Treatment Options


There are various approaches to eating disorders treatment. It is important to find an option that is most effective for your needs.

Questions to Ask Your Treatment Provider
Once you have chosen a treatment provider, you may want to consider asking these questions in your first meeting.

Eating Disorders Survival Guide
Eating disorders can lead to significant physiological changes that require medical treatment in addition to psychiatric treatment and the reimbursement system does not allow for a holistic approach. For this reason, patients and families frequently have to fight to get the appropriate and necessary treatment.

Securing Eating Disorders Treatment: Ammunition for Arguments with Third Parties
Unfortunately, some patients and families frequently have to fight to get the appropriate and necessary treatment for eating disorders. Here are some arguments to use when trying to secure treatment from an insurance provider or another third party.

Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders
Research suggests that nearly 50% of individuals with an eating disorder (ED) are also abusing drugs and/or alcohol, a rate 5 times greater than what is seen in the general population according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

Suggested Medical Tests
A complete medical assessment is important when diagnosing eating disorders. Talk with your doctor about performing specific laboratory tests.

Sharing with EEEase
When you begin to notice that disordered eating habits are affecting your life, your happiness, and your ability to concentrate, it is important that you talk to somebody about what you’re going through.

Treatment of Eating Disorders
The most effective and long-lasting treatment for an eating disorder is some form of psychotherapy or counseling, coupled with careful attention to medical and nutritional needs. Ideally, this treatment should be tailored to the individual and will vary according to both the severity of the disorder and the patient’s individual problems, needs, and strengths.

What Should I Say? Tips for Talking to a Friend Who May Be Struggling with an Eating Disorder
If you are worried about your friend’s eating behaviors or attitudes, it is important to express your concerns in a loving and supportive way. It is also necessary to discuss your worries early on, rather than waiting until your friend has endured many of the damaging physical and emotional effects of eating disorders

Twelve Ideas for Negotiating the Holidays
The Holidays can be a time to spend with loved ones and a time to celebrate. They can also be a time when food and family can provoke anxiety and present triggers. This guide suggests a few ideas that may help you plan ahead and get your supports in place.

Source: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-resources/general-information.php


Narcotics: Pain Killer or PAIN itself?

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on May 24, 2012 at 3:04 am

Narcotics/Opioids have been used since the beginning of recorded history. Opium is derived from a white liquid produced by the poppy plant, first cultivated in the Middle East and Asia. It was used therapeutically in ancient cultures to induce calm and to relieve pain, and recreationally to induce euphoric dream states. Today, physicians prescribe narcotics for pain relief. Whether plant derived (natural) or synthetic, narcotics are sometimes still referred to as opioids.

Narcotics  produce intense pleasure and general calmness:

  • Drowsiness, tranquilization, or sleep
  • Feeling of well-being
  • Pain relief (analgesia)
  • Temporary euphoria; a “high”

Addiction to opioids (e.g., heroin, morphine, prescription pain relievers) is a serious global problem that affects the health, social, and economic welfare of all societies. An estimated 12–21 million people worldwide abuse opioids, with 1.9 million people in the U.S. addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2010 and 359,000 addicted to heroin. Consequences of this abuse have been devastating and are on the rise. For example, the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has soared in the U.S., quadrupling since 1999.

Opioids act on specific receptors in the brain and the body, which also interact with naturally produced substances known as endorphins or enkephalins – important in regulating pain. While prescription pain relievers can be highly beneficial if used as prescribed, opioids as a general class of drugs have a high potential for abuse.

Risk Factors for Abuse

Psychological and environmental risk factors for narcotic use include the following:

  • Antisocial and experimental attitudes (i.e., rebellious nature) during adolescence
  • Environmental factors
    • Family problems
    • Gang membership
    • Inner-city culture
    • Poverty
    • Wealth or disposable income
  • Family history of substance abuse and drug addiction
  • Low self-esteem

From a physician standpoint, it is very challenging to offer opioids to certain patients. I am constantly seeing patients who come to see me to get pain meds, but get disappointed when I decline their request. When a patient asks me to prescribe/refill pain meds, that is a ‘Red Flag’ right there. If they have a problem, severe enough, that they have to take narcotics, how come they do not complain of pain first. People who do complain of so called ‘severe pain’ do not have a significant evidence to prove their pain. The other ‘Red Flag’ is when patients tell me that no other medications including OTC Tylenol/ibuprofen or prescribed meds like tramadol  work. They always have excuses. Unfortunately, internet and social media have given them enough information to fool the system easily. They know what to tell  the healthcare providers to bypass the interrogation step.

It will be a surprising fact for most of us that Narcotics are not available in a lot of countries. Even if they are in some, they are reserved for post-operative  and cancer pain management. So, how come people in those countries survive that much pain level.

We provide certain resources in the society without weighing the importance and need for it. We automatically judge that the ‘Supply and Demand’. The US society is bombarded with addictive medications and the consequences are fatal and costly. No wonder, our healthcare system is totally shattered. We aim to spend billions of dollars over patient safety and clinical outcomes. But legally, no significant steps are taken to avoid people from selling those prescription drugs to the innocent teenagers who have a rocky life to face ahead.

I get threatened and confronted by a lot of patients when they desire narcotics without any hastle. But as soon as they realize that  I will be giving them a good fight, they understand the problems they are in. Counseling helps, but most of the times it is too late. Secondly we do not have adequate resources to help those people in need for care. Genuine patient’s want their pain to be managed well. they do not care what category medications they are being prescribed.

We see many physicians getting into trouble for overusing their power to prescribe narcotics. They do not realize the kind of society they are creating. A selfish thought to make money blinds them and they do not see the dangers involved.

Personally, I feel these medications should be only reserved for post-operative and cancer pain management. A few other scenarios can be added if the evidence of cause of pain is well established.

So, overall, I feel it is more painful to manage pain with narcotics, from both a patient’s and physician’s perspective. i hope we come up with better pain management drugs soon, to help the society.

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