Friday, 1 May 2015
Sunday, 20 July 2014
So you’ll probably remember the day before just fine — it’s what you did when you were staying up at night that would cause problems. The background: The interplay of sleep and memory is still under plenty of scientific investigation. Even commonly held beliefs — like that REM sleep is necessary for memory retention — don’t always hold up to scrutiny.
Subjects in the study were kept awake for 24 hours, which is much longer than most folks stay up (college students notwithstanding). But we’re sleeping less and less thanks to busy schedules and numerous distractions. While there’s no magic number for how much sleep you should get, the CDC recommends about seven to eight hours a day for adults. More than memory: Lack of sleep has been linked to plenty of problems. Not getting enough shuteye can increase your risk of everything from heart disease and stroke to cancer and diabetes.
Monday, 14 July 2014
Here are a few ways it can—and does—end lives: Drunk driving accounted for ten thousand deaths in 2010—that was over thirty percent of all traffic fatalities. Acute alcohol poisoning kills over one thousand people each year. Nearly sixteen thousand people died in 2010 from alcohol-induced liver disease. Over fifty percent of people who die in fires have high blood-alcohol levels. One quarter of all emergency room admissions, one-third of all suicides and more than half of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are alcohol related. Unintentional injuries related to alcohol consumption cause over eighteen hundred deaths each year among college students. Health problems, including increased likelihood of stroke, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, oesophageal cancer, and compromised immune system can lead, if untreated, to premature death. Alcohol in combination with other drugs, especially pain medications, tranquillisers, and sleep medications, can cause death by slowing down respiration as well as by causing the aspiration of vomit. The simple fact is that alcohol impairs judgment, cognition, inhibitions regarding excessive risk-taking and acting out of aggressive tendencies, and other faculties that reduce the likelihood of accident or death. If alcohol consumption becomes regular, increases over time, or increases in amount, or if consequences of drinking are accumulating, treatment is indicated, because yes, alcohol can kill you.
Friday, 11 July 2014
Mind & Body Treatment and Research Institute is sharing its remarkable new methods for addiction treatment in an upcoming conference, July 12th in San Diego. Those who can't attend the "Face Your Addiction and Save Your Life Conference" can still benefit from Dr. Keerthy Sunder's treatment expertise, through a conference recording that will be available online, as well as Dr. Sunder's new book, "Addictions: Face Your Addiction & Save Your Life." Those who are personally struggling with addiction and friends and family of addicts are invited to attend in person or online after the conference. The conference will take place from 11 AM – 1 PM, Saturday, July 12th in San Diego at the Porto Vista Hotel in the Costa del Sol Meeting Room. A luncheon for registrants will be held at 1 PM. To register, visit http://mbtrins.com/register-now/. The conference recording will be made available on the Mind & Body Treatment and Research Institute website. From years of helping addicts, Dr. Sunder has developed strategies for addicts and their families to beat addiction for good, defying the alarming relapse statistics. He looks forward to sharing these tools and techniques at the seminar. Not only will participants learn how an individual's genetics make them vulnerable to addiction, they'll learn about dual diagnosis and about addiction's ability to alter someone's brain.
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Travellers are being advised to power up electronic devices in hand luggage as part of new security measures introduced at UK airports.
The move comes as the US stepped up its airport security, although the Department for Transport (DfT) said there was "no change to the UK threat level, which remains at substantial" - the third of five possible threat levels. So what has changed and what will it mean for passengers? What are the new restrictions on charging devices in your hand luggage? Passengers passing through airport security will have to prove their electronic devices are powered up by switching them on.
What gadgets are included? As well as mobile phones and laptops, the DfT guidance includes devices such as electrical shavers, hair-straighteners and cameras or any other camera equipment. No complete list has been provided but the general advice applies anything "with a battery", so other items such as handheld games consoles and e-readers could also be checked. What will happen if my device cannot be switched on? The government guidelines say passengers carrying devices which they cannot switch on "face not being allowed to bring the device onto the aircraft". Passengers would then have to choose between charging the device if possible, leaving it behind (see below) or not getting on their flight. What will happen if I leave an electronic device? Some airlines have outlined ways customers can get their devices back. British Airways said passengers could either keep devices at airports for customers to collect or have them forwarded to another address, at the airline's expense.
