I really have to confess ignorance on the subject of opioids. I make it a point to keep my drug use at a bare minimum. Naturally, I have heard of opioid abuse. Who didn’t see those shocking pictures of golf great Tiger Woods the night he tried driving under the influence of opioids?
I recently suffered some severe back pain from hanging my bike on the rack carelessly. I went to the hospital for rehab work, but didn’t take any drugs.
I wanted to report what Harvard has to say on the subject because it offers a lot of information on asking questions of your doctor.
Opioid misuse is now one of most important health problems in the United States, rivaling smoking as a cause of death. Although news reports tend to focus on an opioid crisis among the young, the opioid epidemic is increasingly affecting older people as well. In fact, the rates of hospitalization for opioid overdoses among Medicare recipients quintupled from 1993 through 2012. Although older people are still less likely than younger ones to become addicted or succumb to opioid overdoses, they are more likely to suffer side effects from extended opioid use, including memory and cognition problems and falls.
I normally have a shelf in our pantry at home filled with chocolate products of all kinds. I grab what appeals to me each morning to munch on my drive to work. But I’ve decided to stop this bad habit and so, rather than restock the shelf this month, I’ve simply been finishing what’s up there.
Today, I grabbed a large Hershey’s milk chocolate bar. By large, I mean 4.4 ounces, the kind with big blocks of chocolate. Looking at the wrapper, I was surprised to see this bar contains 660 calories. Now that’s not an insignificant amount of calories. A normal adult male needs about 2100 calories to maintain his weight, so this is nearly a third of the requirement. Not the same as a healthy breakfast.
A five-pound bar, at least mine wasn’t this big.
Of course the nutritional info got worse as I kept reading. The bar has 66 grams of sugar (at 4.2 grams to a teaspoon – 15 teaspoons of sugar), 36 grams of fat, 21 grams of saturated fat and 69 grams of carbs. Good thing there are no more of these on my shelf.
These bars aren’t really sold as a single-serve product but they can turn into that if you get lost in mindless munching. Don’t do what I did this morning and eat the entire bar in one sitting. Not one of my smarter decisions.
Editor’s Note: John left the blog in December 2012. As is apparent from the above he had issues with food. He had to have an angioplasty in August of 2012 to clear up an 80 percent blockage in the artery leading to his heart. Clearly, eating an entire large Hershey bar on the way to work is not a healthy way to start the day and can lead to the worst possible health results.