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Preparing Your Family For Disasters, Part 1

How can you begin preparing your family for different disasters?

All types of disasters share the following key characteristics: (1) they can cause mass panic and chaos in affected communities, (2) some disasters can affect the availability of clean water, gas supply lines and electricity and (3) many disasters are unpredictable and extremely difficult to control, especially if the disaster is caused by Mother Nature herself.

With these three undeniable facts in mind, it's obvious that the most essential step in survival training, if you already have a family, is to prepare each family member for the onset of different disaster as soon as possible.

In order to be fully prepared, you should consider natural and manmade disasters as potential dangers at any point during the year.

Why should you be vigilant about disasters?

The fact of the matter is that disasters tend to strike quickly and without warning; this applies to both natural and manmade disasters. Natural disasters such as earthquakes and flooding can wipe out whole sections of mega cities easily - that's how powerful nature is.

To ensure your family's survival they need to be conditioned to adapt the survival mindset so they will be calm and confident during an actual disaster.

What is your first line of defense during a disaster?

Your first line of defense during a disaster is your knowledge of disaster preparedness and the emergency supplies, tools and equipment that you've prepared in advance. Disaster supply kits are invaluable during an actual disaster, most especially if you have to evacuate your family to a safer location.

What is a disaster supply kit?

A disaster supply kit isn't just a box filled with food and water.

It should be a complete survival system that also contains medicine and various survival tools and emergency supplies.

There should ideally be two disaster supply kits: a large, comprehensive one that is closest to your family (at home) and an emergency disaster kit that should have a permanent place in your family vehicle.

The kit/s at home should contain the most valuable supplies, tools and equipment. You can revise and modify your disaster kit/s whenever you wish.

The one in the car is a contingency kit that you can use in the event that you are unable to utilize the one at home (e.g. you have no more time to gather the kit before evacuating). It should also be equipped with essential items such as canned & dried food, water purifying tablets, etc.

What are the most essential items in a disaster kit?

The most important supplies in a disaster kit are food and water.

When you're stockpiling food for a disaster kit, make sure that the food is familiar, easy to open and consume and sealed. There is no need to buy unfamiliar food such as military-style rations.

The psychological impact of any disaster can be severe so it would help greatly if your family can reach for food they're familiar with. Just having something that is familiar can help a distraught family member mentally recover from the trauma of being in the middle of a disaster.

While many people stock canned or boxed food for disasters, you can also explore canning and preserving food for later use. Knowing how to preserve food is an excellent way to be self-sufficient. Plus, homemade preserved food is more natural and healthier than processed food items!

What type of food should be kept in a disaster kit?

The type of food store in a disaster kit should be: nutritious, high in calories, easy to consume and can be readily stored again. It can be difficult to find a variety of food items that have these exact characteristics so just try your best to find food that will sustain your family for at least 10 days.

I've met some survivalists who store at least six months worth of food items in their own survival stashes.

Six months worth of food may sound excessive but the key point here is that you're preparing for uncertain conditions after a disaster. You never know the conditions of your community after a disaster so having plenty of stored food is a logical choice if you're preparing for an emergency.

If you are unsure as to how you can go about preparing for a disaster, I highly recommend speaking to your family about it so that you can plan and implement as a unit.

During a disaster, you have to learn to trust and depend on each other so that everyone can stay safe.

You Need To Check This Out To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

High blood pressure consists of a couple of Readings. The top reading is the systolic number, and the bottom number is the diastolic reading. The systolic pressure indicates the pressure as your heart beats, and the diastolic pressure indicates the number of contractions. You can tell you have high blood pressure when your systolic number is over 130, and your diastolic number is over 85. But you don't necessarily need medication to lower your high blood pressure. You can lower blood pressure naturally. The first you would like to do is to lose some extra weight you are carrying. Many of us carry some extra weight. It's not sure as to what is the relation between being overweight and having higher blood pressure, but it has something to do with abnormalities in glucose. It's advised that people with extra weight must exercise for a minimum of half an hour a day for at least five days in a week. The exercise you do doesn't have to be anything wild and complicated, either. You can do yourself world of good by just walking for a half hour each day. Some of the benefits your body will see from your exercise regimen will include weight loss and decreased stress levels. Also, scientific studies have proven that doing aerobic exercise on a regular basis will make your heart stronger enabling it to pump your blood more efficiently and thus lowering your blood pressure. Therefore, you can see that exercise is a way to lower blood pressure naturally.

Diet is another step to lower blood pressure naturally. It is a major component for lowering high blood pressure. One must aim for a diet high in vegetables and whole grain products. Red meats and sweets are ok in moderation. A diet full of fruits and vegetables will lower blood pressure in as little as two weeks. It's also important to include supplements proven to lower blood pressure naturally. Your diet should also include supplements which can also help to lower blood pressure naturally. Less intake of Sodium can also lower the blood pressure levels in a natural way. Hence, how is much sodium intake you can reduce? It's advised to lower it down to around 1,500 milligrams a day which is half the National average. One teaspoon of salt has 1,200 milligrams of sodium in it. An important way to lower blood pressure naturally is to cut down on some drinks you consume. The less you drink, the lower your blood pressure will be. Now that is not to say you cannot drink at all. It is recommended one drink a day is fine but not more than that. Always drink in moderation whether you have high blood pressure or not.

One of the main causes of high blood pressure is caffeine. One must reduce intake of caffeine to bring down blood pressure. Blood pressure increases by 4 mm for every three cups of coffee that you take in a day. Caffeine causes more stress by tightening the blood vessels thereby increasing the blood pressure. As a result of the body being under stress, the heart starts to pump much faster-giving rise to high blood pressure. It is better to switch to decaf in case you want that cup of coffee in the morning. Another great way is the Natural dietary supplements that lower blood pressure naturally and maintain a healthy pressure. Supplements like L-arginine, grape seed extract, lycopene, and Pycnogenol have been clinically proven to help lower blood pressure. These are safe; natural supplements will not cause any harmful after effects with the positive benefits of better cardiovascular health. Taking these supplements on a daily basis will be your first step to a healthier lifestyle. You need to check this out for a healthy living away from Blood Pressure

Enhance Your Memory With Best Natural Nootropics Supplements.

It is typical to have memory loss as one grows old. It's an average propensity to lose one's keys at home, overlook the commemorations, arrangements, picnics, gatherings and so forth. These sort of memory loss happens because of an irregularity in mind cells in this manner one needs to give extra nourishment keeping in mind the end goal to help exact working with the aid of memory enhancer supplements. After all, memory forms an integral part of life.

