Recognizing Mental Health Issues In Your Child

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As parents, we are always looking out for our kids. If we notice odd behavior in our kids, we first look for signs of physical injury or discomfort. However, once physical injury has been ruled out, odd behavior in children could signal some form of mental illness.

Signs of Mental Illness in Children

If you suspect that your child may have a mental illness, these are some of the warning signs that you should look for. Your child processes information slowly,is easily distracted, cannot concentrate and has difficulty remembering things. Some children also believe that there are hidden messages in TV, radio and other forms of public broadcasting. If your child exhibits 2 or more of the above mentioned signs, you should then seek professional help. You are free to take your child to a pediatrician or GP and you may also take your child to see a psychologist and psychiatrist to determine if there really is a mental problem and to what degree it can affect your child.

One type of mental illness that seems to affect more children each day is bipolar disorder. A child who has bipolar disorder will experience severe and extreme mood swings. The child can go from extremely happy and jubilant to extremely sad and angry, without any justifiable reason. A child suffering from bipolar disorder may be mostly irritable, hyper active and is easily aggravated.

Depression is another severe mental illness that affects many adolescents. They experience feelings of hopeless and worthlessness and have a general lack of luster for life. They either have trouble sleeping or sleep too much. Fatigue and loss of appetite is another warning sign that all is not well with your child. Both bipolar disorder and depression should be treated immediately or as soon a you know for sure that your child is struggling with it. This is crucial since most sufferers exhibit constant suicidal behavior.

Parents should try their best to educate themselves about Mental Health Issues In Children and spend plenty of time with their children encouraging, motivating and bonding with them.

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Meth Use And The Risk Of Schizophrenia

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Evidence is growing that heavy methamphetamine use may lead to an increased risk of schizophrenia. Research indicates that patients hospitalized for meth use could face a 1.5 to 3.0-fold increased risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia compared to users hospitalized for cocaine, alcohol or opiate dependencies. These are patients who had not previously had psychotic symptoms. Although the link has been previously discounted in many circles, new findings raise interesting questions.

Nature of the Research

Methamphetamine and other amphetamine stimulants represent the second most frequently used type of illicit substance in the world. Recent research noting the possibility of a link between heavy meth use and schizophrenia focused on comparisons to non-drug users and heavy users of other drugs. The research featured an exploration of California hospital admission records spanning ten years.

Records were examined for patients with a diagnosis of dependency on various substances. The substance dependencies included cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, opioid drugs and meth. Researchers excluded patient records if they included an existing diagnosis of schizophrenia or psychosis for the initial hospital stay. The research included a control group of patients only diagnosed with appendicitis. The research further examined records of patients in the drug groups who were readmitted with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

How it Works

Why heavy methamphetamine use might increase the risk of schizophrenia remains unclear. One possibility is that the repeated use of the substance can trigger latent schizophrenia in individuals who are susceptible. This would happen by sensitizing the patient’s brain to dopamine, a chemical that may be associated with psychosis. Similar findings are found with heavy use of cannabis. The circumstances would only apply to heavy usage of methamphetamines and cannabis, it is noted, rather than with lighter use of a medical nature.

Repeat Studies

Since evidence is still relatively sparse, more study of the possibility is necessary. Additional research would help to confirm the results seen thus far. Long-term study of methamphetamine users is indicated, particularly follow-up studies. Further research might reveal the nature of the relationship between drug addiction and schizophrenia, perhaps leading to more effective therapies for both of these conditions.

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See Just How Beneficial Luxury Rehabs Are For Successfully Treating Addiction

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We at A Calming Tide have long touted the benefits of drug and alcohol rehab programs for addicts — no matter whether it be a local outpatient program, a clinical inpatient rehab, or even a luxury rehab. Getting help in some way is the most important thing, and where you get help from has long been secondary. That being said, a recent article we read in Vanity Fair Magazine really made us go back and visit the subject of luxury rehabs, and why they are so often successful at treating those with addictions, and providing a long-term recovery solution.

This recent article focused on one rehab in particular — The Dunes in East Hampton. Sure, the facility is in a luxurious residential home in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in the country; but the opulence of the grounds aside, it was there approach that really stands out.

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From the very beginning of the article, and the interview with owner Joe McKinsey, it is evident that the success this recover facility and program has endured is more attributed to the caring nature of the staff, and dedication to recovery and sobriety, rather than the rich appointments on the grounds.

