Dr. Marc Siegel: Why is the FDA approving a powerful new synthetic opioid in the midst of a crisis? Heres why

A U.S. Army Blackhawk medevac helicopter gets here with injured soldiers at the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2004.(AP Photo/John Moore)(AP )

It is over 200 years considering that F.W. Serturner separated a crystalline compound from opium that he called morphium.Morphine and its derivatives(heroin was very first established by Bayer in 1898)have actually been utilized since to handle serious discomfort in cancer clients, misery from injuries on the battleground, and even moderate pain from relentless coughing.

Also from the start, the threat of abuse and dependency have actually accompanied these drugs ’ remarkable effectiveness. The effective drug Fentanyl was presented more than 50 years back, and right away ended up being a pillar of both intra-operative discomfort management in addition to an extremely reliable treatment for cancer discomfort. With Fentanyl too, there was a huge benefit together with an extremely addicting dark side.

Now along comes a brand-new artificial opioid, Dsuvia, simply authorized by the FDA that is a thousand times more effective than morphine and 10 times more effective than Fentanyl. In the beginning it might appear inconsistent to authorize a drug like this at a time of opioid curtailment.

In truth, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner, acknowledged this, stating in a declaration that while authorizing Dsuvia, the FDA “ must examine whether we require to take extra actions to methodically think about brand-new opioids relative to the relative advantage and dangers of other opioids currently on the marketplace. ”

“ For civilian usage it ’ s limited to inpatient health centers and we have in location tight constraints that our company believe will reduce the capacity for abuse, ” Gottlieb informed me.

He continued, stating “ We need to think about whether we might do more in weighing approvals to guarantee that brand-new opioids are adequately much better than existing drugs to validate their addition to the marketplace in the context of the existing crisis of abuse. ”

So the concern is how does Dsuvia fit that expense? Fentanyl

(and comparable substances )caused near to 30,000 of the 72,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2015 alone, and Dsuvia is 10 times more effective than Fentanyl. The capacity for abuse and deadly overdose would appear to be rather high, particularly when you think about that illegal chemists outside the U.S. in China and Mexico have actually currently developed a growing market for fatal and enormously effective drugs based upon Fentanyl.

Here is the response: Dsuvia serves a function that no other opioid does– for that reason, it satisfies the FDA ’ s brand-new requirements for approval.

As FDA chief Gottlieb informed me in a special declaration, “ This drug serves a possibly essential medical specific niche offering an option for fast discomfort relief in austere settings like the battleground. For this factor, the item was a concern for the defense department and its advancement belonged of our partnership with the Pentagon. ”

Consider an injured soldier in remarkable discomfort from an IED going off. The quantity of blood lost might make intravenous gain access to momentarily difficult, and the soldier definitely can ’ t swallow a tablet while semi-unconscious. Dsuvia can ease pain from numerous fractures or perhaps the loss of a limb while the client is being supported and given a MASHsystem.

Though established for the military, Dsuvia has crucial civilian usages too, specifically when limited to doctor administration in health center or ambulatory surgical treatment settings, as the FDA is doing.

Here the most likely usage would remain in post-surgical or pre clients where intravenous gain access to is an issue. “ For civilian usage it ’ s limited to inpatient health centers and we have in location tight constraints that our company believe will reduce the capacity for abuse, ” Gottlieb informed me. These constraints consist of pre-filled syringes and a limitation of 72 hours. The FDA is likewise on the lookout for abuse and capacity for deadly overdose. “ We ’ ll display its usage carefully and step in if brand-new threats emerge, ” he stated to me.

At the exact same time that itis authorizing effective brand-new opioids with extremely rigorous restorative signs, the FDA has actually likewise been securing down on deceptive sites that promote unapproved opioids. It is likewise thinking about and authorizing opioid options for discomfort, restricting prescriptions, offering education, and extending using opioid remedies(clinically helped treatment ).

The FDA is pressing to have quickly mistreated opioids from the marketplace, and even extending the analysis to opioid overuse in animals.

In amount, the FDA becomes part of the continuous fight versus the opioid epidemic. Dr. Gottlieb in specific, is a reliable warrior in the battle. Dsuvia ’ s approval is a medical choice, not a political one, and does not weaken the development that is being made. Simply the reverse: We require to change the excess overuse of some opioids like Oxycontin or Vicodin with the accountable efficient usage of Dsuvia and others.

