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HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

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Image is from www.iamicw.org

HIV vaccine awareness day occurs every year on May 18. This is a great day to learn more about why we need an HIV vaccine, how doctors are working to prevent HIV, and to take the time to appreciate those who are working hard to make it happen.

HIV Statistics

The good news is that HIV cases are declining. From 2005-2014, the number of HIV diagnosis declined by 19%, This is most likely due to education about how HIV is contracted. Many states also have needle exchange programs, which allow intravenous drug users to exchange dirty needles for clean ones. While these programs are controversial, sharing needles is one way that HIV is contracted.

Unfortunately, HIV cases among gay men continue to rise. Homosexual males make up 2% of the American population, yet they had 67% of the HIV diagnosis in 2014. Aids cases among homosexual males rose an average of 6% in the last decade, with the biggest increases seen in minorities.

Why We Need A Vaccine

Even though cases of HIV are going down in the U.S., it’s still a big problem. It’s also a problem in countries around the world. Many of these countries don’t have access to the same preventative measures that we do in the U.S., making finding a vaccine even more important.

Since the AIDS epidemic began, over 70 million people have contracted HIV, and 35 million have died from AIDS. To put it into context, there were 15 million deaths to soldiers and 45 million civilian deaths in World War Two. That’s 60 million casualties in total, and 10 million less than the amount of people who have contracted HIV.

Hope For the Future

Scientists have been trying to come up with a vaccine for HIV for many years. However, they may be getting close to success. A new type of vaccine that is hoped to be effective for many different strains of the HIV virus is set to begin phase two human trials this year.

This vaccine works using a genetically modified form of the dead HIV virus. This is the same method that is used to create many of the vaccines that we have today, including polio, flu, and Hepatitis A.

This vaccine in combination with the cancer drug romidepsin has also allowed five people to stop taking Antiretroviral drugs. Fifteen people were given the treatment, and ten of them quickly had to go back on the antiretrovirals. However, one man has been off the drugs for seven months, suggesting the vaccine holds promise as a treatment as well as a preventative.

Prep For Now

Prep stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It’s a pill that those in groups at high risk for contracting HIV can take daily to prevent themselves from getting the HIV virus. The pill has been shown to be up to 92% effective at preventing HIV when it is taken properly. However, it quickly loses effectiveness if it isn’t taken daily. It’s also expensive and has possible side effects. For those at risk of developing HIV, it can be a lifesaver.

The People Who Make It Happen

Scientists may come up with vaccines, but they would never get anywhere without people willing to test them. Testing these vaccines requires the participation of those who aren’t infected with HIV, and they should be appreciated for their efforts.

We are closer than ever to finding an HIV vaccine. In the meantime, we should all be aware of the things we can do to prevent the spread of this disease.

 

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Understanding Meningitis

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Meningitis is a fairly rare infection of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. These membranes are called meninges, hence the term meningitis. There are several types of meningitis:

  • Bacterial Meningitis is contagious among people in close contact and can be deadly.
  • Viral Meningitis is usually less severe, and most people recover completely from it.
  • Fungal Meningitis is rare and usually only appears in people with compromised immune systems.

How Does it Happen?

Most of the time, meningitis is caused by virus or bacterial infection. It begins elsewhere in the body, such as the upper respiratory tract, sinuses, or ears, and then spreads to the meninges. It can also be caused by medications, autoimmune disorders, or fungal infections, but these are more rare.

Bacterial Meningitis

This is a very serious illness that requires immediate medical attention. Death or permanent damage to the brain or other areas of the body can occur within hours if left untreated. There are several different kinds of bacteria that can cause it:

  • Meningococcus, which is the most common
  • Pneumococcus, which occurs in older patients with a weakened immune system
  • Haemophilus Influenza, type B, was common in infants and small children until a vaccine came out called hib.

Vaccines are also available for Meningococcus and Pneumococcus bacteria and are highly recommended for people with a special risk, such as a compromised immune system.

An infected person can pass the bacteria by sneezing or coughing. It is important for you to contact your health care provider if you are exposed to meningitis to find out what you can do to prevent contracting it. When bacteria gets into your bloodstream, it can travel to your brain and cause meningitis.

