Dr. Raskin Fox News Health / Dr. Damon Raskin The diseases you’re more likely to get as a man — and woman February 15, 2017

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In a 2016 study published in the journal Nature, researchers at Harvard Medical School found a reason behind what they termed the “striking and unexplained male predominance across many cancer types.” Turns out, women’s extra X chromosome also gives them an extra set of certain protective, tumor-suppressant genes, according to a press release from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. (more…)

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Dr. Damon Raskin Take Part / Dr. Damon Raskin No Money for Meds? You’re in Good Company July 22, 2016

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IF YOU’RE CUTTING BACK ON A PRESCRIPTION DRUG (OR GOING WITHOUT YOUR MEDS ALTOGETHER) BEWARE: YOU’RE SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR BIGGER HEALTH PROBLEMS LATER. (more…)

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Dr. Damon Raskin Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin ‘Glee’ star Cory Monteith enters addiction treatment facility, expert opinion July 22, 2016

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“Glee” star Cory Monteith has entered a rehabilitation facility where he is being treated for an unspecified substance addiction, his publicist said on Monday.

Monteith’s team “asks for your respect and privacy as he takes the necessary steps towards recovery,” the publicist’s statement said. (more…)

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The Discovery House Monsters & Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Going ‘Cold Turkey’ Like Tyrion Lannister Never Advisable May 12, 2015

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Everyone who watches HBO’s “Game of Thrones” knows who the problem drinkers are. (more…)

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The Discovery House Monsters & Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Prom Night Wisdom, Don’t Be In Such A Rush To Drink April 17, 2015

‘…Extrication will be needed…” -Law Officer Falber in recorded scene of Prom night car accident

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Drinking seems to be the universal right of passage and hallmark for many kids to show they’re heading into adulthood, or just to blow off steam and break the ice and ease social anxiety. But so many teens are simply not equipped emotionally or physically to handle the repercussions of alcohol, and as such they do not drink responsibly.

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The Discovery House The Be.Group / Dr. Damon Raskin Aging into Addiction: Alcoholism and Prescription Drug Abuse April 17, 2015

Here’s how one senior got sober and got his life back.

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Ernest “Ernie” Oare had always been able to hold his liquor. And in his 72 years, he’s held a lot of it.

“I drank a lot, but for some reason I could always handle it pretty well,” says Oare, a horse showman and racer who splits his time between Warrenton, Virginia, and Ocala, Florida. “My mother, sister and brother all were alcoholics, but none of them thought I had a problem. I thought I might, but they had experience. ‘If they don’t think I’m overdoing it,’ I told myself, ‘I guess I’m not overdoing it.’”

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Dr. Damon Raskin Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Donald Sterling Dementia Theory Discounted By Top Doctor VIDEO May 13, 2014

“it looks like Donald Sterling isn’t going to sell off the Clippers for a half billion dollars and use that money to get scientists and engineers to build him a time machine so he can back to the 1800s  and live his racist dream by owning a bunch of slaves. (“Take me wit you, Donnie!” – Paula Deen)”   - DListed.com

Video thumbnail for youtube video Cliven Bundy, Meet Donald Sterling VIDEO - Monsters and Critics

The notion that Donald Sterling possibly having dementia is being whipped into the mash of tabloid media thanks in large part to his wife, Shelly Sterling, and her infamous Barbara Walters interview.

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Dr. Damon Raskin Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Lyme Disease April 3, 2014

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Lyme disease, it’s not just for the east coasters!

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in North America and Europe.

A disgusting burrowing parasite latches on to you and infuses your blood with nasty Borrelia burgdorferi …all while you were trying to get a good hike in for the day.

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Dr. Damon Raskin Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Top 5 Medical Symptoms You Should Never Ignore March 25, 2014
Health Spotlight: Guest commentator Dr. Damon Raskin is a go-to medical expert for many in Southern California.

He shares his Top 5 Medical Symptoms You Should Never Ignore list and urges people reading this to dig deeper and go see a doctor if any of these are troubling you.

When you think of adult health, you might think about various strategies for health as simple as frequent hand-washing and being up-to-date on vaccines to common sense weight maintenance and cancer prevention. The choices you make every day go a long way toward promoting adult health.

But sometimes, despite all of our best efforts, there is a genetic predisposition that can catapult you into a high risk group for certain diseases.

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Dr. Damon Raskin

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Dr. Damon Raskin Health Smart: Warning Signs of Male Menopause / Dr. Damon Raskin Low Testosterone February 5, 2014
Dr. Damon Raskin Monsters & Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Ke$ha is Dealing with her Issues Correctly, says Weight Loss Expert January 23, 2014

Singer Ke$ha has checked in to Timberline Knolls rehab center near Chicago for issues with her weight.

TMZ reports that this is also the same place Demi Lovato went for her issues. Ke$ha reportedly is blaming producer Dr. Luke — claiming he called her a fat refrigerator. TMZ sources directly connected to Ke$ha told the website that Dr. Luke slammed the singer over the weight she had gained in her downtime post tour. Ke$ha says Luke — a huge producer who has worked with Miley Cyrus and Rihanna — began calling Ke$ha fat and urged her management team to do something about it.

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Dr. Damon Raskin LA Magazine / Dr. Damon Raskin Staying Afloat January 9, 2014

Staying Afloat

Looking back on his infamous 2011 freak-out, Charlie Sheen claimed that a drug had been responsible for the rantings and wild behavior that followed his ouster from Two and a Half Men. But it wasn’t a substance anybody had suspected. As the actor told Katie Couric, “I think I was doing too much testosterone cream.”

If Sheen did get jacked up on the hormone, he wouldn’t be the first aging Angeleno who turned to it in search of an edge. In an era when AARP members are playing muscle-bound action heroes (The Expendables 3 is coming soon), some guys will do whatever’s necessary to resist the effects of time. And pharmaceutical companies are happy to oblige.

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Dr. Damon Raskin KTLA / Dr. Damon Raskin Low Testosterone November 6, 2013

Low Testosterone

Doctors say low testosterone in men can cause fatigue, can cause depression, can cause changes in libido so they don’t want to have sex as much. Many men also see changes in muscle mass, while others gain more body fat.
Lu Parker reports for the KTLA News at 10 on Nov. 4, 2013.

Original Article

Dr. Damon Raskin

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Dr. Damon Raskin KTLA / Dr. Damon Raskin Low Testosterone November 6, 2013

Low Testosterone

Doctor’s say low testosterone in men can cause fatigue, can cause depression, can cause changes in libido so they don’t want to have sex as much. Many men also see changes in muscle mass, while others gain more body fat.
Lu Parker reports for the KTLA News at 10 on Nov. 4, 2013.

Original Article

Dr. Damon Raskin

 

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Dr. Damon Raskin Inside Edition / Dr. Damon Raskin Is Justin Bieber Taking Steroids? October 11, 2013

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Is Justin Bieber Taking Steroids?

Justin Bieber–Incredible Hulk?

This photo just posted by the teen idol shows him with bulging muscles. Now, people are wondering how he got so big so fast.

One celebrity gossip site asks straight out: “Is Justin Beiber using anabolic steriods?”

You can see the dramatic difference. Justin has gone from not so toned, to bulked-up muscle.

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Dr. Damon Raskin AgingCare.com / Dr. Damon Raskin How General Anesthesia Can Affect an Elder’s Mind August 22, 2013

How General Anesthesia Can Affect an Elder’s Mind

As a person ages, the chance that they will need to undergo surgery requiring the use of general anesthesia increases.

General anesthesia describes the combination of intravenous and inhaled drugs used render an individual unconscious and unable to feel physical pain during a surgical procedure. This type of intervention is typically used for surgeries that will take a long time to complete, cause a great deal of physical and mental discomfort, or may interfere with a person’s ability to breathe.