The Dunes is much more than just a business that is looking to provide run-of-the-mill care for a large sum of money or insurance payment. The staff is truly looking to provide those in recovery with an environment where they can learn how to integrate sobriety into every aspect of their personal lives. The 7,400-square-foot home on four acres of beautiful property is the perfect setting for recovering addicts to relax, reassess their day-to-day lives, and to formulate a plan for long-term sobriety.

To quote owner Joe McKinsey:

“Their [addicts] lives have become really small as addicts, whether they live on a park bench or on Park Avenue. We try to expand that.”

Read The Full Article In Vanity Fair Magazine Below:

The Dunes East Hampton: What Life in a $75,000-per-Month Hamptons Rehab Looks Like

Ritalin Abuse And College Students

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Let’s face it, going to college is tough, but when it comes to end-of-semester examinations, term papers and other projects, there just don’t seem to be enough hours in a day or week. That’s why and increasing number of college students and even high schoolers preparing for ACT or SAT tests to get into universities are turning to prescription stimulants to help them stay awake through all-night study and work sessions that can last several consecutive days.

According to drug abuse experts at the University of Florida, undergraduates are taking increasing amounts of prescription stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall, once solely the province of those with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to boost concentration during peak study times. At commonly prescribed doses, those medications heighten concentration and alertness.

Additionally a 2005 study conducted by the University of Michigan revealed that at the time 10% of college students illegally used stimulants for this purpose, obtaining the drugs by either conning prescriptions from physicians or by getting them from friends who had legal prescriptions. Experts believe the situation is becoming worse because the pills are inexpensive and widely available.

Dr. Scott Teitelbaum, medical director of the Florida Recovery Center at UF, indicates that most students use stimulants to improve their performance, but taking them won’t make up for slacking during a semester. Teitelbaum noted that most students who take illicit stimulants actually perform worse, most likely because the need for the drug reflects the reality of being behind in their studies.

Ritalin boosts the central nervous system to create feelings of alertness. The drug is structurally close to cocaine, but does not produced the same level of alertness. Unlike cocaine, Ritalin is cheap because the price is generally only a prescription copay.

Prescription abuse is rising among teens and young adults surpassing such drugs as crack and cocaine, heroin and meth abuse, according to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

Although many students consider this a “safe” method of staying awake, doctors indicate that this assumption is necessarily true as some take higher doses than recommended. When this occurs, the risk of neurological and heart-related complications can increase. Higher doses may result in irregular heartbeat or hyperthermia.

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What Is The Difference Between Sativa And Indica Marijuana?

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Many people are unaware that different marijuana types have different effects on the body. As with any other plant, cannabis strains are categorized according to a variety of characteristics. The categories used to classify marijuana include geographical origin, flowering time, yield, structure, flavor and effects.

Sativa and indica are useful in treating people with a variety of heath issues but they manage different symptoms. Terpenes and cannabinoids are the two compounds in cannabis responsible for influencing the plant’s effect on the body. CBD and THC are cannabinoids with unique molecular structures and medical benefits. Terpenes have their own effects and at the same time, regulate the effects of cannabinoids.

Sativas thrive outdoors. They are believed to have originated near the equator between 0 and 30 degrees latitude in locations with variable weather. The plant is tall and thin and the flowering time is longer than that of indica strains. The effect on the brain is generally uplifting and energizing. People tend to use it to spark creative thought and to help with symptoms associated with attention deficit disorder, mood disorders, depression and fatigue. Many people prefer to use it early in the day.
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Indica plants are short and bushy with a shorter flowering time. This strain is believed to have come originally from an area near Afghanistan called the Hindu Kush region. Because of the harsh climate in this part of the world, indica strains developed a thick resin coating for protection. Indica tends to have a relaxing effect on the entire body rather than affecting just the brain. People use this strain as a mild sedative. It is helpful for people with insomnia, muscle spasms, anxiety, and pain. Some medical patients find indicas can help soothe nausea and increase appetite. This type of marijuana makes users content to just kick back and relax.

Modern growers have discovered effective ways to mix genetics from the two strains to create hybrid plants. The effects tend to mimic those of both strains.

Medical marijuana users find these classifications to be helpful when trying to find something that can eliminate certain symptoms. The classification system has been around since the 18th century but is likely to change as the scientific world conducts more research on marijuana use.

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Early Warning Signs Of Psychosis And Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness, typically associated with psychosis. Psychosis is simply the point at which a mental illness detaches the sufferer from reality. Schizophrenia is one of the most debilitating illnesses, and we want to inform you on the early warning signs that you can look for to determine if you may need to see a psychiatrist or other mental care professional.

