Stigmatization Effects on People with Substance Use Disorders

Stigmatization Effects on People with Substance Use DisordersWe all have our sense of honor and pride. Anything that disgraces this state of our lives can lead to stigmatization. The mark of discredit and degradation linked to a particular quality, characteristic, situation or an individual amounts to what can simply be summarized as stigmatization. In our society today, stigma is all around us. Based on various situations, stigma can be induced in our lives.


One of the causes of stigmatization in the modern society is substance abuse. Disorders that come with substance abuse have had a major influence on stigma. Stigma has an ability of producing long term effects which may or may not end following the treatment of the disorder. According to a research by Kulesza and Larimer from the University of Washington and other professionals from Brown University School of Medicine, stigma may have a very negative effect on substance abuse disorder. With treatment, depressive symptoms could be enhanced for substance use complications. However, there is still needed information that highlights how these two issues relate.


Stigma is a serious subject of study especially with our modern society. Additionally, drugs and drug-use have been a major topic of study where people from different sectors have pulled forces together to address this issue. For instance, alcohol use-related stigma has a negative influence on employment, mental and physical health. These have been a major impediment towards treatment. Owing to this position in the society, there is a high need of addressing stigma linked with the treatment of substance user disorders as eminent in clinical literature.   Kulesza and Larimer had an objective of studying how stigma relates to substance use if there was such a relationship and whether any form of treatment of the disorders coming from substance use affected depressive symptoms, stigma and the general life quality.


Substance Abuse Disorder Treatment

Over the years and as confirmed by Kulesza and Larimer’s study, increased stigma following the treatment of substance use disorders was highly linked to a prolonged drug use during follow-up. In most cases, there is usually no difference between follow-up, baseline and post-treatment evaluation on self-stigma. On the contrary, the affected people usually show decreased depression symptoms from the start all the way to the post-treatment and a marked significant change in the symptoms between the follow-up and post-treatment stages.


A number of medical interventions have shown a promise of getting meaningful developments on stigma connected to disorders of substance use. However, there is still no enough evidence that shows that self-stigma can be addressed through interventions from therapeutic procedures in group-based forms of commitment and acceptance. One important thing to note is that, stigma can be dealt with through such effective approaches as the communication of positive stories and through motivational interviewing amongst those affected. To change stigma at a structural degree, educational programs as well as contact based training have been very effective for professionals and medical students. Generally, the negative effects of stigma connected to individuals with disorders of substance use are very serious and detrimental including physical health and social alienation.





Soy and Its Compound: What Are You Gaining!

8.3.1Soy is the dietary source of the isoflavones, daidzein and genistein. For more than five millennia, Southeast Asians are using it in their diet while Western Europe and United States liked this botanical in the 20th century.
As the Southeast Asian populations consume soy in heavy amounts, they have reduced incidences of different types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Scientific studies provide evidence that soy contains phytochemicals that are responsible in producing positive health effects on the body. It is consumed by animals and humans. Some people are also allergic to soy and its products.
Soy should be added in the daily diet. Here given are soy importance with its components:


Isoflavonoids are the major phenolic phytochemicals present in the soybean. Positive health effects of the soy are mainly because of these phenolic compounds. They support chemoprevention; they function by promoting apoptosis (cell death) of the diseased cells for this protection. They are also known to have other beneficial health effects, including the prevention of osteoporosis.


It is the known inhibitor of the growth of the cancer cells. It is identified as angiogenesis inhibitors. It is linked to improve the cancers of breast, brain, cervix, colon and prostate. It plays estrogen like role part in male. Because of this, formerly it was thought to produce adverse effects in males, but latest studies proved that wrong. Genistein is studied widely because of its beneficial effects on the body. It has many other health benefits too.

Soy Fiber

Soy fiber is present in many food items like in bakery goods and enteral nutrition products. These fibers are derivatives of soy and known to have cholesterol-lowering properties and improving laxation.

Soy Proteins

Soy protein is the protein extracted from soybean. It is the component of the many food items. Types of soy proteins are soy-protein concentrate, soy flour and isolated soy protein; they are used as human food. Enteral nutrition products and infant formulas contain soy proteins. They are also present as protein supplements. It is a plant protein but because of its excellent properties, nutritionists find it as a perfect protein source, it may not be the best amino acid supplement, but it helps to build strong muscles..

Soy protein is rich in essential amino acid methionine which is needed for children because of the low nitrogen intake; while in adults, it is not really needed. Other essential amino acid provided by soy proteins is lysine; the quantities are higher than present in wheat proteins.

