Articles on drug rehabilitation

Drug Abuse in Teens: Shocking Facts You Didn't Know

Ms. Rajeshwari Luther
It is estimated that 27.2% of high school students use illicit drugs on a regular basis. This is a very disturbing statistic considering the fact that the teenage years are formative in the development of a person’s career, personality and overall success. Adolescence is a very confusing time involving raging hormones, pressure to fit in at school and academic stress. Teenagers abuse and become addicted to drugs and alcohol for many reasons, and it is essential to understand them in order to treat patients successfully in a rehab. Addictions may start young. Many teenagers experiment with drugs and alcohol but don’t get addicted to them. While peer pressure may drive an adolescent to consume drugs or alcohol at parties or other events, other factors are responsible for the mental state of addiction. Trying drugs or alcohol at a party can, however, trigger the path towards addiction. For example, if a teenager has a genetic predisposition to alcoholism and is going through problems because of stress at school, she is likely to crave the relaxing effect of alcohol after she drinks for the first time. With repeated use of alcohol, she will need more of it to feel the same calming effect. This will eventually take her down the path of addiction until she is admitted into a rehabilitation center, and undergoes detox and other therapies. Many teenagers abuse prescription drugs. A popular example of this is stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder). These drugs are known to increase focus, thereby enhancing academic performance. This unfortunate phenomenon is aided by the accessibility of such drugs – it is very common for patients of ADHD to sell their prescription medications to other students in their schools. Many rehabilitation centers also report that teenage addicts are aided in their addiction because of the widespread availability of drugs in the form of school supplies – many students sniff glue or whitener. Teenagers are more susceptible to mental illness than any other age category. If a teenager already suffers from a condition like depression or anxiety, a tryst with drugs or alcohol at a party could cause to lead them down the path of addiction. Teenage brains are very different from adult brains from a biological perspective as well, which makes it more likely for them to abuse drugs or alcohol. There are many stressors related to school and peers, which make teenagers turn to drugs and thereby mentally escape from it all. For instance, bullying is very common among teenagers and causes tremendous stress. Disappointingly though, the main cause of a drug addiction in teenagers is ignorance. They believe that marijuana is not addictive, similarly, they do not know the effect of alcohol on the body. Teenagers have a lot to learn, and proper education is essential to reduce the rate of teenage drug and alcohol addiction. 

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Dr. Mitshu Kapadia, Physiotherapist
When a heart attack arises, people may have to undergo Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (Bypass) or Angioplasty (Stent) or few with low pumping have to be on medicines. People, who undergo surgery, have lot of complications and emotional distress. Few have emotional problems like –anger, anxiety, loss of confidence, difficulty in returning to work, sleeping problems etc. or complications like any infection, difficulty in breathing, Pneumonia, persisting chest pain, developing a blood clot that could affect the lungs, chronic pain at breastbone-wound site, affected memory and difficulty with cognitive function and thinking etc. All this has a solution: CRP – Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Cardiac rehab is structured exercise program that can help you increase your physical activity level while under the direct supervision of medical professionals. The program also includes work with cardiac rehab therapists, dieticians, physicians, yoga therapists, psychologists, and other healthcare providers who can help you recover from your surgery and feel confident that you have the skills to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle. Recent research and my experience in this cardiac rehab field have found that patients who complete cardiac rehab are more likely to be alive five years more than expected after a heart event than those who do not.Who Requires Cardiac Rehabilitation?Those who have undergone the following:Heart AttackCoronary Artery Bypass Surgery or AngioplastyHeart failure Heart valve Replacement Other heart condition (i.e. Stable  Angina, pacemaker)Other vascular conditions (i.e. stroke,peripheral vascular disease)Who wants to control Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. Two Or More Documented Classical Risk Factors For Coronary Heart DiseaseWhat are the benefits of attending a supervised Cardiac Rehab program?Regular physical activity helps your heart and the rest of your body get stronger and work better. Physical activity improves your energy level and lifts your spirits. It also reduces your chances of future heart problems, including heart attack.Counseling and education can help you quit smoking, eat right, lose weight, and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Counseling may also help you learn to manage stress and to feel better about your health.You have the advice and close supervision of healthcare professionals to help you improve your health and lower your risk of future problems. These professionals can also-communicate with your primary care doctor or cardiologist.Goal is to help heart patients regain good health, so that they may return to work, recreational activities and the tasks of daily living, if possible. What happens during the program?Program starts with your assessment which consists of:a medical and family history questionnaire that helps us identify your heart risk factorsa resting electrocardiogram body composition measurements (height, weight,waist size, body fat) a cardiopulmonary exercise assessment (on a treadmill, stationary bike or-monitored walking adapted to suit your abilities).The patient exercises using portable heart monitoring equipment. With the help of this special equipment, the ECG is continuously transmitted to the monitoring station while the person is exercising. This ensures that the optimal amount of exercise is performed in the safest manner possible. An individualized program of lifestyle modification, including nutrition, stress reduction and counseling is planned for the patient.What kind of exercise will I be doing?You will be using your larger muscle groups of the arms and legs to gain more endurance and strength. This is called aerobic exercise. We’ll select a special group of exercises on machines that best suit your needs. You may exercise on treadmills,bicycles, or use free weights and stretching bands.I’m exercising at home. Why should I come to Cardiac Rehab?You will be connected to an ECG monitor while you exercise, so your heart rate and rhythms are closely watched. Your blood pressure and work load are also tracked. You will be closely supervised and any concerns about your body’s response to exercise, or to your medications will be relayed by our staff to your doctors.We also help you learn what you can do to decrease your risk of a future heart problem.How can I tell, if I am exercising right or not?At rehab, therapist calculates your target heart rate, heart rate reserve which is your exercising zone. If you don’t reach to those target heart rates, then all your activity is just a physical activity and not an exercise. Basically, Aim is to exercise so that your heart rate goes up and you are slightly out of breath. You should still be able to talk. You should not feel exhausted. Slowdown or take a shorter walk if you find that you are uncomfortable and out of breath.How long will I have to attend Cardiac Rehab?Most people come 3 times a week for 6-12 weeks. The length of the program is based on your own rate of progress. For long term benefits and fitness, people continue lifelong as well. But exercising under the watchful eyes of your health care team through a CARDIAC REHABILITATION program will be the ticket to survival and a better quality of life.For further-details: email:, Contact number: 09892156355

