Experts offer ‘lucky 13’ tips for safe and healthy Halloween

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

Safe Trick or TreatingFrom decorative contact lenses to face paint, experts warn that Halloween costumes may result in a wide array of potentially serious health issues from falls to allergic reactions.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and theU.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provided the following “lucky 13” guidelines on how kids and their parents can enjoy a fun and safe Halloween:

• Choose flame-resistant costumes. Store-bought costumes should read “flame-resistant” on the label. Homemade costumes should be made out of flame-resistant fabrics, like polyester or nylon.

• Glow in the dark. Wear bright colors or costumes with reflectors to ensure being visible in the dark. Also, to avoid tripping, make sure costumes aren’t too long.

Full story at USA Today

Steven Tyler: Substance abuse ‘not the issue’

By Inside Track

Steven Tyler Substance AbuseBruised and battered Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler yesterday insisted that his fall in a hotel shower in Paraguay was not accompanied by a fall off the wagon!

“It’s not the issue,” said Tyler during a call into Matt Lauer yesterday morning on “Today” from Buenos Aires.

“People thinking that is natural and normal, it still bothers me,” said the “American Idol” judge, who went public a few months ago about tripping on his 12 steps. “But it’s something I have to deal with for the rest of my life.

“We flew last night from Paraguay after that incident and (now) we’re in Argentina for two hours. And anyone knows anyone who uses substances wouldn’t be up at this hour having a talk with Matt Lauer and the rest of America.

Full story at Boston Herald

Jails shouldn’t be warehouses for mentally ill

Ledger Enquirer

Jail House Mental IllnessAsk veteran corrections officials what has crowded jails to bursting, and one answer you’re likely to get (after mandatory minimum sentencing) is mental illness.

Foremost among the objections to closing mental health facilities like West Central Georgia Regional Hospital is the fact that law enforcement often has no alternative for dealing with mentally ill offenders other than put them in jail.

That’s an ineffective,self-defeating, incredibly expensive and sometimes dangerous course. Paul Morris, R.N., longtime administrator of the clinic at Muscogee County Jail, estimates that roughly one-sixth of the jail population is “severely” mentally ill — clinical depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder. That means that out of the 1,200 prisoners in the jail on any given day, between 180 and 200 suffer from what Morris calls “persistent” mental illness.

Some of these mentally ill people coming into the jail are suicidal; others pose a danger to jail staff and other inmates. Either way, they can’t just be thrown into the jail population.

Morris and others at the local level are trying to do better — to hold prisoners accountable for their crimes, but still address the mental problems that have contributed to their behavior and stand in the way of their recovery and rehabilitation.

Full story at Ledger Enquirer

Men Struggle With Binge Eating Too, Study Finds

By Stephanie Pappas

Man Binge EatingBinge-eating disorder, in which people compulsively and frequently consume large amounts of food, is as destructive for men as for women, a new study finds. Nonetheless, men are less likely than their female counterparts to seek treatment.

In part, this reluctance to get help may be because research on binge eating tends to focus on women, and eating disorders aren’t seen as “male” diseases, said study researcher Ruth Striegal of Wesleyan University.

“Binge eating is closely linked to obesity and excessive weight gain as well as the onset of hypertension, diabetes and psychiatric disorders such as depression,” Striegal said in a statement. “However, most of the evidence about the impact of binge eating is based on female samples, as the majority of studies into eating disorders recruit women.”

Full story at Live Science

What to Do When You ‘Just Can’t Quit’

By Dr. Daniel Seidman

Quit SmokingFirst, the good news: The 46 million people (20.6 percent of all adults) who smoke in the U.S. are now outnumbered by former smokers. Between 1965 and 2004, smoking rates dropped by more than half, from 42.4 percent to 20.9 percent. About a month ago, New York City announced that just 14 out of 100New Yorkers are still smoking. That’s a 35 percent decline, or approximately 450,000 fewer adult smokers since 2002. So obviously people want to and can quit smoking.

Yet while most people quit relatively easily and without smoking cessation therapies like nicotine replacement therapy or counseling, other smokers struggle for years, further compromising their health. Some former smokers say quitting is the hardest thing they have ever done. Clearly, when it comes to quitting, all smokers are not alike.

For those who struggle mightily with quitting smoking, the belief that “some people just can’t quit” resonates with their broken confidence in their ability to quit. Emotional beliefs and cognitions crop up around the physical realities of addiction such as: “I can learn to keep this under control,” or “I need this to cope with stress” or “I just can’t quit.” The biology of addiction and withdrawal and the psychological dynamics of smoking addiction conspire to undermine the smokers’ self-confidence, which is a central component of long-term quitting success (1). The addiction itself destroys smokers’ confidence that they can quit, good therapy rebuilds it so they can restore themselves to a smoke-free life.

Full story at Huffington Post