Tag Archives: Drugs

Why Sugar is so Hard to Quit and How to Quit It

We all love our different types of chocolate, ice cream, and sodas. They all taste so good, but they also have another thing in common…they all have high amounts of sugar.

Over time, people have used many different methods to lose weight such as juicing, fasting (the worst thing to do to your body), and cleansing. These diets are just the way they sound – they don’t do your body any good. So how does a sugar detox/cleansing do the opposite?

Sugar has been described as a “legal drug.” It doesn’t look much better when according to Robert Lusting, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, at least 10% of Americans have a sugar addiction. Research from the National Center of Biotechnology Information found that sugar has traits related to those of addictive drugs.

So, with sugar being more or less, a drug, how can we quit it? According to Brooke Alpert, the co-author of “The Sugar Detox: Lose the Sugar, Lose the Weight — Look and Feel Great (no, this is NOT an advert to buy this book), we should quit sugar… cold turkey.

After 3 days, an apple should be very sweet to you and you “should” start to lose weight after a few days to a week.

Sugar is very addicting and for those who don’t have a problem with sugar addiction should maybe still look into kicking out sugar from their lives. Your body will thank you with youth and good looks.

PSA: this article does not promote any lifestyles or diet. However, based on different studies, sugar can be compared to an “addictive drug.”

 

Featured Image from the BC Dairy Association

Waiting Room Blues

We’re all sitting in a makeshift waiting room.

A drug treatment facility masquerading as a fidcus emporium

The doctor is late

It’s as if having a medical degree comes with a broken watch

All of us are here for the same reason

Our brains flood us with that feel-good chemical

Get my heart racin’ baby

We shift uncomfortably

Unsure as to whether or not we’ll get our fix

waiting room
“The doctor is late. It’s as if having a medical degree comes with a broken watch.” Photo from: www.juiceforskin.com

 

 

 

 

 

They leave us in twos

Some cross the threshold and never come back

Gone into the zone of white lab coats and Zoloft

‘Not I’ said the bipolar

‘Not me’ said the schizophrenic

We shift and stare

Trying to find the drug addict among us

Only to find that we’re all addicts,

Getting high off serotonin.

The brain connectivity of LSD and “ego dissolution”

When individuals take the psychedelic drug Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), they may feel as though the limits that isolate them from everything have disintegrated, as though they are connected with the rest of the world. A study has discovered a neural mechanism behind this occurrence, called “ego dissolution.”

According to the researchers, the study’s results, published April 13 in the journal Current Biology, suggest that further research on LSD and other psychedelic drugs could provide important insight into how the human brain works.

Ego dissolution is not a universally positive or negative experience, said Enzo Tagliazucchi. Tagliazucchi is  a neuroscientist at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam and co-author of the story. According to Tagliazucchi, depending on the experience of the trip and ego dissolution, it can be too overwhelming and lead to anxiety, panic and what is normally dubbed a “bad trip”.

Ego dissolution is at the core of the treatment of anxiety related to the fear of death in such patients. According to Tagliazucchi, for terminal-stage cancer patients, ego dissolution “can be a positive and transformative experience, leading to peace, acceptance, a new perspective on things.”

According to Tagliazucchi, the findings additionally propose that taking LSD may cause an improved sharing of data among various brain regions that reinforces a more powerful connection between an individual’s sense of self and their sense of everything else.

This is your brain on LSD. Graphic from Imperial College London.

In the study, the researchers examined the brains, through scanning, of 15 healthy individuals twice — once after they took a placebo, and once after the individuals took LSD.

The researchers discovered that, when the individuals were high on LSD, different regions of their brains had a stronger link to each other, when compared with the placebo’s effect on the individuals. The more connected these brain regions were in these individuals, the higher their sense of ego dissolution was.

According to the researchers, the results of the study suggest that individuals on LSD can experience ego dissolution because these brain regions become heavily interconnected.

According to Tagliazucchi, ego dissolution does not automatically occur every time someone takes LSD. The experience of this phenomenon may depend on the dose of the drug they take. When ego dissolution happens, it doesn’t last longer than the other effects of LSD, which typically last about 10 hours.

According to Tagliazucchi, he is planning to investigate how other psychedelic drugs modify consciousness by using neuroimaging and other methods.

