iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Recreational use of illicit drugs is a gateway to habitual use, says Judith Bernstein, a professor of community health sciences at Boston University in Massachusetts.

Bernstein, who co-authored a study on drug use, says that people who start smoking pot, snorting coke or popping opioids on the weekends often extend these activities to the week.

The study followed the drug-using behavior of close to 500 people, most of whom were from the inner city. Eleven percent of this group claimed they only took drugs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

However, in a six-month follow-up, more than half of the weekend drug users were also taking drugs during the week while 27 percent reported no change and 19 percent quit altogether.

Bernstein says the finding should be a wake-up call to primary care doctors not to ignore patients who admit to recreational drug use, given that these substances can cause both physical and psychological damage.

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Devonyu/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new report out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that boys are twice as likely to have been diagnosed with ADHD at any age as girls.

Past research has indicated that roughly 9.5 percent of children ages 4 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Now, a CDC report released on Thursday breaks that figure down further — by age, sex, socioeconomic status and race.

Among all children aged 4-17, 13.3 percent of boys had been diagnosed with ADHD, while only 5.6 percent of girls had been, according to the CDC report.

As for older kids, 11.8 percent of children aged 12-17 had been diagnosed with ADHD, the report said.

The prevalence of diagnosed ADHD was highest among white children and lowest among Hispanic children, and researchers found that kids from lower-income households were more likely to have been diagnosed with ADHD than kids from higher-income households.

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Roel Smart/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Emergency department visits related to Tramadol, an opioid pain reliever considered to be less risky that many other opioid meds, increased by about 250 percent between 2005 and 2011, according to two new reports using data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network.

The rise mirrors an increase in the use of these pills.

Prescriptions written for the drug increased 88 percent from 23.3 million in 2008 to 43.8 million in 2013.

The authors of the reports say many of the ER visits attributable to the drug involved misuse or abuse.

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WTVD-TV(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) — Two days after an elderly man dialed 911 for food because he was hungry and couldn’t move, his kitchen cabinets are overflowing with donations.

A 911 operator came to Clarence Blackmon’s rescue this week after he called for help. The 81-year-old, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, had just returned home to an empty refrigerator after spending several months in the hospital, and he said he had no one else to turn to. The operator arrived with a box of groceries, and she made him a few ham sandwiches.

Several news outlets, including ABC News, wrote about the good deed, and food donations are pouring in, Blackmon said.

“They keep bringing it in by the armloads,” he told ABC News. “My cupboards are full. I’ve never had such prosperity.”

He has so much food that he’s called a food bank to share it with others.

“Simply, these are wonderful gifts,” he said. “If I tried to consume all that’s in my kitchen right now, what’s in my cupboards, it would take me over a year!”

911 operator Marilyn Hinson told ABC affiliate WTVD-TV that she wanted to help Blackmon because she understood his predicament.

“He was hungry,” Hinson said. “I’ve been hungry. A lot of people can’t say that, but I can, and I can’t stand for anyone to be hungry.”

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enchroma.com(NEW YORK) — A Pennsylvania man teared up after getting a special pair of glasses that helped him see his children clearly for the first time.

Opie Hughes, who has red and green colorblindness, was given a special pair of EnChroma glasses by his family, including his sister Katherine Empey. The Erie family had banded together to start an online fundraiser to buy the $350 pair of glasses for Hughes.

Empey said fundraising finished just an hour before the deadline and the family had the glasses rush-delivered.

“We got them second-day aired and went over to his house for diner, we brought all these colorful things,” Empey said.

She then filmed his reaction as a way to thank all the donors who chipped in for the glasses. Empey said Hughes put them on and almost immediately teared up as he looked around and then down at his two children.

“It was heartbreaking for me,” Empey said. “You would think it’s a happy moment, I got sad … finally realizing that he has missed out on seeing his kids’ eyes and seeing colors.”

Empey said she encouraged her brother to look at his children’s eyes with the glasses on. “They’re ice blue. I don’t know if he” had seen that clearly before, she said.

In the video, Hughes called and told his children to look at him so he could clearly see their eye color.

