Strong Pain Reliever Can Lead to Abuse and Addiction

Although OxyContin is a major weapon against chronic or severe pain, its use can lead to addiction and drug abuse. The synthetic opioid works in the body much like morphine. An unfortunate similarity is that OxyContin can prove highly addictive.

OxyContin, known as oxycodone when given as a generic drug, is a controlled substance. Doctors who prescribe it to relieve pain want their patients to keep a close eye on their intake. OxyContin abuse has increased dramatically in recent times in spite increased medical and legal scrutiny.

Two years ago the National Institute on Drug Abuse studied American high school students. The NIDA reported that greater than five percent of twelfth graders abused OxyContin, taking it without prescription. OxyContin abusers are not limited to the young; its use continues throughout all parts of the population.

Doctors have become more cautious about prescribing strong pain relievers. They must walk a fine line between appropriate prescribing and holding back from those caught in the web of abuse. Addiction can creep up on people, taking them by surprise.

Some people may be on the drug for months or years before they realize they have crossed the line into addiction. Others may not be able to admit that they have a problem. They may try to convince themselves and others that they are only occasional drug users who take OxyContin only when they need to relax.

It is easy to convince oneself that drug abuse is not in play when one is actually addicted. Some people are just as good at convincing themselves as they are at convincing others that they do not have a problem. For awhile at least they maintain the illusion that they choose when they take OxyContin, that the drug does not have control of them.

Signs of OxyContin addiction can be observed so that addicts themselves as well as loved ones can become aware of growing trouble. Having to take more OxyContin for the same results is one warning sign. If people get into legal trouble or come close to a legal problem because of drug use, then that should be taken as a signal.

Drug use will sometimes replace other activities in a person’s life. When taking drugs becomes more important than other people other events, then abuse should be suspected. Dependency on drugs for pleasure is not a good sign.

For an addict, withdrawal symptoms will arise when the drug dose gets reduced or eliminated. Getting over an addiction is often not a simple matter of quitting. Dependency makes leaving the drug behind a difficult matter.

In spite of promises to themselves and loved ones, OxyContin addicts face a battle in getting over their drug dependency. Another sign of addiction is the arrival of withdrawal symptoms when the user skips taking the drug. Withdrawal itself can scare drug users back into the vicious cycle of abuse.

One symptom of OxyContin addiction is the experience of blackouts. Forgetting events that the drug taker has lived through or knowing that he or she has passed out can signal addiction. Loved ones calling attention to the drug users’ blackouts can help the user ultimately face the addiction.

Abuse of OxyContin destroys people’s emotional and physical well-being. Depression and social alienation can set in, ruining the drug abuser’s sense of self. Insomnia or a major increase in the need for sleep may haunt the lives of addicts.

Other signs of a drug abuse problem include changed eating habits that result in sudden weight loss or weight gain. Slurred speech and lack of coordination may set in when people step over the line into drug abuse. OxyContin is an important medicine for the treatment of pain, but users need to know that it can lead to drug abuse.

The Role of Neurons in Substance Abuse

Addiction is a neurological disease and any attempt to define it otherwise can be met with compelling evidence. In fact, the nature of the disease of addiction is almost entirely based upon functions that occur within nerve cells and the circuits they are wired in. Understanding the role neurons play in substance abuse won’t help an addict get clean directly, but it will foster an environment of understanding that can help to mitigate and improve the serious public health threat of substance abuse.

What is a Nerve Cell?

There are billions – perhaps trillions – of nerve cells in the brain. Some scientists theorize there are so many nerve cells because in the event of their death or alteration, these cells are not regenerated and therefore we require a surplus of them. And because their functions are so critical, nerve cells are found in abundance in every area of the brain.

Nerve cells – also called neurons – have many different functions, but overall these functions are primarily communication-related. Neurons communicate by sending and receiving signals to other neurons and nerve circuits, to glands and other hormone-related organs, to muscle cells and other parts of the central nervous system.

Neurons are arranged in circuits, though individual nerve cells do not physically touch. Instead, they float freely within the circuit.

