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Archive for the ‘Getting Help’ Category

Getting Sober without AA

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

A successful road to recovery can be a challenging path when one is looking to find a good fit that isn’t part of the 12-Step process. Here are a few  organizations that offer alternative recovery options:

LifeRing, www.lifering.org. Begun in 1999, this group provides secular self-help for abstinence from drugs and alcohol. The philosophy is one of the “3S”: 1. Sobriety, 2. Secularity, 3. Self-help.

Moderation Management, www.moderation.org. This group began in 1993, providing peer support for reduction of drinking-either to lower levels or total abstinence. They state they provide (but do not say how) a variety of behavioral change guidelines and measures for success. They offer 9 Steps Toward Moderation and Positive Lifestyle Change.

SMART Recovery®, www.smartrecovery.org. SMART=Self-Management and Recovery Training groups teach tools for recovery based on research. They state that they provide a 4-point program: 1. Building and Maintaining Motivation; 2. Coping with Urges; 3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings & Behaviors; 4. Living a Balanced Life. Incorporating the treatment tool of Stages of Change with several of the worksheets from that book, they also have many other types of worksheets and what appear to be lectures. Most of the material is located on the website.

Secular Organizations for Sobriety/Save Ourselves, www.sossobriety.org. This group is also non-affiliated with a Higher Power concept and empowers the individual to recover from addiction. They offer 6 guidelines to follow for responsible recovery and abstinence.

Women for Sobriety, www.womenforsobriety.org. This is a for-women-only sobriety group which 1976. They offer a “New Life” program with 13 statements, instead of 12 steps.

While they all appear to eschew both a 12-step format and a Higher Power concept, they all include at least several bullet-point terms to change of behaviors linked to active addiction. A couple of these also include instructional manuals for learning to become a group leader. The more structured of these programs sometimes need to find a group with trained leaders in order to become a new group, taking someone from the group to the new one as their leader or becoming adept at running a gathering by being trained.

Support groups provide a safe haven for those who seek abstinence as a way of life. Just as they had a group with whom they enjoyed the conviviality of drinking/drugging, the companionship and caring of a group of people traveling the path of recovery is important for success.

Detox vs. Cold Turkey

Friday, April 19th, 2013

To be completely accurate, detox anywhere can be cold turkey, in other words, abruptly done. Whether or not a person pays for detox, some agencies will not provide medications unless they are clinically and medically necessary. Others will give users medication to ease their way out of their addiction.

The distinction I make here is whether or not you need to go to a hospital or clinical setting. Some people can do this at home, unless they are going to suffer seizures (as from alcohol detox from long-term, chronic drinking). Most drugs can be medically withdrawn from the body without substituting other drugs. Some people prefer a detox on medications, due to the fact that coming off pain killers, heroin, and some other drugs can be excrutiating.

Detoxing at a Facilty

The average cost of detox in a facility depends on several factors. If you have insurance, it will range according to how much your insurance company will pay. If the agency provides medical detox, this can get quite pricey, because use of Suboxone or other medications to get you “clean” is expensive. It requires an medical doctor, a nurse to monitor your care, and other personnel. A nonmedical setting may give you a place to be quiet for sleep, food and opportunity to attend groups and client interaction. They will have a room and someone to monitor your progress. It depends on what substances and how long you are using.

Costs for detox facilities can range from $200 per day for a setting with no medical interventions to $10,000.00 per day for all the comforts of home (if you regularly live on a tropical island with servants!) It is possible to get clean from substance use in either setting.

Cold Turkey at Home

It can also be possible to do this in your home. There are a few exceptions, and it will be regularly repeated here that this should only be done with the oversight of your personal physician. If you are coming off of anti-anxiety medication or muscle relaxing medication, please consult your doctor before attempting detox. These drugs need to be slowly titrated from a user’s system. Stopping them abruptly is very dangerous and has serious side effects. Be sure to consult a physician!

