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Company will give non-smoking employees 6 extra days off

A Japanese company will give its non-smoking employees an additional six days off to promote fairness and simultaneously acknowledge the amount of time smokers use to take smoke breaks. 

>> Read more trending news 

Piala, a marketing firm based out of Tokyo, begun offering its non-smoking employees extra paid days after an employee complained that colleagues who take breaks throughout the day to smoke often end up working less.

Piala employees told leadership their smoking coworkers generally spend about 15 minutes on each smoke break. 

Coupled with the time employees took to commute from the office’s 29th floor to the smoking area in the building’s basement, employees spend about 40 minutes each day away from their desks for smoke breaks, Piala spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima said, according to CNN

“One of our non-smoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems,” Matsushima said, according to The Telegraph. “Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.”

Piala began offering the days-off incentive in September, at which point the company employed about 120 people, of which more than three dozen were smokers. Since then, four have quit smoking, Matsushima said.

“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives, rather than penalties or coercion,” Takao Asuka, Piala CEO, said.

“We don’t give punishment for smoking,” Matsushima said. “Instead, we offer a benefit for not smoking. Without doing anything, (nonsmokers’) vacation increases by six days.”

At least 30 people have taken advantage of the extra time, including Matsushima, who said he used the extra time to visit a hot spring resort for a couple of days with his family. Shun Shinbaba, 25, told CNN he plans to use the extra time to play tennis.

Daith piercing could help alleviate headaches

Intense and often sudden headaches can be debilitating.

Migraine sufferers may find relief in a unique technique: an ear piercing.

>> Read more trending news 

Paula Nicholls has suffered from migraine headaches since second grade. The pain is so intense, she's hoping a trip to a tattoo studio will bring relief.

Migraine medicines haven't worked, so Nicholls is trying out a new trend that involves piercing a portion of the ear known as the daith.

Daith piercing was the topic of an essay by University of Florida health neurologist Edward Neely presented at the American Headache Society this June.

“I've seen some patients with good response and other with virtually no response,” Neely said.

Neely said one patient has been headache free for at least 18 months. He said the daith piercings go through the vagus nerve.

“So potentially piercing that nerve can act like a permanent acupuncture needle,” Neely said.

Professional piercer Kelly Buscher said while these kinds of piercings are nothing new, thanks to social media, the trend for the method of headache relief has grown in the past year. 

“There have been days where I've done 10 piercings where it's just the daith only,” Buscher said

For Nicholls, a chance to be pain-free was worth exploring.

Within a minute, Nicholls’ piercing was done and she said the pressure in the left side of her head was gone. 

“I usually have a lot of sinus pressure and a lot of pressure near my face, but I automatically felt the difference between my left side and my right side -- it feels more free on this side and it feels amazing,” Nicholls said.

“People are tired of the medications, Botox, so they're using this as one of the last resorts and taking a jump to see if it works,” Buscher said.

Neely said the procedure may not work for everyone, but it’s something more people may decide to try, hoping for even a chance to live a life pain free.

Opioid crisis: Parents share emotional story of childhood friends who overdosed on same day

Parents of two Gwinnett County, Georgia, teenagers are warning others about the fast and easy way kids are getting their hands on powerful drugs.

>> Watch the news report here

Earlier this year, 18-year-old Dustin Manning and 19-year-old Joseph Abraham died just hours apart.

Manning and Abraham were Little League teammates and knew each other when they were younger.

Their parents said they hadn’t been in touch in years, but their lives took similar paths.

Both men started using drugs in middle school, and they both spent time in drug treatment centers.

>> Read more trending news

It was only after they died that their lives connected again. 

“I never thought that I’d never get to see him grow old,” Joe Abraham’s mother, Kathi Abraham, said.

Their parents believe they bought the same toxic mix of heroin and fentanyl. Police said it appears the teens bought the drugs from the same dealer.

“They said it happened within 20-30 seconds after he sniffed it, he was gone,” Dustin Manning’s mother, Lisa Manning, said.

