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2 Opioid Alternatives for Pain

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Have you ever had surgery? What about an injury? Chronic headaches or even unexplained pain?

Chances are, if you said yes to any of those questions, no matter the root of your pain, most likely you’ve been prescribed pain medicines. 

But, these highly addictive painkillers, also known as opioids, no matter their initial need, are causing a greater pain within our society…within our families.

This pain is not physical, but it is far more gruesome, far more lasting, and it is affecting far more than those who have been (or are being) prescribed legal opioids. 

In fact, opioid use, misuse, and overdose has become so common, and has affected so many, that it is considered to be a full blown epidemic. 

Maybe it’s just like a heart attack, or cancer, or a stroke? We know about those things. But, we don’t really become concerned until it affects us directly. 

Well, 1 in 3 Americans are said to know someone who is addicted to opioids. That’s getting a little closer to home now, isn’t it?

So then, maybe it’s time to dig a little deeper and both learn about the dangers of opioids, this epidemic, and a viable option to prescribed painkillers. 

What Are Opioids?

Legal and Illegal

There are two categories of opioids, legal and illegal. 

Legal opioids are a class of drug made of chemicals that aid the nervous system in creating feelings of relaxation, pleasure, and their primary reason for prescription, relief of pain.

It is the relaxed, pleasurable feeling that these drugs can produce that has led to them being used for “recreational” reasons…or in other words, to get high. 

Legal opioids include the drugs oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and others. 

Illegal opioids include the drugs heroin and fentanyl. 

Addictive

Both legal and illegal, these drugs are highly addictive. 

Even legally prescribed opioids, when taken as directed, can have a lasting effect on the brain, which can specifically lead to an increase in one’s tolerance levels for these drugs.

When this occurs, greater amounts of the drug are needed to produce the same pain relieving effects.  

Unfortunately the downfalls don’t end there. This increase in tolerance leads to dependence amongst long-time prescription (and recreational) opioid users. 

Long time opioid use causes an adaptation of neurons in the brain. In fact, with opioid dependence, these neurons can no longer function normally without the presence of this highly addictive drug. 

Should users stop taking these legally prescribed drugs (and such is the case for illegal use as well), they will experience symptoms of withdrawal such as muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety. 

According to the National US Library of Medicine, everyone who takes opioids for a long length of time will become dependent on the drug, but only a small percentage of people become “addicted.” 

But, those suffering from the “chronic disease” “opioid addiction”…this just isn’t the case regarding addiction. 

Opioid Epidemic

Many suffering from opioid addiction cite their first experience with the drug as one stemming from a legal medical prescription. 

The tale that is often told progresses as follows: 

  • Pain. Prescription. Tolerance. 
  • More Prescription. More tolerance. Dependence. 
  • Withdrawal in the absence of the opioid. 
  • Greater sense of need or urge for the drug. 
  • Addiction. 

Obviously, that’s over simplified and every person is different. 

But, regarding the notion that dependence rarely leads to addiction, just take a look at the following facts about opioid use… and the prescription of these drugs.

Judge for yourself the line between their medically admitted “dependence” and “addiction.” 

  • It is estimated that over 2 million Americans are addicted to opioids right now. 
  • Approximately 137 people died of an opioid overdose every single day in 2019. 
  • In 2017 opioid pain medication was prescribed at a rate of almost 59% (that’s 58.7 opioid prescriptions per 100 people).
  • In 2017, more than 11 million Americans abused opioids that were medically prescribed.
  • In data gathered between 2002-2012, 80% of heroin users claimed to use prescription opioids prior to heroin. This is a direct flip from reports in the 1960’s that showed more than 80% of opioid users started with heroin. 
  • Opioid addiction claimed more lives in 2019 than gun violence and car accidents.
  • Emergency room doctors treat more than 1000 people daily from opioid misuse. 

The United States incorporates programs where those addicted to opioids can safely be administered drugs like methadone. This substance acts similarly to morphine and is used for those who are addicted to both prescription opioids and illegal opioids such as heroin. 

In Canada, as our neighbors to the north are also battling opioid addiction and subsequent overdoses from this type of drug, they are essentially setting up prescription drug ATMs of sorts to provide access to clean pills for addicts in an effort to keep them from buying opioids on the streets. 

