Psychologist: Young men’s health affected by online pornography.

Join us: fb.com/unitedhumanists

Psychologist: Young men’s health affected by online pornography.

Angela Gregory says more and more men in their late teens and early 20s are suffering from erectile dysfunction.

She puts the blame on people becoming addicted to watching online porn.

There are no official figures but she says a lot of the time it is via smartphones and laptops.

“What I’ve seen over the last 16 years, particularly the last five years, is an increase in the amount of younger men being referred,” she said.

“Our experience is that historically men that were referred to our clinic with problems with erectile dysfunction were older men whose issues were related to diabetes, MS, cardio vascular disease.

“These younger men do not have organic disease, they’ve already been tested by their GP and everything is fine.

“So one of the first assessment questions I’d always ask now is about pornography and masturbatory habit because that can be the cause of their issues about maintaining an erection with a partner.”

Angela Gregory

Psychosexual therapist Angela Gregory says too much porn can damage men’s health.

Nick, not his real name, started watching porn when he got his first laptop aged 15.

“It quickly escalated and it was every day. What I was watching, it definitely got more extreme over a short period of time in my case.

“There was nothing that would give me a kick. Normal stuff didn’t do anything any more, so I had to get more and more extreme material.

“[It was] disturbing stuff that disturbed me that, in normal life, I wouldn’t dream of doing.”

It wasn’t long before Nick’s own sexual health began to suffer.

‘Wired to porn’

“I found that when I was lying next to a girl a lot that I just wouldn’t be horny at all, despite being really attracted to the girl and wanting to have sex with her, [because] my sexuality was completely wired towards porn.

“At my peak I was probably watching up to two hours of porn every day.”

neon sign saying 'sex'

Newsbeat has been finding out how having easy access to online porn is affecting body image, sex and relationships for documentary Brought up on Porn, available now on iPlayer.

Getting help

Once Nick realised he had a problem he tried to get help.

“At first I went to a doctor and she said, ‘I don’t think there’s enough evidence to suggest it’s a thing, however I do have a lot of young men coming to me with this problem.'”

In the end Nick went 100 days without watching porn and was relieved when things got back to normal.

“My libido came back with a vengeance and I met this girl and it was great.

“For the first time in ages I was able to flirt and within quite a short time I was able to have normal sex.

“I was feeling so balanced and happy.”

He also has advice for anyone suffering with a similar problem.

“Once I recovered I spent a lot of time on online forums trying to help others do the same.

“There’s a lot more information online than when I had problems.

“You should tell your friends, tell people who are close to you or just a couple of people you trust. And don’t worry, there are many of us in the same boat.”

If you think you’re having a problem related to porn, Angela Gregory advises talking to your GP.

Source: http://bbc.in/2ckn8FX

Advertisements

This is unprecedented: 174 heroin overdoses in 6 days in Cincinnati.

Join us: fb.com/unitedhumanists 

This is unprecedented: 174 heroin overdoses in 6 days in Cincinnati.

The original numbers were startling enough — 30 heroin overdoses across Cincinnati in a single weekend.

Then they just kept climbing.

Another 78 overdoses and at least three deaths were reported during a 48-hour period Aug. 23 and 24.

And at the end of last week, after a six-day stretch of emergency room visits that exhausted first responders and their medical supplies, the overdose tally soared to a number health officials are calling “unprecedented”: 174.

But pure heroin is what’s responsible for that average. And that’s not what’s on the streets now, they say. The culprit responsible for the staggering number of 174 was likely heroin cut with the latest opioid boost meant to deliver consumers a stronger, extended high — carfentanil. That’s a tranquilizer for, among other large animals, elephants. And it’s 100,000 times stronger than morphine.

For now, law enforcement officials have been unable to track down the source of the toxic cocktail but believe the spate of record-high overdoses could be caused by a single heroin batch laced with carfentanil.

State, local and federal authorities have mobilized across Hamilton County — home to Cincinnati — to investigate the source or sources, Newtown police Chief Tom Synan told the Enquirer.

Synan also heads the law enforcement task force for the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition, which was created so public health and law enforcement officials from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky could collaboratively combat the heroin epidemic plaguing the tri-state area.

