In 2000, the federal government passed DATA,
which is an act to help patients with the disease of addiction by
offering more treatment options.Until 2000, only methadone
maintenance, approved for use only through incredibly regulated clinics
was available to treat opioid addiction.
The new DATA options allowed other new treatments like Suboxone. Now patients did not have to feel like methadone junkies, but could be treated in an office like other patients. And since patients were not bound to a clinic, they could work. Current studies show buprenorphine is as effective as methadone maintenance in two ways. First, in retaining patients in substance abuse treatment programs of different types, and use of illegal drugs dropped. More importantly the safety data with Subsoxone is incontrovertible. Patients do well on Suboxone treatment; increasing they’re ability to work, maintain relationships and otherwise thrive in life.
Suboxone was not designed to force people
into a rushed detoxification that they did
not want. It was designed to allow people to
have a life, and love their families, work
and enjoy their friends without having to
sit in a degrading methadone clinic.
Mandatory detoxification is presumptuous. At our center, you can wean yourself down when and if you want. You can do this next season or next year or never. But you will end up taking better care of your body by using legal prescriptions. Lets face it, Suboxone is much better than illegal heroin of unclear purity, or poorly monitored methadone, or Internet rip-off narcotics. Have you had a couple close calls? Get away from the cliff!
- You are not an addict to me. And we will try to learn why you have acted out with substances and how pain killers have become addictive. We routinely find addiction promoting medical findings and undertreated pain sources. You may have started using after a painful medical procedure or to blunt emotional pain -- but who says that is what maintained the addiction.
Forget about a set program. You are my
program. No one exists like you. No one has
your unique types of problems, and so we do
not have a molded, cookie-cutter program
that we will force you into and then spit
you out when the oven timer goes off. Sure,
people have learned material that can help
you. But the pace and the program must be
molded to you, not the opposite.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have been shown in numerous major studies to provide tremendous benefits to your cardiovascular function. However, the benefits don't stop there. Omega-3 fatty acids also are critical for improving your ongoing brain function, promoting pain-free joints, diminishing your danger from eye disease, managing depression and even reducing your risk of cancer.I personally take omega-3 fish oil as an essential supplement in my daily routine. I feel strongly that you should, too. And apparently the highest levels of the United States government want you to, as well!On May 27, 2003, the White House issued an incredible statement. It urged health agencies of the government to encourage Americans to increase their consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, while decreasing their intake of trans-fatty acids. This monumental directive was precipitated by new guidelines issued by the American Heart Association at that time, recommending you consume coldwater fish at least twice a week as well as other oils and food sources high in omega-3 fatty acids as a way to reduce your risk of heart disease. It is not every day that you see the White House/government take such a positive stance on your diet and endorse a particular nutritional supplement.Today I want to discuss with you the actual benefits of fish oil, but first please allow me to give you a brief overview: Fish oil contains omega-3 essential fatty acids. The two major components of this group are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). A third member of the omega-3 family, known as ALA (alpha linolenic acid), is found in plant oils. While both EPA and DHA are found in fish, interestingly these essential fatty acids are not produced by the fish, but rather by single- celled marine organisms that the fish eat. It is generally said that the "oilier" the fish, the greater concentration of EPA and DHA.The benefits of omega-3 essential fatty acids were first recognized more than three decades ago when researchers noted that Eskimos in Greenland had a very high dietary intake of fat, yet had a very low rate of ischemic heart disease. Following these findings, researchers began studying the nutrients in some detail.The first major study involved 1,000 individuals from Great Britain who had heart disease. They were advised to eat two servings of oily fish a week for two years. At the end of the study, it was found that those individuals who followed this advice had reduced their incidence of death by 29%, compared to a similar group that did not add extra servings of fish to their diet.In a subsequent study out of Italy, more than 2,800 patients who had suffered heart attacks were given EPA/DHA in a capsule form, which they took daily for three-and-a-half years. Each capsule provided approximately 850 mg of a combination of EPA and DHA. At the end of the study, death-from any cause-was reduced by 20%. More importantly, sudden death was reduced by an amazing 45% compared to a similar group of patients that were not given supplemental fish oil. It is believed that the major benefit for fish oil in regard to heart disease is the reduction of sudden cardiac death.There appears to be two factors involved in this benefit. First, you can reduce your risk of cardiac arrhythmia. Second, you may decrease your platelet stickiness, which can lead to arrhythmia and heart disease. In an article published in the May 2005 edition of Frontiers in Bio-Science, it was postulated that the anti-arrhythmic effects of fish oil appeared to be related to stabilization of sodium and calcium channels in your heart cells.Omega-3 essential fatty acids, however, do a lot more than benefit your heart. DHA appears to be a particular powerful nutrient in regard to your brain function. Your brain utilizes probably the most amount of DHA than any organ in your body. The adult human brain actually contains more than 20 grams of DHA. Subsequently, a high intake of fish has been linked to a significant decrease in your probability of age-related memory loss. Just last month, there was a fascinating study published in the Journal of Nutrition. Scientists were able to develop an animal rat model for Alzheimer's disease. The test rats were orally fed DHA. After twelve weeks, the rats given the supplement showed improvement in spatial cognition and learning compared to rats that were not treated with this additional nutrient. The author of the study concluded that DHA is a possible therapeutic agent for ameliorating learning deficiencies due to Alzheimer's disease.There have been other studies in the medical literature indicating that omega-3 fatty acids can even have a beneficial effect in reducing the risk of cancer. Other studies indicate fish oil can prevent the metastasis (spreading) of cancer. There have also been studies indicating that DHA can have especially beneficial effects in ameliorating depression. In one study, omega-3 supplementation in the 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg range reduced irritability in patients with bipolar disorder.