Viral Meningitis

This form of meningitis is more common and is usually less severe. There are many viruses that can trigger it, several of which cause diarrhea. Viral meningitis patients usually recover completely and are less likely to incur any brain damage.

Fungal Meningitis

This type of meningitis is rare. However, if you are suffering from a compromised immune system, from HIV for example, your chances of contracting it are greater.

Who is at Risk?

While anyone can contract meningitis, there are some age groups that have a higher incidence than others. These are:

  • Adults over age 55
  • Teens and Young Adults from age 16 to 25
  • Children under the age of 5

Certain medical conditions can also put you at risk, such as chronic disease or a damaged or missing spleen, and especially immune system disorders. These disorders occur when your immune system is either overactive or under active. When it is overactive, the body attacks itself; when it is under active, it decreases your ability to fight off infections. Some examples of immune system disorders are:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Guillian Barre Syndrome
  • Psoriasis
  • Graves Disease
  • Vasculitis
  • Rheumatic Fever

Meningitis outbreaks are most likely to occur in areas where people are living in close quarters, such as a college dorm or army personnel living in barracks. This is because certain germs that cause it can be contagious. People who travel are also at higher risk, particularly if you are traveling to certain parts of Africa where the disease is known to be prevalent.

Keep in mind, however, that even if you are in one of the higher risk groups for contracting meningitis, it is still a rare disease, and there are steps you can take to minimize your chances of getting it.

 

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Understanding Alcoholism

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Image is from DrugAbuse.com

Drinking has become entrenched in our society and it is part of our lifestyle. From toasting the bride and groom with a glass of wine or drinking during the happy hour to brush of the stresses of work, it has become a natural part of our live and this makes it difficult to establish when it becomes a problem.

For most people, moderate drinking means two drinks a day for men or one for women, this is however one end of a range that goes through alcohol abuse to full blown alcohol dependency.

Alcohol abuse

This is a drinking habit that results in adverse effects and results in the user not being able to fulfill their daily duties, whether in school, work or family obligations. At this point, it is common to find someone with legal problems as a result of drinking such as DUI or public disturbance. It also affects an individual’s ability to relate with other people.

Alcohol dependency

Also called alcoholism. This is where an individual has lost total control of their alcohol use. It is not dependent on the type of alcohol being consumed or the amount, it is solely about a person’s inability to stop drinking, either to maintain the alcohol fueled “high” or to avoid the stress and pain of withdrawals. Withdrawal symptoms include sweating, nausea, irritability, restlessness, tremors and even convulsions.

Alcoholism Warning Signs

The divide between social drinking and alcoholism can be blurred and many people don’t seem to know when they are on the verge of alcoholism. Below are some of the warning signs of a drinking problem:

  • If someone gets behind the wheel while intoxicated.
  • Drinking more than you had planned to.
  • Mixing alcohol with other drugs.
  • Poor work or school performance due to alcohol related activities.
  • Not remembering events while you were drinking, also called blacking out.
  • Inability to relax or unwind without alcohol.
  • If relationships start suffering due to alcohol.
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed and hiding it from family and friends.
  • Avoiding family commitments due to alcohol.
  • Breaking the law under the influence of alcohol.
  • Inability to stop drinking even when you try.

Causes of Alcohol Related Disorders

There are several causes of alcoholism, they include genetics, physiological and social factors. These factors do not affect everyone in the same way. For some alcoholics, psychological factors such as low self-esteem and impulsiveness my lead them to consume alcohol while others may be affected by social factors, chief of which is peer pressure. Poverty and physical abuse may also lead to alcohol dependency.

Genetic factors also play a key role in the alcohol dependency of some people. Most people who boast how much they are able to ‘hold’ liquor may be more at risk-not less- of developing alcohol problems. The absence of a history of drinking in a family does to protect the children from developing these problems.

How Alcoholism Affects People

Small amounts of alcohol may be beneficial for the body but heavy drinking is detrimental to someone’s health. Short-term effects include hangovers, memory loss and blackouts. Long-term effects that are as a result of heavy drinking include cancer, stomach ulcers, heart problems, brain damage and liver cirrhosis.

There are other dangers to alcoholism apart from ill health. People who suffer from alcoholism tend to engage in risky activities that may cause death, they include: Driving while drunk, suicide, unprotected sex and even homicide.

