Drugs: The Obvious Silent Killer

Drugs: The Obvious Silent Killer

A look into drug abuse and why no one is talking about it.
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Cervical cancer, hepatitis, chagas, nonmelanoma, colon cancer, osteoporosis, fatty liver disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Some of you are uncomfortably familiar with these diseases. Some of you have these or have had family members suffer from one or more of them. These are all considered the top silent killers.

What if I told you I thought there was another? Another silent killer. We all know about it. There are people dying every day from it. Everyone probably knows at least one person who has died from it within the past year. I, unfortunately, would run out fingers and toes counting the number of people who I know who have either died from it, or are digging their own grave because of it.

Have you figured it out yet? Right this second I bet you're asking if it is so common, why do I think it's a silent killer? I think that drug addiction belongs on that list. Did you guess right? If you didn't, chances are that you're not directly affected by drugs, and that is awesome. If you did answer correctly, I am so sorry.

You see, drug addiction is a disease. It takes over your everything. Clouds your judgement. Makes you reliant. The drugs make you think that it's okay. It betrays your trust, settles in your nervous system and it becomes the only thing you can think about.

I'm sure that you're reading this, thinking to yourself that it's not something you have to worry about. Think again. You probably have someone in your family suffering from addiction in silence. It might not even in silence. Maybe it’s your brother having a relapse. Maybe not. Maybe it's a close friend. Maybe it's neighbor, possibly even a coworker.

I'm also sure that if you're that person suffering from addiction, you think that it won't happen to you. Didn't I already say this? Think again. Every person that has died from drug abuse probably said the same thing. It is estimated that 570,000 people in America alone, die from drug abuse. What makes you think you're so special, that it won't happen to you?

All life is, is a ticking time bomb. Many of us don't get second chances. Sure, people have died on operating tables, drowned in bathtubs, even died from drug overdose, and they have been brought back. Someone was fortunate enough to find them in time, they were in the perfect storm of circumstances. The amount of people saved is very low compared to the amount of people not saved.

Why do I care so much? I didn't know most of my mother's side of the family, herself included, because drugs were more important to them. Some of us are working on repairing broken relationships, even when it's so hard because there are some things that time cannot fix.

I gave up hope a long time ago when it came to my mother. Losing hope was one of the hardest, yet easiest things I ever did. It was then I decided that the only thing I could do was promise myself that I would never be like her. I promised that I would never subject my kids to any hint of that kind of life. Over sheltering? Maybe. However, my kids will know what is important. They will know that drugs are real, that they take over everything, and that life is in limited supply.

There are people in my family suffering right now. They need to wake up, come out of that clouded vision they're in, and make the same realizations. We can't make people change. We can't eliminate drugs. We can be there for their kids when everything falls apart, and we can help them pick everything back up. We can tell them it's not their fault. I can tell you that it isn't your fault either.

Drug addiction is a silent killer. Comes in when you've done everything to try stop it. Drugs tell you that everything will be okay, even when that's the farthest thing from the truth. Things will be okay, until they're not. Ask yourself if you want to be the one picking up the pieces, or if you're the one they're picking up.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr: Fredrik Krey Stubberud

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An Honest Review Of ItWorks! From Someone Who Doesn't Sell The Products

No, I'm not looking for you to "join a team" or begin any challenges.
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I'm sure you've seen your friends on Facebook transition from friend to salesman. Whether it be for Scentsy, LipSense, or AdvoCare; multi-level marketing companies are on the rise thanks to social media. ItWorks! remains one of the most prominent.

ItWorks! is a health and wellness company using primarily plant-based ingredients without any artificial sweeteners or coloring. Their "number one seller" is the famous body wraps but the company is mostly weight loss supplements and vitamins. The company has a passion for the natural over the synthetic. Co-founder Mark Pentecost states on the site's Our History page that "you want to know that you're putting the very best things in your body."

Since most reviews of these products come from distributors, who are therefore biased, I have reviewed three of their greatest products and one I believe you should avoid.

1. Greens™ Blend Chocolate

As a vegan, I sometimes have to double check that I'm receiving the proper nutrients. ItWorks! Greens have been saving my life lately. It contains 52 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods as well as 34 fruits and veggies. It is meant to alkalize, balance, and detoxify.

This is my favorite product! It gives me energy and even fills in for breakfast sometimes. It honestly makes me feel great. Then again... they always said eating all your fruits and veggies would!

ItWorks! gives you those healthy servings in a delicious chocolate flavor (which is bomb with almond milk). Make sure you use a blender bottle or blender. Like many powdered supplements, it can have that grainy aftertaste.

