Tag Archives: Straight

Straight, No Chaser: Self Assessment of Alcohol Dependency

alcoholaddictionchains

The number one response to the post on acute alcohol poisoning was pretty simple: “How can I tell if I’m drinking too much over the long haul?” And so it’s back to back the Straight, No Chaser (literally) days. The problems with most intoxicating substances involve the same consideration. You had the most incredible time and got the most incredible high the first time, and you spend the rest of your life chasing the joy of that first buzz, which for most drugs you’ll never get again. The difference with alcohol abuse is that alcohol is legal and comparatively inexpensive, so you get to keep trying without much fuss (at least initially).

Let’s set the stage by standardizing some terms:

ALCOHOLICtendencies

  • Alcohol intoxication: You’re drunk and under the influence of alcohol.
  • Alcohol abuse: Your drinking habits are unhealthy, resulting in bad consequences (e.g., at work, in your relationships, with the law).
  • Alcohol dependency: You’re physically and/or mentally addicted to alcohol.  You crave liquor and seemingly can’t do without it.  Dependency involves withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is not in your system.  These symptoms may include anxiety, nausea, sweating, jitteriness, shakes and even withdrawal seizures.

Alcoholism is a chronic disease. Unfortunately, some of us start with a predisposition based on genes and strong influences based on family and cultural considerations. It is so much more than either a lack of willpower or an inability to quit. This disease has a predictable course and defined effects on various parts of the body, leading to specific means of death if unaddressed. Because I’m Straight, No Chaser, I’m not going to deal with the subjective “I can handle my liquor” or “I can stop anytime I want.” I’m going to give you some medical data that defines when you’re doing damage to your body.  It’s actually pretty simple.

Are you this guy or gal? (Keep in mind a standard drink is defined as one 12 ounce can of beer, one glass of wine or one mixed drink.)

alcohol_risk

  • Women having more than three drinks at one time or more than seven drinks a week
  • Men having more than four drinks at one time or more than 14 drinks a week

If so, you’re causing damage.  We’ve discussed the damage in these additional Straight, No Chaser posts.

Now let’s discuss dependency. Consider the possibility that you may be dependent on alcohol if you have any of these problems over the course of a year:

  • While you’re drinking, you can’t quit or control how much you drink.
  • You have tried to quit drinking or to cut back the amount you drink, but can’t.
  • You need to drink more to get a previous effect. (This is called “tolerance.”)
  • You have withdrawal symptoms (discussed earlier) when you stop.
  • You spend a lot of your time either drinking, recovering from drinking or giving up other activities so you can drink.
  • You continue to drink even though it harms your relationships and causes physical problems.

So What?

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure no one is giving up alcohol by reading this. Alcohol is part of the American social fabric. We live, celebrate and commemorate milestones with it. It’s glamorized throughout society. It’s constitutionally approved. I appreciate that. In moderation, it’s a good time. Just understand that it’s not a free ride. The danger is in the insidious nature of this disease, meaning issues may creep up on you before you ever know what’s hit you. Then we’re having a completely different conversation.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under Toxicology/Drugs

Straight, No Chaser: Sexual Assault (Rape) and What To Do If You’re a Victim

Sexualviolence

In this series on sexual assault (aka sexual violence, rape), I’m going to lean on best practices largely provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service. This topic is sensitive enough that nothing needs to be interpreted as subjective.

  • This Straight, No Chaser will address the definition and scope of sexual assault, including actions to take if you’re a victim of sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss concrete physical and mental consequences of sexual assault and steps you can take to lower your risk of sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss signs of sexual assault in children.

The scope of sexual assault is so vast that it’s surprising more isn’t being done to prevent it. Can you imagine the fervor we’d have if 20% of the population had cancer?

  • Nearly 20% (1 in 5) women have been victims of sexual violence at some time in their lives. The rate for men in 1 in 71.
  • It is estimated that 20-25% of college women in the U.S. have experience a rape or rape attempt while in college.
  • When surveyed, 8% of high school students report having been forced to have sex.

These self-reported numbers are generally accepted as underestimates. The stigma, shame, fear of repercussions and unlikelihood of successful prosecution deter many victims of sexual violence from reporting abuse.