Virgin Atlantic has said likewise. EasyJet said it was seeking clarification from the government on the new regulations and had not, so far, issued any specific instructions to passengers. Can I charge my device at the airport? To avoid the risk of missing your flight or having your device taken away, make sure it is fully charged and check that the airport you are travelling from has a charging point. If for any reason you have a device with a flat battery, charging points are available near security in most airports - so if you have enough time before your flight you should be able to charge it up.
Friday, 4 July 2014
You know how sometimes people think it’s hilarious to try and get vodka into their bloodstream quicker by putting it in their eye? Yeah, well now there’s another way to digest it – snorting it.
Palcohol, a US-based company are hoping to launch their new powdered alcohol range later this year, featuring both vodka and rum varieties.
While their website suggests that users dilute the powders in water and flavoured mixers, comments already on the internet suggest there’s that 95 per cent of users will insist on trying to snort it, or rub it in their gums. Clever.You could be making your own drinks with powder and water (Picture: Getty)
It will also, according to their site, be available ‘in the United States and abroad’ which means we’re pretty likely to see it on this side of the Atlantic and you’ll probably spy videos of people you haven’t seen since your GCSE maths exam snorting it all over your Facebook. Goodie.
Naturally, there’s been lots of opposition against the product – with anti-alcohol campaigners suggesting it’ll make alcohol more available to minors and make drink-spiking more common.
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Friday, 27 June 2014
Thursday, 26 June 2014
An interesting conundrum is that a lot of social service agencies, whether they’re community centers or AIDS advocacy organizations or whatnot, they can be fueled by alcohol-related donations. So Absolut Vodka could sponsor an AIDS fundraiser, and a lot of the men and women attending that fundraiser are impacted by alcohol or some other form of addiction. In that sense, it can be tricky to talk openly about addiction and recovery. Plus, there is absolutely a fair amount of exactly what you said – people thinking, We have been squashed down for so long, and we weren’t able to be who we wanted to be, and now we’re free to do as we please, so don’t you dare rain on our parade. We want to have a good time. Again, it can be a delicate balancing act to talk to those folks about addiction and the problems it causes.
There was literally a time when patients suffering from depression used to talk about their problems. But times have changed and now talk therapy is becoming a rarer form of treatment in favor of psychotropic drugs. A pair of studies, which ran from 1998 to 2007, tracked the use of antidepressants versus psychotherapy to treat depression among inpatients. Both were a followup of sorts to similar research done a decade earlier which saw a doubling in the amount of outpatients treated with antidepressants for this population. From 1987 to 1997, the percentage of patients prescribed antidepressant medication rose from 37.3 percent to 74.5 percent. One of the more recent studies, put together by a team from the University of Pennsylvania, found the trend toward antidepressants continued. Researchers collected data from what is known as the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), which tracks depression diagnoses as well as means of treatment. The University of Pennsylvania study concluded that antidepressant use among outpatients remained relatively the same (73.8 percent in 1998 versus 75.3 percent in 2007). The use of psychotherapy as a treatment option declined from 53.6 percent in 1998 to 43.1 percent in 2007. Steven Corey Marcus, one of the study authors, noted that a similar study found the number of Americans using antidepressants jumped from five percent to 10 percent from 1996 to 2005. “(That’s) much faster than the rate of depression treatment rose,” Marcus said in a 2010 blog on Discovery Magazine’s web site. “In other words, the decade must have seen antidepressants increasingly being used to treat stuff other than depression. SSRIs are popular in everything from anxiety and OCD to premature ejaculation.”
You sure have seen and heard of this game, even when you are fortunate enough to have avoided falling prey to this monster. While the brains behind this phenomenon continue to make millions, we present to you a list of reasons why you should not be playing this game. 1. It is simple. What do you have to do actually? Just arrange some candies in a row, right? Why would you want to spend your valuable time doing that? 2. It is destructive. Even if you don't pity your watches that you bought with your hard-earned money, and continue wasting your time playing a game, shouldn't your be playing something constructive? What's with the fetish to destroy things? 3. It is addictive. Yes, that 'only one more level' phase never seems to end. Ask yourself. 4. You can't anyway play it whenever you wish. Remember the 30-minute wait that never seems to end? High time you decide, who is the boss of your life? 5. You are most likely to spend some money when you are just about to complete a level, and are out of lives or moves or charms or whatever fancy words you can use. 6. You are most probably turned into a spammer. Yes, the repeated notifications in your friends' Facebook profiles and the continued Can you please give me a ticket face that you make when you meet your friends is not good for your reputation. 7. You can never complete it. Yes, even when you spend precious hours of your life hitting the keyboard or swiping the screen of your cell, you can never finish it because the last level is always under construction. Well, I hope that I have made my point clear and you would gather the courage to uninstall the game from your cell, system, and life. Happy quitting!
