A Detailed Insight on Symptoms of Piles

This condition is classified into two types which are:

• Internal Piles: The internal piles occur within the rectum are not painful due to lack of sensing nerves. At times, it collapses and protrudes outside anal sphincter, which appears like moist pads of skin. This prolapsed haemorrhoids and can be treated with laser surgery for piles.

• External Piles: The external piles are present in the anus and thus can be more uncomfortable. When this prolapses outside (due to the movement of stool) they become visible. Blood clots occur on them, leading to a painful stage known as thrombosis. When the external piles get thromboses it turns from pink to blue and could even bleed.

What Are The Causes of Piles?
An individual at any age can be the victim of piles. It is a common diseases, that affects over 50% of the people at some point or the other. However, they are usually seen during pregnancy or elderly age, when the haemorrhoids become weak. No matter what the cause behind this condition might be, getting the best piles treatment is of utmost importance.

The four situations that increases the chance of developing piles include:
• Chronic Constipation
• Ageing
• Hereditary factors and
• Pregnancy

In chronic constipation, excess pressure is applied on the rectum making the veins push against the wall of anus, resulting into feeble and weak anus muscles. This ruptures the haemorrhoids which bleeds making stools even tougher to eject. It is often accompanied with pain and sensitivity. In case of ageing, the tissues present across the lining area get less supportive and affect the haemorrhoids veins.

Similarly, in pregnancy the pressure of baby lying in the anus and rectum breaks the veins and causes piles. Other than that, in certain cases people have inherited weakness at the anal region that makes them prone to this condition.

Know More About the Symptoms of Piles
It must be noted that the symptoms of pile do vary and is influenced by the cause and nature of the condition.

Some of the common signs that are often faced by people are:
• A feeling of hard lump at the anus region. It is usually coagulated blood that is often seen in external piles.
• Bright red blood comes out after bowel movement
• Discharge of mucus when bowels pass
• A feeling of having full bowel, even after going to the toilet
• Area around the anus turns sore and red and
• Itchiness and inflammation at the affected area

A good practice is to consult with a doctor immediately when you come across at least two or more signs of piles.

Kapadia Multispeciality Hospital is exclusively for personalised care and various surgeries by well qualified and experienced surgeons. It is fully equipped with state-of-the-art, international standard equipments.

Role of Family in Addiction Recovery

We all are aware of the life and living cycle of a human being. Between birth and death, there is a lot that happens which shapes our identity. There are certain traits which are inbuilt or inherited and then there are some characters that we build as we go through certain states and situations, which add-on to our identity at various points of time. Now my question here is- What do you identify your first identity as?

Birth; your name given by your family; schooling on the basis of parents’ name; college on the basis of your parents’ name and your marks; your resume requires’ your family details; your bio-data for marriage needs your family details. So everywhere, the family stands first, which makes it your first identity.

The reason I am quoting this point is that family has its role everywhere. Even in addiction, it has its unequivocal involvement. Addiction is known as a Family Disease. It cannot be denied that family has its significant role to play in enabling addiction and ending it as well.

Once an addict has been treated and has started his journey of recovery, your role as family does not just end there. Rather it is just the beginning and you have to make sure that your loved one takes it to a long way. Without your knowledge and support, it is not going to be possible. There are certain definite steps that you as a family need to take, so that your whole family can enjoy a sober and happy recovery life.

Be Alert and On the Watch

Do not commit the same mistakes again. Having your emotions attached with someone might not be something that you can control, but a sure measure that can be taken is to keep them under your control.

You should not get over-emotional whenever your recovering addict is trying to get you in his trap. You must keep in mind, all the things he did previously. If there is an excess of any behavior, which you think, was previously used, to go for using substance, you must immediately get aware of it and take a tough step. You will have to let go your gullible nature and be more sagacious.

Be alert about his routine and daily activities. Trust him in what he is doing, but not so blindly that he would take you for a ride. Know that he is not supposed to take you for granted. Have all your questions answered about any kind of deviations that you see or hear of in a clear manner.

Always discuss whatever move he wants to make and then considering its practicality and profitability, you can decide to finance or support it. But do not get too much defensive and doubtful about his capability. That is a tough job, right?

