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Opioid Epidemic: A Painkiller Into an Addictive Drug

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After more than ten years, the opioid usage has reached peaking levels and has not declined. It’s caused 42,000 deaths in 2016, clearly showing that the U.S. drug epidemic is not in control.

Researchers found that older patients suffering from chronic pain depend on this “prescription,” but it is a highly dangerous medication. Opioids are a class of illegal drug heroin that provides pain relief, but doctors often prescribe an excessive amount that makes it more life-threatening for the patient. This medication offers a feeling of pleasure but is risky since it leads to addiction, decreases the heart rate, and eventually may lead to death due to overdose. This may be in fact one of the deadliest, most potent drug overdose epidemic in U.S. history.

Medicare patients have greater access to opioid medication compared to privately insured patients. This increased the risk of overdose by four times, and many insurance groups are reluctant to cover the cost of integrative pain treatment of opioids. The insurance policies contribute to the reasons why opioid regulation is failing.

When Will This Outbreak End?

To slowly diminish the national epidemic, federal prosecutors have found that the drug wholesale distributor is Amerisource Bergen. Serious lawsuits are suddenly being pressed upon them, and the FDA is spending millions of dollars to diminish the pharmaceutical companies such as these. Many other manufacturers and distributors such as Mekesson and Cardinal Health are in the process of subpoena as well. They control 85% of the U.S. drug market, and their “suspicious reports have started since 2012.  

More and more states are joining the nation’s outcry of the opioid epidemic. Many hospitals are beginning to alter their approaches for prescribing this drug as a treatment. For example, Chicago is using enhanced recovery after surgery to help patients with pain management in the hospitals. New York takes a different road and swapped marijuana to help with opioid withdrawal. Despite the unfortunate outbreak, we can let out a sigh of relief that companies, hospitals, political lawmakers are all stepping in to alleviate the large situation.

 

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Top 5 Meditation Apps To Try in 2019

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Many individuals get engrossed in their daily routines with little time to be mindful or calm. To address this problem, people are turning to meditation apps to restore balance into their lives. Check out the Top Meditation Apps that will help you feel peaceful and will allow you to exude peace amidst a busy schedule.

Note: This is not a ranking article, and the descriptions for each app can be found on the App Store.

Calm

Photo Courtesy of calm.com

Calm is an app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation. It has sleep stories, breathing programs, stretching exercises, and relaxing music. In addition, it is recommended by psychologists, therapists, and mental health experts. Calm is the perfect mindfulness app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users. Guided meditation sessions are available in lengths of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 minutes so you can choose the perfect length to fit in with your schedule.

Headspace

Photo Courtesy of headspace.com

Headspace helps its users learn to relax with guided meditations and mindfulness techniques that bring calm, wellness and balance. This app teaches users how to meditate, breathe, and live mindfully. It has also been proven to improve focus. There are exercises on topics such as managing anxiety, stress relief, breathing, happiness and focus. For beginners, there is a free basics course that will teach you the essentials of mindfulness and meditation.

Insight Timer

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

This app is the apps of the year winner by TIME magazine and Women’s Health, and it has guided meditation talks led by the world’s top meditation and mindfulness experts such as neuroscientists, psychologists, and teachers from Stanford, Harvard, the University of Oxford, and more. It also has music tracks from world-renowned artists. Additionally, there are thousands of discussion groups and community features to help you reflect and monitor your progress.

Stop, Breathe, and Think

Photo Courtesy of Google Play

Stop, Breathe, and Think is an app designed to help you build the emotional strength and confidence to handle life’s ups and downs. This meditation app will help you reduce stress through a meditation timer and guided breathing exercises and acupressure. Moreover, this app will also help track your mood and progress by top emotions, total time meditated, and weekly settledness.

10% Happier

Photo Courtesy of Google Play

10% Happier is a guided meditation app that aims to help people to stick to their meditation journey. There are videos and meditation combos that make it fun and straightforward to meditate as well as a library of 500+ guided meditations on topics ranging from anxiety yo parenting to focus, ensuring that you can find the right meditation for the moment. Furthermore, there are also quick meditations that fit your busy life during your commute, lunch break, etc.

Have you tried any of these apps? Let us know in the comments below.

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Is it healthy to sleep with the window open?

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Sleeping with the window open is considered to be a fairly popular choice amongst many individuals, especially for those who live in fairly quiet areas. Such a minimal habit you do every night could impact the way you sleep and your overall health.

Keeping a window open can often lead to a cool breeze and some ambient noise that can help to guide people into an even deeper sleep. If you don’t regularly sleep with the window open because it could disturb your slumber, you may want to think ahead to opening the window before you head to sleep tonight.

