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Effective Cognitive Behavioral Strategies for Addicts

Effective Cognitive Behavioral Strategies for Addicts

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) was developed as a method to prevent relapse when treating problem drinking, and later it was adapted for cocaine-addicted individuals. Cognitive-behavioral strategies are based on the theory that in the development of maladaptive behavioral patterns like substance abuse, learning processes play a critical role. Individuals in CBT learn to identify and correct problematic behaviors by applying a range of different skills that can be used to stop drug abuse and to address a range of other problems that often co-occur with it.

Behavioral Skills

This is a set of behaviors that an individual uses to get accustomed to and manage problematic drug use. Consistent use of these new behavior skill sets eventually develops into a pattern of maladaptive behavior that is repeated over time expecting to fix a problem that will arise in the future.

The type of behavior displayed is characterized by frequent change, emotional reactivity, and cognitive difficulties. Changes in an individual’s mood, feelings, and perceptions are very visible and usually affect both conscious and subconscious aspects of an individual.

Behavioral skills impaired by drug use

Recognizing this happening is the key to effective CBT treatment. One must learn to manage his or her cognitive rhythms, an increase in changes in mood, physical symptoms including fluctuations of blood pressure and heart rate, and behavioral indicators including anxiety, insomnia, and brainstorming.

Cognitive and behavioral disorders are associated with cocaine use because patients frequently show impaired ability to involve mental strategy, emotional regulation, and insight, which are the caliber of common CBT treatment programs.

Individuals who do not see the importance of the cognitive and behavioral changes associated with cocaine use and recovery concentrate on addiction problems alone, neglecting the role of psychological disorders in cocaine use problems.

Cocaine use creates psychological disorders

All the systems need maintenance and supervision, allowing for the regular evaluation of cognitive and behavioral changes. One must be sensitive to these imbalances and adjust treatment accordingly. Friendship and support is vital when Language team members attempt to help.

Consistent and interpersonal management of cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal symptoms of addiction as well as other related problems have the potential to determine the effectiveness of CBT treatment.

Impact of CBT Treatment on an Individual

Cognitive-behavioral therapy may offer keen psychological counseling to view the impaired functioning of an individual and to set goals and plans to change behaviors. This counseling may also play a key role in working through emotional reactions and/or cognitive distortions via psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is unlikely to be of benefit to the individual if the individual is not willing to perform the objectives, and be involved in the plan of action.

It has been found that some individuals show marked deficits in cognitive ability and can develop severe deficits in judgment control during the active period of cocaine and even Adderall use, and a persistent lack of it usually develops in a later period of the plan. This judgment system may make it difficult to sustain continued engagement in drug use.

Adderall creates deficits in cognitive ability

Cognitive or memory dysfunction may be a factor of cognitive behavioral therapy as working through any type of cognitive difficulty is difficult. During active phase of the program, participants may encounter difficulty in meeting both psychological and logical expectations. However, it has been found that cognitive-behavioral therapy is futile at the second phase of active stage of detox, so the team must continue to do outpatient maintenance sessions.

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General Health

What You Need To Know About Ketamine Abuse

Ketamine Abuse

Ketamine

Ketamine abuse is not widely talked about in the news. It should be understood, however, that just because it does not make the headline news every day does not mean that it is not a very dangerous drug to use and that it is not highly addictive. In an effort to bring attention to the growing problem the American Addiction Center, released a report by the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) there were 1,150 emergency department (ED) visits due to an adverse reaction to taking ketamine for nonmedical purposes.

Ketamine is a prescription drug known by the brand name of Ketalar. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) it is dispensed in 10, 50, and 100 mg per ml injectable formats for use during surgical and other medical procedures. It is a dissociative anesthetic drug that is often used medically as an animal tranquilizer. The drug was first developed to help induce anesthesia in people for medical care. Newer medications quickly replaced this drug that was much safer to use.

