Comparison Car Rental Websites

The World Wide Web, or internet, is by far the most revolutionary invention mankind has come up with. There is an unlimited amount of information available to us with just a few key strokes. Car hire is included in this. We can now compare rates from the major car hire companies instantly. The good thing about this is that the companies are aware that clients can check. This keeps them more competitive and we reap the benefits with cheaper car hire.

With the internet however it does reduce our power to bargain with the companies as they already have the cheaper rates on the website. So the bargaining is already done and it doesn’t matter if you have a provider you prefer. You can still use the internet to get the best price from that branch, if it is more convenient. Whatever the reason, this extra information is good for us.

You can now find the best deals on car hire where ever you are in the world by using a comparison site. No need to spend your valuable time looking for local car operators numbers and spending hours on the phone talking sometimes to someone who may not speak your language. A comparison site will use software that taps into the National Companies live systems and will display the available cars and prices for you to choose from. Bottom line is that you will save money and time.

These comparison sites are ever evolving, working to make the process of booking car hire as streamlined as possible. The site will be easy to navigate providing all the information you need to complete the booking as well as offer you the ability to select any optional extras that may be required during your car rental. These may include Satellite Navigation (GPS), baby seats, additional driver and excess reduction, reducing your liability in the event of any accident. All the information is available at your fingertips, so be sure to read the Terms and Conditions applicable to the car you are planning to hire.

The global economic climate has not stopped travelers from taking their scheduled holidays. Some travelers are shortening the holiday, but overall with the airlines competing with cheap airfares people are still moving around and enjoying travel. You may find car hire rates a little cheaper due to competition and by far the best place to shop is on line for the best deals. Book early for car hire. Don’t expect to show up at a popular airport and get a bargain. You’re there, you need a car, they have the car and you will need to have the money and drivers license. So it will not be cheap. Book well before leaving home and have your confirmation with you on arrival. Remember if you are traveling during peak seasons, you will pay more for car hire, and everything else for that matter. See you somewhere in the great outdoors. Save travels everyone!

Planning and Design of Behavioral Healthcare Facilities

Behavioral Healthcare Facilities: The Current State of Design

In keeping with most districts of healthcare, the marketplace has seen a boom in the construction of Behavioral Healthcare facilities. Contributing to this increase is the paradigm shift in the way society views mental illness. Society is placing a heavier value on the need to treat people with serious addictions such as alcohol, prescription and elicit drugs. A large percentage of people suffering from behavioral disorders are afflicted with both mental and addictive behaviors, and most will re-enter communities and either become contributors or violators.

These very specialized facilities do not typically yield the attention from today’s top healthcare designers and their quantity accounts for a small fraction of healthcare construction. However, Behavioral Healthcare projects are increasing in number and are being designed by some very prominent architectural firms such as Cannon Design and Architecture Plus. Many are creating state-of-the-art, award-winning contemporary facilities that defy what most of us believe Behavioral Healthcare design to be.

Changing the Way We Design Behavioral Healthcare Facilities

As with all good planners and designers, A+D (along with facility experts) are reviewing the direct needs of patient and staff while reflecting on how new medicine and modern design can foster patient healing rates, reduce environmental stress, and increase safety. This is changing the face of treatment and outcome by giving the practitioner more time to treat because they require less time and resources to “manage” disruptive patient populations.

The face of Behavioral Healthcare is quickly changing. No longer are these facilities designed to warehouse patients indefinitely. And society’s expectations have changed. Patients are often treated with the belief that they can return to their community and be a contributor to society. According to the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS), depending on the severity of illness, the average length of stay in a Behavioral Healthcare facility is only 9.6 days.

What has changed?

Jaques Laurence Black, AIA, president and principal of New York City-based daSILVA Architects, states that there are two primary reasons for the shortened admission period:

1. Introduction of modern psychotropic drugs that greatly speed recovery

2. Pressures from insurance companies to get patients out of expensive modes of care

To meet these challenges, healthcare professionals are finding it very difficult to effectively treat patients within the walls of antiquated, rapidly deteriorating mental facilities. A great percentage of these facilities were built between 1908 and 1928 and were designed for psychiatric needs that were principled in the belief to “store” not to “rehabilitate.”

Also impacting the need for Behavioral Healthcare construction is the reluctance of acute-care facilities to provide mental health level services for psychiatric or addiction patients. They recognize that patient groups suffering from behavioral disorders have unique health needs, all of which need to be handled and treated only by very experienced healthcare professionals. This patient population also requires a heightened level of security. Self-harm and injuring staff and other patients are major concerns.

The Report of the Surgeon General: “Epidemiology of Mental Illness” also reports that within a given year about 20% of Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder and 5.4% suffer from a serious mental illness (SMI ) – defined as bipolar, panic, obsessive-compulsive, personality, and depression disorders and schizophrenia. It is also believed 6% of Americans suffer from addiction disorders, a statistic that is separate from individuals who suffer from both mental and addiction disorders. Within a given year it is believed that over one-quarter of America’s population warrants levels of mental clinical care. Even if these statistics were cut in half, it cannot be denied as a serious societal issue.