Study: Regular marijuana users have more sex

A study conducted by a Stanford professor reveals that people who smoke marijuana tend to have more sex than those who abstain, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

With marijuana becoming legal in more states, Dr. Michael Eisenberg, an assistant professor of urology, wanted to see if there was a correlation between smoking marijuana and sexual activity. The results, published in this week’s Journal of Sexual Medicine, were surprising, he said.

“Usually, people assume the more frequently you smoke, the worse it could be when it came to sex, but in fact, we learned the opposite was true," Eisenberg told CNN.

The study looked at data from the National Survey of Health Growth. More than 28,000 women and nearly 23,000 men were asked how often they had sex in the four weeks before the survey and how often they used marijuana in the past year, CNN reported.

The study found that women who didn't use marijuana reported having sex six times on average during the past four weeks, while those who smoked it had sex 7.1 times, CNN reported. Men who did not smoke pot said they had sex an average of 5.6 times in the four weeks before the study, while those who did smoke marijuana had sex 6.9 times on average

“We were surprised to see the positive association between users,” Eisenberg told CNN. “This was across the board: marital status, race, none of that mattered.”

The study focused on heterosexual sex and did not explain why there might be a connection between sex and marijuana, CNN reported.

Eisenberg said past research on human and rodent models has shown that marijuana use may generally increase arousal. However, studies have also shown that too much marijuana use can decrease sperm count, and while men may want to have sex more, orgasm may be a challenge.

“It can have a different impact on different people,” Joseph Palamar, an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at New York University, told CNN. Palamar has no connection with the current study, but called it “a cool epidemiological paper” that “did the best it could with the data.”

Palamar did say the study had limitations.

“It's unclear from the data if people had marijuana in their system before or during sex,” Palamar told CNN. 

Eisenberg told CNN that if a patient asks whether frequent marijuana use is getting in the way of his or her sex life, he will tell them that “it may not be the culprit.”

Study: Marijuana addiction in adults related to anxiety disorder

New research from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, suggests anxiety may be a major risk factor of problematic marijuana use in early adulthood.

>> Read more trending news

The research, published last month in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, involved 1,229 participants enrolled in the Great Smoky Mountains Study, a 20-year cohort study that followed participants between 1993 and 2015.

The Great Smoky Mountain Study is part of a collaborative effort between Duke University and the North Carolina State Division of Developmental Disabilities, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

One of its primary goals is to estimate the number of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders and the persistence of those disorders over time, according to the study website.

>> Related: Why more US teens are suffering from severe anxiety than ever before — and how parents can help

To study risk factors for problematic cannabis use, researchers examined the Great Smoky Mountains participants annually from ages 9 and 16 years and then again at ages 19, 21, 26 and 30 years and logged patterns of problematic cannabis use.

Problematic cannabis use refers to the daily consumption of marijuana or a habit that meets diagnostic guidelines for addiction, meaning cannabis use disorder.

The researchers split the participants’ cannabis use into the patterns described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5.

Patterns of problematic use, according to the DSM-5:

  • Non-problematic use in adolescence (19-21) and early adulthood (26-30)
  • Limited problematic use in late adolescence only and persistent problematic use in late adolescence and early adulthood
  • Delayed problematic use in early adulthood only

Using pairwise associations to identify risk profiles associated with patterns of problematic cannabis use in early adulthood, the researchers also examined multiple risk factors, such as psychiatric disorders; other substance use; education’ challenging social factors, such as low socioeconomic status and family issues; and additional demographics.

What the researchers found

More than three quarters, 76.3 percent, of the participants in the study did not develop problematic use of cannabis during their late adolescence or early adulthood.

>> Related: Doctors address illness linked to chronic marijuana use

But one quarter of the participants did develop problematic use of cannabis, and researchers found they had distinctive risk profiles. 

This group was divided into the three pattern categories: persistent problematic cannabis use, limited problematic cannabis use and delayed problematic cannabis use.

Persistent problematic use

For persistent users -- those with the most problematic use of marijuana, sometimes beginning as early as age 9 -- the problems continued into early adulthood.