A Common Blood Pressure Drug Has Been Linked To Lung Cancer – Here’s What You Should Know

In a brand-new research study, scientists from the UK and Canada supply more proof connecting a typically recommended class of high blood pressure medication to a raised danger in lung cancer. Is the information strong enough to make us reassess their usage?

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) are offered to countless individuals worldwide to deal with a range of vascular conditions, consisting of high blood pressure (hypertension), coronary artery illness, cardiac arrest, diabetes, persistent kidney illness, and migraines. Often totally free and extremely reliable of any obvious adverse effects, ACEIs have actually ended up being a lifeline in the age of widespread heart problem and diabetes.

Several current research studies have actually validated that short-term routines of ACEIs are safe, however information on the long-lasting effects are less clear. Some examinations following ACEI users have actually discovered greater than regular rates of several kinds of cancer , whereas others have actually discovered no extra danger. These conflicting outcomes have actually triggered argument within the medical neighborhood. One group argues that the cancer threat data might simply be the outcome of other health and way of life elements, as is understood to take place in retrospective research studies. The other claims they stand and indicate a handful of biological research studies that have actually exposed ACEIs can trigger a build-up of cancer-associated inflammatory particles in the lungs.

Hoping to re-evaluate the cancer danger, the scientists taken a look at health record details from the UK Clinical Practice Research Database (CPRD). They picked 992,061 clients who started a new members pressure medication program in between 1995 and 2015, following them till the research study endpoint in December 2016, or up until a medical diagnosis of cancer or death.

After changing their computations for a variety of aspects, the group discovered that, in general, individuals who took ACEIs had a 14 percent higher threat of lung cancer compared to those who took angiotensin receptor blockers — drugs that have a comparable result on the body however work by a various system.

However, their analysis likewise revealed that individuals who took ACEIs for less than 5 years did not have actually an increased danger. Those with 5 to 10 years of usage had a 22 percent higher threat, and those with 10 or more years of constant usage brought a 31 percent raised threat. The outcomes have actually been released in the British Medical Journal .

“ Although the magnitudes of the observed associations are modest, ACEIs are among the most extensively recommended drug classes; in the UK, 70.1 million antihypertensives are given each year, of which around 32% are ACEIs, ” the authors composed. “ Thus, little relative impacts might equate into big outright varieties of clients at threat for lung cancer. Provided the possible effect of our findings, they require to be reproduced in other settings, especially amongst clients exposed for longer periods.”


But making matters more complex, other medical scientists are declaring that the research study might be pestered by the really exact same correlation-not-causation concerns that the authors were attempting to lessen. Speaking with the Science Media Centre , Stephen Evans, a teacher of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene &&Tropical Medicine, stated:

“ [This research study] has a variety of weak points, that make it rather most likely that the observed association is not a causal one. This is primarily since of insufficiencies in the underlying information, and a possible weak point in the analysis.”


Evans keeps in mind that a person significant restriction comes from the truth that CPRD includes badly tape-recording cigarette smoking information that does not identify heavy from light cigarette smoking. Heavy cigarette smoking is connected to a 20-fold boost in lung cancer threat. In addition, “ ACEIs likely avoid deaths from heart problem which indicates that specifically after long follow-up, the friend of ACEI users might consist of those at greater danger of lung cancer.”


“ Talking and drawing strong conclusions about public health effect in this scenario appears early.”

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‘There’s no escape’: Weinstein accusers on hope and despair in the #MeToo era

A year after their allegations against the Hollywood mogul helped fuel a global movement, five women reflect on their ordeals and what lies ahead

In the hours after Harvey Weinstein was finally outed as a serial sexual harasser and abuser last October, Zo Brock received link after link to the bombshell New York Times coverage from the friends she had told of her own Weinstein experience.

When he denied the accusations against him, the former model and writer from New Zealand decided she had to speak up.

It was a no-brainer, Brock told the Guardian of her decision to publish her own account on Medium. I wrote so hard I was sweating. I just blurted it out.

Brock accused the Hollywood producer of making an unwanted sexual advance when she was 23 years old in a hotel room, forcing her to run into a bathroom to escape.

For the first month after the allegations came to light, there was an enormous feeling of validation, Brock said. The New Yorker published its own reportage, in which more Weinstein accusers came forward. His production company announced it was sacking him, his wife announced she was leaving him, and the organization behind the Oscars voted to expel him.

