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Stress and the Holidays

(from About.com)

Volume 6

Issue 12

More than 80% of us find the holiday season to be somewhat or very stressful. While this season is meant to bring feelings of love and cheer, it is also the harbinger of a particular kind of stress a whirlwind of gift-giving, parties and activities that begins right after Halloween, builds to Thanksgiving, and continues gaining momentum through the end of the year. Stress Doing Too Much Experiencing too much of a good thing, even fun activities, can leave us frazzled rather than fulfilled. Eating, Drinking and Spending Too much partying, excess gift-giving, rich desserts and/or alcohol often leave us with unwanted consequences such as major bills, weight gain and the feelings of guilt that go along with over-indulgence. Too Much Togetherness Even the most close-knit families can overdose on togetherness making it hard for family members to maintain a healthy balance between bonding and alone time. Loneliness People who have lost loved ones or whose families are far away, or those who have no families at all experience great sadness and feelings of depression, dejection and despondency. Relief Set your Priorities. Before you get overwhelmed by too many activities, its important to decide what offers the most positive impact and eliminate those activities that are not so important. If you are alone try to be with friends who are also alone. If that is not possible, try volunteering or planning an activity you wouldnt normally engage in. Be creative!

December 2011

Babies who are born to mothers who are addicted to oxycodone and hydrcodone go through withdrawal after birth. From 360 addicted babies born in 2006, the number grew to 1, 374 in 2010. Marijuana arrests accounted for 52% of all U.S. drug abuse violation arrests in 2010 A study reported by drugfree.org says women who became adults when 18 was the legal drinking age are at higher long-term risk for homicide and suicide than women who grew up after the legal drinking age became 21. Alcohol is metabolized in the body at a fixed rate. The more a person drinks, the longer it takes the body to process it out. (approximately 1oz per hour) Using prescription medications incorrectly is drug abuse. Take prescription medications only as prescribed by a doctor. Self medication could mean illness, poisoning or death..

Beware of Intentional Poisonings Emergency rooms reported 14,270 intentional poisonings in 2009. Alcohol was a factor in 60 percent of the cases. Nearly two-thirds of those visits to the ER were by women. Intentional poisonings are attempts to harm someone by deliberately getting them to take a potentially harmful substance without their knowledge. Often intentional poisoning involves a date rape drug that is slipped into an un attended drink. This could happen at bars, parties, concerts and/or Raves. The report from SAMHSA found one-third of intentional poisonings involve illegal drugs such as marijuana, stimulants or ecstasy, while 21 percent involved prescription drugs. One-half of all the poisonings included alcohol. Not only is the health of the person who is poisoned compromised, they are also in jeopardy of falling prey to other crimes such as robbery and sexual assault. claims, SAMHSA Administrator Pamela

Rise in Prescription Stimulant Abuse Concerns College Administrators (www.drugfree.org/join-together) College administrators are concerned about the increase in stimulant use such as Ritalin and Adderall. These drugs are popular among students trying to stay focused while studying. Reducing abuse of these drugs is very difficult administrators say. It is not obvious when students are taking the drugs. Prescription stimulants can cause a variety of health problems if they are misused, including irregular heartbeat and panic attacks. They can be deadly in rare cases if they are mixed with alcohol or other drugs. To combat the problem, many colleges are trying to educate students about the dangers of abuse and are attempting to pinpoint issues that lead to abuse of the drugs., such as high levels of stress, poor study skills or too much partying during the week. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, one study at a large university found that students who use prescription stimulant medications for non medical purposes generally have lower grade point averages, are more likely to be heavy drinkers and users of other illicit drugs, are more likely to be dependent on alcohol and marijuana, miss class more frequently and study less.

Easy, Non-alcoholic Holiday/Party Drinks

Eggnog Coffee Punch One and one-half cups of coffee ice cream One and one-half cups eggnog One cup hot, strong coffee Four tablespoons frozen whipped toping Ground nutmeg Heat ice cream, eggnog and coffee over low heat until warm. Pour into mugs and top with whipped topping and nutmeg.

Sparkling Punch Two lemons Three large oranges One 6oz can frozen lemonade concentrate 1 liter club soda Two 750 milliliter bottles of sparkling apple cider Two tablespoon white sugar 2 trays of ice cubes Mix all ingredients in a punch bowl and add ice cubes.

Fruit Punch One 64 oz bottle of cold fruit punch One 64 0z bottle of cold unsweetened pineapple juice One 2 liter bottle of cold ginger ale 1/2 gallon of orange sherbet

Cran-Raspberry Snowball Punch One 32 oz bottle of cold cranberry juice One 12 oz jar of seedless red raspberry jam One and one-half bottles (2 liter) cold lemon/lime carbonated beverage One half gallon vanilla ice cream

Mix all liquids in a punch bowl and top with orange Mix all liquids and jam in sherbet. Give a gentle a punch bowl. Top with scoops of ice cream stir.