>> Related: Northern Michigan University offers marijuana studies degree

What’s most important, Sherika Hill — adjunct faculty associate at Duke University School of Medicine and lead author of the study — told Medical News Today, is that 27 percent of persistent users reported anxiety disorders as children and 23 percent reported anxiety disorders as older teens or during college years, up to age 21.

This group also had the highest levels of psychiatric disorders.

“This suggests,” Hill said, “that a focus on mental health and well-being could go a long way to prevent the most problematic use.”

Limited problematic use

The group with limited problematic use surprisingly reported the most childhood family instability and dysfunction of the three -- factors usually linked with a higher level of drug use, the researchers found.

>> Related: Need relief from chronic pain? Marijuana may not help after all, studies say

But limited users tended to have more cannabis use issues as preteens, teens and early adolescents and fell off the habit as they got older.

Delayed problematic use

And lastly, most of the participants in the group of delayed users with little to no cannabis use in adolescence and early adulthood but problematic use between age 26 and 30 experienced bullying and mistreatment as children.

Why did childhood bullying and mistreatment not lead to earlier problematic cannabis use? The researchers don’t really know. 

Hill told Medical News Today about the motivation behind the new study is that most of the current policies and interventions on cannabis use are aimed at early adolescents.

“We have to start thinking about how we are going to address problematic use that may arise in a growing population of older users. Given that more states may be moving towards legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes, this study raises attention about what we anticipate will be the fastest growing demographic of users — adults.”

Read the full study at jaacap.com

What is Narcan? 12 things to know about the drug

Walgreens pharmacy now sells over-the-counter Narcan nasal spray, a life-saving medicine that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, at its more than 8,000 locations nationwide, company officials announced Tuesday.

» RELATED: Trump declares ‘public health emergency’ to fight opioid use in US

President Donald Trump also declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency Thursday, as estimates from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day.

>> Read more trending news

Here’s what you need to know about Narcan:

What is it?

Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is a drug that can temporarily reverse the potentially deadly effects of opioid overdose during an emergency.

According to Time, naloxone itself comes in three FDA-approved forms, including a shot (usually for more professionally trained individuals), an easier shot called Evzio for untrained users that works like an EpiPen and a nasal spray that can be administered by both trained and untrained users.

» RELATED: Is America’s opioid epidemic killing the economy?

What are the signs and symptoms of an opioid emergency?

Signs and symptoms may include breathing problems, severe fatigue and unusual sleepiness and “pinpoint pupils,” where the eye’s pupil becomes very small.

How much naloxone is in the nasal spray?

There is a concentrated 4-miligram dose of naloxone in the spray.

» RELATED: What is fentanyl? 10 things to know about the potentially deadly drug

How does Narcan work?

Because opioids affect the part of the brain that regulates breathing, opioids in high doses can lead to severe breathing problems, unresponsiveness and potentially, death.

When Narcan or naloxone is administered to someone with signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, naloxone molecules travel through the body to the brain and attach to receptor sites in the brain with a greater affinity than most opioid molecules and can easily displace them.

By displacing the opioid molecules, naloxone can quickly reverse the potentially fatal effects of an opioid overdose, specifically targeting any breathing issues, referred to as respiratory depression.

What are Narcan’s side effects?

According to the official Narcan website, Narcan may result in symptoms of acute opioid withdrawal. Those symptoms can vary depending on age and occurrence of opioid use.

For those using opioids regularly, symptoms may include body aches, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sweating, shivering or trembling, weakness, increased heart rate and blood pressure, goose bumps, stomach cramping and more.

Sudden withdrawal for infants under four weeks old who have been receiving opioids regularly may be life-threatening if not treated properly. Symptoms in these infants may include seizures, increased reflexes and crying more than usual.

For more information about Narcan’s side effects, contact your health care provider.

What if the patient doesn’t wake up or the opioid symptoms return after using Narcan nasal spray?

Administer a second dose of Narcan in the alternate nostril and watch the person closely as you wait for emergency medical care.

Additional doses can be given every 2-3 minutes until the person responds or receives emergency care.

» RELATED: Walgreens to begin selling OTC Narcan to combat opioid epidemic

Do you still need to get emergency medical care after administering Narcan nasal spray?