Women and men stepped forward to accuse other powerful celebrities, from actor Kevin Spacey to director James Toback. And Donald Trumps accusers wondered if the president might finally be held to account for the claims they had made against him.

As the fervor of the #MeToo movement spread, open secrets became public knowledge.

All that gave us the feeling like we were cresting a beautiful wave, Brock recalled.

But, she added, inevitably the wave has to crash.

There were op-eds in prominent publications declaring the movement had gone too far. On social media, accusers faced harassment and threats. French actress Catherine Deneuve added her name to a letter calling the claims a witch-hunt. The author Germaine Greer called Weinsteins victims career rapees.

It was stunning and a slap in the face, said Brock of the pushback. I expected men to fail to hear us and understand that. I didnt expect it from my sisters.

Meanwhile, the effects of making their ordeals public were taking their toll on Weinsteins accusers. Brock said her hair started falling out from stress. Another told the Guardian she had decided to move because she felt safer in a new apartment building with good security. Accusers sought out therapy or counselling or lawyers. Some sought out all three.

Then came the stories about men accused of sexual misconduct were beginning to plot their comebacks, even as some including Weinstein faced the prospect of criminal charges. Weinstein has denied charges of rape and other non-consensual acts.

For many of us, we didnt even get our first chance, Brock said angrily. We came across our Harvey Weinsteins at the beginning of our careers and had our dreams taken away from us. And the minute theyre held accountable, they start talking about making a comeback.

A year after the #MeToo movement took off in the wake of the Weinstein allegations, its shockwaves have been felt way beyond Hollywood, from Capitol Hill to the courts, through the tech and media and service industries, as well as academia and even childrens literature. More than 200 celebrities, politicians and CEOs have been accused, according to an ongoing count from Vox. And the movements hashtag #MeToo has blossomed into a global phenomenon.

And yet, for some of Weinsteins accusers, the moment is one of both hope and despair.

The recent confirmation of Trumps supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who denies multiple accusations of sexual assault, and whose confirmation hearings included testimony from one of his three named accusers, were hard to watch.

Still, Brock made herself tune in. Whats happening right now is our government is showing young boys and men that if they grope women and rape women and they want to lie about it, they can still become president or a supreme court justice, she said. And theyre telling young girls if it happens to them, it doesnt matter.

Brock has taken measures to protect her sanity, temporarily shutting down her Twitter account, tuning out the news when she needs to, and seeking therapy. But she is still glad she came forward.

Every single time one of us speaks up, another one of us whos been assaulted gets the courage to speak up too, Brock said.

Im OK but not OK, she continued. Im more OK than Ive ever been, because Im an adult and I speak my truth. But on another level, theres no escape from any of it.

I had to do something

Former actor and screenwriter Louisette Geiss had been visiting her OBGYN after recently giving birth to her fourth child when the Weinstein news broke on 5 October, 2017. Walking out of hospital and turning on her phone, she was greeted by a flood of texts and calls.

When I looked down I had an incredible amount of texts from people Id told over the years of what had happened to me, from friends I hadnt spoken to in a long time, to clients I had told the month previous, to one old boyfriend saying, Oh my God, you should read this, Geiss told the Guardian.

Louisette Geiss at the October 2017 press conference. Photograph: UPI / Barcroft Images

Geiss had left Hollywood for real estate after Weinstein allegedly tried to force her to watch him masturbate while she was pitching a movie at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.

After others went public with their allegations, she wasted no time setting up a meeting with the renowned womens attorney Gloria Allred, going live with a press conference the following week.

I knew I had to do something because Harvey was already saying that it didnt happen and was also saying it was such a good story he wanted to make a movie about it, which cut straight to my heart because it felt so insulting, said Geiss.

She also reached out to a lawyer involved in a class-action lawsuit against Weinstein and The Weinstein Company (TWC), for which shes now the lead plaintiff.

In December of 2017, Geiss and five other women, including Brock, announced their class-action lawsuit against Weinstein, Miramax, The Weinstein Company and members of its board (including Bob Weinstein, Harveys brother), for working to perpetuate and conceal Weinsteins widespread sexual harassment and assault one of numerous lawsuits to emerge against Weinstein in the past year.

Harvey Weinstein is a predator, the women wrote in their joint statement. Bob knew it. The board knew it. The lawyers knew it. The private investigators knew it.

Catching one person who is supported by many is not winning in my mind, Geiss told the Guardian.

