Archive for February, 2013

Steroid Use and Muscle-Enhancing Behavior Rising in Girls

We know that the use of performance-enhancing drugs, like anabolic steroids, is common in both boys and girls. Still, the issue remains more dominant in boys given how active they are in sports and other activities that require physical efforts.

steroids use among girlsBut when researchers from the University of Minnesota looked into data of nearly 3,000 surveyed adolescents at 20 urban middle and high schools, they found that females were not far behind from their male counterparts in terms of steroids use and muscle-enhancing behavior

According to the findings of “Muscle-Enhancing Behaviors Among Adolescent Girls and Boys,” 62 percent of girls reported changed eating habits to increase muscle size or tone. About 21 percent reported using protein powders or shakes, 4.6 percent admitted using steroids, and 5.5 percent reported using other muscle-enhancing substances. These figures are higher than what has been reported in previous research.

Among boys, more than two-thirds reported changing their eating habits to increase enhance muscle size or improve muscle tone, 34.7 percent reported using protein powders or shakes, 5.9 percent reporting using steroids, and 10.5 percent using some other muscle-enhancing substance.

Almost 12 percent of boys and 6.2 percent of girls reported using 3 or more of the behaviors examined for the study.

“We were not expecting to see rates as high as we did among girls, since this is typically thought of as a boy’s issue,” lead author Marla E. Eisenberg, Sc.D., M.P.H. Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, said in a news release. “Our findings show society needs to reshape how we think of body image concerns.”

Eisenberg added that media images of women — which combine slenderness with a toned, firm and muscular look — could be a driving force in women’s attitude over  the use of performance-enhancing substances and behavior. Only that, this hasn’t been emphasized in past research.

“Parents, pediatricians and other health care providers need to be aware that these behaviors are happening, and even if a teen looks muscular and healthy, he or she may still be participating in unhealthy behavior to achieve the ‘perfect’ body,” Eisenberg added. “Adults should start talking to teens about muscle-enhancing behavior as they would any other harmful behavior.”

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Teen Mom Jenelle Evans Goes Back to Rehab for Heroin Addiction

Teen Mom star Jenelle Evans is once again admitted to a rehab facility. This time it’s at her own will.

Jenelle-EvansA source told Radaronline that the 21-year-old MTV star volunteered to seek treatment for her heroine addiction, as well as “related stresses stemming from her tumultuous last few months.”

“Everyone has been worried about Jenelle doing heroin, even though she was denying that for a long time,” the source said.

This isn’t the first time the reality TV star has been treated for drug abuse problem. In November 2012, Jenelle involuntarily committed to a rehab center for 72 hours. According to the source, she now wants to get clean not only for herself but also for her son.

“Jenelle has been through the wringer lately,” the source said. “She got married to a guy that she now thinks is a disaster, got pregnant, had a miscarriage and is basically falling apart.”

Meanwhile, Jenelle’s on-again boyfriend Gary Head defended her on Twitter regard her substance abuse issues. “Jenelle is NOT ON DRUGS. She got sent for emotional support because this season was so intense.” he tweeted on Feb. 25. “MTV Does not want her to see this season and then relapse BC of all the stress but I will say that Jenelle does not do drugs. I won’t allow that and he knows that if she ever goes back to drugs then she can have them. But she won’t have me.”

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Performance-Enhancing Drugs You’re Probably Using Now

The thought of performance-enhancing drugs conjure up images of anabolic steroids, EPO, and testosterone thanks to Lance Armstrong’s almost unforgivable doping scandal that dragged cycling into a roomful of suspicions. But apart from getting that bulky physique and long-lasting endurance, performance-enhancing drugs might also mean drugs that help people perk up for their jobs and daily activities. Granted this may be the case, Cracked.com listed several drugs that could improve useful activities. Here are some of them:

performance-enhancing drugsStimulants
Perhaps, the most affordable and widely used of them all is coffee and soda like Coke. In the last couple of years, a slew of energy drinks laced with high amounts of caffeine invaded store shelves, which a growing number of teens are using to keep up with the exams week — or sometimes to rev up their partying. People who are often seen downing caffeinated beverages and other forms of stimulants include truck drivers, fighter pilots, soldiers, shift workers, and journalists.

Beta Blockers
These are drugs used to treat angina, heart failure, migraines, high blood pressure, anxiety, and tremors. But they are also used off-label by people whose jobs require calm nerves and steady hands, such as musicians, actors, surgeons, or pool players. In one study, a group of ophthalmology residents were given propanolol or placebo one hour prior performing complex and delicate eye surgery. Those who took propanolol were found to have decreased surgical tremors and anxiety, though the research couldn’t say whether or not it helped with how well the surgery went. In the case of sports, the World Anti-Doping Agency has banned the use of beta blockers for professional competition like archery, billiards, golf, shooting, and other sports because of the drugs’ ability to  reduce tremors and improve hand/arm steadiness.