People who serve in the military and
veterans can face unique challenges. There are many emotions
involved with being at war, separated from loved ones, as
well as the stressors that are inherent in multiple and
extended deployments. The stress encountered in service
abroad can also play a role and cause mental health issues,
including anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression
and substance abuse.
In addition to these mental health issues, the war has exposed many soldiers to traumatic brain injury or multiple concussions from exposure to IEDS (improvised explosive devices). The military and their families should have full access to counseling by mental health professionals to help them cope with temporary or permanent losses.
An American Psychiatric Association survey highlights the issues that soldiers and their spouses cope with: More than one-third self report frequently experiencing feelings of
- anxiety (military member 38%, military spouse 39%)
- depression (military member 40%, military spouse 33%)
In addition to stress caused by worry for their loved one serving in the military, spouses reported a lot or a little stress from
- handling domestic issues alone (60%)
- single parenting (54%)
More than 60% of military members think that seeking help for mental health concerns would have at least some negative impact on their career.
Helping our Troops and their Families at Home
It’s important to remember that the mental health trials that service members experience can have a ripple effect throughout their immediate family while they are serving and upon their return home.
There are a variety of things military members and spouses can do to understand the warning signs of and treatment options for mental health issues including:
- Talking with someone in their “network of care” (e.g., primary care physician, religious leader, or friends and family) about what they are going through.
- Utilizing online resources to learn about common mental health issues associated with serving in a war zone and their symptoms.
- Discussing their concerns with a psychiatrist or other mental health care professional.
Anxiety Disorders, Symptoms, Types, Treatment
Anxiety disorders are the most common of emotional disorders and affect more than 25 million Americans. Many forms and symptoms may include:
• Overwhelming feelings of panic and fear
• Uncontrollable obsessive thoughts
• Painful, intrusive memories
• Recurring nightmares
• Physical symptoms such as feeling sick to your stomach, “butterflies” in your stomach, heart pounding, startling easily, and muscle tension
Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness. Untreated anxiety disorders can push people into avoiding situations that trigger or worsen their symptoms. People with anxiety disorders are likely to suffer from depression, and they also may abuse alcohol and other drugs in an effort to gain relief from their symptoms. Job performance, school work, and personal relationships can also suffer.
Types of Anxiety disorders
The core symptom of panic disorder is the panic attack, an overwhelming combination of physical and psychological distress. During an attack several of these symptoms occur in combination:
• Pounding heart or chest pain
• Sweating, trembling, shaking
• Shortness of breath, sensation of choking
• Nausea or abdominal pain
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
• Feeling unreal or disconnected
• Fear of losing control, “going crazy,” or dying
• Chills or hot flashes
Because symptoms are so severe, many people with panic disorder believe they are having a heart attack or other life-threatening illness.
A phobia is excessive and persistent fear of a specific object, situation, or activity. These fears cause such distress that some people go to extreme lengths to avoid what they fear. There are three types of phobias:
Specific phobia — An extreme or excessive fear of an object or situation that is generally not harmful. Patients know their fear is excessive, but they can’t overcome it. Examples are fear of flying or fear of spiders.
Social phobia (also called social anxiety disorder) — Significant anxiety and discomfort about being embarrassed or looked down on in social or performance situations. Common examples are public speaking, meeting people, or using public restrooms.
Agoraphobia — This is the fear of being in situations where escape may be difficult or embarrassing or help might not be available in the event of panic symptoms. Untreated agoraphobia can become so serious that a person may refuse to leave the house. A person can only receive a diagnosis of phobia when their fear is intensely upsetting, or if it significantly interferes with their normal daily activities.
Obsessions are upsetting and irrational thoughts which keep reoccurring. They cause great anxiety, which cannot be controlled through reasoning. Common obsessions include preoccupations with dirt or germs, nagging doubts, and a need to have things in a very particular order. To minimize these obsessions, many people with obsessive-compulsive disorder engage in repeated behavior, or compulsions. Examples include repeated hand washing, constant rechecking to satisfy doubts, and following rigid rules of order. Compulsive behavior can be very disruptive to normal daily routines and social relationships.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs in individuals who have survived a severe or terrifying physical or emotional event. People with PTSD may have recurrent nightmares, intrusive memories, or even have flashbacks, where the event seems to be happening all over again. They feel extreme distress when in circumstances that remind them of the trauma, and go to extremes to avoid these situations. Additional symptoms include:
• Feeling numb or detached
• Trouble sleeping
• Feeling jittery or on guard
Events that can trigger PTSD include military combat, a violent personal attack, natural disasters, tragedies (e.g., plane crash), physical or sexual abuse during childhood, or witnessing another person’s serious injury.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have ongoing, severe tension that interferes with daily functioning. They worry constantly and feel helpless to control these worries. Often their worries focus on job responsibilities, family health, or minor matters such as chores, car repairs, or appointments. They may have problems sleeping, muscle aches/tension, and feel shaky, weak and headachy. People with GAD can be irritable and often have problems concentrating and working effectively.
What Causes Anxiety Disorders?
The causes of anxiety disorders are currently unknown,
although research has provided several clues. Areas of the
brain that control fear responses may have a role in some
anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders can run in families,
suggesting that a combination of genes and environmental
stresses can produce the disorders. The role of brain
chemistry is also being investigated.
Although each anxiety disorder has its own unique
characteristics, most respond well to two types of
treatment: psychotherapy and medications. These treatments
can be given alone or in combination. Treatment can give
significant relief from symptoms, but not always a complete
There are several effective medications and psychotherapies. Because treatment often requires several weeks to work best, a psychiatrist should follow the patient’s progress and make necessary changes.
Unfortunately, many people with anxiety disorders don’t seek help. They don’t realize that they have an illness that has known causes and effective treatments. Other people fear their family, friends or coworkers might criticize them if they get help.
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