With a growing population, effectively designing in accordance with such measures is at the heart of public health.

Understanding the Complexity of Behavioral Healthcare Design

Therefore, like Corrections, leading planners and designers specializing in Behavioral Healthcare are delving deeper to better understand the complexity of issues and to be the activist to design facilities that promote treatment and healing – and a safer community.

The following is a list of key design variables that are being studied and implemented:

1. Right Sizing

2. Humanizing Materials and Color

3. Staff-Focused Amneties and Happiness

4. Security and Safety

5. Therapeutic Design Tenants


Today’s Behavioral Healthcare facilities are often one-story single buildings within a campus size. Often debated by Clients due to costs, this design preference is driven by the demand for Uncategorized light, window views to nature for all patient areas, and outdoor open-air gardens “wrapped” within. All of this provides soothing qualities to the patient, reduces their anxieties, counteracts disruptive conduct and helps to reduce staff stress.

“When you look at the program mix in these buildings, there’s a high demand for perimeter because there are a lot of rooms that need Uncategorized light. Offices, classrooms, dining areas, community rooms, and patient rooms all demand Uncategorized light, so you end up with a tremendous amount of exterior wall, and it forces the building to have a very large footprint.” – James Kent Muirhead, AIA, associate principal at Cannon Design in Baltimore

These design principles are also believed to improve staff work conditions. Unlike a multi-story complex, at any moment staff can walk outdoors and access nature, free from visual barriers, and within a building that more accurately reflects building types that both patients and staff would encounter in their communities.

In addition to right-sizing for the overall building footprint, is right-sizing for internal patient and staff support area. Similar to the move we have seen in Corrections to de-centralize support spaces, Behavioral Healthcare is moving to decentralized nursing/patient units called “neighborhoods.” With mental health facilities there is a large concern with distances and space adjacencies in relation to the patient room and patient support areas such as treatment and social spaces. Frank Pitts, AIA, FACHA, OAA president of Architecture Plus, Troy, NY, advocates neighborhoods that average 24-30 beds arranged in sub-clusters, called “houses”, of 8-10 beds. Thus, each neighborhood consists of three houses. Often these layouts will include a common area where patients congregate and socialize, with a separate quiet room so patients can elect to avoid active, crowded areas. In addition Pitts states, “There’s a move away from central dining facilities. So, while facilities will still have a central kitchen, it’s a whole lot easier moving food than it is patients.” However, it is important for the facility to mimic normal outside daily life routines, so patients are encouraged to frequently leave their neighborhoods to attend treatment sessions, and outdoor courtyards.

Humanizing Materials & Color

In all facilities that play a role in rehabilitation, design strives to create spaces that humanize, calm, and relax. Behavioral Healthcare patients need to feel that they are in familiar surroundings; therefore, the architectural vocabulary should feel comfortable and normal. Since these facilities are about rehabilitation (when possible) and encouraging patients to merge back into society, the facility should feel like an extension of the community. Their spaces should reflect the nature and architecture of the surrounding region and thus so, no two facilities should look too much alike.

“Our a
pproach to designing these facilities is to view the facility as an extension of the community where patients will end up when they’re released. Interior finishes also depend on geography because you want to replicate the environment patients are used to. You want to de-stigmatize the facility as much as possible.” – Tim Rommel, AIA, ACHA, OAA, principal with Cannon Design in Buffalo, NY.

Therefore, materials and colors within these spaces want to feel familiar to one’s region and everyday life. To soothe the psyche and rehabilitate, they want to feel soft and comfortable, yet visually stimulating. An interior that is overly neutral or hard in appearance is not appropriate. Materials should reduce noise, and colors should lift the spirit. This can help to create an environment in which the patient can learn, socialize, and be productive while easing anxieties, delivering dignity, and modifying behavior. As stated previously, behavioral studies advise the use of softer interior materials-like carpeting, wood doors and tile. Doing so translates directly to both patient and staff well-being, particularly staff safety, and makes for a nicer place to work. In addition, staff have more resources to “treat” instead of manage heated situations. When staff experiences are eased and satisfied, morale is boosted and life-saving rules and policies are more likely to be enforced.

Staff-Focused Amenities & Happiness

While reducing staff stress and fatigue through a healing supportive environment seems like an obvious goal, there are relatively few studies that have dealt with this issue in any detail. More attention has been given to patient outcomes. However, many leading hospitals that have adopted therapeutic tenants into their newly built environments have seen vast improvement through their “business matrixes” and financial reporting.

In one example, the Mayo Clinic, a national leader in implementing healing design in its facilities, has reported a reduction of nursing turnover from a national annual average of 20% to an annual 3%-4%. In another example, when Bronson Methodist Hospital incorporated evidence-based design into its new 343-bed hospital, they cited their 19%-20% nurse turnover rate dramatically dropped to 5%.

