I look at the big picture of the drug culture in the United States and how widely accepted it is to medicate yourself yet when that doctor prescribed medication leads to addiction or illegal drugs enter into the picture it becomes taboo.
What’s the difference, really? One is government sanctioned while the other remains illegal and therefore underground. Chemical substances that alter the body and the mind (alcohol included) have the same effects – regulated or not.
Listening to the lyrics of the hit song Rx – Medicate by Theory of a Deadman I find myself reflecting on my life and all of the people I have cared about over the years.
Tyler Connolly’s lyrics reflect the state of the opioid crisis here in America as well as it’s overall drug culture. It’s a realistic and sad commentary on just how bad things have become. Nearly anyone you talk to these days has been touched by this in some way – personally, by a friend or a family member.
Drug overdoses killed roughly 64,000 people in the United States last year alone, according to the first governmental account of nationwide drug deaths to cover all of 2016. That is up 540% over the last 3 years. Alcohol-Related Deaths: An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually. These numbers are growing and are staggering, killing more people than HIV, Guns, and Car Crashes combined.
As a country? We are literally killing ourselves.
I look back and so many of my friends that I used to go out and have a good time with have fallen prey to addictive behavior that has set their health and lives back at one time or another, hurting relationships, friendships and the people they care about but mostly harming themselves. It makes me feel very sad and at the same time alarmed at what is going on around me.
How did this country get here? While there is no way I can pinpoint a single blanket reason, I do know for sure that the rate at which anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and painkillers are dispensed like tic-tacs for-profit and kickbacks plays a big part. The list of side effects that are accepted include raised suicide risk and death, how are these medications legalized, to begin with, and who decided that risk of death is worth it?
The other portion of the equation is personal responsibility for your own happiness and mental wellbeing. The message has been pushed loud and clear in media.
“If you aren’t happy, take a pill.”
When the real answer is never found in a pill, it’s found within. Working on your life and on yourself – without chemical interference. Medications in some cases can serve as a temporary band-aid, but they aren’t a cure and worse, they can become a trap.
This isn’t an easy problem. It has become interwoven into our culture. From the outside dealing with someone who is addicted leaves you feeling helpless because no matter what you do or say – you cannot really help. I cannot even imagine being on the other side of the coin.
I don’t have any answers here. Just happened to be listening to Spotify and that song really struck a cord. To anyone dealing with drug or alcohol dependency on any level – I sincerely wish you the very best.
If you are like millions of Americans who suffer from gastrointestinal problems like indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn and upset stomach you may have been lead to believe that products like Tums, Maalox, and Rolaids are quite possibly your only salvation. It’s simply not the case.
Tums and Rolaids – both well-known popular products are made from a base of calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide (which is not for upset stomach but to treat constipation). Tums also admits to containing trace amounts of lead (which even in small amounts can cause harmful effects).
Maalox is made with magnesium hydroxide, aluminum hydroxide (which has side effects ranging from tarry stool, to coughing up blood, pain during urination to muscle weakness) and simethicone (which has several drug interaction warnings along with possible side effects of swelling of the lips, tongue or throat).
Additional to these active ingredients all of these over the counter medications also contain artificial flavors, saccharine (which has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals), Sorbitol (which has an array of side effects including nausea, gas, diarrhea and cramps).
Aren’t all of these things the very ailments you were trying to heal yourself from in the first place by consuming these products?
We, as a society have been taught to trust the Food and Drug Administration. We assume that because a product has been approved, that it is not only safe, but also actually good for us. Sadly this is not always the case.
In most cases nature has provided us with everything that we need to heal our bodies organically, only in this day and age we have gotten so far away from our roots that a lot of us have forgotten or never even had the advantage of being taught what plants, herbs and supplements have a healing effect on our physiology.
First of all, if you have these conditions it is recommended to avoid aggravating them by staying away from spicy foods and alcohol and of course, hardest of all, stress. But should you experience symptoms such as listed above here are a few things to try.
