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Trump Vows Action to Tackle the Opioid Crisis

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President Donald Trump (R), flanked by Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price, delivers remarks on North Korea during an opioid-related briefing at Trump’s golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 8, 2017.

In a briefing at President Trump’s golf estate on Tuesday, he said the United States had no alternative but to defeat an epidemic of opioid drug use.  However, Trump did not mention any new policies to combat the health crisis that kills more than 100 Americans daily.

“It is a problem the likes of which we have not seen,” Trump told reporters in the midst of a two-week getaway at his golf club in New Jersey.

“We will fight this deadly epidemic, and the United States will win,” Trump added. “We will win. We have no alternative.”

In an earlier statement, Trump was expected to give a “major briefing” on opioid drug use but instead gave a few brief comments on the subject while also warning North Korea it would be met with “fire and fury” if it threatens the United States.

Video Courtesy of  (PBS News Hours) August 8, 2017

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price announced that the administration is currently working on devising “a comprehensive strategy” to be presented to Trump “in the near future.”

The commission created by Trump to study opioid abuse urged him to declare a national emergency to address the opioids crisis, framing its death toll in the context of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. It’s important to note an emergency declaration could free up federal resources for the effort.

“The resources that we need or the focus that we need to bring to bear to the opioid crisis at this point can be addressed without the declaration of an emergency, although all things are on the table for the president,”  Price said in a news briefing.

According to new federal reports, drug overdose deaths continue to spike in the United States despite efforts to combat the nation’s ongoing opioid addiction crisis.

The addiction to opioids and its abuse is not only a serious problem; the abuse is a challenging public health problem—as noted in statistical data via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Over the past two decades, deaths from drug overdose have risen steadily and have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Prescription drugs, specifically opioid analgesics—a class of prescription drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and methadone used to treat both acute and chronic pain — have increasingly been implicated in drug overdose deaths over the last decade.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics and the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality files cites in its reporting—from 1999 to 2013, the rate of drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics nearly quadrupled.  The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) cites deaths related to heroin have also increased sharply since 2010, with a 39 percent increase between 2012 and 2013.

Given these alarming trends, it is time for an expedient and sustainable response to prevent opioid abuse and overdose with the goal of treating individuals with opioid use disorder.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) intent on combatting the drug abuse problem, has made addressing opioid abuse a high priority.  In keeping with the challenges facing the drug abuse epidemic, HHS is committed to gaining momentum on its work towards two extensive goals—decreasing opioid overdoses and overall overdose mortality and decreasing the prevalence of opioid use disorder.

Areas requiring top priority for immediate action were identified through a department wide effort, which tapped all the analytical scientific, and programmatic expertise contained in HHS agencies. Moreover, the development effort at its core relied on discussions with states and other stakeholder organizations.

The drug overdose death rate reached 19.9 cases for every 100,000 people during the late summer of 2016, compared with 16.7 cases per 100,000 the year before, the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) stated in its quarterly mortality report.

The 12-month overdose death rate also showed an increase. The rate was 18.5 overdose deaths per 100,000 people for the 12-month period ending in September 2016, compared with 16.1 deaths per 100,000 during the same period a year before, the NCHS said.

The NCHS statistics were released on August 8—the same day Trump reportedly stated that he received a “major briefing” on the opioid crisis with top administration officials at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and acting Director of National Drug Control Policy Richard Baum accompanied President Trump for the opioid briefing.

A White House spokesperson according to a Washington Post report said Trump was reviewing a preliminary report on the opioid crisis from the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which he established in March.

The language in the report urges Trump to declare a national emergency, rapidly increase the nation’s addiction treatment capacity, and provide model legislation that would promote the use of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.

“Your declaration would empower your cabinet to take bold steps and would force Congress to focus on funding and empowering the Executive Branch even further to deal with this loss of life. It would also awaken every American to this simple fact: if this scourge has not found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon will,” wrote the commission, which is headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

By LeNora Millen     08-10-17

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Exposed

Allergy Woes

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Vocal Tips for the Voice during Allergy Season 

Springtime is here! I don’t know about you, but its one of my favorite seasons. Unfortunately, for professional voice users, it’s also the worst season for keeping and maintaining a healthy voice. Some of us refer to spring as,  the dreaded allergy season. From the blooming flowers, the seemingly invisible pollen that floats in the air and, if you have a  pet, the excessive pet dander is more than enough to cause that itchy, scratchy feeling in your throat and cause your sinuses to go bananas! There are several things you can do to relieve both your voice and sinuses during the spring season. I won’t list everything because we would be here ALLDAY and this article will look more like a dissertation and sweet brown says it best, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. Don’t worry, I got you, I picked five of my favorite practices that offer me IMMEDIATE relief and it will do the same for you.