What Ketamine Does To Your Body – Part One

On the street Ketamine is known by many names. When used, Ketamine puts you in an almost trance-like state. You are euphoric and feel as if you are not attached to your body. Many people relate this feeling to an “out of body” experience or near-death experience. Ketamine distorts your vision and your hearing and in most cases it causes the body to be unable to move. Ketamine has been used in the past as a “date rape” drug for these properties.

Ketamine works almost instantly, which is another reason that the drug has become very popular on the street. It does not take much effort at all to get high, and the high is not over quickly. People snort, inject, and smoke Ketamine mixed with pot or tobacco.

What Ketamine Does To Your Body – Part Two

People who use ketamine are very susceptible to addiction and overdose. The euphoric feeling that is achieved when used can be more addicting than the physical addiction. Emotional dependency on Ketamine is very common.

However, Ketamine is very dangerous for your body. There are several side effects that are also connected with the use of this drug, especially with the increased dosages that are associated with continual use. Some of these dangerous side effects include:

  • Rapidly changing heart rate and blood pressure – either up or down
  • Nausea and vomiting –which is dangerous when you cannot move
  • Decreased breathing – many people breathe so shallowly that they stop altogether
  • Kidney failure – the slowing of all your bodily functions causes toxins to build in your kidneys
  • Urinary Tract infections – the use of Ketamine decreases output from your kidneys and allows bacteria to rapidly grow in your urinary tract, leading to serious infections
  • Amnesia

Amnesia in Ketamine users is very common. When they take the drug they simply forget everything over the period of being high and generally right before they used the drugs. What is very scary about this fact is that the amnesia progresses over time and Ketamine users can get to the point that they do not know where they are, who they are, or what they are doing. This also leads to overdose.  This also makes is very difficult to recognize addiction with Ketamine. 

When you have completely forgotten that you have taken a drug, it is only “natural” at that point in time if you have an addiction, to want to take that drug. Nearly all Ketamine overdose situations occur because the person using the drug “forgot” that they took some and then took more.

Sadly, another common cause of overdose deaths in relation to Ketamine involved forgetting as well. Many of the documented cases of overdose that involved Ketamine also involved other drugs. The person who had taken the Ketamine forgot they took it and used another drug to get high, or they have memory loss from using the drug and forget when or how much of another drug they have just taken. Either way, the end result is an overdose.

Treatment for Ketamine Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has reported that there are no current medications specifically approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to treat ketamine addiction or reverse an overdose, however, for those suffering from Ketamine addiction it’s important to know that it can be overcome with treatment. Due to the nature of this type of addiction the use of an Addiction recovery center will be most beneficial to the process. A drug rehab that offers in-patient care would be the best choice because this type of addiction recovery needs continual monitoring for a period of time.

The monitoring is not because the physical withdrawals are so hard to cope with. In fact, physical withdrawal from Ketamine is not hard at all. Most people do not suffer any real physical withdrawal symptoms. It is the emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms that need to be managed carefully by a qualified substance abuse counselor.

The emotional need for Ketamine is the real addiction. While you are in rehab, you will learn how to overcome this emotional need for the drug and learn how to take charge of your life again.

The Rehabilitation Process

When a person is in rehab for an addiction of any type, it is the obligation of that rehabilitation center to treat the “whole” person and not just the physical addiction. A quality addiction recovery center helps their clients address all the issues in their life, including their physical health and the reasons that they turned to drug use.

It is very common for a person suffering from an addiction to admit that they use it to escape from a problem. A physical or emotional issue that they feel they cannot manage without the aid of the substance. A drug rehab recovery program help these clients learn what they can do to overcome these problems and move forward with their lives.

Being able to take control of your life and face the issues that have led you to addiction is very powerful. It is the leading reason that recovery works. When a person learns to take control of their lives and themselves, they can move forward with their lives drug or substance free. They now have the power to overcome and change their world.

Facing an addiction can be difficult, especially if you are not completely ready to even admit you have a substance abuse problem. However, everyone should understand that there is help available. There are caring and compassionate drug and alcohol abuse counselors that can work independently with you at an addiction recovery center to help you conquer your addiction and empower you to take control of your new life that is now substance free.