 Sexualassaultdef

Is sexual assault as simple as you know it when you see it (figuratively)? Sexual assault and abuse are any sexual activities that you do not agree to, including …

  • Any inappropriate touching of another’s sexual organs
  • Vaginal, anal, or oral penetration and intercourse regardless of “no” or without expressed consent
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Child molestation

The scope of sexual assault also includes any inappropriate verbalizations or viewing of another person– basically anything that engages another to participate in unwanted sexual contact or attention. The following are included:

  • Voyeurism (someone unknowingly viewing your private sexual acts)
  • Exhibitionism (someone exposes him/herself to you in public)
  • Incest (sexual contact between family members)
  • Sexual harassment

 sexual_assaulthelp

If you are the victim of sexual assault, there are important steps to take immediately:

  • First, get away from the attacker to a safe place as fast as you can.
  • Next, call 911 or the police or go to the emergency room where the staff can call the police and/or arrange for you to file a police report should you so desire.
  • Call a friend or family member you trust.
  • Call a crisis center or a hotline to talk with a counselor if you are experiencing feelings of fear, shame or guilt, all of which are normal after an assault. Emergency room staff will also be able to connect you to a local rape crisis center.
  • Although the urge will be overwhelming to do so, do not wash, comb, or clean any part of your body. Do not change clothes, touch or change anything at the site where the assault occurred. The entirety of your current state is needed evidence, and the emergency room or other hospital staff will need to collect evidence. The evidence obtained from you using a rape kit will include fibers, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing that the attacker may have left behind.
  • Go to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible. You will need to be examined, treated for any injuries and screened for possible sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and/or pregnancy.

Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. Help is available but only if you ask. Here is information on services available to you.

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800-787-3224 (TDD)
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)

You will also have access to many local resources through your emergency room or police department. The important point is to get to safety and to help.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

 

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Filed under Genital/Urinary, Infectious Disease, Public Health, Trauma

Straight, No Chaser: Self Assessment of Alcohol Dependency

alcoholaddictionchains

The number one response to the post on acute alcohol poisoning was pretty simple: “How can I tell if I’m drinking too much over the long haul?” And so it’s back to back the Straight, No Chaser (literally) days. The problems with most intoxicating substances involve the same consideration. You had the most incredible time and got the most incredible high the first time, and you spend the rest of your life chasing the joy of that first buzz, which for most drugs you’ll never get again. The difference with alcohol abuse is that alcohol is legal and comparatively inexpensive, so you get to keep trying without much fuss (at least initially).

Let’s set the stage by standardizing some terms:

ALCOHOLICtendencies

  • Alcohol intoxication: You’re drunk and under the influence of alcohol.
  • Alcohol abuse: Your drinking habits are unhealthy, resulting in bad consequences (e.g., at work, in your relationships, with the law).
  • Alcohol dependency: You’re physically and/or mentally addicted to alcohol.  You crave liquor and seemingly can’t do without it.  Dependency involves withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is not in your system.  These symptoms may include anxiety, nausea, sweating, jitteriness, shakes and even withdrawal seizures.

Alcoholism is a chronic disease. Unfortunately, some of us start with a predisposition based on genes and strong influences based on family and cultural considerations. It is so much more than either a lack of willpower or an inability to quit. This disease has a predictable course and defined effects on various parts of the body, leading to specific means of death if unaddressed. Because I’m Straight, No Chaser, I’m not going to deal with the subjective “I can handle my liquor” or “I can stop anytime I want.” I’m going to give you some medical data that defines when you’re doing damage to your body.  It’s actually pretty simple.

Are you this guy or gal? (Keep in mind a standard drink is defined as one 12 ounce can of beer, one glass of wine or one mixed drink.)

alcohol_risk

  • Women having more than three drinks at one time or more than seven drinks a week
  • Men having more than four drinks at one time or more than 14 drinks a week

If so, you’re causing damage.  We’ve discussed the damage in these additional Straight, No Chaser posts.

