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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Friday, April 29, 2016

Often times you decide you are better before finishing a full round of medication. Or perhaps you try a medication and determine its not for you or have adverse side effects. The average household has a medicine cabinet full of medications that are either expired, leftover, or no longer needed. It is not recommend to throw these medications away due to the dangers that the medications could cause to our enviroment and also to other people. Due to these factors the US Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to take part in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This year's event takes place on Saturday, April 30th.

The DEA Office of Diversion Control states "The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications." The official website, located at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/ has a drop off location tool that you and your family can use to find an authorized drop off spot near you. You can also access guides and FAQs to better help your family understand the process and why it is so important to properly dispose of medications.

Organizations and drop off locations ensure that the process is easy! You can turn in ANY drugs that you no longer need or are expired. If you find that there isn't a location near you or you are unable to make it based on the time, reach out to your local police department for advise on when or where else you can turn in your medications.

Breaking Bad Habits

Monday, April 25, 2016

Regardless of if you would like to admit it or not, we all have habits. Some habits, like smoking or eating fast food for lunch every day, are more harmful than others. Habits tend to become something that we aren’t necessarily aware of and become routine in our lives. Because of this, it may be harder to realize that we are causing harm to ourselves or others around us or just being annoying. If one of your habits has been brought to your attention, instead of getting upset, take the time to think about it and why it is one that you should break. After you have come to terms with the issue, try following the below steps to break the habit.

Become aware: Is there something that triggers the habit such as stress, an action, or even a location? How many times a day do you find yourself doing it? Ask yourself if you have any specific feelings attached with the action. It may take you really tuning into yourself to be able to answer these questions. But by answering them, you may be able to figure out why you are doing the habit or what triggers it and in turn be able to stop it. 

Replace: Try replacing the habit with something that is not as harmful but still gives you the same feeling or with something that occupies you in its place. For example, if you bite your nails, try chewing gum or putting a bitter serum on your nails that tastes bad to remind you that the action is not okay. If you crack your knuckles, try keeping your hands busy. Stress balls are a great way to give your hands something else to do when you feel the urge coming on. Do research on your habit to see if there are specific tips to help combat it.
Document: If you can’t quite figure out what triggers your habit or why you are doing it, try journaling. Write down dates and times and what was going on when you noticed you were in the act. After a few weeks, look back through your notes and look for any obvious behaviors or signs that may help you hone in on the cause.

Talk to a doctor: If a particular habit is causing you physical harm or hurting your personal relationships, try talking with a licensed therapist or psychiatrist. These doctors are trained to help you get to the root of your behavior and can offer you assistance in eliminating the habit once and for all. 

Some habits are harmless and may not cause you any danger or any annoyance to those around you. If you feel this is the case, do not stress about eliminating them unless you feel that you need to. Ask family, friends, and coworkers for assistance in pointing out when you are performing the habit and if it bothers them or they see any negative side effects for you. Remember that we all have habits or routines and that they are nothing to be ashamed of!


Friday, April 8, 2016

Stress can affect so much more than your mental state of well-being. Several studies have been conducted that show that stress has a direct effect on your physical health as well. In fact, most of the time you can physically feel stress when it starts! Some common effects of stress include headache, stomach issues, unhealthy appetites, sleep issues, and even chest pain which can lead to larger cardiovascular issues. Letting go or eliminating stress can be hard but it certainly can be done with a proper plan of attack.

To start, it’s important to realize how stress comes about. Stress occurs when you feel overwhelmed or perhaps have more to handle than you are used to. It causes your body to react as though you are in danger and can cause immediate effects such as an increased heart rate, a rush of adrenaline, and can even give you an immediate burst of energy. For others, they may get “shaky”, start to perspire, or even feel that they may pass out. Everyone’s body will handle or react to stress differently. Regardless of how your body reacts, stress is not good for short term or even long term happiness and health.

There are many methods and tips out there promising to help you reduce stress. However, it’s important to remember that stress is handled differently by everyone. There is not one cure all that is a universal fit. It is important to try to figure out things on a personal level and come up with a plan of what could help you.

The first thing you should try is to determine where your stress is coming from. While some causes such as jobs or personal issues may be hard to eliminate, do your best to step away from the situation whenever possible. Is there something you can do to change your situation? Life changes can be tough but keep in mind that stress can be deadly and takes away from your overall quality of life. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help at work or home to help take some responsibilities off of yourself.

Try focusing on or spending time doing something you enjoy. Do you have a passion or a hobby? If there is something you truly love doing, start dedicating more time to that. Your mind, especially when clouded with stress, needs a break to think about other things or to relax. If you don’t have a relaxing activity that you enjoy, start experimenting or take a personality test to find a recommended hobby.

Take a vacation. A change of scenery or break from the hustle and bustle of life has been proven to be beneficial to both mental and physical health. Sometimes it is hard to break away for an extended period of time but even a weekend trip can help clear your head and give you a fresh outlook when you return to your normal routine. Check out coupon sites for low priced weekend getaways.

Take care of yourself. Eating right and getting plenty of sleep and exercise have a direct effect on every area of your life and health. If you are very busy and find yourself eating fast food a great deal, try prepacking lunches for the week or buying things that you can take with you that are healthy and easy to eat while on the go. Fast food is convenient but it is packed with a great deal of things that are unhealthy for you and is often times not even cooked properly. Do your best to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night as well. Try getting your family on a strict schedule to ensure you can be in bed on time and ready to get some rest. Schedules can also set structure to your life and eliminate a lot of surprise scenarios that can further lead to stress.

If you find that you are still struggling even after making lifestyle changes, it is best to go see your doctor. They will best be able to offer suggestions and can even look deeper into if there is anything that can be done medically to help. Don’t miss out on quality of life because of stress! There is no better time to tackle it than right now.

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