Now, both the Mayo Clinic and Bronson Methodist Hospital have had to initiate a waiting list for nursing staff seeking positions. This converts to better-trained and qualified staff, and a reduced error rate. Therefore, more health facilities are investing in staff support areas such as lounges, changing rooms, and temporary sleep rooms. Within these staff spaces and in the hospital throughout, facilities are also recognizing the need for upgrade materials, better day lighting, and an interesting use of color: One soon realizes that the need of patients and staff are interwoven, each impacting positively or negatively the other.

Security & Safety

Without debate, self harm and harm to staff is one of the biggest concerns mental health facilities manage. Often the biggest safety and security concern is the damage patients can do to themselves. “There are three rules I had drummed in me,” says Mark Hanchar; Director of Preconstruction Services for Gilbane Building Company, Providence, R.I. “First, there can’t be any way for people to hang themselves. Second, there can be no way for them to create weapons. Third, you must eliminate things that can be thrown.” Hanchar says that the typical facility is, “a hospital with medium-security prison construction.” This means shatter proof glass, solid surface countertops (laminate can be peeled apart), stainless steel toilets and sinks (porcelain can shatter), push pull door latches and furniture that cannot be pulled apart and used as a weapon. These are just to name a few.

Additionally, removing barriers between patients and nursing staff is a safety consideration. Frank Pitts, AIA, FACHA, OAA president of Architecture Plus, says what may be counter-intuitive for safety precautions, “Glass walls around nursing stations just aggravate the patients.” Removing glass or lowering it at nursing stations so patients can feel a more human connection to nurses often calms patients. There is also discussion of removing nursing stations altogether; decentralizing and placing these care needs directly into the clinical neighborhoods and community spaces. Pitt says, “The view is that [nursing staff] need to be out there treating their patients.”

Therapeutic Design Tenants

As medicine is increasingly moving towards “evidence-based” medicine, where clinical choices are informed by research, healthcare design is increasingly guided by research linking the physical environment directly to patient and staff outcomes. Research teams from Texas A&M and Georgia Tech sifted through thousands of scientific articles and identified more than 600 – most from top peer-reviewed journals – to quantify how hospital design can play a direct role in clinical outcomes.

The research teams uncovered a large body of evidence that demonstrates design features such as increased day-lighting, access to nature, reduced noise and increased patient control helped reduce stress, improve sleep, and increase staff effectiveness – all of which promote healing rates and save facilities cost. Therefore, improving physical settings can be a critical tool in making hospitals more safe, more healing, and better places to work.

Today’s therapeutic spaces have been defined to excel in 3 categories:

1. Provide clinical excellence in the treatment of the body

2. Meet the psycho-social needs of patients, families, and staff

3. Produce measurable positive patient outcomes and staff effectiveness

Considering the cost of treating mental illness, which is exceedingly high, and wanting facilities to have effective outcomes, a further practice of incorporating therapeutic design is increasing. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIM H) approximated in 2008 that serious mental illnesses (SMI ), costs the nation $193 billion annually in lost wages. The indirect costs are impossible to estimate.

The estimated direct cost to clinically treat is approximately $70 billion annually and another $12 billion spent towards substance abuse disorders. In addition to the increased need of care and the boom in Behavioral Healthcare construction, it becomes an obligation to make certain that we as facility managers, architects, designers and manufacturers therapeutically plan and design these facilities.

Notably, in 2004, “The Role of the Physical Environment in the Hospital for the 21st Century: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity,” published by Roger Ulrich P.H.D., of Texas A&M University, was released. In a culmination of evidence-based research, research teams found five design principles that contributed significantly to achieving therapeutic design goals.

The report indicates five key factors that are essential for the psychological well-being of patients, families and staff, including:

1. Access to Nature

2. Provide Positive Distractions

3. Provide Social Support Spaces

4. Give a Sense of Control

5. Reduce or eliminate environmental stress

Access to Nature

Studies indicate that nature might have the most powerful impact to help patient outcomes and staff effectiveness. Nature can be literal or figurative – Uncategorized light, water walls, views to nature, large prints of botanicals and geography, materials that indicate nature and most importantly, stimulating color that evokes nature. Several studies strongly support that access to nature such as day-lighting and appropriate colorations can improve health outcomes such as depression, agitation, sleep, circadian rest-activity rhythms, as well as length of stay in demented patients and persons with seasonal affective disorders (SAD).

These and related studies continue to affirm the powerful impact of Uncategorized elements on patient recovery and stress reduction. Thus, it is clea
r that interior designs which integrate Uncategorized elements can create a more relaxing, therapeutic environment that benefits both patients and staff.

Positive Distractions

These are a small set of environmental features that provide the patient and family a positive diversion from “the difficult” and, in doing so, also negate an institutional feel. These can be views to nature, water walls, artwork, super imposed graphics, sculpture, music – and ideally all of these want to be focused on nature and, when applicable, an interesting use of color. Therapeutic environments that provide such patient-centered features can empower patients and families, but also increase their confidence in the facility and staff. This helps with open lines of communication between patient and caregiver.

Social Support Spaces

These are spaces designed partially for the patient but mainly for the comfort and socialization of family members and friends of the patient; therefore, family lounges, resource libraries, chapels, sleep rooms and consult rooms all play a role. When family and friends play a key role in a patient’s healing, these spaces encourage families to play an active role in the rehabilitation process.

