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Moms Who Lost Custody of Their Kids Due to Addiction Overcome Darkness to Find ‘Greater Things’

Moms Who Lost Custody of Their Kids Due to Addiction Overcome Darkness to Find ‘Greater Things’

“I learned that I was a person and I was not my disease and that it was okay my kids could not keep me sober,” says Freedom House alumna Christina Compton

Three years ago, Christina Compton was in an incredibly dark period of her life after struggling with addiction to the point where she lost custody of her two kids and was arrested while pregnant with her third child.

“I felt like there was no hope or no chance,” Compton, 33, tells PEOPLE. “I carried around so much guilt and shame from losing my other kids and I felt like they should’ve been enough to keep me sober, [but] it wasn’t. I never understood what was wrong with me and why I couldn’t stop doing drugs or alcohol.”

Elsewhere in Kentucky, mom Brittany Edwards was also struggling with her substance addiction and had lost custody of her four kids.

“Since I can remember, I’ve been a drug addict,” says Edwards, now 31. “It took me many, many years to realize I needed help.”

However, in the time since then, both Compton and Edwards have turned their lives around — thanks to the nonprofit organization Volunteers of America and their treatment center, The Freedom House, which helps pregnant women and moms stay with their kids while recovering.

Edwards was the Manchester Freedom House’s first graduate this past July, while Compton finished Louisville’s program in August 2017 and now works there as a therapist, technician, peer support specialist and intake specialist.

RELATED: Introducing PEOPLE’s Mental Health Initiative: Let’s Talk About It

Courtesy Christina Compton Christina Compton with her kids, Christina, CaRon and Wyatt

Volunteers of America Brittany Edwards with her kids Rylen, Ally, Jackson and Bentley

“Without them, I don’t know where I would have ended up,” Compton says of the facility. “You go into rehab saying, ‘Okay, I’m going to learn about my disease. I’m going to get sober,’ and Volunteers of America gave me so much more than that.”

Adds Edwards: “I’ve never completed anything in my life except for this program… Being an addict, it’s hard. No one is immune to addiction and they just taught me how to accept life on life’s terms and be okay with that.”

For Compton, her history with substance abuse began at age 9 after she suffered an injury from gymnastics and was given narcotic pain medication.

“I remember taking those and liking the way that they made me feel,” she recalls, adding that she “went off the deep end” after her mom died when Compton was in the eighth grade.

By 19, Compton was a mother of two but still using drugs and alcohol in what she says became “a vicious cycle” and caused her to lose custody of her kids.

“I just felt like this empty vessel of a woman and a failure,” she explains. “Because the one thing in my mind that

Feinstein Institutes researchers find effective COVID-19 ‘cytokine storm’ treatment

Some immune systems have responded to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections by going into overdrive, resulting in an overzealous inflammatory response referred to as a cytokine storm. In a retrospective study of nearly 6,000 patients, researchers from The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and Northwell COVID-19 Research Consortium have identified the most effective immunomodulatory therapies to treat patients with evidence of this cytokine storm and improve patient survival.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201020006139/en/

Dr. Negin Hajizadeh and colleagues. (Credit: Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research)

A multidisciplinary team of investigators, led by Negin Hajizadeh, MD, a pulmonary and critical care physician, and associate professor at the Feinstein Institutes, analyzed the electronic health records of hospitalized COVID-19 patients across 12 of Northwell Health hospitals – New York State’s largest health system – between March 1 and April 24, 2020. The results were published today in CHEST, by Sonali Narain, MD, assistant professor at the Feinstein Institutes, corresponding author, and team.

Patients were divided into one of six groups; no immunomodulatory treatment (standard of care), patients who received intravenous corticosteroids, anti-interleukin 6 antibody therapy (tocilizumab) or anti-interleukin-1 therapy (anakinra) alone or in combination with corticosteroids.

The results show that the most effective treatment was the combination of corticosteroids – such as dexamethasone – with tocilizumab when compared to standard of care. Additionally, there was an improvement if corticosteroids were used alone, or in combination with tocilizumab or anakinra when compared with standard of care.

