The Commonly Used Drug Addiction Treatment Methods

Drug addiction is a state that is characterized by an uncontrollable desire for the drug despite the long lasting changes in the brain and harmful consequences. Drug addiction is also a relapsing disease that pushes the user to return to drug use after an earlier attempt to stop using the said drug. The path to addiction starts with a voluntary act of taking drugs but the individual’s ability to choose when to take drugs gets compromised due to the long-term drug effects on brain function.

The long-term drug effect makes seeking and taking drugs a compulsive feeling. The addiction affects the parts of the brain involved in learning and memory, reward and motivation and behavior control. Luckily, drug addiction can be treated with repeated or long-term care in order to completely stop using the drugs. Drug addiction treatment helps addicted individuals to stop using drugs, stay drug-free and become productive at work, in the family, and in the society. A successful addiction treatment involves several steps that include detoxification, medication, behavioral counseling, and evaluation and treatment for mental issues as well as the long-term follow-up to prevent relapse.

The common drug addiction treatments

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the highly used drug addiction therapy since it was founded by Dr. Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s. The CBT helps individuals address problematic feelings and thoughts that come with addiction. The CBT drug treatment method allows the recovering individuals to find connections between their feelings, thoughts, and actions. The method is also used to treat co-occurring disorders such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, attention deficit disorder (ADD), eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Biofeedback: Biofeedback is another popular drug addiction treatment method that helps individuals gain control over their body and mind during treatment. During the treatment, electronic sensors are put on the skin of the addict to give medical professionals with bio signs of the patient. The feedback is relayed to the professionals in the form of images, pulsing sounds or flashes of light. The information collected enables the professionals to learn how the body responds to stressful situations like cravings and withdrawals. The biofeedback treatment method tracks body functions such as heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, muscle contractions and sweating.

Holistic Therapy: The holistic treatment therapy is a non-medicinal method that is used to bring the body, mind, and spirit into alignment. The holistic treatment options vary from one institution to another and can include spiritual therapy, yoga, routine exercise, Tai chi, proper nutrition, acupuncture, art therapy, massage therapy, and counseling. The treatment is usually personalized and focuses on the physical, mental and nutritional health.

When choosing the right drug addiction treatment center, it is important to ensure that the program includes the development of specific cognitive skills to help addicts adjust attitudes and beliefs that lead to drug abuse.

Managing Pain in Preemies

preemieWith the advancements in modern medical technology, preemies and even micro preemies now have a much better survival-rate than ever before.  Babies that even a few decades ago would have had little chance of lasting a few hours outside the womb are now thriving.  Of course, with all of this medical intervention comes a lot of poking, prodding and potential pain for the premature neonates.  Pain isn’t just painful for these little ones, combined with the associated stress, it can actually impair their development.

How to Reduce Pain and Stress

Morphine has long been used for pain management in preemies.  It is relatively well-tolerated and a great go-to option for dealing with moderate to severe pain.  However, when babies are so small and under-developed that even a diaper change can be stressful and painful, morphine isn’t always indicated or appropriate.

Because being exposed to stress and pain can actually impair development, it’s imperative that it be managed somehow.  The natural coping method for an infant is to suck.  However, due to intubation and their tiny little mouths, pacifiers aren’t always feasible for preemies.  That is, until now.

A New Tool

Because standard pacifiers were not intended to be used by preemies or in conjunction with intubation, they were often a failed option.  While they could give comfort, not being able to properly suckle on them could actually lead to more stress.  That was until a new pacifier was born.

Smaller, and with a notch designed to work around intubation tubes without adding additional bulk, these new pacifiers have provided a dependable way to eliminate or reduce pain naturally and un-invasively.   The intuitive sucking allows babies to cope, and many caregivers and scientists alike speculate that it actually interferes with the perception of pain.  This in effect makes the baby perceive a higher level of comfort, even when stressed or in pain.

Does the Pacifier Really Help?

Research on over a dozen babies exposed to moderate pain (routine heel sticks) with and without the pacifier have demonstrated a marked difference in their reactions to painful stimuli.  Preemies who had access to the new pacifier during their procedures had both lower heart rates and better oxygen stats than those without.

So, what does this mean?  It opens up an entirely new way of caring for preemies.  It preserves their development by preventing their exposure to undue stress and pain.  It also provides peace of mind to parents and caregivers alike.

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Could Your Antidepressant Be Risking your Newborn’s Health?

Antidepressant use in America is currently higher than it has ever been in the past.  Somewhere around 13% of Americans take an antidepressant every day, a number that’s climbed over 400% since 1982.  With so many people relying upon pharmaceutical assistance to maintain their mood, and with many of the antidepressants currently prescribed being fairly new, it’s no surprise that we’re still discovering new associated health risks that go hand in hand with their use.

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn

health riskAlso known as PPHN, is a serious, sometimes life-threatening complication that is defined when a newborn is unable to breathe on their own outside the womb.  It is the result of high blood pressure, and it claims the lives of up to 20% of newborns afflicted.

