Testing It Up » August 2012

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Substance Abuse

Pending Substance Abuse Bill in Michigan Seeks for Forced Institutionalization

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A bill that would allow for the involuntary assessment and institutionalization of a drug addict in Michigan is scheduled to go before a committee in September when the House resumes.

State Rep. John Walsh (R-Livonia) introduced the House Bill 5689 on May 29, 2012 to help not only drug addicts, but also families and friends of those affected by addiction. The bill is designed to authorize and establish criteria and procedures for a court to order a person to be taken into “protective custody” for involuntary “assessment and stabilization.”

Under the pending legislation, family members, health professional, or any three people who have personal knowledge of the person’s substance abuse may file a petition with the state if there is an indication that the addicted person either posed a danger to themselves or the public. The petition will be heard by a judge who would then determine whether or not to submit the drug addict for evaluation.

“The way the law is now, parents have nothing they can do if their adult child refuses to get the treatment they need,” Walsh said. “This would give them a chance,” said Walsh.

In Michigan, any individual over the age of 18 can check himself out of a substance abuse treatment facility whenever he wants. According to a data from the Michigan Department of Community Health, there were more than 14,000 people last year who checked themselves out of substance abuse treatment centers against staff advice.

Walsh believes that although the bill will raise civil liberty concerns, it will give families and friends the opportunity to help their loved ones who are struggling with addiction to go through and complete the necessary treatment. He added that the purpose of the legislation is not to put drug addicts in treatment for an extended period of time, but long enough for them to get detox and professional counseling.

Celebrity Substance Abuse

MTV’s ‘Real World’ Star Dead at 29

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MTV’s The Real World: Hollywood star Joey Kovar left many of his fans, friends, and family saddened when he was found dead on Friday, Aug. 17, at a friend’s home in Chicago Ridge, Illinois.

The 29-year-old reportedly took a combination of Viagra, cocaine, and alcohol the night before his lifeless body was discovered by a friend, Stacey Achterhof.

According to TMZ report, Kovar went to Achterhof’s house and asked her where he could get more cocaine. Achterhof declined Kovar’s request and instead asked him to spend the evening at her house. Already under the influence of alcohol, Kovar was said to have taken Viagra and the next morning  Achterhof found him bleeding from the nose and ears.

Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Kovar’s eyes were also “blackened,” a symptom that frequently occurs when someone overdoses. Kovar’s autopsy report was already released but remained inconclusive until his toxicology results come out. The law enforcement sources said the toxicology report will take weeks, but they believe the results will most likely show a fatal combo of Viagra and cocaine and alcohol.

Kovar, a native of Illinois, gained famed in 2008 when he was cast in MTV’s The Real World: Hollywood. He was reported to have suffered from a long history of addiction. In 2010, he joined VH1’s Celebrity Rehab to beat his addictions to alcohol and various drugs/medications.

Pregnancy & Fertility

5 Fertility-Enhancing Foods for Women

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Fertility issues nowadays don’t seem to sound so bad anymore. Given the advancement in medical technology, women who are trying to get pregnant have quite a few options to consider. There are also natural remedies that include quitting bad habits like smoking or drinking alcohol, avoiding stress, and getting the right nutrition.

Speaking of the foods to eat, you don’t have to feel deprived when attempting to make a baby. Here are some of the foods you should start including in your diet.

Red lean meat. It helps lower the risk of infertility arising in the ovulating process and it’s a great source of zinc which supports ovulation and maintains efficient cell division. Other alternatives include whole grains and oysters.

Nuts and seeds. Almonds and sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E which boost the female sex drive and help build the uterine lining. Pumpkin seeds contain zinc that are good for ovulation process. You can also opt for some walnuts which are not only tasty but also contain omega 3 fatty acids that nourish your blood and eventually support neural development of your baby.

Baked potatoes. They are high in vitamin B and also contain vitamin E that are both helpful in enhancing cell division.

Black beans and lentils. Black beans are loaded with protein, fiber, folate, iron, and antioxidants which are all essential vitamins and minerals for your fertility; whereas, lentils are found to support ovulation.

Tofu and soy products. They are rich in calcium which is not only important for bone development but also in boosting your chances of conceiving. Other sources are broccoli and green leafy vegetables.

Early Disease Detection

‘Top Gun’ Directory Tony Scott Death Remains a Mystery

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The death of British-born filmmaker Tony Scott on Sunday stunned Hollywood after it was reported that he took his own life by jumping from a suspension bridge over Los Angeles Harbor.