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Blogging General Health

LSU Center Select Cannabis Cultivator

 

medical marijuana
Photo courtesy of The Advocate

LSU Plans for Medical Marijuana

Louisiana State University has selected a company that will supply medical cannabis for the Agricultural Center. Medicines from the first crop are expected to be available to patients around mid-2018. GB Sciences, a Las Vegas based company, was selected to be the first producer of high grade cannabis for the state of Louisiana. This is a big deal as there will be only two producers for the state medical marijuana program. Southern University is the only other institute allowed to participate in the program and has yet to select a company that will produce the product. They are expected to make a selection sometime this week.  

Medical Marijuana in Louisiana

Louisiana lawmakers came together in 2015 for the purpose of constructing a framework to dispense cannabis medicines to patients in the state.  Patients suffering from cancers, seizures, epilepsy, and other severe disorders or diseases will soon have access to high-quality cannabis-based medicines with a low risk of addiction.

Types of Legal Marijuana

LSU Medical Marijuana
Photo courtesy of LSU

Policies in the state restrict medical marijuana products to oils, sprays, topical applications, pills, and other forms. Cannabis products which can be smoked are against policy and will not be provided through the state program. In a statement announcing the contract with GB Sciences, LSU agricultural VP Bill Richardson said “It is extremely important that we can provide patients with safe and consistent options to help improve their quality of life.”

Competition For LSU Cannabis Contract is Fierce

CB Medical Inc., another company in competition with GB Sciences for the contract, suggested that the company did not have the financial resources to start up a production facility and uphold fiscal agreements with LSU.

A law firm hired by CB Medical sent a five page letter to the chairman of the LSU Board of Supervisors outlining what they called “red flags” in GB Sciences’ financial documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Dismissing those concerns and expressing high confidence in his company, GB Sciences CEO John Poss is sure the company can keep their end of the deal. A deal that will pay LSU either $3.4M over five years or 10% of gross receipts. GB Sciences has also agreed to contribute towards research with multiple facilities including university medical schools. Although, the production facility will not be on campus nor will any students be involved in the growing process.

Growing Facility Gets Good Grades from LSU

In a recent trip to GB Sciences Las Vegas, Nevada medical marijuana growing facility, LSU Agricultural Center representatives found the location to be a first-class production and research facility. This was in no doubt a large deciding factor in sealing the deal.

The contract between LSU and GB Sciences has everyone excited about research possibilities coming available in the near future. State tax dollars will not be used in the production of medicinal cannabis. This is certainly a big step in helping to remove the stigma around cannabis and providing much needed natural medicines to people suffering in Louisiana.

Opposition

There have been those who oppose the entire idea of legalized marijuana and in Louisiana.  Claiming that Arjuna is an entry-level drug and people that use marijuana are more likely to show signs of a further addition to other drugs such as Adderall.

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General Health

When Do You Consider Drug Rehab?

Drug RehabWhat do I do if I’m addicted to drugs? What if someone I love is addicted to drugs? How do I know it’s an addiction? It might be a hard thing to admit, or even realize. But ultimately, the best thing that you can do, either for yourself or a loved one, is to seek help.

Recognizing There is a Problem

The first step to getting help is realizing or admitting that you (or your loved one) have a problem.  Some questions you might ask yourself are: have you tried to cut down or stop, but just can’t seem to? Do you have cravings for drugs, or do you find yourself thinking about taking drugs when you don’t have them? Is your drug use getting in the way of your life, your relationship, and your responsibilities? Are you continuing to use the drug even if it’s threatening your life and well-being, or even the well-being of those around you?

Its Not Easy

If ‘yes’ is the answer to any or all of these questions, you have a drug problem. The hardest part about drug addiction is realizing that you have a problem and admitting you need to get help. But one of the most significant turning points in your addiction can be when you seek out this help. Whether you turn to a loved one for help, or go directly to a rehabilitation center, you are making the right decision for changing the rest of your life (and probably ultimately saving it).