The process of “going under” usually doesn’t present a problem for younger, healthier individuals. After a few days, any residual feelings of grogginess or confusion typically wear off.

However, as an individual ages, the way their body processes drugs changes and their overall metabolic rate becomes slower.

“General anesthesia does carry a higher risk for the elderly population,” says Damon Raskin, M.D., a board-certified internist and medical director for two skilled nursing facilities. According to Raskin, it takes longer for an older person’s body to rid itself of the chemicals involved in anesthesia, which can in turn prolong the negative effects of the drugs.

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Dr. Damon Raskin E Online / Dr. Damon Raskin Why Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway Got the Flu and You Didn’t July 23, 2013

jennifer lawarnce

You speak of Jennifer Lawrence, who made the flu her personal bitch during the Golden Globes. There was also, of course, Meryl Streep, whose flu was revealed via an Amy Poehler joke; andHugh Jackman, whose particular strain of flu has an amazing singing voice. (It also leaped into the lungs of Anne Hathaway.) (more…)

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Dr. Damon Raskin Medical Daily / Dr. Damon Raskin ‘Half’ Of The NFL Takes Adderall, Says Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman July 9, 2013

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Controversial NFL cornerback Richard Sherman routinely made headlines last season — although only partially for his play. He was also in the news regularly after failing a drug test for suspected adderall abuse. After he failed, Sherman appealed his suspension, and, surprising, won on a technicality, forcing the NLF to overturn the four-game suspension mandated by the league. (more…)

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Dr. Damon Raskin Fox News / Dr. Damon Raskin Can anyone help Amanda Bynes? Bizarre behavior gets even more bizarre July 5, 2013

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Things are not looking that great for Amanda Bynes.

The actress was recently escorted from a gymnastics class in New York City because staffers were afraid she may harm herself or others, The Post reports. (more…)

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Dr. Damon Raskin Celebzter / Dr. Damon Raskin ‘Sizzurp Is Definitely Posing A Big Problem With American Youth,’ Says Expert July 5, 2013

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We’ll be frank — Sizzurp wasn’t really on our radars until Lil Wayne’s recent hospitalization.

Given that the rapper is a somewhat of a poster boy for the concoction, with the Los Angeles Times recently running a story about the recreational drug, which is a fruit punch that is mixed with a prescription grade cough syrup with codeine and promethazine, there are fears that fans will follow in his footsteps. (more…)

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Dr. Damon Raskin Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin ‘Weezy’ Lil Wayne and ‘Sizzurp’ not a laughing matter to medical experts July 5, 2013

Lil_Wayne_Monsters_and_Critics

Rapper Lil Wayne has become the poster boy for “Sizzurp,” a codeine laced cough syrup given a street name.

Wayne’s seizures and ICU hospitalization reveal a schism in American culture. A drug of choice for rappers and lower classes because of its low cost, “Sizzurp” can be just as dangerous as pill abuse. (more…)

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Dr. Damon Raskin E Online / Dr. Damon Raskin Lindsay Lohan’s Sentence: What a “Locked” Facility Really Means July 5, 2013

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Is there any real difference between a locked rehab and regular rehab, besides, you know, lockdown? Are the facilities like the one Lindsay Lohan has been ordered to really locked for a star like her? (more…)

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Dr.Raskin Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin ‘Celebrity Rehab’ with Dr. Drew Pinsky ends run, addiction specialist speaks out July 5, 2013

 

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Dr. Drew Pinsky’s track record for treating addicted celebrities on his VH1 reality show “Celebrity Rehab” was less than perfect He

announced that he was ending “Celebrity Rehab” because of the “heat” directed his way following the deaths of celebrities he treated.”Celebrity Rehab” aired for six seasons, from 2008 to 2012.

Pinsky, who was interviewed by Zach Sang and the Gang said he was “tired of taking all the heat” following the deaths of celebrities who had appeared on his VH1 shows “Celebrity Rehab” and spinoff series “Sober House.”

All in all, five celebrities who were booked talent on these shows died in the years following their appearances, despite Dr. Drew’s best intentions.

The dead include troubled country singer Mindy McCready, “Taxi” star Jeff Conaway, rocker Mike Starr, “Real World” star Joey Kovar and Rodney King. None of their deaths were ever linked directly to the show or to Dr. Pinsky but were related in different ways to their health compromised by their inability to get clean and sober.

“It’s very stressful and very intense for me,” Pinsky said about the criticism leveled at him following each death. “To have people questioning my motives and taking aim at me because people get sick and die because they have a life-threatening disease, and I take the blame? … Rodney King has a heart attack and I take blame for that?”

“I don’t have plans to do that again,” he said. “I’m tired of taking all the heat. It’s just ridiculous.”

In the radio interview, Dr. Drew defended his record of success in treating the celebrity patients who appeared on his shows. “It’s sad that we’re not doing more shows because people did get help,” he said. “A lot of people are sober because of ‘Celebrity Rehab’ who wouldn’t have been sober without it.”

Board certified internist Dr. Damon Raskin is also an addiction specialist for Cliffside Malibu (www.cliffsidemalibu.com), and frequently comments on celebrity stories posted on M&C.

“This show was clearly not about helping patients get better, but about entertainment. Unfortunately, these were real people’s lives at stake who weren’t getting the proper care for their addictions. Part of successful addiction treatment involves confidential counseling to get to the root of the underlying issues that perpetuate the drug or alcohol use. This cannot be done on a television show such as this, says Dr. Raskin.

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Dr. Damon Raskin Celebzster / Dr. Damon Raskin Amanda Bynes Displaying ‘Signs Of Either Substance Abuse Or Psychiatric Disorder,’ Says Expert June 4, 2013

Amanda Bynes Displaying ‘Signs Of Either Substance Abuse Or Psychiatric Disorder,’ Says Expert

She is suing everyone and everyone is ugly — oh, then right, her Twitter account was hacked.

She wasn’t at·a trampoline park in Buffalo New York on Wednesday night, despite their being pictures of her, and the owner,·Rhonda See, confirming she was there.

Welcome to the weird, rapidly changing wild world of Amanda Bynes, who insists she isn’t crazy.

For months we have been on this rollercoaster ride, which in the past few weeks, seems to be moving at breakneck speed — it has become almost impossible to keep up with her daily wacky adventures.

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Dr. Damon Raskin omg! Yahoo! / Dr. Damon Raskin Whats Next Amanda Bynes May 30, 2013

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In light of Amanda Bynes’s recent arrest and continuous erratic behavior, “omg! Insider” sat down with Dr. Damon Raskin, a former child actor and addiction specialist who has helped child stars battle fame, to discuss the next best step for the troubled actress.

Could Amanda benefit from a conservatorship, like Britney Spears parents took during her public meltdown in 2008 or could a court ordered rehab like Lindsay Lohan’s be more reasonable for Amanda? Check out the vid to hear our expert weigh in and for the latest entertainment news, check out “omg! Insider” on TV.

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Dr. Damon Raskin

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Dr. Damon Raskin Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin ‘Celebrity Rehab’ with Dr. Drew Pinsky ends run, addiction specialist speaks out May 7, 2013

‘Celebrity Rehab’ with Dr. Drew Pinsky ends run, addiction specialist speaks out

Dr. Drew Pinsky’s track record for treating addicted celebrities on his VH1 reality show “Celebrity Rehab” was less than perfect He announced that he was ending “Celebrity Rehab” because of the “heat” directed his way following the deaths of celebrities he treated.

“Celebrity Rehab” aired for six seasons, from 2008 to 2012.