Drinking problems are also associated with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and memory loss. Such preexisting conditions may be made worse by alcoholism.

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Radiation Therapy

Radiation-Therapy

Image is from MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

If there is one illness that many people are afraid of, it’s cancer. This is because cancer is one of the most fatal illnesses that is hard to treat. Moreover, there is really no definite treatment for it yet.

Although chemotherapy is the most popular treatment for cancer, there is still no guaranty it can cure all types of cancer. This is why another type of treatment has been developed to treat cancer. This treatment is called radiation therapy.

Radiation Therapy Explained

Radiation therapy is the use of radiation such as gamma rays and X-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. This happens with the help of three types of radiation therapy such as:

  • External-Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Internal Radiation Therapy or Brachytherapy
  • Systemic Radiation

External-Beam Radiation Therapy

This type of radiation therapy is done with the use of a radiation machine. The machine is similar to the X-ray machine will release its charged particles through a beam radiation. The radiation will penetrate the cancer-infected area from outside the body.

Internal Radiation

Internal radiation, on the other hand, is the method of directly placing the radioactive materials in the area around cancer cells. The process is a bit complicated, but it can be more potent.

Systemic Radiation

Meanwhile, systemic radiation treatment is the use of radioactive substances that can move through the blood to reach the areas with cancer cells. This works like a regular medicine in the sense that the substances are absorbed into the blood stream. An example of a radioactive substance is radioactive iodine.

How Does Radiation Therapy Work Against Cancer?

Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by damaging cell DNA. This also can happen by creating free radicals within the cells that kills the cancer as well.

Does Radiation Therapy Kill Other Cells?

The drawback in using radiation therapy is that it kills not only the cancer cells but also other cells nearby. This problem causes side effects depending on which cells are damaged as the result of killing cancer cells. Nevertheless, our tissues have a certain level of tolerance against radiation. It’s your doctor who will determine such levels before this treatment is performed.

Why Is Radiation Therapy Needed?

Radiation therapy is a powerful treatment against cancer. It’s so strong that other cells may also be sacrificed in the process. Nonetheless, the result is significant. It’s needed when the purpose is to completely eliminate the cancer. This means radiation therapy is used for curative intent, and it can also be used for palliative care to shrink tumors.

On the other hand, radiation therapy can also be applied along with chemotherapy. It can also be used for curative intent, control treatment, and palliative care at the same time.

How Is Radiation Therapy Scheduled?

Before radiation therapy is scheduled, your oncologist will ask you to undergo several tests such as CT scans, MRI, PET, and ultrasounds. All such tests will determine the location and the position of cancer infections inside the body. Once identified, radiation therapy will be applied in the target areas.

Conclusion

Radiation therapy may be much stronger than chemotherapy. However, there are risks involved as the radiation can also damage other non-cancer cells. Radiation therapy is ideal for curative intent as it requires patients to be much healthier and tolerant against certain radioactive materials and substances.

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Difference Between Antiviral Drugs and Antibiotics

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Image is from Discover Magazine

There is a wide difference between antiviral drugs and antibiotics, and you should know the difference and the effects of these two drug classifications on your body. The range of antiviral medications is narrow while the range of antibiotics is quite full.

Antiviral Drugs

The doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication for you if you suspect you recently were around someone displaying a viral illness such as flu symptoms. If you have good reason to believe you contacted a viral disease, but you are not yet showing signs and symptoms an antiviral medication may prevent you from coming down with that illness, or at least minimize the effect of that disease before it occurs.

An antiviral drug is effective, but only when administered at the first signs of contact or symptoms. An antiviral diminishes the development of the illness.

A few virus includes,

  • Standard coughs
  • Sore throats except for strep throat
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Flu

There are a few drugs in the antiviral category. These drugs used short-term, are not profitable for pharmaceutical companies to research or keep to a high supply.

The antiviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV are in high supply and demand, because of the many people using them and the fact that this particular antiviral drug takes the HIV infection and turns it into a chronic, not terminal condition you can manage.

HIV is not necessarily a life sentence since these antivirals came onto the drug market. Pharmaceutical companies need to put more research into a larger variety of medications to fight other viruses.