Even in cases where infants survive, the repercussions of low blood oxygen can be profound and lifelong, ranging from developmental disorders to lung disease.

Back in 2006, the FDA recognized a potential association between SSRI antidepressants and instances of PPHN in newborns.  They advised patients to avoid the use of these drugs during the last 90 or so days of gestation due to a perceived association with the deadly affliction.

A Change in Stance

Despite their clear 2006 warning, the FDA back peddled a bit in 2011, indicating that perhaps their original warning had been erroneous.  That no clear association between the SSRI’s and PPHN was known, and that pregnant women should remain on their prior depression treatment regimen throughout their pregnancy.

This confusing change of stance prompted researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston to do some more digging in a widespread study of their own to clarify.

The Results

In the largest study off its kind, which sampled almost 4 million pregnant women in 46 states, the colleagues gathered some statistics.  Their results were fairly conclusive, given the broad statistical sampling, which was gathered by following women for the last 90 days of their pregnancy and their newborns for an additional 30 days.

Overall, there was an increased instance of PPHN among all antidepressant users, not just those using SSRI’s.  However, those exposed to SSRI’s during the last 90 days of gestation had the highest instances.  The rate of PPHN was 20.8:10,000 among totally unexposed newborns, 29.1:10,000 among those exposed to non-SSRI and 31.5:10,000 among those exposed to SSRI’s.

The bottom line is that there is an increased risk to fetal development when antidepressants are used during late pregnancy.  However, this is a risk that must be assessed and evaluated with the risk of stopping/changing depression treatment.

Evolution of Medicinal Marijuana

Many Americans never thought they’d see the day where marijuana, a once demonized drug with no recognized medical purposes, would be getting a new lease on life like a new lease on used cars Langley as a medically accepted therapy.  However, in recent years and months, marijuana and its intrinsic chemical compounds are being touted as effective therapy for everything from chronic pain to seizures to cancer to depression.

Legality

The legality of marijuana makes it a risky treatment choice for anyone, no matter where they live in the US.  Even with a doctor’s prescription in one state, a user can drive 50 miles across state lines and be committing a felony just by being in possession of their legally prescribed medication.  Not to mention that federal law is still pretty ambiguous, no matter which state you’re in.  Technically, possession of marijuana is still a federal crime, despite recent decriminalization efforts and promises by the ATF and other federal organizations to let it slide.

The still-evolving legality of marijuana and its chemical attributes have made it a questionable treatment for many, despite so many claiming excellent results. Be sure to take advantage of your cities organic food delivery services once the munchies start kicking in.

Benefits

Recently, with the new quasi-legal status of marijuana in the United States, more and more people are claiming that it’s the cure for what ails you.  It is said to cure depression, suppress seizures and even shrink tumors.  Some of the benefits are backed by serious clinical research.  Others, by word of mouth testimonials.  More high-profile physicians and organizations are jumping on the bandwagon of support, too.  Just a few short years ago, coming out in support of marijuana as a treatment option would have been veritable career suicide.   Now, however, it’s becoming a status symbol.

Risks

medical marijuanaOne of the single biggest selling points of using medicinal marijuana is the fact that it has very few negative side-effects.  Especially when compared to many prescriptions.  This seems to be one of the biggest reasons that consumers are turning away from modern pharmaceuticals and toward a more natural alternative.

Indeed, most of the ‘side effects’ of marijuana seem to be selling points.

This isn’t to say that using medicinal marijuana doesn’t have some intrinsic risks, however.  The legality factor alone is enough to scare many people away.  Even if you’re living and consuming in an area where marijuana use is legal for medicinal and even recreational purposes, getting caught with it in your system can cost you your job.   The Supreme Court has upheld the right of companies to terminate employees who test positive, despite legality and despite the fact that it shows up in drug tests for weeks after the effects have worn off.

 

Melanoma Rates Skyrocket in just 30 Years

melanomaIn the last three decades alone, rates of melanoma have doubled.  This is a disturbing trend, particularly considering the fact that melanoma is 97 deadliest form of skin cancer.  It’s also one of the easiest to prevent.   It is also easily treatable if caught early.  Stage 1 melanoma has a 5-year survival rate of 97%, while stage 4 melanoma’s 5-year survival rate drops dramatically to only 10-20%.

How to Combat

The CDC has come out and called for comprehensive public awareness and community education programs.  They believe that between now and 2030, hundreds of thousands of melanoma cases could be prevented and billions of dollars saved by simply educating people about UV exposure and encouraging more diligent monitoring and early detection of the disease.

Overall, they believe that education and a comprehensive prevention program could prevent over 20,000 cases of the deadly cancer every single year.

What Causes Melanoma?

The primary cause of melanoma is excessive exposure to UV rays.  This can be the result of anything from excessive tanning bed usage to simply spending too much time outside without proper sunscreen protection.  Overall, medical experts believe a full 90% of all cases of melanoma diagnosed are directly caused by overexposure to UV rays.