Decoding Rehabilitation for Addicted

Ms. Raisa Luther, Psychotherapist
Addiction treatment explainedAddiction rehabilitation means the medical or psycho-therapeutic treatment for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs.It implies that the individual reintegrates into the social fabric, after getting clean and sober. He becomes a responsible, productive member of the family and community.Now, that’s easier said than done!Rehabilitation Treatment – Starts at a RehabRehabilitation treatment for substance abuse (and other disorders such as eating and gambling) usually starts with admission into a competent rehabilitation facility. Subsequently, the client may experience ‘withdrawal’, which varies with the substance. Withdrawal may by physical as well as psychological. It is the uncomfortable symptoms emanating from withdrawal from the substance or addictive behavior. This is successfully managed by medicines and counselling.Denial – Get it out of the Way for Further TreatmentAfter withdrawal management, the next stage is addressing the denial of the client. The addict may be believing that he or she does not have a big problem (minimizing) or that he or she indulges in self-destructive behavior due to some external factor/s (rationalizing, justifying, blaming). Most addicts also believe that they are still in control, in spite of evidence to the contrary. They may believe that they really do not need external help or that a little help is adequate and the rest they can handle on their own.It is obvious that denial has to broken in order for rehabilitation treatment to work. Unless the addict can see the enormity and gravity of the problem, he will not willingly follow therapeutic directions.Denial breaking is usually achieved through interventions involving the family members and/or employers. These persons are briefed about the session by a trained counselor or interventionist. In brief, they remind the client about his behaviors and attitudes, how it has affected him and how it has impacted the family and employer. This is followed by them clearly laying down the consequences the person is going to face in case he does not change. Sometimes, interventions are conducted prior to admission if the individual is resisting treatment. Denial management is also reinforced by individual counselling and group therapy.This usually helps in the individual getting insight into his problem and becomes a motivating factor.Rehabilitation Treatment – Toward CHANGEThereafter, the individual undergoes a structured therapy program that may involve step work based on the 12 Steps of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), individual and group sessions, psycho-educative inputs. Some rehabs supplement this with other therapies such as Yoga and meditation.Basically, rehabilitation means CHANGE. The individual needs to bring about a significant shift in his thinking, behavior and attitudes. This change empowers him or her to be able to join the stream of life and flow toward happiness and fulfillment.