Pinsky, who was interviewed by Zach Sang and the Gang said he was “tired of taking all the heat” following the deaths of celebrities who had appeared on his VH1 shows “Celebrity Rehab” and spinoff series “Sober House.”

All in all, five celebrities who were booked talent on these shows died in the years following their appearances, despite Dr. Drew’s best intentions.

The dead include troubled country singer Mindy McCready, “Taxi” star Jeff Conaway, rocker Mike Starr, “Real World” star Joey Kovar and Rodney King. None of their deaths were ever linked directly to the show or to Dr. Pinsky but were related in different ways to their health compromised by their inability to get clean and sober.

“It’s very stressful and very intense for me,” Pinsky said about the criticism leveled at him following each death. “To have people questioning my motives and taking aim at me because people get sick and die because they have a life-threatening disease, and I take the blame? … Rodney King has a heart attack and I take blame for that?”

“I don’t have plans to do that again,” he said. “I’m tired of taking all the heat. It’s just ridiculous.”

In the radio interview, Dr. Drew defended his record of success in treating the celebrity patients who appeared on his shows. “It’s sad that we’re not doing more shows because people did get help,” he said. “A lot of people are sober because of ‘Celebrity Rehab’ who wouldn’t have been sober without it.”

Board certified internist Dr. Damon Raskin is also an addiction specialist for Cliffside Malibu (www.cliffsidemalibu.com), and frequently comments on celebrity stories posted on M&C.

“This show was clearly not about helping patients get better, but about entertainment. Unfortunately, these were real people’s lives at stake who weren’t getting the proper care for their addictions. Part of successful addiction treatment involves confidential counseling to get to the root of the underlying issues that perpetuate the drug or alcohol use. This cannot be done on a television show such as this, says Dr. Raskin.

 

Original Article

Dr. Damon Raskin

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Dr. Damon Raskin Celebzter / Dr. Damon Raskin Lindsay Lohan FINALLY Checks Into Rehab May 3, 2013

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Lindsay Lohan FINALLY Checks Into Rehab

She’s back in a place she knows well — Betty Ford Center.

After a dizzying day of drama, Lindsay Lohan finally checked into rehab late Thursday, narrowly dodging arrest.

The Betty Ford Center is the same place the 26-year-old sought help in 2010 and famously made headlines when an employee went public with claims the actress was “out of control” and had alcohol on her breath during a tussle between them. A police investigation followed.

Lohan ended up in Betty Ford after rehiring lawyer Shawn Holley and firing her previous one, Mark Heller.

The troubled starlet apparently begged Holley to return, and the lawyer, who appears to be a glutton for punishment, agreed and worked “all night” to get the actress into Betty Ford, sources told the Daily News.

 

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Dr. Damon Raskin Raskin - Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Sharon Osbourne ‘devastated’ and addresses Ozzy rumors April 24, 2013

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Sharon Osbourne ‘devastated’ and addresses Ozzy rumors

“The Talk” star Sharon Osbourne sets the record straight on recent reports about her and Ozzy: ” We’re dealing with it. We’re not getting divorced. However, am I happy? No. Am I upset? Yes I am – I’m devastated right now.” (more…)

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Dr. Damon Raskin Raskin - Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Everyone pulling for Ozzy and Sharon, addiction expert says Ozzy ‘must keep trying’ April 16, 2013

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Everyone pulling for Ozzy and Sharon, addiction expert says Ozzy ‘must keep trying’

Classic American TV from the 1950s featured “Ozzie and Harriet,” a family that weathered the trials and tribulations of married life with teenage children.

The MTV reality TV series “The Osbournes” aired from 2002 to 2005, and brought us the antics of a different Ozzy, rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his wife of many years, Sharon Osbourne and two of their three children. The show was a huge hit and a raucous glimpse inside an unconventional traditional family who were, like the fictitious “Ozzie and Harriet,” cemented together with love despite their many well publicized demons.

Today, the tabloids are filled with reports that Sharon Osbourne may be divorcing Ozzy after all these years, but today reports surfaced through an interview Ozzy granted Rolling Stone magazine that refutes these rumors. He admits, ‘I have been drinking and taking drugs’ for 18 months,” and he further apologizes publicly to his family for his relapse. He also denies the divorce talk.

Black Sabbath is prepping for the June 11th release of their new album 13, which marks the group’s first release with Osbourne on vocals since 1978′s Never Say Die! The band will premiere a new “End of the Beginning” will premiere on the May 15th season finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Black Sabbath have announced four North American concert dates this summer.

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Dr. Damon Raskin Raskin - National Enquirer / Dr. Damon Raskin Boozy World of Kris Jenner April 16, 2013
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Dr. Damon Raskin Raskin - Take Part / Dr. Damon Raskin No Money for Meds? You’re in Good Company April 16, 2013

No Money for Meds? You’re in Good Company

If you’re cutting back on a prescription drug (or going without your meds altogether) beware: You’re setting yourself up for bigger health problems later.

Rachel Orr, head of services for disabled students at a college in the northeastern U.S., recently had a weekend from hell: She saw four upper-class students in a community hospital psychiatric ward for extreme agitation. It was exam time, so it was no surprise to Orr that the students felt overwhelming anxiety.

But then she found out that two of them hadn’t filled recent prescriptions for antidepressant drugs that campus doctors had prescribed. The students’ parents didn’t have insurance, and the students had neither dependent coverage nor their own policies to help cover the cost of drugs. The physicians hadn’t thought to ask the students if cost was an issue. And when the students found out what the drugs would cost, they told the pharmacy not to bother filling their order.

Orr was so shocked by that experience that she’s asked campus doctors and nurses to ask students whether they can afford their medication or pharmacy co-pay when a prescription is issued.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that not having enough money to pay for prescriptions is nothing new for many U.S. adults, especially those under 65, who are not covered by Medicare. The CDC’s new data show that younger adults are trying all sorts of things to keep the cost of prescription drugs down: 12.6 percent didn’t take the medication as their doctor prescribed it; almost 20 percent asked their doctor for a less expensive drug; 6 percent tried alternative therapies; and 2 percent bought prescription drugs from another country.

 

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Dr. Damon Raskin Fox News / Dr. Damon Raskin Can anyone help Amanda Bynes? Bizarre behavior gets even more bizarre April 10, 2013

Can anyone help Amanda Bynes? Bizarre behavior gets even more bizarre

Things are not looking that great for Amanda Bynes.

The actress was recently escorted from a gymnastics class in New York City because staffers were afraid she may harm herself or others, The Post reports.

Bynes apparently broke down crying after she did a cartwheel and her wig fell off. This after wandering around the mats, mumbling to herself. All while wearing fishnets and what The Post described as some kind of lingerie leotard.

During the past month, the “Hairspray” star has posted multiple pictures of herself in everything from blonde wigs to blue lipstick, and made a barrage of perplexing comments via Twitter such as “I want Drake to murder my vagina” and “it doesn’t matter what you think about yourself. All that matters is what your lover thinks of you.”

Last year, Bynes was booted from a spinning class at swanky West Hollywood gym Equinox for her questionable behavior, which involved wandering around the room taking off her top and applying makeup in the middle of the class.

She denied being plagued by personal problems and later insisted that she was “doing amazing.”

Others are not so sure.

“We see a cascade of distressing behaviors. I doubt she feels in control of all this. The question then is what’s happening below the surface,” said mental illness specialist Dr. John Sharp, who does not treat Bynes.

 

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Dr. Damon Raskin Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Not your mama’s MRSA: Why the new ‘superbug’ should freak you out a little March 12, 2013

March 12, 2013

Not your mama’s MRSA: Why the new ‘superbug’ should freak you out a little

Just like in those 1950′s horror classics, The superbug has returned with a vengeance!