Indeed, melanoma isn’t even the most common form of skin cancer, it is eclipsed by non-melanoma cancers.  However, it still kills more sufferers than the rest.

How to Protect Ourselves

sunscreenBecause melanoma is almost universally caused by UV exposure, limiting UV exposure is the obvious way to protect ourselves and our children from developing the deadly disease.  There are many ways to accomplish this, not the least of which being simply avoiding sun exposure when UV rays are at their most intense.

Of course, this isn’t always possible.  Because of this, it is recommended that everyone use SPF 15 or higher sunscreen when they can’t avoid sun exposure.  Staying out of tanning beds is a good prevention technique, too.

The CDC is encouraging community education and comprehensive, government-sponsored campaign to protect children and others from developing the disease.  In addition to teaching people what to avoid, the plan include providing them with ways to avoid excessive UV exposure.  Ultimately, the CDC can only do so much to protect us from this deadly cancer.  We must take responsibility for our heath and that of our children.  Awareness and sunscreen now can prevent tragedy and heartbreak later on.

Public Organ Donation Policies a Failure

organ donationDespite concerted efforts by state and federal agencies to encourage organ donation, many in place since the 1980’s, organ donation rates have remained stagnant.  Those in need of organ donations still find themselves waiting, and often losing the battle against time, even though personal training can help.  Despite a state-by-state push for more widespread donations, something that eventually spread to include the entire nation, neither the rate of donation nor number of transplants performed has markedly increased in decades.

What Programs

Since the late 80’s, there have been numerous programs designed to increase awareness of the need of more organ donors and even provide incentives for those who donate.  State ID’s and driver’s licenses now generally indicate whether someone is a donor.  Families are encouraged to discuss donation and end of life choices with their next of kin.  Even elementary school children are taught about the need for donors and the benefits of donation.

All to little if any avail.

What’s Worked

The only donations that have substantively improved over the last few decades have to do with finances.  States have given their citizens the options to donate to organ donation funds, which help offset the numerous and extensive costs of receiving an organ transplant.  Increases in donations to these funds have equated to about 8-15 additional transplants per state per year, depending upon whether the organ donor is deceased or living.

While this benefit can’t be discounted, the bottom line is that without organs to transplant, the program is failing needy potential recipients.

So, What to Do?

The problem is that there is no universally accepted consensus regarding how to increase the percentage of donor organs available.  Despite being a highly effective treatment, with success rates for organ donation procedures getting better every day, you can’t force or even compel someone to donate their organs or the organs of their deceased loved-ones.

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The ethics are simply too shady and passions too heated on either side.  For everyone waiting in anguish for a donor organ to save their loved-one’s life, there is someone on the other side who just lost a loved one and who must make the heart-wrenching decision whether or not to donate their viable organs.

Even living organ donation is a very big deal for donor.  Going without a kidney or giving up part of a liver for a perfect stranger is a huge sacrifice.

Professionals who deal with the implications of organ donation or lack thereof every day are calling for reform in policies.  So far, unfortunately, there’s no consensus as to what that entails.

Still not convinced? Watch the video below:

Another Breastfeeding Benefit

breastfeedingAs if we didn’t already know that breastfeeding gives our babies the healthiest start in life, yet another reason to let the little one latch on was just released by JAMA Pediatrics.  Namely, that children who were breastfed as infants have a markedly lower instance of childhood leukemia.  One of the most common childhood cancers (it accounts for roughly 30% of all childhood cancers), leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and can be utterly devastating.

Leukemia Rates

Terrifyingly enough, just under 200,000 per year around the globe are diagnosed with one form of leukemia or another.   Shockingly, this number applies to little ones under the age of 15 alone.   It is quite rare when compared to some other cancers, but it’s still the second-leading cause of death for kids under 15 in the US.  Only accidents kill more of our youth, and this takes into account advancements in treatments, too.

There are a few risk factors for the disease that medical science has identified.  However, by and large most of the afflicted children don’t have any known risk factors at all, and diagnosis’s can be shocking and devastating.

The Study

According to the recently published study, simply nursing your infant for six months or longer can reduce their risk of contracting childhood leukemia by almost 20%.  This reduction is only applicable if you nurse for at least six months.  However, infants that were nursed at all had an 11% reduction in their instance of developing the deadly disease.

This means that any time you devote to breast feeding your little one can be time spent preserving their future health.

Breast Milk a Superfood

baby milk bottleIf you’re a human infant, you are designed to subside on human breast milk.  It’s that simple.  Evolution has dictated that it’s the perfect comprehensive food source for our little ones.  The AAP and WHO recommend that infants receive breast milk exclusively for the first six months of their lives.  It contains not just every nutrient they need, but boosts their immunity, reduces inflammatory responses, and overall provides innumerable health benefits we’re only beginning to fully understand.

While this is the first study of its kind to tout the direct link between breast feeding and leukemia prevention, it mirrors many other studies that have clearly demonstrated the benefits of nursing.  No one can argue that supplementary infant formula has saved the lives and health of countless infants since its creation, but the breast clearly is the best.