It’s coming to a point that almost none of us are immune to this problem. In fact, it has been concluded that now 1 in 3 Americans know someone who is addicted to opioids. 

Maybe, instead of continually reciting the facts and annually compiled information surrounding this crisis, we could look for other ways to manage pain that don’t carry the steep penalties that opioids inevitably bring? 

Chances are if you’ve battled with chronic pain, know someone who has struggled with opioid addiction, or have been thus afflicted yourself, you know that non opioid options are limited and often ineffective at combating chronic pain.

But, there are more and more stories of relief coming from one increasingly popular, natural prescription drug alternative. 

CBD And Pain Reduction

CBD or cannabidiol has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. 

It is one of hundreds of chemicals found in the marijuana plant. And, this non-addictive, non-psychoactive chemical in the plant is being focused on heavily right now for its specific benefits in regards to pain relief.  

Studies are proving that cannabidiol interacts with a system in your body known as the endocannabinoid system. The CBD aids the ability of neurotransmitters to bind on to receptors in your nervous system resulting in a decrease in pain and inflammation. 

Many have found that the use of CBD has completely changed their lives in relation to chronic pain management. 

From an individual who was being prescribed pain medicine after pain medicine due to a herniated disc in her back…

To a person who suffered with chronic headaches resulting from a concussion and traumatic brain injury…

To a man with pain from rheumatoid arthritis…

And, a man who suffered with chronic, crippling pain for more than 22 years…

…CBD brought the pain relief these people needed and had long been seeking. 

And, success stories like this are truly not in short supply. A very brief scour of the internet can unearth countless individuals whose lives have been regained by replacing opioid pain treatment with CBD. 

As dependency is guaranteed for long term opioid use, and addiction and overdose is more and more common, exploration into other treatment options has proven imperative. 

And, that’s where CBD is proving over and over again to be a successful option. 

Reducing Opioids

If you have been a long time opioid user for whatever reason, please, before switching to a non additive option like CBD, talk to your doctor.

Abruptly quitting opioids “cold turkey” can cause serious medical complication–even death.

Err on the side of caution here folks. Seriously.

If you are tapering or reducing your use of opioids (after talking to a doctor):

  • Because the human body develops a tolerance to drugs like opioids, long term use results in a need to take far more than what the body initially needed to dull pain. Therefore, when reducing, first find a support network (family, friends, healthcare) to be by your side along this journey.
  • Make a plan to manage withdrawal: plan to manage both pain and other symptoms of withdrawal.
  • If you decide to do a rapid reduction or an abrupt stop of your opioid use, it is advised that this be done with medical supervision due to withdrawal symptoms. 
  • A slow reduction in opioid use can be achieved by reducing the prescribed dose by 5-10% every 2-4 weeks. (Besides physician consultation, a pharmacist should also be able to assist you in going over a plan for dose reductions.) 
  • Similar to dose reductions, another approach to opioid reduction is the use of other opioids (administered by a doctor or specified health clinic) like methadone in small doses. 

*If you, like millions of others, suffer from chronic pain, know that CBD can offer a viable and successful alternative to addictive opioids. 

**If you have a loved one who is already in the throws of opioid addiction…be patient, be kind, be understanding, be wise, and be helpful. There are many resources available to help you, to help them, and to help you help them. 

***And, if you think that you are or may be struggling with an opioid addiction…please, seek help. There are numerous local, city-wide, state-wide, and even a national system in place to offer services/help to those in need. 

Trained staff are available 24/7 at the National Addiction Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

And finally, if you are looking for a high quality full-spectrum CBD oil that your body can actually absorb, this is our favorite.

It uses patented liposomal technology to achieve up to 99% absorption. Check out this article if you want to understand how this fascinating (and powerful) technology is changing the supplement game.

And you get a great deal on it when you use this link.

And if you’re looking for alternatives pain treatment options, you may find this story interesting…

Blacklisted Celebrity Doctor’s Enzymes

Pablo Picasso…

JFK… Marilyn Monroe… and Charlie Chaplin.

They all had one thing in common… They ALL used a Columbia University doctor’s natural pain-relief formula that is:

Just as effective as morphine for pain relief… AND safer than aspirin.

And you can still get it today—without a doctor—because it is actually an enzyme your body already creates—that declines as we get older.