Yes. Narcan nasal spray is not a substitute for emergency medical care. It’s advised that you seek medical attention right away after taking the first dose or giving the first dose.

» RELATED: Study says opioids cost economy at least 1.4 million workers (and that’s just the men)

Is the nasal spray safe to administer on children?

Yes, Narcan nasal spray is safe and effective in children for known or suspected opioid overdose.

Is there anyone who can’t use Narcan nasal spray?

Narcan should not be used on anyone allergic to naloxone hydrochloride or any of the other ingredients in the spray.

If you take opioids yourself, be sure to consult with your health care provider before using the spray.

Why is it in nasal spray form?

Its design was meant for emergency overdose situations both inside and outside of health care settings. The nasal spray is ready-to-use and easy-to-use for nearly anyone, including family members and caregivers.

Firefighters, other first responders and emergency medical personnel also carry naloxone.

Where can you get Narcan?

Narcan is available at pharmacies both by prescription and, in some states, over the counter as well.

CVS offers naloxone over the counter in 43 states, and Walgreens now sells Narcan in its 8,000 stores nationwide. Walgreens stores in 45 states will sell Narcan over the counter.

How much does Narcan cost?

Without insurance, Narcan typically costs about $130 for a kit with one or two doses, but the over-the-counter prices could be 25 percent lower depending on current price points and discounts for other pharmacies already carrying the drug, company officials said in a news release.

Based on your personal insurance plan, you may have a copay between $0 to $20 to buy the drug. The majority of prescriptions, according to IMS Heath data, have a co-pay of $10 or less (75 percent) and $20 or less (80 percent).

» RELATED: Questions and Answers: Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) open enrollment

Though Medicare and Medicaid cover brands like Narcan, the coverage varies by state.

According to Time, some community-based organizations focused on treating drug addition may provide the drug for free.

Sources: CDC, Narcan.comFDA.gov

Read more about Narcan nasal spray at narcan.com.

Read the FDA approval for additional information about dosage, warnings and more.

Just 1 percent of women know of this common ovarian cancer symptom, study says

Ovarian cancer is one of the most common cancers among women. However, many are unaware of the red flags, according to a new report.

>> Read more trending news

Target Ovarian Cancer, a cancer charity in Europe, recently conducted an experiment to determine how the disease has affected women in recent years. 

To do so, they interviewed nearly 1,400 women of the general population in the United Kingdom to measure awareness of ovarian cancer. They then surveyed about 500 practicing general practitioners across the U.K. to measure awareness and their experience with ovarian cancer.

Lastly, they handed out questionnaires to about 400 U.K. women with ovarian cancer. It focused on their symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

>> Related: Sugar can fuel cancerous cells, study says

After analyzing the results, they found that ovarian cancer affects about 7,300 women in the U.K., and 11 women die every day from the disease.

Despite the statistics, not many know about the warnings signs. 

Just 1 percent know that “increased urinary urgency” is one of the four main symptoms of ovarian cancer, and only 21 percent are able to name bloating as a symptom.

Furthermore, 30 percent of women incorrectly believe cervical screenings also detect ovarian cancer.

>> Related: Why are more black women dying of breast cancer compared to white women?

As for doctors, 45 percent of them wrongly think symptoms are only present in the later stages of the disease, and about 43 percent of women visit their general practitioner three times or more before being referred for a diagnostic tests. 

“The findings ... show what is working when it comes to diagnosing and treating ovarian cancer in England, but they also show where more remains to be done,” the authors concluded in the study

To heighten awareness, researchers recommend general practitioners complete accredited training on ovarian cancer. They also hope to highlight the Be Clear on Cancer campaign, which aims to educate women on the symptoms and the importance of visiting the doctor. 

Want to learn more about the results? Take a look at the full report here

Walgreens to begin selling OTC Narcan to combat opioid epidemic

As President Donald Trump prepares to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency, customers will now be able to purchase a life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug in over 8,000 pharmacies across the nation.

>> Read more trending news 

On Tuesday, Walgreens announced that it will begin carrying Naloxone (Narcan), a medicine that can rapidly reverse the effects of an overdose upon administration via nasal spray, for sale over-the-counter in all 45 states that allow it. 