“Cytokine storms are a hallmark for many COVID-19 patients and are associated with the most severe form of this illness,” said Dr. Hajizadeh, associate professor at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and co-senior author on the paper. “Our findings suggest that with the intervention of certain drugs like corticosteroids, we can battle the cytokine storm and improve outcomes to the point that we believe we have found a new standard of care for seriously ill patients.”

Overall, there were twice as many males as females in the cohorts, and more than 65 percent had never smoked. Contradictory to previous reports, the Black population was associated with better survival compared to white patients. Additionally, the most common comorbidities across the groups of patients that experienced a cytokine storm include:

  • Hypertension (44-59 percent);

  • Diabetes (32-46 percent);

  • Cardiovascular disease (5-14 percent);

  • Chronic kidney disease (5-12 percent);

  • Cancer (5-11 percent);

  • Asthma (3-12 percent).

“Dr. Hajizadeh’s major COVID-19 research study gives timely and crucial new knowledge about using currently available anti-inflammatory drugs,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes. “This information will help others save lives.”

The researchers hope that the findings are useful for frontline providers to care for severely ill COVID-19 patients and to aid in the future design of large randomized controlled clinical trials, the gold standard of medical research.

About the Feinstein Institutes

The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest health care provider and private employer

How To Find A Great Family Dentist

If you have moved to a new area you will need to find new healthcare professionals to look after yourself and your family. Oral healthcare is one of the most important aspects of medical care, it can notify you to larger health problems and the confidence and happiness of a bright, white smile may mean a great deal. Relocation can be stressful but following some simple advice can make at least the search for a new dentist a little easier.

Moving to a new area and beginning the search for services may seem overwhelming but it does not have to be, with a little research and the right questions you will be able to find the best available options for all your family's needs. Searching for a dentist can seem even more complicated, how will you know how good they are without an expensive dental office visit?

The best resource for finding reliable and professional dental care options in your new area is the people who have lived there for a while. Your new friends and neighbor's can provide great advice about which they entrust their dental care to and importantly, whom they wouldn't. The testimonials of other people are a great source of information and it is important to ask as many people as possible, if you hear a name consistently then you can be certain that they have a good reputation in the community for quality dental care. A dentist that has a positive association for many people is rare as dental visits are not normally a highlight of the week for most people. Finding one that people rave about is a great sign that you have found a quality and professional option for your family.

If you don't know many people in your new town or are unfamiliar with the area then you can turn to other resources for your information. There are more and more professional ratings services available online where medical professional are reviewed and rated to help you make an informed and knowledgeable choice. It is important to read these ratings carefully, if you see a review that is incredibly negative you may wish to treat with an amount of skepticism, that also follows for the overwhelmingly positive review. If however the general consensus is in one direction than you can be pretty certain that this is a good overview of the quality of the dentist in question.

With all of this information available you may feel like you are overloaded, make a shortlist of dental practices in the area and start making phone calls. A helpful and friendly staff that is willing to answer questions over the phone is a good sign that they will be available to you for the information you need if you decided to become a patient.

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Family Dental Care: How to Find a Dentist for Your Family

Finding a good family dentist can be a challenging process. There are a lot of things that need to be considered. The dentist will be a long-term health provider, which is why it is crucial to spend time finding the perfect one. There are many considerations that will need to be made in order to find the one that is best suited to meet the family's needs.

The first thing to think about when shopping for a family dentist is the family dental plan. Check to see if the insurance specifies which dentists to choose from. If it does, then narrow the search for the right dentist with the dental plan's options. Otherwise, benefits might be less or will even come completely out-of-pocket. With that said, some dental plans do not specify a dentist. Therefore, it is important to check with the provider's rules.

Another thing to do is get recommendations from friends, relatives or coworkers. Not only that, but the family doctor can even make a recommendation. It would be good to see whether or not they are satisfied with the quality of care that their dentist provides. If they are, then it might be a good dentist to choose. However, if they are not satisfied, then it is a good way to eliminate one from the list of choices.

