An opioid vaccine, new drugs for chronic pain, yet alcohol use disorder not a priority for NIH HEAL Initiative?

A week ago, I was drinking my morning cup of tea while reading several ‘addiction news’ articles
(as this is part of my morning routine) when I came across something novel. I saw a press
release on an opioid vaccine that targets fentanyl, which is being developed by the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) Helping to End Addiction Long-Term Initiative.

According to Heal.NIH.Gov, “The Helping to End Addiction Long-Term Initiative, or NIH HEAL
Initiative is an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national
opioid crisis. Almost every NIH Institute and Center is accelerating research to address this
public health emergency from all angles.”

The main goals of the NIH HEAL Initiative are to improve prevention and treatment for opioid
misuse and addiction and enhancing pain management. It aims to create new medications (for
opioid withdrawal, cravings, relapse prevention, overdose, pain management, and more) and
optimize treatment and treatment outcomes.

This is a big deal for individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) and/or chronic pain, however,
alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment appears to get no love in the NIH HEAL Initiative’s 6-point
plan that is estimated to take 5-6 years.

Why The Massive Initiative?

On average, 130 people die from opioid overdose daily. Worse still, rates of opioid use disorder
and opioid overdose deaths spiked drastically in 2020 and continue to rise at alarming rates. In
2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documented that it was the first
year in decades overdose deaths were finally decreasing. Unfortunately, that trend has not

A combination of the covid pandemic and massive amounts of black-market pills and heroin
being cut with fentanyl is no doubt two major contributors to these elevated rates of opioid
addiction and overdose deaths.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid up to 50-100x more powerful than heroin, so if a person doesn’t
know the heroin, oxycodone, etc. they bought from a drug dealer is laced with fentanyl, they are
in serious jeopardy of overdosing. Black market opioids cut with fentanyl have been so
devastating that the CDC has named it the deadliest drug in America.

Fortunately, innovations in medicines for preventing opioid overdose and for treating opioid
addiction are in the works. The most interesting of these medicines (to me at least) is an opioid

How Will The Opioid Vaccine Work?

The vaccine being studied by the NIH HEAL Initiative is an adjuvant opioid use disorder
vaccine. An adjuvant molecule boosts the immune system’s response to vaccines, a critical
component of the effectiveness of anti-addiction vaccines.

adjuvant (noun) – a substance that enhances the body’s immune response to an antigen.

The vaccine targets fentanyl and it protects the brain and nervous system by stimulating the
body to create powerful antibodies that target and bind to opioid molecules.

Next, it sequesters the opioid molecules in the blood in a peripheral area. This prevents opioids from crossing
the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and reaching the central nervous system (CNS).

Since it blocks opioids from reaching the brain, it also prevents the massive respiratory
depression caused by opioids getting into the brain, and that’s why it’s so beneficial for
preventing opioid overdose.

When Will The Opioid Vaccine Be Available?

It would be extraordinary if the NIH HEAL Initiative’s anti-opioid vaccine and other medicines it’s
working on for the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction were available now, however,
these things take time. The process of getting FDA approval for a new vaccine or drug is long
and costly.

Fortunately, the NIH HEAL Initiative appears to be more than capable of developing, studying,
and getting FDA approval for these drugs… medicines that will help with damage control of the
opioid epidemic that keeps raging on amidst the covid pandemic.

More Drugs for Opioid Addiction, Non-Addictive Drugs for Pain, Yet No
Alcohol Treatment Innovations?

I’m very excited to track the development of the opioid vaccine and the other opioid addiction
and chronic pain treatment solutions the NIH HEAL Initiative is working on, however, after
reading the entire NIH HEAL Initiative Research Plan and not seeing alcohol addiction treatment
in their overall strategies, I felt sad for that population. Why?

6% of adults in the U.S. have alcohol use disorder. 15… million… people. 88,000 people in
America die every year as a result of alcohol. It’s estimated that approximately 2.1 million
Americans have opioid use disorder.

Thus, there are over 700% more Americans with AUD than there are with OUD.
Fortunately, even though the NIH HEAL Initiative appears to be focusing its efforts on
preventing overdose deaths, opioid addiction, and chronic pain, people like Chris Scott, an
Alcohol Recovery Coach and founder of Fit Recovery, and Ken Star, M.D., a board-certified
addiction physician and founder of Ken Starr MD Wellness Group, are leading the way for
biochemical innovations in AUD treatment like customized alcohol detox supplement protocols,
neuro-nutrient therapy, nutrigenomics, and much more.