Additional heroin overdoses reported in that area, plus New Jersey, tipped the total to 225-plus, according to reporting on Fox 13 News Now.

In the same time period of the Cincinnati overdoses, 13 were reported in Jennings County, Ind., on Aug. 23, 12 were reported on Aug. 24 in Montgomery County, Kentucky, and 29 overdoses linked to free samples of heroin, marked with a Batman symbol, were reported between Aug. 23 and Aug. 25 in Camden, New Jersey.

That comes after 27 people overdosed during a five hour period on Aug. 15 in one town in West Virginia.

But the epidemic surrounding Cincinnati has captured the most national attention — and area leaders are not sugarcoating the situation.

“It’s unlike anything we’ve seen before,” Hamilton County Commissioner Dennis Deters told the Enquirer.

He called the startling uptick a public health emergency.

“This is unprecedented to see as many alerts as we’ve seen in the last six days,” the county’s health commissioner, Tim Ingram, told the Enquirer on Aug. 26.

Officials have even begged people to turn away from the drug while the source of this potent batch is still a mystery.

“We’re urging you, please don’t do heroin right now,” Synan said, according to WCPO Cincinnati. “If for no other reason, because we don’t know what’s in the stuff on the street.”

Carfentanil, a cousin of the less potent but still dangerous opioid fentanyl, is the strongest commercially used opioid. As they continue to do with fentanyl, drug dealers have begun cutting their heroin supplies with carfentanil to make it stretch for longer periods of time and deliver stronger — and more addictive — highs.

“These people are intentionally putting in drugs they know can kill someone,” Synan told WCPO. “The benefit for them is if the user survives it is such a powerful high for them, they tend to come back. … If one or two people die, they could care less. They know the supply is so big right now that if you lose some customers in their eyes there’s always more in line.”

Further complicating matters is that Narcan, the nasal-spray version of the drug Naxalone, which reverses the side effects of an overdose, isn’t working anymore, at least not as reliably. Usually one, maybe two doses of Narcan will stabilize a patient. But the recent overdoses required two or three times that dosage.

Tests to determine if the heroin contained fentanyl or carfentanil aren’t yet available at most hospitals in the city, the Enquirer reported.

“We can’t confirm in the short term if someone’s had fentanyl, carfentanil or heroin — the tests flag only as positive or negative for opiates,” Nanette Bentley, spokeswoman for Mercy Health, told the newspaper.

Ultimately, this past week’s outbreak has been most taxing on the first responders.

“It’s been exhausting,” Cincinnati police Lt. Col. Mike John told the Enquirer. “They’re running from one run to another. It’s been very taxing on the officers and the fire department.”

Source: http://trib.in/2cePgMB

Flossing might not actually have any proven medical benefits.

Join us: fb.com/unitedhumanists

Flossing might not actually have any proven medical benefits.

It’s one of the most universal recommendations in all of public health: Floss daily to prevent gum disease and cavities. Except there’s little proof that flossing works.

Still, the federal government, dental organizations and manufacturers of floss have pushed the practice for decades. Dentists provide samples to their patients; the American Dental Association insists on its website that, “Flossing is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.”

The federal government has recommended flossing since 1979, first in a surgeon general’s report and later in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans issued every five years. The guidelines must be based on scientific evidence, under the law.

Last year, the Associated Press asked the departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture for their evidence, and followed up with written requests under the Freedom of Information Act. When the federal government issued its latest dietary guidelines this year, the flossing recommendation had been removed, without notice. In a letter to the AP, the government acknowledged the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched, as required.

The AP looked at the most rigorous research conducted over the past decade, focusing on 25 studies that generally compared the use of a toothbrush with the combination of toothbrushes and floss. The findings? The evidence for flossing is “weak, very unreliable,” of “very low” quality, and carries “a moderate to large potential for bias.”

“The majority of available studies fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal,” said one review conducted last year. Another 2015 review cites “inconsistent/weak evidence” for flossing and a “lack of efficacy.”