Do Not Leave Him Free

‘Empty mind is devil’s workshop’. You must have been hearing this since your childhood. So when you leave him without any work or engagement in the family, he would drag himself to drugs/alcohol and maybe utilize his pent-up energy in using it in newer ways. Understand the line of his privacy and his alibis to use drugs in private, hiding from you. Show your full involvement in his talks and tasks. Make sure that he does not take anything casually. If he loses his sincerity and starts frittering away time, he would lose his awareness, which might turn out to be a reason for relapse. In treatment, they are taught many unwritten philosophies, such as No Free Meals and Being Aware Is Being Alive. They must practice them and for practicing them you need to be their role models too. Also, make sure that his circadian rhythm does not change, i.e. his sleep cycle and even eating habits remain healthy.

Be Emotionally Available

Always be emotionally available to him. There are times when we all feel low. Apparently, those who become addicts, their coping mechanism is automated towards drugs and alcohol or self harm only. So, whenever you see that your loved one is getting sad and negative about life, or has chosen the silent corner for himself for a persistent time period, you need to intervene. Cook for him and ask him to help, play good music, go out for a nice lunch or dinner, refresh some childhood memories. There are many things to do together. Treatment does not get over with the addict getting out of the rehabilitation center. Don’t take him lightly ever. He needs the feeling of love and belonging, more than anybody else needs. And at the same time, don’t commit this mistake of asking him to consume a little bit of alcohol or smoke once a while at social gatherings, thinking that might uplift his mood and you are keeping an eye on him, so he won’t go out of control. An addict can never settle at peanuts. He would get back to the same intensity again.

Don’t be Scared

Do not ignore his anger and over that, do not be scared of it. Don’t be scared of the self harm threats he would be driveling before you. If he is losing his calm over petty matters and snapping at everything you say, beware then. For it indicates that he is again going to use his substance. If you become submissive, which is what he wants, you will lose this battle with addiction. You have to practice Tough Love. Forget about what he used to do earlier when his wishes were not fulfilled. You do not have to be his Jinn again. He knows when to rub the lamp, but you need to decide whether your emotions have to come out or not, even if he is trying to be forceful. The moment you give-in and hand over your emotional control to him, he would relapse. No anger, no threats of self harm, no abuses shall work on you. You need to be stronger than him. Not all the time do you have to be pleasant with him and specially for his irrational demands and behaviors. Don’t let him overpower you. Identify when is he trying to do that. He cannot raise his unnecessary demands, financial/fake emotional/unimportant medical needs over your necessities and routine. He would be testing your patience most of the times. He would be trying to see if he still has control over you, so don’t give-in his tactics. Let him know that no drama would work in your house and on you.

Bargain For Your Life

Not so much anymore, but from time to time I get a request to work with a client who is dealing with addiction. And I while I am a firm believer that everyone should be afforded treatment regardless of their financial means, if they have the resources, they should have skin in the game.

For years I worked with a very high-end company dealing with people coming from a place of privilege. Extremely well off, they would try and negotiate the fee for service. After multiple attempts, their insurance would no longer pay for addiction services, or they would pay for a 10 day inpatient facility. Just enough time to medically stabilize them, but zero time to really begin the recovery process. For that reason, we would be contacted for a high level hands on service. From professional athletes, CEO’s to celebrities, many just didn’t want to come out of pocket. What I found interesting is that those who were willing, often enjoyed greater results. That having skin in the game placed a value on their effort.

This really became apparent when I would work with young adults and the family was covering the bill. In many of these cases, there was little respect for the process. Yet, when I would go into the prison system and work as a chaplain, I would routinely meet men and women being discharged who were willing to do anything to get help. I would get them plugged into a meeting or home group and they would make the coffee, set up chairs, work the hotline or give someone a ride to and from. That was the only currency they had. They gladly paid and I would gladly help them. Those who did not bargain for their life and had skin in the game, almost always did better in their recovery.

I once was working with a business owner with multiple relapses. They were very well off {7 figures a year well off.} They could have very easily afforded any treatment facility in the world. They opted for minimal services, and a decade later are still in active addiction. The conversation every time we would re-engage was about money. In reality it’s not about money at all. But respect for the process and commitment.

I have had clients who have had a drinking problem with a 20.00 dollar a day bar tab. When the question of money came up, they quickly realized that by not drinking, they suddenly had 600.00 a month to apply towards treatment. The person who didn’t hesitate often excelled. Likewise, the same for the person who made every meeting without being court ordered.