Rates of substance use disorders, as well as behavioral addictions like gambling and others,
are all rising across the board. America is undergoing a ‘Twindemic’ of addiction/overdose and
covid and these are both synergistic with each other. The covid pandemic is causing elevated
rates of substance use disorders and, according to the CDC, people with a substance use
disorder are more susceptible to catching covid and having negative outcomes with covid

The NIH HEAL Initiative is actively combating the addiction/overdose issue. Will its work pay
off? Only time will tell. I have high hopes for it to achieve all of the goals it has set out to
accomplish. It may not be focusing on alcohol use disorder treatment, but then again, one has
to start somewhere.

According to the NIH HEAL Research Plan, the first 2-3 years will be focused on chronic pain
and the next couple of years will be focused on opioid addiction. Perhaps alcohol treatment will
be next on the list? Yet again… only time will tell.

Mistakes To Avoid When Helping Someone Recover From Drug Addiction


Drug addiction may be a treatable condition, but addiction recovery is a lifelong process that
requires all hands on deck to improve its chances of success.
When you’re helping a friend or a loved one recover from drug addiction, you’re bound to run into
more than a few challenges.
Sometimes, we make mistakes when helping a drug-addicted family member or friend. Some of
these mistakes could deeply hurt a recovering addict’s feelings. Others may even push them to
begin using again.
No one would ever want to see friends or loved ones get involved in situations like getting arrested
for DUI prescription drugs or worse, overdosing on any addictive substance.
If you really want to help them recover from drug addiction, you must avoid committing the
following mistakes:

Not Educating Yourself About Addiction

You cannot possibly help anyone struggling with drug addiction if you know little to nothing about
You would be in a much better position to help a friend or loved one recover from addiction if you
understand the causes of addiction, the symptoms associated with it, and the treatment options
By educating yourself about addiction, you will come to understand better what your friend or
relative is going through. The more you know about the condition, the more you will be able to help
them overcome it.

Not Watching What You Say

We all should keep in mind that a friend or relative facing drug addiction struggles may tend to be a
a bit more insecure, emotional, and sensitive about their current situation.
You might be close to that person, but you still have to be careful about what you say to or around

You may mean well when you say something like, “I know what you’re going through.”
However, unless you’ve struggled with drug addiction yourself and managed to overcome it, those
words will ring empty.
Better say that you’re sorry and that you’re there to support them than mouthing off about knowing
what they’re going through when you actually don’t.
If possible, avoid cracking jokes at their expense, even when you’re bosom buddies with the
recovering addict.
They might be smiling or laughing with you when you’re making light of their situation, but there’s
no way we would know if they’re really okay with the jokes.
To be on the safe side, keep your jokes away from anything resembling their current state.

Making Decisions For Them

It’s understandable when you’re eager to help family members or friends recover from drug
However, if your eagerness leads you to sign them up for rehab or choose addiction recovery
programs without running it past them first, then you are overstepping your bounds.
Entering rehab is a major decision that no one should ever force on a person facing addiction
problems. For treatment to have a much better chance at success, it must be something that they
should choose for themselves, not by anyone else.

Assuming That Addiction Is Gone After Completing Rehab

Some might assume that completing a treatment program means a person is cured of his or her
drug addiction. However, as mentioned above, drug addiction recovery is a lifelong process.
It’s not unheard of for former drug addicts to be sober for years but end up relapsing after
something like a memory or sudden access to drugs triggers their cravings.
If anything, we all need to be consistent in our support for their recovery.
Over time, we should keep on helping them avoid social gatherings where people might use
addictive substances and build relationships with sober friends, among other things.
Rebuilding their lives is key to their full recovery, and we should be there for them every step of the

Neglecting Your Own Well-being

The recovery process takes a lot out of the person recovering from addiction. What many don’t
realize, however, is that recovery takes quite a toll on the people providing them support, too.
Worse, people helping a friend or loved one recover tend to forget about their own well-being in the
If you intend to help someone on their lifelong journey towards recovery, you have to attend to
your own needs, too.
Take the time to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, even as you do the
same for someone else.
Eating right, getting enough exercise, and enjoying life, in general, makes you healthier and happier,
which will enable you to provide continuous and consistent support for a friend or loved one in
addiction recovery.
Addiction recovery may not be the easiest thing in the world, but by avoiding the mistakes listed
above, the entire process can go a bit smoother for everyone, and that’s always a win.