Drugs and 'Spiritual Experiences'

Ms. Raisa Luther, Psychotherapist
Searching for Higher Meaning with Drugs?In 1967 Timothy Leary advised the human race to turn on, tune in, drop out. This was at the peak of the hippie era and he was advocating that people use psychedelic drugs to transcend normal existence. Many followed his advice and the common belief among these LSD users was that they were entering a state where they could develop important spiritual insights. It is this search for meaning that continues to motivate people to use drugs as a means to connect with the divine. The problem is that this use of drugs can also begin to negatively impact the individual’s life – it may cause severe damage to their mental or physical health. These dangers can be eliminated by using more natural methods, such as meditation, to achieve higher mental states. Carlos Castaneda and Don JuanCarlos Castaneda was an anthropologist who helped promote the idea of using drugs as a spiritual tool. His book The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge describes his experiences with Mexican shaman known as Don Juan Matus. This spiritual guide introduced Castaneda to a psychedelic drug derived from the peyote plant. In his first book (and the books that followed) he described spiritual experiences and claimed to develop magical powers such as shape shifting. Castaneda’s books were hugely popular in the late sixties and seventies and he sold over 8 million copies. His critics question the veracity of many of his claims – there are even some who would say that he made the whole thing up. There is little doubt that the tales of Don Juan has encouraged many people to experiment with mind altering drugs. Bill W. and LSDBill Wilson was the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. After being sober for almost two decades he began to experiment with LSD. His goal was to reach spiritual states and develop a closer contact with God. Bill was impressed with the results and he continued to experiment with LSD for many years. He believed that drugs worked by damping down the ego which facilitated better contact with the higher power. It is even claimed that he wanted LSD to be handed out at AA meetings. Drugs That Can Induce Spiritual ExperiencesThere are a number of drugs that are said to induce spiritual experiences including:LSDPeyoteAyahuascaPsilocybin (magic mushrooms)EcstasyMarijuanaAyahuasca TourismA growing number of people are travelling to places such as the Amazon in order to achieve spiritual states using drugs. The most popular form of this type of tourism involves use of Ayahuasca which contains dimethyltryptamine (DMT). It has traditionally been used by shamans as part of their religious rites. It continues to be legal for these groups to use this drug in some parts of the world. Ayahuasca Tourism involves travelling to these areas and spending time with the shaman. The goal is that people experience the power of Ayahuasca in a controlled environment and as part of a religious ceremony. There is usually a good deal of preparation before the tourist is allowed to consume the special brew made from the Ayahuasca.Seeking Meaning in RecoveryOne of the key elements in building a successful recovery away from addiction is to find meaning and purpose in life. For many people this means following a spiritual path where the goal is develop a strong connection with a higher power. The spiritual path is not always an easy one to follow and people can be tempted to look for shortcuts. This means that they may be attracted to mind altering drugs as a means to achieve transcendence. Given the history of such individuals it may not be a good idea to once again turn to chemicals to find the answers. There is just too much risk that this could lead them back to substance abuse. The individual will have already tried to fix their problems with drugs and the fact that they ended up in recovery means that it didn’t work. It is good that they are seeking meaning in recovery, but it is better to stick to the well trodden route of sobriety. Dangers of Drug Induced Spiritual ExperienceIt is not recommended that people use drugs to create spiritual experiences. This advice is particularly pertinent to those who are recovering from any type of addiction:These drugs are a short-cut to spiritual experiences. The problem with taking a short cut is that it can allow the individual to experience things that they are not prepared for and some individuals will react badly.Those people who are not prepared for drug induced spiritual experiences may develop mental health problems. There are many examples of people who become delusional after using these drugs.Some people will experience bad trips and these can be terrifying.Some people can trigger an underlying mental health problem when they use these mind altering chemicals.While most of these substances are not particularly addictive it may still be a bad idea for people in recovery to experiment with them. The goal of sobriety should be to deal with life on life’s terms and there are plenty of non-chemical ways to enjoy spiritual highs.These drugs are illegal in many jurisdictions. There can be serious consequences if people are caught with these substances.The individual will have a significantly reduced ability to make good decisions after taking these drugs. This means that they will be at an increased risk of relapse.Natural Methods for Spiritual ExperiencesThe risks associated with drug induced spiritual experiences are too great so it is advisable that people use natural method to achieve such states. There is no spiritual experience that is produced by drugs that can’t be induced naturally. The problem that most people have with following a natural method is that it takes a good deal of time and energy. This is actually beneficial though, because it ensures that the individual is more ready for these experiences when they happen. Some natural methods that can be used for achieving spiritual states include:Meditation has been used for thousands of years as a tool to bring humans closer to the divine. There is no doubt that this path can take the spiritual seeker where they want to go so long as they are steadfast and persistent.Prayer can be another way to experience transcendence. This is because it is possible for people to slip into deep meditative states while they are praying.There are claims that products such as binaural beats or hemi-sync can help people achieve similar states as those produced by drugs.Spending time in nature is much neglected method for developing a deeper connection to a higher power. Many people who report spiritual experiences will claim that it happened to them while they were enjoying nature – even something as simple as starring at the stars.The aim of the 12 Steps is to lead the individual towards a spiritual experience. This is made clear in final step which states, [‘having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs’].Hope Trust’s treatment program is based on the 12 Steps and includes Yoga, meditation and the basic course of Art of Living.