Money should not be an excuse when to comes to treatment. Why bargain with your life? Those who have skin in the game {monetarily or not}, almost always achieve better results. You have to give something to get something. I have heard many of my clients say “If it didn’t hurt, I didn’t respect it.” When it comes to treatment. I hope it hurts. Hurts your pockets or hurts your pride. It just needs to hurt. We have to fight through the worst days to get to our best. And it is next to impossible to do that if you don’t have skin in the game, and you do not respect the process.

Dangers of Stimulant Abuse

Stimulants or psychoactive substances, including illicit drugs such as cocaine or crack (variant of cocaine) and methamphetamine, as well as legal medications to manage ADHD disorders such as Adderall and Ritalin, produce a state of increased alertness. Some common party drugs such as ecstasy, benzylpiperazine (BZP) and methylone also come in the category of stimulants. The means a user adopts for administering the drug is responsible for intensifying the euphoric effects and increasing the risk of addiction. A person who injects or smokes the drug is more likely to experience its adverse effects within a short span of time as it causes the drug to reach the brain sooner. Users are also more liable to become victims of abuse and dependence.

Abuse of stimulants is a cause of concern. According to a recent survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 1.7 million people 12 or older were current misusers of stimulants equivalent to 0.6 percent of this population. Further, 92,000 youths aged 12 to 17 were current misusers of stimulants, or 0.4 percent of adolescents. Around 767,000 young adults aged 18 to 25 were reported to have misused stimulants in the past month, corresponding to nearly 2.2 percent of the total population belonging to the same age group.

After a lull, cocaine abuse is on the rise again. According to SAMHSA, the number of people trying cocaine in 2011 was 670,000. The number dropped to 601,000 in 2013. However, by 2015 it had risen to 968,000. The latest survey reveals that approximately, 1.9 million people aged 12 or older were current users of cocaine, including about 432,000 current users of crack.

Physiological and psychological health problems

The brain gets accustomed to stimulants with recurrent use and craves for more to get the desired high. A user may become tolerant within a few weeks. Listed below are some of the dangers of stimulant abuse:

Physiological health problems: Some of the complications associated with stimulant use are cardiovascular damage, increased blood pressure and changes in heart rhythm. It can also cause seizures, breathing difficulties and loss of muscle control. Individuals who use an injectable to get the high have an increased risk of contracting diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis B, C and D. Long-term abuse can also be fatal.

Poor judgement and other psychological impairments: Stimulant abuse is associated with poor judgment and decision-making abilities. As per a 2013 study, cocaine can rewire changes in the brain in a way that the drug dominates the decision-making process. Mundane tasks have less power to activate the brain’s decision-making centers. Those using drugs risk everything from job and money to family and relationships. They are not even afraid of getting into criminal activities as they cannot think practically. Apart from a poor sense of judgement, stimulant abuse is also responsible for causing psychological problems such as paranoia, delusions, depression and suicidal thoughts.

Psychosocial problems and increased risk of incarceration: A person who is addicted to drugs fails to attend to family and friends, and has a diminishing social circle. The risk of incarceration is also high as he or she may resort to unfair means such as robbery to get the supply of drugs. Abusing drugs can transform someone from a responsible human being into a wastrel.

Dangerous if taken without medical prescription: Teens, who misuse drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin, commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), may soon get addicted to it. While initially ADHD meds cause a feeling of euphoria, the effect wears off after a couple of hours. Thereafter, the child feels sleepy and confused but finds it difficult to fall asleep. This disturbs the body’s sleep-wake cycle and is harmful in the long run. Prolonged use of one stimulant also increases the risk of a person turning to harder drugs.

Healthcare Systems and Their Structure

Constantly under review and scrutiny, the issues on healthcare Systems have become international.

Made up mainly of organizations and individuals, these healthcare structural systems are designed to meet a target population’s need for health care. On an international level, there is a diverse variety of health care systems. In some countries the planning of the health care systems are market driven and participated in by the private sector. In other countries the systems are composed of government and non-government entities such as religious groups, trade unions charities and or other coordinative bodies that are centrally run and planned, to enable the delivery of healthcare services to the populations they target. In other words, health care planning has evolved.

According to a World Health Organization report in 2000, the main goals of health systems are the ability to provide a responsive health service alongside considerations of fair financial contributions. In order to appraise overall health care systems, a proposed two-dimensional approach was conceived. The first dimension consists of equity and the second is composed of efficiency, quality and acceptability.