Learn more about our outpatient treatment program or detoxification programs.

Review of NAD+ for Detox, Recovery and Post Acute Withdrawal


Hello. I’ve had a history of using drugs and alcohol and I’ve been clean and sober for almost five months, but I was still experiencing a lot of brain fog and a lot of just not certain with my own thoughts, not being able to trust myself. So I decided to come and see Dr. Starr And to do the NAD+ therapy. And I’ve been doing it for a few days now and each day I’m seeing great progress, feeling a lot of clarity. It was recommended to me by a friend who did it, who experienced great results. And I can say from experience now that this has helped me in ways I never even expected what it looks like each day as you come in and the beautiful Arroyo Grande day, they check your vitals and they give you a little infusion and throughout the day it’ll be dripping.

It could take anywhere from four to maybe eight hours depending on how you take it and you have this feeling inside of your body where, at least for me, I felt like a heaviness, but it just felt extremely healthy. I felt like I was getting out of a steam room or something of that sort. So after doing it for a few days, now I can tell it’s definitely progressive as I’m feeling better each day, I have an increased curiosity like into when I was 16 years old and everything seems fresh, everything seems new, and I highly recommend this to anybody and everybody was able to do it as I’m feeling great, better than ever before. So I think Dr. Starr and the whole staff here, it’s been a great experience.






The Ken Starr MD Wellness Group is the place to learn about addiction recovery strategies that have the ability to help you attain freedom. We’re innovative leaders in the treatment of medical detox, recovery, and wellness care. The Wellness Group provides substance abuse treatment, detox, counseling and Ketamine treatments. Come visit us on the California Central Coast.

Ken Starr MD is an expert in NAD+ treatments, Board Certified in Addiction Medicine and an experienced Ketamine provider. We Biohack recovery and detox so our patients can live their best life.


Our Team:

Our Services:

NAD+ Therapy:







Clean Supplements




Disclaimer: This video and channel is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. No physician-patient relationship is formed by the public watching this video.

What Causes Depression?

Depression affects millions of people, more women than men, with the symptoms popping up without warning. It can be brought on by stressful situations, biology, and other factors, but people experiencing it sometimes suffer in silence because of the stigma associated with it. Everyone reacts to the triggers differently, with some able to control or eliminate them, while others can’t and need help. Help may be available through therapy or by an innovative new treatment called ketamine infusion therapy.

What is Depression?

The Mayo Clinic says depression is more than the “blues” and states this:

“Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.”

Causes of Depression

Many people suffering from depression dismiss its symptoms, are certain it’s temporary and their lives will return to normal eventually. But what if it doesn’t? And do you know enough about its many causes to diagnose and treat it? Here are some sources identified by UC Berkley:

  • Biology and its implications. According to Harvard Medical researchers, biology shows a responsibility in clinical depression, with nerve cell growth, nerve cell connections, and how nerve circuits function all impacting emotions which could result in depression.
  • The role of stress. We know anyone can experience stress, and that can lead to depression if left untreated. Relationship and money problems can play a role, plus mental and physical health, family history, and support of loved ones.
  • Your psychological profile can lead to depression, especially if you have low self-esteem or inflated notions of superiority.
  • A pattern of misuse or abuse related to alcohol or drugs.

Are There Different Kinds of Depression?

A mental health professional may diagnose you with depression based on the duration of the symptoms. Here are five forms of depression:

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder is characterized by severe or mild symptoms and lasts at least two years.
  • Postpartum Depression can linger for weeks, taking root during pregnancy characterized by feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion.
  • Psychotic Depression is a noxious brew of serious depression combined with psychosis, where the new mom is delusional or is hallucinating.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder most often creeps up in the winter during times when there are fewer hours of natural sunlight. Characteristics include increased sleep, social withdrawal, weight gain but they disappear in the summer.
  • Bipolar disorder, distinct from depression, includes symptoms that meet the criteria for major depression such as low moods. But a person affected can have extreme feelings of irritability or euphoria, called mania, or a less serious form called “hypomania.”