The Individual Parts of Nerve Cells/Neurons

A neuron has 4 primary components;

1. Cell Body: the actual body of the nerve cell

2. Dendrites: dendrites branch out from the top of the nerve cell body

3. Axon: the axon is a long “cord” that extends from the bottom of the cell body

4. Terminals: the terminals branch out from the end of the axon

What Happens During Drug Use

When drugs enter the bloodstream, a signal is sent that excites certain dendrites in a nerve circuit. This signal is processed by the cell body, which in turn then sends instructions about the signal down through the axon. The axon conveys the signal and a neurotransmitter – often dopamine – is released by the terminals.

The neurotransmitter settles into the small gap between individual neurons – called the synaptic gap – and binds with receptors found in the dendrites of connected nerve cells. This causes the user to feel a euphoric sensation or “high.” When drugs like cocaine, heroin or meth interfere with this process, the neurotransmitter is not reabsorbed correctly by the terminals, resulting in neurotransmitter saturation. This causes the high to last for an extended period of time, whereas a natural release of a transmitter like dopamine normally causes a mildly pleasant feeling that quickly dissipates.

How the Brain Corrects the Imbalance

Because drug use is essentially a chemical invasion of the brain, the central nervous system will seek to control the effects of the substance. This is accomplished through a process called drug tolerance, whereby users find it increasingly more difficult to get high.

Tolerance develops when changes are made to the way receptors bind with neurotransmitters, or when other processes in the nerve circuit are altered in order to reduce or eliminate the effects of the foreign substance. Unfortunately, this often means that the drug user will simply increase the dosage of drugs in order to overcome this growing tolerance. This is the beginning of the cycle of addiction.

Permanency of Changes

Changes made to receptors and nerve cells are not reversible. This means that the brain of a drug addict will have significantly changed by the time they stop using. Because these changes are largely permanent, they may cause the addict to feel differently than they did before they began using. Adjusting to these changes is the most difficult part of long term recovery from addiction or alcoholism.

The evidence shows that addiction is not an issue of morals or character; it has its roots literally in our brains and therefore deserves to be treated as the serious health concern that it is. This is why addiction can happen to anyone: we are all wired the same. The sooner we can understand this, the sooner we can begin to offer addicts the right treatment solutions, beginning with a grounded public perception of the neurological nature of addiction.

How to Plan a Family Day at a Baseball Game

Summer brings thoughts of fun family outings at sunny beaches, garden picnics, and professional baseball games.

Professional baseball may not be first on your list of family outings, but it is worth consideration. Whether it’s one of the major league teams, one of the approximately 250 minor league teams, or a college team, baseball is an affordable entertainment venue available to families. With minimal planning, the whole family can enjoy a day at the ball park. Ballparks host promotional events that can range from fireworks after the game to fan participation events complete with prizes.

An entire nine inning baseball game will take at least two and a half hours so plan ahead if children will be in attendance. Things to think about when planning for a baseball outing with children are:

Food: Professional ballparks will not allow the fan to bring any food or drinks (unless for a baby) into the stadium. There will be food offerings available for purchase at the ballpark. Limiting sugary food intake for children is always a good idea. A parent might want to consider selecting peanuts or popcorn to start and saving the Crackerjacks for the last couple of innings. (Wait until the closer comes to the mound.)

Sunscreen: Baseball is a summertime sport. Sunburns happen quickly so bring a good sunscreen. Apply it often. If a baby or toddler is in attendance, bringing an umbrella to provide shade may be a good choice or select seats in a shady area.

Hats: The team will be offering a variety of baseball hats and buying one at the park could be a practical souvenir of the outing.

Water: Again most professional ballparks do not allow liquids into the stadium. Remember to budget for plenty of drinking water and keep it handy for children.

Money: It is easy to spend more than intended when going to a ballpark. Decide on a budget for food and souvenirs. Remember to budget your money so you don’t end up spending too much on food and water. A quick check of the team’s website usually will provide a good idea of the various items for sale and the cost.

Hopefully these tips will help you and your family enjoy a great day at the baseball game. With a little bit of planning, a few hours spent at a baseball game can provide a lifetime of fond memories for the entire family.

Don’t forget to take the baseball gloves to get those foul balls.

