Opioid Statistics: A Rising Epidemic

The current opioid crisis has had some pretty severe consequences. However, some people might not really understand the effects of this crisis. In those cases, it helps to go over some opioid statistics. Seeing these statistics can help show who tends to be at the most risk…

Opioid Statistics: Who Is At Risk

Those with chronic pain

A large part of opioid statistics relate to the people that doctors give these pills in the first place. Many times, opioids will be prescribed for chronic pain treatment. However, what this leads to is a high number of those with chronic pain misusing their prescription.

Around 21 to 29 percent of those who take prescribed opioids for their chronic pain will end up abusing them. From that number, 8 to 12 percent will develop some kind of opioid use disorder. While this may seem like a small percentage at first, keep in mind that in 2017 alone, doctors gave out over 191 million opioid prescriptions in total!

Opioids as a gateway

Another area of opioid statistics to look at are how they serve as a gateway to stronger, illicit choices. The most common, and perhaps one of the most dangerous choices, tends to be heroin. In fact, an estimated 4 to 6 percent of those who misuse prescription pills will transition into using heroin.

However, over 80 percent of those who do abuse heroin stated that they first had misused prescription pills. The main reason for this is how powerful and similar heroin is to opioids. Once someone finds themselves unable to get more pills, or not getting the same effect anymore, they may switch to heroin to try and get a similar feeling.

Cities and the Midwest

Opioid statistics also offer up some insight as to where these pills are being misused. Now, this crisis is definitely something which impacts practically all parts of the country. However, some areas see a higher amount of people who end up misusing these pills than others.

The main areas in specific tend to be in cities, and across the Midwest. From July 2016 to September 2017, opioid overdose rates in major cities across 16 states rose by 54 percent. During that same time span, in the Midwest, overdoses increased by a whopping 70 percent!

Beach Drinking: Sipping Smart

No matter the time of year, many people are plan trips to the beach to celebrate a special occasion. Of course, for many, these trips will involve some alcohol as well. However, beach drinking is a bit different from your normal drinking. There are some specific things to keep in mind before making your trip…

Beach Drinking: What To Remember

Watch glass & litter

There’s a lot of beers and other alcoholic drinks which come in glass bottles. While these might not be a problem elsewhere, they can be when beach drinking. Broken glass can be very dangerous on the beach, especially with the sand making it hard to see. That’s why it’s a good idea to opt for plastic cups or cans instead.

You’ll also want to be more mindful of litter in general. Not only is it unsightly, but it also can pose a risk to other people and wildlife. You can also be hit with some serious fines as well. Make sure to keep track of your trash to avoid these issues!

Remember water

Being out in the sun for a long time can quickly dehydrate you. This can lead to you drinking more to quench your thirst. However, remember that alcohol also has a dehydrating effect. That’s why you’ll want to bring some water along when you’re beach drinking.

It also helps to drink plenty of water before you go to the beach. Once you’re there, a good rule to follow is to drink water in-between each drink you have. Not only will that help keep you hydrated, it will also help limit the amount your drink as well.

Be mindful of the water

Many people like to at least wade a bit into the water while at the beach. However, it’s important for you to be mindful of the water when beach drinking. The effects of drinking mean that your ability to swim won’t be as good as it usually is. This makes it much more riskier to go into the water.

If you do want to go near to water, try to remain in shallow water. It’s good to avoid wading out into waist or chest-deep waters. The tides and currents could prove to be too strong and cause you problems. You’ll be doing both yourself and the lifeguards a favor by remaining safe in shallow waters.

Wine Storage: Keep it Fresh

Wine is a bit of a fickle drink. It’s pretty easy for it to spoil, especially when compared to something like liquor. Therefore, it’s important to know the proper way to do wine storage. Storing your wine correctly can help keep it fresh and aging for as long as you need…

Wine Storage: Don’t Let it Spoil

Keep it in a cool, dry place

Have you ever wondered why a lot of wine storage occurs in places like cellars? It turns out, this isn’t just for convenience. It’s actually very important for keeping it from spoiling. After all, wine is basically fermented grape juice, so it needs to be kept at a proper temperature.

Therefore, you want to keep your wine in cooler areas. The best temperature range to aim for is 70 degrees F or lower. Any higher, and your wine might begin to spoil. If you don’t have something like a cellar, the best alternative is the fridge, just to be on the safe side.

Avoid the light

Temperature isn’t the only thing you need to keep your wine from. You’ll also want to watch for outside light. Light has a negative effect on wine, as it reacts poorly to some chemicals in the wine itself. This alters the wine’s taste, and can ruin it overall. This is why many vineyards use dark-tinted wine bottles.

However, these tints slow down the process, but they don’t prevent it. Therefore, you want to make sure your wine storage choices keep it away from outside light. Even interior lights can cause harm to the wine. Therefore, try to keep your wine someplace that’s consistently low in light.