One study review in 2011 did credit floss with a slight reduction in gum inflammation — which can sometimes develop over time into full-fledged gum disease. However, the reviewers ranked the evidence as “very unreliable.” A commentary in a dental magazine stated that any benefit would be so minute it might not be noticed by users.

The two leading professional groups — the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology, for specialists in gum disease and implants — cited other studies as proof of their claims that flossing prevents buildup of gunk known as plaque, early gum inflammation called gingivitis, and tooth decay. However, most of these studies used outdated methods or tested few people. Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop. One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss. Such research, like the reviewed studies, focused on warning signs like bleeding and inflammation, barely dealing with gum disease or cavities.

Wayne Aldredge, president of the periodontists’ group, acknowledged the weak scientific evidence and the brief duration of many studies. In an interview at his private practice in New Jersey, he said that the impact of floss might be clearer if researchers focused on patients at the highest risk of gum disease, such as diabetics and smokers.

Still, he urges his patients to floss to help avoid gum disease. “It’s like building a house and not painting two sides of it,” he said. “Ultimately those two sides are going to rot away quicker.”

Aldredge also said many people use floss incorrectly, moving it in a sawing motion instead of up and down the sides of the teeth. Pressed about the origins of his organization’s endorsement of flossing, he said it may simply have “taken the ADA’s lead.”

When the ADA was asked for proof of its claim that flossing helps prevent early gum disease and cavities, the group cited the 2011 review and a 2008 two-week study that measured bacteria and did not even consider gum disease.

In a later statement to the AP, the ADA said flossing “removes plaque” and “is proven to help remove” debris from between teeth. A video on its website proclaims that flossing “helps prevent gum disease.” When pressed, Matthew J. Messina, a practicing dentist and spokesman for the dental association, acknowledged weak evidence, but he blamed research participants who didn’t floss correctly.

Even companies with a big market share of the flossing business — by next year, the global market is predicted to reach almost $2 billion, with half in the United States, according to publisher MarketSizeInfo.com — struggled to provide convincing evidence of their claims that floss reduces plaque or gingivitis. Yet the industry has paid for most studies and sometimes designed and conducted the research.

Procter & Gamble, which claims that its floss fights plaque and gingivitis, pointed to a two-week study, which was discounted as irrelevant in the 2011 research review.

Johnson & Johnson spokesman Marc Boston said floss helps remove plaque. When the AP sent him a list of contradicting studies, he declined comment.

The floss-making companies partner with the ADA through its Seal of Acceptance program. The ADA promotes the seal to companies as something that “directly affects the purchase decisions of consumers;” each manufacturer is charged $14,500 for the evaluation. If it approves the product, the ADA then charges an additional annual fee of $3,500.

The ADA says it rigorously evaluates products and makes no profit from the program. However, floss companies themselves are allowed to design the studies.

“The funding can come from companies — no problem at all,” said dentist Marcelo W.B. Araujo, vice president of the ADA’s Science Institute, who joined the organization after serving as an executive for Johnson & Johnson. “The design can start from the company.”

When flossing first gained acceptance, no proof was required of remedies. Dentist Levi Spear Parmly is credited with inventing floss in the early 19th century. By the time the first floss patent was issued, in 1874, the applicant noted that dentists were widely recommending its use.

The ADA has been promoting floss universally since 1908. “They just looked into what they did every day in their clinical practice and what they would recommend for patients,” said Araujo.

Count dentist Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser to the British Dental Association, among the skeptics. “It’s important to tell people to do the basics. Flossing is not part of the basics.”

Floss can occasionally cause harm. Careless flossing can damage gums, teeth and dental work. Though frequency is unclear, floss can dislodge bad bacteria that invade the bloodstream and cause dangerous infections, especially in people with weak immunity, according to the medical literature.

National Institutes of Health dentist Tim Iafolla acknowledged that if the highest standards of science were applied in keeping with the flossing reviews of the past decade, “then it would be appropriate to drop the floss guidelines.”

Regardless, he added, Americans should still floss.

“It’s low risk, low cost,” he said. “We know there’s a possibility that it works, so we feel comfortable telling people to go ahead and do it.”

___

Links to research study abstracts:

http://jdr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/85/4/298

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19138178

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22161438

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25581718

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpe.12366/pdf