Several proposals have come from the Senate in the United States and the White House. Health care system issues according to President Obama are issues that should be addressed immediately and placed them on a top priority list. A universal health care system does not exist or is practiced in the United States. Some countries subsidize their universal healthcare directly from government coffers. This kind of universal healthcare is called socialized medicine, which is a combination of private and public delivery systems, with most countries spending public funds for this service delivery. Government taxes plays the role of funding this system supplemented and strengthened with private payments.

The World Health Organization (WHO) report of 2000 ranks each member country’s health care system. Discussions on the positive and negative aspects of replacing health care systems with insurance systems use this report’s quotation. However, the WHO has remarked that as ranking healthcare systems is a complex task, these ranking tables will no longer be produced. Infant mortality and life expectancy are two main variables that are used in the ranking. Out of 198 countries, Canada ranks thirtieth and the US ranks thirty seventh. The World Health Organization ranks France, San Marino, Italy, Andorra, Singapore, Malta, Spain, Austria, Oman and Japan as the world’s top ten.

With the founding of the UN (United Nations), there was planning and discussion on the need for a single entity to serve, observe and assess global health care system trends. Thus the World Health Organization was formed in 1948 on April 7th with headquarters based in Geneva, Switzerland. Annually the WHO is recognized by the celebration of a World Health Day. The WHO is the coordinative and directive authority for United Nations’ member countries individual health systems. Member countries of the United Nations are allowed WHO membership through the acceptance of the WHO constitution. To date there are a total of 198 member nations participating in WHO programs.

Beyond Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy in its simplest definition is the smelling of vapours for health & well-being effects, howsoever gained. This article examines a cross-section of the art and proposes a future course of direction for those professionals not wishing to be tarred with an aromatherapy brush.

Of course the fragrance of a nice perfume will leave you in a better frame of mind than the smell of rotting cadavers. The general intuitive appeal of a nice smell (etc) has launched a blind universal hype on essential oils, the mainstay of aromatherapy. Over the years it has attracted a large following of uncritical persons eager to believe good news. By contrast it has produced research well beyond the scope of aromatherapy.

Much opposition has been levelled against the wild claims that border on or even cross the line of fraud. Where there’s money to be made, there is opportunism. The truth is often the first casualty.

Then there is the medical profession. They are the stalwarts to uphold and defend the medical truth. Unfortunately there is opportunity to denigrate the practice of aromatherapy for motives other than altruism, leaving academia to the rescue. Disappointingly, much academic research is in effect unavailable to the general public as good research papers can be expensive.

Deserved or otherwise, alternative medicines such as Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Kinesiology, Light Therapy, Phrenology, etc. have been slow to gain traction in mainstream medicine. Within each field there may be something worthwhile. There is risk of throwing the baby out with bathwater.

Aromatherapy by semantic definition is in lockstep with things smelled, the nose being solely equipped to perceive things smelled. Thus aromatherapy armoury consists solely of essential oils. “Essential” not because we can’t live without them but because essential is merely the adjective from the noun “essence” being a vapour from a liquid at a low boiling point.

This semantic deception taken together with people such as those involved in routinely claiming these potions to cure things like ADHD, arthritis, high cholesterol, lupus, asthma, migraines, cancer, fibromyalgia confuses even more. It is there, on offer, all without the rigours of scientific validation. Long Live The Placebo!

Then there are the others making ambiguous claims that leave lots of wiggleroom such as “cleanses air of negative energies”, “restoring harmony and balance between the mind and body”, “restore psychic energy flow”, “return to one’s centre and chakra”. These and more have become aromatherapy’s articles of faith in some circles. Most are seen as nonsense to the mind versed in scientific methods.

Contrast these with Moss et al in the peer-reviewed paper “Aromas Of Rosemary And Lavender Essential Oils Differentially Affect Cognition And Mood In Healthy Adults” where they showed the efficacy of Lavender and Rosemary oils. 144 persons took part in the study and no one was informed of the study nature. Before and after inhalation tests included 15 words to be flashed on a screen for 1 second and participants were asked to remember as many words as they could in the space of 60 seconds. More tests were done using 20 photographs enabling researchers to test recall and reaction time.

Nominal recall improved from 5.5 for the control group to 6.2 for the Rosemary and showed little change for the Lavender. Nominal reaction time improved from a score of 246 for the control group to 259 for the Lavender. Little change was reported for the Rosemary tests. They concluded that essential oils can significantly affect aspects of cognitive performance.

