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Friday, November 26, 2010

Josh Hamilton 2010 MVP and Recovering Addict

Josh Hamilton, who has been named the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2010, had a long journey to be where he is today. Hamilton and a lot of other people would have never of guessed that after ten years in baseball he would be the 2010 American League MVP on the way to the world series, but he says that he could not have done it on his own. "I would say a 99 percent chance that this would never happen -- honestly," Hamilton said Tuesday when asked about his unlikely route to the top. "I think a lot of people would agree with that. But it was 100 percent chance this would never have happened if I'd tried to do it on my own. I think that's the most important thing I want to get across, is that I couldn't do it on my own." Great things happen to those people who surrender and accept that they have a problem so that a solution can be found.

God was the key ingredient for his success, that which helped him out of the depths of despair and on the road to MVP. "Hamilton credits his relationship with God for bringing him to unprecedented heights, for allowing him to keep his priorities in order on a daily -- or even minute-to-minute -- basis. Between that and the work Hamilton has put in at the gym and in the batting cage to sharpen his considerable skills after all the time he spent away from the game as he battled drug and alcohol problems, he has become the player most expected him to be way back when", reported the SF Chronicle. Successful recoveries rely heavily on an addict finding a higher power, whatever it is, but, in most cases that higher power is called God.

"I do reflect," Hamilton said. "I think I lose sight of things and if I didn't reflect, a little ego might start sneaking in there, and that's one thing I don't want to happen. So I do reflect and I think about where I was at my lowest times and how God has brought me through that and sustained me since I've depended on Him. It's been absolutely awesome. It's not good all the time as far as your days and stuff like that -- everybody has bad days. ... But there's someone there to help you through it and help you grow, and that's what I've been doing these last few years. I've been growing in my relationship with Christ and it's just awesome to think about where I am at this moment, and where I was."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Prescription Drug Use Fueled by Doctors

In the last decade we have seen, first hand, prescription drug use sky rocket out of control across America. There have always been prescription narcotics in one form or another, morphine has been around since the early 1800's and was first commercially sold by Merck in 1827. So why then are there so many people in the United States addicted to pharmaceuticals as of late? Basically, doctors are quick to prescribe narcotics for pain because legally they have to take their patient's word on how severe their pain is; this is the result of the Joint Commission's demand that health care providers better diagnose and treat chronic pain, in turn more drugs were developed and more drugs were prescribed. People who may have suffered from physical pain before, in a short amount of time, were now suffering from the pains of addiction.

It doesn't take long for dependency to strong narcotics like Oxycontin to develop, once addiction grabs hold of the mind it will tell you that you need the drug for your pain, even if the pain has gone away. Tolerance is the key to the equation, as one's tolerance goes up more drugs are consumed to achieve the feeling one once had from the drug. "To get the same effect you need more medication. So, they go back to the doctor still with pain," Family Medicine Chair Gregory Blake said. "They give them more medication to knock the pain out. They stay on that medication for a period of time, get tolerance to that, and keep moving up."

At a certain point, as dependency increases, patients begin to look for other doctors to supplement their supply to the narcotics; staying with just one doctor, asking repeatedly for increased doses will raise a red flag with the doctor and could cause problems, so patients begin to "doctor shop". "They'll frequently get pain pills from me. I think I'm doing it just right," Blake explained. "They go to another doctor who doesn't know about my giving them pain medicines. They give them pain medicines and it's just a vicious cycle." Prescription narcotics have become an epidemic, there are too many drugs out and being created every day to even keep up with them all; doctors move too quickly to treat pain without doing a history on their patient, so it is fair to say that doctors definitely have a hand in dependencies developing. Parents and doctors need to be hyper-vigilante to keep their teenagers and young adults from going down the path of addiction.

USA Today

Friday, November 12, 2010

Family Shares Pain of Prescription Drug Death

Prescription drugs continue to plague families in America, fast becoming an epidemic on a scale never seen before with any types of drugs. Denver, much like San Diego, is going through its own struggle with high prescription drug abuse among young adults. People overdosing from prescription narcotics in Denver has gone through the roof and the number of deaths almost doubled between 2000 and 2009, increasing from 228 to 445 people last year according to Fox. "More people died in Colorado in 2009 as a result of prescription drug abuse than alcohol-related traffic accidents by a margin of almost 3 to 1". One family in the Denver area decided to share their experience with prescription drugs with the hopes that it may help people who are in the grips of addiction.

In 2002, at just 16 years of age, Jessica Liddell was severely injured in a car accident on C-470. Lindell's back injury caused her terrible pain which she used pain killers to combat; she quickly became addicted and had steadily increased her intake. "We just saw the quantity she was taking. It wasn't one or two—it was three, four, five. It was however many she felt she needed to get rid of the pain," said Taryn Quick, Lindell's sister-in-law. Sadly, last year Jessica overdosed at the age of 23 while taking Oxycodone and Xanax. “Doctors had to put her into a medically-induced coma as soon as she got into the hospital. She just had no brain activity", Quick said.

The family told Fox that the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department started an investigation to determine where the drugs originated, but, the two suspects they had in mind overdosed before anything could be resolved. Xanax is a strong sedative and when mixed with drugs like oxycodone is often lethal. "I just really want other people to know how heartbreaking it was for our family to lose Jessica and we don't want any other families to have to go through this. You don't have to die from it because it's usually always an accident,” said Quick.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Prescription Drugs Are The Chief Cause Of Non-Natural Death In San Diego

Prescription drug use has become a major problem in Southern California, especially in the San Diego area with a number of overdoses. When someone overdoses or when drugs and alcohol are involved in a person's death the San Diego County Medical Examiner gets brought in, and apparently the have become more busy in the last few years with prescription drug unintentional overdoses. In the past ten years the number drug related deaths have increased by 85 percent according to Dr. Jonathan Lucas the County's deputy medical examiner. Unbelievably, "alcohol and medication-related deaths have actually surpassed motor vehicle fatalities, and have become the number one cause of non-natural deaths in the county," Lucas said.

Second only to heart disease prescription drug overdoses took over 400 people's lives just in the last year clearly making this problem an epidemic of sorts. "The numbers, given a population of 3.2 million people, may not seem like a real big number, but you're still talking about 400 people dying," Lucas stated. "That's four times the number of homicides we see every year in this county." These deaths are only the surface of a major problem, E.R. visits for prescription drug use doubled between 2004-2008 according to the Center for Disease Control. A government study that was conducted recently claims that between 1998 and 2008, the number of people treated for prescription drug addiction jumped by 400 percent. Oxycontin, Vicodin, fentanyl, morphine are the drugs that are mostly related with overdoses.

Prescription drug use is a major problem and doctors are prescribing addictive and potentially lethal narcotics far too often and many times to people who do not require them. In the early 1990's the Joint Commission, the agency that regulates hospitals, mandated health care providers to better diagnose and treat chronic pain; in response pharmaceutical companies began making more and more types of pain killers and doctors wrote more prescriptions. "And in our well-meaning intentions, of relieving pain in patients, which we're very capable of doing, we have caused more addiction potential, and more quantities of the drug to be in society now, that can get into the wrong hands and be abused," said E.R. Dr. Richard Clark from the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest.

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