If you opt for detox at home, the best advice is to find a friend or loved one who will help you through the worst of it, usually three to five days. During this time, they need to be sure that you do not fall, that your intake of water and other nutrients is consistent, even if it makes you sick. There is a need for your body to have liquids and electrolytes to function during detox. If you can take them, chicken broth, soda crackers, white rice and applesauce are the foods most easily digested during distress. Be sure to ask someone to help you who will not give in and give you medications to get you through. If you are coming off a drug that must be titrated down, have them go with you to the doctor so they know how much and when to give it. They need to be completely aware of danger signs to look for. A safe friend who knows how this detox business feels from personal experience may be the best help you can find.

Kelly McClanahan has an MSW in clinical social work, with a specialization in substance abuse treatment. Having worked in this field for over 20 years, she is currently working on her certification as an addictions’ counselor.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment for Older Patients

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment for Older Patients

As the population ages and Baby Boomers slide into senior status, misuse of prescription drugs is becoming more and more of a problem. As new drugs are developed to treat the usual problems of aging, older patients can find themselves with an entire pharmacopia to deal with. The issue is compounded by the increase in medical specialization, which means a patient may be seeing—and getting prescriptions from—many different practitioners, most of whom don’t communicate with each other. The result, far too often, is over-medication and sometimes addiction.

Most commonly, people become addicted to pain medications such as Vicodin and OxyContin. If they take the prescribed dosage and the pain persists, it’s easy for them to think they should take another. Elderly patients may also forget that they’ve already taken a dose, a problem that increases as the drug affects their mental abilities.

Holistic Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment

Treatment for older patients who have become addicted to medications prescribed for them should not follow the same protocols as treatment of those who became addicts through recreational use of drugs. While some principles of twelve-step programs can be useful, they tend to focus on psychological and emotional pain rather than physical pain.

Holistic prescription drug addiction treatment can offer patients ways to cope with their ailments without overdosing on painkillers. There are a number of methods for pain abatement that the patient can learn to use, such as biofeedback, self-hypnosis, acupuncture, meditation and relaxation techniques.

It’s highly recommended that patients choose a prescription drug addiction treatment facility that specializes in pain abatement. Nerve pain such as neuralgia or fibromyalgia, for instance, will need a different approach from musculo-skeletal pain, such as arthritis or bursitis. Use the link “chronic pain” under “Special Focus Programs” on our home page to find an appropriate treatment center.

Drug Intervention

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

The Time Has Come for a Drug Intervention

When someone close to you is caught in the downward spiral of addiction, it may be very difficult for that person to recognize exactly what is happening to his or her life. People with substance abuse problems are living in denial, making promises to themselves and others that they can’t keep. When heart-to-heart talks haven’t helped, a formal drug intervention may be required.

Preparation is key to a successful drug intervention. Use the resources available on our website to find an intervention specialist. You will then gather together a group of people who care deeply about the addict. You will rehearse the intervention process at least once, making sure that everyone knows how to proceed.

 Appropriate things to say during an intervention are:

  • How you feel about what’s happening to the addict.
  • How his or her actions are affecting you.
  • A clear statement that you will not tolerate drug use any longer.
  • An explanation of the consequences for continued use.

The intervention counselor will help you identify objections the addict might make, and help you learn how to respond to them.

The Goal of a Drug Intervention Is Immediate Treatment

When confronted, the addict may make sincere promises to stop using, but this cannot be accepted as an outcome. The goal of intervention is to get the addict into treatment without delay. Therefore, you must have made preparations before beginning the intervention. The treatment center will be expecting him or her, payment arrangements have been made, transportation prepared, and even a suitcase packed.

A drug intervention is a difficult and painful process both for the addict and for those who participate in the confrontation. However, that anguish is well worth it if the result is a person you love finally freed from addiction.

Legal Issues for Programs Treating LGBT Clients

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Legal Issues for Programs Treating LGBT Clients

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals with substance abuse problems are doubly stigmatized. As substance abusers, they are viewed by many as weak in character and moral fiber. As lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, they are reviled by some as deviant and immoral. They may encounter bigotry from employers, human service workers, criminal justice officials, the general public, and even their own families.

Two Federal (and a number of State) statutes protect recovering substance abusers from many forms of discrimination. However, in most areas of the country, LGBT individuals have no legal protection against discrimination in employment, housing, or access to social services. Protections fought for and won by women, racial minorities, and individuals with disabilities simply are not available for LGBT persons. Disclosure of sexual orientation can lead to an individual’s being fired or being denied access to housing and social services—all with legal impunity. LGBT individuals may even lose custody of their children if their sexual orientation becomes known during a custody dispute.