But in the real world, the superbug is a real bacteria called C.R.E. (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) and is among the world-wide “superbugs” that are resistant to almost all antibiotics, have high mortality rates, and can spread their resistance to other bacteria.

This threat is not limited to the USA. The UK is on high alert as well. Two months ago Dame Davies warned British legislators that antibiotic resistance should be added to the UK’s national risk register. The register was set up in 2008 to advise the public and businesses on national emergencies that the UK could face in the next five years.

As bacterial infections evolve into ‘superbugs’ like MRSA, which are resistant to existing drugs, more must be done discover new antibiotics. Only a few antibiotics have been discovered in the last few decades.

“Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don’t act now any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics, And routine operations like hip replacements or organ transplants could be deadly because of the risk of infection,” Davies told UK reporters as she published her report on infectious disease.

These superbugs cause infections of the bloodstream, urinary tract, and bowel. Particularly vulnerable are those who are already hospitalized, as well as the elderly. No surprisingly, the superbugs are the biggest threat to patient safety in the hospital and nothing seems to be slowing their spread.

Pacific Palisades internist, Dr. Damon Raskin, a specialist in geriatric medicine speaks to the ways we contract these hard-to-kill bugs, along with causes and preparedness we need to take.

In treating his older patients, Dr. Raskin, thinks about this danger daily.  “I see many elderly patients succumb to infections, and we need to do more to protect the frail and elderly, especially in light of these newer resistant bugs. One thing we can all do is wash our hands more frequently. Although an easy measure, it is often forgotten and can make a big difference in whether an infection is passed on or not. Also, if you have a family member in a nursing home or assisted living, check to see that they are highly rated by Medicare. Facilities receive regular inspections on items such as cleanliness and hygiene and these can be important markers for the quality of the facility. If at all possible, try to get a private room for your loved one to reduce chances of sharing germs.”

Dr. Raskin adds, “Also patients need to be proactive about not always requesting antibiotics from doctors for their minor colds and sore throats. Fewer antibiotics around will help resistance trends. Finally, if you are going to have an elective procedure in the hospital, try to schedule it for the summer after flu season. This might help reduce hospital infections.”

Original Article

Dr. Damon Raskin

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Dr. Damon Raskin Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Testosterone dilemma, knowing why and when for male HRT January 31, 2013

Testosterone dilemma, knowing why and when for male HRT

In light of baseball player Alex Rodriguez as Major League Baseball’s latest doping scandal and his investigation over performance-enhancing drugs including testosterone, and television flooded with “Low T” ads for men touted for low libido, energy and strength, what should men think about male HRT?

The Miami New Times said Tuesday that the three-time AL MVP bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances like testosterone during 2009-12 from Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla., near Rodriguez’s offseason home. This trend in all sports is drawing censure and criticism for all athletes.

Yet in everyday life, men adding testosterone artificially to their systems by pill, patch or gel is becoming much more commonplace.

Published in 2011, by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study shows that testosterone production drops as males are forced to shift priorities, duties and mindset when they transition into fatherhood.

The study reveals men are evolutionarily wired to help raise their children and that testosterone may get in the way.

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone associated with perceived hallmarks of masculinity such as libido, aggression and musculature. Those can be useful qualities when competing for a mate, but less so when transitioning the hunter quality of men to the nurturer.

Some studies over the last decade had shown that fathers have lower testosterone levels than their childless counterparts.

To answer the question, scientists measured the testosterone levels of 624 Philippine men who were 21 years old. The researchers tracked the men — and their hormones — over the next 4.5 years. During that period, 162 who were single at the start of the study settled down and had kids and 257 remained single and childless.

The data revealed that the men with higher testosterone levels at the start of the study were more likely to become fathers. But these dads saw their testosterone levels plummet by 26% upon waking and by 34% at bedtime over the course of the study. Compare that to the bachelors, who saw modest age-related declines of 12% and 14%.

For fathers, the initial drop was abrupt: Men with newborns saw T-levels dive by 43% in the morning and 49% in the evening during the baby’s first month of life. As their infants grew, their hormone levels recovered — men with babies between the ages of 1 and 12 months took a testosterone hit of only 23% in the morning and 35% in the evening.

The Los Angeles Times reported that overall, men who devoted the most time to child care had the lowest testosterone levels, according to the study, which was published by the National Academy of Sciences.

“There’s something about being an active father that’s contributing to these dramatic declines,” said study leader Lee Gettler, a biological anthropologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Dr. Damon Raskin, M.D. –a board-certified internist in Los Angeles who is both an addiction expert and a men’s health specialist — spoke to Monsters and Critics about testosterone.

Dr. Raskin is the supervising medical director for a nationwide facility dealing with men’s health and anti-aging issues. He has worked with scores of patients with long-term steroid usage.  He also is an attending physician at Cliffside Malibu, a leading addiction residential treatment center in Los Angeles.

“There is a tremendous difference between patients who suffer from low testosterone with symptoms such as fatigue, depression, low libido and low erectile dysfunction and the athlete who is trying to improve performance. Hypogonadism or low testosterone can be a serious medical condition with very real consequences such as low bone mass and increased risk for fractures,” explained Dr. Raskin.

“On the other hand, giving excessive amounts to men who don’t need it could lead to serious health risks such as liver disease, prostate disease, and aggressive behaviors.  Human growth hormone (HGH) is not approved for use in the aging male, and there are serious potential risks to its use including development of diabetes and growths of cancerous tumors,” warned Dr. Raskin.

“The misuse of these drugs should not deter patients from checking their hormone levels if they indeed have symptoms. Under medical supervision, testosterone replacement can be safe and extremely helpful for those suffering from the condition.”

Orignal Article

Dr. Damon Raskin

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Dr. Damon Raskin ExpertBeacon / Dr. Damon Raskin Safely quit xanax to regain control of your life and learn natural ways to beat anxiety January 29, 2013

Safely quit xanax to regain control of your life and learn natural ways to beat anxiety

By Dr. Damon Raskin

Xanax is a potent benzodiazepine commonly prescribed for anxiety and panic disorders. Because people feel good when they use Xanax, it can be highly addictive. After all, if the medication makes you feel good and eases your anxiety, why wouldn’t you take more of it. However, Xanax works on the brain in such a way that the natural production of the chemicals that the brain uses to calm itself diminishes over time, thereby causing worsening symptoms and ultimately addiction. After a short time, the user must have the medication just to feel normal. This is how Xanax gains its foothold. Here is some advice in quitting Xanax and regaining control.

Do taper off

Because Xanax is potent, it is best to taper off its use rather than use a cold turkey approach. This should be done under medical supervision so that potentially dangerous side-effects of withdrawal are minimized. The type of medical supervision that is required will depend on the amount of the drug you’ve been taking, the period you’ve been taking it, and what other medications you are using. Medical supervision could range from periodic visits to your physician with phone calls as necessary to monitor side-effects to in-hospital care for very complicated cases.

Do be prepared for side effects

Side effects of Xanax withdrawal usually begin within 12 hours of tapering down the dosage. These can include: anxiety, panic, moodiness, nightmares, insomnia, and hallucinations. Remind yourself that these side effects are normal and will pass. Convulsions are rare, but also can occur. These can be dangerous and even life threatening and immediate emergency medical care should be sought.

If possible, have someone stay with you while you taper off Xanax. Not only will you have their support, but you will also have someone to call for emergency care if necessary.

Do seek medical support

If you are taking any medications in addition to Xanax, it is important to see a medical doctor before tapering off the medication. Depending on interactions with other medications, you may need a medically supported detox. In order to make your withdrawal from Xanax as safe and comfortable as possible, your physician will need to know what other medications you are taking. If there are any potential problems because of drug combinations, your doctor may ask to see a specialist in an addiction treatment center, drug detox clinic, or hospital setting.