According to the Los Angeles Times report, investigating officials found several suicide notes but neither offered clues on why the famed director/producer jumped. There have been earlier reports that Scott was suffering from brain cancer, but his family quickly denied them.

“The family told us it is incorrect that he has inoperable brain cancer,” said Craig Harvey of the coroner’s office.

On Monday, an autopsy had been conducted but results were held confidential until toxicology and other tests are said to be completed.

Law enforcement sources were able to obtain a suicide note at his office, but none of the content was revealed to media. Scott also left “instructional notes” to family and friends, and a note containing his wife’s contact information is also collected from his car.

Scott, 68, became famous for his 1986 movie ‘Top Gun’ which starred Tom Cruise as a Navy Aviator. His other works include ‘Man on Fire,’ ‘Enemy of the State,’ and ‘Beverly Hills Cop II.’ He also produced a number of blockbuster films, including the most recently ‘Prometheus,’ directed by his brother Ridley Scott, and ‘The A-Team.’

Health & Wellness

Anxiety in Children Linked to Excessive Coddling

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Overprotective parents, beware! A new study from Macquarie University, Australia found that children of overprotective parents are at higher risk of developing anxiety later in life, according to the Medical Daily report.

The researchers, headed by Professor Jennifer Hudson from the University’s Centre for Emotional Health, monitored 200 children and made an initial assessment of them at the age of three and four years old. Five years later, the children were again evaluated and the results reveal that the child’s anxiety at age four is the strongest predictor of the child’s anxiety at age nine.

The researchers also observed how mothers interact with their children and they found that preschoolers who demonstrate anxiety or are withdrawn were children of mothers who were overly involved.

“Our overall findings show that preschool children are more likely to have a clinical anxiety diagnosis in middle childhood in the group of mothers who were over involved or too protective,” Hudson said.

Hudson hopes that their findings will aid mental health experts to determine and develop appropriate intervention programs that will specifically address anxiety issues in children.

“It is increasingly recognized that preschool children can experience clinically significant anxiety. Now that we know which factors are likely to increase a child’s chances of developing anxiety, we can intervene more effectively by targeting those variables that can reduce a child’s risk,” she said.

Early Disease Detection Health & Wellness

Michael J. Fox Set for a Full-Time TV Comeback with the Help of a New Drug Regimen

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When Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 his career was the first to suffer until he finally retired from full-time acting in 2000. But thanks to a new drug regimen designed to control the tics that are characteristic of Parkinson’s disease, Fox might be seen again in television by 2013, according to the Examiner report.

Though the actor did not provide details about his supposed return to television screens, people with knowledge of the project are saying he’ll star in a sitcom that’s being developed at Sony Pictures Television for a 2013 debut.

It was remembered that early this year, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, the largest private foundation for Parkinson’s research, announced it would partner with the French drug company Sanofi to trial an experimental treatment they had developed for Parkinson’s. The Foundation sponsored a clinical trial to study the new drug, which targets cognitive dysfunction, one of the more severe symptoms that can occur in Parkinson’s disease.

Fox told ABC News in May that a new drug regimen has been aiding him in controlling the tics that are a result of the disease and giving him the chance to take on more acting roles.

Celebrity Substance Abuse

Eminem Gets Clean from Drug Abuse, Thanked Fans for Support

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Marshall Bruce Mathers III, better known as Eminem to his fans, wears quite a number of hats — rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor.  But on Aug. 9, he was a far cry from his old days when he performed at the Hammerstein Ballroom and thanked his supporters for helping him through dark times.

Eminem was referring to those times when he was battling  with drug abuse, depression, and tenuous relationships. He addressed hundreds of screaming fans, saying “wouldn’t have gotten out of that dark place without y’all,” before performing his Grammy award-winning song “Not Afraid.”

The 39-year old artist has long referenced his prescription drug abuse in his music. According to the Rolling Stone review of Eminem’s Relapse album in 2009, “Em’s first album in nearly five years, is studded with brand names, but not Lexus or Cristal-more like Lunesta, Ambien, Vicodin, Valium, NyQuil and other brain candy that helped Marshall Mathers turn himself into a zombie, before he got clean last year.”

Eminem dedicated his “Not Afraid” performance on Thursday “to anybody tonight who’s been through personal struggles.”

In 2010, the legendary rapper released his “Recovery” album which detailed his efforts to finally achieve sobriety. It went on to become the best selling album of that year, according to Billboard.