Last month a judge told Geiss and her fellow complainants to refile their lawsuit with more specific detail of their allegations. Weinstein and his former company, which has been renamed Lantern Entertainment, reject the lawsuits claims and have sought to have the case dismissed.

Geiss works full time, and earlier this year was selected to serve as chairwoman of the committee overseeing the bankruptcy case for Weinsteins former company, in addition to her duties as lead plaintiff in the class-action.

Theres still an incredible amount of work that has gone into that and continues to go into that, she says of her various legal roles. I didnt ask for this position, but I felt like if I had the strength and the position to step up then I should do it.

She sees this as part of her job of being a mom.

I dont ever want to hear my daughter come home and say I had to masturbate so-and-so for a job, she said. I honestly cant believe were even having this conversation I mean, what the hell?

It was intense

Another Weinstein accuser involved in the class-action, Sarah Ann Masse who alleged that in 2008 when she was interviewing for a nanny job, Weinstein hugged her in his underwear and said that he loved her was in Europe when the allegations broke.

I immediately had a sinking in my stomach seeing his face and the headline and realizing I wasnt alone, that there were other people with similar stories, she said. It was a moment of realizing for the first time in nearly a decade, it might actually be safe for me to tell my story.

Actress Sarah Ann Masse at an event in Hollywood in September 2017. Photograph: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

For the better part of a decade, she had told almost nobody. Given Weinsteins power, I knew that my career and my life could be completely destroyed by sharing my story, Masse said.

Masse shared her story with a journalist at Variety, and was soon fielding multiple other media requests. It was very intense, Masse said. Im an actor and Im used to speaking publicly but talking about these kinds of things is really difficult.

Not that she regrets coming forward. Once the story actually went live I felt a sense of peace because I wasnt trapped by a sense of fear of having to stay silent any more, Masse said.

It isnt all rainbows and flowers and sisterhood but anything worth doing has some struggle involved and some personal sacrifice and that struggle is worth it to me because of the impact that our voices are having, she added.

What do I have to lose?

One of the first women to speak out against Weinstein, actor Katherine Kendall, was just recovering from migraines brought on by the stress of watching the Kavanaugh and Ford Senate hearing when she spoke to the Guardian earlier this month.

I had to stay in a dark room, she said. Im not even being dramatic. These are very physical symptoms Ive never had this before.

Before Kendall came forward as part of the Times initial reporting on Weinstein, to allege that he harassed her in 1993, she said she had been afraid something would happen to me if I said something.

Katherine Kendall poses with her dog in Los Angeles in October, 2017. Photograph: Damian Dovarganes/AP

Kendall has heard from all kinds of other trauma victims intent on sharing their story after she shared hers.

I really do believe the way people heal from trauma is by sharing their feelings the long-term benefits far outweigh the cost of pain.

Kendall had been apprehensive about telling her own story. A lot of people warned her to be careful, that going up against Weinstein would be dangerous.

Part of me was like, careful about what? What do I have to lose? These other women are putting themselves out there, she said.

Ive been overly careful with this. Ive been told to be careful since I was a teenager in regard to men and abuse and it led me nowhere. Im only keeping their secrets by being careful and I dont want to do that any more.

The year that followed hasnt been easy. But Kendall has learned about being kinder to herself, and how to recognize her own stress responses.

Thats thanks in part to the help of fellow Weinstein accuser Louise Godbold, who had been working as a trauma specialist for roughly a decade when the allegations against Weinstein began spiralling.

l cant even tell you how lucky I feel that I met her, Kendall said of Godbold, adding shes taken three trauma workshops from her this year.

Whenever the going gets especially difficult, as it did during the Kavanaugh and Ford hearings, Kendall puts things into perspective by reminding herself of the movements larger goal.

I truly believe that this is a movement to help heal people and how can I not feel great about that? she said.

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30 Healing Crystals Everyone Should Know About
Cataloged in Self-Improvement / Wellness

30 Healing Crystals Everyone Should Know About

Healing crystals are precious stones that harness the energy of the Earth. They are used in cultures all over the work to clear blocked energy and promote healing, creativity, and wellness. Healing crystals can also be used as tools to manifest intentions and as jewelry that helps the wearer amplify positive thoughts.

What Are Healing Crystals?

Healing crystals are traditionally used to promote wellness through harnessing the energy of the Earth, Sun, and moon.