Depression and Its Symptoms

Many people are truly depressed only once, while others can experience it daily. More frequent occurrences are as worrisome as single instances and there are many symptoms to watch out for:

  • When you are burdened by the weight of emotions like sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness.
  • If you experience outbursts of frustration, anger, or irritability caused by trivial problems.
  • You avoid hobbies, sports, intimacy – things you were once interested in and looked forward to.
  • Issues with sleeping, including not getting enough hours of rest, or even sleeping too long.
  • You’re physically tired or lack energy, especially while accomplishing chores of minimal effort.
  • Eating or weight problems, such as not having an appetite and eating less than normal, or weight gain from binge eating.
  • Everyday situations like making dinner or interacting with co-workers make you restless, agitated, or anxious.
  • You don’t think as quickly as you used to, or your body moves in slow motion.
  • Memories of past failure or guilt nag at you and you can’t shake them.
  • Your decision-making skills are diminished, due to trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, or overall hesitance.
  • You think of suicide or harming yourself or others.
  • You wonder why you have sudden headaches or body discomforts.

I think I have Depression, What Should I do?

Depression can affect anyone but is twice as likely to occur in females as males. Science says the causes are often hormonal, rising during puberty, the onset of menstrual problems, or the occurrence of pregnancy and giving birth. The symptoms can be severe, but also can be managed and treated.

Studies reveal a growing body of evidence that medicine can treat symptoms of depression. Ketamine, for instance, has been shown to treat anxiety and anxiety spectrum disorders, increasing its use in clinical settings. Another study shows the drug has been effective over the short-term in relieving symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder.

If you or a loved one is battling depression we would like to invite you to contact our practice today for a free consultation to learn more about Ketamine infusion therapy.




🔶ABOUT KEN STARR MD WELLNESS GROUP: The Ken Starr MD Wellness Group is the place to learn about addiction recovery strategies that have the ability to help you attain freedom. We’re innovative leaders in the treatment of medical detox, recovery, and wellness care. The Wellness Group provides substance abuse treatment, detox, counseling and Ketamine treatments. Come visit us on the California Central Coast. Ken Starr MD is an expert in NAD+ treatments, Board Certified in Addiction Medicine and an experienced Ketamine provider. We Biohack recovery and detox so our patients can live their best life.


Our Team:

Our Services:

NAD+ Therapy:






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CONTACT US: 📞805-242-12360 📧

When Can I get a Vivitrol Shot?

Click here to watch in Youtube

Speaker 1: (00:02)

Speaker 2: (00:08)
Hey Dr. Ken Starr here, I want to answer the question for you. When can I get Vivitrol? This is important and I’m talking about for opiate dependence, not alcohol use disorder, which is a different topic altogether. You can only get Vivitrol when you are fully detoxed off of opiates. Okay. A lot of patients who come to the clinic are a little bit confused about the difference between Suboxone and Vivitrol and so forth. If you are on an opiate, whether it’s a pain pill or heroin or fentanyl or methadone or Suboxone or buprenorphine, if you have that in your system, you take Vivitrol or naltrexone that binds that receptor so it’s a much stronger magnet than any of those other substances. Much stronger magnet, much less activity precipitated withdrawal. No bueno, nosuper sick, right? If you’re on Vivitrol or you’re on naltrexone, you’re stable on it and then you use opiates, then it’s a blunted response.

Speaker 2: (01:01)
Now obviously it depends on the dose, but in general those receptors are occupied and there’s a cover over them. So if you use opiates, then it’s, it’s blunted and you have less effect. Um, sometimes even no effect. So the manufacturer’s recommendations, seven to 10 days, lots of drug and alcohol doctors will do it shorter than that, but the patients have to know that there are risks for precipitated withdrawal. If you’re considering this, you might want to do a test dose of a small amount of naltrexone first, but it’s enough that when you stop using opiates on your own, you have a natural slow kind of off-gassing of opiates at your system. That’s why withdrawal is days and days and days. If you were to take Vivitrol too early or naltrexone too early, it just super sick right away precipitated withdrawal. That’s what you want to avoid.

