Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Discovering Highly Workable Alternatives to Drug Addiction and Harm Reduction Programs

Drug addiction continues to flourish, despite the best intentions of the many programs out there claiming to have some of the answers to this social, economic, and political conundrum. Lives are lost, and countless other lives are ruined every single day, and in every city and town within our country. All the while, we as good citizens pay the ultimate price of this dreaded disease, by the consequences of its growth and its damaging effects.

Robberies, assaults, thefts, and frauds, are all rising in most cities, just check out the stats for yourself. Furthermore, these addictions only help contribute to the spread of infectious disease! This problem inevitably becomes, a truly monstrous burden on our health care system. No matter what you may think, or believe, we are NOT heading as a society, towards more prosperous and peaceful times!

The cold hard truth of the matter is that WE desperately need truly workable solutions that matter to the lives of the individual drug user, as well as to the rest of society as a whole! WE, need to SHARE this burden and responsibility. Otherwise, this unsolvable as yet drug problem will continue NOT to be resolved; while, its attended impacts, continue to shatter lives and destroy our quality of life!

It’s NOW or NEVER.

We can indulge ourselves with more studies, reports, and countless other well-intentioned social research papers; yet, we will still find ourselves knee-deep in this fowl smelling pile of bureaucratic, bumbling-buffoonery at its very best! Our Government is to blame for this continued drug problem and its subsequent proliferation. The raw truth is this, it can only provide cheap, highly unworkable, and extremely ineffective, cookie-cutter solutions to this growing and deadly pandemic!

Drugs kill, and drug addicts kill, or haven’t you noticed? Yet, our friendly and benevolent Government chooses NOT to help with permanent solutions; mainly because, they take more time, more money and more resources, while NOT guaranteeing any real results; at least, that’s based on the unreliability of existing drug programs out-there! Most just don’t work, and our Government knows this! So, they really don’t want to throw money away on these poorly-effective programs. Would you?

Individuals, like individual drug users, are the sum of their many parts. There are many parts to the makeup of a whole being, and as such, we need to directly address these individually and collectively, if we are to see some real long-term solutions. People are radically simple, yet we still remain complex to ourselves and to others. There’s no escaping this apparent paradox.

Most existing drug programs focus on one part, a few parts, but, NEVER the complete parts of the whole being, the desperate and frustrated individual drug user. Their whole is NEVER seen, and their self-discovery is NEVER the only goal or end-game! 

Failed drug programs produce failed individuals that think much less of themselves and their WILL to permanently change. In other words, they lose HOPE, because the HELP they relied on, believed in, failed them, again and again. I've heard stories of some people that have gone to 8 different rehabs and programs, with ZERO success; including, developing through–out all of this, a much greater habit to deal with!

In the next installment of this series, I will propose a general idea and a workable plan, of taking the whole individual/drug user into account, as if their LIFE truly mattered.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The End to Harm Reduction Programs

Harm reduction programs ineffectively approach a ‘life and death’ condition, like drug addiction...with these limiting qualifiers, “Recognizing that drug use cannot be completely eliminated….” Thus, the predefined need for harm reduction programs! In other words, hope and help are both limited and finite quantities and qualities, to a point! Endless hope, limitless help, and unbridled compassion don’t exist in this finite Universe of Harm Reduction. I need to ask, why not?

What if there was a way to actually help people stop using the drugs they are so dependent upon?

What if there was real hope for a better life, a healthier and happier life, for EVERY drug user?

What if there was a place beyond harm reduction; a place called, harm elimination; where total drug abstinence, comfortably existed for every drug user as a real possibility? An end to harm reduction programs!

Sure, sure, I know, there are so many unworkable and failure dependent drug addiction programs and therapies out-there; with zero-2% success rates as the norm; is it any wonder social agencies, Governments, corporations and, even every- day-people have lost hope in them?

My approach to this myth of failure is not a fantasy or just my optimistic reality; this is real, it is tangible, and, an observable actuality; this end condition of drug abstinence is realistically achievable; given the means to make every single and precious life matter. That’s the start and foundation for all of this. That EVERY life matters! And, it needs to matter to every one of us in part, and as a whole society! People need to be responsible for each other and help each other while giving each other hope in the process! We ALL need to be involved in the well-being of any of our societal members.

When we ‘just’ reduce the harm, we do not salvage the individual drug dependent user from their crippling drug use and its ill-effects. Instead, we just prolong their misery and suffering. They are suffering, every second of every waking day! Let’s address the real spiritual needs of the individual drug user, instead of their drug habit. Let’s zero-in on what’s ruining their lives, and not, that they are taking/using drugs in a harmful way to themselves, others and society!

Is this the best that we can do for them…these miracles of human existence, these wondrous beings of life…harm reduction?

Why? Because we ‘think’ we don’t have the money or the social will to go all-the-way, and take full- responsibility for that troubled and scarred individual drug user?

Instead, we offer doomed-to-fail and highly contrived, cookie-cutter solutions to this problem of drug addiction; allowing the users to continue on and on, eventually, the drug or associated lifestyle contraindications take their toll and their life!