Raw soybean food may lead to poor digestibility because it contains endogenous inhibitors of digestive enzymes along with lectins. To augment the beneficial effects of these meals, heat is utilized to inactivate these inhibitors when the food is processed.

Beneficial Health Effects of Soy:

Soy diet is known to have the following positive health effects:

  • Lowering of cholesterol
  • Anticarcinogenic effects
  • Prevent Diabetes
  • Reduces obesity
  • Protects against kidney diseases, irritants of the digestive tract and bone diseases

These are the known benefits of soy diet but it produces much more positive impacts on health.

Smoking Is Still Injurious with E-Smoking

Smoking Is Still Injurious with E-SmokingCan we safely assume e-cigarettes to be safe alternatives to normal cigarettes? Do e-cigarettes, now widely popular with the group of smokers who wish to give up smoking, lessen the risk-factors? Researchers from University of Tennessee Health Science Center, John Hopkins University in Maryland and Louisiana State University say, “No, they do not.” Although e-cigarettes contain 1% free radicals in their vapors in comparison to normal cigarettes, the damage does not show such difference. They may be safer than cigarettes but not 100%safer in reducing damage.

The research was done on mice. Few mice were exposed to e-cigarette vapors and fresh air randomly and responses were recorded to compare their reactions to viral and bacterial infectivity. The mice were exposed to such level of experience that is expected in an e-cigarette user. Another group of mice were exposed to normal cigarette vapor of the same level, and it was found that both groups have developed viral infection. The study suggests that e-cigarettes contain free radicals (toxic atoms and molecules), the same as normal cigarettes only differing in amount. If the amount of free radicals in normal cigarettes is 100% then e-cigarettes contain only 1%, but this small amount has an infecting effect nonetheless. The exposure to e-cigarette vapors had puffed up macrophage level, a kind of white blood cell, which is a clear evidence of cell damage, because this type of white cell reduces both damage and dead cells. The condition worsens when the victims come in touch with other virus or bacteria, especially flu virus and influenza.

The aim of the study was to discover the effects of e-cigarettes on animals (it has not yet been done on human), and the responses on their immune system. The research ascertained that those mice are more vulnerable because of the high level bacteria residing in their lungs. In addition to that they lost their weight, and 2 of the 10 mice died.

One might think that what had happened to the mice would not happen to humans. There is no need to be so complacent. It is true that biologically mice and humans are not identical. But that does not reduce the risk; rather it gives quite broad a picture of how it can affect human body too.

In one of its reports the Guardian suggests that “Vaping may not be as safe as smokers think, research suggests.” US FDA (Food and Drugs Association), WHO (World Health Organization), and the European Respiratory Society state the same suggestion. This research has quite convincingly established that e-cigarettes cannot be good alternatives to cigarettes, though they have quite alarmingly noticed that e-cigarettes are gaining popularity even among the non-smokers. This does not mean that smoking cannot be given up. They have suggested taking other options other than e-cigarettes, i.e. nicotine patch, inhalers, gums, and medication. Though they too may have side effects it is still better to avoid a direct damage than to resort to it.

Smoking Shrinks the Shades of Grey

Smoking Shrinks the Shades of GreySmokers are naturally very stubborn. No matter how much you tell, request or insist them to quit they just bluntly refuse. The truth that the health issues of smoking is a medical fact doesn’t concern them at all. However, very recently researchers at Edinburgh University, McGill University in Montreal, and Harvard Medical Schools in Massachusetts have found out another real danger of smoking and thereby adding another risk factor to the already heavily loaded danger list for smokers. This time the danger is of brain shrinkage!

The study I am talking about was funded by Research Ageing Program grant, the Age UK-funded Disconnected Mind project, the UK Medical Research Council, the Scottish Funding Council, the UK Biotechnology and the Biological Sciences Research Council and was later published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Molecular Psychiatry.

The researchers during conducting the study recruited 504 people for the experiment. All of the participants were at the age of 73 and were already a part of another ongoing and longstanding cohort study involving people born in 1936.

The researchers divided those 504 people into three groups, viz. smokers, non-smokers and ex-smokers. Among the 504 people 223 were ex-smokers, 245 non-smokers and only 36 were current smokers. The number of smokers is so few because most of the smokers die far before their 70s.

Then the researchers had an MRI scan of their brain and compared the thickness of the cerebral cortex of each and every member from all the groups to find out whether there are any association of cortical thinning and smoking.

