Author: Shernide Delva
A while back, CVS made the bold decision to cease the sale of tobacco products in their stores. Now, new data reveals their decision to stop selling cigarettes contributed to a drop in tobacco purchases from all retailers. Furthermore, CVS customers were 38% more likely to stop buying cigarettes, according to research from the American Journal of Public Health.
The analysis comes less than three years after the company stopped selling all tobacco products. The move garnered national attention from public health advocates, doctors, and even the white house.
“After CVS’s tobacco removal, household- and population-level cigarette purchasing declined significantly,” the study concluded.
CVS officially stopped selling tobacco products as of October 1, 2014, at its CVS/pharmacy stores. The decision had the greatest impact on customers who bought cigarettes only at CVS drugstores. Those particular customers were 38% more likely to stop buying cigarettes altogether.
To gather those numbers, the study used household purchasing data to examine American households that stopped buying cigarettes for at least six months during the period of September 2014 to August 2015. The study, written by CVS executives and paid for by the company, was a peer-reviewed article, the journal disclosed.
“When we removed tobacco from our shelves, a significant number of our customers simply stopped buying and hopefully smoking cigarettes altogether instead of just altering their cigarette purchasing habits,” Dr. Troyen Brennan, CVS Health chief medical officer, said in a statement.
“This research proves that our decision had a powerful public health impact by disrupting access to cigarettes and helping more of our customers on their path to better health.”
The decision by CVS to cut off tobacco sales amounted to a loss of $2 billion in annual sales that existed when it sold cigarettes. Still, the drugstore’s overall sales have been increasing in the last three years thanks to new business from the Affordable Care Act which benefit the pharmacy. CVS is growing significantly as a medical service business.
As for its rivals, the CVS decision has not triggered a trend. None of the other stores such as Wal-Mart, Rite Aid or Walgreens Boots Alliance have followed suit with their own plans to stop selling cigarettes. The pressure from the public and some of their shareholders has not made enough of an impact to change their mind. Walgreens, for example, has instead decided to push more smoking cessation products alongside their tobacco products.
The response from customers in regards to the ban was mixed. Some commended the stand from CVS saying it was a step in the right direction. These days, smoking is banned in restaurants, schools, and even certain parks, so the move did seem to follow the ongoing trend.
On the other hands, many people were outraged at the decision. Some stated it was hypocritical because CVS continues to sell alcohol, candy, and sugary drinks, which can be equally as harmful to the health. Therefore, the argument was made that it is the choice of the customer, not CVS, to decide.
With these recent results, it is evident that CVS may have gotten the result they were hoping for. More outside studies are needed to fully determine the impact the ban had on smoking trends. Still, it sends a message loud and clear that CVS will no longer support tobacco products.
What do you think about the ban? Should other pharmacies follow? In recovery, it is important to take steps to living a healthy life. Perhaps quitting smoking is something you should consider. If you are struggling to quit smoking, or are struggling with any addiction, please call now. We want to help.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Using needles to heal addicts is nothing new. Those who practice and promote holistic healing are often familiar with the concept. In recovery, the needle can mean something totally different than what it meant in addiction. For some it opens up a new world of medical treatment they never knew was possible. Acupuncture itself is actually much more powerful than some may realize, and a recent study only magnifies the usefulness of going under the needle for chronic pain and mental health.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Journals Library now features a report where the researchers show there is significant evidence to demonstrate that acupuncture provides more than a placebo effect.
To clarify, a placebo is a substance or treatment with no active therapeutic effect. These kinds of treatment may be given to a person in order to trick the recipient into thinking that it is an active treatment, meaning the answer is all in the mind.
This new data suggests there is an active therapeutic element to acupuncture.
Clinic Trials: Acupuncture VS Pain
Professor of Acupuncture Research, Hugh MacPherson, helped bring together this research with a team of scientists from the UK and US. The data is strung together using the results of 29 high-quality clinical trials. These trials specifically reviewed patients treated with acupuncture, alongside standard medical care.
