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Friday, November 30, 2012

DC Moves to Ban Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic drugs are still a major topic in the United States due to the fact that more than 40 states have implemented bans on synthetic marijuana and bath salts. These substances can be extremely dangerous and can lead to one’s death; what’s more, synthetic drugs have proven difficult to ban because the chemical composition can be changed relatively easy. Now legislators in Washington, D.C., are working to put a ban on synthetic drugs as well, The Washington Times reports.

“They are completely invented and manufactured without any regulation, without any quality control, with nothing,” said D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. He chairs the Committee on the Judiciary, which forwarded a bill this week to restrict synthetic drugs in the District. “At least with a natural ingredient, you know what it is. Whereas with synthetics you have not a clue what it is and it’s sold [as] incense – and the person can kill themselves.”

New Jersey made its temporary ban on synthetic marijuana permanent earlier this week. The state’s Division of Consumer Affairs banned the drug last February, for 270 days pending public input on synthetic drugs. The state has already permanently banned bath salts.

In July, President Obama signed legislation that bans synthetic drugs. The law bans the harmful chemicals in synthetic drugs; this way manufacturers can change the name of the product all they want - their products will still be illegal.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Are Your Teens Using Steroids? New Study Indicates They May Be...

Drugs, alcohol...and steroids are addictive 

When it comes to addiction most people think of hard drugs or alcohol due to the fact that such substances are the most commonly abused. One substance that most people tend to overlook is anabolic steroids. A new report has shown that steroid use is quite common amongst teenagers. Steroids are not known for intoxication, but are extremely unhealthy nonetheless and have been found to be quite addictive.

New study examines teenagers' use of steroids 

Nearly one in 20 teenagers have used steroids to increase their muscle mass, according to a new study. The report found that more than one-third of boys and one-fifth of girls said they had used protein shakes or powders to increase their muscles, while between five and 10 percent used non-steroid substances to bulk up.

Study details... 

2,800 students in middle and high schools in Minnesota took part in the study published in the journal Pediatrics. Here are some details:
  • Most of the students had engaged in at least one muscle-building activity in the previous year. 
  • Up to one-third used what researchers considered unhealthy ways to increase their muscle mass, such as taking steroids or other muscle-building substances, or drinking too many protein shakes or engaging in excessive weight-lifting. 
  • Surprisingly, the study found steroid use was equal among students who were athletes and those who were not. 

“Really the pressure to start using (steroids) is in high school,” Dr. Linn Goldberg of the Oregon Health and Science University, who was not involved in the study, told Reuters. “You get the influence of older teens in high school, so when you’re a 14-year-old that comes in, you have 17-year-olds who are the seniors, and they can have great influence as you progress into the next stage of your athletic career.”

KMSP-TV Minneapolis-St. Paul reports on study


If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

The holiday season officially begins with the celebration of Thanksgiving. As you gather together with family and friends take some time to engage with your teenagers. As you prepare your holiday meal you can set good examples about smart eating habits and good health. 

We wish all our readers a beautiful and healthy Thanksgiving.
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Smoke Free Large Cities

It is no secret, tobacco products can be extremely dangerous, with cigarettes being one of the largest killers around the world. People who avoid cigarettes are more likely to live a healthier life. Fortunately, due to a number of programs and ad campaigns, people are quitting every day. Just over ten years ago in practically every state you could walk into a restaurant and ask for the smoking section. Today, that is no longer the case! 

A new report conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that sixty percent of the 50 largest U.S. cities are smoke free, with almost half of Americans being protected by state or local smoke-free laws. In the year 2000, less than 3 percent of Americans were protected by such laws, according to HealthDay

The CDC report showed that 16 of the 50 largest cities were protected by local smoke-free laws as of October 2012 and 14 additional cities were covered by state laws. However, ten of the 20 largest cities without smoke-free laws are in southern states.

“Communities have made tremendous progress eliminating smoking from worksites and public places in 60 percent of big cities in the United States. Smoke-free laws save lives and don’t hurt business,” CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, said in a news release. “If we can protect workers and the public in the remaining 20 largest cities, 16 million people would be better protected from cancer and heart disease caused by secondhand smoke.” 

It is important to remember that cigarette smoking is like any other addiction. Therefore, if you need help quitting smoking look for community resources, including the American Cancer Society.
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Pre-Drinking Problems

Alcohol is the most widely used substance that can have negative side-effects to the human body. Not only is alcohol bad for you, it can also lead to bad decision making that affects you and others around you. The way in which one consumes alcohol is important, drinking too much or drinking too fast can amplify the problems that come from from consuming alcohol.

Teenagers and young adults are notorious for improper drinking habits, typically drinking hard and fast leading to a number of problems. In an attempt to save money and time, college students will typically drink before they go out to bars or clubs - pre-drinking.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a new study has pointed out that such drinking behaviors can lead to:

  • Blackouts
  • Hangovers
  • Alcohol Poisoning
  • Injuries
  • Absence from Work
  • Absence from School
  • Increased Risk of Unprotected Sex
  • Unplanned Drug Use
“Changing the location during a night increases the overall amount of alcohol consumption,” lead researcher Florian Labhart said in a news release. “It’s important that young people count the number of drinks they have during a night and to remember how many drinks they had already when they reach a new drinking location.”

The drinking habits of more than 250 Swiss students for five weeks were observed by researchers. Their findings showed that when students drank before going to a club or bar, they consumed more than they would normally would have had they not pre-drank. Pre-drinking students would have an average of seven drinks, while those who started drinking when they went out had an average of just over four drinks.

Students who drank before going out had a 24 percent chance of experiencing negative consequences, compared with 18 percent for those who did not pre-drink.  

The study appears in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Dangers of Cash

Recovering addicts, who are fresh out of treatment, have a lot to be cautious about when it comes to maintaining their sobriety. Depending on the case, triggers can be found around almost every corner that can send one on a downward spiral. Believe it or not, having cash in one's pocket can be enough to spark addictive thinking and play a part in a relapse.

In an attempt to combat the dangers of cash, a new credit card has been developed specifically for recovering addicts. The card, known as the Next Step Card, is a pre-paid credit card. It prevents the user from making purchases at liquor stores, bars, escort services, casinos, tattoo parlors, and piercing shops. It also stops users from making ATM cash withdrawals or receiving cash back when making purchases.

This new card may save a lot of people from making poor decisions when they are new to recovery. Recovering addicts minds are still working against them when they are newly sober, this card will act as a safety net when one is having a hard time.

What are your thoughts on cash as a trigger, should newly recovering addicts have access to liquid cash?
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