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, you can call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) website here: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

Drug Rehab Can Help

You might think, if I want to stop using drugs badly enough, why can’t I just stop using them one my own? Unfortunately, it’s rarely, if ever, just that simple. Drugs cause serious changes to your brain, affecting your self-control.  Drugs are chemicals that directly affect the neurons in your brain, which make up the communication system of the brain. Different drugs affect these neurons differently, some mimicking neurons and others latching on to them.

One of the major causes of addiction from most drugs is the upped amount of dopamine production. Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter in our bodies that helps regulate our emotions and motivations. The over-stimulation of dopamine that is caused by drugs, activates our brain’s feelings of pleasure.

Naturally people want to be happy, and drugs can trick your brain into thinking that while taking these drugs, you are happy. Thus, in turn you being a vicious cycle. You want to feel happy, so you take the drugs that trick your brain into thinking it’s happy, you come off that high and feel the need to take the drugs again to bring back the happiness. This is where the addiction comes in.

Inpatient Rehab

after rehabSo what can you do about it? Inpatient rehabilitation centers are a great place to go to seek treatment, to disrupt the control that drugs have over you and regain control over your life.

Someone with an addiction leaves their life to live in the residence halls of an inpatient rehab center, to have around-the-clock professional care and no access to drugs.  You will be out of the environment that caused you to try drugs and become addicted in the first place. The treatment is going to be individualized, based on your particular drug addiction and your personal needs in order to foster lasting changes.

Inpatient drug rehab is a great option because it forces you to put your time and effort into ridding yourself of these addictions. Many people fighting addiction will have a dual diagnosis and require special care. You are in a place where you will not have access to drugs, but you will have access to medical professionals and a support system of people who know how to help and understand exactly what you and your body are going through.

You might think going away from your family, friends, home and work would be an inconvenience, but a complete change of environment can be a huge step in helping rid an addiction, with the proper structure and supervision. You will be in a stress free environment where your entire focus can be on your life, and making those changes that brought you to the rehabilitation center—to become drug free.

Detox

drug detoxThe first step of rehab will be to safely detox your body of the drugs, removing all of the drugs from you system in order for you to regain full control of your mental abilities. This process can be grueling because you may go through many withdrawal symptoms (physical, emotional, and psychological). Those who work at rehabilitation centers are experienced in helping patients through this process of detoxifying the system, and making sure that you are safe.

The Next Step

Once you have detoxed, your treatment plan will be catered to your own personal needs, whether it is behavioral treatment or medicines, or a combination thereof. Being treated for drug addiction is not an easy or quick process. It involves changing deeply embedded behaviors, and the chance for relapse is always there.

That’s why inpatient rehabilitation centers have proved very successful in helping those with addictions—it gives the person the chance to separate from all potential triggers of an addiction, and the focused time to devote to learning new behaviors and lessons that are more likely to stick once the person leaves rehab.

After You Leave Rehab

When you have had an addiction and you do leave rehab, if possible, it is best to surround yourself with a great support system of people who want you to succeed. If you surround yourself with reasons why not to get back into drugs (such as good friends or a stable job), you will find that you have more of a reason to stay sober and those around you can motivate you.

If you have gone through treatment and do relapse, you have already built the foundation for recovery and have learned the lessons to sobriety, and you just need to alter your treatment plans to find what is going to work. Take that different approach.

After you’ve successfully completed formal treatment for drug addiction, it is best to continue participation in your continued sobriety by attending self-help groups. These groups encourage on-going support and encouragement that can make the difference in truly changing your life or falling back into your addictions.

You are not along in your addiction. It takes a huge amount of courage and strength to take the steps to being clean, but in the end, the physical and mental changes will give you a much happier, healthier, and longer life.

Stories of Rehab

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Help For Adderall Addiction

snortingdrugswide

Adderall Abuse

Adderall is an addictive prescription medication that has become a highly abused “street drug” in recent years. What used to be referred to as the “Highschool Crystal Meth” has become increasing popular among housewives, CEO’s, and college students.  Adderall works by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine, is the brain chemical that makes one “feel good”.  Although dopamine occurs naturally in the brain, Adderall will produce unnaturally high levels of it. This is what causes users to come back for more.