1) The first and most important thing you can do is stay hydrated. Drinking the proper amount of water offer a plethora of benefits to your mind, body, and soul. However, water is especially important for professional voice users like you and me. Water helps to naturally flush out allergens and thin mucus. Also, things like caffeinated beverages, allergy pills and a host of other things many people consume daily, immensely dry the throat and sinus cavities. Water not only keep the throat moist, it helps prevent you overworking your voice to produce sound.

2) Consuming local honey will help you develop immunity to the local pollen Keep in mind, if you travel a lot for speaking, singing or both, you should find local honey where you are traveling as well.  You can put in your favorite herbal tea or even take a teaspoon full a day will help you SO MUCH! It might sound weird but I will work and will thank me later.  Note: ( You can find local honey at some farm to table restaurants or local grocery stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts or Adkins).

 

3) Check the pollen index daily on your local news or weather app. Yes, this is a real thing and is an awesome way to know how to care for your voice and sinuses BEFORE you go outside. How so?!, I’m glad you asked…This helps me decide if I will need to do a sinus rinse, cover my mouth and nose to prevent breathing in so many air born allergens, which cause soreness and vocal fatigue. It also helps me decide what allergy pill I’ll need for the day If any. This is especially important if you have to speak of sing that day.

  

4) A neti pot or saline rise, used regularly (with distilled water only) will keep your nasal passages clear of things like pollen and other air born allergies. Although seemingly uncomfortable to some, this will give your sinuses instant relief and help significantly minimize post-nasal drip.

 

5) Last but surely not least a cool mist humidifier next to your bed while you sleep will serve multiple purposes. If you’ve ever experienced waking up with a dry sticky throat, this means you aren’t hydrated enough. The cool mist humidifier will be like you’re drinking water as you sleep. The cool mist you breathe in while you sleep will add much needed moister to vocal cords while you sleep. This will, over a short period of time, eliminate that dry scratchy feeling. A cool mist humidifier will also work against allergens, such as dust while you rest as well. So, you see, its a win, win! I hope these tips we helpful and that you’ll return for more tea, with ya girl Deonna Marie. Remember, If you have a voice to share with the world, you should care for it because it’s your voice that takes care of you. `

That’s all 

 

-Deonna Marie 

 

Deonna Marie | The Gift of Voice, Professional Classical Singer, Vocal Coach, and Speaker

Facebook: @thegiftofvoice

Instagram: @thegift_ofvoice

Email: deonnamarie2003@gmail.com

Youtube: Deonna Marie Cattledge

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Exposed

The “tea” on Vocal Health

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Deonna Marie, Vocal Health Editor

 

How to Care for the Voice as a Professional Voice User

Are you a Professional Voice User? My name is Deonna Marie and I am here to spill the tea on vocal health. A professional voice user can include anything from singers and speakers to religious leaders and vloggers. I too am a professional voice user. I am a classical singer, vocal coach, and speaker. Okay, maybe I might’ve been accused on more than one occasion of being VERY long winded…and maybe I am, but that’s not the topic. Like many of you, I am also a daughter, friend, sibling, and colleague. Some of you might have a significant other or may have children in your life. So you see, we use our voice A LOT!!! On a daily basis professional voice users, use their voices more than two times the average person. This vocal use, if not done correctly, can potentially cause harm to your voice. I aspire to not only help you prevent vocal harm but in addition, I hope to educate you on ways you can maximize your voice while being healthy at the same time.

I’ll be writing about common issues professional voice users have such as preventing hoarseness after rehearsals and speaking engagements, how travel affects the voice, what foods and drinks to avoid, and much more. I will also be sharing vocal health tips such as how to achieve soaring high notes with ease, how to be heard without a microphone, and many other fascinating facts to put in your toolbox as a professional voice user. Think about it, babies can cry for hours without losing their voice, why? Oprah Winfrey’s voice is as youthful today as it was over 25 years ago, why? Professional voice users make their vocal health a priority, treating it as a gift; the gift of voice. My goal is to shed light on a topic commonly overlooked and assist you with improving your vocal health.

Don’t take for granted the gift of voice, you only get one. 

That’s all.