Do psychological care is necessary

The reasons you were taking Xanax are still unresolved, even if you’ve got the Xanax out of your system. Find a psychotherapist who can help you process the underlying causes of your Xanax abuse/addiction. S/he will help you learn non-pharmaceutical coping mechanisms to deal with your anxiety.

Do use holistic tools to self-soothe

Yoga, meditation, journaling, walking, exercise, acupuncture – all these tools along with others will help you keep your anxiety in check, without Xanax or other medications. Use the activities that will help you feel your best – mind, body, and spirit – and make you feel good without medication.


 

Do not try to detox on your own

There are many side effects that can be uncomfortable and dangerous. With Xanax, it is important to taper off and do so under medical supervision. Some side effects, such as seizures, pose a significant health risk, including death. It is important that you withdraw from Xanax in the safest way possible, meaning under the care of a physician.

Do not be hard on yourself

Many people berate themselves for their drug abuse asking, “How did I get into this situation?” This only makes you feel bad and promotes relapse. Be kind to yourself. You probably began taking Xanax because you needed help with anxiety. Now you just need a different kind of help. It’s okay. Life is filled with challenges. You can get through this and find healthier ways of dealing with your anxiety. Meanwhile, recognize that most of the over-the-top emotions you may experience are not real, but drug induced. These emotions will subside with time.

Do not confuse side-effects with real problems

Many people coming off Xanax are more anxious than they were before they began taking the drug. This is a common side-effect of Xanax withdrawal. Ride out the feelings. With time, your brain chemistry will normalize and you will feel better again. Until that happens, use self-soothing techniques to calm yourself. Place your feet firmly on the ground to remind yourself where you are and breathe deeply to help bring your heart rate down if necessary.

Do not be afraid to seek out help

Psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and your physician can all support you as you recover from Xanax abuse. Don’t be afraid to seek out their help, letting them know honestly what it is that you are feeling and thinking.

Do not blame yourself

Xanax is an incredibly strong drug. Benzodiazepine abuse is rising, primarily because drugs like Xanax are so fast acting and potent. Anyone, literally anyone, can become addicted to these substances.

The most important thing to remember is that you’ve recognized that you have a problem and are taking the steps to overcome it. This is exactly what promoting and protecting your health is about.


Summary

Xanax addiction can be overcome. In order to safely separate yourself from this medication, please seek expert, medical support. Taper off the drug under the guidance of a physician. Be prepared for withdrawal symptoms and ask your friends or family to be with you as you detox. Psychological care will help you learn why you began to use the drug and help keep you from returning to it. There are also wonderful holistic treatments that will help you learn to self-soothe, overcoming your anxiety.

Read More
Dr. Damon Raskin ExpertBeacon / Dr. Damon Raskin Safely quit xanax to regain control of your life and learn natural ways to beat anxiety January 29, 2013

Safely quit xanax to regain control of your life and learn natural ways to beat anxiety

By Dr. Damon Raskin

Xanax is a potent benzodiazepine commonly prescribed for anxiety and panic disorders. Because people feel good when they use Xanax, it can be highly addictive. After all, if the medication makes you feel good and eases your anxiety, why wouldn’t you take more of it. However, Xanax works on the brain in such a way that the natural production of the chemicals that the brain uses to calm itself diminishes over time, thereby causing worsening symptoms and ultimately addiction. After a short time, the user must have the medication just to feel normal. This is how Xanax gains its foothold. Here is some advice in quitting Xanax and regaining control.

Do taper off

Because Xanax is potent, it is best to taper off its use rather than use a cold turkey approach. This should be done under medical supervision so that potentially dangerous side-effects of withdrawal are minimized. The type of medical supervision that is required will depend on the amount of the drug you’ve been taking, the period you’ve been taking it, and what other medications you are using. Medical supervision could range from periodic visits to your physician with phone calls as necessary to monitor side-effects to in-hospital care for very complicated cases.

Do be prepared for side effects

Side effects of Xanax withdrawal usually begin within 12 hours of tapering down the dosage. These can include: anxiety, panic, moodiness, nightmares, insomnia, and hallucinations. Remind yourself that these side effects are normal and will pass. Convulsions are rare, but also can occur. These can be dangerous and even life threatening and immediate emergency medical care should be sought.

If possible, have someone stay with you while you taper off Xanax. Not only will you have their support, but you will also have someone to call for emergency care if necessary.

Do seek medical support

If you are taking any medications in addition to Xanax, it is important to see a medical doctor before tapering off the medication. Depending on interactions with other medications, you may need a medically supported detox. In order to make your withdrawal from Xanax as safe and comfortable as possible, your physician will need to know what other medications you are taking. If there are any potential problems because of drug combinations, your doctor may ask to see a specialist in an addiction treatment center, drug detox clinic, or hospital setting.

Do psychological care is necessary

The reasons you were taking Xanax are still unresolved, even if you’ve got the Xanax out of your system. Find a psychotherapist who can help you process the underlying causes of your Xanax abuse/addiction. S/he will help you learn non-pharmaceutical coping mechanisms to deal with your anxiety.

Do use holistic tools to self-soothe

Yoga, meditation, journaling, walking, exercise, acupuncture – all these tools along with others will help you keep your anxiety in check, without Xanax or other medications. Use the activities that will help you feel your best – mind, body, and spirit – and make you feel good without medication.


 

Do not try to detox on your own

There are many side effects that can be uncomfortable and dangerous. With Xanax, it is important to taper off and do so under medical supervision. Some side effects, such as seizures, pose a significant health risk, including death. It is important that you withdraw from Xanax in the safest way possible, meaning under the care of a physician.

Do not be hard on yourself

Many people berate themselves for their drug abuse asking, “How did I get into this situation?” This only makes you feel bad and promotes relapse. Be kind to yourself. You probably began taking Xanax because you needed help with anxiety. Now you just need a different kind of help. It’s okay. Life is filled with challenges. You can get through this and find healthier ways of dealing with your anxiety. Meanwhile, recognize that most of the over-the-top emotions you may experience are not real, but drug induced. These emotions will subside with time.

Do not confuse side-effects with real problems

Many people coming off Xanax are more anxious than they were before they began taking the drug. This is a common side-effect of Xanax withdrawal. Ride out the feelings. With time, your brain chemistry will normalize and you will feel better again. Until that happens, use self-soothing techniques to calm yourself. Place your feet firmly on the ground to remind yourself where you are and breathe deeply to help bring your heart rate down if necessary.

Do not be afraid to seek out help

Psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and your physician can all support you as you recover from Xanax abuse. Don’t be afraid to seek out their help, letting them know honestly what it is that you are feeling and thinking.

Do not blame yourself

Xanax is an incredibly strong drug. Benzodiazepine abuse is rising, primarily because drugs like Xanax are so fast acting and potent. Anyone, literally anyone, can become addicted to these substances.

The most important thing to remember is that you’ve recognized that you have a problem and are taking the steps to overcome it. This is exactly what promoting and protecting your health is about.


Summary

Xanax addiction can be overcome. In order to safely separate yourself from this medication, please seek expert, medical support. Taper off the drug under the guidance of a physician. Be prepared for withdrawal symptoms and ask your friends or family to be with you as you detox. Psychological care will help you learn why you began to use the drug and help keep you from returning to it. There are also wonderful holistic treatments that will help you learn to self-soothe, overcoming your anxiety.

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Dr. Damon Raskin Daddy MD / Dr. Damon Raskin Dr. Damon Raskin January 22, 2013

Dr. Damon Raskin

Dr. Raskin is the father of two children. He is board-certified in internal medicine and has had a busy private practice in Pacific Palisades, California, since 1996. He also practices addiction medicine at the renowned Cliffside Malibu Residential Treatment Center in Malibu. He is on staff at St John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica and is medical director of Fireside Convalescent Hospital in Santa Monica, where he treats many geriatric patients.