If you develop a secondary infection from a virus such as you have the flu, now you develop pneumonia is the flu many times does, you need an antibiotic to fight pneumonia.

Powerful Antibiotics

If you contact a bacterial infection on the outside or inside of the body, the doctor may prescribe for you an antibiotic. There is a broad range of antibiotics on the marketplace today, each offering different targets of healing. Antibiotics kill the bacteria in your body that is making you ill. Antibiotics also stop these bacteria from multiplying and growing.

Doctors today are taught to use extreme caution in ordering patients antibiotics because research is finding more and more people becoming resistive to the usefulness of appropriate antibiotics because people are taking too much of a particular antibiotic and building up a resistance, thus, the antibiotic becomes useless in fighting off bacterial infections for you.

You may go to the doctors when you have a bad case of the flu, and you feel you need an antibiotic. However, the doctor will not prescribe an antibiotic for you because it will not help you get over the flu and in the end, the antibiotic makes your body more harm.

There is an extensive list of reasons why your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic such as but not limited to,

  • Ear infections
  • Strep throat
  • Sinus infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Wound infections
  • Diverticulitis
  • Colitis
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia

Antibiotics also put up an invisible protective barrier between you and others around you once you have taken the antibiotic 24-48 hours.

Resistance to Antibiotics

  • Do not demand any antibiotics from your doctor if he or she feels you do not need them.
  • Never take antibiotics for viral infections.
  • Never demand an antibiotic every time you get the sniffles or a cough.

Antibiotics are powerful drugs and when used for the right reasons save lives. Take your antibiotic, according to your doctor’s orders. Never skip doses or incomplete an antibiotic because you feel better and think you are over the infection.

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How Does Blood Pressure Medicine Relate to Health

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High blood pressure is a condition that, unfortunately, is a condition that many people suffer from. High blood pressure can result in serious health and heart issues. If left untreated, high blood pressure can result in death. When the doctor diagnoses you with high blood pressure, they will often prescribe a medication. There are several types of medications, and each one will have a different effect on your health.

Diuretics

Diuretics are a popular type of high blood pressure medication. They are designed to flush the extra water and sodium from your body. While diuretics can treat your high blood pressure, they can have adverse effects on your health, including:

  • Frequent urination: When the water is removed from your body, it has to go somewhere.
  • Erectile dysfunction: Some men have trouble getting erections when on these medications.
  • Weakness in the legs and cramps: Diuretics can decrease the levels of potassium in the body, which can result in leg problems. This lack of potassium can also result in fatigue.
  • Sudden, intense foot pain: While this is rare, diuretics can result in gout.

Beta-Blockers

Beta-blockers are commonly prescribed for high blood pressure. They make your heart beat less forcefully and more slowly. These medications are quite effective in treating high blood pressure, but they can cause certain side effects.

  • Asthma symptoms: Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • Unusually cold hands and feet.
  • Depression
  • Erection problems in men
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems

Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitor

This type of medication will prevent the formation of a hormone that causes your blood vessels to narrow, helping the vessels to relax. Many high blood pressure patients have had great success with this medication, however, there are some side effects.

  • A dry hacking cough that doesn’t go away. Patients who suffer from this side effect are often required to try another medication.
  • Skin rashes
  • Loss of taste

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)

this is another medication that causes the blood vessels to narrow. It also allows your the blood vessels to stay open by shielding the blood vessels from dangerous hormones. Many patients are prescribed this medication and it has just one side effect.

  • Dizziness: This often occurs when you get up quickly. It is also often very mild.

Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs)

This is a commonly used high blood pressure medication, which keeps the calcium from entering the blood vessel cells and the heart muscle. This allows the blood vessels to relax. There are a few side effects associated with this medication, including:

  • An irregular or rapid heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Swollen ankles
  • Constipation

Alpha-Blockers

Alpha-blockers allow the blood to flow through the heart more easily by reducing nerve impulses to the blood vessels. Some of the side effects associated with this medication includes:

  • Fast heart rate
  • Dizziness and lightheartedness, especially when standing up quickly or waking up in the morning. This is due to a reduced blood pressure.