According to certified shamanic energy medicine practitioner Colleen McCann:

“Scientifically, crystals are the most orderly structure that exists in nature, meaning they have the lowest amount of entropy (a measurement of disorder). Crystals are structured in such a way that they respond to the inputs of all different energies around them, so they oscillate, emitting specific vibratory frequencies. The way they are balanced, the frequencies they emit, and their ability to store a tremendous amount of information makes crystals essential to modern technologies. This is why there are crystals in computers, TVs, cell phones, satellites, and so on.

People have been attracted to crystals since the dawn of time for burial rites, divination practices, healing rituals, spiritual advancement, and even simply as decoration to connote power. Our ancestors intuitively knew that when worn, the energies of the stones would interact with the human electromagnetic field to bring about energetic changes.”

Healing crystals have been a significant part of many cultures around the world including the Hopi Native American tribe, Pacific Islanders in Hawaii, Chinese and Indian traditions.

Healing Crystals And Chakras

The Chakras

There are 7 focal points throughout your body that are associated with different types of energy. They are:

Root Chakra (Muladhara): Located at the base of your spine. This chakra is the foundation of your spirit and represents you being grounded. Your emotions and issues relating to money and food live here. Most commonly represented by Hematite in crystal work.

Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana): Located below your belly button. This chakra relates to your relationships with others. Your sexual energy and passion for life and experiences live here. Most commonly represented by Carnelian in crystal work.

Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura): Located between your sternum and your belly button. This chakra relates to your confidence. Your confidence and feelings of self-worth live here. Most commonly represented by Citrine in crystal work.

Heart Chakra (Anahata): Located in the center of your chest. This chakra relates to love and your ability to feel loved in return. This chakra affects romantic relationships. Most commonly represented by Rose Quartz in crystal work.

Throat Chakra (Vishuddha): Located in the center of your throat. This chakra relates to how you communicate. Creativity, self-expression, and communication skills live here. Most commonly represented by Sodalite in crystal work.

Third Eye Chakra (Ajna): Located in the center of your forehead. This chakra relates to your mind. Your ability to think, process, and focus live here. Most commonly represented by Amethyst in crystal work.

Crown Chakra (Sahasrara): Located at the top of your head. This chakra relates to your spirituality. Your capacity for spirituality and complete happiness live here. Most commonly represented by Clear Quartz in crystal work.

The idea behind using healing crystals for each chakra in your body is that the energy from the crystal can heal that chakra/part of your body. When you use a healing crystal aimed at a particular chakra, you send more energy there, bringing it into balance with the rest of your body.

You can see the individual crystal descriptions below to see which crystals are associated with specific chakras.

Healing Crystals And Reiki

Reiki is a traditional Japanese alternative medicine. Reiki practitioners frequently use crystals to help harness their healing energy as they work to heal different areas of your body. You can take a course in Reiki and receive an “attunement” to universal energy that will help you use crystals in your own energy healing.

How To Use Healing Crystals

Think of an intention you want to manifest in your life. Choose a healing crystal (see the sections below) based on what your intention is and your intuition. What area of your life do you want to focus on? Setting a specific intention that holds a lot of emotional weight and incites passion in your mind is the most important part of using healing crystals.

Cleanse and charge your crystal. Burn sage around your crystal and make sure the smoke hits all corners of it. Set it in the sunlight or moonlight (or bury it in the dirt to get energy from the Earth) for a day or a night. In a pinch, you can also wash your crystal in salt water. Crystals should be cleansed and charged immediately when you get them and then once per month (or once per week for crystal jewelry you are wearing every day).

Program your crystal. Hold your crystal in your palm, close your eyes, and repeat your intention to yourself three times, breathing deeply each time. Tell yourself that each time you look at or hold your crystal, you will remember your intention and resolve to see it manifested in your life.

Basic Healing Crystals

These are the most popular healing crystals and what they are used for:



A multi-colored stone that has a calming effect. It’s commonly used by people in high-stress professions.

Also known as: The Warrior Stone

Zodiac: Gemini.

Use it for: Courage, stability, strength, Letting go.

Average price: $10-$20 on Amazon.


Parent Géry

A blue-green stone associated with the sign Aquarius and all things water

Also known as: Stone of Courage and Protection

Zodiac: Scorpio.

Use it for: Protection while sailing (or anything water related), throat chakra, help with communication and self-expression, healing of allergies, immune system, liver and pituitary gland.