Memory enhancement supplements are helpful to individuals over 60 years who have incompetence to store new data, organizing things, dealing with as indicated by the National Institute on Aging.

Following are some significant reasons for memory loss wherein memory upgrade supplement will be vital to keep up with the usual pace of life.

Drug abuse, excessive liquor addiction, stress depression anxiety, a thyroid issue, unhealthiness, a sleeping disorder, emotional sickness and different illnesses contribute to a great extent to the memory loss.

Memory enhancement supplement helps in improving the memory and resistance of learned memory conditions which cause damage to them. It secures the mind against a variety of physical and chemical changes and damages. Memory enhancement supplement have fewer reactions and is sheltered to expand with low danger. It helps in networking of every single real capacity with the aid of focal sensory system.

Memory enhancement supplement incorporates vitamin B like B6. B12 and folic acid, cancer prevention agents like vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene which is separated from organic citrus products, berries & potatoes. Omega-3 unsaturated fats are indispensable to enhance memory also. Thus taking supplements an intelligent thought for senior individuals.

Ginkoba Biloba leaf extract is one of the best herbs included in the memory enhancement supplement which helps in streamlining of the signs in a superior manner. It enhances memory and psychological capacities so as to improve mental sharpness, center, and fixation. Ginkoba Biloba concentrate is additionally alluded to as nootropics, as described on "Einsteins Focus", in remembrance upgrade supplement which implies substances that enhance memory and therefore included in remembrance upgrade supplement as a fixing.

One should take care of himself even he is devouring memory enhancement supplement which incorporates unwinding, not letting anxiety heap on more, contemplation, working out, making notes of day routine work, mingling, taking necessary nourishment for the cerebrum, drinking a lot of water and giving up smoking.

If you never tried them, you more likely than not heard the individuals around you, particularly students, searching for the best nootropic supplements. Maybe didn't pay consideration on the subject, yet there more likely than not been times when you felt that you could utilize a stimulant with a specific end goal to take in more, to comprehend what you are up against or just to beat your rivals.

You most likely chuckled or moaned at the prospect that no pill can make your mind develop or show you how to utilize it at the full limit. However, you missed the way that there are a ton of stimulants that can enhance the path in which your cerebrum responds or to individual jolts. That is exactly what the individuals around you were after when searching for the best natural nootropic supplement.

Omron Blood Pressure Monitor

Blood pressure is something that is vital to our health. It needs to be within a certain range in order to be considered healthy. This range does change as we age; which is why a younger person has a lower blood pressure. As we age our blood pressure naturally rises. The issue is that if it rises too far we end up going into the unhealthy range. For those that allow this to be left unmonitored it can get into the danger zone quickly. This is why it is important for everyone to see their doctor once a year for a wellness check up. The doctor will check your blood pressure; they will also answer any questions you have. In many cases you can control your blood pressure with daily monitoring and a diet change. For those that have blood pressure in the high range of the unhealthy level you often get medication to help bring it down.

Keep in mind with or without the medication you should monitor your blood pressure. Many doctors have you track your daily readings in a journal. This way you can track if your blood pressure is steady or fluxing. The best way to do this is to have a monitor at home. Omron blood pressure monitor are a great solution. The company has a great variety of monitors. They have upper arm and wrist models so you can find the most comfortable fit. They also carry accessories such as replacement cuffs in all sizes as well as power adapters.

Their newest monitor from project zero is a wrist monitor that looks like a wrist watch. This allows you to discreetly monitor your blood pressure while still looking stylish on the go. The nice thing about this model is that it can also remind you to take your medications. It connects wirelessly to the Omron Connect mobile app, this allows information to be shared with your doctor. This way if they see your readings showing concern they can help you feel better. The same line of monitors also makes an upper arm version that also connects to the mobile app as well. A great combination idea of using the upper arm cuff at home and the wrist version on the go so you always stay connected. This model also tracks your heart rate as you exercise it alerts you should you push yourself too hard.

Looking For A Healthy Skin? Use These Vitamins!

When it comes to beauty, our skin is always the biggest talking point. Everyone wants to have a smooth single tone throughout their body. This surely enhances your beauty and gives you a neater appearance.

Not many people understand the fact that a rough or unhealthy skin is basically due to the lack of essential nutrients in your body. Your skin shows immediate signs of a nutrient deficiency. Although all of the vitamins are important for a healthier skin in one way or the other, there are some which directly assist in this matter. Following are some of the best vitamins for healthy skin.

Vitamin B-Complex

Vitamin B-Complex is a class of vitamins that are a great source of invigorating your skin. One of these vitamins is Vitamin B-3. This is an important nutrient for the skin as it assists in the production of two extremely important compounds, fatty acids and ceramides. Both of these are the key elements of your skin’s outer layer. Their production makes the skin stronger which allows it to retain moisture. It is especially great if you generally have a sensitive or dry skin.

The Antioxidants

The group of antioxidants contains two vital vitamins C and E, among several others. The former is one of the widely consumed water soluble antioxidants. It is known for removing all the free radicals from the skin making it cleaner and smoother. Vitamins C is also great for removing unattractive brown spots that appear over the skin.

Another antioxidant – the Vitamin E – is great for achieving smoother skin. It is one of the best nutrients when it comes to treating dryness. Vitamin E protects your skin from harmful elements. The immaculate job that it does in protecting your skin has led it to being called, “the protector”. This vitamin is also best for protection against the ultra violet rays from the sun.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A on the other hand offers almost the same for your skin that vitamin C does. Although a study showed that if both the vitamins are used simultaneously, it leads to a more fair skin complexion and removes any discoloration. There have been hundreds of publications that prove that Vitamin A is the best for reducing the wrinkles over your skin. It further exterminates the spots from your skin and provides you a younger and sleeker look. Doris Day who is a clinical professor in the New York University recommends the usage of Vitamin A for a younger and healthier skin.

These are just a few of the vitamins for healthy skin. There are several other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help you in attaining great skin. An important factor to consider here is that deficiency of nutrients in your body has more adverse affects than just an unhealthy skin.

One of the best ways to make sure your body does not go through vitamin or mineral deficiency is to take multivitamin supplements. They offer you a convenient solution for a combination of essential nutrients that keep your whole body vitalized.