Decades ago, a reclusive MD and Columbia University professor Dr. Max Wolf discovered how these enzymes work to relieve pain.

And he used them extensively in his medical practice.

But in spite of his high-profile patients like JFK, Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso, and Charlie Chaplin… The drug industry made more money off selling pills that treat symptoms without fixing anything… SO:

Dr. Wolf’s breakthrough was blacklisted.

Fortunately—thanks to the internet—his research was rediscovered by a post-rehab specialist who is sharing it with the world.

Check it out and see what YOU think.

References: 

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HEALTH

Exploring the Role of the Health Belief Model in Preventative Health Behaviors

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Preventative health behaviors are essential for maintaining overall well-being and preventing the onset of various illnesses and diseases. One model that has been widely used to explain and promote these behaviors is the Health Belief Model (HBM). The HBM is a psychological model that was originally developed in the 1950s by social psychologists Hochbaum, Rosenstock, and Kegels. It aims to explain and predict health behaviors by taking into account individual beliefs and perceptions.

The HBM is based on the premise that individuals are more likely to take action to prevent or control a health issue if they believe that they are susceptible to the issue, that it is severe, that taking action will be beneficial, and that they are capable of taking the necessary steps. These four key elements are known as perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers, respectively.

Perceived susceptibility refers to an individual’s belief about their personal risk of developing a particular health issue. For example, someone who believes that they are at high risk of developing heart disease may be more likely to engage in preventative behaviors such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.

Perceived severity is the individual’s belief about the seriousness of the health issue. If someone believes that the consequences of not taking action to prevent a particular health issue are severe, they may be more motivated to engage in preventative behaviors.

Perceived benefits refer to the individual’s belief that taking action to prevent or control the health issue will be effective in reducing the risk. If someone believes that exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet will help to lower their risk of developing heart disease, they may be more likely to engage in these behaviors.

Perceived barriers are the obstacles that may prevent an individual from taking action to prevent or control a health issue. These barriers may be financial, logistical, or psychological. For example, someone may be deterred from exercising regularly due to a lack of time or access to a gym.

The HBM has been applied to a wide range of preventative health behaviors, including cancer screenings, vaccinations, and healthy lifestyle choices. Research has shown that individuals who have higher levels of perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, and lower levels of barriers are more likely to engage in preventative health behaviors.

Healthcare providers and public health professionals can use the HBM to design interventions and communication strategies that promote preventative health behaviors. By addressing and changing individuals’ beliefs and perceptions, these interventions can help to increase motivation and enable people to take action to protect their health.

In conclusion, the Health Belief Model is a valuable framework for understanding and promoting preventative health behaviors. By considering individuals’ beliefs and perceptions about their health, healthcare providers can design effective interventions that motivate and empower people to take control of their well-being. The HBM plays a crucial role in shaping public health strategies and encouraging individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent the onset of diseases and illnesses.

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How to Perform CPR Fast and Effectively

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(NaturalHealthyNews.com) – EVERYONE HAS SEEN THE tense moments in movies where someone collapses, and someone else dashes to the scene to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

One crucial action, such as retrieving an automated external defibrillator (AED), can make the difference between life and death. This action is typically not given much emphasis.

Follow these life-saving steps immediately:

Step 1: Check the Scene

Check to see if the person is alright by tapping them and asking if there are any chemical spills or downed electrical lines.

Step 2: Check for Breathing

Proceed to the next step immediately if they are not breathing or are only sometimes gasping for air.

Step 3: Call 911 and Grab the AED

Tell anyone close to perform these actions so that you can start CPR. Gordon Tomaselli, M.D., a former president of the American Heart Association, advises skipping the AED and beginning compressions as soon as possible if you have to search for the device that shocks the heart back into rhythm.

Step 4: Start CPR

Use the AED first if it’s nearby: When an AED shock is administered within the first minute of a cardiac arrest, nine out of ten victims survive. Perform chest compressions until aid comes if an AED is not available.

Compressions can increase the chances of survival by two or three times if performed in the first few minutes after cardiac arrest.

How to Do Chest Compressions: Place the heel of one hand in the center of the chest, precisely at the nipple line, while kneeling next to the individual to perform chest compressions.