Average price: $10-20 on Amazon.


Piotr Sosnowski

An extremely popular purple crystal that cleanses negative energy and activates the Third Eye Chakra. Can intensify psychic abilities.

Also known as: The stone of sobriety

Zodiac: Pisces.

Use it for: Protection, healing, cleansing energy, stress relief.

Average price: Around $40 for a large piece, under $10 for a small piece.

Black Kyanite

Didier Descouens

A black stone used for healing and manifesting.

Zodiac: Taurus.

Use it for: Manifesting intentions, enlivening psychic gifts, healing energy, communication, relationships, Root Chakra, balancing.

Average price: Under $10 for a small piece.

Blue Kyanite

Rob Lavinsky

A blue multicolored stone used for clearing obstacles to communication and envisioning.

Zodiac: Taurus.

Use it for: Throat Chakra, communication, Third Eye Chakra, dreaming, astral travel, calming, meditation.

Average price: Under $10 for a small piece.

Black Obsidian

The High Fin Sperm Whale

A black stone used by people who need help choosing a new spiritual path.

Also known as: The Psychic Vacuum Cleaner

Zodiac: Sagittarius.

Use it for: Anxiety, addiction, cleansing, protection, fear, anger.

Average price: Under $10.

Black Tourmaline

Rob Lavinsky

A shiny black stone known for powerfully protecting against negative energy.

Zodiac: Capricorn.

Use it for: Protection, cleansing, balancing all chakras, calming, worry, OCD, immune system, lungs.

Average price: $20 for a large piece.



A dark, multi-colored stone known for it’s healing properties.

Also known as: The healing stone

Zodiac: Pisces.

Use it for: Healing, detoxifying, getting rid of negative energy, healing detoxifying organs (liver, kidney, gallbladder, spleen), Root and Sacral Chakra

Average price: Under $10 for a small piece.



A red-orange stone known for it’s effectiveness with anything related to the Sacral Chakra.

Zodiac: Leo.

Use it for: anything related to death and rebirth, Sacral Chakra, vitality, calming excessive anger, encouraging drive and focus, PMS, menstrual cramps, fertility.

Average price: Under $10 on Amazon.

Clear Quartz

Rob Lavinsky

An extremely versatile crystal that can be used for a wide variety of uses. It’s easy to program, wards off negativity, and can cleanse energy from your aura. A very popular crystal for beginners.

Also known as: the Master Healer

Zodiac: Capricorn.

Use it for: Cleansing, Healing.

Average price: under $10 on Amazon.


Alice Chodura

A yellow stone known for its abundant positive energy.

Also known as: Abundance stone

Zodiac: Cancer.

Use it for: Manifesting, clearing negative energy, financial and career intentions, Solar Plexus Chakra, cleansing, weight loss, metabolism.

Average price: Under $10 for a small piece, $20-30 for a medium sized piece.



A multi-colored stone that has powerful cleansing properties. It can be used for almost all Chakras but is known for being beneficial to the upper Chakras.

Zodiac: Pisces.

Use it for: Protection, balance (physical coordination), the upper Chakras, absorbing negative energy, arthritis.

Average price: $20-30 for a small piece.


Rob Lavinsky

A dark stone known for it’s “firey” properties that can ignite passion for a task or within a relationship.

Zodiac: Aquarius.

Use it for: Depression, willpower, procrastination, Sacral Chakral, love, loyalty, relationships.

Average price: $10-20 for a small piece.

Green Aventurine

Mauro Cateb

A green stone known for it’s ability to help manifest intentions in the areas of love and money.

Zodiac: Aries.

Use it for: Attracting love, relationships, luck, abundance, success, Heart Chakra, attracting money, eyesight, general healing.

Average price: Under $10 for a small piece.


Rob Lavinsky

A black stone used to promote healing in the Root Chakra.

Zodiac: Aries.

Use it for: Root Chakra, grounding, balance, detoxification, confidence, circulation, energy.

Average price: Under $10.


James St. John

A green stone once associated with eternal youth.

Zodiac: Taurus, Libra.

Use it for: Wisdom, courage, purification, blessings.

Average price: Under $10.

Lapis Lazuli

Hannes Grobe

A deep blue stone known for its healing properties.

Zodiac: Sagittarius.

Use it for: Migraines, immune system, Solar Plexus Chakra.

Average price: Under $10.