Best Health Tips And Advice For Seniors

Get plenty of exercise - Staying fit and active is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy and add years to your life. Weight lifting is important for people of all ages, especially older people. Once we get into our forties, we lose bone density every year. Lifting weights can slow this loss.

Get your hearing checked - Loss of hearing can have all kinds of adverse effects on health, from depression to dementia. Most hearing specialists provide hearing exams and tests for free, so there's no reason not to get tested each year. And, if it's determined that you have an issue with hearing, get proper hearing aids so you can hear what youve been missing out on. Prices are becoming more affordable all the time, with even high-end designs like Bluetooth hearing aids being within lots of peoples budgets.

Don't Smoke - By now, everyone knows that smoking is one of the absolute worst things you can do to your body. Even if youve been smoking for years, your lungs can rapidly improve once you quit. If you're a smoker, do whatever you can to quit.

Use sunscreen - Skin cancer kills millions of people, but it's one of the easiest forms of cancer to prevent. Many of us grew up spending lots of time in the sun without proper protection. When you're outside, use good sunscreen, wear long pants and long sleeves, and wear a hat.

Avoid falls - Falling can be devastating to seniors; broken hips and other broken bones can lead to lots of time in the hospital. Keep your living space as neat and tidy as you can to eliminate clutter that can lead to falls. If you have loose rugs or carpet, make sure they are secured on the floor so you won't slip on them, or throw them out.

Reduce calories - There have been numerous scientific studies with mice that show that limiting calories can add years to lifespan. This can be done pretty simply by eating smaller portions, eating at specific times and not snacking, and avoiding boredom eating.

Get regular checkups - In addition to hearing tests, get a good physical done by your family doctor once a year to hopefully catch or prevent any major illnesses before they may come up. Have your vision tested at least once every two years; this can be another way to prevent falls. Have a dental exam and teeth cleaning at least once a year. There are all kinds of health problems than can result from dental issues (including heart attack and stroke), so it's important to take good care of your teeth.

These are just a few of many important things to consider as you get older. Following these tips can help you to live a healthy life for many more years to come.

Brain Vitamins With Gingko Biloba - A Great Combination!

There are a lot of different vitamins that help in assisting brain functions. On the other hand, Gingko Biloba supplements hold their own place when it comes to aiding brain diseases and functions. Both perform well when used independent of each other, however, brain vitamins with Gingko Biloba is a match that stands tall in the area of assisting brain functionality.

In order to understand this, you need to first know a little about Gingko Biloba.

Gingko Biloba

Gingko Biloba – also known as the maidenhair is a tree from a dying breed. The tree that belongs to the division of Ginkgophyta is the last living species of its kind, making it all so special. The tree dates back to as far as 270 million years.

From the earlier days of mankind, the tree has been used for medical purposes. The native Chinese tree is used today as a treatment of brain illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease; however there are certain medical groups who deny the effectiveness of Gingko Biloba. 

Brain Vitamins

Different vitamins have been linked with assisting brain functions and aiding certain brain related disorders. Let us go through some of the vitamins that are known in this regard.

Vitamin C

There is no other vitamin such as the Ascorbic acid. It is one of the most commonly taken vitamins since it is found in regular foods like citrus fruits etc. In addition to the several other uses of vitamin C, it also happens to be one of the best vitamins in assisting brain functionality.

To start off, it produces the neurotransmitters in brain which are responsible for the communication of over a hundred billion neurons. Furthermore, it also helps in increasing the serotonin in your brain which acts as an antidepressant.

Vitamin D

This is one of the best brain vitamins as it affects your brain differently at different stages of your life. It helps the brain development in small children, and treats dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in adults as well as boosts cognitive function. It also helps in improving memory.

The B-Complex

This is another vitamin that helps in keeping your brain healthy. It is basically a set of Vitamin B chemicals that act on the brain to improve stress tolerance. They also provide you higher energy levels and prevent brain aging.

Moreover, Vitamin B-Complex helps in balancing the serotonin levels in your body, allowing you to keep away from things like stress, anxiety, and a lower self esteem etc. It produces the Gamma Amino butyric Acid (GABA) which gives you the mental power to fight stress.

The Combination

Although independent affects of Gingko Biloba are not supported by some people, the combination of brain vitamins with Gingko Biloba makes for great brain food. It will allow your cognitive processes to become more powerful.

In addition to that, since both the vitamins and the Gingko Biloba are great against brain illnesses, using them together will only increase the protection from ailments like Alzheimer disease and dementia. In fact, some studies show that pairing these two together may lead to a decrease in harmful brain diseases by a fair margin.

Learn How Meditation Can Make You More Productive

Reaching your long-term goals may sound like a challenge, but if you live a stress-free life, it is going to be a lot easier. Meditating on a daily basis can bring you many successes and you will be able to lead a fulfilling life. In this article, learn how meditation can make you more productive.

Firstly, improving focus and being mindful will help raise your awareness on the present moment. Rather than stressing about the past, focus on the future and be mindful about it. According to a 2012 study, the effects of mindfulness were tested on office workers. They were asked to carry out all types of tasks such as attending meetings, writing memos, and organizing schedules.

The participants were divided into three different groups, one of which agreed to undergo a 2-month mindfulness meditation course. Those who meditated during this period reported experiencing significantly higher positive emotions than those who did not meditate at all. They also found an improvement in concentration and a decrease in stress levels.

This type of study generally focused on broad types of meditation that are referred to as mindfulness. You are required to focus on your breathing or a single image or emotion. It may sound simple but once you realize how full your mind is, you will need more time to practice. Try and turn back your concentration on breathing, like a mantra.

According to advanced studies by university professors of Michigan, it was found that meditation helps people handle their stress better. When you begin meditating, your mind empties itself from all the built-up information and as a result, you will feel less stressed and more energized. Much of the stress is from spending too much time worrying about everyday happenings. In fact, people can get overloaded with too much information and emotions and the brain simply cannot handle it anymore.

Meditating on a regular basis helps keep the brain in tip top condition and gives it time to rest. You can digest information and emotions much better if you learn how to let go of unimportant matters in your life. It only takes ten minutes a day to meditate in a quiet room.

If you wish to learn some simple tips on how to meditate, start by focusing on your breathing. Sit in a quiet room and breathe in and out. If this is your first time, do not worry as you can always try again. By regularly practicing this simple technique, you will soon get the hang of it.

Guided meditation is another effective way of focusing on breathing and is perfect for people who have trouble concentrating. You can find various audio that is available online. Follow the instructions and concentrate on your breathing. With lots of practice, you will be able to enjoy your sessions and combine other meditations for maximizing peace and health.

