Prescription Drug Abuse

seguridad-pacienteThe nonmedical use and abuse of prescription drugs is a serious public health problem in this country. Although most people take prescription medications responsibly, an estimated 52 million people (20 percent of those aged 12 and older) have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons at least once in their lifetimes. Young people are strongly represented in this group. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey found that about 1 in 12 high school seniors reported past-year nonmedical use of the prescription pain reliever Vicodin in 2010, and 1 in 20 reported abusing OxyContin—making these medications among the most commonly abused drugs by adolescents.

via From the Director | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

New-Years-Resolution-for-Brands-Get-Digital-Marketing-Strategies-Sorted-Out-NowBy making your resolutions realistic there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year, incorporating healthy behavior into your everyday life. Here are a few tips to help make News Year’s resolution stick:

  • Start small – Make resolutions that you think you can keep. If, for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week at the gym instead of seven. If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yogurt, instead of seeing your diet as a form of punishment.
  • Change one behavior at a time – Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.
  • Talk about it – Share your experiences with family and friends. Consider joining a support group to reach your goals, such as a workout class at your gym or a group of coworkers quitting smoking. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle that much easier and less intimidating.
  • Don’t beat yourself up – Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK. Don’t give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your diet, or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy. Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track.
  • Ask for support – Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking professional help. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body. They can offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviors and address emotional issues.

via Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick.

Popular New Year’s Resolutions

blog-NYHappy New Year! These New Year’s resolutions are popular every year. Here’s information that can help you achieve your goals in 2015.

  • Lose Weight
  • Volunteer to Help Others
  • Quit Smoking
  • Get a Better Education
  • Get a Better Job
  • Save Money
  • Get Fit
  • Eat Healthy Food
  • Manage Stress
  • Manage Debt
  • Take a Trip
  • Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
  • Drink Less Alcohol

via Popular New Year’s Resolutions |

Santa Claus Ready for Take-off

santa-claus-officially-cleared-for-christmas-eve-takeoffIt looks like Santa Claus has successfully passed his pre-flight inspection and is set for a safe take-off from the North Pole. It will be flight – North Pole Air # 122414.

According to Santa’s CFE (Chief Safety Elf) the list has been checked twice to see who was naughty or nice, cargo has been screened, his sleigh is loaded and his flight plan has been filed so he and his reindeer can set out to make their annual Christmas deliveries  tonight.


Saving Matters…Prepare For Retirement

savingFinancial security in retirement doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and commitment and, yes, money.


  • Fewer than half of Americans have calculated how much they need to save for retirement.
  • In 2012, 30 percent of private industry workers with access to a defined contribution plan (such as a 401(k) plan) did not participate.
  • The average American spends 20 years in retirement.

Putting money away for retirement is a habit we can all live with. Remember…Saving Matters!

via Top 10 Ways To Prepare For Retirement.

Prevent Heart Attacks with 5 Healthy Habits

persha-dopomoga-pri-insulti_2Many doctors will tell you when they talk to their patient about changing his or her life style, their response will be something like “Heart disease runs in my family so there is nothing I can do about it.”

Of course, family history is a factor but a recent study concluded that changing to a heart-healthy lifestyle can overcome what’s in your genes.

A recent study involved 20,771 men between ages 45 and 70. When the study began, none of the men had a history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Over the 11-year period of the study 1,361 of the men suffered heart attacks. They were most likely to be those with poor diets, little exercise, smoked and drank to much alcohol.

The least likely to suffer a heart attack followed 5 healthy habits:

  1. Eating a healthy diet.
  2. Drinking moderately.
  3. Never smoked.
  4. Excercised moderately (such as walking or biking)  40 minutes a day and vigorously at least one hour per week.
  5. Maintained a healthy waistline (about 37.4 inches or less).

The researchers concluded that 4 out of 5 heart attacks could be prevented by sticking to these 5 healthy habits.

How to Help a Friend or Loved One Suffering from a Chronic Illness

img-1304514759If someone you love is diagnosed with cancer or a life-threatening disease, you may feel desperate and completely helpless. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Research has shown us that family and friends can play a huge role in helping patients deal with a chronic illness.