Keep it on the side

Many stores will sell their wine in an upright position. This might make you think this is the correct way to place wine. However, this is actually an example of incorrect wine storage. Keeping wine upright prevents it from being in contact with the cork, and loosens the overall seal of the cork.

This allows more oxygen to enter the bottle, and ruin the wine. However, keeping the wine on its side avoids this problem. This way, the wine is always pushing up on the cork. This strengthens the seal, and keeps the wine much fresher for much longer.

Commercial DUI: How They Differ

Drivers with a commercial driver’s license are held to a higher standard than other drivers. Considering what their jobs involve, this makes sense. These higher standard also apply to impaired driving. Commercial DUI standards tend to be much more strict than those for a regular DUI. Knowing these changes is important for keeping your CDL…

Commercial DUI: Know The Standards

Blood Alcohol Limits

Most people are familiar with the standard BAC limit of .08%. You might think that this would apply to CDL drivers as well. However, many states actually have much stricter laws when it comes to their BAC levels.

Most states use the Federal Motor Commercial Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines for commercial DUI. The FMCSA sets a .04% BAC limit for CDL drivers. This cuts the standard limit in half! Other FMCSA rules also state that CDL drivers shouldn’t operate a commercial vehicle within 4 hours of having a drink.
Alcohol and Drug Tests

The FMCSA also has the ability to perform alcohol and drug tests on CDL drivers. Alcohol tests can occur for numerous reasons, such as after an accident, as a condition for returning to work after a previous commercial DUI, or just randomly throughout the year. Drug tests can also occur for the same reasons, as well as for pre-employment screenings.

For CDL drivers, these test are mandatory. So are blood alcohol tests if these drivers are pulled over on a DUI suspicion. Under FMCSA rules, a driver refusing to take a blood alcohol test is the equivalent of pleading guilt to a DUI.

Effects of DUI

A commercial DUI can have a number of effects on a driver. While the BAC standards might be lower, the potential punishments aren’t. Most standard DUI punishments still apply to commercial drivers. However, commercial drivers can see longer license suspensions than regular drivers.

Additionally, CDL drivers have to notify their employers of a DUI within 30 days. This applies even if they weren’t driving a commercial vehicle. Often times, CDL drivers convicted of a DUI struggle to find employment after the fact.

A driver in a normal car can already cause a lot of damage if they’re driving drunk. Change this to someone driving a large truck or other heavy-duty vehicle, and you can see how dangerous a commercial DUI is. That’s why CDL drivers need to be aware of just what risks come with driving drunk.

Prescription Addiction: How Addiction Begins

A lot of people know how dangerous alcohol can be when abused. However, many people don’t understand dangers that comes along with prescription pills because they’re legal and prescribed. In fact, prescription addiction often went unnoticed before the opioid crisis got national coverage. Knowing the common reasons behind addiction can help you see why this has become such a problem…

Prescription Addiction: Common Reasons

To relieve pain

One of the most common reasons for prescription addiction is pain relief. In fact, it might just be the most common of the reasons. According to SAMHSA, in 2015, 63.4% of those who abused these pain killers like opioids stated they did so to relieve pain. By contrast, only 11.7% said they misuse their pills in order to get high or feel good.

Many times, this pain is chronic, so these people have to deal with it all the time. As a result, they’ll be prescribed these pain killers to help. However, due to how addictive they are, many will get hooked on them. But, because of how they help with their pain, they’ll keep taking them, even when they begin to do more harm than good.

To stay awake and focus

Of course, pain killers aren’t the only pills that people misuse. There’s also stimulants, which have their own prescription addiction reasons. For these pills, which doctors usually prescribe to help with things like ADHD, 28.4% of people abuse them in order to stay awake. Right under that, 26.2% use them to better concentrate.

However, the third most-common reason shines some light on who is abusing them. 22.4% of people stated that they misuse these drugs in order to better study. This, combined with the other two reasons, shows how students in particular tend to get hooked on these drugs. The energy they give makes them appealing for busy students who need to get a lot done in a short time span.

To relax

You may have heard about drugs like Xanax also being something many people have started to misuse. The reasons behind these prescription addictions are pretty straightforward. 46.2% of people claimed they misused these drugs in order to feel relaxed and reduced tension.

However, this is because these pills are depressants. They help the body and the brain “slow down”, and usually people take them to help with anxiety. However, taking these pill too often, or too much at once, amplifies these effects to potentially dangerous levels.

Life Post-DUI Conviction

Receiving a DUI is a pivotal point in life for people. There’s a sinking feeling that comes with it and you might wonder what will come of the whole situation. While the court follows a certain set of protocol, there isn’t really a how-to on getting back to your normal life after a DUI. While it might be difficult, your life post-DUI conviction will get back on track. However, taking those first steps is vital…

Life Post-DUI Conviction: Getting It Straight

Support Groups

There are plenty of groups out there to support you. While every situation is different, so many people have similarities to yours. Support groups are a great way to get help in your life post-DUI conviction. The people who make up these groups are always willing to help and lend an ear or give advice.

