Prescription Narcotics: Exchanging One Pain for Another

Exchange one pain for another; pain killers of the newest medical advances seem to serve the greatest purpose – to improve condition of life, in times of terminal illness, pain due to physical accidents, and any conditions causing physical discomfort. At what expense do we exchange these pains? Who is truly on the “receiving end” of this relief? And who’s filtering what we, the community, know about it.

Let’s first address what pain relief consists of: Prescription narcotics, also known as opioid pain relievers. Used for severe pain, not treatable by non-inflammatory and other minor painkillers. These medications work by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain, that block the pain response. Oxyacetylene being the most common of these medications, was created in 1916, in Germany, it was among many semi-synthetic opioids. They are made of Opium (lachryma papaveris), the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy. The poppy tears, are chemically processed to produce both prescription narcotics and heroin. That is in fact what all of the “legally prescribed pain medications” are, government approved and promoted heroin.

heroin-prescriptions-2

Narcotic pain killers are as heavily addictive as heroin is, only more readily available, socially acceptable, and in a lot of cases encouraged as a suitable “Band-Aid” solution for pain. Consecutive use from as little as few days to a week causes a physical dependency. This occurs because of normal adaptations to chronic exposure to the drug, leaving the necessary dose on a constant upwards climb. This being the beginning of a slippery slope to a deadly addiction. The physical withdrawal to an opioid dependency include: anxiety, sweating, insomnia, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, body ache, cramping and even death. The effects on the body are extensive, and that’s only the body….. The mind and spirit are where the real pain lies. Addiction doesn’t discriminate on age, sex, race, social class, creed, religion, or lack of religion. No one is immune to its grip, it’s fierce in all its forms.

What30DaysofHeroinDoestoYou

Somewhere along the lines, we have been made to believe from a young age that addiction is a moral deficiency, exercised by weak-minded people. That it’s a personal choice made by born criminals, it’s a very misunderstood illness, that comes with stereotypes and preconceived judgments that often we are unaware that we are making. Addiction is a medically proven disease. Genetic predisposition playing a key role and exposure of course tailing right behind it. Resources for recovery assistance and outreach are slim and awareness even lower. It’s one that comes with a personal cost to the addict greater than any amount of funding could begin to cover, a great deal of damage to themselves, relationships and life style in general is caused in even short lived active addictions. This can’t go without saying that we have made some incredible strides in the past decade, with opening safe injection sites, treatment centers and outreach centers in our communities across Canada, but as far as prescription drugs the numbers have been on the rise and quickly. Every day in North America 150 people die of a prescription narcotic overdose. Very few of the prescription narcotics on the street are coming from anything other than physicians that hand them out. The problem that lies here is that 80% of the prescription for narcotics are handed out by 20% of our physicians.

suboxone

There was another “Band-Aid” solution brought to the table due to the evident epidemic of abuse in our medical prescription area. The numbers are mind blowing, its estimated 26.4 million and 36 million people worldwide abuse opiate painkillers. Yes, these are the same painkillers that a doctor would prescribe for a serious condition to help with the pain. With our accidental over dose numbers quadrupling since 1999. The methadone program was introduced, yet another legally prescribed narcotic, used primarily for treatment of addiction to heroin and prescription medications but also for chronic pain management. It is 90% stronger then heroin and even more seriously addictive. It lasts 24 hours and in the patients system, and is designed to help them remain clean off of opiates, and the goal is to eventually taper off methadone. A lot of people refer to it as liquid handcuffs, as many never get off of methadone. Designed by Hitler during the holocaust and now handed out as a tool to keep the suffering in line. These methadone clinics aren’t government run, but are personally owned, so every person on the program is a 7$ profit to the owner per injection, need we say more. Why would they want to help people get off prescription narcotics when they are pocketing the profits?