Once a list has been made with some possible options, there are some things that will need to be figured out. First, determine what their office hours are and whether or not they will work within the family schedule. Then, calculate how far away each office is so one is not chosen that is too long of a drive. Finally, look into the dentists' education and training. Make sure they are reputable and a licensed member of the American Board of Dentistry.

Besides all of that, there are a couple of things to look for when visiting an office. One of the most important of things is to make sure that it is kept clean and orderly, especially the equipment. Then, consider whether or not the staff is helpful. They should be willing to answer questions. Also, observe whether or not the staff wears gloves during treatments. Health and sanitation should be a big priority.

Picking a dentist takes work, but the effort will be worth it when the right one is found. Make sure to use these tips so a reputable dentist takes care of the family. Consider dental plans, recommendations, ease of accessibility, as well as their level of training and education.

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How to Find a Good Cosmetic Dentist

Your search for a cosmetic dentist can begin with you asking for recommendations from friends and family. Find people who have had done the work you need, and ask how satisfied they were with their dentist. Keep in mind the names of both those that were liked and those that weren't, as both can be useful for you when making a general list. It is best to look for cosmetic dentists who are certified by the Academy of Cosmetic Dentists.

Remember that a cosmetic dentist is very different from a regular dentist. A cosmetic dentist specializes in improving specifically the appearance of a person's teeth. They must have a good eye for symmetry, and be able to apply veneers, bridges, and crowns.

Once you have a list of names, you should always interview the candidates. Find out what their credentials are, where they received their education, and how much experience they have. Ask for before and after photos (their portfolio) to make sure their actual work is as good as they say. Don't be afraid to request references and testimonials, as those will provide you with feedback from other customers.

Ask your cosmetic dentist candidates for the pricing. If they can not answer you directly, you might want to move on. You should be aware of how much the procedure will cost, and whether there could be additional fees not mentioned in the beginning. Ask the dentist what the possible side effects could be, and how much those could cost you. Don't forget to find out if the dentist you are interviewing takes your insurance plan.

There are a few things you should expect from a good cosmetic dentist. They should do a full and thorough check of your dental / medical history, and they should advise you to have a head and neck examination done. Your cosmetic dentist should also advise you to have an X-ray done. Make sure your dentist wears a mask and gloves as they are performing the procedure, and that they are willing to inform you of all the ways they keep the space sanitary and you protected.

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Tips on How to Find a Proficient Teeth Whitening Dentist

A teeth whitening dentist is one professional who is getting to be indispensable in this modern times because getting stained teeth is inevitable. As a person ages, variations in the mineral composition of his / her teeth can result to a darker shade of teeth which can be worsened by some lifestyles that one had been used to. Cigarettes, coffee and sodas are good anxiety relievers, they also have relaxing effects and can increase a person's energy. In fact they make good company especially when one is harassed with plenty of tasks to accomplish. But its disadvantage is that these can result to some stains on your teeth. This can make you so uncomfortable to smile. Naturally you wouldn't want them to see you as a person of poor hygiene or more so as an individual with bad habits. You can't afford to ruin your career and social life so you have to possess a pearly white teeth so you can smile confidently and generously. What you have to do is to see a teeth whitening dentist once you notice some stains on your teeth.

Due to the increasing demand for teeth whitening dentist, their treatments had been advertised extensively in print media, TV and on the internet. Don't just rely on their ads, you have to be discriminating or better as yet consider the following tips:

Obtain Referrals
Verify from friends, relatives and associates the abilities of a specific teeth whitening dentis .. The proof is on their smiles. If you are impress by their pearly white teeth their dentist will most likely do the same to you.

Check Credentials
For greater choices, browse the net for websites that provide lists of cosmetic dentists. Locate dentists near your house and examine and compare their qualifications .. Narrow your list to those who had undergone trainings on the latest technology in cosmetic dentistry. Examine their claims because it might be overstated. You rather go for those dentists who present their achievements and capabilities in a more formal manner.

Take A Personal Look
If your shortlist is down to two dentists then it's now time to see them personally for some queries. Assess the veracity of their claims and if he / she sounds capable. It is essential that you feel relaxed during treatments therefore you should observe if he / she can respond to your questions well and if he / she can established warm and friendly rapport with you.