Speaker 2: (01:50)
All right, so the question is when can I get Vivitrol? Wait, as long as you can wait, as long as you can maybe have your provider give you a test dose of Narcan or naltrexone, which is a shorter-acting version of the same, and then you can do it. Now if you get a Vivitrol shot, remember that it doesn’t even work for several hours and it doesn’t get to a high level, a peak level for seven days or longer. So keep that in mind. But it’s great medicine for early recovery. It’s a great insurance policy if it’s something you’re thinking about and you’re motivated. Do I love it when my patients do a Vivitrol shot every month, then I don’t need to worry about them. I said, 28-day life insurance policy. They like it, their family likes it. Um, it’s great, but just don’t get it too early, lots of patients that we’ve seen over the years have had precipitated withdrawal. That’s it for now. Okay. Be careful with naltrexone. Be careful with Vivitrol. Make sure your detox before you take it. Thanks.

Alcohol Recovery with NAD+ | Brain Restoration Therapy


View on YouTube


My name is Pam, I am an alcoholic. I’m sober over 60 days right now. And I just wanted to tell you how fabulous my experience has been at Ken Starr and the addiction center. My treatment here has been fabulous. Everybody from reception to counseling to setting up my… my direct experience has been wonderful. And what’s been really great is I know that I’ll get lifelong support for my sobriety and everything else that the program has done that I can continue that.

The great change in me… well, first, I’ll tell you, I just went to Betty Ford for 45 days for pain and alcoholism. That was a great experience. I didn’t think I could possibly feel better after that, because I thought I was 100%. But when I came here, my… all of my parameters from physical pain, anxiety, depression, craving to drink, all of those on a scale of 1 to 10 are 0 right now, which is a huge thing for me. I drank for 7 years, and so this is a huge change. 

The other thing that has really changed for me is the ability to experience great joy. So, I wake up every morning, I’m joyful and happy. My sleep has improved since I’m here; that helps a lot. And I, not only do experience joyfulness, I’ve had that spiritual awakening since I came here. I became open to that. And this is the best I’ve ever felt with my conscious contact with God, my serenity, my sense of calm, my sense of purpose. 

When I came here, I had an irrational fear of relapsing. I don’t feel that anymore. It’s just a huge improvement for me. And I can’t tell you enough about the support, the group support here, the individual counseling and therapy, developing a relapse prevention plan and exit plan for what I do out in the real world once I finish this. So, I can’t tell you enough how great this experience has been for me, knowing I can come back for any future needs that I have, and that’s really reassuring. 

So, I hope you’ll consider coming here. I will come back if I have any problems. I know they’re here for me emotionally, spiritually, in terms of cravings, if that should come up, physical pain. And I know that I… you know, I always can come back for that. I’m really excited. I hope you’ll consider coming here.

10 Day Withdrawal Free Opiate Detox with NAD+


Click Here to Watch the Video on Youtube



The program is fantastic!

I was very skeptical coming into it you know, not knowing too much about it considering I’ve been through traditional detox before for opiate addiction and I am floored by the results!

I feel so much better after a 10 day detox than I would if I had gone anywhere else.

My cravings are at a minimum and my withdrawal symptoms were almost non-existent throughout the entire process.

How to Help Someone with Depression

How to Help Someone with Depression

When someone is dealing with depression they are often not the only ones who are suffering. Trying to help someone who’s depressed is often a frustrating, confusing experience. You want to see them get better, but at the same time, you don’t want to do anything that might make the situation worse. As a result, interactions can become tense, simply because you’re trying not to make a mistake. And if you do say or do something that’s poorly received, there’s a danger of becoming resentful that your best efforts are not appreciated. So, how to help someone with depression? Mental health professionals suggest you try some of the following methods.

First Things First: Understanding What You’re Up Against

Before you’re in a position to offer help you need to have a good idea of what depression is and what it isn’t. So let’s begin with a quick primer on this vexing condition.

    It is a serious condition – Every year untold numbers of depressed people end their own lives. This should be evidence enough that this is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition. So don’t underestimate it, don’t trivialize it and don’t think you’re going to wave some magic motivational wand and everything’s going to be better. It’s going to take time and effort.


  • It’s not personal – Family and friends sometimes take it personally when a depressed person doesn’t respond to their efforts in a positive way. They may even think the depressed person is getting some kind of joy out of putting up roadblocks to help. Keep in mind that the depressed person is often just as confused and upset as you are. So don’t take it personally.