Is It Really Necessary to Admit an Addict Into a Rehab?

Ms. Raisa Luther, Psychotherapist
For an addict, there's only way to go - down.The family tries all sorts of control strategies, but usually fails. However, there's a way out. Treatment is now available for various addictions - alcohol, drugs, gambling, internet...Rehabs are not jailsIn India, rehabs are still viewed as some sort of jails. They are not. Modern rehabs are designed to help a person get over his or her devastating habits. Most are comfortable and friendly. Instead of being the last resort for the addict, they should be the first choice of a family seeking help. That way, they will avoid the pain and misery and save time.Addiction is a primary, progressive and chronic disease (DSM 5). If not treated, it can be fatal. Rehabs have evidence-based treatment programs with proven protocols to address the multiple issues arising out of addictions.Choose the rehab wiselySince addiction treatment is fairly new in India, you need to choose the rehab carefully.Check out the antecedents of the facility. Does it have adequate experience in addiction treatment? Is the staff experienced and qualified? Is the facility fairly comfortable? Does it offer comprehensive services - such as support for the family? What about Aftercare? Is there medical and psychiatric back up?Ask questions. You can assess the center by visiting and meeting with the counselors - what does your gut instinct say?Cooperate with the therapy teamOnce you have committed to recovery, give it your best shot. The therapists may suggest somethings that do not appear logical or convincing at first - but remember, your own strategies did not work. Now allow the rehab to work and go along with their suggestions. An professional rehab will have proven protocols to deal with all aspects of addiction recovery. From detox to relapse prevention - and aftercare.A rehab can be the first step toward a new life. If you do your bit, it works! And in the end, the results are really worth it!

