Drug treatment experts urge people to kick deadly habits for the New Year

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. – Experts from Footprints Beachside Recovery Center, a rehabilitation facility specializing in alcohol and opioid substance abuse and addiction treatment in the Tampa Bay area, are encouraging people struggling with substance abuse and addiction to make positive changes for the New Year.

According to a new report published in Nov. by Trust for America’s Health, an estimated 1.6 million Americans could die from drugs, alcohol and suicide in the next decade. This estimation represents a 60 percent increase over the past decade.

“We are witnessing a surge in substance abuse across the nation. The most alarming statistic is the increase in deaths due to these issues,” said John Templeton Jr., president of Footprints Beachside Recovery Center. “We can’t express how important it is for people to get help before it’s too late.”

To help people in need, recovery experts from Footprints Beachside Recovery Center are offering treatment tips for dealing with addiction.

  • Alcohol - While cutting back can be a good start, heavy drinkers may need medical intervention, as the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can include seizures and even be life threatening. This should never be attempted cold turkey. Medical intervention like a detox followed by a minimum 30 day treatment program with individual therapy can be very effective.
  • Opioids - If you or someone you know is abusing prescription pain killers or opiates like heroin, treatment should be sought quickly. Treatment for opioids is very effective and should include a medical detox to ease the symptoms and inpatient treatment to remove the user from their environment. Even for someone who is not intending on misuse, they should have a plan to get off of their prescription safely and that shouldn’t just be “quitting” once the medication runs out. We always recommend speaking with your doctor or an addiction medicine doctor who understands the pharmacology of substances and the effects on each person.
  • Stimulants - Prescription medications like Adderall and Ritalin are often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but like all medication, they can be misused. Cocaine and methamphetamine are two of the most addictive street stimulants and can be snorted, injected or smoked. People who abuse stimulants should seek treatment due to the acute adverse physiological effects to the respiratory, cardiovascular and central nervous symptoms, and altered mental states, like suicidal ideation and neurological problems.
  • Smoking - Medications like Chantix and Zyban, as well as nicotine replace products like the patch, inhaler and nasal spray have also shown to be effective. Counseling and medication are both effective for treating tobacco dependence and using them together is more effective than using either one alone. The good news is that there are effective treatment options for smokers. In fact, there are more former smokers than current smokers.

About Footprints Beachside Recovery Center 

Founded in 2008, Footprints Beachside Recovery Center is a small, private, holistic substance abuse treatment center for adults and is located in Pinellas County, Fla. Footprints provides specialized treatment plans for patients from throughout the U.S. and around the world. Opioid addiction recovery programs at Footprints focus on ensuring safe withdrawals and often combine holistic treatment with medication assisted therapies to reduce cravings and provide more successful recovery outcomes for patients.

Five Ways To Keep Your New Year's Resolution of Losing Weight In 2017 
Dr. Elaina George is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist and Author of the new book "Big Medicine: The Cost Of Corporate Control And How Doctors And Patients Working Together Can Rebuild A Better System" 
Dr. George's tips are:
1. Start exercising
An increase in activity of as little as 20 minutes 3 times a week can make a difference in your risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. You don't have to get fancy with a gym membership. Try taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, or park further from the entrance when you go to the market or mall.
2. Eat Smaller portions
You may not want to give up your junk food or fried food, but try to limit your portions. Instead of buying a six pack of soda, buy a two liter bottle. You can better control the portions along with your intake of calories.
3. Drink more water
The average person should be drinking 1 ounce per kilogram of his/her weight in water per day. (1 lb = 2.2kg). Studies have shown that people eat more when they are dehydrated because the signals in the body can confuse hunger with thirst. If you are hungry, try drinking an 8-12 oz glass of water before you decide to eat that snack.
4. Avoid salt
The average American diet consists too much salt. Salt is found in everything from canned foods to frozen foods. Not only does salt make your body retain water, it also dulls your sense of taste when it comes to sugar. As a challenge, decrease the amount of salt you eat for about 1 week, then drink a non-diet soft drink. Not only will you lose about 3- 5 lbs of water weight, but you will see that the soda is incredibly sweet. In addition, try to use sea salt.
5. Avoid high fructose corn syrup
Studies have shown that most products in this country are made with high fructose corn syrup that is contaminated with mercury (a known neurotoxin). Instead try to choose foods made with cane sugar. When you drink soft drinks that are made with sugar you will be less likely to crave salt and be able to stop with one soda because there is no 'sugar high' that leads to the craving that makes you want to have more.
About Dr. Elaina George
Atlanta, GA Based - Dr Elaina George is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist. She graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Biology. She received her Masters degree in Medical Microbiology from Long Island University, and received her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Dr George completed her residency at Manhattan, Eye Ear & Throat Hospital. She is on the advisory council of Project 21 black leadership network, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Dr George hosts her own radio show, "Medicine On Call" and she is also a keynote speaker many organizations. As a solo practitioner in private practice who is also a small business owner, she has a unique perspective on the problems of health care delivery, the true costs of healthcare and viable solutions.

How To Keep On Track With Your New Year's Fitness Goals

OK, so just over a week ago, a lot of you might have made yourself some new year’s resolutions. And, by now, you may already have given up on them. If so, worry not. There’s still time to get yourself back on track without too much damage - and these tips should help.


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Get emotional


We all have different reasons for getting fitter and healthier, and all of them are emotional. It might be so that you can fit into your old jeans again, or it could be because you are tackling a charity marathon and want to do your best. Whatever your personal reasons, always keep them in mind - especially during tough workouts, or after a busy day. All you have to do is turn up, push yourself to your limits, and you will soon catch that dangling carrot.


Read everything


Read about people hitting their fitness goals, and you will want to keep going yourself. I’d like to think there is more than enough inspiration on this blog, but there are hundreds of others. Fitness Edge is a new one I have recently found, but there are plenty more. Read up on everyone’s success stories, and picture yourself in their shoes. If you can understand the possibilities, then making it happen will be much easier for you.


Go faster


‘I don’t have enough time’ is an excuse I hear a lot from people when it comes to breaking their fitness goals. Well, if you are short on time, just work harder in the time you have. You can get more out of a high-intensity workout over twenty minutes than you can from an hour long jog anyway. So, push yourself faster and harder, for shorter periods of time, and you will see results.


Plan your week better


Another big reason people don’t achieve their fitness goals is through lack of planning. We’re all busy, but if you want results, you have to make time. Plan your week or month long in advance, and identify times when you will workout. Don’t miss them - for anything. Treat them like you would an appointment with the doctor or even part of your working day. Once you get used to it, it will feel like it is part of your life. But, you can’t get to that stage without including your workouts in your calendar or diary.


Get a support network


OK, so getting a support network means two things. The first one is obvious. You just hang out with people that understand what you’re doing and give you help and encouragement. But the second one involves keeping yourself away from those that don’t understand. You know who I’m talking about - it’s the guys that doubt you. It’s the people that enjoy a drink a little more than the next person, and encourage you to tag along. It can be tough to keep good friends at arm’s length, but it won’t be forever. Once you have got past a certain point, you mind will be a lot stronger to deal with these issues. And, when it comes to drinking, you can always have one of these.


Hope this has helped - let me know how you are getting on!