While meditating, keep your mind as calm as possible. Give your total attention to deep breathing exercises while observing your conscious. This practice will make the breathing process effortless and give you much peace. Do not worry about your breathing pace as this does not matter. It is more important to keep everything as calm and natural as possible. The main thing is not to pressurize yourself and keep your inflow and outflow breathing normal.

Finally, there are many health benefits to meditation. Your productivity levels will be enhanced and you will feel refreshed all day long. It also enables you to maximize your energy levels and concentration. Investing some time into this practice will keep you active and productive. This is especially beneficial if you lead a stressful lifestyle.

The Competitive Nature Of Men

The Merriam Websters dictionary defines competition to be a process of acquiring or winning something that someone is also trying to acquire or win. Competition may be a characteristic that is a part of our evolutionary history. The quality is very instinctive. In the primitive era, when man was a hunter and food gatherer, there was a need to be competitive to survive. The limited nature of the food and the danger involved in killing wild animals when he was unarmed was one of the reasons that explain mans aggressive behaviour.

Men compare and evaluate themselves against other men constantly from financials to penis size. In fact the locker room mentality leaves many men wishing they had more in that department. As a side note such things can be easily remedied with the use of sizegenetics

Post-civilization, this competitive nature has been further nurtured by stereotypical societal norms where men are considered to be naturally superior to women. Most societies in the world refer to women as the weaker sex or the fairer sex. Of course there are exceptions where indigenous tribes in various remote pockets trace their lineage through the women and give them more importance than their men folk. But as emphasized already, they are just exceptions. Society generally encourages its boys to turn out robust and active while girls are dressed prettily in frills and laces. Young lads are often pulled up for being cry babies and nicknamed sissy when they refrain from boyish activities whereas girls are reprimanded for being boisterous and tom boyish. The main reason is that even today, the developed and developing world believe that a man ought to be strong, brave and Mr.Know-it-All. He heads the household and is regarded as the pinhead of his family. Most of the times, he is the first line of defense in case there is apprehension of any danger to the family. All the hard work is always consigned to the men in the neighborhood. They are hardwired (genetically) to like fast bikes and cars and their fascination for the complicated, the engineered and the mechanic is legendary.

Men want the best mates available, they want their children to be the best looking and the most read. Clinical psychologists conducting various experiments under laboratory conditions have concluded empirically that the reason behind this competitive nature of men is a combination of nature (evolution) and nurture (upbringing). The study also throws light on the fact that nurture factor is more dominant than the natural factors. What this means is that if the man is bought up in an environment where the women are treated at par, he will undoubtedly turn out to be more cooperative and less competitive.

Essential Oils For Melancholy

Expanded open attention to melancholy is fortunately prompting more open dialog about the numerous reasons furthermore the accessible choices for managing manifestations, including the utilization of a essential oil starter set.

Both the reasons and side effects of despondency are so shifted and complex that there can't ever be one single or straightforward cure. Surely for some or even most sufferers "cure" in the acknowledged sense is impossible. What is looked for are non-unsafe strategies to moderate the indications to empower those with sadness to live as entire and cheerful a day by day life as could be expected under the circumstances.

There are obviously numerous types of treatment. Some have heartbreaking reactions, and even numerous that don't, can require a tremendous physical and enthusiastic responsibility for sufferers and carers. Regularly the exertion included in the treatment is an excessive amount to be borne by an effectively delicate fragile system.

Latent medications, for example, regulating essential oils can be helpful as a lifeline. While not as a matter of course an aggregate solution, essential oils can furnish some help without any exertion than application. As depression sufferers are extremely mindful, alleviation systems are combined and if a superior state can be come to or kept up by any technique that causes no harm, it can help the individual to find a way to help with rest.

There are various essential oils particularly used for melancholy, on the other hand, you ought to pick the one that you are most pulled in to as the impacts change from individual to individual. You may discover alleviation from one superior to anything another, on account of the fragrance 'treatment'.

The accompanying decisions below are probably the most famous fragrant healing essential oils for depression to attempt:

Bergamot The delightful citrus smell of bergamot is stimulating and invigorating. This oil is yellow-green in shading and is separated from the peels of the sharp citrus natural fruit. This essential oil has been utilized following the soonest days of old Chinese pharmaceutical to unwind the soul and the brain and to take out depression. Bergamot is a brilliant "lift me-up" and is valuable to battle exhaustion, anxiety and uneasiness.

Neroli In the event that your side effects are the aftereffect of fomentation or compelling anxiety and enthusiastic weakness, Neroli oil is one of the best essential oil decisions to help your system. Neroli is the citrusy, botanical scent got from the blooms of different orange trees. It is most regularly removed from the Seville orange.

Neroli can be uncommonly useful for individuals in a discouraged state as it empowers them to feed their soul and brain while discovering the quality to move into their general surroundings.

Chamomile There are two unique approaches to utilize Chamomile. Chamomile is delicate and unwinding essential oil that is greatly calming. This fundamental oil is sufficiently mellow to use as regularly as required. Chamomile essential oil functions admirably for side effects that incorporate fractiousness and crankiness and a sentiment steady disappointment with very nearly everything.

You might likewise jump at the chance for a steaming cup of some Chamomile tea preceding going to bed to loosen up in the wake of a monotonous day. It is additionally surely understood that numerous other essential oils can offer you to float some assistance with offing to rest somewhat more effectively.

Essential oils can be advantageous for gloom by utilizing aromatherapy based treatment oils as a part of a diffuser, put under your nose, or utilized as massage oil. You can likewise add a couple drops to your shower water before venturing in. Ensure you run the shower first and after that include the oil once the bathtub is full, so the oil glides on top. These essential oils can offer you some assistance with soothing without end sentiments of despondency, nervousness and anxiety.

Utilizing essential oils for discouragement is something that should be possible every day. When you locate an essential oil or blend of oils that give you some alleviation, use them regularly and drench up the sentiments of self-consideration and self esteem the application gives.

How Can Meditation Help Beat Depression?

Today, more and more people are living high paced and stressful lives. Often, there is little time dedicated to rest and relaxation after a day or week of being on the go. Add unpleasant or devastating life experiences and people often find themselves in despair. Before feelings get to the point of hopelessness, it is important to find a healthy alternative to medications. Many people ask the question, can meditation help beat depression?