The pessimistic image projected of addicts is about to come full circle, our eyes are more likely to be turned blind to what we think deserves little sympathy – we hand out a medication (expensive and very profitable for pharmaceutical companies) that causes an increasingly debilitating illness. Living in active addiction, spending God knows a remarkable amount of money, and crucifying there emotional and mental stability and well-being, they in turn need treatment, whether that be methadone, rehabilitation, or alternative drugs, lower doses, and new drug brands to assist in withdrawal management. This triggers a life long struggle with substance abuse along with antidepressant, anti-anxiety/ anti-psychotic and other chemical imbalance medications, to assist in all of the imbalances induced by substance abuse which came initially from a prescription “pain killer”. Of course this leaves the pharmaceutical companies with large recurring profits and the initial patient that walked through the physicians door in a world they never imagined.

It’s big business for physicians and the pharmaceutical companies. The patients who came in for “pain relief” are commodities in a hard to break almost never ending cycle of pharmaceutical cocktails. So, if you are ever prescribed painkillers, make sure that you are aware of the possible dangers that you may be getting into. Addiction is a disease and once you are on that road,  it’s difficult to get off of it, but it can be done with lots of hard work and support from family, friends and loved ones.

Recipe Week: Sea-Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Everyone LOVES Apple Pie, but why are holidays, birthdays, office parties…. all trying to make us fat with highly processed desserts?  Don’t we all want to eat our pie and keep our waistline too!

We like to finish our meal with dessert, but not regret it!  So our search began.

We stumbled upon the holy grail of Apple Pies 🙂

Raw Apple Pie

1) First soak the dates.
2) Blend the walnuts and then add all of the ingredients for the crust. Press into a pie tin & place in the freezer to firm up!
3) Core, Peel & cut up the apples into small bite sized chunks. Mix together the ingredients for the filling and toss with the apple chunks. Dehydrate on 105* for 2-3 hours (until soft like baked apples)
4) Blend caramel ingredients and then pour a layer on the bottom of the crust.
5) Fill pie with apples, drizzle the remainder of the caramel over top. Place in freezer to set up (or fridge).

EAT. LOVE. ENJOY!  AND DON’T FORGET TO LOVE YOURSELF.

Sea-Salted Caramel Apple Pie Crust
1c  Walnuts
1c  Raisins
0.5c  Almond Flour
1 T   Maple Sugar or Coconut Sugar
1c  Figs
1.5 t  Cinnamon
1.5 t  Pumpkin Pie Spice

Filling
5 Apples
0.5c  Raisins
4 T Coconut Nectar
4 T Lemon Juice
1 T Cinnamon
0.5 T Pmkn Pie Spice

Caramel
4 T Almond Butter
2 T Coconut Nectar
1 T Olive Oil
4 T Water
4 Dates (1/2 cup)

To top it off sprinkle some sea salt on top 🙂

Let us know what you think of this delicious recipe.

Avoid Drugs: 5 Ways To Boost Your Immune System This Winter.

Every winter many of us get colds or the flu due to poor immune system.  When our immune system is low there is a significantly higher chance of getting a cold or flu or other disease since our body is weak and can’t fight these foreign attacks efficiently.    We need to boost our immune system, especially during the winter months so that we can stay healthy and not get sick.  Last thing we want is to end up a doctor’s office and getting prescribed drugs to fight off a cold or flu when we could have helped prevent it in the first place.

cold

Below are a few simple steps you can take to help boost your immune system and help prevent the winter blues.

1. Vitamin D – D3 is very important in helping boost your immune system and keeping you healthy .  According to Dr Michael Holick, one of the leading vitamin D researchers, “Vitamin D helps you fight infections of all kinds. A study done in Japan, for example, showed that schoolchildren taking 1,200 units of vitamin D per day during the winter time reduced their risk of getting influenza A infection by about 40 percent. I believe it’s far more prudent, safer, less expensive, and most importantly, far more effective to optimize your vitamin D levels than to get vaccinated against the flu….   We know that the immune cells use vitamin D and that they activate vitamin D. There’s good evidence that it will help kill tuberculosis bacteria, for example, if you have adequate vitamin D on board… We think that the immune system is primed with vitamin D in order to help fight infections.”  D3 is easy to find in supplement form or you can also use photo-therapy during the winter months when the sun’s rays are not strong enough to help your skin and body produce it.

