The Role of Neurons in Substance Abuse

Addiction is a neurological disease and any attempt to define it otherwise can be met with compelling evidence. In fact, the nature of the disease of addiction is almost entirely based upon functions that occur within nerve cells and the circuits they are wired in. Understanding the role neurons play in substance abuse won’t help an addict get clean directly, but it will foster an environment of understanding that can help to mitigate and improve the serious public health threat of substance abuse.

What is a Nerve Cell?

There are billions – perhaps trillions – of nerve cells in the brain. Some scientists theorize there are so many nerve cells because in the event of their death or alteration, these cells are not regenerated and therefore we require a surplus of them. And because their functions are so critical, nerve cells are found in abundance in every area of the brain.

Nerve cells – also called neurons – have many different functions, but overall these functions are primarily communication-related. Neurons communicate by sending and receiving signals to other neurons and nerve circuits, to glands and other hormone-related organs, to muscle cells and other parts of the central nervous system.

Neurons are arranged in circuits, though individual nerve cells do not physically touch. Instead, they float freely within the circuit.

The Individual Parts of Nerve Cells/Neurons

A neuron has 4 primary components;

1. Cell Body: the actual body of the nerve cell

2. Dendrites: dendrites branch out from the top of the nerve cell body

3. Axon: the axon is a long “cord” that extends from the bottom of the cell body

4. Terminals: the terminals branch out from the end of the axon

What Happens During Drug Use

When drugs enter the bloodstream, a signal is sent that excites certain dendrites in a nerve circuit. This signal is processed by the cell body, which in turn then sends instructions about the signal down through the axon. The axon conveys the signal and a neurotransmitter – often dopamine – is released by the terminals.

The neurotransmitter settles into the small gap between individual neurons – called the synaptic gap – and binds with receptors found in the dendrites of connected nerve cells. This causes the user to feel a euphoric sensation or “high.” When drugs like cocaine, heroin or meth interfere with this process, the neurotransmitter is not reabsorbed correctly by the terminals, resulting in neurotransmitter saturation. This causes the high to last for an extended period of time, whereas a natural release of a transmitter like dopamine normally causes a mildly pleasant feeling that quickly dissipates.

How the Brain Corrects the Imbalance

Because drug use is essentially a chemical invasion of the brain, the central nervous system will seek to control the effects of the substance. This is accomplished through a process called drug tolerance, whereby users find it increasingly more difficult to get high.

Tolerance develops when changes are made to the way receptors bind with neurotransmitters, or when other processes in the nerve circuit are altered in order to reduce or eliminate the effects of the foreign substance. Unfortunately, this often means that the drug user will simply increase the dosage of drugs in order to overcome this growing tolerance. This is the beginning of the cycle of addiction.

Permanency of Changes

Changes made to receptors and nerve cells are not reversible. This means that the brain of a drug addict will have significantly changed by the time they stop using. Because these changes are largely permanent, they may cause the addict to feel differently than they did before they began using. Adjusting to these changes is the most difficult part of long term recovery from addiction or alcoholism.

The evidence shows that addiction is not an issue of morals or character; it has its roots literally in our brains and therefore deserves to be treated as the serious health concern that it is. This is why addiction can happen to anyone: we are all wired the same. The sooner we can understand this, the sooner we can begin to offer addicts the right treatment solutions, beginning with a grounded public perception of the neurological nature of addiction.

Panama 2009 – My First Adventure Outside the USA

In the summer of 2009 I made my first trip outside of the Country. At the ripe age of 39, I boarded a plane and headed to Central America. I’d never been though customs, immigration and had a naked passport. I wondered if the representative at the desk would question where I’d been for the previous 39 years, thankfully he didn’t.

Confession Time – I immediately fell in love with the thrill of landing in a foreign location and soaking up all the ambiance. I fell in love with the fun of working remotely from an exotic destination and even the thought that only my team knew where I was and the clients I chatted with had no idea.

