Parenting is one of the most rewarding but challenging responsibilities of our lives. As parents, we sometimes struggle with the delicate balance of setting boundaries for our kids and letting them experience things they will inevitably encounter at some point during their lives.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and many people are already aware that an addiction to alcohol can be detrimental to their physical and mental health.
In an apparent attempt to protect his heirs from the ravages of substance abuse, the late Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, reportedly stipulated in his trust that if the beneficiaries to his estate frequently use illegal substances or become dependent upon alcohol or any illegal drugs, their rights will be suspended. And if an heir is suspected of abuse, he or she may be required to take a blood test.
If you’d like to see upfront-and-personal the face of the fastest-growing group of people at risk for opioid addiction and abuse, look in your bathroom mirror. While it may be comforting to believe that drug addiction affects mostly people who are “not like us,” the truth is a little different.
In April 2016, the world learned about the untimely death of a legend known as Prince. He died of an accidental fentanyl overdose, the autopsy showed. However, the pills found at his Paisley Park home were mislabeled, according to reports, highlighting an ongoing issue: opioid deaths. Despite efforts to rein in opioid-related deaths in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that death rates continue to rise.
Addiction to opioids such as morphine, heroin and prescription painkillers is a growing global problem. Generally, opioids have an important role in the treatment of certain types of pain, but they have inherent risks and side effects, including being highly addictive. Even infrequent use can lead to dependence.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease. It is considered a brain disease because studies have shown that drugs and alcohol physically change the structure of the brain and how the brain works. Research has shown that a majority of addicts suffer from biochemical, nutritional, and metabolic disorders, including depleted or malfunctioning brain chemicals called neurotransmitters and hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar), which causes a wide range of symptoms.
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