Even in those States that have enacted statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, LGBT individuals have sometimes been denied protection. Little wonder that LGBT individuals regard protecting information about their sexual orientation and substance abuse histories as critically important. Programs that treat this special population need to be particularly sensitive about maintaining clients’ confidentiality, for the consequences of an inappropriate disclosure can be far reaching. (For a compendium of the law regarding discrimination against LGBT individuals, see www.lambdalegal.org.)

This chapter examines ways programs can safeguard information about clients’ substance abuse histories, sexual orientation, and HIV status. It then describes how the lack of legal protection against discrimination can affect LGBT individuals in a variety of areas and how programs can help these clients protect themselves. Finally, the chapter outlines the laws protecting clients with histories of substance abuse and/or HIV/AIDS from discrimination.

Everyone should know about Hair Follicle Drug Testing

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Hair sample drug testing is most essential and great way to find whether or not a person has used drugs in his or her past 3 months. Whether in an office format or in the home, hair drug testing serves the purpose of answering questions about a person’s drug use history.

How Does Hair Follicle Drug Testing Work?

Hair drug testing is actually quite simple and merely requires a sample of hair in order to be completed. Parents who are worried about their teen’s use of drugs can collect a strand of hair from their pillow. Employers can request a sample from their employees. Once a hair sample has been collected, it is sealed in an envelope and sent to a participating laboratory for completion. Hair testing is fast and more accurate than other drug test forms.

For instance, hair sample drug testing can detect drug use for up to 90 days after use. The detection window is much larger in hair drug testing (compare it to few days for urine and saliva based drug testing) because trace amounts of drug chemicals become trapped inside each hair. A simple lab test can detect these trace chemicals making for either a positive or negative test result. Once the results are recorded, you are sent notification of the results. Some companies even provide a phone service where you call in, enter an account number and retrieve the results in that way.

What Kinds of Drugs Can Hair Drug Testing Detect?

Hair sample drug testing can detect all of the major types of drugs, including marijuana, opiates, methamphetamines, PCP, ecstasy, and cocaine. Hair follicle drug testing can detect the trace amounts of illicit substances trapped in the cortex of the hair for up to 90 days after use.

Employee drug testing programs often incorporate hair follicle drug testing into their plans because of the sheer accuracy of these tests. Even though hair testing is more expensive that a urine drug test kit, for example, they can provide a level of accuracy that is nearly ten times that of other testing methods. Likewise, hair follicle drug testing does not involve the embarrassing collection of samples like that of urine or saliva drug tests. In most cases, a few strands of hair is all that is needed to obtain accurate results.

Parents can also benefit from hair sample drug testing. Hair testing is discrete and confidential. An individual can be tested without their knowledge, making it so parents can know the truth about their teen’s drug use first before making accusations. By using hair drug testing in the home, parents can protect their young children against drug abuse, and help them to give up the drug abuse.

Notes on Health Insurance for Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

The most essential benefit employed people enjoy is “Health insurance coverage”. It is also the single most expensive for self-employed entrepreneurs. So what can you do to lessen ever increasing costs of health care coverage?

Here are a some of the important tips for you.

1. If a medical bill seems excessive, try negotiating

Your doctor or the office manager who handles billing will probably be flexible, provided you make a valid case. When one woman in Texas was charged $900 for surgery and “consultation,” she explained that she had visited the hospital just once, for surgery; her bill was promptly cut by $370.

2. Contact a medical bill “auditor”

Several services have a medical bill “auditing” system that evaluates your medical bills to determine if errors occurred in the billing process. Considering that 97 percent of hospital medical bills contain errors, it’s no wonder why out-of-pocket medical expenses are on the rise for consumers. Because the typical hospital bill is extremely complicated, often containing several hundred line-item charges, there is ample opportunity for computer mistakes and accidental human error. Do a Google search for medical bill auditors to find companies offering this service.