How many children do you have, and what are their ages? I have 2 children: a bright bilingual 7-year old daughter, Skyler, and a very energetic 2-year-old son, Stone.

What was the biggest challenge you faced as a dad, and how did you overcome it? The biggest challenge that I face as a dad is finding the balance between work and family. It is constantly a struggle to be able to give everyone the attention they deserve … my patients, my wife, and my kids. It is never easy, but I always have to prioritize and sacrifice something. If I can’t read my daughter a story at night because I had to go see a patient, I will make sure we go for a bike ride on the weekend. It’s also about setting boundaries with patients, and making sure they know that if I am with my family and not on call, I will have another excellent physician covering for me who can help them. I work extremely hard and very long hours, so taking some time off work to spend with family is time you can never get back as a dad. That is why I make vacations a huge priority, and patients understand.

What’s the most surprising lesson that being a dad has taught you? The biggest surprise about being a dad is how fast it all seems to go. Although it is a cliché to say, it is so true. It seems like I was just changing diapers, and now my daughter is asking to go on sleepovers, and my son can already use my iPhone!

Since you can’t slow time down, just appreciate all the fun little moments, because they are what you cherish most.

What’s the one bit of advice about fatherhood you wish someone had given you much earlier? It is very important to not forget about spending time with your partner alone. Having date nights and a little time away without the kids is also vital to reenergizing the marriage, which in turn provides for a happy loving home for the kids.

Why are fathers important? Fathers are important because kids need balance and both a masculine and feminine influence. My wife is super neat, and cleans things before they can even get dirty. I like to let my kids get dirty in the park, and they will come home with mud all over their clothes and ice cream all over their faces. Also, my wife can’t ride a bike, and my daughter and I are currently bonding over the bike learning process.

Career, marriage, kids … how does a guy stay sane? In addition, I practice what I preach to my patients about exercise. I try to get to the gym at least 3 days a week, and find that this is the best way to keep my sanity with the juggling act that I described above with work and family.

When should I start talking to my kids about drugs and alcohol?

Our Daddy MD Guide’s reply: Parents sometimes ask me when to start talking to their kids about drugs and alcohol, since they know I help a lot of people with those problems. I tell them it is never too early to start modeling responsible behavior, and start talking to kids as early as six about the dangers of smoking and drinking. I do have patients who have addiction issues who have kids, and I do everything I can to help them get in to treatment to be a better parent and help prevent their children from going down the same path. It is impossible to be a good parent while struggling with addiction, so this is one of my highest priorities as an addiction specialist.

Just as an addicted parent cannot be present for their kids, neither can a dad be present who is getting constantly bombarded with emails and text messages from patients. I am still learning that sometimes I just have to put the phone down, and listen to what my kids have to say. After all, they can teach you as much as you can teach them.

Damon Raskin, MD, is the father of two children. He is board-certified in internal medicine and has had a busy private practice in Pacific Palisades, California, since 1996. He also practices addiction medicine at the renowned Cliffside Malibu Residential Treatment Center in Malibu. He is on staff at St John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica and is medical director of Fireside Convalescent Hospital in Santa Monica, where he treats many geriatric patients.

Original Article

Dr. Damon Raskin

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Dr. Damon Raskin E online / Dr. Damon Raskin Why Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway Got the Flu and You Didn’t January 18, 2013

Why Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway Got the Flu and You Didn’t

Why do so many stars have the flu right now? Don’t they have better docs and meds than the rest of us?
–Alien Face, via Twitter

You speak of Jennifer Lawrence, who made the flu her personal bitch during the Golden Globes. There was also, of course, Meryl Streep, whose flu was revealed via an Amy Poehler joke; and Hugh Jackman, whose particular strain of flu has an amazing singing voice. (It also leaped into the lungs of Anne Hathaway.)

Yep, stars do get better medical treatment compared with most of the rest of us, what with on-set doctors available 24-7 and B-12 shots on demand. But does that give them an advantage over this season’s epidemic? Oh, you might be surprised.

“They’re actually more vulnerable to the flu than the average person,” child-actor-turned internist Dr. Damon Raskin tells me. “It’s a matter of being in contact with so many people.”

That’s right. According to doctors with a celebrity clientele, it’s actually a small wonder that more actors aren’t laid up with this season’s infamous sickness this month–because of the sheer number of flunkies, handlers, fans, reporters and glam squads they have surrounding them during every waking moment.

Yes celebrities have had an easier time accessing flu shots, and, increasingly, producers are insisting their stars get immunized against the flu before taking a gig this year.

But several other factors trump those advantages, making the average star more likely to get the flu than you, says Dr. Max Lebow, who sees plenty of celebrities through his practice at Reliant Immediate Care near the Los Angeles International Airport.

“This year’s flu vaccine isn’t quite so effective as it has been in years past,” he points out, calling this current batch only “moderately effective” with about a 60 percent chance of working.

Plus, Lebow adds, “the only way to really defeat the flu is if your immune system gets fired up enough to defeat it,” and right now, stars’ immune systems are constantly being challenged: Think jet lag, lack of sleep, dehydration, red-carpet diets, extra-long work hours, awards-season stress and other factors particular to Hollywood in mid-January.

And oh: Those B-12 energy shots that the stars love? “Worthless” when it comes to the flu, Lebow says.

Maybe it’s not so bad being a civilian after all.

Original Article

Dr. Damon Raskin

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Dr. Damon Raskin The Blaze / Dr. Damon Raskin Doctors Dish to TheBlaze on Bloomberg’s New Rule Limiting Painkillers in the ER: ‘Ridiculous’ January 17, 2013

Doctors Dish to TheBlaze on Bloomberg’s New Rule Limiting Painkillers in the ER: ‘Ridiculous’

Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that public hospitals in New York City would adopt his new guidelines that restrict emergency room doctors from dishing out opiate painkillers in an effort to curb abuse. But just what do medical professionals have to say about this?

“The fact that Mayor Bloomberg is suggesting that hospitals limit supplies of prescription pain killers in ERs is ridiculous,” Dr. Damon Raskin, a board certified internist and addiction specialist who works with Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center, said in an email to TheBlaze. ”Limiting opiate prescriptions will not change the drug problem and only cause problems with the patients who really need them.”

And that was a common theme among the medical professionals we spoke to.

The problem

A report by the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control says prescription painkillers accounted for 20,044 of 26,450 overdose deaths in 2008, more than those from heroine or cocaine combined. DrugFree.org pointed out that 70 percent of people who were abusing prescription drugs got them from a relative or friend.

Map shows an AP analysis of Drug Enforcement Administration data highlighting the increased use of the addictive pain killer oxycodone across the U.S. from 2000 to 2010.

According to the press release from Bloomberg’s office, the rate of opioid painkiller-related emergency room visits nearly tripled in the city between 2004 and 2010.

The new guidelines will be used in all of New York City’s public hospitals. Specifically, the guidelines prevent emergency departments from prescribing long-acting opioid painkillers, like oxycodone, fentanyl patches and methadone. Doctors will be able to prescribe up to a three-day supply of opioids but will not refill lost, stolen or destroyed prescriptions.

“Prescription opioid painkillers can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs,” Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said in a statement. “These new guidelines will help reduce prescription drug misuse while also making sure that patients coming to emergency departments have access to safe and appropriate pain relief options.”

Is government intervention needed?

Dr. Joshua Kugler, the chief medical officer and former chairman of the emergency services department at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Long Island, New York, said he agrees with Bloomberg’s efforts and called it a “necessary evil.”