Medications are helpful for those who have a chemical imbalance causing the condition. If meditating is part of the therapy it is best monitored by a practitioner. However, for individuals who have issues brought on by external situations it may be best to try an alternative therapy before turning to medications. Studies have shown that meditating dramatically reduces the chance of the recurrence of a depressive state. Many people are currently using the art of meditating and find that it a good practice.

Meditating is a terrific tool that can assists people in moving through periodic episodes of sadness. The practice can also be helpful for those who suffer due to a chemical imbalance. In these situations it is sometimes used in modified form. Combined with medications, this therapy can be a huge support to the patient. There are those who become extremely depressed who may not find it helpful to meditate. This kind of therapy can actually do more harm than good. In these cases the practitioner will prescribe other forms of relaxation techniques.

There are valid reason that meditating may not be appropriate someone who is exceptionally depressed. These folks tend to continuously think about what is wrong in their life. In addition, the task of learning how to meditate can be challenging and for someone who is extremely depressed may see the challenge as a personal failure. These folks typically are lacking inner resources or coping skills to draw on.

For those who experience milder depressive episodes, learning to meditate can be very effective. These folks will be able to draw from positive inner coping skills. This will allow them to lift themselves up to a positive mental state. Making a practice of scheduling time to meditate each day will serve to keep folks balanced.

With daily use of this tool, episodes can be reduced and sometimes eliminated in those who experience situational bouts of sadness and despair. These periods are usually short term and temporary and will respond positively to the practice of meditating. This may not be true for the individuals suffering with organic induced episodes. It is best to speak with a trained practitioner before attempting to learn to meditate. The professional may use this type of therapy in combination with medications. The kind of meditating practices that might be taught will typically be modified and used under supervision.

There are several ways to meditate that can help the individual relax and rest their mind. Meditating can also help improve your physical health by lowering blood pressure and decreasing the heart rate. Because meditating calms your body and your mind, it lowers blood pressure over time. Meditating regularly can reduce anxiety, stress, and anger which are key factors for increased blood pressure.

In addition to lowering blood pressure, meditating has some positive benefits for heart health. There are several studies that show meditating can lower the heart rate and slow the rate of respiration. Combined with the decrease in blood pressure, there is a reduction in stress hormones that circulate through the bloodstream. The body benefits by getting healthier which in turn helps stave off depressive episodes. When you allow your mind and body to rest and recuperate your outlook on life will improve.

How To Make Your Vagina Tighter

Your vagina can be loose due to a variety of things. For instance, it's typical for your southern area to be loose when you have an infant. There are numerous things that you can utilize to figure out if your vaginal walls are loose. The important things that you must think about consist of:


  • You have the ability to place 3 fingers in and you do not experience any resistance
  • Your male suffers how large you are
  • You have a desire of placing larger items into your vagina
  • You have the ability to place your forefinger in and your muscles cannot understand it

Tips on How to Tighten Your Vagina

Have you examined your southern area and discovered that it's loose? You do not need to go to a medical professional or go with any sort of surgical treatments in order to tighten the vagina. There are lots of other things that you can do. A few of the efficient methods consist of:

Kegel workouts: they are likewise called pelvic floor workouts and they deal with your vaginal walls in order to get rid of the weak points in the pelvic floor location. It's great to keep in mind that the pelvic floor is the one that holds all the pelvic organs in location.

For you to attain perfect outcomes you ought to target at contracting the muscles in your groin then unwinding them after 10 seconds. You ought to continue contracting and unwinding the muscles for a minimum of 15 minutes every day. Gynecologists advise that you must contract and unwind the muscles when urinating.

The cool thing with Kegel workouts is that they are simple. You can likewise do them anywhere and at any time.

Vaginal Cones: These are devices that correspond a routine tampon, however they have weights that are connected to them. To tighten your walls, you just have to place a cone into the vagina then aim to hold it in location utilizing your vaginal muscles.

You need to hold the cone for a couple of minutes then launch it. For perfect outcomes you ought to repeat the treatment a minimum of 5 times a day. Making your vagina tighter you ought to include more weights as you get utilized to them.

Organic Creams: There are lots of creams in the market that you can utilize to tighten your vagina. While the creams work completely, they have the tendency to have components that can be adverse you. To prevent hurting yourself you ought to just utilize them just after speaking with a doctor.

Qualities Of A Good Brain Injury Compensation Lawyer

The laws surrounding claims made on brain injuries can be tricky and tough to understand for a regular person. That is why it is important to hire good brain injury compensation lawyers.

Brain injury compensation lawyers are the kind of lawyers who specialize in handling cases where brain injuries are involved. They focus mainly on the effects of the brain injury to the quality of your life after it had happened. This is also usually the argument that they use when defending cases relating to brain injury. They show the judge or the jury how catastrophic your injury is and how it can affect the quality of your life to determine how much compensation you should get.

When looking for a good brain injury compensation lawyer to hire, look for someone with a keen eye for details. These kinds of lawyers are the ones who can read people's actions, words, tones and body language. Lawyers with this trait can easily read people around them and can tell when to attack and when to retreat when faced with an argument with a fellow lawyer in court.

A good brain injury compensation lawyer also has to have some background and knowledge about brain injuries in general. This is not to say that they should know everything relating to brain injury, but it would be an advantage if they know something about the case. He should at least have handled similar brain injury cases as yours so you'll know your chances. It would also help if he has won those brain injury compensation cases.

Good brain injury compensation lawyers also stick by you no matter what happens in the case. Whether you are winning or losing, a good lawyer keeps up the fight. He will do anything in his power to find that loophole, or that clause that will help you win the case and not abandon you when the going gets tough.

Good compensation lawyers are also inquisitive. They are the ones who do not just accept things as facts right away. They question, probe, and they do research on the information that they have. They exhaust all sorts of possibilities before coming to a conclusion. They use their network and team to find out more information on the case before they go to court.

Patience is another good trait to look for when looking to hire a compensation lawyer. If he is always abrupt with a client or always trying to hurry up a client, then he might not give your case 100% of his time and attention. As earlier mentioned some terms used in brain injuries are hard to understand, so your lawyer should be patient enough to explain to you and make you understand what will happen to the case. Also, look for lawyers who claim that you are guaranteed to win if you sign up with him. Winning is not always a sure thing and a lawyer who guarantees it is usually doing something illegal in order to win.

If you are looking to hire a brain injury compensation lawyer, look for these kinds of traits. These can help you determine which lawyer will help you win the case.