3. You may get a tax break on your medical bills

Keep all your medical bills together and add them up at tax time. If they exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, you may deduct the excess. Please note that these items also may be included in the total: the cost of eye glasses, contact lenses, physical therapy, x-rays, hearing aids, psychiatric care, insurance and transportation to the hospital or doctor’s office (at 30 cents a mile). There are phase-outs in some cases based on adjusted gross income. Check with your professional tax adviser.

4. Deduct 100% of your healthcare costs from your taxes

The IRS allows all self-employed to deduct 100% of health care costs from their taxes by using Section 105 of the Internal Revenue Code. To receive this deduction, you must do the following:

a) Hire your spouse as an employee of your business.

b) Have your spouse receive health insurance in his or her name, and include the family on the policy.

c) Pay your spouse a salary that will cover the costs of the insurance.

d) Talk to your tax professional about planning for Section 105 on your taxes.

We all know your spouse is active in your business. Now, you can equally recognize their contribution he or she makes – and get Uncle Sam to give you a tax break.

5. Help for families with kids — CHIP

All states have established new programs that help lower income families with children to pay for health insurance for their kids. Financed partly by the federal government, the Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) operate either as an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program or a subsidy for basic private health insurance. Eligible families may be able to access coverage for their children at greatly reduced premiums which will vary depending upon family income. Contact your state Department of Health or Insurance for more information.

6. Shop around

Hospital costs vary widely, especially between urban and rural facilities. If your doctor has admitting privileges at more than one hospital, find out if you can be admitted to the one that’s less expensive. Keep in mind that hospitals operated by non-profit foundations are usually less expensive than investor-owned, for profit hospitals. To find out how much your local hospitals charge, ask your doctor. Many states have Health Services Cost Review Commissions, which compile such data.

7. Check for free clinics in your community

You and your entire family can save hundreds of dollars by taking advantage of the many free screenings, immunizations, and other health clinics offered by your local community or a town near you. Numerous community hospitals and social services can provide blood pressure checks, shots for your children, free contraceptives and/or advice, and other preventative health care at little to no cost.

8. Get a second opinion out of town

Believe it or not, your chance of undergoing an expensive surgery or preventative procedure may depend solely on where you happen to live. Statistics show that the frequency in which certain medical procedures are performed varies widely from location to location. For example, residents of New Haven, Conn., are twice as likely to undergo a coronary bypass operation as residents of Boston, Mass. What’s the reason for this discrepancy? One Dartmouth Medical School expert, John E. Wennberg, M.D., M.H.P., explains that certain operations are simply more fashionable in some parts of the United States than others. So, if you plan to get a second opinion prior to surgery, consider going to a specialist in another city. In addition, try to find out what the surgery rates for your procedure are in different cities. HealthAllies.com also offers this service online at www.healthallies.com. To get the names of second-opinion doctors in your region, call the U.S. government’s toll-free second-opinion hotline at 1-800-638-6833.

9. Don’t pay double for a second opinion

As you make arrangements for a second opinion, ask your doctor to send copies of your medical records, x-rays, and lab tests to the second-opinion doctor. These tests don’t need duplication; your second doctor will have the information he or she needs – and you don’t pay double.

10. Emotional stability

Your mental health is equally important as your physical health. Do you have blue days once in awhile, or struggle with gray winters? St. John’s Wort, an over-the-counter herbal supplement, has been proven to increase positive moods. Before rushing to your family physician for medication to make you feel better, try supplements with a combination of expressing your feelings with friends and a healthy lifestyle. Mood stabilizers are some of the most costly medications on the market today. However, you should be aware of the signs of stress or even depression. Give yourself a simple screening test:

Do you have feelings of sadness and/or irritability?

Has there been a loss of interest in pleasure activities you once enjoyed?

Have there been changes in your weight or appetite?

Have you noticed changes in your sleeping pattern?

Are you feeling guilty?

Do you have the inability to concentrate, remember things or make decisions?

Are you fatigued or have a loss of energy?

Do you experience restlessness or decreased activity noticed by others?

Do you have feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness?

Do you have thoughts of suicide or death?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, consider consulting your family physician. If they recommend mental health treatment, it is more cost-effective to have your family physician prescribe mood stabilizers instead of seeing a psychiatrist. However, follow your doctor’s instructions on counseling and referrals to mental health professionals.