Hobbies

It is not always the case that your DUI was a result of alcohol abuse. A lot of the time, it is an isolated incident. This doesn’t mean acquiring a new hobby isn’t a good idea. A hobby is great way for your to improve your life post-DUI conviction. Hobbies provide outlets for emotions, energy, and commitment. Additionally, new hobbies will bring new friends.

Re-Evaluate

At some point during your life-post DUI conviction revelation, you should re-evaluate what parts of your life are healthy and what parts are not so much. This can be different things. Sometimes friends might not be healthy influences on your new life. Other times, it could be your habits/lifestyle that isn’t healthy. Sometimes it could even be your job that is a negative influence. If any of these things are affecting your life, don’t hesitate to make a change.

Make Peace

Know that mistakes happen. Make peace with others who have been affected by your DUI. After this, make peace with yourself. Forgive yourself for anything you’ve done in your own time. Your entire life post-DUI conviction does not have to be defined by one mistake. Do what you need to do to make it right with the law, with those who were affected, and with friends and family. Once they forgive you, it will be easier to forgive yourself.

Alcohol Poisoning: Cause, Symptom, and Action

Alcohol poisoning is a very serious, and potentially deadly, result of drinking too much. Over-drinking in a short time span can really lead to some dangerous risks to your health. Therefore, it’s important to know why you need to watch your intake…

Alcohol Poisoning: Know The Risks

Causes

Alcohol poisoning occurs when you drink too much in a short time frame. On average, it takes your body 1 hour to fully break down a standard drink. However, quickly drinking a lot of alcohol means your body will be breaking down a lot of drinks. That means you’ll suddenly have large amounts of alcohol in your system.

Having too much will cross you over from being just drunk, to being poisoned. The most common cause of this happening these days is binge drinking. As people, many of them young, drink excessively at say parties or events, they end up with way to much alcohol in their systems. This leads to them experiencing poisoning-related symptoms.

Symptoms

The symptoms of alcohol poisoning can be deceptive. This is just another reason why it’s so dangerous. Many times, a lot of these symptoms mirror those of when someone’s drunk. They might slur their words, throw up, and fall asleep, much like someone who is drunk.

However, poisoning is much more dangerous. Some of the most symptoms also include passing out, seizures, irregular breathing, low body temperatures, and bluing of the skin. These are sure-fire signs that someone is experiencing alcohol poisoning.

What to do

If someone looks like they’re experiencing alcohol poisoning, then it’s important to call for help ASAP. Be sure to call 911, so they can receive medical treatment to get the alcohol out of their system. In the meantime, be sure to help them out. Keep them awake, don’t leave them alone, and help them stay upright if they’re vomiting.

In order to avoid poisoning, the best thing to do is watch your drink intake. Keep yourself to one drink per hour, and be sure to drink plenty of water as well. That way, your body will be able to handle your drinking without it becoming dangerous.

Wine Styles: Picking Your Poison

When you look at how vineyards make wine, it seems to be pretty universal. So what is it that sets different wine styles apart? As it turns out, there’s a few different factors for each style which make them unique and stand out…

Wine Styles: Find Your Favorite

White wines

The first of the wine styles to look at are white wines. These are wines which vineyards make with lighter-colored grapes. In fact, white wines are some of the most popular and most-sold wines out there. Plus, they’re easy to pair with a lot of foods. Many people call them the “beer of wine” because of these factors!

Light-bodied white wines are some of the easiest wines to drink. They also tend to be pretty dry compared to other wines. Meanwhile, full-bodied white wines are very rich and smooth. These wines also have a bit of a creaminess to them which other kinds lack.

Red wines

The next of the wine styles are red wines. Red wines are a bit more on the acidic side. This is because of the tannins in the wine, which vineyards add to their wines as a result of the red wine making process. As a result, red wines tend to be a bit polarizing. Some like the bitterness, while others can’t stand it.

Light-bodied reds are pretty pale and have the lowest amount of tannins in them. Medium-bodied red are usually the go-to red wine, and tend be a nice middle ground. They also pair very well with a wide range of zesty foods. Full-bodied reds are very dark and bitter, but work especially well with foods like steak.

Unique types

There’s also a couple unique wine styles which fall into their own special groups. For instance, there’s dessert wines, which tend to be very sweet and often times have artificial flavors. These wines, like their name implies, tend to be drank after dinner, usually during or in-place of a dessert.

Sparkling wines are very light and bubbly. These wines, which include Champagne, tend to be reserved for special occasions, like weddings or birthdays. There’s also rosé, which is sort-of an in-between of white and red wines. As a result, they come in a wide variety of flavors, styles, and textures.