Sense of Control

In times when patients and family feel out of control, it is very healing for the facility design and staff to provide it back when appropriate. Although, this cannot always be done suitably in mental healthcare facilities. However, when applicable, these design features include optional lighting choices, architectural way-finding, resource libraries, enhanced food menus, private patient rooms and

optional areas to reside in. A few well-appointed studies in psychiatric wards and nursing homes have found that optional choices of moveable seating in dining areas enhanced social interaction and improved eating disorders. When patients feel partially in control of their healing program and that the building features are focused to them, an increased confidence of the quality of care enters and tensions lower.

As with all therapeutic design, this allows the caregiver to use their resources healing in lieu of “managing” patient populations.

Reduce or Eliminate Environmental Stress

Noise level measurements show that hospital wards can be excessively noisy places resulting in negative effects on patient outcomes. The continuous background noise produced by medical equipment and staff voices often exceeds the level of a busy restaurant. Peak noise periods (shift changes, equipment alarms, paging systems, telephones, bedrails, trolleys, and certain medical equipment like portable xray machines are comparable to walking next to a busy highway when a motorcycle or large truck passes.

Several studies have focused on infants in NIC Us, finding that higher noise levels, for example, decrease oxygen saturation (increasing need for oxygen support therapy), elevate blood pressure, increase heart and respiration rate, and worsen sleep. Research on adults and children show that noise is a major cause of awakening and sleep loss.

In addition to worsening sleep, there is strong evidence that noise increases stress in adult patients, for example, heightening blood pressure and heart rate. Environmental surfaces in hospitals are usually hard and sound-reflecting, not sound-absorbing causing noise to travel down corridors and into patient rooms. Sounds tend to echo, overlap and linger longer.

Interventions that reduce noise have been found to improve sleep and reduce patient stress. Of these, the environmental or design interventions such as changing to sound-absorbing ceiling tiles, are more successful than organizational interventions like establishing “quiet hours.”

Conclusion and Additional Information

The information contained in this excerpted report is intended as a guide for architects, specifiers, designers, facility planners, medical directors, procurers, psychologists and social workers which have a stake in providing improved facilities for behavioral healthcare patients. It is a portion of a report entitled “The Contributions of Color” authored by Tara Hill, of Little Fish Think Tank. Ms. Hill was commissioned by Norix Group Inc., in 2010 to research the role color plays in the safe operation of correctional facilities and behavioral health centers. More in-depth information specifically about the psychological influence of color and behavioral healthcare facility design can be found by reading the full report.

Cash Advances – Are They More Seamless Than Ever?

We are all fallible and subject to imperfections that we usually have little control of altogether! One minute we think we’re doing alright and the next, we are strapped for cash like never before. Sure you’ve been there, right?

What is coming in in terms of money is simply not enough to suffice when all the expenditures ‘come a knocking’! Cash advances are sometimes referred to as a short term ‘safety net’ whereby utilizing your next payday the leverage or basis for the transaction.

It can allow you to catch your breath long enough to ‘put out any fires’ that tend to smolder in the distance. This concept is far from new and until just recently, has been fully perfected in the online financial environments. The internet lenders are more seamless than ever and much less ‘choppy’ than your local pawnshop or cash advance store down the road.

You major benefits are savings! What do you save? Time is one of the primary goals people look to achieve in terms of savings. This is done with many 1 hour advance lenders who have practically the quickest turn around times lending cash on earth!

In addition, you don’t have to spend any money on gas getting there or risking you physical health in route. This can be huge if you don’t live near a payday loan store anywhere. Cash advanced in an online capacity shields your privacy more readily than any physical lender could do for you; because at that point, your identity and what your there for, is exposed.

Turn around times are fabulous and only getting better as well as overall costs associated. Therefore, it is an excellent time now(if your inclined) to obtain a fast cash advance via a highly reputable lender on the web!

Aarkstore Enterprise– Medical Equipment Industry

The report provides an overview of the Chinese market for medical equipment and devices, with focus on four key emerging markets beyond already established cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.

Table of Contents :

Executive Summary
Industry Overview
Market Overview: Tianjin
Market Overview: Shenzhen
Market Overview: Nanjing
Market Overview: Chongqing
Trade Event
Key Contacts
About the Author
Aarkstore Enterprise is a leading provider of business and financial information and solutions worldwide. We specialize in providing online market business information on market research reports, books, magazines, conference at competitive prices, and strive to provide excellent and innovative service to our customers. Our customers include more than 700 leading financial institutions, professional service firms, consulting, law and accounting firms and other corporations throughout the world.

