Opioids are medications prescribed to treat severe chronic pain. These medicines might include synthetic opioids such as fentanyl (for cancer patients) and painkillers like hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone amongst others. Opioids are considered to be dangerous because of their highly addictive nature. They are often associated with overdoses and overdose-related deaths. Read more
Synthetic marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids are a group of compounds which produce effects similar to the psychoactive component of cannabis – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, compared to marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids are not plant derived, rather, they are manufactured in a laboratory. The effects of these compounds may be more potent than THC, and therefore, their consumption might result in serious adverse outcomes. Read more
The governments at both federal and state levels in the United States are making efforts and devising various measures to combat the opioid epidemic. One such step is use of overdose-reversing drug naloxone. To encourage the use of naloxone, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory in April 2018 for pharmacists, prescribers and other experts.
Various studies are also being conducted to understand the benefits of using naloxone. A report presented at the recent annual meeting of American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) highlighted that 12.7 percent patients undergoing medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder went on to use the take-home naloxone kits on friends and others in just a span of three months. Read more
Detoxification, or simply detox, is the process of cleansing all the waste from the body. In recent years, detox has become a fad across the world wherein people try different methods and techniques to remove unwanted materials or toxins from the body. However, for someone grappling with substance abuse, detox is a common treatment method used to help them recover from their addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), medical detoxification is the first stage of a treatment program to safely deal with the withdrawal symptoms associated with cessation of drug use. Read more
In recent times, many celebrities and public figures have come out in the open revealing about their struggle with mental illness or drug addiction. These revelations were primarily intended to create awareness about the harms of substance abuse and educate the masses on the possibilities of complete recovery from addiction with the help of proper medical intervention. Their stories act as a catalyst for their fans who feel motivated to either quit drugs if they are used to it or never to try to stay away from addiction. Read more
“I’m bored!” This is one line that parents often hear from their teenagers. Though it is normal to get bored at times, in teenagers, one cannot sweep boredom under the rug for it is linked with substance use disorders (SUD). Puberty and gonadal hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can lead to anxiety, restlessness and boredom.
In a past study, more than a fourth of the total study population of 22,000 teenagers stated that they were bored in school. One of the consequences of being bored is that it can lead to imprudent and impulsive actions like trying alcohol and other addictive substances. And once a teen discovers that their boredom can be dealt with using these substances, they might fall prey to frequent and ultimately prolonged use, leading to addiction. Thus, parents need to be watchful of their bored teens and help them navigate through the phase, creatively and safely. Read more
The United States witnesses an estimated 91 drug overdose deaths a day, which reflects how serious the opioid crisis has become over the years. It is believed that for every fatal overdose involving an opioid, there are approximately 30 nonfatal overdose deaths. Medical experts point out that hospitals can do more to assist overdose patients generally rushed to emergency departments (EDs), such as gauging if the overdose was due to the overprescription of pain pills or if the patient needs help in accessing addiction treatment. Read more
When Katie returned from a rehab after undergoing detoxification and treatment for alcohol addiction, she received a warm welcome from her family members but saw a change in her friends’ behavior toward her. She realized that she had become a social pariah because many of her friends would avoid hanging out with her since she quit drinking.
Like Katie, thousands of people feel isolated after quitting alcohol. Being sober comes with lots of challenges, but one can still have a thriving social life by making some lifestyle changes, which are listed hereunder. Read more
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a serious endocrine disorder afflicting nearly 8 to 20 percent women across the globe. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 5 million women are grappling with this disorder in the United States. PCOS is affecting more and more women worldwide, therefore, to draw attention, disseminate awareness, and encourage research, the month of September is observed as the PCOS Awareness Month. Read more
Underage college drinking is a major public health concern across the United States due to the adverse repercussions it has on the academic and social lives of students living on university campuses. It is also very troublesome to accept the fact that the entire concept of drinking during college days is continually reinforced year after year because of the notion that alcohol is an integral part of the higher education experience.
While most adolescents enter college with some beforehand experience with alcohol, certain social forces that are unique to college life, such as unstructured time, the widespread availability of alcohol, lack of enforcement of underage drinking laws, limited interactions with parents, etc., can worsen a teenager’s tendency to consume alcohol. These factors also significantly increase the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in adulthood and other alcohol-related problems if left unaddressed. Read more
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