Mind The Fees
Take a look also at the prices of their treatments. If they charged a significantly low price as compared to the rates of the majority of cosmetic dentists then you should be wary because their whitening materials may not be of standard quality.

Check The Facilities
See if the clinic is clean and comfortable. Check if the equipment and other equipment are not yet worn out, see if the staff are concerned and friendly.

The strength and physical appearance of your teeth is of paramount importance so …

Tips On How To Find A Holistic Dentist

Whether you're seeking to find healthier options for dental treatment or you simply want to find another course of treatment for your dental dilemmas, holistic dental care just might be the answer that you are searching for. It aims to provide treatment options that are safer and healthier to you and to the environment compared to traditional dentistry. Holistic dentistry rose in the early 1880s in response to finding out that mercury dental filling can cause complications in the future. Hence, there are an increasing number of individuals who want some tips on how to find a holistic dentist.

Finding holistic dental offices can be quite a challenge considering the fact that they have only began emerging in the world of dentistry. Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect one for you.

Know what you want. Before beginning your purpose on how to find a holistic dentist, you need to set the details of what you want exactly. Do you want a dentist in your area or not? Do you want a dentist that is a man or a woman? By setting your preferences first hand, finding the dentist that you want will be easier compared to searching one without a clear goal.

Ask around . Nothing beats the power of the word of mouth. Although it may seem unlikely, people you know may know someone who knows someone who can get you holistic dentists that are near your home. The dental office should be extending reputable service to satisfied clientele for more than a few years. This will ensure that you get high-quality services and topnotch dental treatment from no less than the best.

Check your newspaper ads or your phonebook's yellow pages . Checking ads is a good method on how to find a holistic dentist. They are typically filled with different dental offices that can provide you with various options. Furthermore, they also have dental offices that are found locally, giving you convenience when you need them.

Check for websites that provide listings . This is by far, the easiest and most convenient method of finding a dentist that will suit your preference and your needs even when you're in your pajamas. You don't have to go out or flip various pages to read up. You can just click your mouse and you can get the answers that you want. There are numerous websites online that provide these directory listings of holistic dentists in your area. You can just type in or choose your state and the address alongside contact numbers and the name of the dentists in the said dental office will pop up, fast and easy. These websites also provide in-depth information on holistic dentistry, the benefits that you will acquire and the methods and treatment options that will be provided for you once you decide on how to find a holistic dentist.

Finding a dental clinic that offer holistic dentistry may seem like a difficult task. However, with these tips, …

Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainers – How To Find Reviews You Can Trust

When you look at the reviews for Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainers you want to know that you can trust the opinion of the reviewer. The review must be knowledgeable and objective. It must give you a balanced account of the Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainer.

There are a number of different models of Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainer. They are not all the same. So you will need to look carefully at the review to see which one it is talking about. Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainers are not all the same.

The Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainer models x1400 and x1500 got very poor reviews and rightly so. There were some real problems with these models. The stride length was too short in both these machines. This is an important feature of the elliptical trainer which aims to reproduce your natural striding action. With too short a stride length this is not possible. The action of these two Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainer models feels strained and unnatural.

Not only were there problems with the stride length in these two Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainer models but the LCD console was poor. The LCD display on an elliptical trainer needs to be clear and convey all the necessary information about the training session. These models did not measure up to requirements.

Both these Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainers were poor value for money. They were not competitive with others on the market.

But these are not the only Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainers. There are two other models which have had better reviews. Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainers x6100 and x6200 HRT have ironed out some of the problems in the earlier models.

Both the x6100 and the x6200 have a 20 inch stride length. The reviews picked up on this improved feature.

Health Magazine gave the Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainer x6100 a particularly good review.

In addition the x6200 has extra features that make it particularly good buy. There is a three year warranty on parts and a lifetime brakes warranty from Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainers on the x6200. With this model you can also program your own fitness routine on the machine. You can even change the footpads on the x6200.

The LA Times, Consumers Digest and Smart Money Magazine all gave these models good reviews. There was a lot of positive feed back. There was a little criticism of the LCD on the x6100 but its performance was praised.