Lemurian Seed Crystal

Crystal Vaults

A translucent crystal used for grounding.

Zodiac: All.

Use it for: Crown Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra, spiritual awareness, protection.

Average price: $10-20 for a small piece.



A purple stone known for helping with transitions and shifting energy.

Also known as: The stone of transition.

Zodiac: Libra.

Use it for: Helping to get out of old habits and develop new ones, adjusting to life changes, calming, PTSD, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, personal growth.

Average price: Under $10 for a small piece.



A black stone used for cleansing and protection.

Zodiac: Leo.

Use it for: Protecting your home, cleansing, epilepsy, childbirth, breastfeeding.

Average price: Under $10 for a small piece.


How friends, family, and food stamps help this woman with disabilities survive.

When Cassandra J. Perry was 13, a physical disability prevented her from going to school.

She had a genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which means that her joints are unstable, her connective tissue is weak, she’s more prone to injuries, and she has chronic pain.

When she began living alone as an adult after splitting up with her spouse, she worried about how she’d be able to grocery shop.

Her physical disabilities — Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, osteoarthritis, and pudendal neuralgia — had become more severe over time, making physical activity harder for her.

“Grocery shopping and food prep have become impossible on my own,” says Perry. “I can’t always get to a store, and when I can, I can’t carry my own groceries due to limitations on how much weight I’m allowed to hold and carry.”

Cassandra J. Perry. Photo by Louis Shackleton, used with permission.

Perry had to rely on the generosity of friends to get enough to eat.

With Supplemental Security Income (SSI) being her only source of financial support, she crowdfunded six times to have enough money to buy groceries.

She had a Patreon account for eight months. Two of her friends regularly helped her cook meals, and others invited her over for meals.

“To survive, I kept a strict budget, which I would share publicly each time I needed to crowdfund,” Perry explains. “I had to get over my pride and my fear of asking for help.”

She supplemented the crowdfunding and SSI income with money she made selling her belongings, such as clothing and books.

Perry knew this method of survival wasn’t sustainable, so she joined the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the spring of 2015.

Often known as “food stamps,” this benefit gives her $192 each month, which covers half of her overall food costs.

“Without [it], I would only be able to meet my food needs by relying on the generosity of my social network, food pantries, and food kitchens,” she says.

“Most days, I can’t physically walk around a store, even if someone is doing the carrying for me,” she says. Her friends and family help by going to the store with her, and they do the shopping while she waits in the car. She then joins them in the checkout line to pay using her benefits.

Perry paying for groceries with her EBT card. Photo by Louis Shackleton, used with permission.

And thanks to local farmers markets,  that $192 a month extends even farther.

These local markets match up to an extra $30 for healthy items, allowing her to bring home more fresh produce.

Because she’s on food stamps, Perry also qualifies for community support agriculture, where subscribers receive a regular supply of produce and other farm goods, such as in-season fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat and milk.

Since unprocessed, fresh foods tend to be more costly, her benefits and the additional incentives to buy fruits and vegetables make a significant difference.

Perry says that food pantries and kitchens tend not to have the specific kinds of healthy foods her doctor recommends as part of her treatment. This makes the fact that her food stamps give her access to more fresh produce particularly invaluable. Perry can also use her benefits to buy prepackaged and prepared (cut, chopped, diced, or peeled) produce, which she can’t get at food pantries and is easier for her since she has limited use of her hands.

Perry is grateful that she never has to make the choice between eating or paying rent.

Photo courtesy of Cassandra Perry.

“This provides me with a guarantee that I’ll have food to eat because I won’t have to choose between eating and paying bills,” she says. “Every last dollar I can muster is put to very good use.”

Because she is physically unable to work and lives on a limited budget, her benefits are a lifeline.

According to the 2015 National Health Interview Survey, 1 in 4 participants on food stamps have a disability that prevents them from working — just like Perry. That’s more than 11 million people. These benefits ensure they never have to make an impossible decision between going hungry or having a roof over their heads.

You can’t put a price on that kind of support.

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Tennessee Officials Deny Death Row Prisoner’s Request For Electric Chair

If it depended on founded guilty killer Edmund George Zagorski, he’d die by the electrical chair rather of the mixed drink of drugs that Tennessee jail authorities prepare to inject into him on Thursday.

Zagorski, a prisoner at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, stated he chooses electrocution since he does “ not wish to go through the abuse of the present deadly injection technique, ” according to an affidavit he imprisoned authorities on Monday.