Dealing with psychological disorders.

despairHow you live dictates how long you will live and how much you will invest in health. Many people ignore mental health and take it to be a condition for certain people. Mental health pays a vital role in the overall health of a person. Read more information on mental health on this short article that we came across.

Supporting a loved one with mental illness presents many challenges. But one of them isn’t blame. It’s important for families “to learn that they didn’t cause [their loved one’s disorder] and they can’t cure it,” according to Harriet Lefley, Ph.D, professor at the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine who’s worked with families for 25 years.

Still, how you treat your loved one has a big impact on their well-being. “But their behaviors can exacerbate the symptoms,” she said. In fact, Dr. Lefley cited a large amount of literature on expressed emotion that found that patients of families who expressed hostility and criticism toward their loved one (e.g., believing the patient was lazy) or were emotionally overinvolved (e.g., “I’d give my left arm if he’d get well”) were more likely to relapse.

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The Best Treatment For Addictions

Everybody has an addiction to something be it drink, food or drug among other things. Some people know how to handle their addictions for example those addicted to TV can go outdoors and forget about it. However there are those who are addicted and hooked for life. We have some information here:


Addiction is defined as persistent use of a substance despite negative consequences. It is a complex disease, the course of which is influenced by the interaction of genetics and environmental factors. Addiction is a chronic and treatable disease.

All of the addiction treatment offered by Penn Behavioral Health is informed by the cutting edge research conducted in the Department of Psychiatry. Patients can elect to receive treatment through one of our excellent clinical programs or, if eligible, may receive treatment as a participant in a research trial at no cost.


Getting the best rehab online

There are many rehabilitation centers dealing with different addiction and psychological disorders. There is a need to do proper research before enrolling your loved one to any of the rehabs as some may not meet your expectations. There are numerous pointers to look out for when looking for the best rehab program and they include:

What to look for in an alcohol treatment program

When you start looking for alcohol treatment, you may see advertisements for programs in tranquil settings with gorgeous views. While amenities like that are nice to have, they probably come with a big price tag. Focus on what is truly important: appropriate licensing, quality of care during the program, follow-up services, and staff credentials. Things to check include:

  • Program accreditation and licensing. Make sure the treatment program is accredited by the state it’s in. Also check to ensure that the program is run by licensed, well-trained mental health professionals and addiction specialists.
  • The effectiveness of the program's treatment methods. Treatment centers should have at least some statistics on their success rates, preferably from an objective outside agency.
  • Type of aftercare services to prevent relapse. Is there a well-run aftercare program? Does it provide referrals to other recovery services and support groups in the community? Also make sure that a staff member will collaborate with you to create a discharge plan before you leave the program.


Find A Brain Injury Compensation Lawyer For Your Claim

When you are suffering from an injury that has to do with your brain, you need to get compensation if you weren't at fault. You can find a brain injury compensation lawyer that will help you make some progress. Here is the information you're going to need so you can come out of this with what you deserve.

Brain injuries can make it hard for you to live your life. You need to be compensated for the time that you have to lose from working, for instance, because there are a lot of times when you are going to have a lot of problems with what you are doing in your day to day life. You should work with a lawyer so that you can get the most for what you have lost during this time.

Did any of your property get damaged when you suffered your injury? If so, then you are going to want to work with a lawyer to get help getting everything paid for either by the other party or if you have insurance, their coverage. Either way, you deserve to get back what you lost when you were dealing with an injury since that can really make it hard for you to deal with your day to day life if you lost something like a vehicle or a device like your computer you used to do work on.

An injury is something that could have been caused by a company that you work for, and you may need to be paid the rest of your life to deal with it. For instance, if you now are unable to work because of negligence on the company's behalf, it's okay because you can get a lawyer to help you to get the company to pay for the problems that have been caused by this company. You want to be careful to do this right because you will have to go to court in a lot of cases and shouldn't take a small settlement.

Find a lawyer that is easy to get into touch with on a regular basis so that you know your case is being cared for. There should be a lot of time spent on your case, because if they just get paid and then put it aside that is not fair to you. Look for reviews on the firm that is being looked into and do a lot of working to learn all you can about the various types of people that do this kind of work in your area so that you can know who the best in the business are.

A brain injury compensation lawyer is someone you should hire if you were hurt and need help. There are a lot of people that can get you started with this if you are willing to work with them step by step on this. You'll be pleased you did when you are given a chance to work through these options.

Memory Enhancement Techniques That Can Change Your Life

Nootropics which are also known as memory enhancement or smart drugs, neuro and cognitive enhancers. Are a selection of drugs, supplements and functional foods that enhance mental agility and memory. They are used by various groups to reportedly improve mental function like memory and motivation. Some studies suggest that they have no real long term affect and yet contradictory studies show a remarkable improvement in test subjects. They are supposed to work by effectively changing or morphing the availability of neurochemicals to the brain by stimulating nerve growth and increasing oxygen supply.

For a substance to be known as a Nootropic it has to have the following characteristics:

-Enhance the tonic sub cortical control mechanism

-Exhibit few side effects.

-Enhance learning and memory.

-Enhance learned behaviours under conditions which are known to disrupt them.

-Protects the brain from physical or chemical injury.

The five main uses for Nootropic substances would be:

1. Memory

Some studies have suggested that Nootropic foods and drugs can increase memory by up to 66%. Although the test subjects seemed to lose this ability when the Nootropic was denied in the control experiment.

2. Motivation

Test subjects reported an increase in motivation after using the Nootropic substance. Against those given the placebo. It was reported that the test subjects were far more likely to get up early. Stay up and study later and were less disheartened by bad test results.

3. Attention

Staying alert for great periods of time has always been a sore subject among scholars. Some have said that caffeine and exercise will help, while others insist its rest and recuperation that helps. Whatever your side of the fence, Nootropic drugs have been heavily linked to major increase in attention span.

4. Intelligence

Probably the most controversial of all the reported advantages, is intelligence. There has been some heated debate over this subject with Japanese scientist now saying that they can create smart people. Simply by the introduction of Nootropics at birth and over a twenty year period they could create a smart human. Although without a base test it would be impossible to prove them right or wrong.

5. Motor Skills

Since all physical activity starts off in the brain. Nootropics have been linked to athletic excellence. By increasing the oxygen to certain parts of the brain, scientists have increased motor skill function in athlete some 15%. Now this might not seem like much. But athletes are at the top of their game. They have already peaked or maxed out their performance so that 15% increase could literally mean the difference between winning or losing.

