We say things like, “That was the turning point in my life.” What do we mean? Do we mean that life created a sequence of events that changed our direction? Do we mean that we made a decision that led to a big change, or do we mean that “Fate” or a “Higher Power” intervened to create a new path? Continue reading
It has been said that opinions are like wrinkles: everyone has them, and the older we get the more we have. We give them a great deal of power. Some of us are practically ruled by our opinions, and the opinions of others impact our lives daily in myriad ways: politics, individual human rights — even what we (or our significant others) believe we should be wearing.
When we really think about it, we can see that “our” opinions often aren’t really ours.The majority of the time they are based on the opinions of others that we glean from conversations, the news and infotainment media (usually those that tell us the things we are comfortable hearing), our clergy, friends and social sites. Seldom do we bother to conduct unbiased research, drawing from sources on both sides of a question so that we can form original opinions of our own. In fact, most of the things we “believe” or “feel” are things that someone else wanted us to believe and feel. Rarely can we honestly say that our positions on issues are solely our own.
An analysis of 145 different electronic-cigarette flavoring products reveals that many e-cigarette users may be exposed to a potentially harmful chemical. In a research letter published online in the peer-reviewed journal Thorax, a research team led by Maciej Goniewicz, PhD, PharmD, of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) reports that high levels of the respiratory irritant benzaldehyde were detected in the vapor from most of the flavored nicotine products they studied, with the highest concentrations in vapor from cherry-flavored products.
It’s worth pointing out that custom vaping solutions, produced at the point of sale using unknown ingredients from China (as most electronic products do) may have a higher risk of problems due to unknown combinations and quantities of ingredients.
Posted: 16 Oct 2015 08:56 AM PDT
Seven out of 10 college students say it is somewhat or very easy to obtain controlled stimulants without a prescription, according to a new survey conducted on eight US campuses.
Posted: 16 Oct 2015 08:55 AM PDT
Nicotine use over time increases the speed that codeine is converted into morphine within the brain, by increasing the amount of a specific enzyme, according to new research in rat models. It appears smokers’ brains are being primed for a bigger buzz from this common pain killer — which could put them at a higher risk for addiction, and possibly even overdose. These findings are part a new way of seeing the brain’s role when it comes to drugs and toxins.
Posted: 16 Oct 2015 06:41 AM PDT
A few minutes of counseling in a primary care setting could be an effective tool in steering people away from risky drug use, and possibly full-fledged addiction, a new report suggests. The researchers found that this sort of intervention helped patients reduce their risky drug use by one-third.
Posted: 16 Oct 2015 05:48 AM PDT
Excessive alcohol use continues to be a drain on the American economy, according to a study. Excessive drinking cost the U.S. $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 per drink, a significant increase from $223.5 billion, or $1.90 per drink, in 2006. Most of these costs were due to reduced workplace productivity, crime, and the cost of treating people for health problems caused by excessive drinking.
Not that this is likely to change anyone’s mind all by itself, but…
Cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol use cause epigenetic changes to DNA that reflect accelerated biological aging in distinct, measurable ways, according to research presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2015 Annual Meeting in Baltimore. MORE
Dr. Pavlov taught us about stimulus and response. He conditioned dogs to salivate when they heard a bell by ringing the bell and then immediately giving them food. The bell was the stimulus, and the salivation was the response. Simple.
We’re a little more complicated, but we too have our conditioned responses. Some of these may be wanting to act out in our addictions when we’re exposed to certain sounds, smells, places, people — even things. We may respond to certain situations, but we have to ask ourselves how we got into those situations. Continue reading