My loving and fun guide on this adventure was my fantastic partner, Tomie who had previously visited Panama on several occasions. While this was my first trip, I’d been there many times in books, magazines and via the web. I began to look at moving to Panama when after the summer of 2004 in Central Florida I endured weeks with no power after 3 hurricanes visited. Shortly after that summer I learned that there were no hurricanes in Panama, plenty of infrastructure, friendly people and warm weather.

We ventured into the old City of Casco Viejo, out to the beaches of Santa Clara and into the jungle 3 hours down a winding road from Santiago. We boarded a speed boat and enjoyed an entire day and night out on Tobaga Island. From the condo we stayed in we could see the ships as they waited in line to go through the Panama Canal. While on the island we enjoyed an entire Saturday and Sunday with no internet, it was absolutely liberating.

In 7 days we ate, drank, swam in the ocean, enjoyed siestas and made some new friends. We happily lived without our Blackberries, or as I use to call them, Crackberries. Oddly enough the first two days without checking the silly thing to see if someone sent me an email was tough, then well it was actually liberating. Along the way we enjoyed wifi at most hotels, I was easily able to connect with my team, answer client questions and even make phone calls.

I learned a valuable lesson that I don’t think I could have here in the states where my phone easily let’s me get interrupted all day long. I learned that while I’m pretty important to some people, everyone who wanted to connect with me had no problem waiting a few hours or even until the next day or so to get a reply. Not responding with in seconds or minutes to an email didn’t make the earth spin out of control or my business to suffer. It actually helped me gain focus, clarity and some much needed relaxation.

Fearing the unknown often times keeps us stuck, makes it impossible for us to enjoy the life we truly want. Life is meant for us to enjoy it ~ so make a list of the places you want to visit, the things you want to do and start doing them.

How a Shuttle Works

With the current economic crunch everyone is looking for a way to cut expenses. Shuttle services have therefore become a popular means of traveling to and from the airport, home, office, hotel or any other location. Since a shuttle typically transports more than six passengers, they are able to offer low fares by splitting the overall cost of the ride among the passengers. They are comfortable, reliable and, most of all, less costly than other alternatives such as a cab or limousine.

Making shuttle reservations from home

To schedule a shuttle service to pick you up from your residence all you have to do is visit their homepage or call the company’s office number. The company will dispatch either a van or a bus to come pick you up within a fifteen-minute window and will drop you at a convenient terminal at the airport. Shuttles carefully schedule their departure time so as to guarantee that the passengers reach the airport in time for their flight. For instance, if you schedule to be picked up at 08:00 am the ride will arrive between 08:00 am and 08:15 am, thus it is important that when scheduling a particular pick up time, you should ensure that you will be ready to travel, otherwise you will inconvenience the other clients who are sharing with you.

From the airport

While it is not necessarily a must for you to make a reservation for a shuttle while at the airport most companies would recommend you to do so. Making an advance reservation when arriving from a long distance flight will save you from the agony of waiting for transport and the hassle of making payments at the airport or aboard the shuttle. However, one should also bear in mind that making an advanced reservation does not necessarily mean that a ride will be waiting for you on arrival. Due to safety considerations major airports do not permit buses or vans to wait at the curb. They will be found at a convenient holding location which is walking distance from the airport.

Most shuttle companies have a ticket counter within the airport or some will have representatives waiting at the curbside. Either way the procedure is simple and straight forward.

  • As soon as you have collected all your luggage, let the company’s representative know the particular location you are travelling to and give them your confirmation number.
  • The representative will feed these details into the company’s system so as to inform the dispatchers to group you with other clients from the same or different terminals who are going in your direction.
  • An available shuttle is then released from the holding lot to come pick you up along with the other clients.
  • You will board the shuttle as soon as it arrives. The time you will take to arrive at your destination will depend on the traffic conditions, number of passengers and number of stops. The company representative will be in a good position to give you an accurate estimate.