For most of the clinical trials, patients with chronic pain treated with acupuncture and standard medical care were tested against those who were provided with standard medical care alone. The standard medical care includes treatment such as:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
Those examined were approximately 18,000 patients diagnosed with chronic pain of areas such as:
- Lower back
According to the published reports, the addition of acupuncture to complement standard medical treatment has a few powerful effects. Acupuncture was able to:
- Significantly reduce the number of headaches and migraine attacks
- Reduce the severity of neck and lower back pain
- Reduce the pain and disability of osteoarthritis, which led to patients being less reliant on anti-inflammatory drugs
Clinic Trials: Acupuncture VS Depression
The teams report also includes a new clinical trial for the impact on depression. During these trials acupuncture or counselling was compared to the effectiveness of antidepressants and related medications.
Researchers sourced from 755 patients with depression in the North of England. The new study shows that both acupuncture and counselling significantly reduced the severity of depression. Not only did they reduce the severity, but the benefits were generally continuous for up to 12 months after the initial treatment. So the long-term implications alone are pretty exciting to see.
Professor MacPherson, from the University of York’s Department of Health Sciences, has said:
“The front-line treatment for depression in primary care usually involves antidepressants; however, they do not work well for more than half of patients.
“In the largest study of its kind, we have now provided a solid evidence base to show that not only can acupuncture and counselling bring patients out of an episode of depression, but it can keep the condition at bay for up to a year on average.”
Professor MacPherson believes that because patients and health professionals can now make decisions on using acupuncture for treatment with more confidence, this new data provides a significant step forward in managing and treating chronic pain and depression.
Clinic Trials: True Acupuncture VS Sham Acupuncture
As stated in the beginning, many believed acupuncture’s benefits to be at least partially associated with placebo effects. With this doubt hanging over it, the uncertainty of it’s clinical effectiveness has stunted its growth.
Professor MacPherson says that this new research provides definitive evidence that acupuncture can work to treat chronic pain; that in doing so the reductions in pain are substantially more than those measured from what is called “sham acupuncture.”
Sham acupuncture is only for clinical trials for research purposes. This “sham” method involves inserting needles at the ‘wrong’ locations, or using non-inserted needles (fake needles) at the correct locations. Having data to attest that ‘true’ acupuncture has significantly more effect in reducing pain than ‘sham’ acupuncture offers evidence that it is not simply a placebo effect.
This research also asserts that this kind of treatment is cost effective. With the value for money being rated as less than the threshold of £20,000 cost per quality of life year; a metric for measuring cost-effectiveness used by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). MacPherson went on to state:
“There has been a question mark for many years over whether policy and decision makers should or should not provide wider access to acupuncture. Our aim was to bring together data from high quality clinical trials and provide a robust evidence base that will help reduce this uncertainty and support commissioners and health professionals in making informed decisions backed up with research.”
Professor MacPherson insists that not only is it more cost effective than medications, but acupuncture reduces pain levels and improves mood levels, which could reduce over reliance on drugs that can sometimes result in unwanted side effects, such as physical dependence or abuse.
In the world of addiction, pain and depression are often simultaneous with substance use disorder. Many people who battle with addiction also fight to overcome depression, and countless people have become addicted to opioids as a result of prolonged dependence on prescription pain medications. As we move toward more innovations in prevention and intervention, innovations in treatment are more important than ever.
For years Palm Partners has believed in the healing power of acupuncture and offered the opportunity for people struggling with substances to have access to this powerful resource on their path to recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now!
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
Pornography addiction is one of the most controversial addictions out there. Even the DSM-5, the latest official manual of mental disorders, does not list pornography or sex addiction as an actual mental illness. Yet, those who struggle with it know that it is very real. Those who suffer with it deal with the reality of their addiction every single day.
An addiction to pornography does not happen overnight. It is a gradual process that worsens over time. However, once pornography becomes a full blown addiction, it is difficult to stop. Furthermore, because of the stigma surrounding pornography addiction, many people struggle to get treatment for it. The media makes pornography seem harmless, but when it consumes every second of a person’s life, it can become as detrimental as any other addiction out there.
If you or a loved one suffers from pornography addiction, we encourage you to be mindful of the five steps of pornography addiction.
The 5 Steps of Pornography Addiction:
Most people who later on struggle with pornography first viewed pornography at a young age. While this not apply to all porn addictions, it is extremely common. Viewing pornography during childhood and adolescence exposes the mind to the act at a young age. Eventually, porn addiction becomes a way to escape reality and solve problems. Like other addictions, the brain rewires to understand that viewing pornography is a source of comfort and security.