Generously Generic: Know Your Medicines

Dr. Tanoy Bose, Internal Medicine
One fine winter evening when I was consulting a 45 year old obese fair lady who actually forgot to bring her past health records, I enquired about the medicines she is taking on daily basis. She recollected a few brands which I noted down. On asking whether she is on Aspirin or Thyroxine, she denied of such drug but quickly recollected that she takes Eltroxin 50mcg and Ecosprin AV75mg daily. Well, she did not know that the active ingredient of Eltroxin is Levo Thyroxine and that of Ecosprin AV is Aspirin & Ator vastatin combined. The former is given to replace thyroid hormone deficiency to those who are hypothyroid and the latter is usually given to those who are suffering or are at the risk of developing coronary artery disease. If I am not that very wrong, more than 95% of patients do not remember medicines by their generic names. So what difference does it make? Well, it’s the money that matters. For those who are ill-informed, the market prices of most of the drugs of regular as well as special use are tagged with exceptionally high price just for the sake of an industry.The statistics from McKinsey & Co. states that the growth rates of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry is compounding at 12 to 14% per annum since last 5 years and have projected the value of the industry is going to be around $20 to $24 Billion by 2015. This growth would be driven primarily by rising incomes, and be supported by five other factors: enhanced medical infrastructure; rise in the prevalence and treatment of chronic diseases; greater health insurance coverage; launches of patented products; and new market creation in existing white spaces. If we zero down to the basic issue of generics versus branded drugs it is the pocket pinch that matters. I don’t think if quality is assured, people will love to shell out more for a branded drug rather than buying a generic product.What are generics?All drugs are products of research. They are born in a research laboratory and end up in a pharmacy shop. Whatever be the results of the research product in the laboratory, their usage in general public for any particular indication is highly regulated by the US FDA. Financially the companies have to bear a huge burden to research and develop a drug, undergo clinical trials for them in phasic manner and further make them available for general prescription. Further, after the drug is launched and approved by USFDA the company holds a patent for the drug for say tenure of 10 to 12 years. Hence, during this period the cost of drug is very high as the company needs to recover the cost of R&D. However, after lapse of license,the drug molecule is available for other companies to copy and rebrand and bring them into market again. The cost of the drug falls drastically now as the companies now selling the copied drug did not have to spend on the R&D. The only investment for these companies is the price of the molecule and the technology of packaging and marketing. These drugs which are sold under different brand names after the post licensing period of a particular molecule are called generic drugs. However, the qualities of these generic drugs are also under FDA regulation. According to FDA, to substitute a generic for a brand name drug must follow these criteria:It must contain the same active ingredient, the same dosage strength and the same dosage form (e.g. tablets, syrup etc) and have the same route of administration and further it must deliver the same of active ingredient to the blood stream.Hence cheaper does not mean poor quality. The difference from patented drugs is the generics may vary in shape,size, color or taste. They have different inactive ingredients. However, there are authorized generics that need to maintain similarity in these parameters too. Almost 50% of all drugs prescribed in India are generics. Thus generic drugs may cost almost 20 to 80% cheaper than the patented drug.Is the quality guaranteed in a generic formulation?Researchers have compared patented drugs with generic formulation from different companies in a random manner and 36 of 38 studies virtually found no differences in the drug quality control. But, FDA has barred the publication of drug equivalence studies. Hence it is difficult for the prescribing doctor to know whether there had been any difference between the drugs in the equivalence study or not. It’s worth mentioning thatIndia tops the world in exporting generic medicines worth of Rs.50,000 Crores and currently Indian Pharmaceutical industry is one of the world’s largest & most developed.What is the price paid for not using generics? It’s worth mentioning that India tops the world in exporting generic medicines worth of Rs.50,000 crores and currently Indian Pharmaceutical industry is one of the world’s largest & most developed.In spite of being the largest exporter of generics in the world the story behind the screen is very dull. Just have a look at few of the statistics.WHO says that 3.2% of Indians will fall below poverty line because of inflated medical bills.Approximately one third of the rural population do not seek medical treatment due to financial constraints.And about 47% of rural and 31% of urban hospitalizations are financed by loan and sale of assets.About 70% of Indians are spending their out of pocket income on medicines and healthcare services in comparison to 35% in other Asian countries and are still suffering from infectious & communicable diseases due to lack of quality and affordable treatmentWhere do I get the generics?Generic medicines are best bought from the government sponsored generic drug shopped opened under the banner of “JANAUSHADHI”in most of the Indian states. Janaushadhi stores are functioning under the banner of Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) under the aegis of Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India. States like Punjab, Delhi, Haryana,Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand have already implemented Janaushadhi stores providing quality generic medicines at a cheap and affordable price. Few states like West Bengal has initiated Fair Price Medicine shops in a Public Private Partnership models to provide generic medicines at a whopping discount of up to 62.7%. They are opened adjacent to or in collaboration with different government healthcare establishment the largest being at the SSKM Hospital, Kolkata.Can we have examples of price comparison?I have made an attempt to compare the prices of the generics available on the website of Janaushadhi to that of branded generics available in the market. In fact I have approached a regular chemist shop and asked for these prices. Also I have reduced the quote by 11%as that particular chemist shop was giving a discount of 11% on any drug bought from the chemist. Now let’s compare the cheapest discounted branded drugs with the Janaushadhi generics. Generics and Branded Generics : The price difference This comparison is bound to raise eye brows. I am sure it’s unthinkable for most of us that we had been buying medicines at such high price and we are at the verge of realization after sucha long period of illiteracy. Do we get all sorts of medicines at these generic drug stores?Well, wish the answer could have been yes. Unfortunately all medicines are not available at the generic drug stores.While scrolling down the list provided by Janaushadhi website I found drugs for treatment of Rheumatoid Diseases are missing. Drugs for treating neurogenic pain, Parkinsonism, schizophrenia, newer drugs for diabetes management,inhalers and insulins are missing. I am sure they will soon be incorporated or might have been incorporated by now. Even without these drugs the net price of the monthly medications fall drastically if purchased from the generic drugstore.Any words of Caution?Well, there has to be some words of caution. The country is lagging in maintenance of quality control and most of the quality control is outsourced. Further, the government not necessarily declares the data of quality check to the general public. Hence, many doctors keep on highlighting the quality of the generic medicines.My recommendation is, whenever you have the opportunity to buy the drugs from a government sponsored stores, consider the quality is guaranteed by the government. Hence, you can very well go and purchase the medicine and use it personally.Adverse Reactions: Unless the drug is too spurious, it is unlikely that somebody will suffer from any adverse reaction. Spurious drugs are usually sold in peripheral aspects of a city or major town mostly is districts and village areas. Hence, one should be very careful about purchasing generic drugs from these areas.What I practice and recommend?When I am sitting in my clinic at Kolkata, I write the composition of the drug e.g. Paracetamol.[ Drug that reduces fever ], Amlodipine [Drug that controls blood pressure] ,Pantoprazole [ An Antacid ] instead of the brand names. This helps the patients in two ways. Either they can go to the Fair Price shop and buy the cheapest ones and save a lot, or they can go to any chemist and ask the chemist to provide the brand which is cheapest for that particular composition. I do practice in districts of West Bengal where there are brands which I have never heard off. In these areas I always write the brand of the drug and tend to keep the price low. In this way the spurious drug sellers can be fended away and I can ensure that quality drug is served and chances of health hazard is minimum.