Understanding Your Landing Page

Trends in the marketing and advertising industry are ever-changing. They evolve depending on the developments of target markets and consumers. Before, promotions are centered on traditional media. Businesses invest in print advertisements in magazines and newspapers. They also pay for television and radio advertisements when they want to reach a wider range of market.

Nowadays, though, a new line of advertising and marketing strategy has emerged together with the rise of the online industry. As the target market becomes considerably larger online, businesses become more focused on their promotional strategies. The audience online is so vast that businesses find difficulty in actually reaching out to their market, let alone encouraging them to become actual clients.

This is why a lot of businesses now focus on creating good sales copies and engaging websites for their online market. They have even opened work from home opportunities for content writers, web page designers, and other skilled individuals. One of the best strategies that these businesses employ is the use of landing pages.

A landing page appears when you click through a search engine result or an online ad posting. Usually, these are stand-alone pages that only contain a link to the official website if the reader gets more interested. A comprehensive sales copy is commonly featured in landing pages. Often, they are made for specific advertising purposes or when there is a particular product that a company would like to give emphasis on.

Landing pages may also appear as the result of a link from a social networking account or a specialized marketing campaign. These are the pages that you get redirected to when you click through a badge from the sidebar of your Facebook account or from a blog that you are visiting. You may also reach this through a promotional message sent to you via email.

There are two general types of a landing page. One is the reference type, wherein you only get to view information and content displayed for you. This is the kind that you put up for the purpose of direct promotion. In this type, visitors of the page are given outright the information that they need. The other type of landing page is referred to as transactional because it requires visitors to enter log-in details for them to be able to view the content of the page.

In creating landing pages, you must be able to consider a few essential factors to ensure that they reach the objective for which they are made for. One of these factors is the accessibility of your page. You have to ensure that when a potential client decides to peruse the landing page for your product all of its contents are easily accessible. The information must all be displayed in a well-organized manner to display transparency and encourage understanding of your brand and product.

You should also be able to consider the relevance of your content to the immediate market that you may reach. As the Internet is a wide market, this page will likely be visited by various people. However, only those who find your content relevant to their needs would be interested enough to read through and even click to be redirected to your actual website. This is why you have to ensure that your content would prove to relate to your audience, regardless of their needs and statuses. They have to be able to see some benefit, however remotely, out of the product that you are offering them.

Finally, in creating a landing page, you must also consider the level of interaction that it promotes. Online users are usually more enticed when they get to a page that tries to interact with them because they feel significant to the purpose. You must make your readers feel this way so that they would be encouraged to visit your website and, eventually, become actual clients. Interactive landing pages may include forum questions, online promo contests, and information exchange.

Landing pages are really beneficial for website owners especially to those who are managing work from home opportunities. They do need not to compile all information in just one website. Just always remember to put in your landing page all relevant information for your brand to gain the trust of your immediate market.

Europe – The Best Way to Explore Your Destinations

Our main modes of transportation consisted of the Eurorail, TGV, Metro and walking. But, as with every other aspect of trip planning, it is important to research because there are numerous options available.

There is the choice of whether to get first or second class train tickets; there really is a difference between the two although in the end, they both get you to where you want to go. With first class the seats are very comfortable, there is leg room and ample space for luggage, as well as drinks are offered by passing porters. We chose this option because of the length of time we would be spending on Eurorail while travelling through three different countries.

However, from Paris to Switzerland, we chose the TGV train system which travels at 320 km hour and often faster. This cut our train travel for this leg of our journey from over six hours to about three hours. We chose not to make reservations which would have been an additional cost, deciding to take our chances on not having to wait. Because we left early for the train station, and because the trains leave hourly, we were fortunate in not having a long wait time.

While in Switzerland we were able to use our Eurorail pass. If we had not had this pass, we would’ve had to purchase Swiss passes for transportation while in Switzerland. Our Eurorail pass also gave us passage on the ferries in both Lucerne and Interlacken as well as the cogwheel trains we took up Rigi Kulm Mountain and Jungfrauloch Mountain in Switzerland.