Some studies are actually showing that opening up a window before you go to bed can have some major health benefits. Here are some of the top reasons why sleeping with the window open can be essential for your health:

  1. Getting a deeper sleep: According to a Dutch sleep study of 17 participants, even a small crack in your window before you go to sleep can often lead to a more restful night. Fresh air as you are falling asleep can help you to fall into a more restful sleep and enjoy better airflow throughout the night. Getting more oxygen can help you feel more rested and this leads to more energy from a regular sleeping cycle.
  2. Less CO2 in your air quality: A room that has better ventilation leads to less CO2 that you will be inhaling throughout the evening. Shutting your doors and windows for privacy and to save energy may not be the healthiest solution for us after all. Improved concentrations of CO2 as we sleep at night can often lead to more allergens in the air, toxins that can affect our immune system, and more.
  3. Reduction in air pollution: Opening up a window can really help with reducing air pollution over time. Getting more air circulating through your home can create a living environment that is much safer for you and your family. Improved air quality can give you more energy through the day and it can cut down on dust throughout your home too.
  4. Potentially help you lose weight: Some experts would suggest that keeping your room just a few degrees cooler can prevent diabetes and obesity. A cooler room can help you to enjoy better sleep which will help you to burn more calories throughout the day. Sleeping in a room that’s a little bit cooler could be a secret that helping you lose weight a bit faster.
  5. Improve your home ventilation: If you regularly rely on your furnace fan to provide you with ventilation through your home, opening up a window could help to improve your indoor air quality. This can lead to better efficiency for your home as well as better overall air quality throughout your property. Rather than the maximum amount of airflow having to go through one conduit, you can make sure that you are getting a better flow of air in and out of your home. Recycling the air will help you enjoy a far better experience in your property, plus cheaper utility cost!

If you are interested in enjoying a far better night’s sleep, consider opening up a window before you go to bed tonight. With consistency and making this a natural habit, you could potentially find great health benefits overtime.

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The Top Healthy Food Trends for 2019

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Eating healthy does not mean sacrificing flavor or savoring tastes. If you consider yourself to be someone that regularly eats healthily or made it your new year goal, it is important to be aware of the top trends for 2019. The best healthy food that is trendsetting for 2019 could help you to prepare some of the finest new recipes that you can use to stay your healthiest. Here are some of the top food trends that you should be watching out for in 2019:

  1. Probiotics that are shelf-stable: Fermented foods were a big staple in 2017 and 2018. New types of probiotics that remain shelf-stable are becoming a much more popular choice. Bacillus Coagulans are applications that can add probiotic ingredients into your pantry without having to worry about a shelflife expiry. They can easily be added to items like nutrition bars, oatmeal, and even soups to improve your health.
  2. Vegan-friendly fats: Keto friendly fats from vegan sources are becoming a huge market for the coming year. MCT coconut butter and oil powder are becoming a popular choice for getting healthy fats. While the keto diet was commonly using butter coffees and more to add more fats into your diet, the vegan-friendly alternatives are offering more selection for people on the diet.
  3. Hemp hearts: People are finding more creative uses for hemp hearts than ever before. The seeds, oils, and hearts themselves are becoming a massive solution for many types of appetizers and even main course dishes. With cannabis legalization across many parts of the world, it is no wonder that so many people are considering hemp as an option that is common in food products today.
  4. Meat substitutes from plant-based ingredients: Plant-based meat snacks are becoming very popular for 2019. There are various mushroom products today that can resemble the same look of traditional beef burgers, jerky and more. Vegetable substitutes for popular favorites such as pork rinds and bacon snacks have all become available. In addition, certain types of mushrooms are offering innovations that are healthy and full of excellent proteins for quick snacks.
  5. New frozen desserts: The frozen desserts market is going far beyond the idea of traditional tubs of ice cream. It seems as though the market has an outcry for brand-new options and these can include items like Mexican Nieves de Garrafa, Turkish ice creams with unique texture, avocado ice cream, and even sweet hummus deserts. Having these options for frozen desserts is helping to improve dessert cravings with healthy alternatives.
  6. Choosing sea vegetables: Rather than choosing traditional farmed vegetables, there are many people that are experimenting with items like seaweed, kelp, and more. These items are finding their way into butter and superfood based dishes to promote a healthy alternative. The stackable versions of these sea-based vegetables are producing wonderful options for snacking and for side dishes. Time to swap out those chips for these vegetable-based snacks!

Keep your eye out in 2019 for some of these top trending healthy snacks. Let us know if you have any other tips or recommendations, or how you plan to eat for the new year! 

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