Papaya Lozenges are soothing to the stomach lining and reduce irritations such as bloating, gas and indigestion. Papaya contains natural enzymes that break down the proteins, fats & carbohydrates encouraging proper absorption of the nutrients in the food you eat.
Ginger is another incredibly powerful herb that supports healthy digestion when taken as a daily supplement. Ginger can also be taken in emergency situations where you don’t feel at all well due to upset stomach. It helps support the body’s response to nausea by settling the stomach. Ginger’s active ingredients are called proteolytic. This is a digestive enzyme similar to those found in papaya and pineapple. Ginger works three ways to nutritionally support the gastrointestinal function. First, it acts to provide relief for the stomach absorbing acids and toxins that cause nausea. Second, Ginger nutritionally supports the body’s own ability to control the inflammatory response function.
Third, Ginger nutritionally supports the digestive process to assist the body in controlling nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. Users of ginger swear by it for the comforting and soothing effects it offers.
Peppermint is also very useful in aiding in the digestive process. It helps to relieve gas and nausea due to indigestion, soothes the stomach lining and can relieve cramps; it calms nerves and invigorates the digestive tract. We suggest that everyone who drinks coffee should at least on occasion, replace it with a cup of peppermint tea. Coffee harms the body by weakening the heart and making it hard for food to digest. And if that isn’t your “cup of tea” it can also be taken in capsule form.
Next time you are having gastrointestinal distress before you reach for that pack of antacids, I hope you think of this article and give something a little more gentle and natural a try.
Tattoos have become widely popular among all age groups as a form of personal artistic expression, but are they safe?
Many people believe that tattoo ink is made from vegetable dye but the truth is that most tattoo pigments are made up of metal salts and sometimes plastic that is dissolved in a solvent liquid carrier solution that the pigment is suspended in to help move the ink through the needle to the skin.
The carriers (considered safe) can be made from
Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) – developing nervous system very sensitive to low levels of exposure; kids – lowered IQ, learning and behavioral problems; adults – memory loss, inebriation, liver disease, cancer.
They limit infection and prevent contamination.
Carriers may also be made of non-desirable sources
Denatured alcohols – are TOXIC and may be fatal if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin.
Methyl alcohol – repeated contact can cause skin cracking and dryness, possible liver damage, headaches, dizziness, and even death.
Methanol – can affect the nervous system, but is water soluble so washes out fairly quickly
Isopropyl alcohol – the CDC suggests preventing skin contact. Can cause irritation to skin, eyes, nose, throat, dizziness, headache, dry cracking skin.
Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) – Is not intended for internal or topical use on humans. Can cause acute toxicity by dermal exposure. Can cause lesions, reproductive issues – it has not yet been classified for cancer risk.
Formaldehyde – some individuals may experience adverse effects such as watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; nausea; and skin irritation. Possible carcinogen.NOTE: Alcohol increases the absorption through the skin, which results in more chemicals getting in your bloodstream.
In the USA tattoo ink is subject to enforcement through the US Food and Drug Administration in the same classification as cosmetics and color additives. The FDA has never approved any color or pigment for injection into the skin. It has been pointed out by the FDA and Medical professionals that the inks are industrial strength colors suitable for printer ink or automotive paint not for injection into the human body.
In California, Proposition 65 requires that tattoo artists warn customers that the tattoo ink may contain heavy metals known to cause cancer, birth defects, endocrine disrupters, and other reproductive issues. Most other states remain unregulated and potential clients uninformed by the shops and artists.
Ingredients are not required to be listed on inks at all and are most often be listed simply as proprietary blends. They can contain literally any chemical, including those known to be mutagenic (capable of causing mutations) and Carcinogenic (capable of causing cancer). Artists, like the general public, do not often have any way of knowing for sure what is in the ink.
Any time you inject anything into your skin you risk infection.