When we purchased our rail passes, based on the fact that we would be travelling to three countries, we got the three country, seven day pass which was ideal for our requirements although as it turned out, the two country pass would’ve been sufficient since the TGV had to be purchased separately. The cost of the pass is determined by the number of countries you visit and the number of days you are using your pass. Purchasing Eurorail passes outside of Europe is cheaper. The open tour bus in Rome was an additional cost. When we were travelling by train, we had to be aware of what the station before our stop was so we could get our luggage and be ready to leave the train when it came into the station.

While in Paris and Rome, we used the Metro system of transportation or by walking to our destinations. Both Metro systems were quite easy to use and in Paris in particular, almost every station had people available to answer questions. Also in Paris, the route you needed to take to get to the train level you wanted, was very clearly marked on the walls at each fork. While in Rome we only used their Metro system one day and had clear instructions on which line we needed to take and the station we had to get off. In both Paris and Rome Metro systems, the next station is shown overhead on a flashing sign so you are given ample warning.

The only taxi we took while in Europe was to the airport to catch our flights home. We could have taken a shuttle or bus to the train station which, between connections, would have taken several hours. For an early morning flight, and with the difficulty of having luggage to worry about, the cost of a taxi was well worth the extra money spent.

Before travelling, make sure to research, plan and organize so that things will go as smoothly as possible and time isn’t wasted trying to get information when that time could be spent travelling and getting to your point of destination more quickly. This is especially true when your travel time is limited as ours was – three countries, eight cities and other specific areas in just two weeks.

Simple Woodworking Business Marketing Tips

First off, you are a small business. Unlike big businesses that can afford to advertise for name recognition and future product sales, you need an advertising plan that will create sales now. A good approach to this would be to offer something special in your advertisements.

People buy things every day. However, not all people make their decision to buy any particular product or service for the same reason. Some consumers care only about the price while others are more concerned about the quality. You can easily appeal to either of these groups.

Offer Different Priced Versions

Some customers just do not want to pay the full price for anything, while others are concerned about only getting something for the lowest price regardless of the quality. You can appeal to these types of customers with a discounted or scaled down model that sells for less.

On the other hand, there are those who are not opposed to paying a little more to get a quality product and/or service. You can increase your average sale by offering your premium wood products or a combination of products at a higher but fair price.

Use Alternative Marketing Methods

Find the marketing methods that your competition may be overlooking. There are many low-cost ways to get the word out about your woodworking business.

Create a website or blog. Promote your woodworking business with mailings. A small ad printed on a simple postcard and mailed to perspective customers can generate sales leads and website traffic.

Run smaller ads. This will allow you to have more advertisements for less money. Shorter, smaller ads have a surprisingly better response rate than you might think. Smaller ads often produce better results than their larger counterparts.

Consider Joint Venture Advertising

Contact some of the non-competing businesses in your area that serve the same customer base as your woodworking business. Suggest starting a cooperative advertising campaign with them. You could promote their business by referring customers to them and they would in turn do the same for you. You could even offer discounts to the referred customers. This type of cross promotion results in more sales for both businesses and literally costs nothing…

Reward Your Customers

Take advantage of your woodworking business’s most valuable asset: your current customers. These people know you and have come to trust and believe in your work. It is a lot easier to entice more business from a prior customer than someone who hasn’t bought from you yet.

Alert these customers to any new woodworking products or services before you release them to the general public, and offer them a special deal.

Your satisfied customers are your best advertisement, so use this to your advantage and reward them whenever you can. Give your customers a reason to refer you to their friends. Develop incentives that will encourage them to spread the word about you and your woodworking business. A discount on their next product is well worth a new customer.

These simple marketing tips provide affordable ways for your woodworking business to create a customer base and produce sales quickly.