  • It is possible to recover – There may come a time when you are tempted to throw in the towel and walk away. “I tried” is a common response to depression. Try to remember that depression isn’t like a cold or flu that can be expected to pass in a few days. There is no set timeline for recovery. But recovery is possible. So be patient and get on with your own life in the meantime.


  • It’s not a character flaw – When their best efforts seem to get nowhere, people are often tempted to resort to blaming the depressed person. “They’re just lazy” and “They just want attention” are common responses to being rebuffed. Try to remember depression is not a character flaw. It’s a serious and often stubborn medical condition.


How to Help Someone with Depression


Now that we have a better idea of what depression is and isn’t let’s look at how to help someone with depression.


  • Positive reinforcement – Tell the depressed person you care and that they’re important to you. Listen when they want to speak and don’t judge. Instead of telling them you understand, just listen. Or hold their hand. Or let them cry on your shoulder. The important thing is not to expect an immediate response. Often this type of support has an incremental effect that is real but hard to measure.


  • Leave the tough love at the door – Whether you’re treating a broken arm or depression, it’s crucial that you use appropriate treatments. Tough love has its place. But not when it comes to helping someone with depression. You wouldn’t tell someone with a broken arm to just “get over it”. And you shouldn’t say that to someone with depression.


  • Resist comparing your experience with theirs – When someone’s going through a hard time it’s common to offer solace by relating how you got through your own difficult situation. But unless you’ve recovered from depression yourself this type of approach is likely to backfire. It may seem like you’re trying to make light of their condition.


  • Stay connected – Above all, don’t become resentful and withdraw from the depressed person’s life. Stay connected with them while going on about your own business. Stay upbeat and show that your love is not contingent upon their physical, mental or emotional state. You care about them and that’s that.




Remember that recovery from depression is possible although it sometimes takes longer than we wish it would. The key is to be patient, don’t take it personally and try and separate the person from the condition. There is an array of treatments available that can help with depression today. One that has shown extraordinary promise in recent years is ketamine. Some are saying it as the biggest breakthrough in depression treatment in decades. Make sure that when treatments are discussed for your loved one that ketamine treatment is considered.

Eat Well and Lose Weight

courtesy of

According to the World Health Organization, obesity is a worldwide epidemic, with the number of obese people tripling since the mid-1970s. Unfortunately, having excessive body weight puts you at a much higher risk of certain health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. And there is an undeniable correlation between having a low income and a high BMI.


Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to lose weight, even if you are on a tight budget.


Your Waist Can’t Wait, and Not Just for Swimsuit Season


Before we look at ways to lose weight, it’s crucial to understand how excess body fat affects your health. Being overweight can cause depression, leave you struggling with fertility, and can cause or worsen obstructive breathing disorders, such as COPD and sleep apnea. Evidence suggests that losing just 5 to 10 percent of your overall body weight can put you on a path toward wellness. Further, reducing your body size can give you a mental boost and make you feel more confident as summer approaches.


Some Foods Are Good for Body and Mind


Many of the healthiest foods pack a double punch. Things such as chicken, whole grains, spinach, yogurt, and tomatoes are all affordable, and they are easily located at your local grocer. Not only are these typically considered low-calorie and high-nutrition dietary options, but they can also boost your mental health. Salmon, for example, contains a respectable amount of vitamin D, which may help with depression. The folic acid in spinach can stave off insomnia. As a general rule, foods that are good for your body are also good for your mind. Remember that the nutritional value of the food you eat doesn’t just go to your midsection; it’s distributed and affects every system in your body from your brain down.


There Are Ways to Pay Less


If you are still intimidated by the prices at the grocery store, keep in mind that you can buy many healthy foods, including protein powders and dietary supplements, online. Sites like Amazon have entire departments dedicated to wellness. And if you don’t mind a bit of research, you can find Amazon discount codes to make your dietary selections even more affordable. Another option to help you save on fresh fruits and vegetables is to order from companies like Imperfect Foods, which delivers “ugly” foods that most grocery stores would reject. Your local seasonal farmers market is also a great place to grab deals on fresh produce.


Losing Weight Saves You Money


The health benefits you receive from lowering the number on the scale can also equate to a heftier bank account. In a study posted in the research journal Obesity, researchers found that there are significant additional lifetime costs associated with being overweight. Increased medical expenses account for much of this.