Now let’s discuss dependency. Consider the possibility that you may be dependent on alcohol if you have any of these problems over the course of a year:

  • While you’re drinking, you can’t quit or control how much you drink.
  • You have tried to quit drinking or to cut back the amount you drink, but can’t.
  • You need to drink more to get a previous effect. (This is called “tolerance.”)
  • You have withdrawal symptoms (discussed earlier) when you stop.
  • You spend a lot of your time either drinking, recovering from drinking or giving up other activities so you can drink.
  • You continue to drink even though it harms your relationships and causes physical problems.

So What?

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure no one is giving up alcohol by reading this. Alcohol is part of the American social fabric. We live, celebrate and commemorate milestones with it. It’s glamorized throughout society. It’s constitutionally approved. I appreciate that. In moderation, it’s a good time. Just understand that it’s not a free ride. The danger is in the insidious nature of this disease, meaning issues may creep up on you before you ever know what’s hit you. Then we’re having a completely different conversation.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

1 Comment

Filed under Toxicology/Drugs

Straight, No Chaser: Self Assessment of Alcohol Dependency

alcoholaddictionchains

The number one response to the post on acute alcohol poisoning was pretty simple: “How can I tell if I’m drinking too much over the long haul?” And so it’s back to back the Straight, No Chaser (literally) days. The problems with most intoxicating substances involve the same consideration. You had the most incredible time and got the most incredible high the first time, and you spend the rest of your life chasing the joy of that first buzz, which for most drugs you’ll never get again. The difference with alcohol abuse is that alcohol is legal and comparatively inexpensive, so you get to keep trying without much fuss (at least initially).

Let’s set the stage by standardizing some terms:

ALCOHOLICtendencies

  • Alcohol intoxication: You’re drunk and under the influence of alcohol.
  • Alcohol abuse: Your drinking habits are unhealthy, resulting in bad consequences (e.g., at work, in your relationships, with the law).
  • Alcohol dependency: You’re physically and/or mentally addicted to alcohol.  You crave liquor and seemingly can’t do without it.  Dependency involves withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is not in your system.  These symptoms may include anxiety, nausea, sweating, jitteriness, shakes and even withdrawal seizures.

Alcoholism is a chronic disease. Unfortunately, some of us start with a predisposition based on genes and strong influences based on family and cultural considerations. It is so much more than either a lack of willpower or an inability to quit. This disease has a predictable course and defined effects on various parts of the body, leading to specific means of death if unaddressed. Because I’m Straight, No Chaser, I’m not going to deal with the subjective “I can handle my liquor” or “I can stop anytime I want.” I’m going to give you some medical data that defines when you’re doing damage to your body.  It’s actually pretty simple.

Are you this guy or gal? (Keep in mind a standard drink is defined as one 12 ounce can of beer, one glass of wine or one mixed drink.)

alcohol_risk

  • Women having more than three drinks at one time or more than seven drinks a week
  • Men having more than four drinks at one time or more than 14 drinks a week

If so, you’re causing damage.  We’ve discussed the damage in these additional Straight, No Chaser posts.

Now let’s discuss dependency. Consider the possibility that you may be dependent on alcohol if you have any of these problems over the course of a year:

  • While you’re drinking, you can’t quit or control how much you drink.
  • You have tried to quit drinking or to cut back the amount you drink, but can’t.
  • You need to drink more to get a previous effect. (This is called “tolerance.”)
  • You have withdrawal symptoms (discussed earlier) when you stop.
  • You spend a lot of your time either drinking, recovering from drinking or giving up other activities so you can drink.
  • You continue to drink even though it harms your relationships and causes physical problems.

So What?

Unfortuantely, I’m pretty sure no one is giving up alcohol by reading this. Alcohol is part of the American social fabric. We live, celebrate and commemorate milestones with it. It’s glamorized throughout society. It’s constitutionally approved. I appreciate that. In moderation, it’s a good time. Just understand that it’s not a free ride. The danger is in the insidious nature of this disease, meaning issues may creep up on you before you ever know what’s hit you. Then we’re having a completely different conversation.