Another classical/farcical definition for this no-end game is one offered by our Government social research scientists, ““Harm reduction” is a pragmatic, non-judgmental set of strategies to reduce individual and community harm caused by drug use. The focus is on taking incremental steps to reduce harm rather than on eliminating drug use. Abstinence may or may not be the end goal.” Thomas, G. (2005). Harm reduction for special populations: Harm reduction policies and programs for persons involved in the criminal justice system. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.

As you can see the options for abstinence is not the focus, aim, goal or ‘life-saving application’ of these harm reduction programs. In the next posting, I will offer practical, affordable and highly workable solutions that we as a society and drug-users can work through together; cooperating responsibly and proactively with each other, to eliminate drug dependence; while creating together, a truly achievable and everlasting abstinence!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Media Sensationalized Vitamin and Supplement Studies: Who or What Are We to Believe?

What I am about to share with you is not news; truthfully, it is ‘manufactured-news’ that’s been creatively written to strike an emotional chord, directly aimed at your vitality and good health!

Hey, I really get that we’re all trying to be ‘healthy’; whatever that term actually means? These days, even the words, ‘natural’ and ‘organic,’ exist in questionable forms; as examples of ‘down and dirty’ and ‘deceptively devious’ creations of Corporate America! So, we need to be continuously educated and informed. We also need to be reminded that our choices and voices do matter; and that WE can become instruments of change, individually and collectively for the greater good!

I am going to go out on a limb and make a sweeping generalization regarding most mainstream vitamin and supplement manufacturers; they use cheaply outsourced ingredients of questionable quality and compound strength. Basically, they are physiologically useless; while some can even be dangerous to your health if taken in combination with other supplements or medications.

But the truth of this matter may even be stranger than fiction. I need to ask, why are these media sensationalized vitamin and mineral studies always so outrageous, and their conclusions so damaging to the value and usage of vitamins and supplements? 

With shocking, headline-style-pounding-copy, our media assaults both our senses and sensibilities; undermining our hope for good health and, creating uncertainties as to who or what to believe. Vitamin supplements raise the risk of cancer in men, research shows; Vitamin E Supplements May Do More Harm Than Good; Selenium, vitamin E supplements increase prostate cancer risk; “Studies Suggest Multivitamins Are Useless And Possibly Dangerous”; and, “When Vitamins Backfire.”

Spanning decades, these studies have been ‘trying’ to determine the effectiveness of vitamins and supplements on our health; some, involving tens of thousands of participants that were meticulously tracked for the duration of the study. Somehow, these studies and their startling findings have always managed to garner great press and made people think twice about their healthful usefulness. During these times of vitamin media hype, many people stopped taking them. The scare tactics worked!

Here, it should be clearly stated that not ALL vitamins and supplements are created equal, regarding their ingredients and potency; and most importantly, where their components were sourced. From my research of these studies, and what the press had to say about them, I was able to look for and find things they all had in common; other than, the most obvious, choosing inferior vitamin and supplement brands as part of their study protocols! This alone is an astonishing coincidence. Or is it?

1.       Most of the vitamins and supplements that were part of these studies were of significant low dosages to be of any discernible or measurable physiological effect; in some cases barely the RDI (Reference/Recommended Daily Intake; formerly known as the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance). I say this not as a scientist or doctor, but, as a student of chemistry and human physiology. I know how the body works and what our bodies need, regarding nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, proteins, carbs, minerals, etc. For example, don’t expect a dosage of 40 mg of vitamin C made from cheap synthetic and inferior ingredients, buffered with fillers, colored with dyes, and containing other chemical modifiers, to be able to help anyone prevent scurvy!

2.       Not surprisingly, most of the vitamins and supplements that were part of these studies were of inferior quality and not as ‘bio-available’ as other more expensive and better quality ingredients, easily available in the marketplace. Cheap generic multi-vitamins and supplements were chosen, like Centrum for example!

3.       Some of the vitamins and supplements within each of these studies were of a synthetic origin; which in fact are mass produced, in dubious conditions and, of questionable quality, mainly for the agriculture and food industries, as additives to farmed animal feeds; including, as an unnecessary and useless addition within our processed and packaged foods. For example, when we buy a multi-vitamin at Wal-Mart or Costco, the basic ingredients are all of the same kind and from the same source. China is one of the world’s leading suppliers of vitamins, minerals, supplements and, mainly of an inferior variety!

4.       Interestingly enough, some of these studies are what are called Meta-studies; which were designed to gather data from past studies and re-interpret their findings; sometimes in a new way, or to validate and corroborate already existing vitamin and supplement research data and their pre-designed ‘foregone’ conclusions.

The above facts make me question the purpose of these studies, and their well orchestrated, highly sensationalized accompanying media reports, condemning their usage and warning us of their dangers! This targeted and highly crafted media approach is almost an over-kill and deliberate; from my perspective, it looks more like a ‘propaganda campaign,’ than writings designed for our better health and well-being!

In the next installment of the continuation of this story, we will delve deeper into what some of these common vitamin and supplement ingredients are actually made of; including, introducing you to a host of fillers, modifiers, shellacs, dyes, coloring agents, etc., etc. Do you really know what you are taking? Not all vitamins and supplements are created equal; and next posting, you will find out exactly why; including, the life and death differences!