I should inform here in context that cerebral cortex is the grey matter of the brain, a major component of the central nervous system; and plays a significant role in terms of memory and thinking. It naturally thins out with age and therefore is a biomarker of cognitive aging. The researchers were aiming to find out whether smoking increased or accelerated the cortical thinning process. The research looked into all the relevant details obtained from the participants. Such as – smoking status, average number smoked per day, recent alcohol consumption, socioeconomic status, cognitive testing and other psychological assessments, history of any medical conditions, physical examination (including blood pressure and lung function) and blood tests.

After the final analysis were don, their doubts proved to be valid. From the MRI scans it was noticed considerably that the cerebral cortex of the current smokes were significantly thinner than the non-smokers and even thinner than the ex-smokers. The cortex of the ex-smokers are also noticeably thinner than the never smokers.

So, this gives a pretty clear picture of the thing. That smoking not only harmful to your heart and lungs but also to your brain. Furthermore smoking may also increase the risk of dementia type conditions, such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Besides the researchers also found out that that the non-smokers also have a better lung function and a better cardiovascular history as expected. Moreover they were seen to be less fervent consumer of alcohol too.

Although, I know that no matter how much I implore and cite medical researches on the subject, you’ll just probably grin and pass the thought away. But please take a moment and think real hard before you continue smoking.

Sore throat – Causes and Treatment

Sore-ThroatWinter season comes by and can bring up some common disorders, varying form common cold, sore throat or maybe infections that can be bacterial or viral, sore throat is a symptom that can be painful, annoying and need some therapy and home remedy to be calmed down.


There are different reasons for sore throat to happen, it can occur due to:

  1. Infections whether being bacterial or viral, Streptococci is an example of bacterial infection by invading the throat tissues then multiplying, Influenza or Rubella are examples of viral infections, both infection types can cause irritation and inflammation of the target tissues.
  2. Exposure to smoke, flames or air pollution can irritate the throat especially with prolonged duration’s exposure.
  3. Less common causes like being a result of another chronic disease such as gastrointestinal reflux disease “GIRD” due to the ascending of the acidic stomach secretion up to the mouth passing by the throat, making heartburn, cough then sore throat, another example is being a result of tumor formation whether being benign or malignant, tumor is the growth of an abnormal cellular tissue, as with oropharyngeal cancer.

Sore throat signs

Patients with sore throat would experience specific symptoms that will differ in its severity depending on the causative factor, all can happen at once; or just a few can appear, symptoms can be described as:

  1. Throat irritation that can cause difficulties in eating or drinking even water, this is because tissues inflammation takes place and the inflammation process is initiated by the release of prostaglandins chemicals that cause swelling of the larynx and throat, making it more difficult to swallow.
  2. In case of infections; the lymph nodes located at the neck can be swollen too as a result of fighting the causative organism, they are a part of the immune system and stimulate the production of white blood cells “WBCs” to attack and destroy the bacteria or virus causing the infection.
  3. Elevated body temperature (Fever) as a result of resisting and fighting the infection, this is a defense mechanism by the body as it tends to raise its own temperature creating an undesirable warmth environment instead of the desirable cold one to the organisms.
  4. Other symptoms that can accompany a sore throat is runny nose, cough or sneeze that can all be as a result of the inflammation reaction due to histamine release, that has the ability to irritate the soft tissue of the nose and throat, increase the gathering of fluids and secretions in the nose or the throat resulting in mucous production, in addition to headache, general weakness as a result of the inflammation process occurring.


  1. Antibiotics are used to treat sore throat due to bacterial infection, the doctor can still describe it in case of viral infection if it was developed into a secondary bacterial infection, doctor mainly describes broad spectrum antibiotics like Augmentin (Amoxicillin + Clavulunic acid) in a pharmaceutical dosage form that should suit the patient’s age and health condition.
  2. Pain killers as Advil (Ibuprofen, NSAIDs) or Tylenol (Paracetamol) to suppress the pain, fever and inflammation, however; NSAIDs are more preferable to be taken as Paracetamol is a weak anti inflammatory agent, having only analgesic and antipyretic properties, the doctor or the pharmacist will determine which painkiller that suits you.
  3. Antihistamines as Claritine (Loratadine) would help stopping runny nose and excess mucous, plus; lozenges are very good to calm and sooth the throat, available in variable flavors as mint and lemon.


NHS – “Sore-throat” – > Treatment

Hub Pages Medical Content –  “Persistent Sore Throat”