The 3 C's for Those Who Live With an Addict

Ms. Raisa Luther, Psychotherapist
It’s definitely not easy to live with an alcoholic or addict. Constant stress plagues your life. Negative emotions become a part of your daily experience – anger at the addict who doesn’t listen or seem to care, disappointment, fear, shame and guilt.The individual tries all sorts of control strategies to stop the alcoholic or addict from using his substance, but somehow the addict gets his (or her) stuff and gets high. It’s a never-ending battle, where the sober partner always loses. It is really frustrating, so say the least.So what does the partner do in such a scenario?The Three CsThe 3 Cs are:You Didn’t Cause ItYou Can’t Control ItYou Can’t Cure itYou didn’t Cause it: you are not the reason the alcoholic is drinking. Though he may accuse you of being the cause. Don’t fall for it. The alcoholic is drinking because, well, he is an alcoholic. He is blaming you so that you back off from stopping him.So stop feeling guilty. And put the responsibility where it belongs – on the shoulders of the addict.You can’t Control it: you may continue to try but if you look at your experience, it is easy to see that you cannot control his or her intake. The addict will get high, regardless of whatever strategy you may adopt to stop him for drinking or drugging.So why keep on doing something that is not working? Stop trying to control.You can’t Cure it: Addiction is a disease. It is primary, chronic and progressive. There is treatment available. So get professional help – contact a good rehab or addiction therapist and hand over the treatment part to someone who has the experience and competency to treat this disease.Stop trying to ‘cure’ the addict – all your ‘treatments’ are likely to fail. Seek professional support.If you understand the 3 Cs, you will not only be able to help your addicted loved one, but also start a healing process for yourself. Get out of the trap laid by the addict and get some serenity back into your life!