-Deonna Marie

 

Deonna Marie | The Gift of Voice

Facebook: @thegiftofvoice

Instagram: @thegift_ofvoice

Email: deonnamarie2003@gmail.com

YouTube: Deonna Marie Cattledge

 

 

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Gospel

Question Who You Are and Discover Your Purpose by Rose G. Shelton

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From a kid, I was a wondering energy.  Confused about the contradictions in life I saw in the experiences of the beings around me.  The adults, politicians, community leaders, elders and religious heads that graced pulpits, stages and the television waves spoke one thing and lived lives opposing. Friends and neighbors holding onto religious ideologies and at the bottom of the food chain hoping for the truth to one day prove itself to be real and lift them up from the struggles of life.  Never seeing it happen, wishing for it in the bye and bye. And yet, these flawed philosophies were expected to inform me of my own belief system about me. I would find myself questioning humanity, religion, life itself.  The answers to my many questions, I could not find in the divergence of life playing out before my young eyes.  The antagonistic existence and inhumane norms I did not see change much throughout my life. 

So I allowed my mind to give me answers that made more sense than those given to me from the outside. When I say my mind, I mean my spirit.  Also known as God or the Universe.  He nor I care what it is called.  Names are limiting and worthless in context. I will leave the fight of naming to those seeking to be right in the fight of inconsistency. 

I studied this humanity I was a part.  Despite its established hierarchy, I was able to see greatness in the weak and weakness in the great.  I found love in those identified as unlovable and judgment in those considered full of love.  This confusion of this upside-down world led me to study further.  However, the hate and anger toward those that dared be different made me study in silence and not speak of what I assessed.  I did not believe my research findings as a child, would be pleasing to peers or adults alike.  The search outside of my mind for answers and lucidity ceased the older I got and the internal conversation intensified.  This is where I found freedom and my purpose. Inside of me.   No one was able to give it to me. No one was able to discover it for me. No one was able to touch it, no one but me.

I had a hard time accepting my eccentricity in a world that honored compliance and traditionalism.  I held that celebrating originality was not standard.  When discovered, there is always one looking for a way to destroy it in public view and quash all others fire. So, like many of you, I hid it and tried to live a conformed and normal life.  Whatever normal is.   The problem was when you are an idiosyncratic aware of your peculiar individuality; you become as contradictory and complex as everyone else around you.  You become what you are fearful of becoming.  Both you and the world; hiding, conforming, confused. Therefore, not living in authenticity.  Trapped in relationships with illustrious invalidity. 

I realized that I, as others, became defined by experiences, culture, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, tradition and society.  I decided to forsake the game life handed to me and walk in my own identity.  I no longer desired humanities conscious effort to ignore itself and redefine me.  I did not want religion, culture, society, ideology and the like to define, conform or inform me.  I let go.  I instead questioned every part of me and dug through the rubble of my identity to find myself.

There is an intrinsic truth we all hold waiting to be uncovered.  If we allow it to rise to the top, our purpose will become obvious.  Sometimes, your purpose is as simple as I am the one that wipes the eyes of the blind. Maybe you help the lame to walk.  Possibly you are the one that questions man’s intention and action with discerning inquiring.  Despite this likelihood, that unique insatiable vibration that we hold within is killed to be accepted by the blind, the lame and the unquestioned.  While the world remains in constant wanting, waiting for us to arise and shine in the full knowing of who we are.    We fail them because we neglect to ask the question that I ask you to answer today – Man, who are you?

To help you answer this question, I will tell you one of the ways I allowed the answer to come to me.  I close my eyes and stand in the darkness of my mind.  In this secret place of my mind, I have no religion, no family, no country, no ideology.  There is nothing. I am nothing definable.  I am vibration, energy, a movement in the universe that holds an intention that is diminished by words.  Yet, I can detect my place in this vastness.  I examine my intrinsic nature that has remained constant and true despite experiences and life itself.  I apprehend that I am a questioner that questions all things, and yet, I am the holder of answers.  I question because questioning brings me answers that faith cannot clarify or quantify. 

Since I have recognized and accepted this concept of myself, my life has felt freer and has more value.  I am solid in who I am and my purpose.  We all have our place and part to play. Without you playing your part, I and others, cannot fully achieve on our path.  We benefit from your greatness. 

With that said, what are the 8 questions to ask yourself right now to help discover who you are and gain clarity of your purpose.

1.     What informs your definition of who you are? 

2.     Are you defined by life’s stories, traumas, tragedy, money, career, family, religion, race, ethnicity or something intangible? 

3.     Who do you say you are, what is your 15 second elevator pitch of you?

4.     Is your speech about what you do, what you look like or something deeper?

5.     What fear keeps you from being uniquely you? 

6.     What comfort is there in conformity that you believe is not present in arising and shinning as the diamond that you are?

7.     If you could do anything in life for free and money was not an issue, what would it be?

8.     What do you find yourself doing in every area of your life naturally?

 #rosethequestioner

 

 

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