Market Research, Market Research Reports, Industry Analysis, Business Research, Business Market Research, Apparel, accessories, Babies Corner, Books, Food, Household Needs, Jewellery, Web Designing, Development, Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing, Automotive, Accounting, Banking, Finance, Biotechnology, Consumer Goods Construction, Energy Resources, Food Drink, Health Safety Insurance, Law & Regulation Management, Pharmaceuticals Telecommunications, Accounting Biography, Finance Health, Safety, Law, Regulation Educational, Management Engineering, market size information, market access strategies, market share, export and import information, market analysis, market trends, competition, domestic production, best sales prospects, statistical data, tariffs, regulations, distribution and business practices, end-user analysis, trade shows, contact points, conference, events, seminars, magazines.

Aarkstore Enterprise specialize in providing online market business information on market research reports, books, magazines, conference booking at competitive prices, and strive to provide excellent and innovative service to our customers.

Property Guide To Alicante

In the south-east corner of Spain between Valencia and Murcia, is Alicante province. Dubbed the ‘California of Europe’ by some, this part of the Spanish coastline became known as the Costa Blanca or ‘White Coast’ because of its 200kms of pristine sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.

Prior to the tourist boom, Alicante was comprised mainly of fishing villages, wine and citrus farms. However all that changed when the first air routes to the Valencia region opened up in 1957. Today, Alicante is a tourist mecca with first-rate infrastructure and leisure facilities, receiving around five million tourist visitors annually, making it an excellent place to invest in holiday letting properties.

Already fairly populous with nearly two million permanent inhabitants, Alicante has over the years become home to a thriving community of foreign retirees and lifestyle immigrants, many of them British or German, attracted by the healthy Mediterranean climate, unspoilt beauty of the lush, rocky coastline and Uncategorized salt marshes, as well as the fresh local seafood. Today, English is probably the second-most commonly-spoken language in Alicante after the native Valenciano.

Traditionally divided into a more affluent north and less well-heeled south, since the Spanish property boom, such demographics have become meaningless. All along the Costa Blanca, you’ll find luxury beach resorts, spacious villas and modern housing developments, as well as marinas filled with yachts.

The province has not lost all of its original charm though – there are still quaint Mediterranean villages with charming cobbled streets, ancient churches and historical architecture to be found; and the old quarters of many towns such as Altea and Javea continue to act as major drawcards for their historical value and café culture by day, and their restaurants and bars by night.

The capital, Alicante, is a genteel city with an international airport – the main point of access for the province – as well as many historical buildings, tree-lined boulevards, parks, palm-fringed beach and eye-catching harbour with marina.

Other places worth mentioning are Benidorm – the tourist capital of the Costa Blanca with first class entertainment facilities and pleasant micro-climate; Torrevieja -with its great golf courses and bird sanctuary in the Uncategorized salt marshes nearby; and Javea – a lush enclave of exclusive cliffside villas.

Property prices in Alicante are generally 3% higher than the Spanish national average, but buyers can still get good value for money if they do their research. Currently real estate sales in Alicante tend to centre around major tourist centres where holiday rental yields are still healthy, although bargains can still be found in the less-crowded outskirts.

Second home buyers and retirees tend to prefer quieter, less crowded or developed areas such as Benitachell, Denia and Javea. However, this less commercial aspect has begun to take on a certain cache, so that property here is not as cheap as one might expect.

Still, though, for health, lifestyle and quality of life, the Costa Blanca is hard to beat and property in Alicante is well worth considering.

Quit Smoking(elektroniskas cigaretes)- Have You Kept Your New Year's Resolution?

I guess the holidays are a time of reduced stress and anxiety and then of course time to quit smoking. How many times have you tried to give up? And each time it becomes more difficult doesn’t it? You need to know that you are not alone: 90% of smokers are experiencing the same pain. Now you can quit smoking safely and easily with Vice-Breaker.™
It won’t happen to me… Many smokers harbour the secret hope that they will be spared the disease and death that follows nicotine addiction. Don’t be fooled: With four million people dying every year due to tobacco use around the world, the odds are not in your favor. Statistics show that tobacco kills more people than AIDS, drugs, accidents and alcohol together. Quit Smoking Now! with Vice-Breaker™
Whether it’s cigarettes(elektroniskas cigaretes), pipe, tobacco or e-cigarettes(elektroniske cigaretter), smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. It’s the cause of 87 percent of lung cancer deaths and is responsible for heart and blood vessel disease, stroke, cataracts, impotence and more. According to a recent report,heavy smoking in midlife more than doubles the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia two decades later. And, an epidemiological study that compared the average lifespan of 34 000 smoking doctors with a similar group of non-smokers, showed the smoker’s lifespan was reduced by 11 minutes for every cigarette(sigarette elettroniche) smoked!

A very recent study concluded that women who smoke from a young age are at greater risk of developing breast cancer. Moms-to-be need to know that women who smoke have a greater chance of certain pregnancy problems or having a baby die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). And exposure to smokers is still a major cause of asthma attacks in kids. Quit Smoking Now! with Vice-Breaker And did you know that every time you light up you are inhaling a lethal cocktail of more than 600 additives as well as nicotine? Tobacco companies had been allowed to put additives in cigarettes(sigaretta elettronica) for over 30 years without any public scrutiny, its time to quit smoking.