Occupational Therapy Is Essential for Stroke rehabilitation

Dr. Chaitanya Ulhas Mantri, Occupational Therapist
“Paralysis is defined as complete loss of strength in an affected limb or muscle group.”The chain of nerve cells that runs from the brain through the spinal cord outdo the muscle is called the motor pathway. Normal muscle function requires intact connections all along this motor pathway. Damage at any point reduces the brain's ability to control the muscle's movements. This reduced efficiency causes weakness, also called paresis. Complete loss of communication prevents any willed movement at all. This lack of control is called paralysis. Certain inherited abnormalities in muscle cause periodic paralysis, in which the weakness comes and goes.The line between weakness and paralysis is not absolute. A condition causing weakness may progress to paralysis. On the other hand, strength may be restored to a paralysed limb. Nerve regeneration or regrowth is one way in which strength can return to a paralysed muscle. Paralysis almost always causes a change in muscle tone. Paralysed muscle may be flaccid, flabby, and without appreciable tone, or it may be spastic, tight, and with abnormally high tone that increases when the muscle is moved.Paralysis may affect an individual muscle, but it usually affects an entire body region. The distribution of weakness is an important clue to the location of the nerve damage that is causing the paralysis. The types of paralysis are classified by region:Monoplegia, affecting only one limbDiplegia, affecting the same body region on both sides of the body (both arms, for example, or both sides of the face)Hemiplegia, affecting one side of the bodyParaplegia, affecting both legs and the trunkQuadriplegia, affecting all four limbs and the trunk.The nerve damage that causes paralysis may be in the brain or spinal cord (the central nervous system) or it may be in the nerves outside the spinal cord (the peripheral nervous system). The most common causes of damage to the brain are:StrokeTumorTrauma (caused by a fall or a blow)Multiple sclerosis (a disease of that destroys the protective sheath that covers nerve cells)Cerebral palsy (a condition caused by a defect or injury to the brain that occurs at or shortly after birth)Metabolic disorder (a disorder that interferes with the body's ability to maintain itself).Damage to the spinal cord or peripheral nerves is most often caused by trauma, such as a fall or a car crash.INTRODUCTION TO STROKEImagine yourself in a marketing place and you suddenly collapse on the ground and are unconscious. It can be a STROKE!To be classified as stroke, focal neurological deficits should persist for at least 24 hours.Stroke is a disease that affects the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. It occurs when a blood vessel that brings oxygen and nutrients to the brain either bursts or is clogged by a blood clot or some other mass. The former is called as the hemorrhagic stroke and the later an ischemic stroke.When the rupture or blockage of the blood vessel takes place, there is no enough blood supply and hence, no enough nutrients and oxygen to that part of brain. This damages the nerve cells and may lead to their (cells) death.As a result, that part of the brain is damaged which results in improper functioning of those body parts which are under the control of damaged brain area.The term cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is also used to refer to the cerebrovascular conditions that accompany either ischemic or hemorrhagic lesions.Stroke may be classified by the etiological categories, management categories and anatomical categoriesRisk of STROKE:Age (over age 65)Brain tumorCoagulopathy (blood clotting disorder)DiabetesHigh cholesterol levelHypertensionHeart diseaseInfection (e.g., meningitis, endocarditis)SmokingWarning signs of STROKE?Sudden severe headache with no known causeSudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes (particularly in one eye)Sudden problems with walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordinationSudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the bodyDifficulty in swallowingCare and Rehabilitation Stroke rehabilitation is the process by which patients with disabling strokes undergo Occupational Therapy/ Physical Rehabilitation to help them return to normal life as much as possible by regaining and relearning the skills of everyday living. It also aims to help the survivor understand and adapt to difficulties, prevent secondary complications and educate family members to play a supporting role.Stroke rehabilitation should be started as immediately as possible and can last anywhere from a few days to over a year. Most return of function is seen in the first few days and weeks, patients have been known to continue to improve for years, regaining and strengthening abilities like writing, walking, running, and talking. Daily rehabilitation exercises should continue to be part of the stroke patient's routine.Hand TrainingGait Training

Tips to Beat Post Meal Sugar Cravings

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Most people crave something sweet post their meals. You don’t need to have a sweet tooth to develop this habit but this can be one of the key reasons that could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Eating something sweet is an acquired habit and that’s what makes it that much more easy to undo.Here are some intelligent tips that can help you control your mind & limit your post meal sugar cravings -Reach for FruitOne of the best ways to get rid of sugar craving is to opt for fruits because they are the healthiest combination of something sweet & nutrition. The natural sugar in fruits can help hit the spot and fulfill the sweet cravings without adding empty calories to your diet. Besides, all the anti-oxidants present in it will help boost your immunity and also boost your metabolism.Drink More WaterDehydration can trigger sugar cravings, so make sure you drink adequate amounts of water. When a sugar craving hits, drink two glasses of water first and then re-evaluate whether you need any sugar.Eat Balanced MealsYou should eat balanced meals containing both major and minor nutrients. Have small, frequent meals to help keep your blood sugar level stable and eliminate your body's need for a quick sugar fix. Avoid skipping meals (especially breakfast).Say NO to ColasColas give people a temporary 'high' and the feeling of fullness. They somehow shut off the hunger signals. However, this is short-lived, misleading sensation. Also, colas increase the craving for high caloric foods like a burger, pizza, creamy sandwiches, and noodles.Yogurt with FruitSweet your yogurt naturally by adding natural sweetener present in fruits. One of the best tip to beat sweet craving is to eat a combination of fruit and yogurt as a mid day snack. Most importantly, it can be one of the healthier options for snacking.