Take your life back from gambling: Take the Quiz

From MDHHS: For More Info, Go Here…

Take the Quiz
Are you concerned that you or someone you know may have a gambling problem? Taking this quiz can alert you to some of the warning signs. Plus, we’ll give you some free resources for help, if you need it. (There are 20 items. Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.)

  1. Have you ever lost time from work or school due to gambling?
  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  3. Has gambling affected your reputation?
  4. Do you ever feel remorse after gambling?
  5. Have you ever gambled to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?

More questions follow…

Vets Don’t Forget Vets: Raising awareness on veterans issues

By William Shuttleworth: For More Info, Go Here…

Meet William Shuttleworth: A 71-year-old U.S. Air Force Veteran

William Shuttleworth
Photo by Brian Eaton for The Eagle-Tribune


William’s Mission

I am on a 7-month walk across America from Massachusetts to California, “Vets Don’t Forget Vets” (see my route here). Along the way, I will meet, share, and talk to any vet I can individually, in small groups at VA Centers, in American Legions, VFWs, coffee shops and across dining room tables. 

Veterans gave a lot and often have little to show for it. More than 25% of all homeless men are veterans, and many of these forgotten warriors struggle with employment, addiction, and sobriety. These men and women have little voice in Congress. Today, less than 18% of Congress has served in the military, compared to 78% in 1972. 

With fewer veterans in Washington, who will speak and advocate for them? We need change.

My five recommendations for American Vets:

  • Elect a vet. At the national, state and local level. Vets don’t forget vets.
  • Eliminate veteran homeless by 2030. It can be done if we want it done.
  • Free medical care for any veteran who was ever drafted and was discharged with an Honorable Discharge. There are too many veterans that don’t qualify for veteran medical services because they didn’t meet service length obligations.
  • Guarantee medical and mental health treatment within 30 days for all veterans
  • Increase starting pay for enlistees to a ‘livable wage’. It is tragic that most enlistees qualify for food stamps.

Cannabidiol is a Powerful New Antibiotic

From Neuroscience News: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd: !!!

Summary: Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound extract of marijuana, has the potential to be used as an antibiotic. Researchers found CBD was remarkably effective at killing a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria, including bacteria that are resistant to common antibiotics. Additionally, CBD does not lose its effectiveness after extended treatment.

New research has found that Cannnabidiol is active against Gram-positive bacteria, including those responsible for many serious infections (such as Staphyloccocus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae), with a potency similar to that of established antibiotics such as vancomycin or daptomycin. The research is presented at ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Cannabidiol, the main non-psychoactive chemical compound extracted from cannabis and hemp plants, has been approved by FDA for the treatment of a form of epilepsy and is being investigated for a number of other medical conditions, including, anxiety, pain and inflammation. While there is limited data to suggest Cannabidiol can kill bacteria, the drug has not been thoroughly investigated for its potential as an antibiotic.

Work led by Dr Mark Blaskovich at The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions, in collaboration with Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd, an early stage drug discovery company investigating topical uses of synthetic cannabidiol for a range of skin conditions, found that Cannabidiol was remarkably effective at killing a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria, including bacteria that have become resistant to other antibiotics, and did not lose effectiveness after extended treatment.

“Given cannabidiol’s documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety data in humans, and potential for varied delivery routes, it is a promising new antibiotic worth further investigation,” said Dr. Blaskovich.

Importantly, the drug retained its activity against bacteria that have become highly resistant to other common antibiotics. Under extended exposure conditions that lead to resistance against vancomycin or daptomycin, Cannabidiol did not lose effectiveness. Cannabidiol was also effective at disrupting biofilms, a physical form of bacteria growth that leads to difficult-to-treat infections.

Infection as a Stroke Trigger

By Solly Sebastian, Laura K. Stein, Mandip S. Dhamoon: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd- My observation is that docs and hospitals don’t have a good handle on treating repeated UTIs, bladder infections in older people. They can treat the individual occurrences, but don’t seem to have any way of stopping relatively rapid recurrence…

Associations Between Different Organ System Infection Admissions and Stroke Subtypes:

The relationships between different infection types and stroke subtype are not well-characterized. We examined exposure to infections in different organ systems in different time periods before the acute ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, and subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Every infection type was associated with an increased likelihood of acute ischemic stroke. The greatest association was for urinary tract infection.


