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Fifty-nine percent of nasal allergy sufferers report sleeping problems, while 35% treat symptoms, survey finds

BY Alaric DeArment

LANDOVER, Md. — More than half of people with nasal allergies report problems sleeping, while slightly more than a third proactively treat their symptoms, according to a new survey.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and Teva Respiratory released results of the survey, showing sleeping problems among 59% of sufferers, while 48% said symptoms like congestion and sneezing interrupted a partner’s sleep.

The survey was part of an educational program featuring Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist and nasal allergy sufferer Misty May-Treanor titled "Ditch the Drip: Get Serious about Nasal Allergies." May-Treanor has been hired as a celebrity spokeswoman for the second year to educate the estimated 60 million Americans who have it.

"I made the difficult decision to retire from international beach volleyball after the 2012 Olympic Games, but I still lead an incredibly active lifestyle," May-Treanor said. "As I move into this next chapter of my life, I’m focused on spending quality time with my husband and pursuing both professional and educational goals, so suffering from bothersome nasal allergy symptoms just doesn’t fit into my plans."

 

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Parents often complicit in teens’ prescription drug abuse, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A dramatic jump in the rates of misuse of prescription stimulants over the past four years is linked to lax attitudes on the part of parents, according to a new study, though misuse and abuse of prescription opioids has remained flat.

The study, released by the Partnership at Drugfree.org and the MetLife Foundation, found a 33% increase between 2008 and 2012 in the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs by teenagers, while nearly one-third of parents thought stimulants could improve academic performance, even in teens not diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Twenty-four precent of teenagers report misusing or abusing a prescription drug once in their lifetime, up from 18% in 2008; this includes 13% who report taking Novartis’ Ritalin (methylphenidate hydrochloride) or Shire’s Adderall (amphetamine aspartate; amphetamine sulfate; dextroamphetamine saccharine; dextroamphetamine sulfate), stimulants used to treat ADHD, without a prescription, and 20% who report abusing prescription drugs before the age of 14 years; Ritalin and Adderall are available in branded and generic forms.

The study was based on a survey of 3,884 teenagers in grades 9 through 12 and 817 parents, with respective margins of error of plus or minus 2.1% and plus or minus 3.4%.

"These data make it very clear: The problem is real, the threat immediate and the situation is not poised to get better," Partnership at Drugfree.org president and CEO Steve Pasierb said. "Parents fear drugs like cocaine or heroin and want to protect their kids. But the truth is that when misused and abused, medicines — especially stimulants and opioids — can be every bit as dangerous and harmful as those illicit street drugs."

Meanwhile, teens’ abuse of prescription painkillers, such as Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin (oxycodone) and AbbVie’s Vicodin (acetaminophen; hydrocodone), remained stable since 2011. OxyContin lost patent protection last week, but has not become available as a generic yet due to new requirements for generic versions to carry the branded version’s tamper-resistant properties.

The two organizations said the report, Concerning Trends in Teen Prescription Drug Abuse According to the New Partnership Attitude Tracking Study Data (2008-2012), confirmed that misuse and abuse of prescription drugs is now a normalized behavior among teenagers. Nearly one-quarter of teens say their parents don’t care as much if they’re caught misusing prescription drugs, compared with illegal drugs, and 33% say it’s acceptable to use prescription drugs without a prescription, while 27% say misusing and abusing prescription drugs is safer than using street drugs.

Among parents, 16% said using prescription drugs to get high was safer than using street drugs, while most teenagers report the last conversation about drugs with their parents as including marijuana, alcohol and hard drugs, but only 14% reported discussing prescription drugs. More than 40% of teenagers who have misused or abused prescription drugs obtained them from their parents’ medicine cabinets, while almost half got them from friends. One-in-five parents report giving their teenaged children prescription drugs not prescribed to them, while 17% of parents don’t throw away expired medications, and 14% have themselves misused or abused prescription drugs.

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African Pride Hair Care’s national tour coming to Chicago

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO — Ethnic hair care brand African Pride Hair Care has announced that it is setting out across the country to talk beauty through a grassroots campaign, titled “The Ultimate Beauty Social” National Tour.

Visiting major cities, the tour is bringing together beauty and lifestyle influencers in the country. Each social serves as a platform for conversation surrounding hair by facilitating a dinner where beauty bloggers, media professionals, beauty retailers and beauty influencers gather to discuss beauty secrets and techniques.

The Ultimate Beauty Social in Chicago, which marks the tour’s third stop, will be held May 17 at a “private location.”

African Pride’s Family of Brands consist of African Pride Olive and Shea Miracle formulas, Dream Kids Olive Hair Care and Back to Natural Hair Care Products.
 

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