Dining for Dollars Makes Sense


When you’re trying to lose weight, a significant lifestyle change you can make that will also save you money over the long term is cooking at home. Not only does it cost less to DIY dinner, but you’re also getting the benefit of the extra physical activity associated with both cooking and grocery shopping. While there is nothing wrong with the occasional night out, making better use of your kitchen is the best thing for you and your family.


Shedding excess pounds doesn’t have to mean an immediate lifestyle overhaul. However, by eating healthy foods and focusing on nutrition, you not only lose weight but also improve your overall quality of life. And if you’re willing to put in the work, you can do it without the luxury of a personal chef or pricey gym membership.


Image via Pexels

Can Depression Cause Pain

Yes, there is a close link between pain and depression. It’s a vicious cycle — depression can cause pain, but pain can cause depression as well. Once this cycle has started, it’s a snowball effect where your pain makes your depression worse, and your depression makes the pain worse. Many people suffering from depression even report unexplained aches in their back or

Chronic pain can affect mood over time and tends to wear a person down. It also creates other problems that only contribute to depression, such as difficulty sleeping or stress. This chronic pain may also create issues with low self-esteem or may cause social withdrawal or loss of interest in hobbies.
Depression unfortunately, doesn’t just cause pain, it is also linked to other health conditions like
cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is pain that lasts beyond the usual time it takes for an injury to heal. Chronic pain may also be described as, pain that lasts for longer than three months at a time. Some research indicates that up to half the people suffering from chronic pain also struggle from a depressive or anxiety disorder.

Chronic pain is an emotional condition just as much as it is a physical one. Chronic pain may cause a person to grow isolated from others, or lose the mobility they used to have. Chronic pain can also stem from other conditions like arthritis, migraines, heart disease, or diabetes.Because of the many similarities, it can sometimes be difficult to assess whether a person’s chronic pain triggered their depression, or whether it is the other way around. Someone suffering from chronic pain is three times more likely to develop depression and someone suffering from depression is three times as likely to develop chronic pain. Depression can only further debilitate a person suffering from chronic pain.

Unfortunately, these people are less likely to recognize that they are suffering from depression and thus, less likely to seek treatment. As much as half of the people suffering from depression are diagnosed by their healthcare professionals after only describing physical symptoms. Because pain and depression are so closely linked and difficult to distinguish, it is important to understand both depression and pain and how to treat both.  A person may be suffering from a combination of depression and chronic pain if they exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:

● Loss of interest in hobbies or activities

● Irritability
● Depressed mood
● Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping too much or too little)
● Changes in appetite (weight gain or weight loss)
● Feelings of guilt and hopelessness
● Fatigue or loss of energy
● Difficulty concentrating
● Suicidal thoughts
What treatment options are available for depression and pain?
Fortunately, there are a multitude of treatment options that can provide relief from the symptoms of both chronic pain and depression. These include, but are not limited to:
Ketamine Infusion — An innovative new treatment option, research has shown that IV
Ketamine Infusion can help up to 80% of patients find relief from depression symptoms
or pain.
● Medication — Analgesics or antidepressant medications may be prescribed, but these
treatments will not work for everyone and may take months at a time before relief is felt.
● Therapy — Psychotherapy or talk therapy can help a person identify harmful thinking
patterns and replace them with more positive ones
● Stress-Reduction Skills — Exercise, meditation, and muscle relaxation are useful in
combating not just pain but also the symptoms of depression.
● Support Group — Consider seeking out a support group made up of others suffering
from depression and chronic pain. These are filled with people suffering from the same
thing as you who may have helpful solutions.
If you think you are experiencing depression and chronic pain, it is important to speak to your
primary healthcare provider for treatment. Seeking out treatment is not a sign of weakness, and untreated depression or chronic pain will only get worse with time.

Ketamine Infusions

An innovative new treatment option, Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic that has been found to provide rapid relief from depression and anxiety when infused at a low dose. The FDA
has recently approved Esketamine, a nasal spray comprised of a compound based on Ketamine, for the treatment of depression and other mood disorders. Research indicates that
Ketamine stimulates the regrowth of synapses within the brain, essentially rewiring the parts of the brain that may be causing distress. Ketamine is also available as an infusion. Some
researchers maintain a 75% success rate when treating those suffering from depression or anxiety with Ketamine Infusions.