Sunday, 31 March 2013
Understand the inherently peaceful presence of Awareness the art of Living in the NOW, and see that this peace is not dependent upon the condition of the mind, body or world, just as a screen is not dependent on the quality of the words or images that appear on it.
Friday, 29 March 2013
There are many biological factors that are involved with the addicted brain. "The addicted brain is distinctly different from the nonaddicted brain, as manifested by changes in brain metabolic activity, receptor availability, gene expression, and responsiveness to environmental cues" (2) In the brain, there are many changes that take place when drugs enter a person's blood stream. The pathway in the brain that the drugs take is first to the ventral tegmentum to the nucleus accumbens, and the drugs also go to the limbic system and the orbitofrontal cortex, which is called the mesolimbic reward system. The activation of this reward system seems to be the common element in what hooks drug users on drugs (2).
Drugs seem to cause surges in dopamine neurotransmitters and other pleasure brain messengers. However, the brain quickly adapts and these circuits desensitize, which allows for withdrawal symptoms to occur (3). Drug addiction works on some of the same neurobiological mechanisms that aid in learning and memories (3). "This new view of dopamine as an aid to learning rather than a pleasure mediator may help explain why many addictive drugs, which unleash massive surges of the neurotransmitter in the brain, can drive continued use without producing pleasure-as when cocaine addicts continue to take hits long after the euphoric effects of the drug have worn off or when smokers smoke after cigarettes become distasteful." (4)
Since memory and pleasure zones are intertwined in the brain, many researchers have been using psychological approaches to stop drug use. Many rehabilitation centers have used classical conditioning to rehabilitate drug addicts. They combine exposure to drugs combined with cognitive scripts, like statements how drugs have destroyed a person's life or what can be accomplished without using drugs, according to DeLetis (5). By using classical conditioning, the drugs addicts pair the drugs with negative connotations and properties. "Adverse withdrawal symptoms can function as an instrumental negative reinforcer and can be linked to the opponent process theory of motivation." (6) However, drug addicts may relapse and start using again because of many environmental "cues", which are external forces that are associated with drug use in their lives. When the drugs addicts see these cues, their brain circuitry, especially the orbitofrontal cortex become hyperactive and causes these people to start craving drugs again (2). No matter how successful the rehabilitation treatment is, once those "cues" are around, the drug addicts remember how pleasurable the drugs felt and relapse into drug abuse again.
Through all of the research done about drug addiction and its affects on the brain, one can see how drug addiction is considered a brain disease. Drug addiction is a disabling disease and can ruin a person's life. By taking drugs, a person's brain becomes "rewired" to tolerate high amounts of dopamine neurotransmitters, but once those high amounts of dopamine cease to exist, the person experiences withdrawal symptoms. However, there are ways drug addicts can control their drug intake by using classical conditioning techniques, which allows them to associate drugs with negative attributes.
Wednesday, 27 March 2013
The Serotonin Support Group (SSG)
Is a mutual support group for people who suffer from low Serotonin levels, wishing to participate in a support group that uses as one method a vitamin supplement as a method of replacement or addition to a diet to help the sufferer.The historical basis of this form of nutritional treatment was discovered and researched by Bill Wilson of Alcoholics Anonymous and it is to promote this Legacy to persons who suffer from low serotonin uptake and depression that the Group was formed.Bill Wilson wished to add a step to the 12 he had produced for AA. We struggle to make that possible and fulfill his promise. Without detracting from the message of recovery in the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. If alcoholics and addictive abusers of other drugs have specific chemical imbalances in the brain, and if these imbalances turn out to be reliable enough and measurable enough in sufficiently large numbers of human addicts, it is natural to wonder whether, eventually, science can find a way to correct them.
Some sort of neurotransmitter cocktail, maybe.