I look forward to any questions or thoughts on the topic.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under Toxicology/Drugs

Straight, No Chaser: Self Assessment of Alcohol Dependency

drinks

The number one response to the post on acute alcohol poisoning was pretty simple: “How can I tell if I’m drinking too much over the long haul?” And so it’s back to back the Straight, No Chaser (literally) days. The problems with most intoxicating substances involve the same consideration. You had the most incredible time and got the most incredible high the first time, and you spend the rest of your life chasing the joy of that first buzz, which for most drugs you’ll never get again. The difference with alcohol abuse is that alcohol is legal and comparatively inexpensive, so you get to keep trying without much fuss (at least initially).

Let’s set the stage by standardizing some terms:

  • Alcohol intoxication: You’re drunk and under the influence of alcohol.
  • Alcohol abuse: Your drinking habits are unhealthy, resulting in bad consequences (e.g., at work, in your relationships, with the law).
  • Alcohol dependency: You’re physically and/or mentally addicted to alcohol.  You crave liquor and seemingly can’t do without it.  Dependency involves withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is not in your system.  These symptoms may include anxiety, nausea, sweating, jitteriness, shakes and even withdrawal seizures.

Alcoholism is a chronic disease. Unfortunately, some of us start with a predisposition based on genes and strong influences based on family and cultural considerations. It is so much more than either a lack of willpower or an inability to quit. This disease has a predictable course and defined effects on various parts of the body, leading to specific means of death if unaddressed. Because I’m Straight, No Chaser, I’m not going to deal with the subjective “I can handle my liquor” or “I can stop anytime I want.” I’m going to give you some medical data that defines when you’re doing damage to your body.  It’s actually pretty simple.

Are you this guy or gal? (Keep in mind a standard drink is defined as one 12 ounce can of beer, one glass of wine or one mixed drink.)

  • Women having more than three drinks at one time or more than seven drinks a week
  • Men having more than four drinks at one time or more than 14 drinks a week

If so, you’re causing damage.  We’ve discussed the damage in these additional Straight, No Chaser posts.

Now let’s discuss dependency. Consider the possibility that you may be dependent on alcohol if you have any of these problems over the course of a year:

  • While you’re drinking, you can’t quit or control how much you drink.
  • You have tried to quit drinking or to cut back the amount you drink, but can’t.
  • You need to drink more to get a previous effect. (This is called “tolerance.”)
  • You have withdrawal symptoms (discussed earlier) when you stop.
  • You spend a lot of your time either drinking, recovering from drinking or giving up other activities so you can drink.
  • You continue to drink even though it harms your relationships and causes physical problems.

So What?

Unfortuantely, I’m pretty sure no one is giving up alcohol by reading this. Alcohol is part of the American social fabric. We live, celebrate and commemorate milestones with it. It’s glamorized throughout society. It’s constitutionally approved. I appreciate that. In moderation, it’s a good time. Just understand that it’s not a free ride. The danger is in the insidious nature of this disease, meaning issues may creep up on you before you ever know what’s hit you. Then we’re having a completely different conversation.

I look forward to any questions or thoughts on the topic.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

2 Comments

Filed under Toxicology/Drugs

Straight, No Chaser: The Top 50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years on Earth Related to Health (Part I)

50-Golden-XSmall

Thank you for your indulgence, because today I’m going to deviate from the regular routine and share some life lessons. This took a while to figure out, but here’s a list of things about which I’m absolutely certain. Special thanks go out to the 50,000 patients I’ve cared for over the years for also being my teachers.