Incentivize The Need To Refrain From Smoking Pot

Refraining from smoking absolutely causes boosting resistance to the temptation. This results from avoiding individuals who smoke, especially topped a longer term of time. Additionally, it consists of lots of extra advantages. You can restrict exposure to secondhand smoke. Additionally you could free your wardrobe of the smell of smoke.

There are also much more advantages of quitting smoking and also the leading one is that it might provide you a sensation of satisfaction and also success. Quitting smoking requires one to be smart, thrifty and also conscientious. People who have currently quit smoking comprehend exactly how much dedication is called for. You need to observe your internal voice, which would lead you via the actions to quitting smoking.

Some individuals get away from the bar scene while they prepare to quit smoking.

Individuals who were discarding all cigarettes possibly identify mild modifications in their mental wellness. Those individuals a lot more notably really feel geared up to deal with more points in life. Priming beforehand allows you to be stronger compared with exactly what you were in the past. It allows you to take on greater than you possibly had in the past, and also not run out of power as effortlessly. This all advantages you, and also it a lot more notably aids you in your everyday life.

One of the most crucial thing to be conscious of is there are definitely no shortcuts. People who have currently quit smoking comprehend just how much dedication is needed. You have to observe your internal voice, which would certainly lead you via the steps to quitting smoking.

There are even a lot more advantages of quitting smoking and the leading one is that it could possibly supply you a sensation of satisfaction and success. Quiting smoking is a life-altering task. Quitting smoking is something that would continuously remind you of your commitment and supply you a sensation of fulfillment for simply attempting this task.

You have actually already classified on your own as a smart as well as thrifty sort of individual. Every reliable self-starter is classically furnished to quit smoking.

Quitting smoking is a task where any person can frequently better themselves through the period of prep work. Despite the fact that training can be around a timeframe that suits one's personal requirements, it means that you might more than likely need to educate frequently for a term of time. Quitting smoking could make you come to be stronger as well as better furnished for your everyday difficulties.

As quickly as you are preparing your way of life to quit smoking, be certain that you do not refrain from working out frequently. By hurrying through the duration of planning, you would not truly be training and also it can be assumed that you faked your efforts through the steps.

This might provide you substantial idea to set up if quitting smoking agrees with for you. Quitting smoking requires one to be smart, thrifty and conscientious. You would be wholly ready to obtain healthier when you see on your own as the kind of individual with these qualities.

People who make a decision to quit smoking are actually steadfast. You can not artificial quitting smoking. You simply can not quit smoking without some preparation.

Choosing A Brain Injury Claims Lawyer

Brain injury is one of the most devastating outcomes of an accident. In the most extreme cases, brain injury can leave one in a coma or a persistent vegetative state. This is a state where the victim is unable to regain consciousness and brain activity becomes low. In such cases, hospitalization is usually the only option. However, in cases where the injury is mild, the victim may lose the ability to remember things that were said just a few moments previously, but function normally in all other aspects.

While medical experts continue to carry out detailed research on the brain, at this time, it's still the least understood of all body organs. The brain is the most complex, fragile and vital part of the human body and the effects experienced in case of an injury will depend on the areas of the brain that have sustained the damage or injury.

Getting Compensation From An Accident Involving Head Or Brain Injury

If a loved one has suffered from head or brain injury due to negligence by another person, they have a right to claim compensation. The awarded funds will sponsor the ongoing care of the victim, and this enables the family to attain the best possible quality of life despite the incident. This is where professional advice from a brain injury claims lawyer with vast experience in managing and handling such cases is essential.

Issues regarding compensation tend to be sophisticated. If the claim procedures used to make an injury compensation case are not enough to provide lifelong care for the affected, there's no chance to go back and ask the courts for more funds at a future date even if the compensation amount proves to be inadequate.

A firm of lawyers who specialize in head and brain injury will do more than just simply fighting the case for your loved one in court. A personal injury lawyer specializing in brain injury claims will also offer a huge array of managed care solutions that include sourcing as well as managing expert staff and equipment for home care when required. Moreover, the firm will provide a care manager to assist with day to day living requirements of a loved with who has suffered a brain injury.

This kind of assistance and support will be available before and after the compensation claim case has been heard and is usually provided free of charge. Keep in mind that some cases take up to five years to reach a verdict and so, it is a critical consideration.

If you are reading this post because your loved one has a had a severe injury and are looking for further information, an excellent way to asses the practical experience of any potential brain injury claims lawyer is to take a look at their website. Based on the site's content, especially the case histories and testimonials, it should be fairly easy to know whether the firm specializes in serious injury cases, and if they have a successful track record in dealing with them. Brain injury doesn't have to be a life sentence for the entire family.

Panic Attacks Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

A panic attack is a sudden feeling of overwhelming fear and anxiety that strikes without warning. People who have had a panic attack report feeling like they are having a heart attack or that they are dying or losing their mind. The terror and sense of impending doom that they experience during a panic attack are not related to what is happening around them and often have no basis in reality. Left untreated, panic attacks can worsen and lead to panic disorder.

You will find great resources at this website on panic attack symptoms and coping techniques.

When Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can strike anywhere and at any time. They often occur when a person is away from home. People have had panic attacks while driving, sitting in a plane, working, doing their grocery shopping, having dinner with friends, exercising at the gym, and even while sleeping.

How Long It Lasts

The symptoms of a panic attack progress rapidly, reaching their peak in about 10 minutes. Most panic attacks are brief and are over within 20 to 30 minutes, though - rarely - the symptoms could last for more than an hour.

The Symptoms

A full-blown panic attack usually includes a combination of four or more of these symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Racing or pounding heart, palpitations, accelerated heart rate
  • Shortness of breath, hyperventilation
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Feeling faint or weak
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Nausea
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Numbness
  • Tingling sensations in the hands and/or feet
  • A choking feeling
  • Abdominal distress
  • A sense of terror or doom
  • A feeling that one is about to die or go crazy
  • A feeling of being detached from oneself
  • A feeling that one is about to lose control

Panic Attack Vs. Panic Disorder

When panic attacks occur repeatedly and there is fear that an episode could occur at any time, a person may be diagnosed with panic disorder. People with panic disorder are often extremely fearful and anxious because they are unable to predict when their next panic attack will occur. Panic disorders are common. About 6 million adults in the US are currently living with this condition. The symptoms of panic disorder usually begin in adolescence or early adulthood. Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with panic disorder.