Second-hand smoke Every smoker knows that evidence abounds that second-hand smoke kills and passive smokers are subjected to as much danger as smokers. Now there is even talk of the danger to health of third-hand smoke found in the curtains and upholstery in smoking areas.

Quit smoking aids There are numerous quit-smoking aids on the market, from hypnosis to drugs to nicotine patches and gums. Electronic cigarettes(elektronines cigaretes) are popular, just like the nicotine patches and gum, qualify as a smoking alternative, not a quit aid. e-cigarette (cigarros electronicos) do not cure the addiction or the habit. It is counter-productive to substitute a nicotine delivery device that looks, for all intents and purposes, just like the cigarettes(cigarro electronico) we are working so hard to break free of. They are largely untested and the amount of nicotine in them can vary, as well as other possibly harmful chemical ingredients.

So what do I recommend? Only 100% Uncategorized herbal anti-smoking remedies whose safety has been confirmed. They are usually formulated to help reduce nicotine cravings and reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, such as stress and irritability. Vice-BreakerTM, is such a supplement, with the added benefit of cleansing the lungs at the same time. Because of its impressive track record, safety and efficacy, I have seen to it that Vice-Breaker™ is available in South Africa.

Weight gain Many smokers are concerned about weight gain after quitting and use this as an excuse not to quit. You’d have to gain a very large amount of weight to offset the many substantial health benefits that a smoker gains by quitting. Watching what you eat and going for a 30 minute brisk walk daily will ensure you quit without gaining much weight.

Tips on Finding and Booking Car Rental Specials on the Internet

Car rental specials are a great way to get a cheaper car rental. They allow car rental companies to get their vehicles booked in advance and allow you to save money!

You can access car rental specials through each individual company’s website or through booking sites such as Expedia, Hotwire, Priceline, etc. In doing some research, I found that the majority of the rates found on the booking sites were the same as the non-discounted rate through the company directly.

I would definitely check both to get the best rate possible. I did find cheaper rates with prepaid booking sites (where you pay for the rental up-front) but these usually allow no modifications or cancellations of the reservation. If you are booking through a prepaid booking site, make sure to read the terms and
conditions very carefully and keep these factors in mind when you are checking prices.

When you are checking a company specific website, check the rate first with no discount, then with a discount code (if you have one), and with the special offered by the company. This way you are sure to get the cheapest rate offered.

You should always check the terms and conditions for any specials to make sure that your particular rental qualifies.

Common terms and conditions are listed further down.

On the car rental company websites there are basic types of specials that most offer.

% Off Car Rental Specials

These types of specials can range from 10% to 50% off rates; usually weekly or weekend rates. Sometimes you will see seasonal specials or midweek specials or one-way specials.

Prepaid Car Rental Specials

Many rental companies will offer car rental specials if you prepay the reservation on their website. This will involve providing your credit card at the time of booking and the amount of the rental will be billed right away.

$ Off /Free Day Car Rental Specials

Many rental company websites offer $ off and or Free Day car rental specials. This would be considered an internet coupon offer. This can range from $5 – $50 off depending on the company and the length of the rental or the price per day if it is a Free Day offer.

Location Specific Car Rental Specials

Many companies will offer specials at either airport locations, neighbourhood locations or both. They may also offer car rental specials in specific cities at certain times.

The terms and conditions for most specials are:

Most specials are limited to specific car types and sizes, unless the special is for “all car sizes”.

Most specials have a minimum and a maximum rental period. Make sure that your rental conforms to these guidelines.

Most offers are not valid in conjunction with any other rate programs or special offers, and cannot be used with a coupon or on a one-way rental.

Any % off/ money off or free day specials will be on the base rate of the vehicle only, and will not apply to the taxes and surcharges at the location or any optional equipment or waivers that you may purchase.

Check for date restrictions. Most offers will require an advance reservation and are only available for a specified length of time. Look for terms such as

“Available through” a certain date (must be booked and rented before such date). This will sometimes be worded as “Offer expires by…” or “Rental must begin by…”

Look for the term “blackout dates” Most companies restrict their offer at peak times and holidays. Keep in mind that peak times can vary by location. If there is an annual large convention in a certain city and the rental locations are extremely busy they will generally blackout specials for that time. This
applies to large events as well (example: Nascar Events, PGA tour events, Mardi Gras, etc.) If the blackout dates are not listed, you should be able to call or contact the rental company to find out the specifics.

Most offers are available at “participating locations” and usually restricted to certain countries. Check to see if the offer is available at airport locations, urban locations, suburban locations or a combination of these.

Many companies do not offer specials in the New York are, Alaska or Hawaii. Check your terms and conditions for these restrictions.

For a prepaid booking special you will need to present the same major credit card you used to book the rental at the rental counter. The name on credit card and the name on the driver’s license must match. You cannot use someone else’s credit card to prepay your reservation.

For most prepaid car rental specials and advanced reservation is required. You usually have to book and prepay the rental at least 24 hours before you go to pick it up.

Debit cards are generally not accepted for prepaid reservations.