Adderall mimics the stimulant effects similar to cocaine. Those who begin taking Adderall on a regular basis, at unprescribed doses, most often become addicted.  What may begin as a worried parent’s attempt to “help” their child make better grades, or be less active in class, can lead that child down a dangerous road of addiction into their early adult life.

The Real Housewives Of Adderall

Many women claim to be using abusing Adderall as a way to keep up with the many tasks at home, raising children and often holding down a full time job all at the same time.  One of the side effects these housewives found appealing was the weight loss that takes place with regular Adderall use.

Housewives are being arrested daily for illegally buying Adderall on the street, when their children have moved on and the prescription is no longer available.  Women are being admitted to skinnywomanemergency rooms for overdosing on this stimulant at an all time high, and it is especially dangerous when mixed with alcohol and other prescription medications.  Even vitamins and supplements can have adverse effects when taken with Adderall, something that when obtaining the drug illegally is not shared with these women.  The house is clean, the laundry is done and they are maintaining those slender figures, but it comes at a cost, an addiction.

Staying On Top

CEO’s, college students and other adults just trying to “keep up” are also using this highly addictive stimulant to keep their “edge” and their grades competitive.  Imagine, the amount of college age students who are prescribed Adderall and other stimulants can change the way a professor would use a curve in their grading system.  collegkidtakingadderallOverall, students taking stimulants, such as Adderall will have the ability to pull all-nighters to cram for an exam, and remain highly focused when in class, doing research and writing papers.  To stay above the curve in work and school, young adults are abusing this dangerous stimulant at alarming rates.  They take it to come “up”, then have to take something else to “come down”.  This type of self medicating is very dangerous.  Also, the amount of CEO’s and college kids that combine alcohol with the drug Adderall are playing with their lives, just to be the life of the party.

Addiction  Symptoms Of Adderall

When the availability of the drug has dried up, one will begin to experience withdrawal effects as soon as the next day.  They begin to feel foggy headed, or tired.  This is a sign of Adderall withdrawal, and an a sign of addiction.

Most Common Signs Of Adderall Addiction:

  • Taking the drug other than how prescribed
  • Not being able to focus on work and/or school without Adderall
  • Spending money getting the drug
  • Being arrested for illegally obtaining Adderall
  • Unable to feel alert without Adderall
  • Needing larger doses
  • Crushing and snorting Adderall

The symptoms of withdrawal caused by Adderall addiction is hard to manage on your own.  Many users are unable to quit without the help of a rehabilitation center.  Seeking a drug counselor, and getting to a treatment facility as soon as an addiction is discovered will increase the chance of successfully quitting.

 

 

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General Health

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

signs of addiction

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Addiction to drugs affects people from all cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The addictions often set in before the person even realizes that they have a dependency. But there are patterns to addictions, symptoms that can be noticeable.  It is important to be aware of the signs as a drug rehab may be needed.

Do you think a loved one of yours might be suffering with and addiction? If you notice the signs, you may be able to help that person take action. These are the many different signs and symptoms of drug addiction:

Behavioral Changes

Drug use can very drastically affect a person behavior, personality, and habits. Once someone is addicted to a substance, their primary focus is on the drug, the fix, and the next shot at getting that drug. This means that many other aspects of life can get pushed to the wayside.

Drugs are also notorious for making people aggressive and irritable, as well as lead to serious depression. These behavioral and personality changes can lead to a shift in a person’s priorities, causing problems with their friends and family, work life, finances, and more.

Physical Changes

Addiction to drugs is cause by the upped amount of dopamine production in the body, which regulates out emotions. This means that when you take a drug, your body is tricked into thinking its happy and therefore wants more drugs. Before you realize it, your body has a dependency on that feeling (and that drug) and you’re addicted.

Drug use over an extended period of time can also lead your body to develop tolerances to the drug, and your body will need more of the drug to feel the same level of feelings, the ‘high’ that you get. This can be dangerous, as it can lead to overdose.