11. Order your prescription drugs by phone, web or mail

There are many discount prescription drug benefits available for a modest cost. Communicating for Agriculture and the Self-Employed offers a free prescription card through PCS. This program saves its members up to 40 percent at over 55,000 pharmacies nationwide. On average, CA members save $9.39 per prescription order. You can enroll free on their Web site at www.selfemployedcountry.org.

12. Ask your doctor to prescribe generic drugs

Medicine marketed under its scientific name is usually 50 percent cheaper and just as effective as brand-name versions. In addition, look for generic drugs in the medicine you purchase over the counter. For example, 100 generic aspirin may cost $1.79; the same ingredients packaged under a well-known brand name can cost more than $5 for 100 tablets. Consider, also, just how important the new easy-to-swallow products are to your comfort. The lesser price of some medicines may be comparably easier to swallow when thinking about your budget.

13. Get enrolled in a group plan

For self employed people including those involved in small businesses, individual health insurance can be extremely costly – sometimes as much as 30 percent of your take home pay. By joining associations like National Association for the Self Employed (www.nase.org), you have the opportunity to enroll in a group insurance plan with unique built-in cost controls.

14. Choose a higher deductible

Often for the healthy family, the number of visits to the doctor totals less than $250 a year, a normally low deductible rate. This low deduction rate, however, can end up costing you more in the form of higher premiums. If your family has enjoyed good health for a number of years, you may want to switch to a higher deductible of $500 or $1000. You’ll notice greatly reduced premiums.

15. Pay premiums annually

You avoid the service fee and may also receive a discount from your insurance carrier. Check with your insurance agent about how much money you can save if you pay your premium one time during the year.

16. Make sure there’s a ceiling for out-of-pocket expenses for catastrophic illnesses

About half of individual policyholders lack this important provision, according to insurance experts, who recommend a major medical policy with a stop-loss clause limiting policyholder payout to $2,000 or $3,000.

17. Get educated about your health

Invest in your health by becoming information-rich. Read publications about health care. Pay special attention to free wellness publications like Inside Mayo Clinic at www.mayo.edu/healthinfo/public.html or have on hand a book on medical self-care, like The AAFP Family Health and Medical Guide and The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. A wealth of information is also available on the Internet.

18. Take advantage of free health advice

For free information booklets from the U.S. government about nearly every health care topic you can imagine, simply write to the Consumer Information Center in Pueblo, Colorado. The government offers several dozen booklets on topics ranging from nutrition, medical problems, mental health, to drugs, exercise and weight control.

19. Brush up on first-aid skills and become CPR certified.

Proper treatment of various accidents may reduce the number of visits to the doctor, and can save lives in an emergency. It’s important to always keep an updated medical kit in your home or office.

Here are the basics for your first-aid kit:

bandage supplies, including a roll of 3 inch wide gauze, individually packaged 4 inch sterile gauze pads, a roll of 1 inch bandage tape, butterfly bandage tape, and scissors

elastic bandages

cotton swabs

sterile dressings or towels

pain reliever (acetaminophen or ibuprofen)

anti-inflammatory medicine (ibuprofen)

ipecac syrup (for use on advice of medical professional to induce vomiting)

tweezers

hydrogen peroxide

skin creams, including hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion and antibiotic creams

an antihistamine (diphenhydramine for allergic reactions)

flashlight

eye patch

arm sling

tongue depressors (to be used as a finger splint)

ice pack

re-hydration fluids (such as Pedialyte or Infalyte)

20. Take a lifestyle approach to wellness – every day

Take charge of your health by making simple changes in your lifestyle. By following these seven basic rules of good health, you’ll improve your chances of living a long, healthy, active life.

Get eight hours of sleep per night.

Eat breakfast every morning.

Cut down on snacks between meals.

Keep within 10 pounds of your recommended weight range. If you’re unsure what your weight range should be check with your doctor.

Exercise aerobically for at least 30 minutes three times per week.

Avoid the bad habits such as smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages. Have vitamin and other supplement tablets as per the recommended dosages.