Painkillers
Needless to say, painkillers have becomes a popular drug of abuse among adults and teenagers alike. People who were prescribed with these drugs to treat chronic pain following an accident are most likely to abuse their medications in order to perform their daily tasks. Soldiers use them, too as a way of coping with the bruises, blisters and other pains they experience in combat operations. Military veterans have a troubling rate of substance abuse, in part because of painkillers.

Anti-Nausea Drugs
These are popular for workers on boats or cruise ships, as well as scuba divers and astronauts. As the name suggests, they help professionals not to get nauseated or vomit once they’re on the job.

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Philadelphia School Fights Teen Drug Use by Randomly Drug Testing Students

St. Joseph’s Prep school is taking every measure to ensure its students are protected from substance abuse. Its most recent move is to subject students to a random hair drug test.

drug testingAccording to school officials, the new policy is not punitive in nature but to help students avoid drug use and the dangers associated with it. Beginning March, the school will randomly drug test 20 students a month and those who fail the drug test for the first time will receive counseling.

“We’ve been very transparent with what we’re doing – we want them to be successful, we want them to know we care, we want them to know that what we’re doing is what we feel is in their best interest,” Bill Gillespie, the school’s director of counseling, told CBS Philly.

While some students think the new policy is transgressing “some boundaries,” many parents have expressed their support for the program and the effort to help kids make the right choice in life.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, a St. Joseph’s Prep alumnus, has likewise been supportive of the school’s drug testing program, saying some of today’s youth “may have challenges with drug issues,” and thus the need for proper guidance.

“Our hope is to educate them and treat them individually with respect,” says Principal Jason Zazyczny. “It’s a non-punitive policy, so we’re going to do everything possible before we would ever ask a student to withdraw.”

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Types of Smokeless Tobacco That Could Wreak Havoc To Your Child’s Health

Smokeless tobacco is making quite a noise because of the way it’s being marketed — safer alternative to cigarettes.

Statistics estimated that of the 10 million smokeless tobacco users, 3 million are below the age of 21. Of these young users, about 25 percent began using smokeless tobacco products in 6th grade and the remaining 75 percent started during 9th grade.

smokeless tobaccoAs far back as 1986, the U.S. Surgeon General already declared that the use of smokeless tobacco “is not a safe substitute for smoking cigarettes.” In fact, it can cause cancer and some non-cancerous conditions, as well as lead to nicotine addiction and dependence. Still, an alarming number of smokeless tobacco users continue to exist and grow.

To help correct the popular notion that such products are harmless, various anti-smoking advocates and health associations have been issuing news releases that highlight the effects of using smokeless tobacco. But in addition to understanding what smokeless tobacco is about and how the products negatively affect users, it’s important to know the different forms in which they are available.

According to Mayo Clinic, the different types of smokeless tobacco available in the United States are:

Chewing Tobacco: This type of smokeless tobacco is available in loose leaf, plug (plug-firm and plug-moist), or twist forms. The user puts a wad of the tobacco between his/her cheek and gum and hold it there, sometimes for hours at a time.

Snuff: This is a finely ground or shredded tobacco leaves available in dry or moist forms, and s packaged in tins or tea-bag-like pouches. The user places a pinch of snuff between his/her lower lip and gum or cheek and gum. Dry forms of this smokeless tobacco product are sometimes sniffed into the nose by other users.

Snus: This type of smokeless tobacco originated in Sweden. Snus typically comes in a pouch that a user can stick between his/her upper lip and gum — leaving it there for about a half-hour without having to spit, then discard it.

Dissolvable Tobacco: As the name suggests, this type melts in the mouth, thereby, eliminating the need to spit tobacco juices. They are sometimes called tobacco lozenges but they are not the same as the nicotine lozenges used to help you quit smoking. They come as pieces of compressed powdered tobacco, like that of small hard candies.

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Synthetic Marijuana Use Tied to Acute Kidney Injury!

It isn’t surprising how synthetic marijuana managed to become a popular drug of choice among the youth today. In addition to being easily accessible, not all states in the country have adopted laws that ban the distribution and possession of synthetic drugs. And even though health experts have consistently reminded people of the dangers associated with synthetic marijuana use, many still refuse to heed the advice.

synthetic marijuanaA new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, found that synthetic marijuana use may cause acute kidney damage.

A total of 16 people, aged 15-33, visited emergency departments with the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, and abdominal or back pain.  The reported cases came from Wyoming (4), Oregon (6), New York (2), Oklahoma (2), Rhode Island (1), and Kansas (1). All patients were subsequently hospitalized, five required hemodialysis — a treatment to remove waste products from the blood — and four patients received corticosteroids.

According to the report, none of the patients had preexisting renal dysfunction or use of medication that might have caused renal problems, but toxicology analysis indicated they had all used synthetic cannabinoid products.

Emerging in the U.S. in 2009, synthetic marijuana is marketed in various names, including “K2” and “Spice.” They are packaged in colorful wrappers to entice teens, young adults, and first-time drug users. Although the products are often labeled “not for human consumption” or “incense,” health professionals and legal authorities are keenly aware that these products are smoked like marijuana. So far, more than 40 U.S. states have legislatively banned synthetic cannabinoids.

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