Should You Start Your Own Woodworking Business? Wood Profits Review

There is good informative online course available that will teach you in a step-by-step manner exactly how to create a home-based woodworking business. The following is a list of what is contained in the course:

The following is a list of what is contained in the course:

  1. A guidebook with 53 pages of information about starting a woodworking business.
  2. An audio presentation of the same guidebook. Perfect for listening to while driving or in your workshop.
  3. An option to also receive hard copies of the guidebook and the audio version on CD.
  4. A downloadable e-Book of 500 highly detailed plans of woodworking projects specifically designed for use in the start-up of your woodworking business.
  5. A free set of shed building plans.

Additionally, there is an option to buy a VIP package that includes:

  1. More than 1000 contracts and legal documents covering the important aspects of your new woodworking business.
  2. Another 150 premium woodworking plans.
  3. A lifetime of direct personal consultation from the creator of the course. Yes, there is a real person, and you can actually contact him directly for personal guidance and advice about your woodworking projects and new business.
  4. You will also receive what is referred to as the “Woodworking Bible”. It’s a huge book that contains just about every kind of woodworking project you could possibly imagine, including detailed plans on how complete them.
  5. Three e-Books about green energy with tips on how to reduce energy costs in your work shop.

Woodworking Business Basics

The tutorial ebook, which is also available in hardcopy form, that comes in the course is an impressive and comprehensive guide that literally takes you by the hand and shows you exactly what steps to take to create a successful woodworking business.It covers every topic from how to develop a business plan to how to balance your costs and profits. It also shows you how to choose and properly price the products that you are going to promote, find customers both locally and nationally, maximize profits and retain customers.

It is not uncommon when starting a new business to become excited and want to rush into this new money-making venture.There is a great saying: “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail”.

The program puts a great deal of emphasis on creating a solid and strong business model. A good plan starts with a little research.You need to determine your market, in other words, you have to think about who you are going to target as customers.

Your Woodworking Business Customers

Your customers will be determined by what you decide to sell. Although you can’t actually control who will buy your products, you can choose which products will appeal to whatever group you would like to target.

When starting out, you may want specialize in simpler more affordable projects that appeal to the more cost conscious customers. A good example are average homeowners who want custom-made furniture, but prefer simple and more reasonably priced designs.

Who you sell to is pretty much up to you. Look around your neighborhood, your city or town and you can easily see what people use and want.There are many different projects that you can produce that will make your woodworking business unique.

There are some really interesting product ideas in the woodworking project book that comes with the course, like nautical clocks, salt mills, pepper mills, jewelry boxes, toys and many more. So, pick the category or niche that will appeal to your chosen customer base and go from there.

Woodworking Business Tips

On the business side of things, do not forget to include your time working as one of your business expenses. You need to compare the time spent on your woodworking business to what you could be earning doing something else.

This program is a great tool for someone who is serious about turning their woodworking hobby into a woodworking business. As with any business, there comes a time when you just cannot do it all b yourself. Hire help as necessary, if the budget allows, to complete your projects on time.

Depending on your situation, you could hire a person with a little less experience than yourself and teach them how to build your products. This would allow you time to develop more projects, and also market your business.

The bottom line is simple. Follow the tips and business building steps in this program. Stay focused, follow your business plan, and you will have a successful woodworking business up and running in very little time.

Starting a Mobile Auto Detailing Business – A Quick Discussion

If you are going to start a mobile auto detailing company, you need to find someone who is both fair and honest to buy the right equipment from, and perhaps someone who has been setting up detailing rigs for a couple of decades – basically someone who knows their stuff. You may not find someone setting up these units in California, in fact I can remember before I retired we got tired of all the over-regulation there. We had moved our training to Las Vegas and our truck bed and trailer manufacturing to AZ. Okay so, once you find a good vendor then you must decide what type of equipment to buy.

Will you get a skid unit for the back of a pick-up, try a van set up, or consider a trailer you can unhook at the end of the day? If you do get a trailer, should you get a single or dual axle trailer? Well, often dual axle trailers are better, even though sometimes they wear out tires quicker, but they are more stable and safe especially fully loaded in the rain. In the city trailers can curtail stopping distance, making an accident more likely. Remember if you are in a bigger city there is a lot of traffic and frequent need for quick stopping, and some of the dual trailers have trailer brakes or you can add them later.