“I applaud the concept, the philosophy behind it,” Kugler said to TheBlaze in a phone interview. “But also am cautiously optimistic about how this will truly affect patient care.”

Still, Kugler noted that there might be times when the guidelines could leave a legitimate patient in considerable pain. He said, for example, if a patient lost a prescription on a Friday evening after their doctor had gone for the weekend, they could be out of luck until Monday.

He added that although similar guidelines wouldn’t necessarily infringe upon how he or his department practices medicine, he does believe physicians need to have the ability to address patient care on a case-by-case basis.

Dr. Alex Kudisch, the chief medical officer at the Texas-based Origins Recovery Centers, expounded on this sentiment in an email to TheBlaze saying that “medicine must heal itself and without government intervention.”

“Yes, the Oxy for a toothache mentality must end, but the medical community will lose its rights to perform medicine if government intervenes,” Kudisch continued.

And what about the doctor’s roll in providing the drugs in the first place potentially contributing to the problem itself? Glenn Beck earlier this week said that if doctors providing the drugs can’t tell the difference between real pain and a drug addict, “then we have a problem with the doctors.”

Dr. Michael Michael with a rehabilitation clinic in Michigan told TheBlaze in a phone interview that for a long time physicians themselves didn’t do a good enough job managing patients’ use of the drug.

“A lot of it has to do with options — what options the doctor had at managing a patient’s pain,” Michael said, noting that even short term use of opiates as a painkiller is associated with an addiction risk.

He called opiates the “be-all-end-all in pain relief,” but noted there are other treatments now that doctors can use to avoid the drug completely.

“We’ve become better educated about it and are doing better at managing it, but are still not doing well enough,” he said.

Watch Beck share his thoughts regarding Bloomberg’s guidelines and the mayor’s comment that people using the ER as their source of primary care might have to “suffer a little bit”:

Treating the addiction

While Michael, who works specifically with patients suffering from addiction, agrees that something needs to be done to help curb the problem in the short term and that Bloomberg’s guidelines might cut down on overdose situations, he told TheBlaze that he doesn’t think it will have a significant, long-lasting effect.

Why? Because treatment of the addition is more than just cutting off the source. Part of the problem is the treatment in and of itself. Michael said the most popular way to wean an opiate addict off the drug is to put them on another, more controlled opiate, which would then be reduced over time. Although Michael said he respects those who provide this type of treatment, he said it’s not only painful for the addict but also not entirely effective as it often leads them to become addicted to this other opiate.

As a doctor at the Eagle Advancement Institute, Michael takes a different, 100-percent non-opiate approach at treating patients. In fact, the Clarity Detox Program was named one of the top five technologies to reduce prescription drug abuse by the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence.

Michael said four out of five patients going through their program are successful at overcoming their addiction.

And even if addiction is being addressed, what is to be done about overdoses, which are still bound to occur? Kugler pointed out that Naloxone, an injectable drug used to reverse opiate overdoses, is being distributed to sources beyond emergency responders. New York and a few other states have programs expanding the distribution of Naloxone kits. Reuters reported on a study last year that found it would be life-saving and cost-effective to put the Naloxone kits directly in the hands of known heroine users.

Overall though, Kugler said stifling the problem goes all they way back to parents and schools having a real dialogue with children about the risks associated with prescription narcotics.

In other words, personal responsibility is just what the doctor ordered.

Orignal Article

Cliffside Malibu

Dr. Damon Raskin

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Dr. Damon Raskin Celebzter / Dr. Damon Raskin Lance Armstrong Doping Scandal: Long-term abuse of anabolic steroids can definitely increase the risk of cancer, says expert January 16, 2013

Lance Armstrong Doping Scandal: Long-term abuse of anabolic steroids can definitely increase the risk of cancer, says expert

On Thursday (and Friday) the world will finally hear the truth for once come out of Lance Armstrong’s mouth as he reveals all to Oprah Winfrey.

A new reports from USA Today suggests the disgraced cyclist will admit he started using performance-enhancing drugs to gain an edge in cycling in the mid-1990s, before he was diagnosed with cancer.

On Tuesday’s “The View”, Whoopi Goldberg got into a heated debate with Barbara Walters when she questioned the correlation between steroid use and cancer. [In Oct. 1996, Armstrong  was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lung]

“I don’t know but the question really is: Do the steroids cause cancer? That’s the question. Did he get the cancer because of the steroids? That’s what we need to know,” Goldberg asked.

And it is a good question to ask.

In preparation of Armstrong’s no holds barred interview with Oprah, Dr. Damon Raskin, a board certified internist Los Angeles and men’s health specialist, has spoken to Celebzter about the effects of steroids and blood doping.  Dr. Raskin in the supervising MD for Ageless Men’s Health, a nationwide facility dealing with men’s health and anti-aging issues and he has worked with many patients who have long-term steroid usage.

“Long term abuse of anabolic steroids can definitely increase the risk of cancer, (it is unclear whether this many have been a contributing factor to his testicular cancer) as well as atherosclerosis (increased plaque in arteries and risk of heart attacks and strokes), and lower the good cholesterol in the body (HDL),” Dr Raskin explains.  ”Steroids can also contribute to higher blood pressure, acne, and aggressive behavior.”

He adds: ”In addition, blood doping, which involves blood transfusions and/or taking a hormone called eryrthropoetin which increases red blood cells and thus more oxygen to muscles, can also lead to strokes by making the blood too thick.”

We also asked Dr. Raskin about what the long-term ramifications on Armstrong’s body will be after prolonged use of steroids and blood doping.

“Long term, doping can lead to structural changes in the heart which could  lead to increased risks of heart attacks, heart failure and stroke.” he says. ”High blood pressure, low amounts of HDL (good cholesterol), acne, infertility, and possibly prostate cancer are also major risks.”

And what happens when you suddenly stop taking steroids after years of abuse?

“When someone suddenly stops taking steroids after prolonged use, they may experience mood swings, depression and anxiety, muscle and joint pain, and insomnia. For men, the steroid abuser has turned off his own body’s making of testosterone, so a sudden withdrawal will also lead to lack of sex drive,” Dr. Raskin explains.

Interestingly, Livestrong also has an article about the long-term effects of doping.

And at least one board member of Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation said he feels betrayed by Armstrong’s years of deceit. “Yes, I do. And I think he’s got a lot of apologies,” Mark McKinnon said in a CNN interview.

Perhaps, Armstrong should have named his organization ”Liestrong”.

Original Article

Cliffside Malibu

Dr. Damon Raskin

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Dr. Damon Raskin Celebzter / Dr. Damon Raskin Lance Armstrong Doping Scandal: Long-term abuse of anabolic steroids can definitely increase the risk of cancer, says expert January 16, 2013

Lance Armstrong Doping Scandal: Long-term abuse of anabolic steroids can definitely increase the risk of cancer, says expert

On Thursday (and Friday) the world will finally hear the truth for once come out of Lance Armstrong’s mouth as he reveals all to Oprah Winfrey.

A new reports from USA Today suggests the disgraced cyclist will admit he started using performance-enhancing drugs to gain an edge in cycling in the mid-1990s, before he was diagnosed with cancer.

On Tuesday’s “The View”, Whoopi Goldberg got into a heated debate with Barbara Walters when she questioned the correlation between steroid use and cancer. [In Oct. 1996, Armstrong  was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lung]

“I don’t know but the question really is: Do the steroids cause cancer? That’s the question. Did he get the cancer because of the steroids? That’s what we need to know,” Goldberg asked.

And it is a good question to ask.