Bill Wilson is on record for having found a solution in 1960 for treating anxiety and depression using vitamin B-3 therapy and worked tirelessly for eleven years begging for its inclusion into A.A. recovery circles. His desire was to help alcoholics stay recovered. This means he would have immediately brought this mineral replacement therapy that eliminates alcohol cravings forth without exception. Andrew W. Saul, includes Bill Wilson as an inductee of the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame at the Hotel Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 29, 2006 in his induction speech, “…To this day, selective history records A.A.’s 12-Step Program, but has forgotten, or deliberately purged, what Bill wanted to be A.A.’s 13th step – orthomolecular therapy with vitamin B3.”[Lee Brack1] In February 2009, Orthomolecular Medicine’s founder, Abram Hoffer and Bill Wilson’s good friend, clarified to me over the phone, “..yes, Lee, he wanted to share this information as an added step and talked about it all the time because he felt so strongly about nutrition…” Abram Hoffer passed away a few months later in May having lived healthy and happily for ninety one and a half years.
|We examined tryptophan and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) levels in the blood after consumption of alcohol. Forty-five minutes after drinking, whole blood serotonin concentration was significantly reduced, whereas no changes were observed in tryptophan level. The diurnal rhythm of 5-HT in subjects who the day before had drunk alcohol was quite different from the control group, but very similar to that of patients with depression. The results strongly suggest that the mechanism of depression after alcohol drinking may be related to serotonin.|
The important thing with serotonin, is to keep it at steady levels. The medicines that raise the level of serotonin in the brain do so by slowing the reabsorbtion of serotonin. The alcohol increases the availible serotonin for a bit and then it drops off quickly, leaving the depressed person feeling worse, and they tend to not take the medicine correctly when they feel badly or are drunk. High serotonin levels do not mean somebody will feel happy or good, It makes it more likely that they won't feel realy bad.
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
A British grandmother has been sentenced to death by firing squad for smuggling almost 5kg of cocaine into Bali.
Lindsay Sandiford was arrested in May last year after she tried to enter the Indonesian holiday island with illegal drugs worth £1.6 million hidden in her suitcase.
Local prosecutors had called for the 56-year-old housewife to be jailed for 15 years. But today there were gasps in the Bali courtroom when a panel of judges announced Ms Sandiford would be executed for drug trafficking.
As the shock verdict was announced, Ms Sandiford, from Gloucestershire, slumped back in her chair in tears before hiding her face with a brown sarong as she was led out of the courtroom.
Friday, 7 September 2012
Stress can be physical,And then there’s the kind that’s in our heads — that OMG I’m so overwhelmed right now feeling. While psychological stress has some definite downsides (chronic freak-outs may increase our risk for cancer and other diseases), take a moment to exhale. In moderate amounts, stress can boost our focus, energy, and even our powers of intuition.
Still, in some cases, stress does more than light a productivity-boosting fire under our butts. Both emotional and physical stress activate our central nervous system, causing a “natural high,” says Concordia University neuroscientist and addiction specialist Jim Pfaus. “By activating our arousal and attention systems,” Pfaus says, “stressors can also wake up the neural circuitry underlying wanting and craving — just like drugs do.”
This may be why, experts believe, some of us come to like stress a little too much.
Type A and Type D personalities — or people prone to competitiveness, anxiety, and depression — may be most likely to get a high from stressful situations, says stress management specialist Debbie Mandel. Stress “addicts,” Mandel says, “may also be using endless to-do lists to avoid less-easy-to-itemize problems — feelings of inadequacy, family conflicts, or other unresolved personal issues.”
Some stress junkies have difficulty listening to others, concentrating, and even sleeping because they can’t put tomorrow’s agenda out of their minds, explains Mandel. Others tend to use exaggerated vocabulary — craaazy busy right now, workload’s insane!! And some begin to feel anxious at the mere thought of slowing down their schedule.
But psychologist and addiction researcher Stanton Peele cautions against labeling anyone a stress addict. “Only when that pursuit of stress has a significant negative impact on your life could it qualify as addiction,” he said, adding that many people are able to effectively manage — and in fact thrive under — high stress conditions. (Think: Olympic athletes or President Obama.)
Study: Stress Shrinks the Brain and Lowers Our Ability to Cope with Adversity
For budding stress “addicts” or for those who just, well, feel overwhelmed, here are some tips to dial down that anxiety:
- Seek professional help if you’re verging on burnout. (Not only can hashing it out with a therapist take a load off your mind. Some studies suggest it also boosts physical fitness.)
- Do something creative. Mandel recommends carving out a once-weekly time not to think about tomorrow’s agenda by painting, cooking, writing, dancing, or anything else that’ll take you off the clock temporarily.
- Take it outside. Numerous studies show spending time in nature improves general well-being, lowers anxiety, stress and depression, and even boosts self-confidence. Especially for women. (As it turns out, most addiction recovery centers offer outdoor-immersion programs.)
- Calm down quickly. If you really don’t have time for any of the above, these 40 tricks to chill take five minutes or less.