Schizophrenia is mostly recognized by the presence of voices within the sufferer’s mind, or visions of people, animals, or objects that are not really there. While these are key in diagnosing schizophrenia, it is not always the first sign to be noticed in this mental illness, and Psychosis does not start from the beginning.

One of the most important signs of early Schizophrenia is anti-social behavior. This can include seclusion within a home or room, speaking negatively of people as a whole, feeling anxious and paranoid around other people, or even wishing to harm other people. These symptoms are very serious, and could indicate that the individual may be pre-schizophrenic. While there are other reasons for anti-social behavior, it is when this symptom is in conjunction with others than it is more likely to be Schizophrenia.

Paranoia is another large sign of early Schizophrenia. It can manifest in a large number of ways. This ties in with another symptom: delusions. When a person is paranoid of situations or threats that do not exist, it can easily lead to full psychosis. Fear of the government, spies, devices in the body or home, and as said before, people, are not normal, and should be taken seriously as potential signs of Schizophrenia.

A very strong correlation with Schizophrenia is the inability for the subject to express emotions on the face. The inability to smile appropriately or laugh properly can be indications of future Schizophrenia. As we said before, it the combination of these signs that a possible psychosis can occur.

Insomnia is another sign, and the most common on this list. It is unlikely this is a sign of Schizophrenia, but as we said before, it is in the combination of these signs that Psychosis can occur.

While Schizophrenia is serious and debilitating in most cases, it can be treated. It is important to always note the behaviors of loved ones, and it is important to be informed. A Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource will always give you quality advice.

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Is Fast Food Addiction Real?

180258510According to new medical studies, fast food addiction is as real as drug addiction. Those who addicted to fast food often have the same trouble as drug addicts do when trying to quit the bad habit. Those addicted to fast food can hide their habits or feel ashamed of their choices.

Our bodies and brains are naturally built to handle natural foods. Water, fruit and vegetables do not cause any influx in our chemistry. Fast food, loaded with sugar and fat, send shock waves to our brain. Just like drugs, fast food is an unnatural substance that our bodies are not built for to handle in large volumes or long periods of time.

Sugar and fat can release dopamine in our brains. Dopamine is what makes us feel good. It also acts as a reward system and can be temporarily energizing. That chocolate shake can certainly put a pep in your step and relax you. While eating fast food once in awhile is not a huge risk, daily indulgence is.

Like drugs, we can become addicted to fast food. Soon we need more chips, a second cheeseburger or an extra helping of dessert to feel normal. Eventually our brains rewire themselves, making the body feel that it needs fast food to survive. Fast food can also become psychologically habit forming. We become used to stopping at our local fast food joint everyday for a quick meal.

Also like drugs, fast food has its harmful and sometimes fatal side effects. Obesity, heart attacks, anxiety and lowered immune system can all be attributed to a poor diet. A diet loaded with sugar and fat, a staple at fast food restaurants.

If you tried to clean up your diet before and failed, it may be a sign that you are addicted to fast food. Quitting cold turkey may be an impossible feat. Just like other addictions, those addicted to fast food need professional help. Therapy and lifestyle changes can help to break this addiction cycle.

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Common Signs Of Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Prescription painkiller abuse is on the rise. Problematic use or abuse includes everything from injecting or snorting ground-up prescription pills to get a high to taking a friend’s painkillers for a backache. The abuse may become compulsive and ongoing, despite the many negative consequences. This problem can affect all age groups; however, it is more common in teens.

The prescription drugs most often abused include stimulants, painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, and sedatives. Early identification and intervention is essential to prevent the abuse from turning into a full-blown addiction. A Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource, is an addiction and treatment resource that aims to help our readers understand addiction and how to treat different types of addiction.

According to users, opiate painkillers give a high similar to that provided by heroin. Sadly, abusers of prescription painkillers tend to gravitate towards heroin. In fact, several states are making it more difficult to get prescription drugs for illicit use, which is why many people have been turning to heroin.

Signs of Prescription Painkiller Abuse

People who are abusing prescription drugs will often have constricted pupils and will appear drowsy and tired. Early in their abuse, they may get nauseated and itchy, and as the drug kicks in, they may vomit. Those who have been crushing and snorting the drugs may leave rolled dollar bills and short straws around, along with small mirrors. Smokers of the drug are likely to leave pipes around, while those who inject it may leave syringes, droppers, syringe caps, and rubber tubes.

