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Sore Muscles? Consider This!

According to Bryan College Station Chiropractic Expert and Board Certified Chiropractic orthopedist David Bailey, as individuals age, they start to complain more of discomforts in their muscles as well as joints. They seem to stiffen up with age, and also such typical activities as picking up the morning paper could make them suffer some significant pain.

Such discomfort could be so bad that they feel it begins deep in their bones. Yet the real cause of stiffness and also discomfort exists not in the joints or bones, says research at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, but in the soft tissues that stabilize and move the joints.

Stiff joints create inflammation when moved to a certain extent, and this causes the pain and swelling in the joints. Click to read more on Dr. Bailey's website.

Flexibility is the medical term used to describe the value of a joint's motion from complete motion in one direction to complete motion in the opposite way. The better the range of motion (ROM), the much more flexible the joint.

If you bend forward at the hips and also touch your toes with your fingertips, you have great ROM of the hip joints. But is that motion easy and without pain? The effort needed to bend a joint is equally as crucial as its range of movement.

Various elements limit the ROM and also ease of activity in various joints and also muscles. In the joint such as the knee, the bony structure itself establishes a certain limitation. In other joints, such as the ankle joint, hip, and back, the soft tissue-- muscular tissue as well as connective tissue-- limit the motion not the bones.

When people do not use their joints to their full ROM, then they gradually lose the ability to do that very task. Over time the joints get stiff, and eventually their ability to move about, dress themselves, do personal care like toileting gets lost. Their independence is lost. They must ask for assistance for even the most private of personal care.

Exactly what occurs next is that the muscle mass end up being reduced with long term disuse as well as produces convulsions as well as aches that can be irritating and incredibly uncomfortable. The immobilization of muscles, as researchers have actually demonstrated with laboratory animals, brings about biochemical adjustments in the tissue.

However, other aspects trigger aching muscular tissues. Below are several of them:

1. Exercising Beyond Capacity

Have you always believed on the saying, No pain, no gain? If you do, then, it is not so surprising if you have already experienced sore muscles.

The problem with most people is that they exercise too much thinking that it is the fastest and the surest way to lose weight. Until they ache, they tend to ignore their muscles and connective tissue, even though they are what quite literally holds the body together.

2. Aging and Inactivity

Connective tissue binds muscle to bone by tendons, binds bone to bone by ligaments, and covers and unites muscles with sheaths called fasciae. With age, the tendons, ligaments, and fasciae become less extensible. The tendons, with their densely packed fibers, are the most difficult to stretch. The easiest are the fasciae. But if they are not stretched to improve joint mobility, the fasciae shorten, placing undue pressure on the nerve pathways in the muscle fasciae. Many aches and pains are the result of nerve impulses traveling along these pressured pathways.

3. Immobility

Sore muscles or muscle pain can be excruciating, owing to the bodys reaction to a cramp or ache. In this reaction, called the splinting reflex, the body automatically immobilizes a sore muscle by making it contract. Thus, a sore muscle can set off a vicious cycle pain.

First, an unused muscle becomes sore from exercise or being held in an unusual position. The body then responds with the splinting reflex, shortening the connective tissue around the muscle. This cause more pain, and eventually the whole area is aching. One of the most common sites for this problem is the lumbar spine area.

4. Spasm Theory

In the physiology laboratory at the University of Southern California, some people have set out to learn more about this cycle of pain.

They measured electrical activity in the muscles. The researchers knew that normal, well-relaxed muscles produce no electrical activity, whereas, muscles that are not fully relaxed show considerable activity.

In one experiment, the researchers measured these electrical signals in the muscles of persons with athletic injuries, first with the muscle immobilized, and then, after the muscle had been stretched.

In almost every case, exercises that stretched or lengthened the muscle diminished electrical activity and relieved pain, either totally or partially.

These experiments led to the spasm theory, an explanation of the development and persistence of muscle pain in the absence of any obvious cause, such as traumatic injury.

According to this theory, a muscle that is overworked or used in an improper position becomes fatigued and as a result, muscle pain arises.

Hence, it is extremely important to know the limitations and capacity of the muscles in order to avoid sore muscles. This goes to show that there is no truth in the saying, No pain, no gain. What matters most is on how people stay fit by exercising regularly at a normal range than once rarely but on a rigid routine.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this article is intended to be used as a substitute for advice of a physician. Do not modify your diet, exercises, or medications without first seeking the advice of a physician. Information on this site is for information purposes only. No claims have been approved by the FDA unless otherwise indicated.

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.