While the drug typically costs about $130 without insurance, the over-the-counter prices could be be around 25 percent lower, based on current price points and discounts for other pharmacies already carrying the drug. 

Pharmaceutical wholesaler AmerisourceBergen has given Walgreens Narcan demonstration devices for free, providing them with the opportunity to show patients how to administer the medication.

RELATED: CVS has a plan to fight the opioid crisis

“By stocking Narcan in all our pharmacies, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it is needed,” said Rick Gates, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy, in a statement. “As a pharmacy we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve.”

ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton praised the decision on Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” saying, “This drug saves lives. Think of this maybe as defibrillator, EpiPen, another piece of lifesaving medical equipment that probably is going to be pretty widespread now.”

Speaking from personal experience, overdose survivor Nicholas Popinski said, “I’ve overdosed three times, and it’s saved my life three times. I had got the nasal spray Narcan, and I was at home one day and I had it on top of my fridge, and I did a lot of heroin. I did a few bags, and, you know, I was nodding off pretty bad, so my dad grabbed it and hit me with the Narcan.”

Georgia, Carolinas among top 10 most sexually diseased states

New data reveals the top 10 most sexually diseased states for 2017.

Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compiled by BackgroundChecks.Org shows the rate of chlamydia and gonorrhea per 100,000 residents for each state.

>> Read more trending news 

Alaska maintained its ranking from the previous year, earning the No. 1 state with the highest rate of sexually transmitted disease. Vermont rounded out the bottom of the list.

The data comes just weeks after the CDC announced that cases of sexually transmitted disease were at their highest in the U.S.

BackgroundChecks.Org notes apps like Grindr and Tinder have increased the amount of casual sex and the risk of STDs.

Another important note: “Chlamydia rates also rose in most states, and remains the most common STD in the nation, which is often attributed to the fact that most people infected do not experience symptoms.”

Here are the top 10 most sexually diseased states:

1. Alaska2. Mississippi3. Louisiana4. Georgia 5. New Mexico6. North Carolina7. South Carolina8. Arkansas9. Delaware10. Oklahoma

Georgia rose to No. 4, three spots higher than last year, as the rate of residents with gonorrhea increased by more than 40 per 100,000 people.

North Carolina fell to the No. 6 spot from its No. 3 ranking in 2016 after seeing a decrease in chlamydia infections.

Oklahoma fell two spots from eighth place in 2016.

See the full list at BackgroundChecks.Org and read more at CDC.gov

Harry Connick Jr.'s wife Jill Goodacre opens up about battle with breast cancer

Jill Goodacre’s life changed forever five years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

According to People, the wife of multi-platinum recording artist Harry Connick Jr. learned of her diagnosis during an annual mammogram. She said that because her breasts are dense, she was ordered by doctors to have a sonogram. After the sonogram, doctors noticed something and ordered a biopsy. She was later diagnosed with stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma and underwent a lumpectomy, followed by radiation.

“I was scared I was going to lose her, absolutely,” Connick Jr. said, according to E! News. “I wasn’t going to let her see that, but I was. I know from losing my mom that the worst can happen. She’s my best friend, and I really don’t know what I would do without her.”

Connick Jr.’s mother died of ovarian cancer when he was 13.

>> On Rare.us: Paul Walker’s daughter Meadow settles with Porsche in wrongful death lawsuit

Since the lumpectomy and radiation treatments, Goodacre has been on Tamoxifen, an estrogen modulator pill that helps prevent the development of hormone receptor-positive breast cancers.

As she approaches the five-year mark, Goodacre said she is looking forward to stopping the Tamoxifen, which has a side effect of weight gain and is something the former Victoria’s Secret model struggled with.

She is also looking forward to opening up about her journey, something she has kept secret for years.

>> Read more trending news

“It wasn’t like we were superstitious, like if we said something about being in the clear we’d somehow jinx it,” she said. “But we wanted to be well on the other side of things before we told everybody. The doctors all say that after the five-year mark, things look optimistic, so we’re starting to feel pretty good.”

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