Alpha-2 Receptor Agonist

This medication is not prescribed as often as some of the other high blood pressure medications. It works by decreasing activity in the part of the nervous system that produces adrenaline. The side effects are very mild and rare. They include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness

There are many people who avoid taking high blood pressure medication in order to avoid dealing with the side effects. What they may not know is that the dangers of high blood pressure are much worse than the side effects that they may or may not experience. The medication that your doctor prescribes would depend on your particualr condition and any underlying health issues that you may have.

 

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Understanding Addiction

addictions

Image is from www.lhrecovery.com

The word addiction originates from a Latin term meaning enslaved to or bound by, which is a very apt way to describe it. Addiction’s influence on the brain is very powerful, which is why it is so challenging for you to overcome it. It hijacks the brain in three distinct ways:

  • A strong craving for a particular substance or activity
  • Loss of control of it
  • Continuing with it despite negative consequences

Experts in the field of addiction believed for many years that the only source of addictions were alcohol and drugs. Advanced diagnostic studies of the human brain and subsequent studies have proven otherwise, however. Pleasurable activities such as gambling, shopping, sex, and food can also take over your brain.

A Common Problem

Many people experiment with drugs or alcohol or find themselves engaged in an activity that they have become addicted to. Nearly 23 million Americans, approximately one out of every ten people, are addicted to alcohol, drugs, or some other harmful activity. The reasons are vast. Some of them are:

  • Curiosity
  • Relieve stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Pain management
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Fit in with others
  • To have a good time.

Engaging in these activities does not automatically lead to addiction, however. Everyone is different. The way to determine an addiction has less to do with what or how much you are participating in it and more to do with the consequences of it.

If the chosen activity is causing problems in your relationships, or at work, home or school, you probably have an addiction.

The Pleasure Center

Your brain reacts to all pleasures the same way. It doesn’t matter whether we are engaging in addictive behavior or not. Technically, pleasurable behavior causes your brain to release something called dopamine. It originates from a cluster of nerve cells located in the cerebral cortex portion of your brain. This connection is so consistent that doctors actually refer to this portion of the brain as the pleasure center.

The result of addiction is that your brain actually goes through physical changes of structure and function. It begins with recognizing pleasure and ends with compulsive behavior. It is a chronic disease not unlike other diseases such as heart disease or diabetes where the heart or pancreas is physically affected and changed.

The Addict’s Brain

Recent research has indicated that the changes to your brain are rather complicated. Every time you participate in addictive behavior and your brain’s pleasure center is flooded with dopamine, it causes a chain reaction. A portion of your brain associated with memory records the activity and creates a rapid sense of satisfaction while another area of your brain creates a conditioned response to it. Addiction stimulates this circuit of your brain and then overloads it.

When the pleasure associated with your addiction subsides, the memory centers in your brain remember it and cause you to want to recreate it. There are certain environmental cues that trigger those memories, at which time an intense craving develops.

Are You Addicted?

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, it is time to seek a professional evaluation:

  • Are you using or indulging in the activity more than before?
  • Do you go through withdrawal symptoms without it?
  • Have you ever lied to anyone about it?

While it was difficult to get professional help for addiction in the past, today’s medical professionals now realize that your addiction is not the result of a character flaw or lack of willpower. The tools you need to overcome your addiction are readily available now.

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Understanding Teen Alcohol Abuse

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Take A Trip Down Memory Lane

The best way to understand what prompts teens to abuse alcohol is to go back to your own days as a youngster. What teenager has any desire to become the wino stumbling drunkenly home with bags twenty tons heavy weighing down his eyes and making him look like a grim-reaper with a ratty wig? What teenager wants to get their insides spread across the interstate because they got hammered and then run over by a semi? Young men and women don’t have the experience to properly understand the consequences of their actions. They may understand what they are doing is wrong, or taboo, but the why behind it eludes them.

Get Inside Their Heads

When you were a teenager, it probably eluded you, too. As a fourteen year old, sneaking into the barn at the edge of the neighbor’s property with two kids from Algebra class and a six pack of beer, you weren’t trying to really get into “trouble”, you were trying to see what this whole “beer” thing is about. It wasn’t that you wanted to become an alcoholic, or get in a drunk driving accident. You wanted to have a new experience. Or, you wanted to be one of the “cool” kids. You didn’t want to be a drain on your family, get arrested, or develop an alcohol problem. It started out innocent enough! But then several years had gone by, and the “cool” thing to do became drinking after school at any opportunity. In large part, because it was illegal for you to drink, you had to find your alcohol from people willing to buy it. This meant it didn’t often come in large quantities, so you’d have to drink a lot really quick to get the “buzz” you were after. But at the same time, you didn’t really understand what alcohol could or would do to your body. You had been drunk several times without vomiting or a hangover–you figured that stuff was for people who couldn’t hold their drink! Oh, how wrong you were.