Cheapest Health Plans

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

In recent times, as anyone who has had to pay for health insurance can tell you, the cost health insurance for a family of 4 members have increased extremely high over the last ten years. Many small and medium size industries can no longer continue to provide their workers with expensive health insurance benefits. In recent years, employees have had to pay a larger percentage of their health insurance costs, and many businesses have terminated their health insurance benefits, altogether. Other companies have cut down on the number of full time workers hired, so that they can save the cost of providing health insurance for their employees.

Should you find yourself in the unfortunate position of working for a company that does not provide health insurance benefits, most likely you will either have to purchase an expensive major medical policy on your own or do without. Because the high cost of major medical insurance can be out of reach for many, some families will choose to go without these important benefits entirely. The cost of health insurance can take a big bite out of a middle income family’s budget. These families are truly caught between. They earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and other government assistance programs, but do not earn enough to afford the high cost of health insurance. Even if an individual can afford the high price of health insurance, if a patient suffers from a chronic illness like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, high cholesterol, or heart disease, he or she can be denied coverage. People have even been turned down for excess weight and prescription drug use. It seems like the big insurance companies are looking for reasons not to insure people, so those individuals who need it most may find themselves without any benefits.

Discount Health Plans

Fortunately, discount health plans offer families a way to save money on their health care costs. But what are discount health plans, and how can they be used to help families and businesses?

Discount health plans can be used in several different ways. For those individuals or families that lack dental or health insurance, discount medical plans can be used as stand alone health programs. These discount plans provide needed savings on all medical and dental services. Consumers can even save money on medical costs not normally covered by traditional insurance such as cosmetic surgery, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, orthodontia, Lasik eye surgery, and even alternative medicine. Unlike traditional insurance there are no limits on visits or services, no waiting periods, no age limits, and ongoing conditions are accepted.

Businesses can save money by purchasing a high deductible health savings account or hospital only plan. A discount medical plan is purchased along with the high deductible plan. These supplemental benefits provide savings on routine health expenditures while the catastrophic insurance provides a safety net for lengthy hospitalizations and complex care. By combining a high deductible plan with a discount health plan, companies can save money on their health insurance benefits while providing their valued employees with needed financial security.

The discount dental plan is probably the most popular discount health program. Statistics show that seven out of ten Americans do not have a dental plan. Among the 30% that do have dental insurance, most are underinsured. Many dental plans do not provide treatment for ongoing conditions, have expenditure limits, waiting periods, and often don’t provide for even necessary procedures such as orthodontic treatment. Cosmetic dentistry and implants are usually not covered.

Discount dental plans provide the consumer with an excellent choice for saving money on dental care. These affordable dental plans are reasonably priced alternatives to expensive dental insurance plans. Savings can range from 25% for specialist treatment to 80% for exams. Most major dental procedures such as fillings, root canals, dentures, crowns and bridges, and orthodontic treatment are available through plan dentists at a 50% to 60% discount–literally cutting a family’s dental bill in half. In addition, patients with pre-existing conditions can qualify for these plans, and there are no limits on visits or services. Often these affordable dental plans offer value added services such as a prescription card, discounts on eyeglasses and contact lenses, and savings on chiropractic treatment.

Many discount health programs also offer a basic health plan which provides savings on medical examinations and physician visits. Ancillary services such as laboratory tests, imaging studies (MRIs, CAT scans, mammograms), physical therapy, diabetic supplies, hearing aids, and mental health services are also provided at significant discounts. A 24/7 nurse line and wellness programs may also be included in a good discount health program. Should hospitalization become necessary, the patient will be assigned an advocate who will negotiate the hospital bill and work out a payment plan based on the patient’s ability to pay. Hospital bills have been drastically reduced through these advocacy programs. One company, AmeriPlan® USA, has even added a prescription advocacy program. This program takes advantage of patient assistance programs available through major pharmaceutical companies. Individuals with over $90 per month of prescription expenses, who meet income eligibility requirements, may be able to receive all or most of their medications for just the cost of a small monthly service fee.