The shop might be spotless, the artist may do everything right…You can still get an infection from contaminated ink.
Tattoo machines puncture the skin 3000 times a minute with each poke leaving a hole 1/64th to 1/16th of an inch in diameter. Tattoo guns work much like a sewing machine piercing the skin over and over again depositing ink to achieve the desired design and effects. The wounds do scab over rather quickly but can still get infected during or after the healing process.
When pigments are injected into the skin because of the way the gun works it is possible that a tiny bit of the ink mixes with bodily fluids and gets sucked backward into the machines themselves. The needles are changed but the machines motors can trap debris, which in theory could get passed on to the next client.
What is IN the inks?
Why some of these metals can be dangerous:
Mercury is a neurotoxin, meaning it has detrimental effects on the nervous system. It can damage the brain and lead to physical and emotional disorders.
Lead interferes with a variety of body processes and is toxic to many of the body’s organs and tissues, including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, nervous and reproductive systems. In severe cases, lead poisoning symptoms can include seizures, coma, and death. Other symptoms commonly associated with lead exposure include abdominal pain, confusion, headache, anemia, and irritability.
Beryllium is listed as a Class A EPA carcinogen. Exposure can cause Chronic Beryllium Disease, an often-fatal lung disease.
Cadmium is a heavy metal that poses severe risks to human health, including kidney, bone, and pulmonary damage.
Arsenic is a known carcinogen, and new studies have also found that exposure to higher levels of arsenic leads to genetic damage.
Antimony exposure can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, and lungs. As the exposure continues, more serious problems may occur, such as lung diseases, heart problems, diarrhea, severe vomiting, and stomach ulcers.
Iron Oxide (rust) minimal if any health risks.
Cobalt In small amounts cobalt can be beneficial to the body. In larger amounts, however, it can be dangerous causing nausea, vision issues, heart problems, and thyroid damage.
Nickel small quantities are safe. An uptake of too large quantities of nickel has the following consequences: Higher chances of development of lung cancer, nose cancer, larynx cancer and prostate cancer, Sickness and dizziness after exposure to nickel gas, Birth defects, Asthma and chronic bronchitis, Allergic reactions such as skin rashes, mainly from jewelry, and even Heart disorders
Aluminum has been linked directly to Alzheimer’s disease as well as heavy metal toxicity and sickness.
Glow in the dark inks may be not only toxic but radioactive.
*Items in the chart not detailed here below seem to be marked as inert, relatively safe, or at the very least not as dangerous or toxic to humans.
Additional dangers apply when the topic turns to prison tattoos, as the inmates are very limited as to what they have as supplies to use. Human urine, Bic pens, and non-sterile metal objects all can come into play and the risk of infection is huge.
Although most tattoo ink manufacturers consider their ingredient list proprietary information, some brands do release this information and make an effort to produce only non-toxic inks. Some of the tattoo ink manufacturers with the best policies regarding nontoxic inks, according to How-To-Tattoo.com, include National Tattoo Supply, Eternal, Skin Candy, Dynamic and Kuro Sumi, all of which make significant efforts to ensure safe, as non-toxic as possible tattoo inks.
It is an unsolved topic of debate between medical professionals as well as tattoo artists as to if the metals contained in the inks dissipate over time or keep leaching from the tattoo into the rest of the body over the course of the person’s life. The safety and levels are difficult to study given other environmental exposures as to what is a direct result of tattooing.
If you do have or decide to do a tattoo, consider doing an internal cleanse such as BePureas well as incorporating eating things like parsley, cilantro, spirulina, chlorella and chlorophyll to detox the heavy metals in your system.
Tattoo removal sends those particles into the body as they are released which can be incredibly dangerous. More dangerous in fact that getting the tattoo in the first place as these components may cause damage before being eliminated or possibly absorbed back into the bloodstream or other organs.
If you have a tattoo, the best advice is to keep it and leave it where it is… if you don’t have them, do your research before getting one so you can make an informed decision.