Formulation of Addiction:
Pornography is designed to be a fantasy. It portrays sexuality in an unrealistic and compelling way. Individuals who turn to pornography continue to turn to it again and again. It skews the reality of sexuality and makes it into a spectacle.
Eventually, images and words become familiar, even boring, however the desire remains. What this means is that pornography that was once fulfilling in the past becomes boring. However, the desire for the same high and craving for pornography remains. Therefore, at this point, the porn addict seeks new, more graphic material, even exploring content that they once found disgusting.
As mentioned above, after a while the addict becomes desensitized to the graphic material. Therefore, they watch more and more porn and even more graphic material and are never fully satisfied. This begins a destructive pattern because the porn addict is left with an overwhelming desire they can no longer fulfill.
Acting out sexually:
After a while, it becomes difficult for the pornography addict to separate reality from what they see online. At this point, many begin to act out the images and scenarios that have surrounded them for so long. While this is not a step for everyone, it is a possibility. However, just because your addiction has not reached this point does not mean it will not in the future. Also, if you have not reached this point, that does not mean you do not have a pornography problem.
Seeing a loved one struggle with porn addiction is difficult. Having a pornography addiction is even harder. However, the first step is acknowledging the problem and taking steps to ensure that the addiction does not take over your life. Understand that any addiction that affects your day to day life is a serious issue. You do not need the validation of others to seek help for your addiction.
If you have identified yourself in any of these steps, or suspect a loved one is struggling with a pornography addiction, please contact us today. We can give you the tools to overcome your addiction. Please take the initiative to get your life back on track. Call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
With drug abuse being a major issue facing the nation, education is extremely important. Any hope of winning the fight against rising overdose rates and the spread of drug-related illness and death starts with making sure we have as much information as possible to make a difference. On that note, explaining prescription drug abuse is critical because prescription drug abuse is a key contributor to the state of the country today.
If we want to help people avoid prescription drug abuse, or recognize the signs and know there is help, it is important to explain the reality and the risks.
What is prescription drug abuse?
Simply put- prescription drug abuse is one of two things.
- When someone takes a medication that is not their prescription
- If someone takes their own prescription in a way not intended by a doctor or for a different reason
When you take prescription drugs properly they are usually safe. It requires a trained health care clinician, such as a doctor or nurse, to determine if the benefits of taking the medication outweigh any risks for side effects. But when abused and taken in different amounts or for different purposes than as prescribed, they affect the brain and body in ways very similar to illicit drugs.
These drugs have a close relation to morphine, or the street drug heroin. Opioids are typically for pain management. Opioid addiction has become one of the biggest problems facing the country today. Drugs such as:
These drugs are also known as “downers”. You can divide the category can be up into:
Drugs such as Zyprexa, Seroquel and Haldol are meant to reduce symptoms of mental illness.
- Benzodiazepines (Benzos)
Prescription drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, Valium and Librium.
Amytal, Numbutal and Seconal are included in a class of depressants intended as sedatives or sleeping pills.
These kinds of prescription drugs are also called “uppers” or “smart drugs” because of the increase alertness, attention and energy. They also increase heart rate and respiration. Many of these medications are used to combat conditions such as ADHD, including:
Prescription drug abuse has become a big health issue because of the various health hazards. This risk is particularly true of abusing prescription pain medications.
Who abuses prescription drugs?
When asking who are most likely to abuse prescription drugs, the answer may vary depending on the substance. Some people end up participating in prescription drug abuse due to an injury or legitimate health reason, but the “high” they can experience may lead to more frequent use and ultimately a physical dependence.
Recent studies have indicated that prescription drug abuse impacts young adults most; specifically age 18 to 25. In regards to teens, after marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most common substances of abuse by Americans age 14 and older.
Prescription drug abuse is present across all demographics, relevant to every social and economic class. Many believe this rise has largely contributed to the heroin addiction epidemic and the overdose outbreak in the past few years.
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
The Palm Partners Treatment Program has a design for prescription drug abuse intended to address people of all walks of life who are suffering. Personalized recovery programs are meant to work with each individual’s circumstances and symptoms to create a blueprint for the future.
Some of the signs of addiction range in severity and can affect each people differently, especially depending on the specific prescription drug. Increased tolerance is a clear cut sign of progressive physical dependence. Some indicators of prescription drug addiction may be:
- Excessive sweating
- Swelling in the arms and legs
- Chronic constipation
- Respiratory distress
- Slurred speech
- Poor concentration
- High body temperature
- High blood pressure
Treatment for prescription drug addiction includes a detox period to help combat the uncomfortable symptoms of prescription drug addiction, as well as withdrawal.