The EnChroma glasses are designed to be worn outdoors and the glass is created to block out a specific spectrum of light so that cones in the eye that read red and green light have less overlap. The product is not called a “cure” for colorblindness but, specifically, an optical assistive device and the company says some people with severe colorblindness will not be helped.

Dr. Thomas Stokkermans, a director of Optometric and Contact Lens Services at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said the glasses can work because most people do not have true colorblindness, but instead a color deficiency. Stokkermans said the glasses can allow in certain wavelengths of light to give the appearance of more vibrant or clear colors.

“It’s not giving you back function of the receptor, it’s letting through wavelengths [of light] that enhance the functional receptors,” he said.

Stokkermans stressed that this is no cure for colorblindness or color deficiency but can help some people see certain colors better.

Empey said when she tried them on, everything looked brighter and sharper but that she didn’t see any more colors.

“I compare it to a regular lawn [that ] looks like a golf course lawn,” she said, explaining the green is brighter and the lines sharper.

After a few tears when Hughes opened his present, Empey said she’s now relieved that she helped her brother get the glasses.

“I was immediately like, ‘He can see it now,'” she said of the colors. “He’s my best friend, we do everything together. … It’s definitely a weight off my shoulders.”

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enchroma.com(NEW YORK) — A Pennsylvania man teared up after getting a special pair of glasses that helped him see his children clearly for the first time.

Opie Hughes, who has red and green colorblindness, was given a special pair of EnChroma glasses by his family, including his sister Katherine Empey. The Erie family had banded together to start an online fundraiser to buy the $350 pair of glasses for Hughes.

Empey said fundraising finished just an hour before the deadline and the family had the glasses rush-delivered.

“We got them second-day aired and went over to his house for diner, we brought all these colorful things,” Empey said.

She then filmed his reaction as a way to thank all the donors who chipped in for the glasses. Empey said Hughes put them on and almost immediately teared up as he looked around and then down at his two children.

“It was heartbreaking for me,” Empey said. “You would think it’s a happy moment, I got sad … finally realizing that he has missed out on seeing his kids’ eyes and seeing colors.”

Empey said she encouraged her brother to look at his children’s eyes with the glasses on. “They’re ice blue. I don’t know if he” had seen that clearly before, she said.

In the video, Hughes called and told his children to look at him so he could clearly see their eye color.

The EnChroma glasses are designed to be worn outdoors and the glass is created to block out a specific spectrum of light so that cones in the eye that read red and green light have less overlap. The product is not called a “cure” for colorblindness but, specifically, an optical assistive device and the company says some people with severe colorblindness will not be helped.

Dr. Thomas Stokkermans, a director of Optometric and Contact Lens Services at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said the glasses can work because most people do not have true colorblindness, but instead a color deficiency. Stokkermans said the glasses can allow in certain wavelengths of light to give the appearance of more vibrant or clear colors.

“It’s not giving you back function of the receptor, it’s letting through wavelengths [of light] that enhance the functional receptors,” he said.

Stokkermans stressed that this is no cure for colorblindness or color deficiency but can help some people see certain colors better.

Empey said when she tried them on, everything looked brighter and sharper but that she didn’t see any more colors.

“I compare it to a regular lawn [that ] looks like a golf course lawn,” she said, explaining the green is brighter and the lines sharper.

After a few tears when Hughes opened his present, Empey said she’s now relieved that she helped her brother get the glasses.

“I was immediately like, ‘He can see it now,'” she said of the colors. “He’s my best friend, we do everything together. … It’s definitely a weight off my shoulders.”

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Courtesy Dr. Richard Miller(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.) — High school senior Caytie Gascoigne was driving to her after-school job when she was hit head-on by an SUV, breaking her back, her neck, her pelvis, her legs and her sternum. She spent three weeks in a coma as her family wondered whether she would survive or ever be the same.

But this week, the 17-year-old walked across the stage at her Murfreesboro, Tennessee, graduation to a standing ovation.

“It’s really surreal,” Gascoigne told ABC News. “I don’t feel like it really happened. It’s really an amazing feeling.”