All infection types were associated with subsequent acute ischemic stroke, with the greatest association for urinary tract infection.

Why won’t the consultants help me?

By Zechariah Richardson: For More Info, Go Here…

Alas it was the same old, I explain to them how I am housebound and in constant pain and that moving the leg brings a lot more pain and so moving, transferring to and from the wheelchair is, well scary, I am always anxious or fearful and this has destroyed my life.

But no, they cannot empathise, they refuse to understand and actually see that this is the only way where I would then be free to move without fear of pain and basically be free.

I cannot understand how a consultant cannot understand when I explain that the situation means that at times I have suicidal thoughts or that I will be forced to comprimise the limb. It is either that they think I am trying to bullshit them or they literally have no compassion?

He sent me for an X-Ray and blood tests which is clearly just an attempt to make me think they are actually doing something.

After all he said that they wont replace the knee replacement and won’t amputate and so it’s all pointless, this has been going on for 9 years!!!

I am not stupid, I know I am making a request that is quite shocking but it’s simple. When I move that knee joint I am in agony. Take away the knee joint and that cause of pain will be gone and yes I know I will likely get pain from the amputation but it won’t be made worse by moving.

I want to sit on the floor and play with my grandchildren, I want to go swimming to improve my health, I want to get out and about in my wheelchair instead of being stuck at home on the settee.

I have no dreams of being able to walk using a prosthetic, I know I will still have pain, I have researched this very thoroughly via online documents, articles and talking to people who have had elective amputation and have said it was the right decision.

  • Surely I have a right to decide?
  • Surely they have a duty to help me?
  • Surely they can’t believe leaving me like this is right?

America’s mental health system may be unfixable. Fortunately, there’s an alternative

By LD GREEN: For More Info, Go Here…

The mental health system stresses individual diagnostics and drugs. What if society itself is the problem?

The mental health system is failing us. Moreover, the way the mental health industry and our culture at large conceives of “mental illness” is designed to fail us. That’s why people are more and more engaging with alternatives to it, using peer support, community, and mutual aid.

Mutual aid is not a new thing—arguably it’s one of the oldest ideas in human history —but our conscious use of it in the context of mental health holds a radically important promise: rather than just coping with and adjusting to society through the mental health system, we can actually heal ourselves and shift the culture.

When I couldn’t find enough healing or hope or meaning in clinics, I found peer support and mutual aid in the form of 12-step community and The Icarus Project, “a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness” The Icarus Project gave me many things, most importantly friendships, and it also gave me mad pride. I now honor and mind carefully my “dangerous gifts.” This is not to say therapy can’t be beneficial; some of it has been. And at times, it has done me harm. But mutual aid has transformed my life, has helped me heal, and at its best, can transform society. Wikipedia solidly defines mutual aid as “ a voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit. Mutual aid, as opposed to charity, does not connote moral superiority of the giver over the receiver.” In this context, therapists and psychiatrists certainly can (but don’t always) embody a toxic “moral superiority,” whereas people freely holding space for each others’ emotional processes unlocks human potential for all involved.

When people share histories of trauma with each other, we can also share tremendous insight. Most importantly, when we create an atmosphere of mutual respect and equality that fosters wisdom and healing. In this way, mutual aid gives us something the biomedical model and the unequal power dynamics between professionals and “patients” cannot. Engaging in the very process of mutual aid itself is an antidote to the biomedical model and the flawed system it has generated.

To improve health, boost Medicaid dental reimbursement rates

By Romesh Nalliah: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd- The single greatest failure of the Medicaid approach to healthcare…

We know that preventive dental care services are highly valued and sought after by consumers. Nevertheless, every year about 440,000 Americans covered by Medicaid end up in the Emergency Room with a dental complaint, costing Medicaid over $310 million annually. The average ER charge for a dental emergency is $760, the average charge for a dental examination, routine x-rays and cleaning is a little less than $235.

While research shows that there are far fewer medically-related hospital admissions for those who regularly receive preventive dental care, and that individuals having insurance are much more likely to seek preventive care and have better clinical outcomes, too few dentists participate in Medicaid to resolve this imbalance. So, despite overwhelming evidence that preventive dental care costs less and keeps patients healthier, the overreliance on costly, taxpayer-funded emergency room dental care continues nationally, and in Michigan.