In Tennessee, death row prisoners founded guilty prior to January 1999 are provided an option in between deadly injection and the electrical chair. If the prisoner doesn’ t decide, the default is deadly injection.

Still, jail authorities declined Zagorski’ s demand today, stating he ’d waited too long to choose, according to the Tennessean .

In a declaration to USA Today , the Tennessee Department of Corrections stated death row prisoners need to ask for the chair a complete 2 weeks prior to the date of their execution. (The department decreased to use extra remark to HuffPost. )

Zagorski ’ s lawyer, federal public protector Kelley Henry, informed The Associated Press that Zagorski made his ask for the electrical chair approximately 2 hours prior to the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled the state ’ s three-drug deadly injection procedure is constitutional. That choice led the way for Zagorski ’ s execution on Thursday, AP reported.

“ Mr. Zagorski has actually shown that if his execution is to move on,he thinks that the electrical chair is the lower of 2 evils, ” Henry stated in a declaration acquired by AP.

Tennessee Department of Corrections Edmund Zagorski informed jail authorities that offered his 2 alternatives, he would rather pass away by the electrical chair.

Zagorski, 63, has actually been on death row for 34 years.

According to court records , he was 28 years of ages in April 1983 when he tempted 2 males into a woody location in Robertson County, Tennessee, under the pretense of a drug offer. Zagorski shot both guys, slit their throats and took countless dollars in money, authorities stated.

Before he was caught, Zagorski, armed and using a bulletproof vest, entered into a shootout with police officers in Ohio. Throughout the May 1983 event, he rammed a patrol car and shot one officer 5 times. The officer unbelievely endured .

When the Tennessee case went to trial in 1984, Zagorski was founded guilty of first-degree premeditated murder. According to court files, the jury suggested the capital punishment based upon 2 worsening situations: The murders were “ abhorrent, godawful, or vicious ” and they were devoted throughout the commission of a break-in.

Tennessee is among just 9 states that still enable electrocutions, however the approach has actually not been utilized there given that 2007 when Daryl Holton was carried out for a quadruple murder.

Rev. Joe Ingle, a United Church of Christ minister and Zagorski ’ s spiritual consultant, informed the Tennessean that Zagorski selected the electrical chair, in part, due to the reports about Billy Ray Irick ’ s suffering throughout his deadly injection on Aug. 9.

“ I believe the men seemed like Billy Iricksuffered a very long time and nobody wishes to go through that, ” Ingle stated. “ As bad as the electrical chair is and it ’ s quite bad, it ’ s not that. ”

Tennessee Department of Corrections/ Reuters An electrical chair, nicknamed”Old Sparky,” is seen at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in this undated image.

Death by intravenous drugs can be an extremely long affair , depending upon the state doing the injection and the particular substance abuse .

On Jan. 16, 2017, Ohio carried out founded guilty rapist and killer Dennis McGuire by deadly injection and it took him 25 minutes to pass away– approximately double the typical time for comparable executions.

In April 2014, Oklahoma prisoner Clayton Lockett was noticable dead 45 minutes after his execution started. Due to problems with the treatment, Lockett squirmed on the gurney and the location around his injection website inflated to the size of a golf ball.

It took Ohio detainee Joseph Lewis Clark , who was performed by deadly injection in 2006, 86 minutes to pass away.

Zagorski is amongst 31 death row prisoners who took legal action against to obstruct Tennessee from utilizing a questionable mixed drink of drugs in executions. Specialists apparently affirmed that the drugs would trigger discomfort so extreme that it would total up to uncommon and harsh penalty, which breaks the U.S. Constitution.

The state ’ s high court ruled versus them, stating they ’d stopped working to recommend a practical alternative drug mixed drink.

Tennessee Department of Corrections Edmund Zagorski is set up to pass away on Thursday, Oct. 11.

As for Zagorski ’ s execution, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam , a Republican, stated he will not be giving clemency, Nashville ’ s WTVF News reported.

Henry is now hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will give a last-minute stay of execution.

“ The state ’ s three-drug procedure is particular abuse, ” she composed in a public declaration, according to the Tennessean. “ Mr. Zagorski ’ s lungs would fill with fluid as the lining is burned away by acid. He would be disabled, then burned alive chemically from within. Without any discomfort relief, Mr. Zagorski would need to sustain this severe suffering for 10-18 minutes. ”

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