Lots of discount health plan companies also provide the both medical and dental discount plan. This program combines ancillary services, dental, vision, prescription, chiropractic benefits with discounts on physician visits, lab tests etc.,

Addictions – The Arguments

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

As we know the consequences of addiction, an addicted person is suffering a lot of effects on the addict’s loved ones and even to society in general are serious and potentially life threatening themselves. Naturally, the fallout from each particular type of addiction is going to be different. Some consequences are worse than others. We’re going to go over some of the more common addictions and the particular fallouts most common with them.

Gambling is an addiction that hits people in the pocketbook the hardest. Gamblers not only can’t stop themselves from gambling but need to get as big a thrill from the chase as possible. In order to do that, they are not usually content with penny anti bets. They’ll head to the casinos with a few thousand dollars in their hands. The take a trip to the race tracks with a hefty bankroll. And when they play the lottery, five dollars worth of tickets won’t do it for them. Many will by hundreds of dollars worth of tickets at a time.

Unfortunately, the majority of these people don’t make the kind of money they need to make in order to support their addiction. So they take out loans, hock items around the house and basically do whatever they have to do in order to satisfy their addiction. What this does to their loved ones is traumatic at worst. Many families end up in bankruptcy and out on the streets. Many times the spouse isn’t even aware of the problem until it is too late. Financially, people’s lives can be ruined forever.

Drinking presents a completely different problem. For an alcoholic, there is always a cheap bottle of booze to be had for the asking, so money is not usually the problem. However, if the alcoholic has a job and is the principal supporter of the family, his addiction may cause him to lose his job. Then it becomes a financial problem. But the bigger problem is how the alcoholic acts when he is drunk. Many alcoholics become abusive while under the influence. This many times leads to spousal abuse and broken marriages. In these cases, everyone connected to the family, the children, parents and friends, are all affected. Alcoholism is not an isolated disease.

Drug addicts probably have the greatest effect on those around them. Because drugs are for the most part illegal, unless they are of the prescription variety, drug addicts often end up associating with very unsavoury characters. Aside from the dealers on the streets, many drug addicts have to get involved with loan sharks and other criminals in order to be able to support their habit. Some even go as far as turning to a life of crime to get their next fix.

The number of ways this affects those around the addict are almost too numerous to even get into. In addition to the direct effects of the drug addicts erratic behavior, which is difficult enough for parents and friends to deal with, there is the criminal element which becomes so dangerous. Many families are put in danger or even killed because of the characters drug addicts hang out with. A disgruntled drug dealer who got cheated out of his share comes to the addict’s house and extracts payment any way he can.

They think that an addict’s problem is the addict’s problem only, the truth of the matter is that the problem of an addict is not only his problem,  it is everybodys’.

Ways to Improve Memory

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

Everyone can improve their working memory power in various ways. Firstly, we have to know what is working memory? This type of mental process is also known of short-term memory. Its duration ranges from a few seconds to several minutes. People who suffer from a severe working memory problem usually have a repetitive behavior. The working memory is believed to represent the foundation of both intelligence and reasoning.

One of the best ways to improve working memory is to make lists. People who are organized seem to have a better short-time memory. In addition, creating a virtual image of each in the list helps people to recall faster. By doing such associations, people can actually improve their memory. In addition, they may realize connections between the items of the list. When this is done, people are able to remember the order of the elements.

Being organized helps in the first place, but the improvement is also realized by the fact the people write things down when they create lists. Another similar method involves writing down the notions that must be memorized and deleting them one by one, as soon as they are stored in the memory. Writing the information is particularly effective in students that have memory problems.

Another way to improve working memory is to play certain games that require mental processing. For example, one game involves putting some playing cards faced down and making pairs. The cards are revealed one at a time, observed for a few seconds and put back.

It is recommended to use 24 cards in 12 pairs, for a real memory challenging game. Also, memorizing the order of the cards from a deck may also improve working memory, although it seems useful. Usually, people are able to memorize only the last 7 notions that they face with. Trying to memorize the order of the cards will improve this fact.

The notions that must be memorized must be connected, for the best results. Story telling is also one of the games that improve working memory. People must observe the notions and create a story that contains all the items.

Abstract notions, such as numbers, are memorized with difficulty by most of the people. Connecting them to something that can be recollected easier is helpful. In mathematics, for example, the formulas are given together with the one that has discovered them.