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Vaping: Is It Safer Than Cigarettes?

How Smoking Effects Your Health
It is well known that smoking affects the health of many vital organs. Toxins contained in the cigarette enter your bloodstream, making it thicker and increasing the chances of clots forming. Your blood pressure and heart rate will increase, putting strain, on your heart.

Smoking can also increase the risk of suffering a stroke. A stroke is three times more likely for a smoker than a non-smoker. However, within two years of quitting, the risk is reduced by half, and within five years the risk will be the same as a non-smoker. As well as causing strokes and problems with the brain, smoking affects the lungs. It can cause diseases including emphysema and pneumonia, as well as lung cancer. These can all be fatal. 84% of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking.

There are also physical problems, that can affect attractiveness, that come from smoking. This includes things like stained teeth, bad breath, and gum disease. Smoking can also cause cancer of the lips, throat and voice box. It changes your skin, making it appear dull, while the toxins in cigarettes can cause cellulite. Facial wrinkles are three times more likely to form around the eyes and mouth, too.

Is Vaping Any Better?
So what if you want to smoke, but are looking for an alternative? There are now e-cigarettes or e-cigs. But are they any better than cigarettes?
 First, what is an e-cig? It’s a battery powered cigarette that heats a liquid and produces a vapor instead of smoke. They usually contain nicotine and can come in a wide range of flavors from berry fruits to chocolate. The main attraction is the fact e-cigs allow the user to get nicotine without all the smoke and [...]

Signs Your Loved One Needs a Psychiatric Intervention

An intervention followed by drug rehab is usually the first step towards the path of sobriety. For many people, the beginning of their recovery is fraught with perils and obstacles. An intervention can be very effective and help someone get the treatment they need. Determining if someone needs help is no easy task. An intervention is not spontaneous nor is it easy to pull off.

Interventions require not only prior planning, but also the assistance of friends, family members, and an intervention specialist. This article, Five Signs a Loved One Might Need Psychiatric Intervention, provides some insights on the intervention process. According to the article, your loved one might need an intervention if they exhibit restless behavior and if they are anxious, disheveled, or out of control. The second sign is if your loved one feels agitated or frustrated without a reason. The third sign is increase in substance abuse even if the substance is not illegal. When someone increases their consumption of alcohol, marijuana, or prescription pills, it makes it more difficult for the person’s family and friends to distinguish between a natural emotional reaction and a behavior as a result of substance abuse.

The last two signs which can indicate that your loved one needs an intervention is if the person isolates himself and is consistently depressed. Being isolated doesn’t mean needing alone time; it means the person refuses to be around anyone. You can tell if someone is depressed because they will cry often, suffer from insomnia, eat too little or too much, or they may be irritable for no apparent reason. Depression, combined with substance abuse, may lead someone to isolate themselves.

It’s important for family and friends to be supportive of the person in [...]

Interventions for the Elderly

As the baby boomer population ages, more and more older Americans are finding themselves addicted to prescription pills. Americans who are 65 years or older make up only 13% of the U.S. population, but they ingest approximately one third of all prescription drugs. Most older people are prescribed more than one prescription, which raises the risk of accidentally combining the wrong pills. In addition, an elderly person’s liver is more impaired than that of a younger person because the liver filter system slows down as a person ages. This means that older people may become more easily addicted or have more harmful side effects even when taking a lower dose of medication. Although it may be difficult, helping an older loved one get treatment for their substance addiction can be done through an intervention.

It can be tricky to find out if your loved one actually has an addiction problem. Many older people are private when it comes to the medications they’re on and they still want to feel independent. For example, elderly people with a drug problem may try to hide or downplay their addiction by asking their loved ones not to worry about them. They may also provide excuses for any erratic behavior they may exhibit. When older loved ones lie about their behavior or substance use, it’s necessary to remember they are under the influence and their judgment is clouded. However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t need help.

Red flags that point to substance abuse or an addiction issue include changes in sleeping and eating patterns, lack of hygiene, irritability, and increased isolation from family and friends. Older people who have an addiction are also overly concerned about their medication and they may take more [...]

Interventions for Teenagers

About 50% of high school seniors do not think it’s harmful to try crack or cocaine once or twice and 40% believe it’s not harmful to use heroin once or twice. Does that sound scary? More teenagers die from prescription drugs than from heroin and cocaine combined. Teenagers are in a weird part of their lives. They’re not quite adults but they’re definitely not children. Some teens fall in to the trap of drug addiction and they can’t find their way out. An intervention for a teenager can be the fresh start that he or she needs to get clean and to get back on the right path.

An intervention shouldn’t be seen as a “tough love” method of parenting. An intervention is conducted out of love – love for the addict. The intervention gives family and friends a chance to convince the loved one of why he or she needs addiction treatment. There are many resources for parents who are considering holding an intervention for their addicted teenager. The Mayo Clinic lists seven steps for an intervention on their website. These steps include planning the intervention, gathering information about the addict, forming the intervention team, deciding on the specific consequences (if the addict refuses treatment), writing down what to say to the addict, conducting the intervention, and the follow-up process post intervention.

Drugfree.org also offers information about teenage interventions on their website. They offer eight step-by-step ways for parents to prepare for an intervention. The first step is making observations and noting the teen’s unusual behavior, personal habits, and other parts of their life to determine if they are abusing an illegal substance. The second step is to keep track of when the teenager breaks the rules and does something [...]

Interventions for Prescription Drug Abuse

When you get sick or injured, it’s common for a doctor to prescribe prescription painkillers to help ease any pain you might be feeling. However, trouble can start when the patient doesn’t take his medicine appropriately. Some people begin to abuse their prescription painkillers after a while because their tolerance for the drug increases. Just one dose isn’t enough to manage their pain. This can start the vicious cycle of dependence and abuse which will lead to physical and psychological addiction. During this time, family and friends may notice pronounced changes in their loved one’s personality and behavior. They may need to stage an intervention to get help for their addicted loved one.

Opioids and other pain killers are used and abused by people hoping to find relief for their chronic pain. Unfortunately, these drugs can be very dangerous. Nearly 75% of all prescription drug overdoses are caused by prescription painkillers. Some people progress from using painkillers to using heroin, because it’s a cheaper yet similar high. Family and friends will need to intervene if they believe their loved one is abusing his or her prescription painkillers, before it’s too late. However, they might not know if an intervention is necessary. This article mentions that some people may be reluctant or unable to recognize that the drugs are causing a huge problem in their lives. An intervention is necessary for these people because it can help them break through the wall of denial that they have put up.

Prescription drugs can be a great tool for pain management. However, prescription drugs have consequences, regardless of their many benefits. The damage isn’t done in the short term, but it occurs over time once tolerance for the drug increases [...]