Other physical symptoms of drug addiction can include changes in weight, bloodshot and glazed-over eyes, enlarged or restricted pupils, and chills or sweating, and even hallucinations and paranoia. Long term use can also lead to problems with the brain, heart, and other organs.

 

Signs of Methamphetamine Addiction

Signs of Opiate Addiction

Signs of Heroin Addiction

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General Health

Negligible Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

Negligible Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

There has been a lot of discussion about a weight loss supplement called Garcinia Cambogia. It has recently come to the public’s attention thanks to a positive report by popular television medical personality Dr. Mehmet Oz. Opinions pro and con about potential Garcinia Cambogia side effects have been the subject of on-line posts and discussions with health conscious people everywhere.

What Is Garcinia Cambogia?

To consider Garcinia Cambogia side effects we must first know something about the supplement. It is grown on a fruiting tree native to Indonesia, Australia and East Asia. The supplement is made from the rind of the fruit.

The fruit has been eaten by the indigenous people where it is grown for centuries. The medicinal properties have been known and used in traditional medicine for centuries. There have been no Garcinia Cambogia side effects known in folk medicine. Varieties of butterflies as well as other native species eat the fruit and tree as well without Garcinia Cambogia side effects.

Medicinal Use

The primary uses of Garcinia Cambogia in medicine are for weight loss and as a purgative in higher doses. The current discussions and common use in modern medicine is for its weight loss properties. The active chemical compound is Hydroxycitric acid (HCA).

Dr. Julie Chen presented the current scientific research on Garcinia Cambogia that Dr. Oz reviewed. She provided several current studies documenting its efficacy in weight loss and having a positive effect on serum lipids. The data clearly documented no evidence of negative Garcinia Cambogia side effects over 8 weeks of the one study group.

Study Results

The results of the medical investigation showed that participants lost 20-30% more weight over the study period with the supplement than without. In addition the effects on serum lipids were impressive. LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides were both lowered while HDL (“good” cholesterol) was improved. An interesting side finding was increased serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with mood, so it may improve mood as well.

How It Works

HCA has been shown to be a fat binder. It prevents ingested fats from being absorbed. The fats eaten bind to the HCA and are eliminated through the gastrointestinal tract. A second mechanism is stimulation of the satiety or hunger center in the brain suppressing hunger. Alone Garcinia Cambogia side effects are negligible.

The Controversy

Hydroxycitric acid is a component of several over the counter weight reduction formulas such as Hydroxycut, Leptoprin and XanGo. Several years ago several of these products came under fire for serious side effects from the drug ephedra. As a result ephedra has been taken off the market. These weight loss formulas no longer contain this chemical. There was never any evidence to support Garcinia Cambogia side effectsof any kind existed or contributed to the complaints lodged at that time.

In Excess

In excess too much water can kill you; it doesn’t mean it should be avoided. Garcinia Cambogia side effects result in loose stools with certain doses. It is a desired effect in traditional medicine. Recent scientific study and centuries of use support Garcinia Cambogia’s benefits in weight loss.

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General Health

Benefits of Urgent Care in New Orleans

BENEFITS OF URGENT CARE IN NEW ORLEANS

Urgent care is an efficient form of medical services that not only saves you time but also enables you to improve your health condition quickly or lessen your pain rapidly. The difference between the urgent care and the emergency room (ER) is that in the urgent care you can be treated for any condition irrespective of whether it’s severe or not while for ER you need to be in a critical condition to get medical attention. New Orleans urgent care facility, has professional doctors who treat their patients quickly and cautiously. There are several benefits that urgent care has over the emergency room (ER) and they include:

Urgent care is a cost-effective alternative to an ER. Urgent care is often cheaper even when the patient does not have an insurance cover while a trip to an emergency room can be expensive whether you had trauma or accident. You might be required to only pay $25 for your plan cover for an urgent care while you will pay up to $100 for the same medical plan for ER treatment.