Two major untouchable subjects with your parental units

Some subjects are simply not okay to talk to your parents about. Your parents gave you life, but that doesn’t mean you should talk to them about the nitty gritty, personal, somewhat inappropriate stuff. It’s just awkward and uncomfortable for everyone involved. Here are some topics you should probably steer clear from when talking to your parents.

1. Sex

Nobody willingly likes to talk about sex when it comes to explaining what it means or how to do it. Your parents obviously knows what’s going on when it comes to sex because they had you, but mostly likely, they’d rather not talk to their child about it. You should never brag to your parents about how much you’re getting laid. First of all, why would you do that in the first place? That’s just a little bit weird, but also, that topic could spark the conversation of STDs and other awkward conversations that you nor them want to endure.

Last but not least, please don’t talk to your parents about sex toys. I don’t care if your parents are the “cool parents.” It’s not cool to do that. If you want information, google it or ask a friends. Don’t tell them you’re looking to buy a nice dildo and you were wondering where you could get it. They most likely have no idea what you’re talking about and if they do they’re either mortified or confused. Don’t bring up that conversation. Just don’t.

2. Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and drugs are somewhat of a better conversation than sex; however, parents can be scary overprotective so you have to be careful about how you start the conversation. If you ask any questions without prefacing it with “I’m not a drug addict or alcoholic nor am I attempting to be; however, I do have a question,” then your parents will most likely think you’re a drug dealer, pot head, or alcoholic. Just make sure they know what’s going on before you bring it up. Be nice to your parents

Don't be this kid, please.  Photo from buzzfeed
Don’t be this kid, please.
Photo from buzzfeed

These topics could be different for each person, but I think, generally, these are some good rules to follow to ensure everyone feels comfortable and not awkward when having to look you in the eyes. Be respectful and nice to your parents, it usually help later in life.

Aspirin cures cancer?

People around the world use Aspirin in their daily lives, whether it’s to treat fevers, inflammation, arthritis, or just general pain.

New studies would like to add to that list. Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands ran a multitude of tests on those with gastrointestinal and colon cancer and found that taking Aspirin after cancer treatment often increased survivability of the individual.

Through rigorous testing post-diagnosis, Aspirin users were twice as likely to survive gastrointestinal cancer than those who didn’t take the drug.

What is unique about this number is that it was determined after taking into account confounding variables such as age, sex, cancer stage, and form of cancer treatment.

Dr. Frouws, the head of research behind this project, came forth stating that he wants to change the medicinal formula that we as a nation have come to accept. The formula we currently have is that medicine should be personalized, which leads to an extreme increase in price and a decrease in effectiveness over the general population.

Dr. Frouws thinks that we need to reverse this idea and instead of personalizing medicine, we need to take a step toward the generalization of medicine.

image1 (2)
Photo By: Danielle Johnson

The benefit of a cheap, well established, and over-the-counter drug such as Aspirin is the key to treating the masses. It’s because that Aspirin isn’t a personalized drug, it can treat a larger group of people all while focusing in on the treatment of a select individual.  

In today’s modern economy where the number of middle class citizens increases daily, this is a step in the right direction. There has to be a trust between government grade pharmaceuticals and the citizens of the country or infrastructure begins to falter. We see people on the news like Martin Shkreli, who bought out Turing Pharmaceuticals and raised the price of the drug Daraprim (a drug used to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis) from $13.50 to $750, receiving colossal backlash from the general population. We as a nation can’t have people doing that because it breaks the bridge that took years to set up which is why this study done by the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands is so vital to the progression of medicinal science.

Marijuana and the media

Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen several articles appearing on my Facebook news feed from my home town and its surrounding areas about marijuana growers being caught. But living near West Virginia, there are a lot of bigger issues than pot. Meth and prescription drugs are very often the reason crimes are committed.

As many of us young adults can agree, marijuana is pretty much harmless. Meth on the other hand, not so much. I can recall several stories where a meth user completely demolished their life while high. One story in particular, a mother in Texas got so high on meth she put her baby in a clothes washer. The worst thing a pot smoker has ever done is clean out his entire pantry in one sitting.

