Thursday, December 26, 2013

Advice for teens - build a life rather than live one

Philip Copitch, Ph.D.

Ashton Kutcher gives great advice
In August 2013, Ashton Kutcher got the “old man’s award” from the Teen Choice Awards. He talked passionately about working towards one’s goals. Watch his 5 minute speech.

When opportunity knocks
Ashton’s speech reminded me of the story of opportunity knocking.
A young man was looking for a way to make money. He didn’t want to just make money; he really wanted a way to make lots of money. He also wanted to feel good about himself as he made his dreams come true.A knock came at the door. The young man opened it to find an older man wearing dirty overalls and work gloves. “I am opportunity,” the older man said. “I came to help you get to your hopes and dreams.”“You don’t look like opportunity,” the young man said. “You’re dirty and look really tired.”“What should opportunity look like?” the man at the door asked.“I guess he would look cool. Like a multimillionaire: wearing a tux and driving a sports car.”“It seems to me that you are confusing opportunity with extravagance,” the man at the door said. “Opportunity doesn’t wear a tuxedo. Opportunity is a diamond in the rough. You have to work with opportunity and polish it into a diamond.”
As Ashton says: you have to build your life - starting with opportunity in the rough - in order to shape and live the life you dream of.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Vicodin, Xanax and the message

Philip Copitch, Ph.D.

Behind the humor, painkiller abuse is deadly
In the January 2014 issue of Consumer Reports, the following tidbit of information was exposed:

What I got from the sports-like shirts is: if you take this drug you don’t need to exercise to stay healthy or to be happy.

I am probably overreacting, but… I regularly work with patients that want some sort of pill to solve a medical or mental health problem. 

The fact is that putting on a comfortable shirt and exercising, often helps people physically and emotionally. 

A 15 minute walk does wonders for our mental health and our overall physical health. 

Vicodin, is also called Lortab or Norco
This combination medication is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It contains a narcotic pain reliever (hydrocodone) and a non-narcotic pain reliever (acetaminophen). Hydrocodone works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain. Acetaminophen can also reduce a fever. (WebMD)

Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. Xanax works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA). (WebMD)

Recent FDA changes concurring Vicodin
In October 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced changes in the way Vicodin may be prescribed by your doctor. The FDA statements starts:

Over the past several years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been carefully evaluating and weighing the appropriate use of opioid analgesic drug products. For the millions of American patients experiencing an acute medical need or living with chronic pain, opioids, when prescribed appropriately, can allow patients to manage their pain as well as significantly improve their quality of life.However, in recent years, the FDA has become increasingly concerned about the abuse and misuse of opioid products, which have sadly reached epidemic proportions in certain parts of the United States. While the value of and access to these drugs has been a consistent source of public debate, the FDA has been challenged with determining how to balance the need to ensure continued access to those patients who rely on continuous pain relief while addressing the ongoing concerns about abuse and misuse. Read the complete statement

Let me know what you think about this issue. Please leave a comment.