Urgent care is faster than an emergency room.  Because urgent care locations are much smaller than traditional Emergency Rooms, they have the ability to have more of them and potentially closer to you.  You are almost guaranteed to have an urgent care near you, just about anywhere in Greater New Orleans.  Urgent care facility is your usually open for normal operations and their equipment, and medication is usually available together with the doctor’s attention. Emergency room or ER, on the other hand, can be little slower because the doctors at the facility might not know your condition and they might take the time to carry out diagnosis and understand your condition.

Urgent care facilities don’t need an appointment like your personal doctor. You will not need to wait for long hours to be attended to in an urgent care facility. Additionally, your personal doctor might be absent but on most occasions, the New Orleans urgent care facility is always open for the patients to check in and seek medical attention. Most urgent care centers are also open for long hours and even on weekends, and it’s always hard to be inconvenienced by a physician at an urgent care facility.

Cost Effectiveness of Urgent Care

Many urgent cares take insurance some urgent care facilities take Medicaid and Medicare. This is usually very helpful especially when you do not have ready money in the pocket. Medicaid and Medicare are some of the best insurance options as well that covering several unique and special covers such as paying for several types of preventive services. Additionally, these types of insurance covers are accepted in many locations and urgent care centers, and you can rest assured that your medical needs will be paid any time you wish to pay for your urgent care medications.

You should always consider the services that are offered by the urgent care centers because of their convenience in receiving treatments and ease of access. Lower costs make this type of health treatment more affordable as well, and it’s advisable to consider them especially because the health costs are always on the rise for those who choose to seek the services of a personal doctor. Personal health for and your family is very important and is more enjoyable if you get it urgently and comfortably.

Home Health Care

Home heath care is another option.  Although not for emergencies, having someone visit your home on a regular basis can avoid having to visit either an ER or Urgent Care in the first place.  Home health care facilities have nurses that visit you at your home to ensure that whatever medical condition you may have is under control.  They will usually check all of your vitals, check your medications and ensure you are on track with your condition.

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General Health

Where To Get Help In An Emergency

Everyone at some point in their life will most likely have to deal with a personal, family or close friend’s medical emergency. Knowing where to go can be very confusing when you are in the midst of dealing with a medical crisis. There are distinct differences between the care an emergency room, an urgent care center and a rehabilitation center provides. Not only can going to the right medical provider save you time and money but, more importantly, it ensures that you or your loved one is getting the best care possible.

Small Injuries

When an illness or injury appears out of the blue — for instance,you wake up in the middle of the night with intense pain, or worse, your child does or you stumble and fall while carrying groceries or the baby spikes a high fever over a weekend, or your brother calls because he’s fallen off the wagon and needs help. In all of these scenarios, it’s important to understand the differences of these providers and be able to act quickly if the situation requires it.

Where To Go?

What will you do if your regular doctor’s office is closed when something sudden or traumatic happens? While the answer is not always a simple one, knowing the differences between the care and treatment and the services that these different health care providers are equipped to handle could save your life or someone else’s in a medical emergency.

Urgent Care

Urgent care clinics have been around for awhile and, although there were skeptics about their quality of care when they first started in the US, they now help to fill a vital gap in our health care system for those who get sick or injured outside their primary care doctors normal office hours. One simple test is to determine if your symptoms are similar to those you would normally address with your doctor, if so, then an urgent care setting is probably more appropriate than the emergency room.

Hospital Emergency Rooms

Hospital emergency room departments are equipped to provide medical care at any moment and, unlike urgent care centers, they are trained to be prepared for even the most critical and complex situations, and certainly in the most dire of life threatening situations from heart attack and stroke to traumatic injuries following an accident. Medical conditions that are considered emergencies are those that require immediate medical treatment such as surgery and, of course, the more advanced ongoing treatments that are only available in a hospital setting.