Should you buy a new or used rig? Well, that’s a decent question. Yes, sometimes you can find deals on used rigs where people bail-out of the business for a corporate job, you’d be surprised that companies will try to hire away your best workers and even offer you jobs too, obviously if you can run a business, you’d make a great employee because you know how to get things done.

Now then, before you go and start your new business, especially if you are leaving a good paying job with benefits, you need to ask yourself if you can go without any income for a while, if not you; I might think twice if I were you. It’s going to be challenging at first, perhaps no real income for a while. Beware. Running a company is hard work, and nothing is guaranteed. Okay so, those are some important considerations prior to starting your own mobile auto detailing business. I hope you enjoyed today’s conversation, but more importantly, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Video Marketing: How Do You Generate Leads Using Video

With online communication, videos can be one of the strategies that you can use. They convert a lot better. Why? A lot of people watch TV, movies and programs online.

There is something about videos that appeal to the eye. It is more engaging and the audience would feel they know you.

Most people might not have the time to read your blogs or articles but they can watch your videos whilst doing other things as well.

7 ways to generate leads using video:

Valuable Information: Create a lot of short videos up to 2 minutes and upload them on YouTube. They must contain valuable information and at the end of each video encourage viewers to take action by going on to your website for more information about a gift you are giving away.

Education: Videos can be used as a great way to educate your viewers about your products or services. Give video tutorials with Camtasia. Camtasia is software which allows you to record the screen. It shows your expertise and at the end of the video you have a call to action.

Blogs: Include videos within your blogs. Create video blogs with text.

Ezines: Create video ezines. Whenever you send out an ezine or a newsletter to your audience have a video prepared for them. They click on a link which directs them to a video on your website which they can watch.

Home Page: Have a video on your homepage to welcome people and encourage viewers to opt in to receive your FREE gift. Anytime you are promoting a product include videos in your landing page.

Tutorials: With your FREE gifts that you offer to your audience or viewers, offer some video tutorials in exchange of their names and email addresses. These tutorials should be information that would add value to their lives or business.

Problem Solving: Go online and find out about frequently asked questions within your industry. Answer these questions by creating videos and uploading them on YouTube. At the end of each video, encourage your viewers to visit your site for more information on how you can assist them.

Above are the ways of generating leads with videos. It is very simple to record, just use your iPhone, blackberry, flip camera or whatever device you have. This is a great opportunity to add value to your audience and to generate the necessary leads you need to grow your business.

Relaxing Your Way to a New Smile

In the old days, the idea of being able to relax in a dentist’s office is preposterous and laughable. Who would be able to stay calm amidst the noise of the drills and children crying their heads off and coming out with swollen cheeks? It’s all enough to make you swear off dentists as long as you live.

That was how people felt about it until the advent of dental spas. Dental spas are defined as establishments or facilities whose dental programs are run by a licensed oral health care provider, who might also be referred to as a dentist or independent dental hygienist. The services one can expect from these facilities are an integration of traditional dental and spa treatments, such as massage therapy, skin care and body treatments.

In line with this, a new field of dentistry referred to as “Spa Dentistry” is defined as the practice of methods and services not normally associated with dental care like facials, paraffin wax hand treatments, aromatherapy, reflexology, micro-dermabrasion, Botox and other treatments meant to rejuvenate and pamper. The term “dental spa” was coined by the media as a means of reference to this new dental practice of having patients relax before going in for any dental treatment.

Dental spas came about to address most people’s anxiety about going to the dentist’s office for their bi-annual check-ups or for any treatment needed. Approximately 8 out of 10 people have been found to prefer avoiding essential dental care just because they are afraid of going to the dentist’s office, something that mustn’t be the case. While this may seem like something new, the concept of dental spas actually goes back to the time of the ancient Greeks and Chinese who used certain methods to keep a person suffering from a toothache relaxed. The first recorded dental spa was during the 18th century in Bath, England when a woman known only as Miss Curris made her dental patients relax by offering them massages, as well as skin and body care before treating them.