2. Advanced Formula Fat Fighter™

The idea behind this supplement is that it’s "okay to indulge if you have your Fat Fighters." Basically, if you just must have that sweet treat or piece of bread then you can take this pill within an hour to prevent your body from absorbing the carbs and a portion of the fats. If you're anything like me, you eat what you want when you want, so you'll end up taking these pills on the daily.

The main reason I like the Fat Fighters is that they reduce cravings and I normally have such a sweet tooth!

3. ThermoFIGHT™

This product is meant to increase calorie burning, boost the rate of your metabolism, and boost your energy. Like with Greens, I definitely feel energized when I take this supplement. Not in a jittery or wired way, either.

They say "abs start in the kitchen" but I'll try and cheat the system when I can!

4. Ultimate Body Applicator™ and Defining Gel™

This is the ItWorks! claim to fame... and that ASTOUNDS me.

I used to be so skeptical of this company because of the wraps. I tried them three different times and was not impressed each time. The ultimate body applicator and defining gel are meant to tighten and tone the skin to redefine the appearance of your body’s contour. Sure, you'll receive those results... just at an outrageous price. It's an expensive product that requires a lot of re-purchasing in order to receive any drastic results. Not to mention the most drastic results are just reduction of water weight.

They're really just an overpriced skin firming lotion. I suggest finding a nice cream from Target and sitting in the sauna instead.

If your facebook-friend-turned-salesman pushes for you to buy the wraps, just remember that I warned you.

I would like to give an honorary mention to KetoCoffee (probably their second most popular item). Because it is not vegan, I have not given it a try. I have heard amazing things from multiple women, though. Most keto coffee recipes give people the shakes and amp them up too hard. I've heard that ItWorks! has perfected the recipe.

I have used the first three products for a little over three months now. Sometimes I am inconsistent and miss servings. However, I match these products with a vegan diet (mostly whole foods based) and 3-4 days of exercise. I do not have drastic results but I have lost a little over ten pounds and feel great each day. I plan to remain a customer with this company (I have Greens on Autoship!).

I feel so blessed to be a Loyal Customer with ItWorks! because I receive up to 40% off and free shipping after three months. Without this discount, I probably never would have given this company a second thought. I highly recommend going that route because, well...

Cover Image Credit: Savanah Garcia | Instagram

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I'm All For The Proposed Weed Legalization In The Empire State, Bring On The Green

Arrested for smoking a plant? Thank you, next.

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All it takes is a trip down some suspicious-looking alley in New York City to realize that New Yorkers have a very great affinity (an understatement, if we're speaking truthfully) for marijuana. We are in fact one of the states with the greatest percentage of individuals who smoke marijuana (enumerating only the people who admit to it, of course). Call it weed, molly, kush, dank, mary jane — it doesn't matter. Marijuana has obviously become a defining characteristic of a New Yorker.

A large number of marijuana users consequently implies a large number of marijuana-related arrests. The current law in New York City, the state's most dense area in marijuana usage, dictates that an individual apprehended with under 25 grams of marijuana will be fined a sum of $100. Individuals caught smoking in public areas, however, are subject to greater fines and even jail time.

Living in a world with institutional racism, however, invariably means that certain racial groups are more susceptible to punishment than others. This is one of the numerous issues relating to marijuana use that Cuomo hopes to eradicate with the state-wide legalization of the plant.

Governor Cuomo recently pushed for, in addition to a number of other new plans, the legalization of marijuana sometime next year. This means that we could join the other Democratic states in the nation that have already accomplished so (it's about time). These states have been reaping the benefits; Colorado, for instance, has made millions of dollars in revenue since the legalization of marijuana. These profits can directly fund necessities of the state, infrastructure for instance.

As a resident of New York City myself, the crumbling infrastructure is very apparent. The divide between the rich and the poor seems to grow every day; the impoverished areas of the city continue to decline and the well-off areas the opposite. Money appears to be spent on only selected regions of the city. The MTA, for instance, is in terrible condition and despite the constant fare-hikes, there appears to be no improvement on the overall quality of the entire system.

While there may be a lot of people against the decision to legalize recreational marijuana, it is probably in our best interests as a state to do so. Money from tax-payers is very evidently becoming insufficient to support the increasing needs of the large population. The expected revenue from legalization, according to Cuomo's officials, ranges from 248 to a whopping 677 million dollars. That money could be put to very good use, fixing our roads and trains being a good first option.

Marijuana-related arrests would also entirely diminish, which would save money and also lessen the number of individuals in our jails (arrested for smoking a plant? Thank you, next). Lastly, the legalization of marijuana would most definitely help increase the circulation of better strains of marijuana, as opposed to the ones being sold illegally right now.

Me being a college student may be why I'm advocating so eagerly for this legalization to go through the Senate, but the list of benefits is arguably endless. Fewer people in jail, more money in the government's pockets, a better city and state overall. Sounds like a win-win to me.

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