Put the other one on top of the initial one. Put your fingers together. Locked elbows, apply force quickly. Compress between 100 and 120 times per minute; this is the beat of “Stayin’ Alive.”

Each time, delve two inches deeper.

Step 5: Follow the AED’s Instructions

The AED’s audio instructions walk you through every stage of using it after you turn it on. All you have to do is listen and answer. The instructions will tell you how to position the electrode pads and whether you should click the button to shock someone.

They also recommend restarting CPR if a shock is ineffective.

Step 6: Continue CPR

Hands-only CPR is equally successful in the initial minutes following cardiac arrest in adults and teenagers as it is when combined with rescue breathing.

Continue until your breathing returns, assistance comes, or you cannot continue.

If you are faced with a situation where someone near you requires CPR, follow the step-by-step guide below to potentially save a life.

Copyright 2024. NaturalHealthyNews.com

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HEALTH

Your 4-Week Plan for Better Mental Wellness

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(NaturalHealthyNews.com) – Everything in your day to day and your life is impacted by your mental health. There are other options outside therapy, medication, and even meditation to maximize it.

You can do many little things to improve your mental health, remove obstacles in your path, and achieve your life goals.

Being happy with your mental health does not imply that you never experience terrible days. It means you can handle those days with more extraordinary fortitude and less effort.

And perhaps you can figure out how to prepare yourself for even fewer of them down the road.

This four-week strategy helps you do things differently, think outside the box, overcome obstacles, and feel joy and amazement. In essence, it improves your mental health.

Week 1: Take a Breather

Day 1: Pause for a Minute

Take a moment to ground yourself by noticing 5 things you can see, 4 you can touch, 3 you can hear, 2 you can smell, and 1 you can taste.

Day 2: Focus on Your Breath

Practice 4-7-8 breathing: inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7, and exhale for 8. Repeat a few times to relax.

Day 3: Let Your Mind Wander

Sit quietly without distractions, allowing your mind to relax and think positively, boosting creativity and mood.

Day 4: Embrace JOMO

Limit social media use and enjoy the joy of missing out (JOMO). Focus on what matters to you rather than online content.

Day 5: Get Some Rest

Prioritize sleep by setting a bedtime, keeping your room cool, and avoiding screens before bed.

Week 2: Ask a Question a Day

Day 1: What’s Going Well?

Focus on what’s working well to boost positivity and well-being.

Day 2: How Will This Decision Affect Me?

Consider the short-, medium-, and long-term consequences of your decisions to reduce anxiety.

Day 3: How Am I Feeling Right Now, Really?

Identify and understand your genuine emotions without labeling them as good or bad.

Day 4: What’s Possible Today?

Adapt to daily challenges by asking what’s achievable rather than striving for perfection.

Day 5: What Can I Let Go Of?

Identify and start letting go of negative self-talk or unhealthy relationships.

Week 3: Fuel Your Mood with Food

Day 1: Eat a Day’s Worth of Greens in One Meal

Incorporate two cups of leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, into your diet for mental and physical benefits.

Day 2: Sample the Rainbow

Eat various colorful fruits and vegetables to boost optimism and reduce stress.

Day 3: Dive Into Seafood

Include fatty fish like salmon for omega-3s and vitamin D, which support brain health.

Day 4: Shift Your Snacks

Choose nuts like almonds or walnuts to nourish your brain with essential nutrients.

Day 5: Add Friends

Share meals with friends to enhance mental wellness through social connections.

Week 4: Use These Mind Hacks

Day 1: Embrace Uncertainty

Accepting what you can’t control helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Day 2: Plan for Hurdles

Prepare for daily challenges to stay balanced and resilient.

Day 3: Change Your Language

Reframe negative emotions by noting them as feelings rather than defining yourself by them.

Day 4: Balance Your Negativity with Positivity

Counter negative thoughts with positive ones to improve mental well-being.

Day 5: Be Amazed

Experience awe through nature, art, or inspiring talks to boost creativity and mood.

Mental health impacts how we think, behave, and feel. It’s closely tied to physical health, and nearly everyone faces mental health challenges at some point.

This 30-day plan offers simple daily changes to help reduce stress and anxiety, enhancing mental well-being and resilience.

Copyright 2024. NaturalHealthyNews.com

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