Private dental insurances reimburse about 79 percent of the standard fee charged by dentists. But the Michigan Medicaid reimbursement rate is only 20.3 percent of commercial dental insurance charges. The outdated reimbursement rate, combined with the overhead costs of running a dental office (about 58 percent to 78 percent of revenues), puts many dentists in a position where it costs them money to treat Medicaid patients, with the gap between costs and revenue growing as more Medicaid patients are treated.

Using the Montessori Method for Dementia

By Mark Huntsman: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd- Dr. Montessori had unique insights into the actual way small children expand their development. She also understood that this “way” applied to every person regardless of age. Interesting frame for interaction…

The Montessori Method is well-known for being used to successfully engage children, but it’s also an approach that’s gaining traction with caregivers of parents and senior loved ones with dementia. While it’s still a new idea, there is already evidence that the Montessori Method can reduce anxiety for people with dementia by providing them with engaging activities that they find rewarding.

The Montessori Method of caregiving for dementia has a similar goal of engaging the senses in order to help seniors with the disease rediscover the world around them.

Providing the most effective care means maximizing the opportunities these individuals have to reconnect with a world they’re losing access to. Caregivers and researchers alike are increasingly finding that sensory experiences created through art or music therapy and physical activities gives senior loved ones with dementia positive emotions that they may have lost the ability to experience.

Though a senior may become paranoid or withdrawn as dementia advances, in many cases, their long-term memories will be largely well-preserved. The Montessori Method is about providing ways to connect with those memories. Presenting a senior loved one with fresh flowers and an empty vase may give him or her a way to step out of a sense of isolation and into a beautiful spring day, because the experience of putting the flowers in the vase is enough to powerfully call forth the memory of cutting fresh flowers, for instance.

The personal touch and positive attitudes that are hallmarks of the Montessori Method help caregivers maximize their loved ones’ opportunities to reconnect with pleasant events of the past and to re-experience the accompanying positive emotions.

How Caregivers Can Use the Montessori Method for Dementia

Dr. Cameron Camp, a psychologist in applied gerontology, discovered that the Montessori Method could be adapted into the basis of a new approach to dementia care. Dr. Camp states the problem this way: “How can we connect with the person who is still here?” One answer to this question is to use the Montessori approach to re-engage the types of memory that are spared by dementia, including motor memory such as how to dress and how to eat.

An example of a skills-building activity that Dr. Camp employs involves people with dementia using a slotted spoon to dig in a tub of dry rice for objects that are buried beneath the surface. When they find a “treasure,” the rice falls through the slots, leaving the object on the spoon. In the process, their brains are re-learning the motor skills that are necessary to feed yourself.

“We want to flip the system on its ear,” Dr. Camp says, “to change people’s expectations about what people with dementia are capable of. Our job is to allow this person to be present — to help them, wherever they are in the journey of dementia, to be connected with a community and contribute to the best of their ability.”

Let’s take a look at different ways caregivers can put Montessori into practice:

States Are Using Drug Importation to Lower Costs and Provide Safe Access to Drugs

By Jane Horvath: For More Info, Go Here…

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis just signed legislation that allows the state to import lower-cost prescription drugs. In a show of support, the Trump administration directed Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar to help Florida create its program. Colorado and Vermont have also enacted importation laws.

These state laws will be important test cases of how to legally permit safe importation of lower-cost prescription drugs by entities other than manufacturers or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Existing law permits both wholesale and personal importation of prescription drugs from Canada with the approval of the HHS Secretary. State and federal policymakers increasingly see importation as a way to improve market functioning through increased price competition.

Payday blues: Rural Michigan and the quick-cash debt hole

By Ted Roelofs: For More Info, Go Here…

Four years ago, Merenda Vincent was desperate for cash.

She had an overdue car payment, along with a medical bill she couldn’t pay. Living on a monthly Social Security check of less than $1,000, she had no money in the bank.

Vincent recalled that she walked into a payday lending store called Check ‘n Go outside Ludington, a small Lake Michigan community north of Muskegon. She said she wrote a post-dated check to Check ‘n Go and came out with $100 in cash. A month later, she still could not meet her debt. So she took out another loan. And then another.

Before she knew it, Vincent said, she was in over her head with overdue bills and mounting payday debt costs that in Michigan can carry annual interest rates in excess of 400 percent depending on the size and term of the loan.

Standing outside that store years later, Vincent recalled: “I just got in deeper and deeper. They make it sound so easy, but it really takes advantage of low-income people and people on Social Security.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, how do I repay this?’”