Uses of Car Detailing

Owning a car has now become a norm for middle class families in India. With the country showing good economic growth, the average middle class consumer has enough money to splurge on a car. With a wide range of models to choose from, the Indian consumer is pampered for choice. From going out on picnics to having a fun drive, a car has become a part and parcel of an Indian family’s growth, happiness and transportation needs.

Buying an automobile is always a daunting task. First one has to decide if one needs a new care or a used car based on one’s budget and needs. But whatever be the case, a car once bought needs good care and maintenance for peak performance and all round reliability. Given that a car is a utility, due care must be taken to ensure that there are no breakdowns at any time so as not to be caught unawares. Besides periodic maintenance of the engine, chassis, turbocharger and other technical aspects, the aesthetic aspect of things must also be considered. A car is a work of art and over time, it is subject to a lot of wear and tear. The initial lustre may be lost, scratches and dents may occur. Further, when the owner decides to sell a car, he must ensure that he can attract potential buyers and convince them that their potential investment is good value for money. A first impression is always the best impression at any point in the lifetime of a car and here is where car detailing comes in.

Auto detailing is a technical process where an automobile is thoroughly cleaned, waxed and polished both on the inside and the outside to produce show quality level of detail. Besides improving appearance, it helps to raise the resale value of a car. It is subdivided into three aspects- exterior detailing, interior detailing and engine detailing.

Interior detailing involves cleaning the passenger compartment, trunk, dash board areas, panels, windows and carpet. Vacuuming is the first step and this may be followed by steam cleaning, use of liquid cleaners and brushing to remove stains. Exterior detailing involves cleaning and bringing to shine all the parts of the visible exterior like wheels, paint, chrome trim, windows, wheels and other components. Cleaning, polishing and protection are the three steps in exterior detailing. Cleaning deals with the removal of all foreign matter from the exterior surface. Polishing involves the use of machines to remove scratches and other imperfections from the surface. This is done by removing a micrometre of paint from the surface by special pads. Waxing or protection involves the application of wax on the surface to prevent foreign matter from adhering to the surface. The third aspect of detailing is where steam, high pressure water, degreasers and all purpose cleaners are used to clean under the hood of a car. A lot of car dealers in India offer restoration services in addition to car detailing. The best way to shortlist a company will be based on reputation, service quality and cost effectiveness.

How Effective Is Drug Testing in Eradicating Teen Drug Abuse?

Every day, thousands of teens are getting addicted to illicit drugs. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 21.5 percent of youth (more than 1 in 5) aged between 18 and 25 years are under the influence of illicit drugs.

The percentage of teens getting addicted to drugs has increased in the last few years. Many of them are getting into this devastating habit due to lack of awareness of the serious consequences it poses.

Why teens get into drug abuse

There are many reasons why teens get into this habit. Most of the teens experiment with drugs, putting their health and safety at risk. Many teens take drugs just to fit in their friends group because of peer pressure. Some teens are influenced by their parents’ behavior. If they find their parents taking drugs, they would follow it. While some of the teens taking drugs, want to feel good and some teens are prone to drugs due to financial or mental depression.

Teen drug testing helps in eradicating teen drug abuse. It can be conducted in high schools, colleges or at the privacy of the home. It is an effective way to keep teens away from drugs and studies show that it brings a positive effect.

Many high schools are conducting these tests randomly in their schools on students and schools that conduct these tests have higher attendance rates than compared to other schools where the drug testing is not conducted.

High school students are more likely to get influenced by drugs. Therefore, to prevent teens from taking drugs, drug-testing and awareness programs should be conducted in high schools to keep a check on drug abusing teens. These programs are not meant to punish or insult the teens, but to take measures before it is too late.

Use reliable test kits:

There are many drug test kits available in the market. But before you buy the test kit see that it is tested and proven. You need to buy kits from reputed dealer and check if the test kits are approved by the FDA. Reputed dealers will offer these test kits affordable price and the results will be accurate and consistent.