Am I Having a Heart Attack?

Because many of its symptoms are physical and because these symptoms can often be severe, people experiencing a panic attack often worry that they are having a heart attack. In fact, thousands of people suffering panic attacks go to the ER every day in fear that they have a life-threatening emergency. But while any chest pain, heart palpitation, and labored breathing should be checked by a doctor, it is also important to keep in mind that panic attacks are often an overlooked cause of chest pain and that this may lead to a cardiac misdiagnosis.

Know the Causes

Though scientists have found that the tendency to experience panic attacks tends to run in families, modern medical science is yet to pinpoint the exact causes of panic attacks. However, it has been observed that major life transitions such as getting married, having children, graduating, and moving into a new home seem to trigger panic attacks. Events that are particularly stressful such as getting divorced, the death of a loved one, and losing one's job can also set off a panic attack.

In some rare cases, panic attacks can be caused by medical conditions. A person experiencing recurring panic attacks, should see a doctor to rule out the following physical causes:

  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Mitral valve prolapse
  • Stimulant use
  • Medication withdrawal


Panic attacks and panic disorder can be treated successfully with therapy sessions, medication, and self-help strategies. Forms of therapy for panic attacks and panic disorder include cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy addresses the behaviors and thinking patterns that trigger and/or sustain panic attacks. It is generally considered as the most effective treatment for panic attacks. Exposure therapy teaches patients how to cope with panic attacks by inducing a panic attack in a safe and controlled environment.

Medication can temporarily reduce or control the symptoms of a panic attack or panic disorder. Antidepressants have to be taken continuously, not only during a panic attack, while benzodiazepines or anti-anxiety drugs act rapidly and are taken during an episode. However, benzodiazepines are often highly addictive and should be used with caution.

DrugFacts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction

Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. It is often mistakenly assumed that drug abusers lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by choosing to change their behavior. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so. Through scientific advances, we know more about how drugs work in the brain than ever, and we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and lead productive lives.
Drug abuse and addiction have negative consequences for individuals and for society. Estimates of the total overall costs of substance abuse in the United States, including productivity and health- and crime-related costs, exceed $600 billion annually. This includes approximately $193 billion for illicit drugs,1 $193 billion for tobacco,2 and $235 billion for alcohol.3 As staggering as these numbers are, they do not fully describe the breadth of destructive public health and safety implications of drug abuse and addiction, such as family disintegration, loss of employment, failure in school, domestic violence, and child abuse.
What Is Drug Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her. Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, the brain changes that occur over time challenge an addicted person’s self-control and hamper his or her ability to resist intense impulses to take drugs.
Fortunately, treatments are available to help people counter addiction’s powerful disruptive effects. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medications with behavioral therapy is the best way to ensure success for most patients. Treatment approaches that are tailored to each patient’s drug abuse patterns and any co-occurring medical, psychiatric, and social problems can lead to sustained recovery and a life without drug abuse.
Similar to other chronic, relapsing diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, drug addiction can be managed successfully. And as with other chronic diseases, it is not uncommon for a person to relapse and begin abusing drugs again. Relapse, however, does not signal treatment failure—rather, it indicates that treatment should be reinstated or adjusted or that an alternative treatment is needed to help the individual regain control and recover. What Happens to Your Brain When You Take Drugs?
Drugs contain chemicals that tap into the brain’s communication system and disrupt the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. There are at least two ways that drugs cause this disruption: (1) by imitating the brain’s natural chemical messengers and (2) by overstimulating the “reward circuit” of the brain.
Some drugs (e.g., marijuana and heroin) have a similar structure to chemical messengers called neurotransmitters, which are naturally produced by the brain. This similarity allows the drugs to “fool” the brain’s receptors and activate nerve cells to send abnormal messages.
Other drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, can cause the nerve cells to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters (mainly dopamine) or to prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals, which is needed to shut off the signaling between neurons. The result is a brain awash in dopamine, a neurotransmitter present in brain regions that control movement, emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. The overstimulation of this reward system, which normally responds to natural behaviors linked to survival (eating, spending time with loved ones, etc.), produces euphoric effects in response to psychoactive drugs. This reaction sets in motion a reinforcing pattern that “teaches” people to repeat the rewarding behavior of abusing drugs.
As a person continues to abuse drugs, the brain adapts to the overwhelming surges in dopamine by producing less dopamine or by reducing the number of dopamine receptors in the reward circuit. The result is a lessening of dopamine’s impact on the reward circuit, which reduces the abuser’s ability to enjoy not only the drugs but also other events in life that previously brought pleasure. This decrease compels the addicted person to keep abusing drugs in an attempt to bring the dopamine function back to normal, but now larger amounts of the drug are required to achieve the same dopamine high—an effect known as tolerance.
Long-term abuse causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that influences the reward circuit and the ability to learn. When the optimal concentration of glutamate is altered by drug abuse, the brain attempts to compensate, which can impair cognitive function. Brain imaging studies of drug-addicted individuals show changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision making, learning and memory, and behavior control. Together, these changes can drive an abuser to seek out and take drugs compulsively despite adverse, even devastating consequences—that is the nature of addiction.
Why Do Some People Become Addicted While Others Do Not?
No single factor can predict whether a person will become addicted to drugs. Risk for addiction is influenced by a combination of factors that include individual biology, social environment, and age or stage of development. The more risk factors an individual has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction. For example:
Biology. The genes that people are born with—in combination with environmental influences—account for about half of their addiction vulnerability. Additionally, gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders may influence risk for drug abuse and addiction.
Environment. A person’s environment includes many different influences, from family and friends to socioeconomic status and quality of life in general. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, stress, and quality of parenting can greatly influence the occurrence of drug abuse and the escalation to addiction in a person’s life.
Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a person’s life to affect addiction vulnerability. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it will progress to more serious abuse, which poses a special challenge to adolescents. Because areas in their brains that govern decision making, judgment, and self-control are still developing, adolescents may be especially prone to risk-taking behaviors, including trying drugs of abuse.
Prevention Is the Key
Drug addiction is a preventable disease. Results from NIDA-funded research have shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective in reducing drug abuse. Although many events and cultural factors affect drug abuse trends, when youths perceive drug abuse as harmful, they reduce their drug taking. Thus, education and outreach are key in helping youth and the general public understand the risks of drug abuse. Teachers, parents, and medical and public health professionals must keep sending the message that drug addiction can be prevented if one never abuses drugs.