The comment sections on these articles prove that locals also believe these growers are completely harmless. Many comments are filled with sarcasm, with people “thanking” officers for taking these “dangerous” criminals off the streets.

marijuana-debate-phoenix-az-arizona
“As many of us young adults can agree, marijuana is pretty much harmless. Meth on the other hand, not so much…The worst thing a pot smoker has ever done is clean out his entire pantry in one sitting.”

The worst part of these articles are the photos that come with them. One photo shows an officer knelt down next to several very small marijuana plants, smiling proudly. Although by his precincts standards this may have been a very big bust, I can’t help but wonder if they’ve forgotten our area’s history. Several years ago, Richlands, Virginia (about 45 minutes from my home town) was the Oxycontin capital of the world. Although the situation isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be, there are still a lot of other drugs that are being overlooked.

Not only do the officers look silly in this situation, but the reporters are making me question my choice of major. One reported stated that officers had found $15 million worth of marijuana. The officers were praised for collecting some plants up to 15 feet in height. As anyone who has done very basic research on marijuana would know, any marijuana plant that is growing that tall is going to be a male sativa plant. Male plants are useful for fertilizing the females, but that’s it. They have little street value because they’re hemp. They’re used to make rope and comfy fabric.

Also, how did these officers calculate the worth of these plants?  I noticed there is another number–$4 million in street value. So where did the first number come from? Media personnel need to take the time to do the extra research and inform the public of the technicalities before reporting these things.

I may be beating a dead horse here, but I will go ahead and say this: it’s time we legalize marijuana. With so many hardcore drugs out there that are actually taking lives, why are we wasting so much time and money on drug that is virtually non-addictive and as far as research can tell, causes little to no bodily harm? I’m much more worried about drugs like ecstasy, heroin, cocaine and even alcohol which is more addictive and harmful. Alcohol inhibits decision making and even impulse control, while THC simply blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter so that dopamine is released into the brain.

Although marijuana can affect decision making and awareness, how often do we hear about people getting in severe enough accidents  to kill someone while stoned? Now compare that to the amount of drunk driving accidents that take lives every day. It’s time we use our common sense. If alcohol is legal, why isn’t marijuana?

 

Highlanders Anonymous: Sorry for party rocking

I’m in an organization here at Radford and one of their main activities is drinking.  I’m totally okay with this: if they want to get drunk, why shouldn’t they? My problem is that I think academics should come first and they’d rather pregame a class rather than do the work.  I just don’t know how to approach this situation. Continue reading Highlanders Anonymous: Sorry for party rocking

FDA changing labels on painkillers to curve dependance

On Sept.10, the Food and Drug Administration announced a new labeling system for prescription painkillers in an effort to deter abuse. Health care providers and patients will soon be faced with this updated labeling in the near future. Douglas Throckmorton, M.D., a deputy director in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA, stated, “These actions are part of the FDA’s efforts to make opioids as safe as possible for those who need them.”

Continue reading FDA changing labels on painkillers to curve dependance

We’re all junkies: Caffeine addictions gone wrong

Marijuana is still considered illegal in a majority of the US, but Americans don’t need to let that little fact keep them from their pleasure-seeking adventures. There’s one drug out there that is completely legal, easily obtainable and we’re told so often it’s part of our normal daily grind that it’s like society is telling us to become junkies. It’s in soda, it’s in tea, it’s in coffee and if that isn’t enough to perk you up for three nights straight, cut the middleman and buy an over-the-counter box of pills. The drug is caffeine. Continue reading We’re all junkies: Caffeine addictions gone wrong

They’ve got a pill for that: Curing racism with drugs

Put the lime and coconut away because science has found a cure for everything but the common cold. Feeling feverish? Pop some ibuprofen. Got a touch of the clap? Penicillin will clear that up. Feeling like black rappers are responsible for the degradation of society? Take one of these and call me in the morning. Continue reading They’ve got a pill for that: Curing racism with drugs

Our shameful generation

Graphic by: Marie Stovall

I’m pretty open about most things. I’m pro-choice, a supporter of gay marriage and all for comprehensive sex education for middle and high school students. But there are some instances where I would have to agree with the staunchest of conservatives on the recent course our society has taken. Our generation is, in my view, worse than ever about being self-centered and disrespectful toward each other. Most seem to only want those instances of self-gratification without being concerned of the consequences it has on the rest of us.

First off is our generation