People who are high on opiates may show the following signs:

• Drowsiness
• Anxiety
• Reduced social interaction
• Poor concentration and memory
• Slow breathing
• Constipation
• Mood swings
• Slow reaction and movement
• Depression and apathy

Once addiction kicks in, there will be behavioral and lifestyle changes. They will spend all the money they have on drugs and start selling when their money runs out. Their thoughts will be preoccupied with finding drugs and they may even turn to crime to get drug money. They will neglect their families, work, school, and have an overall change in attitude.

Most addicts feel that the only way they can feel normal is to be high. Often, they deny that they have a problem, or make excuses and promise to do better. However, they never deliver on the promise: not without help. A Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource are here to help such people.

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How Opiates Affect Behavior

Opiates are a collection of drugs that come from the opium derivative family. Examples of some common opiates are heroin, morphine, methadone, hydrocodone and oxycodone. Opiates are drugs that cause two prevalent feelings to occur: drowsiness and pain relief. Such drugs affect the opioid receptors of the brain, and those receptors control the presence of pain. Many people experience euphoria when they take opiates, which makes them highly vulnerable to developing drug addictions. The following describes how opiates affect behavior.

Scratching

Scratching is one common behavior that many people perform when they use opiates. Some people exhibit extremely intense scratching on the arms or legs that causes them to develop open sores. The scratching comes from extreme itching or a feeling that one’s skin is crawling. Scratching is one of the most common symptoms of opiate use that occurs.

Nodding

Nodding is another common opiate induced behavior. Nodding is a term that describes when a person falls asleep while he or she is sitting or standing. Opiates are heavily sedative drugs, and many people give away their addictions by nodding. People should not operate vehicles or dangerous machinery while they are taking prescription opiates.

Pleasantness

Extreme pleasantness is one of the not-so-bad behaviors that occur when a person is under the influence of an opiate substance. The person will feel as if nothing could go wrong and everything is perfect. The euphoria may seem nice, but thee person will mostly likely lose the feeling when the drug wears off.

Addictive Behaviors

People exhibit certain behaviors when they are addicted to opiates and not just taking them. Addictive behaviors include lying to friends and family members, hiding, missing work, neglecting romantic relationships and fighting and conducting criminal activities such as stealing.

The long-term use of opiates can affect a person’s mental health and clarity, as well. The individual could suffer from depression, anxiety, frequent mood swings and memory loss. The drug changes the levels of serotonin in the brain, and permanent depletion of that chemical can occur from misuse. Persons should only use prescribed opiate medications for short terms. Alternative, non-addictive pain medications are available for long-term use.

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Genetically Modified Yeast Could Be Used To Home-Brew Opiates

Home-brew opiates could soon be a thing, thanks to genetically modified strains of yeast. Engineered by scientists in Canada and California, the yeast feasts on sugar to produce opiates, the critical ingredient in pain medication such as morphine. This development is a coup for drug companies and scientists who currently rely on extracting drugs such as codeine and morphine directly prom poppy and other plants, a process that is both expensive and harmful to health.

The discovery could mean more affordable medications because biochemists will not have to wait for months for poppy fields to grow. Rather, they will have the ability to brew large quantities of pure opiates overnight. However, in the wrong hands, it could have dangerous consequences. Dodgy individuals, most without any biology knowledge, may start making dangerous drugs at home the same way people brew beer at home.

Producing the same opiates poppy plants do is a fascinating prospect from a pharmaceutical perspective. Cultivating yeast is a lot simpler than growing fields of poppy plants. In addition, home–brew opiates have more potential to be engineered for specific medical purposes. It is difficult to subtract or add genes into a plant. By changing certain genes in yeast and adding different DNA, the yeast can double every two hours, which is why scientists are so excited about this new development.

To imagine how researchers moved the process of making opiates from poppies to yeast, picture a 15–step staircase. Glucose sits at the bottom, while codeine, morphine, and other benzylisoquinoline alkaloids fill the top level. At each step, a different enzyme turns the glucose into a new, more complex structure. Scientists used yeast for the final steps to fabricate the compounds created at the previous steps into opiates. This new discovery will allow scientists to build strains of yeast that could take glucose and produce reticuline, the chemical predecessor for all benzylisoquinoline alkaloids.

Because of the potential dangers of home-brew opiates, there should be an independent discussion on how to prevent or regulate illicit use.

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