Dental spas are perhaps the best thing to happen to people who have an irrational fear of dentists. They finally have a reason to muster up the courage to go for their important check-ups without quaking in their boots. In addition to having a spa-like atmosphere, which makes patients think and feel that they are anywhere but at a dentist’s office, it is the prospect of being able to avail of other salon services that encourage patients to forego their fear. Who can resist a relaxing manicure while undergoing root canals?

Dental spas are also recommended for patients with heart conditions and anxiety disorders. Not only are they able to relax, but the conditions also ensure their safety, making the dentists’ job easier. It is never easy to deal with unhappy and nervous patients who squirm in their chairs and complain loudly even before the instruments touch their teeth. For difficult to relax patients, dental spas offer sedation dentistry, which involves the use of anti-anxiety medications or laughing gas (nitrous oxide).

So if you’re one of those who equate a visit to the dentist’s office to a date with Godzilla, you now have a great reason to forget about your fears – just relax and leave everything in the hands of the experts and you’ll soon wonder what you were afraid of to begin with.

How Effective Is Drug Testing in Eradicating Teen Drug Abuse?

Every day, thousands of teens are getting addicted to illicit drugs. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 21.5 percent of youth (more than 1 in 5) aged between 18 and 25 years are under the influence of illicit drugs.

The percentage of teens getting addicted to drugs has increased in the last few years. Many of them are getting into this devastating habit due to lack of awareness of the serious consequences it poses.

Why teens get into drug abuse

There are many reasons why teens get into this habit. Most of the teens experiment with drugs, putting their health and safety at risk. Many teens take drugs just to fit in their friends group because of peer pressure. Some teens are influenced by their parents’ behavior. If they find their parents taking drugs, they would follow it. While some of the teens taking drugs, want to feel good and some teens are prone to drugs due to financial or mental depression.

Teen drug testing helps in eradicating teen drug abuse. It can be conducted in high schools, colleges or at the privacy of the home. It is an effective way to keep teens away from drugs and studies show that it brings a positive effect.

Many high schools are conducting these tests randomly in their schools on students and schools that conduct these tests have higher attendance rates than compared to other schools where the drug testing is not conducted.

High school students are more likely to get influenced by drugs. Therefore, to prevent teens from taking drugs, drug-testing and awareness programs should be conducted in high schools to keep a check on drug abusing teens. These programs are not meant to punish or insult the teens, but to take measures before it is too late.

Use reliable test kits:

There are many drug test kits available in the market. But before you buy the test kit see that it is tested and proven. You need to buy kits from reputed dealer and check if the test kits are approved by the FDA. Reputed dealers will offer these test kits affordable price and the results will be accurate and consistent.

Therefore, before it is too late, teens should be educated about the negative impact that drug leaves on their body and mind in the early stage. Drug testing is an effective way in eradicating teen drug abuse.

Cruises Are a Great Option for Your Honeymoon

Cruises are actually a wonderful place to take a honeymoon. There are several reasons that they are great for this event in your life.

One of the great things about cruises is that they are almost all-inclusive. You can order room service anytime, you can order and eat as much as you desire at meal times. However, alcoholic beverages may or may not be included. You have access to pools, spas, and other amenities. The ship will take you to the shore, and you then have the freedom to explore and take excursions. If you do not want to spend any extra, you do not have to do so. Excursions cost, but you could choose to just enjoy the boat’s amenities that are included.

People may figure that cruises will cost a large amount. It is true that they can be costly, but for what you get they are well worth it. If you watch for specials, you may be able to get a good price. One thing to remember with cost is that your airline flight is not likely included. That is really the only transportation cost you will have unless you need to pay for a shuttle from the airports.

As you think about cost, try not to get overwhelmed. Just break it down. If you decide you want to go on a cruise, start having 20 dollars put in your savings account every week. By doing this, you should be able to pay for your honeymoon within four or five year’s time. The amount you save may actually exceed what you need. If you do not have five years before you are getting married, break it down in a different way. If you need to put it on credit, then you will know that you should be able to pay it off in less than seven years if you include the interest. To lucky ones, your honeymoon might be given as a wedding gift, and in these cases, you will not have to pay for anything except the extras.