Therefore, before it is too late, teens should be educated about the negative impact that drug leaves on their body and mind in the early stage. Drug testing is an effective way in eradicating teen drug abuse.

Using Drupal As Your CMS Platform

Most websites use WordPress or Joomla as their CMS system. However, there are plenty of CMS platforms available and Drupal is one of them. The Drupal CMS platform has plenty of business tools and this helps with easy maintenance.

Drupal is an open source platform that offers you plenty of options and it’s really flexible allowing you to modify, share as well as distribute content with ease. However, Drupal isn’t just a CMS platform it’s a SaaS – that is Service solution which is perfect for small businesses and can even be effectively used for larger enterprises.

Benefits of using Drupal

There are plenty of benefits of using Drupal, some of them include:

You don’t have to pay anything

There are plenty of CMS platforms and a few of them charge significantly in order to use their systems. Of course WordPress one of the best platforms is totally free as well.

Drupal is totally free and there are absolutely no hidden fees involved. There are plenty of advantages of using a free CMS platform as there are plenty of people who’d be using them and hence there are plenty of developers ready to help you out.

It’s got some top clients

Drupal has plenty of high profile clients and they only use it because it’s an amazing platform. Some of the high profile clients include: The white house, Wake Forest University, FedEx and a lot more.

It’s got amazing support

Whenever you decide to choose a CMS platform for your business you don’t just need to make sure that the platform is good; but, at the same time you need to make sure that it’s got high quality support from third party applications.

Web Design flexibility

Unlike most of the other CMS platforms out there that offer just a few frameworks and limited custom coding capabilities, Drupal allows you to showcase your brand in an attractive and interactive way.

Therefore, you can make sure that your design suits your business needs without worrying about any hindrances by the CMS platform.

It’s optimized for search engines

These days after the Google panda and penguin updates you need to make sure that your website is ideal for search engines. Of course the Penguin update only focuses on backlinks, but there are plenty of other algorithm changes that various search engines are making.

Drupal is extremely Search engine friendly and the content on your website would be displayed in a way that is easily crawled by most search engines.

Earn A Full Or Part-Time Income From Digital Info Products

If you have ever wanted to know how to earn an income working from home then you need to read this article from start to finish. There are thousands of people all over the world that earn a full or part-time income from digital information products.

Just like any other business though it does take some effort on your part, you must treat it like a business. A great advantage is having the freedom to work wherever you like, whether that is from the kitchen table to the deck of a 5 star cruise liner. The choice is yours.

There are many advantages and good reasons to produce digital information products.

Here are just 5 reasons;

1) They are relatively simple to produce

2) The cost of producing them is within just about anyone’s budget

3) You can start today with just a computer and an internet connection

4) You can build a business in your spare time

5) You can sell the product that you create over and over again

Starting your own digital publishing empire is an easy way to start your own business without the massive overheads that are associated with traditional “brick and mortar” businesses.

Most households have a computer and internet access these days, so initial outlay is minimal to get started. Information delivered in PDF format is very simple, even if you have never done it before.

All you need is a free writing program software installed on your computer such as the free one available from OpenOffice.org and you can get started. The sort of products that are popular are ones that provide a solution to a problem or shows them how to do something.

Digital info products can be made and delivered in many different formats, people’s preferred learning medium differs, so you might want to consider the various possibilities.

This may be dependent on the subject that you choose, some will be better presented in a written format, while others lend themselves better to being visual. For example skill based information is often better delivered visually so the viewer can see and follow the instructions being provided.

While an information product about how to clear blocked drains would probable be better delivered in a written format.

Audio is great for those wanting to learn on the move, whilst travelling to their destination. Other learn better visually through video, pictures and diagrams. Consider these aspects when creating information products and how you will deliver them.

Digital info products are very versatile, they can be sold or given away from a website, you can even create work in kindle format and publish your work through Amazon.