Worth considering is a paper by Sayorwan et al, who, using electroencephalography (EEG), measured the changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate before and after Rosemary oil inhalation by uniformed groups of subjects and controls. Their findings provided evidence that brain wave activities, autonomic nervous system responses, and mood states could all be modified with Rosemary oil inhalation.

Aromas may well have a placebo effect and as such it is a good thing. However it is not the smell that gives essential oils their efficacy but the compounds that comprise the oils. Compounds such as Eugenol, Carvacrol, Thymol, Geraniol, and Menthol appear to stimulate while Linalool appears to calm or relax. Then there is Eugenol, a very powerful antioxidant as well. These compounds can enter the bloodstream via the olfactory system and the lungs through breathing. The bloodstream can also be fed via the skin by massage and contact patches. Other possible routes are ingestion and intravenous injections. The latter are subject to much more research than currently appears in the literature.

In conclusion, the subject of essential oils is therefore a much wider field, rich with potential discovery. Thus it is important that practitioners who prescribe the use of essential oils in their practice divest themselves of any stigma that has grown around aromatherapy. A whole new name for their practice would help to distance themselves from any hint of quackery and dogma.

The general public may well be sceptical as a result of conflicting opinions. The misnomer “essential” does not help. Volatile Oil Therapy (VOT) as a name may engender some trust especially if the practitioners of VOT confine themselves to proven effects.

After about 5 years of buying women’s wear from China, India, Thailand, Bangladesh and Indonesia we found a need to ensure supply is according to the following:
• No child labour
• No Azo dyes that cause cancer
• No harsh processing chemicals that hurt the environment.
• Fabric from renewable sources
• Natural fire retardant fabric

We went a little further, and asked ourselves the question:
What can we add to our range of clothing that enhances wellness in the wearer?
We came up with some surprising answers. Watch this space.

Healthcare Systems and Their Structure

Constantly under review and scrutiny, the issues on healthcare Systems have become international.

Made up mainly of organizations and individuals, these healthcare structural systems are designed to meet a target population’s need for health care. On an international level, there is a diverse variety of health care systems. In some countries the planning of the health care systems are market driven and participated in by the private sector. In other countries the systems are composed of government and non-government entities such as religious groups, trade unions charities and or other coordinative bodies that are centrally run and planned, to enable the delivery of healthcare services to the populations they target. In other words, health care planning has evolved.

According to a World Health Organization report in 2000, the main goals of health systems are the ability to provide a responsive health service alongside considerations of fair financial contributions. In order to appraise overall health care systems, a proposed two-dimensional approach was conceived. The first dimension consists of equity and the second is composed of efficiency, quality and acceptability.

Several proposals have come from the Senate in the United States and the White House. Health care system issues according to President Obama are issues that should be addressed immediately and placed them on a top priority list. A universal health care system does not exist or is practiced in the United States. Some countries subsidize their universal healthcare directly from government coffers. This kind of universal healthcare is called socialized medicine, which is a combination of private and public delivery systems, with most countries spending public funds for this service delivery. Government taxes plays the role of funding this system supplemented and strengthened with private payments.

The World Health Organization (WHO) report of 2000 ranks each member country’s health care system. Discussions on the positive and negative aspects of replacing health care systems with insurance systems use this report’s quotation. However, the WHO has remarked that as ranking healthcare systems is a complex task, these ranking tables will no longer be produced. Infant mortality and life expectancy are two main variables that are used in the ranking. Out of 198 countries, Canada ranks thirtieth and the US ranks thirty seventh. The World Health Organization ranks France, San Marino, Italy, Andorra, Singapore, Malta, Spain, Austria, Oman and Japan as the world’s top ten.

With the founding of the UN (United Nations), there was planning and discussion on the need for a single entity to serve, observe and assess global health care system trends. Thus the World Health Organization was formed in 1948 on April 7th with headquarters based in Geneva, Switzerland. Annually the WHO is recognized by the celebration of a World Health Day. The WHO is the coordinative and directive authority for United Nations’ member countries individual health systems. Member countries of the United Nations are allowed WHO membership through the acceptance of the WHO constitution. To date there are a total of 198 member nations participating in WHO programs.

The Role Of The Brain In Addiction

Technology has its mighty hand over every field in the world now. And since the base of technology is science, so how could medical sector not undergo changes! Neuroscience has always been an area of immense complexities and curiosities. Advances in this sector has allowed doctors to dig deeper into the brain and even study minutest of changes that happen due to substance intake.