There is a downside to many things, and that is the case with cruises as well. If you are prone to getting seasick or motion sick, then you might have a problem going on a cruise. If you believe you might have a problem, see your doctor. He or she should be able to provide you with something to help or a suggestion for something over-the-counter. You may or may not struggle if you get medication. There is a doctor on the ships, so if you end up having a major problem, they should be able to help.

Do not let a fear of cost or seasickness keep you from considering cruises as an option for your honeymoon. Sit down with the one you love, if you know them yet, and talk about it. If you have not yet met someone, maybe now is the time to start saving for the future.

The Differences Between Acute and Post Acute Withdrawal

In simple terms, the primary difference between acute and post acute withdrawal is the severity and potential consequences of related symptoms. As the key words indicate, acute withdrawal is generally more severe than post-acute withdrawal. However, both conditions are in actuality different stages of the disease of addiction: first comes active addiction, followed by cessation and acute withdrawal and finally transitioning to post acute withdrawal. Although part of the same disease, these conditions should be made distinct to addicts and those in recovery and the people who support them.

Primary Difference: Risk of Serious Medical Complications

The most important difference between acute and post acute withdrawal is the potential consequences of symptoms that may arise. During acute withdrawal syndrome or AWS, symptoms can be severe; in fact, symptoms of detox and withdrawal from some drugs can cause life-threatening complications. These include alcohol, (Louis A. Trevisan, M.D., Nashaat Boutros, M.D., Ismene L. Petrakis, M.D., and John H. Krystal, M.D. Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) benzodiazepines (Lann MA, Molina DK, A Fatal Case of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal National Center for Biotechnology Information) and barbiturates. For some people withdrawing from these substances can cause seizures, respiratory depression, heart attack, coma, delirium tremens and rarely, death.

While post acute withdrawal symptoms do not generally pose risk of death or even serious medical symptoms, the condition does cause severe disruptions in the lives of many people in recovery. In some cases symptoms may require medication in order to successfully manage, while in others a healthy diet and plenty of exercise allow for a strong recovery plan. In fact, some people in recovery report little to no PAWS symptoms at all.

Acuity of Urge to Abuse Substances

One of the most troubling symptoms of both AWS and PAWS is a strong, compelling desire to use drugs or drink again. These types of powerful feelings are strongest during the early stages of clinical withdrawal and slowly taper off over a period of about 5 days to 2 weeks. After this time drug or alcohol cravings may still arise and they may even be consistently present, however, they are rarely as compelling during PAWS as during AWS.

However, like AWS, the desire to abuse drugs is often at its peak during the early stages of PAWS and slowly lessens over time. This is one of the reasons that most people attend treatment in the following manner:

Stage 1: Immediate drug abuse cessation and resulting clinical withdrawal, with potential for serious medical complications. Treatment consists in most cases of a professional detox program lasting for 5 to 10 days.

Stage 2: Upon completion of detox (drugs are no longer in the person’s system) patients attend longer-term treatment, during which time post acute withdrawal symptoms set in. These symptoms theoretically are at their worst levels during this time. Most rehab programs post-detox are around 30-90 days in duration, by which time the severity of PAWS symptoms should have subsided enough to safely permit the person to reintegrate with their communities. (Wexner Medical Center, Ohio State University Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome)

Stages of the Same Disease

In reality there is little true difference between acute withdrawal and post withdrawal: they are both part of the disease of addiction. In the early days of recovery, symptoms are at their most severe points. As recovery progresses, symptoms lessen, gradually shifting away from physical symptoms, and instead transitioning into longer-term mental and emotional symptoms. While these symptoms may not prompt the need for serious medical care, they do cause many addicts to relapse and thereby start the entire cycle all over again.

Ultimately, addiction is the disease and AWS and PAWS are merely stages. Unfortunately, few addicts recognize or appreciate the difference, and therefore many are unprepared, do not have the proper expectations, do not work a daily recovery program and subsequently doom themselves to relapse. If this sounds like you or someone you love, the time to act is now. Each progressive relapse episode is generally more severe and damaging than the last as a result of what is known as the Kindling Effect, so there’s not a moment to waste.