“Basically, it was a miracle,” said Tom Nolan, the Riverdale High School principal. “I remember driving to the hospital the night it happened, and I met with her mom and dad. Seeing where she was that day, how she’s progressed to what she’s done now is unbelievable. It’s an inspiration to the school, to the whole community.”

The car accident left Gascoigne in a deep coma in December, and her brain threatened to swell into her spinal cord, which would have killed her, said Dr. Richard Miller, chief of trauma and surgical critical care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, where Gascoigne was treated. Doctors placed her in an induced coma and repaired her broken body. Little by little, she woke up and was eventually moved to a rehabilitation center. Miller sat in the audience with Gascoigne’s friends and family at graduation.

“The recovery process has definitely been long and just grueling and painful,” Gascoigne said. “I just always look at it as ‘I will get better. I can’t stop trying.'”

Since returning to school in March, Gascoigne has gradually gone from needing a wheelchair to a walker to walking on her own without even a trace of a limp. She’s been in a school play and was voted prom queen. At graduation, she was voted “most outstanding senior girl.”

“I’ve never seen a kid work as hard as she’s worked,” Nolan said, adding that she’s just about back to normal.

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Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Baby boomers between 55 and 64 are expected to live a few years longer than people who were in that same age group a decade ago.

That’s the good news from a study by three different U.S. agencies that includes the Department of Health and Human Services.

However, “Health United States 2014” also delivers a sobering look at the physical condition of baby boomers today and it’s not encouraging.

There are more cases of diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol and obesity among people ages 55 to 64 than their predecessors and the reason today’s boomers are living longer is because they’re taking more medication for these chronic conditions.

Nonetheless, with 20 percent of boomers suffering from diabetes and 40 percent considered either overweight or obese, they leave themselves susceptible to cardiovascular disease.

Another downside to being a boomer nowadays is that moderate to severe levels of psychological distress have also increased.

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Zoonar/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — With summer around the corner, the amount of time you spend outside is bound to increase. And with that extra fun in the sun, you’ll need some added protection from UV rays. But just how well can you rely on your favorite sunscreen to do its job?

Consumer Reports tested 34 sunscreens and found that nearly a third of them — 11 — did not live up to their SPF promise. In fact, their SPF claims fell short by anywhere from 16 to 70 percent.

“Our findings are troubling because consumers may not be getting the amount of SPF protection they think they’re getting. On top of that, people often do not apply the right amount of sunscreen, fail to reapply it frequently enough, and don’t minimize their sun exposure, which could potentially put them at risk for overexposure to the sun’s rays,” Trisha Calvo, the health and food deputy content editor for Consumer Reports, said in a statement.

Eight of the sunscreens in question had a sun protection factor below 30, like Yes To Cucumbers Natural SPF 30, which had an average SPF of 14.

Despite these findings, it’s not all bad news. Most of the sunscreens the magazine tested did live up to their claims. And better yet, some of the most effective ones were also the cheapest.

“Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 lotion, $10.50 (8 ounces), Equate (Walmart) Ultra Protection SPF 50 lotion, $9 (16 ounces), and Banana Boat SunComfort Continuous Spray SPF 50+, $11 (6 ounces), all delivered top-notch protection and met their SPF claims,” Consumer Reports said.

The best of the bunch was La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-in Sunscreen Milk SPF 60, which received a perfect score of 100. However, at $36 for a 5-ounce bottle, the sunscreen was also the priciest of all those tested.

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Photodisc/Thinkstock(SINGAPORE) — Of all the things that might come out of your mouth after you’ve banged your knee against the side of a coffee table, “Ow” is probably the least offensive.

But regardless of what you might yell, it can actually have the effect of reducing the pain you feel, according to scientists from the National University of Singapore.

Building on other studies that examined vocalized pain reduction, the scientists had dozens of students submerge their hand in a bowl of ice water. The group that was allowed to say “Ow” tolerated the discomfort longer than others who were told to stay quiet.

In fact, another group that got to press a button during the experiment also tolerated pain longer than the control group.

NUS researcher Annett Schirmer says that this study and others seem to prove that if health care workers converse with patients during a painful procedure, just the simple act of talking may help them to better endure the procedure.

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