  1. If you’re happy in your personal life, your health improves.
  2. The biggest head scratcher of human nature? Pumping smoke and toxins into the part of your body you use to clean and nourish the rest of your body (I mean smoking) is the oddest thing I know that people willingly do to themselves …
  3. … except willingly infecting multiple partners with communicable disease. (Wear condoms!)
  4. I saw a recent episode of the TV program The Blacklist where a vigilante doled out punishment to child, elderly and spousal abusers by reproducing the same acts on the perpetrators of the crimes. Kinda makes you think… I’m not advocating violence, but abusers of all types are a special brand of inhumane.
  5. I’ll never understand why people don’t wash their hands after using the restroom. See it all the time. Folks, that’s why most of you have diarrhea.
  6. Wealthy people look like healthy people even when they’re sick … unless they’re drug addicts.
  7. Fear is why healthcare costs so much.
  8. Somehow people allow fear to prevent them from using preventative measures, but it doesn’t prevent them from engaging in risky behaviors.
  9. Most alcohol tastes so much worse than I once thought.
  10. The death of a spouse is truly the biggest risk factor for one’s death. (This is actually a true medical fact.)
  11. Water tastes so much better than I thought.
  12. 99% of the times in my life that I’ve heard the word trampoline, it has involved someone with a broken bone or other injury.
  13. Diabetics really are dealt a bad hand. I can’t imagine why anyone would eat themselves into becoming one.
  14. We are nowhere near as horrified as we should be about people who are depressed enough to take their own lives.
  15. Anything that comes out of your body that’s colored is bad (and that includes feces and urine, which are meant to be colored).
  16. A happy day is a healthy day.
  17. Estimates say that 25% of women presenting to an emergency room are victims of abuse. That estimate is probably low.
  18. I actually think I can now tell the difference in whether the food I’m eating is healthy or toxic.
  19. There’s something fundamentally wrong when someone with a concussion is allowed to continue getting hit in the head. Ever. Again.
  20. Birthing and raising a special needs child makes you appreciate the value of health.
  21. Most people prefer happiness to health.
  22. Most people seemingly would prefer to die quickly instead of suffering the medical consequences of how they’ve lived their lives.
  23. One’s health habits provide you a lot of insight into a person’s character and personality.
  24. I’m really lucky to have been a physician. It helps to be able to differentiate between the nonsense and science. I’d hate to have to depend on actors for my health information.
  25. Aging while still being healthy is delightful.

Feel free to contact your SMA expert consultant with any questions you have on any topic. Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

2 Comments

Filed under General Health and Wellness

Straight, No Chaser: A Solution to the Upcoming Healthcare Crisis and the Affordable Care Act

logo

Many of you have heard or seen me discuss various aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  This ambitious effort seeks to maintain the current level of quality that exists (via maintaining the same insurance coverage for those individuals that already have it), while adding approximately 30 million individuals to the insurance rolls while not increasing overall system costs.

Have you noticed that one part of the conversation that doesn’t seem to occur is “Who’s going to take care of these 30 million new individuals? Also, what about the other 20 million that still won’t have insurance?” The twin deterrents of co-pays and deductibles will eventually be stiffened to curtail over- and inappropriate utilization of the emergency room for both the newly insured and the uninsured voucher recipients (Besides, who wants to deal with the long wait times both in your physician’s office and the ER, soon to be even worse with all the newly insured?). Similarly, you would presume that armies of new physicians are being trained to meet this growth in the newly insured, but that simply isn’t the case. Additional options to address this influx will be necessary. Prominent among these options will be those providing better education and greater empowerment of patients to direct their own care.

Sterling Medical Advice (SMA) is a national public health initiative that provides a solution to these issues by the introduction of 24/7 online personal healthcare consulting, featuring physicians and other care professionals covering the entire spectrum of medicine and healthcare. Consultations will be personalized and immediately available to those in need around the clock.

“What’s that, and when might you use it?” Here are a few examples.

  • You need advice regarding an immediate medical concern
  • You need general information about your medical condition
  • You need immediate information about your prescription
  • You are experiencing symptoms and want to know why
  • You want to learn more information about a medical condition that is part of your family history
  • You want additional details on your upcoming medical procedure
  • You need advice regarding the best care option for addressing a medical concern (e.g., emergency room vs. urgent care vs. scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician)
  • You want a second opinion on your new diagnosis
  • You want a second opinion on your new treatment plan
  • You need additional information about what to expect from a newly diagnosed condition

Sterling Medical Advice will improve public health outcomes while reducing healthcare costs for individuals, families and businesses and the healthcare system at large. Personal healthcare consulting will create a better-educated and empowered population and will become an additional component to the American health care system without compromising quality.

To find out more about Sterling Medical Advice, visit www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com, and thanks for following Straight, No Chaser.

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: A Solution to the Upcoming Healthcare Crisis and the Affordable Care Act

Filed under General Health and Wellness, Public Health