In preparation of Armstrong’s no holds barred interview with Oprah, Dr. Damon Raskin, a board certified internist Los Angeles and men’s health specialist, has spoken to Celebzter about the effects of steroids and blood doping.  Dr. Raskin in the supervising MD for Ageless Men’s Health, a nationwide facility dealing with men’s health and anti-aging issues and he has worked with many patients who have long-term steroid usage.

“Long term abuse of anabolic steroids can definitely increase the risk of cancer, (it is unclear whether this many have been a contributing factor to his testicular cancer) as well as atherosclerosis (increased plaque in arteries and risk of heart attacks and strokes), and lower the good cholesterol in the body (HDL),” Dr Raskin explains.  ”Steroids can also contribute to higher blood pressure, acne, and aggressive behavior.”

He adds: ”In addition, blood doping, which involves blood transfusions and/or taking a hormone called eryrthropoetin which increases red blood cells and thus more oxygen to muscles, can also lead to strokes by making the blood too thick.”

We also asked Dr. Raskin about what the long-term ramifications on Armstrong’s body will be after prolonged use of steroids and blood doping.

“Long term, doping can lead to structural changes in the heart which could  lead to increased risks of heart attacks, heart failure and stroke.” he says. ”High blood pressure, low amounts of HDL (good cholesterol), acne, infertility, and possibly prostate cancer are also major risks.”

And what happens when you suddenly stop taking steroids after years of abuse?

“When someone suddenly stops taking steroids after prolonged use, they may experience mood swings, depression and anxiety, muscle and joint pain, and insomnia. For men, the steroid abuser has turned off his own body’s making of testosterone, so a sudden withdrawal will also lead to lack of sex drive,” Dr. Raskin explains.

Interestingly, Livestrong also has an article about the long-term effects of doping.

And at least one board member of Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation said he feels betrayed by Armstrong’s years of deceit. “Yes, I do. And I think he’s got a lot of apologies,” Mark McKinnon said in a CNN interview.

Perhaps, Armstrong should have named his organization ”Liestrong”.

Original Article

Cliffside Malibu

Dr. Damon Raskin

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Dr. Damon Raskin Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Health trends 2013: Male ‘menopause’ comes out of the closet January 9, 2013

Health trends 2013: Male ‘menopause’ comes out of the closet

Women have long dealt with menopause and all the variety of symptoms it can bring. But men go through that change of life experience too, it’s just not as evident because men do not menstruate.

Andropause – the “male menopause” – is finally coming out of the shadows of passages of life changes for men, and doctors are specializing in treating the male patient just as a gynecologist would treat a female patient, with hormone boosters, diet advice and exercise recommendations.

Andropause is a clinical syndrome seen in men, associated with advancing age and manifested with symptoms related to lowered testosterone (male hormone) levels.

Doctors are divided on how many men actually experience a noticeable condition, some ranges are from 12 per cent in men between 40 and 70 years of age and upward. These cases of andropause increase with diabetic or obese men.

Dr. Damon Raskin, a frequent contributor to Monsters and Critics, is an expert on the subject. He is the supervising doctor for Ageless Men’s Health, a nationwide facility dealing with men’s health and anti-aging issues.

Dr. Raskin is also a Los Angeles based Internist who also sub-specializes in addiction issues with prestigious residential rehabilitation facility, Cliffside Malibu.

As an internist, he is generally the first doctor that men will go to when they feel their health is off, including issues of sexuality.

Dr. Raskin sees symptoms that are directly due to a decline in testosterone levels. Testosterone declines at a rate of one per cent annually between the ages of 40 and 70 years. However, the decline may be seen earlier.

Testosterone has many beneficial effects in men (and women to a lesser extent) and this is not isolated to sexual functions only. It aids in memory and cognitive functioning. It regulates bone density and strength and reduces osteoporosis. It helps in the production of facial and body hair, maintains muscle mass and strength. It helps with production of red blood cells in the bone marrow so that men aren’t anemic and it is responsible for the sex drive and libido.

Testosterone loss through the natural aging process causes andropause to manifest with abnormalities of these functions.

Many men with andropause have reduced energy and motivation and express depressive symptoms. Typically, Dr. Raskin sees men who complain of reduced libido or sex drive and have diminished interest in sexual activity. They may notice that their erections are fewer and weaker. Some men notice a tenderness of the breast and loss of body or facial hair, and even hot flashes, similar to those seen in women in menopause. Weight gain and obesity may be associated with this condition.

Andropause can put men at risk for cardiovascular diseases such as a heart attacks. This is because of its association with obesity and high cholesterol and sugar levels. This is an area of great research interest.

Dr. Raskin says, “Andropause can be identified and treated. Men should not suffer in silence. Let your doctor know if you have any of the symptoms mentioned.”

The top five signs to look for are:

Decreased libido and decreased erectile function
Fatigue and loss of energy
Depressed or low mood
Decreased muscle mass/increase body fat and a loss of strength
A loss of body hair

“Andropause symptoms can include fatigue, low libido, erectile dysfunction, loss of body hair, decrease in muscle mass, and depression. But this condition can be treated with testosterone gels, patches or shots,” says Dr. Raskin.

Orignial Article

Cliffside Malibu

Dr. Damon Raskin

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Dr. Damon Raskin AgingCare / Dr. Damon Raskin 4 Unexpected Stroke Side Effects January 7, 2013

4 Unexpected Stroke Side Effects

For a senior, surviving a stroke is only half the battle.

Strokes rank fourth on the nation’s list of top causes of death, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau, they are the number one cause of long-term disability among older adults. About 15% of people who experience a full-blown stroke (ischemic or hemorrhagic) die within 30 days.

More than half of Medicare recipients who outlast an initial stroke attack must undergo some form of formal inpatient rehabilitation, according to the American Heart Association. Of those healthy enough to return home immediately after being released from the hospital, nearly a third must recruit a home healthcare service for help.

The side-effects of stroke vary from person to person, depending on what areas of the brain are being deprived of oxygen, and for how long.

Here are a few unexpected side effects of strokes, and how to handle them:

  1. Inappropriate behavior: One issue that often crops up for stroke survivors is erratic, out-of-place behavior (i.e. laughing when nothing is funny, crying when nothing is sad), according to Damon Raskin, M.D., a board certified internist and medical director for two skilled nursing facilities. This kind of behavior is typically a symptom of Pseudobulbar Affect–a little-known neurological disorder.
  2. Extreme fatigue: Trying to recover from a major health event like a stroke can be extremely draining. “It’s very mentally and emotionally exhausting not being able to function as you once were able to,” says Raskin. Post-stroke fatigue goes beyond just being “tired.” According to the National Stroke Association, low energy levels can strike stroke survivors without warning, and simply getting more rest won’t always fix the problem. Medications, diet, disrupted sleep, and mental health issues can all play a role in increasing a person’s level of post-stroke fatigue. Caregivers should consult a doctor if their loved one seems unnaturally tired. The doctor should be able to identify what is causing the fatigue, and how to fix it.
  3. Sleep troubles: Having a stroke may cause a person to develop breathing problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea, which can interfere with sleep. The neurological changes associated with a stroke may also impact a person’s natural circadian rhythms, causing them to sleep during the day and be awake at night.
  4. Mood swings: Depression strikes about 35 percent of stroke survivors and is severely underdiagnosed, according to the National Institutes of Health. Post-stroke depression can be brought on by a combination of biological changes stemming from the physical brain damage caused by the stroke, as well as the ongoing psychological issues of loss of independence and reduced quality of life.

Coping with the after-effects of a stroke can be an extremely frustrating for caregivers and their loved ones.

Raskin says patience is of paramount importance when caring for someone who has had a stroke. “Many people aren’t used to relying on others for their basic needs. It’s a constant reminder that they are victims of an illness,” she says.

Orignial Article

Cliffside Malibu

Dr. Damon Raskin

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