When we talk about addiction as a brain disease, the reward system of the brain plays a very important role.

Physiologically, limbic system is the brain’s reward system. Mesolimbic and mesocortical pathways (Mid-brain) have our cognitive control and functions which would be both reward related and aversion related. Reward related functions are always stronger and more motivating than aversion, hence drug abuse behavior is stronger in addicts. The reward system connects certain structures in such a way that they generate the feeling of pleasure for certain behaviors or stimulus given to the body. In day-to-day life, it is activated by healthy, life-sustaining activities like eating and socializing. But ‘Drug Abuse’ is another behavior that generates euphoria, which is enjoyed by the mind. And human nature is to repeat those actions that give us some definite satisfaction. The limbic system does more than just giving a reward response. For any behavior to be reinforced, it has to be first registered as pleasant to the mind and body. Limbic system in the brain recognizes our positive and negative emotions, which very well explains, how our body and mind get dependent on any psychoactive mood altering substance.

However, with recent developments, neurobiology has been able to study how addiction is related to the brain. Researchers and scientists studied the brain’s reaction to different substances and discovered that drug abuse actually alters the chemical makeup of the brain, which is what causes addiction and they named it as a ‘Brain Disease.’

Since the brain is placed as the epicenter of human activity, it is the initiation point of every phenomenon that occurs. Whatever we feel, experience or think, all is first registered by the brain and within lesser than nanoseconds, it commands us to act. It communicates through neurons, neurotransmitters, receptors and transporters. Yes, it is very complicated and sounds mystical too (specially to people like me who have not studied biology after high school)

How do Drugs Affect the Brain?
Psychoactive substances interrupt with the communication systems of the brain. They interfere with the way a message is transmitted and sent to its defined destination. No matter how much people say that cannabis would not be called a drug, it is a plant, but the reality remains unchanged, which is, that everything has certain chemical composition. For example, Heroin and Marijuana’s chemical structure are like copies of a natural neurotransmitter. Amphetamines mimic catecholamine neurotransmitters, causing general physiological changes which prepare the body for physical activity and fight-or-flight response. So, the moment the body is intoxicated with a drug containing amphetamines or its derivatives, it starts reacting in unnatural ways by raising blood pressure, increased alertness resulting in sleeplessness, blood glucose levels. They can easily activate neurons, giving various directions to the body to react in a different way, than would a natural neurotransmitter would! Cocaine can make a person delirious, because it releases natural neurotransmitters in bulk and blocks the natural recycling process of neurotransmitters by the brain. Amphetamine causes drug tolerance very quickly and rapidly too.

Chronic addictive drug use causes alterations in the process by which information from a gene is used to synthesize a gene product- RNA or Protein. Nigrostriatal Pathway is a dopaminergic pathway that plays an extensive and unavoidable role in addiction. It comprises of Transcription Factor, which is a protein that controls what all information has to go from the DNA to the messenger RNA. Psychoactive substances block, many of the neural and behavioral alterations that are to be taken to the RNA. Altered dopamine transmission is the first thing that comes to notice in cases of drug abuse.

These have been many studies extensively done by medical science researchers on addiction. There is a wide range of chemicals that people use to reach a euphoric state. But the gist of it all is, that they play with the normal functioning of brain by altering the natural chemicals that ought to be there.

Aseptic Processing

If you go back in time, hygienic practices weren’t even heard of let alone carried out. Medicines were made primarily of plants and whatever else was on hand and even, during the Victorian period when pharmaceuticals became more main stream, they weren’t very worried about how sterile the compounds were.

Today of course, pharmaceuticals are big business and having a product delivered to a patient sterile and ready to go is the norm. We’re talking eye drops, ear drops, injectables, infusion products and the like, all things that have to remain sterile until ready to use.

By definition, something that is sterile has the absence of any viable microorganism, and the specification is unchanging and independent of the manufacturing process of the drug in the first place. To make a sterile product then, means filling and sealing the product containers under high quality environmental conditions, with care and with the same practices in place day after day.

When you are talking foods, beverages and medicines, keeping them sterile is a process called aseptic processing. This means that the sterile product is packaged in such a way as to keep its sterile rating. It is accomplished by flash heating which uses less energy than other techniques while (in the case of food) retains more nutrients. When you are talking pharmaceuticals, the ante is upped and the procedure also includes the use of clean rooms, bacteria retaining filters, and either dry or steam heat.