Health & Wellness

How to Stay Awake at Work When You’re Sleep Deprived

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Sleep deprivation happens to many of us. Some of the common sleep wreckers include alcohol drinking, poor sleeping patterns, caffeine addiction, bad diet, and stress. Unfortunately, even if we lack sleep, there are still things that need to be done when we start a new day. And this is when our cranky behavior starts to get the best of us. So, what do you do to cope with your tasks at work?

Load up with fruits. Soda, chocolates, and candies may seem like a tempting option, but fruits will make an excellent choice for giving you fast energy without making you crash. Eating a few pieces of fruits every thirty minutes will give you the boost you need, plus, you don’t have to worry about it making you fat.

 Walk or run up the stairs. Not only is it good cardiovascular exercise, it will also help wake yourself up by getting your blood pumping and your heart racing.

Try deep breathing exercise. It helps sharpen your focus and strengthen your mind. Focus on the sensation of the air coming in and out through your nose. Doing even just a few of it can keep you calm and put your mind back in better state.

Use your sense of smell. You’ve probably noticed it before; a strong smell can keep you alert quickly. This time you can try essential oils, such as rosemary, eucalyptus, or peppermint  to give your nostrils a nice waft of aroma.

Take power nap. Your break time at work could be just the perfect time to take a power nap. Even a 15 or 20-minute sleep can increase your alertness and will make you feel a bit more energized when you get back to work.

Substance Abuse

Habilitat Offers a Glimpse at Hawaii’s Drug Abuse Trends in an Exclusive Interview

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When we think of living in paradise, Hawaii is one of the few places that easily come to mind.  The Islands conjure up a handful of panoramic sceneries, nice tropical climate, and gorgeous beaches that you would at once think the residents are untouched by the dangers of illegal substances.

In an interview with Becky Harrison, Marketing Director of Habilitat, a well-recognized drug and alcohol treatment facility in Hawaii, TestCountry found out that Hawaii was once plague with methamphetamine epidemic.

Though there had already been stories about people in Hawaii using meth as early as the 1970s, accounts of the spread and effects of meth appeared in media throughout the 1990s. By the turn of the 21st century, Hawaii’s problem in methamphetamine refused to cease. Only, it gained wider acknowledgement that every level of government in the state took part in stopping the drug from further escalating.

According to an information from DEA, a large part of crystal methamphetamine abuse in Hawaii is attributed to drug trafficking organizations with strong domestic and international organized crime enterprises. Between 2005 and 2010, nearly 320 kg of meth has been confiscated in Hawaii. Obtaining details about the actual number of meth users in the Islands was quite hard, according to officials; but a 2009 CBS News reported an estimate of about 8,000 to 120,000 of Hawaii’s 1.2 million population were using the drug.

In the mainland, prescription medication is one of the most prevalent problems officials are facing; however, Ms. Harrison pointed out that Hawaii have likewise had its share of changes in drug abuse trends.

To know more about Habilitat’s substance abuse treatment programs, read TestCountry’s full exclusive interview with Becky  Harrison here.

Health & Wellness

COPD Symptoms to Watch Out For

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is documented as the third leading cause of death in the United States. The term is used to refer to two lung diseases, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, characterized by obstruction to airflow resulting to difficulty in breathing.

The common misconception about COPD is that it only affects people who smoke. However, there are several other risk factors associated with the disease, such as exposure to air pollution, second-hand smoke, occupational dusts and chemicals; heredity; a history of childhood respiratory infections; and socioeconomic status.

In 2008, approximately 13.1 million American adults, aged 18 and above, are suffering from COPD. The condition has likewise become a significant cause of hospitalization among older adult population. According to the American Lung Association, approximately 64 per cent of hospital discharges in 2006 involved adults aged 65 years and older.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of COPD is crucial in seeking immediate treatment. Shortness of breath and wheezing sound when breathing are two of the most common symptoms of COPD. Other signs that are associated with people that have COPD include frequent and severe coughing, irregular breathing, chest tightness, swelling ankles and legs, weight loss, and lower muscle endurance.

Milder symptoms are usually harder to notice, but over time COPD symptoms may become severe when left unattended. Because some of the symptoms of COPD could be similar to the symptoms of other diseases, getting regular check up with a health care professional is often advised.

Lifestyle change play an important role in the treatment of COPD. The goals of COPD treatments include relieving symptoms, preventing and treating complications, and slowing the progress of the disease.