Are You Fed Up With Being Sick And Tired?

As a College Station Tx chiropractor, I can ask: Is it not time for you to feel well again?

Nobody wants to be sick, so why are there so many sick and tired (or worse) people around. It seems that despite the best medical care in the world we are getting sicker. Maybe the system needs to change, change from a sickness care industry, to a system that actually increases your health and well being. How likely is that to happen?

Consider for a moment what would happen to all the huge pharmaceutical and food business incomes if 80 % people stopped acquiring their medications and extremely processed foods due to the fact that we would certainly have found a way to get healthy and also stay healthy and balanced. We would not need their items!

Think of the last time you sat down to view a favorite television program. I just bet you saw a pharmaceutical business promoting a new wonder drug (with significant adverse effects) and all you had to do was go ask your doctor for a prescription!

Exactly what's wrong with this system? Drug firms are asking us to see a physician to get their products? The advertising works too, but many people eventually find a number of the medicines are created to conceal or subdue the symptoms, not address the underlying causes. This creates a devastating cycle of great amounts of meds for chronic ailments with no relief in sight.

It absolutely looks like these companies create many of the medications to mask signs and symptoms as well as a result count on us acquiring an increasing number of their items gradually, which makes them in the sickness business.

In all fairness, there are some miraculous medications offered today that deliver incredible advantages to individuals needing essential life assistance and care. That tiny percentage of the populace who are undertaking life saving procedures, experiencing significant genetic disorders or fighting harmful disease or injury. Modern medications in these cases can be life savers.

Health care expenses are skyrocketing because people are getting sicker not more healthy.

Western health care allows us to tolerate migraine headaches, allergic reactions, stomach and also digestion distress, physical body pain, exhaustion, joint inflammation, and also hundreds of other all to common disorders. It goes like this: Here's a prescription, simply take a couple of pills, tand everything will be Ok yet for over 80% of people, it's not always so.

Scientific research now informs us that there is a real relationship between the quality of our diet and the quality of our health. Understanding this is a huge step in the right direction, and chiropractic care can help.

One major barrier to the health of the population in the relentless advertising od drugs directy to comsumers, as well as fast food commercials offering cheap and tasty, but harmful food full of manyfactured calories. Even the avaerage child in the United States and Canada today is pestered with over 40,000 TELEVISION advertisements a year.

The strategies are the same for you as well as me, while more mature, yet no much less impactful. Medication manufacturers remain in the news with announcements of items being removed from the marketplace because of unforeseen and severe side-effects in a significant number of users. In a vast majority of cases today, pharmaceutical medicines are developed in a lab to be extremely focused on concealing signs, not attacking the causes of illness.

One of the greatest blunders we could make when purchasing a medication is to check out the advantages, without taking into consideration the side effects of the item; negative effects that can have long-term implications. Many of the preferred prescription and OTC drugs can harm your stomach, liver as well as kidneys, and could also trigger interior bleeding. What's worse, numerous over-the-counter (OTC) treatments just mask the symptoms and also can really slow tissue healing as well as bodily harm in the long run. So you're slowing your physical body's capacity to recover itself, you've invested countless dollars monthly on products that really did not help, and you still suffer with the exhaustion and also pain anyhow.

Take into consideration the wisdom of those who have actually preceded us.

The concept of wellness dates back lots of countless years as well as there are frequent examples in past history of people that have acknowledged and pursued nutrition as an essential ingredient of health.

So Just what Has Changed

At the beginning of the 20th century, restaurants were rare while today, they are prevalent in every segment our society and also we invest a substantial amount of our earnings on eating out which good information for dining establishments, especially fast food dining establishments!

Nonetheless, preceeding the very early 20th century, most people ate home cooked dishes, and also while our great grandparents, and theirs, did not have the large diversity of food options we have today, they had the foods that were much more nutritionally dense than our foods are today.

Today our foods are largely grown or grown in nutritionally deficient soils that require toxic chemicals as well as are extremely refined and ehnanced with ingredients such as manufactured fats, added sugars as well as salt. Sure those highly improved products tastes good, yet at what price?

The unfortunate outcome of food today is that the majority of people are gradually starving on an abundant supply of highly refined nutrient deficient food!

Today 3 active ingredients, fat, sugar and also sodium are so plentiful, and also help to create processed foods that taste so great, that we are gradually losing our ability to taste real food.

TRUTH: Excellent nutrition is fundamental to health and wellness.

Food in today's modern world is more a disease delivery system that nutrition for bodily health.