2. Sleep – According to a study for The Archives of Internal Medicine people with less than 7 hours of sleep were three times as likely to catch a cold than those that averaged more than 8 hours sleep a day.   Sleep is a way to rest and allow your body to heal.   Those of us who burn the candle at both ends may feel like we are getting more work done, but forget how important it is for our bodies to rest and rejuvenate.   According to Kulreet Chaudhary, M.D, “The deepest and most regenerative sleep occurs between 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. After 2am, your sleep becomes more superficial. If you are not getting the deep, regenerative sleep that occurs between 10 p.m. – 2 a.m., then you may wake up between 2 a.m. – 3 a.m., when the sleep cycle naturally becomes more superficial, and have trouble falling back to sleep.  If your body is chronically deprived of the regenerative sleep between 10 p.m. – 2 a.m., then you may still feel fatigued when you wake up in the morning.”

3. Meditation – Meditation helps ward off illness and infections. In one study testing immune function, flu shots were given to volunteers who had meditated for eight weeks and to people who didn’t meditate. Blood tests taken later showed the meditation group had higher levels of antibodies produced against the flu virus, according to the study in Psychosomatic Medicine.   Meditation also helps reduce stress and which in turn helps the bodies immune system.

4. Eat Healthier –  Food plays a huge role on how your body functions.  Avoiding processed food and eating more fruits and vegetables will automatically help boost the bodies immune system by providing the proper nutrients to help fuel your body.   Some excellent immune boosting foods are: garlic, ginger, chili, mushrooms (shitake, maitake, chaga and reishi), miso and fermented foods for their probiotics.

5. Drink More Water– Many of us forget to drink water in the winter since we are not sweating like during the hot summer months.   What we don’t realize is that our bodies are actually getting sucked dry from the cold dry air surrounding us in the winter.   Our skin cracks and lips get chapped from lack of water and the dry air.   Making sure to stay hydrated during the winter is crucial for you lymphatic system, which carries white blood cells to help fight off colds.   If you want to add some vitamin C and flavour to your water and some lemon to it.  You can also add a pinch of salt and cayenne to help hydrate you and give your immune system a little kick.

Do you have any helpful ideas on how to boost your immune system this winter?  We would love to hear from you.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy winter.

 

References

1. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/22/dr-holick-vitamin-d-benefits.aspx

2. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/22/health/22real.html?_r=2&ref=health&

3. http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/kulreet-chaudhary-md/sleep-and-longevity

4. http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/transcendental-meditation

Contest: A Different Spin On New Year’s Resolutions

By now many of us have already made New Year’s resolutions. Most of the resolutions have to do with improving our health or doing things to improve ourselves such as losing weight, eating better, going to the gym, etc. Most of these New Year’s resolutions are for our own personal gain.

Why not try something different this year? Why not go back and make a New Year’s resolution where we are helping or uplifting others.  There are so many people out there that would be grateful if someone gave them a hand or if someone could be there by their side to listen or even be supportive of them.  It could be as simple as going to an old age home and talking to an elderly person once a week. Perhaps join a big brother or big sister program.  Maybe help an elderly person shovel their driveway or walkway when it snows or take out their garbage once a week. It could be helping out at a local farm sanctuary or volunteering to walk dogs at a nearby shelter.

Let’s think about and make different New Year’s resolutions this year that helps you to grow or ‘improve’ if you will in other ways, by giving your love and attention outward.  Let’s get the ball rolling.

Let us know what your resolution is to help others and how your New Year’s resolution is going so far.  You have the rest of January to start something up. It can be simple and not even take up much time. Take some time and see what transpires and then tell us about it. Or if you even have other ideas then let us know! Simply type it in the comments below and you’ll be automatically entered to win a Spirooli Vegetable Slicer. It will be a random drawing so entries are not competing against each other.

Deadline to enter is January 31, 2015

Enter Contest to Win Prize Below.

Vegetable Spiral Slicer