Some of the more common symptoms that are best evaluated in an emergency room include:

  • Persistent chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Any severe internal pain in the abdomen or halfway down the back
  • Sudden clumsiness, loss of balance or fainting
  • Sudden difficulty speaking, or trouble understanding speech
  • Altered mental status, confusion or suicidal thoughts
  • Sudden weakness or paralysis
  • Severe heart palpitations
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Sudden testicular pain and swelling
  • Newborn baby with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
  • Broken bones or dislocated joints
  • Deep cuts that require stitches or an open wound that won’t stop bleeding
  • Head or eye injuries
  • Severe and persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Serious burns

Major Emergencies

In an emergency situation you may be hesitant about whether you should drive yourself to the emergency room or call 911. If you are at all in doubt, call 911. It is far better to be alive and a little embarrassed than to find yourself in a life threatening situation and too far from the care you need. You should never drive yourself if you are having severe chest pain or severe bleeding, if you feel like you might faint, or if your vision is impaired.

Home Heath

Another option for follow up care and ongoing health issues are home healthcare nurses.  These nurses are part of Home Healthcare companies and  provide nurses who come out to your home to insure recovery, check vital signs and other basic healthcare.

Call For Help

When in doubt, and particularly for certain medical emergencies such as a heart attack or a stroke, calling 911 for an ambulance is always the right decision. Paramedics and EMT’s are trained to begin delivering life-saving treatment immediately on-site and on the way to the hospital. In the few moments that you sometimes have to make these decisions in what could be a life-threatening situations, what matters most is that you get to the emergency room quickly and safely.

A recent study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics found that 48 percent of the patients who visited an emergency room but did not get admitted to the hospital, went there because their doctor’s office was not open. In many cases, this is because people use their local hospital emergency room as a place to receive after-hours care for minor illnesses or injuries without realizing they have other options such as an urgent care center.

What An Urgent Care Can Do

Urgent care centers can handle a variety of medical problems that need immediate treatment, but are not considered emergencies. Symptoms that can be evaluated and treated at an urgent care clinic include:

  • Fever without rash
  • Flu symptoms
  • Ear pain
  • Painful urination
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Cold and sore throat relief
  • Vomiting
  • Minor sprain or shallow cut

When symptoms come on gradually or you already have the diagnosis, for example, repeat urinary tract infections, or when your child has come down with yet another ear infection, it’s a best practice to start by calling your primary care doctor’s office to see if you can get a same-day appointment. After all, your primary care doctor knows your health history better than anyone else, and knows what treatments have worked for you from your history. They are also aware of any other medical conditions that you have had or have that need to be taken into consideration for your treatment.

However, while urgent care clinics are not a substitute for your primary care physician, they are a great resource when you need care but can’t get in with your doctor.

Help For Addiction

If your life and relationships are being negatively affected by your own substance use or that of a loved one, you probably have an addiction. Addiction is usually diagnosed but sometimes you don’t need a diagnosis to know you need the help of professional. The criteria for addiction can help you determine if your addiction is mild, moderate or severe. There are eleven criteria total:

  • Lack of control
  • Desire to quit but unable
  • Spending a lot of time trying to get the substance
  • Cravings
  • Lack of responsibility
  • Problems with relationships
  • Loss of interest
  • Dangerous use
  • Worsening situations
  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal

Substance Abuse Help

The severity is determined by how many criteria you meet. As an example, if you or a loved one meet 2 to 3 of the criteria, you have a mild substance abuse disorder — even with a mild diagnosis, you should still seek help to get sober. Seeking out a reputable drug rehab will do you far more good than trying to manage the health issues that go along with drinking and substance abuse. Getting to the root of the problem by going through a rehabilitation program will get you started on the road to good health and a better quality of life.

It’s always a best practice to have your medical records handy, but certainly when you are visiting an urgent care clinic or an emergency room you need to bring a list of all the medications you take, including over-the-counter medicine, vitamins and supplements. This list should include how much of each medication you take as well as how often you take it, a list of any allergies, including medications you are allergic to and any previous medical procedures or surgeries you’ve had.

Particularly in an emergency room setting when so much is going on for those who are there to care for you, it can be very helpful for them to know whether you’ve had operations in the past, or whether you’re allergic to medications or anesthesia.