Some of us may seek out stress a bit more excessively than others and struggle to just relax. It takes skill to handle hectic agendas and long lists of responsibilities — without losing sleep or feeling frazzled. So try these tips and try not to freak out.
Worried that you or someone you know seeks out stress a little too much? Think stress addiction is a myth? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
Turns out, those glasses of wine would be a lot healthier if they were non-alcoholic, a new study shows. Spanish researchers led by Gemma Chiva-Blanch of the University of Barcelona found that non-alcoholic red wine reduced blood pressure in men at high risk for heart disease better than standard red wine or gin, according to the study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation Research. Although the reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure was modest, decreases of just 4 and 2 mm Hg have been associated with a 14 to 20 percent reduction in heart disease and stroke, the researchers pointed out. “The daily consumption of dealcoholized red wine could be useful for the prevention of low to moderate hypertension,” they concluded. Although there have been many studies on the impact of moderate drinking on health, the findings have been mixed, with some studies showing a benefit and others suggesting none. The new study found that 3 ounces of gin a day had no impact on blood pressure, while consumption of regular red wine led to a small, but not statistically significant, improvement. The new study suggests that if you’re going to have a drink, red wine would be the healthiest choice, said Dr. Kelly Anne Spratt, a heart disease prevention specialist and a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Still, Spratt said, “while there are those of us in cardiology who believe in the benefits of red wine, we want to be wary. We’re not going like gangbusters recommending people go out and start drinking. There are a lot of problems associated with drinking, like weight gain, cardiomyopathy, alcoholism, an increased breast cancer risk in women who consume two or more drinks a day.” Chiva-Blanch and her colleagues suspect that blood pressure improvements were due to the impact of polyphenols, a red wine component, on nitric oxide. The theory is that nitric oxide molecules help blood vessels relax, which allows better flow and more blood to reach the heart and other organs. For the new study, Chiva-Blanch and her colleagues followed 67 men with diabetes or three or more cardiovascular risk factors. During the study, the men were all required to consume the same foods along with one of three drinks: 10 ounces of red wine, 10 ounces of non-alcoholic red wine or 3 ounces of gin. During the 12 week study, the men tried each diet/beverage combination for four weeks at a time. The researchers determined that the standard red wine and its nonalcoholic counterpart contained equal amounts of polyphenols, an antioxidant which has been shown to decrease blood pressure. Men who drank regular red wine saw minor reductions in blood pressure – too small, in fact, to be statistically significant. Those who drank gin with their meals saw no change in blood pressure. But men who drank non-alcoholic red wine saw a blood pressure decrease of about 6 mm Hg in systolic and 2 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure. Chiva-Blanch and her colleagues concluded that their findings show that the alcohol in red wine actually weakens its ability to lower blood pressure.
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
Those who engaged in binge drinking tend to belong to so-called high-status groups: wealthy, white, male and active in fraternity life. And those who did not belong to the high-status groups could achieve similar levels of social acceptance through the act of binge drinking. In fact, the study results suggest that students engaged in the heavy drinking practice to elevate their social status amongst peers rather than to alleviate depression or anxiety.
"The present study offers another insight into the nature of a seemingly intractable social problem," the study released on Monday reads. "It is our hope that by drawing attention to the important social motivations underlying binge drinking, institutional administrators and public health professionals will be able to design and implement programs for students that take into account the full range of reasons that students binge drink."
The Washington Post reports that the study's co-author and Colgate University associate professor Carolyn Hsu presented some of the findings during the American Sociological Association gathering in Denver last week.
Interestingly, the study results compiled from surveying 1,600 college students also continues to support past evidence suggesting that binge drinking leads to a number of problems affecting the mind and body, including alcoholism, violence, poor grades and risky sexual behavior.
"I would guess it has to do with feeling like you belong and whether or not you're doing what a 'real' college student does," Hsu told LiveScience. "It seems to be more about certain groups getting to define what that looks like."
Binge drinking was defined as consuming more than four drinks in one occasion for women and more than five drinks for men. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they had engaged in the practice, compared with 36 percent who said they had not.
Those statistics differ from similar evidence gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC's statistics measure binge drinking in the same quantity but limit the consumption period to two hours or fewer. Its results also found that the majority of binge drinkers (70 percent) were over the age of 26. The CDC has also found that 90 percent of alcohol consumed by people under the age of 21 is done in the form of binge drinking, compared with 75 percent among all U.S. adults.