For all those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse, or even abusing other drugs or medications, there is a massive community of recovery all over the country to help you get the care you need. Treatment for prescription drug abuse can be the first and most important step, so be sure to step up.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Shernide Delva
Do you remember Charlie Sheen’s crazy antics back in 2011? Actually, a better question would be, who doesn’t remember?
Here are just a few crazy quotes from those days:
“I have a 10,000-year-old brain and the boogers of a 7-year-old. That’s how I describe myself.”
“I’m tired of pretending I’m not a total bitchin’ rock star from Mars, and people can’t figure me out; they can’t process me. I don’t expect them to. You can’t process me with a normal brain.”
And crowd favorites:
“I’m not bi-polar, I’m bi-winning.”
“I don’t know man, I was bangin’ seven gram rocks and finishing them because that’s how I roll, I have one speed, I have one gear … go!”
Along with mentions of Adonis blood and tiger blood DNA, these quotes from Sheen are difficult for anyone to forget, including Sheen himself. Jokes aside, that period in Charlie Sheen’s life was indeed a tumultuous one.
Fortunately, quite some time has passed since then. Now, Sheen is opening up about that part of his life and his current mental state.
In an interview with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America, Charlie Sheen explained that during his 2011 meltdown, he was actually using testosterone cream. According to Sheen, the cream he was using “metabolizes into basically a roid rage” and led him to the out-of-control moments memorably caught on camera.
Sheen initially started using testosterone cream in a bid to “keep the old libido up,” he says. However, he was using way above the recommended dosage. Looking back, Sheen feels like a combination of the roid rage and his personal vendetta led to the rampage.
“The whole odyssey, that was basically an accidental roid rage. But there’s some good quotes that came out of it, right?” he joked. “There’s a few fun moments. So bizarre. It’s so bizarre.”
Although Sheen is no longer on the testosterone cream, he admits he can not blame all his actions on the product.
“I think, ultimately, in our blueprint, in our DNA, I believe that we are the sum total of all of our experiences, good and bad. But they don’t lead the charge,” he said. “It’s fun to kind of watch sometimes, but also just a little bit cringeable. It’s like, ‘Dude, what the hell was that?'”
Towards the end of 2015, Charlie Sheen publicly announced his HIV diagnosis. Now, 11 months later, Sheen says he is feeling better than ever. He is part of an FDA study for a new HIV treatment. However, things were not always so positive. In the early days of his diagnosis, he admits he became suicidal.
“The day I was diagnosed, I immediately wanted to eat a bullet.”
“But my mom was there,” he said. “I wouldn’t do that in front of her or let her find me to clean up that mess.”
Now, Sheen considers himself to be an advocate for others.
“I’m carrying the torch for a lot of folks out there that are suffering from the same thing,” he explained.
For a while, Sheen was making very questionable decisions regarding his HIV treatments. Last year, on an episode of The Dr. Oz Show, Sheen said he was opting for alternative therapies in Mexico instead of traditional HIV medication. Sheen hired Dr. Sam Chachoua, a physician not licensed to practice medicine in the United States. Not too long after, he began to see negative consequences from the move.
Right before taping, Sheen was told that there were detectable traces of HIV in his blood, a stark contrast from his state two months ago. These results led Sheen to conclude that he should immediately return to his normal treatments. Now, Sheen is part of an FDA study which, if approved, will result in a better treatment for HIV patients.
“It’s in the late stages of its trial run. We are very close to being approved,” Sheen said. “It is not this hideous cocktail that leads to so many side effects, emotionally and physically. It’s one shot a week. I feel like I’m carrying the torch for a lot of folks out there who are suffering from the same thing.”
Charlie Sheen has a new movie, Mad Families, now released on the popular online streaming website Crackle. While he won’t call the movie a comeback, he considers it a “stepping stone” in the new direction of his life.
Despite the criticism, Charlie Sheen has managed to progress from the person he was in 2011. His HIV diagnosis has motivated him to be an advocate for other, and he has slowly turned his life around. If Charlie Sheen can do it, what is stopping you from taking the next step? If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, please call now. Do not wait. Call toll-free today.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135