Eat better. Feel better. Live better.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this article is intended to be used as a substitute for advice of a physician. Do not modify your diet, exercises, or medications without first seeking the advice of a physician. Information on this site is for information purposes only. No claims have been approved by the FDA unless otherwise indicated.

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.

How Ancient Chinese Cordyceps Sinensis Can Help Beat Diabetes

Ancient Chinese medicine has made use of a mushroom called Cordyceps sinensis for thousands of years. The mushroom also goes by the name Dong Chong Xia Cao and Caterpillar Fungus. It is basically an all-around health remedy that has been attributed with curing many illnesses.

One of the best uses for it is as an adaptogen which means it helps the body manage physical stress within the adrenal glands. It also contains powerful antioxidants. It is believed to shrink cancerous tumors and regulate irregular heartbeats.

One of the most impressive uses of the mushroom in capsule format is that of treating diabetes. Studies have been done with animals which show promise that it can improve if not treat both types of diabetes.

The animals were given the mushroom and then their plasma glucose levels were measured. It appears that the mushroom reduced the levels of glucose in diabetic animals. Specifically, the animals were given the mycelium and fruit of the mushroom. It turned out that in addition to experiencing lower glucose levels, they experienced less hyperglycemia.

That is not all. The animals also ate and drank less. The cordyceps sinensis helped improve the animals' condition on these levels as well. Upon closer examination, the mushroom brought the levels of glucose down by isolating a chemical called polysaccharide.

In addition, the most promising results from the animal studies were a clear reduction of oxidative stress. Glucose regulating enzymes in the liver were improved and insulin secretion was also improved. It seems that if these studies show diabetes can be brought under control in animals, then most certainly there is promise in humans.

Most Cordyceps sinensis is found in high altitudes. It can be very expensive to buy the actual plant. Instead, most people who wish to take it as a diabetes supplement will want to purchase it from an herbal or health food store. There are many potent formulas available in capsule formats and they often include other healthy ingredients to promote well being.

The best thing is to choose a formula that is designed for sufferers of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. There are a lot of cordyceps supplements available on the market , but not all are of the best quality. Be sure to ask a knowledgeable staff member at any brick and mortar health food store about the best formula for diabetes.

Exercise is also essential for losing weight, which is a big symptom of Type 2 diabetes. When used, the cordyceps can increase a person's endurance when exercising helping them to lose excess pounds which further improves the diabetic's condition.

Take the supplement exactly as directed. Taking it without eating right and exercising is not advised. This is not a magic potion that will get rid of diabetes. It is essential to practice taking the right steps to treating the disease. Never stop an insulin medication without speaking to a doctor.

Take it under a doctor's supervision. This way, the results can be observed and noted.

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.

Keeping Safe In An Assisted Living Scottsdale Facility

Scottsdale, Arizona is nicknamed The Wests Most Western Town. Known for its late night and hotel scenes, its also home to many assisted living facilities. Scottsdale is not one of the most populated cities in the West Coast with a population of only around 230,500 people.

It is known for its comfortable and healthy assisted living facilities. Some facilities have taken it a step further and have constructed private villages for senior citizens. These places are complete with all the amenities including shopping and entertainment centers.

Assisted living Scottsdale has become a flourishing industry and many flock to retire there. For a senior who has chosen to live in an assisted living facility, its important that he not only feels comfortable but is also safe.

Here are some ways that a person can ensure that their senior loved one stays safe while in the assisted living Scottsdale facility.

* Keeping clutter free A senior need to be careful when moving about the facility and his room. A person visiting his senior loved one could help by removing or moving anything that could cause his loved one to trip or fall. Electrical or extension cords, small stools, or any trash on the floor are the usual culprits.

* Checking a seniors daily routine In assisted living Scottsdale facilities, staff members are there to help if a senior is having difficulty in any tasks. Observing and checking to see if a senior can get through the daily routine without any mishaps is important. If a senior loved one needs help doing even the most basic this as eating, drinking, dressing, and other grooming habits, it is best to make prior arrangements with the staff for regular assistance. Its also important for a person to check if his senior loved one has easy access to a call-for-help button. He should check if theres a button within easy reach from the bed or any other sitting places. Some assisted living Scottsdale facilities have buttons that could be worn around the wrist or the neck.

* Talk about emergency plans or other evacuation procedures Staff members should discuss any emergency procedures with the residents of the assisted living Scottsdale facility. A person should ask his senior loved one if he knows these procedures and also ask the staff members the step-by-step process. It would also be good to discuss these procedures with the senior from time to time. Some people also take time to practice these procedures with their senior loved ones.

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.