When a person is suffering from a chronic illness, it’s important that they feel truly cared about. What matters most is how people interact with the sick person.

Here are some ways that patients and their families can get the kind of support they want from others:

  • Put an end to family secrets. In other words, honesty is still the best policy. We often try to protect our families and loved ones from bad news, but hiding a person’s serious illness from the rest of the family can backfire. Communicate directly and be open with family members.
  • Include your children. Although their understanding of the situation may be limited, children still appreciate being told what’s going on around them. Children can sometimes view themselves as the cause of problems or major events that happen around them. They may view a parent’s illness as being caused by something they did. Be open, honest, let children know it’s OK to ask questions. This will help relieve some of their anxiety. Remember, a child can be a great source of laughter and warmth for a sick individual.
  • Be selective. Everybody under the sun doesn’t need to know about your illness or your loved one’s illness. Choose who you care to share your news with carefully. Some relationships will prosper and some will become strained. What’s important is that you feel that sharing the information with an individual will provide a stronger sense of support and strength.
  • Be clear about how family and friends can help. People want to feel useful. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help or favors, such as cooking a meal or helping with the school carpool.

Finally, if someone you love if suffering from a chronic illness, learn about the disease, help out with daily errands and chores, and give emotional support. Sometimes we all need a shoulder to cry on.

via How to Help a Friend or Loved One Suffering from a Chronic Illness.

The Human Cost of Motor Vehicle Accidents

gpsfs_driver-safety_wrecked-truckDrivers take a lot of risks on our roads today – with people speeding, driving impaired, massive traffic congestion and the prevalent use of mobile phones all has led to a high probability of accidents.

Employees injured in a motor vehicle accident can have a negative boomerang effect to a company by incurring costs such as lost production, workers compensation, replacement costs such as new staff and equipment, insurance premiums/increases and a potential burden of civil lawsuits. But the huge financial burden and human cost of road crashes goes far beyond your workplace. In 2013 the National Safety Council documented the estimated cost of motor vehicle deaths was $267.5 billion.

via Welcome to the Fleet Safety Institute.

How Thanksgiving Became an Official Holiday

3cb8a5ae8e26bc11b0ce9507fb6e21c0Every year families gather around tables across the USA to celebrate Thanksgiving. But how did it become an official holiday?

The idea of creating a formal national holiday originated with Abraham Lincoln.

In an 1863 proclamation — amid the still-raging Civil War — Lincoln designated Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

via Traditions: How Thanksgiving became an official holiday.

Employer Healthcare Focus of the Future

20130616094407293We, as Americans, have created the best healthcare system in the history of the world. But this “best” system faces some daunting challenges. The current employer must rethink their healthcare focus from just buying an insurance policy to a managed, data driven healthcare strategy.

Current Strategies used by Employers for the Past Five Years

  • Employers cost shifted to employees  or absorbed the cost themselves.
  • Employers monitored discounts (price) but not utilization.
  • Employers received claims data as reports.
  • Employers had no comparative information on the quality and cost of providers.
  • Employers reviewed large claim activity.
  • Employers sponsored health fairs and wellness screens for healthy well.
  • Employers focused on negotiating the 10-20% fixed costs.

Future Employer Strategies Going Forward

  • Employers will be directly involved in helping manage the healthcare delivery system.
  • Employers will closely monitor utilization patterns and cost of the 25% of the population driving 90% of the cost.
  • Employers will receive Executive Reports analyzing trends, demographics, actionable clinical information, chronicle disease reports, healthcare index factors, etc.
  • Employers will focus on Healthcare Provider Process Improvement Programs and know the value of specific providers.
  • Employers will know the healthcare index of their population and focus on large claim prevention.
  • Employers will implement chronic disease management programs, predictive analysis, nurse navigators, nurse practitioners and wellness coaches.
  • Employers will focus on managing the 80-90% of their health benefit cost which is claims.

Employers that make effective positive changes to the way they manage their healthcare will be rewarded with healthier more productive employees and lower cost for them and their employees.