Curiosity Killed The Cat

Curiosity. Trying to be cool. Behavior that follows patterns. These three things are a big factor in teen alcohol abuse, but another which may be even more prominent is abuse elsewhere in a young person’s life. A child from an impoverished portion of town scarred at seven by a knife-wound to the head from a drunken father will likely develop a similar substance dependence over time. These things are cyclical, and can be informed by poor choices on the part of presiding authorities.

Clueless

In any situation where teen alcohol abuse is taking place, though, what is integral to understand is that the teenager has no idea what danger they are in. Even if they have been subject to abuse from long-time alcoholics, they never attribute those same eventual characteristics to themselves. This is just human nature–we tend to avoid thinking about those aspects of our persons which are most shameful to us. We blind ourselves. Why should a teenager be any less culpable of this because they’re younger? In point of fact, they’ll do so much more effectively than those experienced enough to have grown out of such mental behavior.

Change Surroundings

The best thing to do to help curb teen drinking is change the situation. Change a teen’s surroundings. Get them involved in activities which must be alcohol free. A new perspective yields new goals and directives which can help correct a downward spiral. But above all else: be there for your son or daughter, show them love.

 

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Signs of drug addiction

5-SignsOfAddiction

Graph from www.12keysrehab.com

When a person is addicted to drugs, the last thing that they want is for certain friends and family members to know about it. Addicts look at anyone who is not doing drugs with them as someone who will judge them. They will also look at these people as a person who will try to make them stop, which they likely won’t want to. If you have a loved one who you think may be an addict, it is a good idea to know the signs of drug abuse. The sooner you know, the sooner you can help.

Physical Changes

When a person is addicted to drugs, they will exhibit a variety of physical symptoms. If you start to notice these symptoms, it is not uncommon for an addict to explain them away and create lies and reasons for these changes. There are some physical side effects that go along with certain drugs. Others can be exhibited regardless of what drug the addict is using. The changes to look for include:

  • Glazed or bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated or constricted pupils (this will only occur when the person is high)
  • Loss of appetite
  • A noticeable weight loss in a very short period of time.
  • Certain drugs will cause rashes and sores on the person’s face.
  • Bruises on the arms, mostly over the veins. These will appear if the person is using IV drugs.
  • Infections inside and around the mouth.
  • Burn marks on the lips from smoking out of a pipe.
  • Stuffy, red, chapped nostrils
  • Constant sniffing
  • Eyes rolling in the back of the head
  • Passing out while sitting down or standing up
  • The inability to walk in a straight line

Behavioral Changes

The more a person becomes dependent on the drugs, the more their behavior and habits will change. The drugs can change the way the brain focuses and forms coherent thoughts. Different drugs can affect people in different and dangerous ways. Regardless of the drug, the changes in an addict’s behavior are often the same. Some of the behavioral changes include:

  • Irritability even when there is nothing wrong
  • Becoming aggressive for no reason
  • Changes in personality and attitude
  • Loss of interest in things that they used to love doing
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • They start hanging around with new friends
  • The stop hanging around with old friends
  • Inability to hold a job
  • Financial problems
  • Being involved in criminal activity and their very first arrest
  • Staying up all night and sleeping all day
  • Excessive talking or talking really fast
  • Speaking nonsense
  • The inability to sit still
  • Seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations)
  • Paranoia

What To Do if You Suspect That a Loved One is Addicted to Drugs

If you notice that a family member or loved one is exhibiting many of the symptoms listed above, chances are they have a drug problem. The sooner you confront them with your suspicions, the sooner you can try to help. It is not uncommon for an addict to lie and deny, however, the only way to save their life is to push them to get the help that they need.