Even if you book a prepaid reservation online, you cannot cancel them online. You must call the company directly to cancel or modify. Keep in mind that if modifying, you are basically cancelling the reservation and rebooking; this will often affect your rate. Check to see if and what the cancellation and no-show policy is for prepaid car rental specials.

Many companies offer specials only available to subscribers – sign up for email notifications for any car rental companies you prefer.

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The Role of Neurons in Substance Abuse

Addiction is a neurological disease and any attempt to define it otherwise can be met with compelling evidence. In fact, the nature of the disease of addiction is almost entirely based upon functions that occur within nerve cells and the circuits they are wired in. Understanding the role neurons play in substance abuse won’t help an addict get clean directly, but it will foster an environment of understanding that can help to mitigate and improve the serious public health threat of substance abuse.

What is a Nerve Cell?

There are billions – perhaps trillions – of nerve cells in the brain. Some scientists theorize there are so many nerve cells because in the event of their death or alteration, these cells are not regenerated and therefore we require a surplus of them. And because their functions are so critical, nerve cells are found in abundance in every area of the brain.

Nerve cells – also called neurons – have many different functions, but overall these functions are primarily communication-related. Neurons communicate by sending and receiving signals to other neurons and nerve circuits, to glands and other hormone-related organs, to muscle cells and other parts of the central nervous system.

Neurons are arranged in circuits, though individual nerve cells do not physically touch. Instead, they float freely within the circuit.

The Individual Parts of Nerve Cells/Neurons

A neuron has 4 primary components;

1. Cell Body: the actual body of the nerve cell

2. Dendrites: dendrites branch out from the top of the nerve cell body

3. Axon: the axon is a long “cord” that extends from the bottom of the cell body

4. Terminals: the terminals branch out from the end of the axon

What Happens During Drug Use

When drugs enter the bloodstream, a signal is sent that excites certain dendrites in a nerve circuit. This signal is processed by the cell body, which in turn then sends instructions about the signal down through the axon. The axon conveys the signal and a neurotransmitter – often dopamine – is released by the terminals.

The neurotransmitter settles into the small gap between individual neurons – called the synaptic gap – and binds with receptors found in the dendrites of connected nerve cells. This causes the user to feel a euphoric sensation or “high.” When drugs like cocaine, heroin or meth interfere with this process, the neurotransmitter is not reabsorbed correctly by the terminals, resulting in neurotransmitter saturation. This causes the high to last for an extended period of time, whereas a Uncategorized release of a transmitter like dopamine normally causes a mildly pleasant feeling that quickly dissipates.

How the Brain Corrects the Imbalance

Because drug use is essentially a chemical invasion of the brain, the central nervous system will seek to control the effects of the substance. This is accomplished through a process called drug tolerance, whereby users find it increasingly more difficult to get high.

Tolerance develops when changes are made to the way receptors bind with neurotransmitters, or when other processes in the nerve circuit are altered in order to reduce or eliminate the effects of the foreign substance. Unfortunately, this often means that the drug user will simply increase the dosage of drugs in order to overcome this growing tolerance. This is the beginning of the cycle of addiction.

Permanency of Changes

Changes made to receptors and nerve cells are not reversible. This means that the brain of a drug addict will have significantly changed by the time they stop using. Because these changes are largely permanent, they may cause the addict to feel differently than they did before they began using. Adjusting to these changes is the most difficult part of long term recovery from addiction or alcoholism.

The evidence shows that addiction is not an issue of morals or character; it has its roots literally in our brains and therefore deserves to be treated as the serious health concern that it is. This is why addiction can happen to anyone: we are all wired the same. The sooner we can understand this, the sooner we can begin to offer addicts the right treatment solutions, beginning with a grounded public perception of the neurological nature of addiction.

Types of Drug Detox

There are 4 primary types of drug detox available for addicts and alcoholics to achieve the initial stages of sobriety. This includes the cold turkey method, specialized detox centers, medical detox facilities and rapid detox centers. Each type of drug detox has its own benefits and pitfalls that people seeking to recover from addiction should understand before they decide which treatment option is right for them.

Cold Turkey Drug Detox

This type of detox is also called “Uncategorized detox” and essentially consists of an addict or alcohol undergoing the stages of acute withdrawal in a private setting with little or no assistance or care. Unfortunately, the chances of successfully breaking the initial stages of acute withdrawal syndrome are small with this method, and most addicts will return to their drug of choice before they have reached a critical mass in their recovery efforts.

Despite its propensity for failure, quitting cold turkey isn’t dangerous if the substance in question is fairly benign such as marijuana or mild opiate addiction. However, some substance addictions can lead to life-threatening symptoms of AWS in the event of sudden cessation. The three most dangerous of these substances are alcohol, barbiturates and benzodiazepines; all of which can lead to seizures, respiratory and/or cardiac arrest, coma and in rare cases, death.

Regardless of the substance of abuse, most experts do not recommend Uncategorized detox as the chances for success are significantly impaired.