A model which was missed out by many reviewers was the Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainer x6600 HRT. It is professional standard machine such as you would find in a gym or fitness center but you can also buy it for home use. This is why the reviews tend to overlook it. They regard it as a strictly professional elliptical trainer.

The Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainer x6600 HRT is a heavy machine which might put off some home users. But if you have a solid floor then it is fine for home use. When you are using …

How to Find the Right Pediatric Dentist

Finding the right pediatric dentist is important if you want the best care for your child. You want to make sure that you make a good decision because you are probably going to want the same dentists throughout the years as your child grows. There are a couple of things that you need to look for in order to find a great dentist.

The first thing that you should look for is a dentist that has all the credentials. Make sure that the dentist is certified for pediatric work. You want to also make sure that the dentist is licensed by the state that you are residing in. There are instances where dentists may do pediatric work but have not completed a course in pediatric dentistry.

The second thing you should look for is to see if the dentist has experience with kids and can communicate with them effectively. Kids will need the encouragement to go through with a procedure since many kids are afraid of pain or the dentist’s office. The dentist should be very accommodating to your child and make sure that the child’s needs are met.

The third thing is to see what kind of methods the dentist uses to numb the pain. There are many options that are available from local anesthesia, IV sedation, sedation through medication, or sedation with nitrous oxide. Keep in mind that not all options will be suitable for younger kids. It’s best to do your research and figure out the best option for you.

Next, you want to see if you can any feedback from clients of the dentist. Does the dentist have clients you can talk to in order to confirm how good their service is? Can you look for reviews online about the dentist? Have you talked to other people in the neighborhood that go to that dentist’s office regularly? These are all things you can do to get an idea of the dentist’s service.

Finally, you want to test the waters. The only way to see if the pediatric dentist is right for you is to go in for a few appointments. See how your child responds and look for another dentist if you feel that it isn’t right for you. You can get the initial treatment but look elsewhere after everything is done.

If you don’t have any list of potential pediatric dentists, you can call your insurance provider and ask for any recommendations. The provider will give you a list of dentists that are covered by your plan and you will be able to go from there.

So that’s a quick overview on how to find the right pediatric dentist. You want to spend some time doing your research as you will want a dependable dentist for your child in the following years. The right dentist can make all the difference in helping keeping your child’s oral health in good shape.

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How to Find the Best Individual Health Insurance Plans

If you are after the best individual health insurance plan, you are probably looking for the best long term requirements of a coverage policy. First of all, it is not that easy to find the best individual health insurance plan which will ultimately meet all your needs.

The first step that you must take is to look for other plans that will enable you to realize its benefits in such an easy manner. With numerous diseases continually plaguing the environment, it is possible that you might lose your savings overnight on account of the numerous medical procedures and tests that will be necessary for your treatment. This is why it is very vital that you find the best individual health insurance plan that will invariably protect your savings in the near future.

Before locating the best health insurance provider or company, consider researching about the reliability quotient of your prospective insurance provider. For you to avail the best type of plan, check and review the company’s market record and the number of years it has been in active operation. The length of its service is a manifestation as well as evidence of the company’s credibility and dependability. You may also consult friends and family members who are also associated with other reliable companies.

Once you’re done with your research and have surprisingly obtained a reliable and dependable mark from the company’s performance, send a request letter to the company and inquire about their best individual health insurance deal. Feed them with the necessary information about your personal requirements and let them find the perfect plan suitable for you.

Just before you close a deal, it is very important that you take the time to compare different rates. The insurance quotes that you will obtain from a specific company may not usually require you to sign up with them right away. Take your time in reviewing their terms and conditions.

Be sure that you follow the coverage policy as this will indicate that the insurance rates that have been offered to you are the best individual health insurance rates there are. Make sure to look over the health coverage expenses and needs that are provided. There are occasional scenarios where the cheapest and affordable plans are not always the best. Moreover, there is a need for you to look over the terms and conditions of the health coverage that are normally offered with the health plan. You might also obtain a bit of extra money to secure the best individual health insurance plan which has the ability to offer you comprehensive benefits, since these are financially beneficial after all.

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