If you are unable to get through to them, you may need to seek professional help. There are several agencies who have experience working with addicts, that can help you get through to your loved one. In some cases an intervention or even help from the police and the courts is necessary to get an addict to agree to get help with their addiction. If you can get an addict to agree to go to treatment, you are essentially saving their life.

 

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Understanding drug withdrawals

withdrawals-symptoms

Infographics from www.freedomtreatmentcenter.com

Withdrawing from drugs is by far the worst part of the recovery process. The reason that you have withdrawal symptoms is due to the change in the brain’s chemistry that you created when you began doing drugs, and the sudden change in brain chemistry when you stop. When you are addicted to drugs, your brain acts like a spring. Drugs are brain depressants, and they push down on the spring. They prevent your brain from producing noradrenaline, which is a neurotransmitter. When you stop taking the drugs, it is as though you have taken the weight off of the spring. This causes your brain to rebound and produce large amounts. Every drug is different, and they produce different types of withdrawal symptoms. Every person’s body is different, therefore, everyone experiences withdrawal symptoms differently. Some people will have little physical withdrawal symptoms. This doesn’t mean that you are not addicted to the drug of your choice. It just means that you are experiencing more of the emotional withdrawal symptoms.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

Opiates are the most common drug that causes physical symptoms. These drugs include:

  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • OxyContin
  • Percoset
  • Vicodin
  • Percodan
  • Tylox
  • Demerol

Tranquilizers are another drug that creates physical withdrawal symptoms. These drugs are often prescribed to treat tension and anxiety. The most common types of tranquilizers that people abuse include:

  • Haldol
  • Thorazine
  • Prolixin
  • Etrafon
  • Compazine
  • Xanax
  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Ativan

There are several physical withdrawal symptoms that a person can experience when they stop taking the drugs listed above. The more common ones include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Racing heart
  • Palpitations
  • Tension in the muscles
  • Tightness in chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tremors
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

If you are addicted to tranquilizers and you suddenly stop taking them, you could experience more dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Because these are so dangerous, you should never try to quit cold turkey. These symptoms include:

  • Grand mal seizures
  • Heart attacks
  • Delirium tremens (DTs)
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Hallucinations

Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms

There are certain drugs that produce emotional withdrawal symptoms, rather than physical. These drugs include:

  • Cocaine
  • Ecstacy
  • Marijuana and synthetic marijuana

The emotional withdrawal symptoms that you could experience when detoxing from these drugs include:

  • Tension and anxiety
  • A feeling of restlessness
  • Feelings of aggression
  • Irritability
  • Inability to sleep
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sadness and Depression
  • Isolation from social situations

Although these withdrawal symptoms are not physically dangerous, they can still be dangerous. When a person starts feeling the withdrawals, they will go right back to doing drugs in order to keep from feeling bad any longer. If the symptoms get so bad, it can lead to suicidal thoughts. If a person is severely depressed and unable to sleep, their minds often lead them to suicide.

Detox to Help With the Symptoms

It can be dangerous for a person to detox on their own, regardless of what type of drug they are taking. If you are considering getting off drugs, it is important that you seek the help of a professional. When you enter a drug rehab program, you will first go to a detox center so that you detox as safely and painlessly as possible. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that can take away the discomfort, however, the doctors can make you feel more comfortable.

Drug addiction is a very dangerous thing. It can destroy a person’s life, body, and mind. When the drugs take over, it can be difficult for you to stop. Most people find it impossible. The sooner you seek help for your addiction, the sooner you will be healthy again and get your life back.

 

Families in Canada order more medicines per person than any other area. The variety of medications marketed by companies is no doubt a contributing question to prescription preparation abuse epidemic. Various remedies are used to treat Bladder inflammation. Certainly it isn’t all. Kamagra is a cure prescribed to treat many upsets. What do you think about http://levitra-cost.com/levitra-20-mg.html? When you order medications like Kamagra you have to bear in mind about levitra 20 mg. More info about Kamagra available at levitra 20mg. Generally, both men and women are afflicted by sexual dysfunctions. At times another disease can cause to emasculation. Preparatory to purchasing Kamagra or other generic, speak to your druggist if you have any allergies. Talk to your soundness care vocational any changes in libido you have experienced. Online drugstore is a best way to find a doc in your area who treats this kind of malfunction.

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