Some examples of food and drinks being in a sterile container include tetra juice boxes and drink pouches, but for medicines, they are stored in plastic or glass containers as these materials form a tight seal against microbiological organisms, contaminants, and degradation of the substance being carried. Using aseptic processing means you no longer need refrigeration and it makes worldwide import and export safe and economical.

Aseptic containers range in size from tiny ones that hold just a few ounces of medicine to ones that can hold eight million gallons in a tank on an ocean liner. Companies that package these medicines and the like can then send their product all over the world, knowing that once it reaches its destination, it is still a viable, sterilized product and will remain that way until it is used for a patient.

The next time you have a prescription for eye drops or have medicines administered by injection or drip, you can be sure those medicines are sterile, all thanks for aseptic processing.

New Texas Law Makes It Tougher for Parents to Reclaim Their Children If They Relapse

I can see it in his eyes

when he comes creeping in.

He’s been somewhere he promised me

he’d never go again…

… This is our lives he’s tearing apart.

It’s not a funny game.

It’s destroyed our family and killed our love.

Because he loves “Cocaine.”

Source: Melissa Scott, Because He Loves Cocaine

The lines from the poem ‘Because He Loves Cocaine’ portrays the emotions running through a child living with a parent addicted to the deadly drug. As rightly mentioned, drugs don’t just affect the people dependent, but destroy their families too. The impact of parental drug abuse is particularly huge on the children. Being in a developmental and impressionable age, these children are forced to bear the brunt in numerous ways, such as cognitive decline, poor performance at school, development of risky behaviors, etc. Many a time, they become susceptible to violence and aggression, leading to fatal injuries.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that approximately 12 percent of American children (over 8.3 million kids) cohabitated with at least one parent or guardian dependent on drugs or alcohol between 2002 and 2007. Drug abuse by parents is a serious offense; most authorities in the child protection and judiciary consider it as a form of neglecting parental duties.

Since the entire journey from addiction to recovery can be extremely challenging, it becomes difficult for children to hold on to their parents addicted to drugs. Such children become emotionally vulnerable and run the risk of emulating their parents. Given the dangers of growing up with parents suffering from substance use disorders (SUD), various laws and measures have been promulgated by federal and state governments to ensure their safety and well-being. Irrespective of the state, authorities can use parental drug abuse as a qualifier for child abuse.

House Bill 85, the child protective law

One of the child protective laws of Texas, House Bill 85, is tough on parents who relapse during rehabilitation. The court in this case can apply for the termination of their rights toward their children. Though seen as an effective step against parental drug abuse, many people who have gone through the pain of separation of their children have cast serious doubts over the outcome.

Such a punitive measure can inflict major repercussions on both – the parent suffering from SUD and the child. The separation from their parents could be a harrowing experience for the children and vice versa. The trauma could affect their bearing in later life. Since children and adolescents are attached to their parents, taking them away to foster care could hamper their growth and development.

Studies have highlighted developmental issues in children growing up in such a surrounding, like mental health problems. Rather than being a healing process, it can turn out to be a distressing experience. In the absence of a stable environment and attachment as provided by parents, they witness problems in the short- and long-term development of the brain.

Moreover, parents who are estranged from their children are less likely to be motivated for recovery. As losing a child can be a big blow for any parent, they are more likely to fall back to their old ways again. Many people have mentioned the role of families in their recovery. Despite relapsing once or twice during the treatment, they were able to achieve sobriety due to the sheer love of their children. The goal of reuniting with their children and other loved ones helped them in overcoming addiction.

Happiness is in having a caring family

Regardless of the circumstances, any form of substance abuse does not arise because of the fault of an individual. It is a chronic illness of the brain that can be treated with the right intervention. It is common for an individual to suffer a relapse during rehabilitation, as the withdrawal pangs can become too severe for him or her. Moreover, detoxification and rehabilitation are complex processes that require time. Therefore, drug abuse cannot be addressed in one go.

Addiction usually starts with occasional use that soon turns into a serious habit. As an individual becomes dependent on any drug, the brain’s reward system changes, resulting in more frequent cravings, leading to negative impact on his or her ability to function at home or work. Drug addiction should be treated at the earliest through treatment programs that include pharmacological and psychological interventions.