Specialized Drug Detox Centers

Specialized detox centers provide inpatient style treatment for up to 2 weeks. Patients receive an initial evaluation which will be used to develop an individualized treatment plan for the duration of their stay. Because of the individual nature of these plans, some detox patients will undergo treatment in just a few days, while others will require a week or two. In many cases these types of detox facilities work in conjunction with longer-term treatment centers that patients can automatically transfer to once they are past the acute stages of withdrawal.

Specialized detox centers work because of the therapies employed – such as individual and group counseling – and because they effectively isolate the addict or alcohol from people, places and things that could be triggers for them to relapse.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is similar to a specialized detox center but with a distinctly medical component. This can consist of an on-site nurse or doctor, 24 hour monitoring and other types of medically-oriented benefits. A medical detox center can also help addicts to step-down their drug usage in an effort to maintain medical safety and reduce or eliminate symptoms of acute withdrawal.

Medical detox is often required by addicts that have relapsed repeatedly, as subsequent attempts to get clean result in more severe withdrawal symptoms that last for a longer period of time. This is referred to as the Kindling Effect and is a very real phenomenon that can make it extremely difficult for people to get clean and stay clean. A medical detox center can address these issues expertly in a safe, relaxed and non-judgmental environment.

Rapid Detox

Rapid detox refers to a type of medical-detox procedure whereby the patient undergoes most of the symptoms of withdrawal while unconscious. This is accomplished by placing the patient into a medically-induced coma, then administering a series of drugs that facilitates and hastens the process of acute withdrawal. This spares most patients the worst of the symptoms and allows them to begin their treatment without the pain and discomfort of a long period of withdrawal.

Unfortunately, rapid detox is a relatively new practice and it’s not well understood yet how successful it is from a long-term treatment standpoint. Addicts considering this method should consult with their primary physician prior to speaking with a detox specialist.

Going through detox in a specialized or medical facility is the best option for most addicts and alcoholics; not only from a safety standpoint, but also because sequestering an addict away from potential exposure to drugs or drug- abuse triggers provides the best chance for lasting recovery.

Find out for yourself by reaching out for help now if you or someone you love is fighting the disease of addiction.

Best 2012 Halloween Costumes for Boys

If you are looking for the best 2012 Halloween costumes for boys, we have some ideas for you to get started. Depending on the age of the child, you are going to most likely want to get some input from them on what they want to be – unless they’re a baby, of course. In all seriousness, involving the child in the process of picking a suitable Halloween costume can go a long way in making sure they have a lot of fun on the big night, which is what it’s all about – not to mention the candy.

  • Spiderman Costumes – The Amazing Spiderman was big this year, and as in years past, you can expect many boys to want to become the wisecracking Spidey. The good news is that there are quite a few great – and relatively cheap – Spiderman costumes available.
  • Batman Costumes – Another Superhero that’s huge again this year is Batman. As with Spiderman, the popularity of this costume means there are going to be a lot of different options for you as a parent. From simple plastic outfits to complex costumes with a separate Batman mask and accessories, there’s something for every budget.
  • Historical Costumes – Not every boy is going to want to use a historical figure for a Halloween costume, but this can be great in many different ways. For one, not a lot of other kids are going to have the same costume most likely if you go with a George Washington, Ben Franklin or some other historic figure – Caesar anyone?
  • Homemade Costumes – If you are on a budget or just like to be creative and spend quality creative time with your children, homemade costumes for Halloween can be a great idea. You just want to make sure you involve the boy in every step of the process so he is happy with the outcome and will want to wear it on Halloween night!
  • Soldier Costumes – This is one that is relatively easy to put together cheaply. A little camo and some other accessories – no guns! – and you can have a great looking solider whether it’s a sailor or someone in the airforce or marines. Camo face paint really puts the final touches on this great costume idea.
  • Fireman Costume – Being a civil servant or first responder like a fireman on Halloween is a lot of fun and may be an indication of a future career path for your little one. There are a lot of great accessories you can get to make your costume really stand out from all the others. Don’t forget the cute fireman’s hat and boots!

After you choose which costume you want, it’s all about saving money. Next, we have some tips to make sure you get the most for your money when buying a boy’s Halloween costume this year.

  • Shop Early – One of the best things you can do is shop early. If you were thinking smart last year, you bought your costumes a day after Halloween when they went on sale. Even if you didn’t do this, the earlier you start shopping – even during the final summer months – the more you are going to be able to look around and find the absolute best price.
  • Shop Online – Speaking of finding the best price, another great idea is to make sure you do most of your shopping online. While there’s nothing more fun than taking a kid (or five) to a Halloween costume shop (sarcasm!), there’s something to be said about shopping for a costume online. It’s easy, safe and convenient – and you can save money too.
  • Read Reviews – Finally, you are going to want to make sure you read reviews of the various costumes before you get out your credit card and make any purchases. There are quite a few places you can read reviews these days, but you should find a website you trust and stick with them and their recommendations for the best Halloween costumes for boys in 2012.

Halloween is all about having fun and being able to dress up and score a lot of candy. Picking out the costume should not be stressful or a headache! The sooner you start shopping for a Halloween costume, the sooner you’re going to be able to relax and just enjoy the holidays.