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Facts about Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs in the World of Boxing

May 24th, 2014

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) says that many athletes turn to performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids to get their competitive edge in their games. The agency noted however that these substances have drastic effects on an individual even if there are also known benefits of these drugs.

CNN, in their article ‘Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports Fast Facts’ mentioned that these substances have been popular to professional athletes for many decades now. It noted that problems concerning PEDs were present as early as the 1960’s but it was only in the last 10 years that it gained prominence due to the investigation made by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) as well as the facts divulged by professional athletes themselves. Together with this, the Mitchell investigation in baseball also contributed to the prominence of PEDs in sports. While these substances gained popularity in the world of sports as a whole, it pays to know how it is related to boxing.

#1 – PEDs may be used in between rounds for a boxing match. 

This issue came up in the boxing match between Marcos Maidana and Adrian Broner in December 2013. During that said fight, Broner said that the world of PEDs is quite complex accusing that Maidana won over him due to the use of a substance classified as PED. As reported in the article How a Boxer Could Use PEDs right in the Middle of the Fight, videos of Maidana ingesting a white pill circulated. That white pill was suspected as a PED.

This explains why PEDs may be used in between rounds for a boxing match. The article furthermore discusses that Maidana may have ingested a type of pill classified as PED to get him back in the game and to make him win over his opponent. It was presumed that he ingested either a beta-2 agonist or painkiller or stimulant during the said fight.

#2 – A boxer accused of using PEDs may use several reasons behind why he ingested such substances. 

He may use this as an excuse to defend himself in any case filed against him. Among reasons he may use is that he is down with a flu days before the game and he was prescribed to take antibiotics. As soon as others find out that the medicine contains steroids, although in small amounts, the boxer who was accused of taking the drug may claim that he did not know about that.

For instance, Eric Morales, a professional boxer, was cited to have used a steroid or performance enhancing drug. This was part of an article published entitled Boxing, Performance Enhancing Drugs and Contradictions. The article mentioned about the drug clenbuterol which is recommended for breathing disorders. Morales tested positive for the substance. While it is known to help with breathing, clebunterol is also mentioned as a weight-loss aid. Morales was not banned from the WBC, making the use of the drug as an excuse to treat his breathing disorders. The decision came even after the case was brought to court for further scrutiny.

#3 – There are legalities that come with the use of illegal PEDs in boxing. 

The offending fighter, those who consented to the illegal drug use and even the Anti-Doping Agency may be sued in case lawsuits may come. This has been presented in the article entitled PEDs: When the Lawsuits Come. The offending fighter and obviously those who facilitated his use of the drug may be sued. Likewise, the anti-doping agency that performed drug tests prior to the fight may also be liable.

The plaintiff, on the other hand, needs proof for his claims that his opponent has indeed used PEDs during the fight. This is at least the first fact the plaintiff should bring to mind when filing a case over his opponent who is presumed to have taken a PED to help him during the boxing match. This can be proven using a positive drug test result. Together with his presumption, he must likewise prove that there is a connection between the defendant’s use of the PED and that of the damages the plaintiff suffered during the game. Once he has proven his cause, he may claim compensation up to the extent of damage he had suffered.

#4 – There are boxers who tested positive for drugs – PEDs as well as illegal drug substances. 

This is according to Examiner.com’s ’20 Boxers who Tested Positive for Drugs’. The article listed 20 of those who were tested positive for drugs including Ray Jones, Jr. and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. among others. There are still a lot more names coming out from the list of professional boxers. Floyd Mayweather, in fact, had continuously raised issues against Manny Pacquiao’s endurance in the ring. The question of whether or not the Filipino boxing legend is into using steroids or other forms of performance-enhancing drugs remains for as long as he continues to defeat his opponents.

#5 – PEDs have both physiological and psychological effects on the user. 

Performance-enhancing drugs, like illegal drugs, bring about a lot of drastic effects to those who use them. The USADA enumerates nausea, palpitations, headaches and muscle cramps as the physiological effects and cites decreased heart rate and mood instability as psychological consequences.

PEDs are used not just by professional boxers but also by amateur athletes. If your teenager is into sports and you want to make sure he is not playing under the influence of any illegal substance, it would help to have him tested. Browse Testcountry.com to get information on how to undergo drug testing. The site has different drug testing kits that you may choose from. It also offers options to have you or your love one tested at home.

Hair Drug Testing for Mothers and Babies: How Important is It?

May 23rd, 2014

Pascal Kintz, editor of the book entitled ‘Drug Testing in Hair’, exposed the investigation made on a new-born baby with abnormal behavior patterns. This took place in 1987 where the first ever prenatal hair drug testing was initiated. The incident was prompted by a concerned family member who observed the case. From such a simple scenario, more and more hair analysis research concerning prenatal drug exposure was made. This prompts us to learn how important hair drug testing is for mothers and babies.

#1 – Hair drug testing evaluates the mother and neonate exposure to drug abuse. 

Dr. Amitava Dasgupta, author of the book “A Health Educator’s Guide to Understanding Drugs of Abuse Testing’ mentioned about the importance of hair drug testing for mothers and babies and pointed out the above reason as the topmost benefit of undergoing the hair test. According to her, this type of drug test, when performed on newborns, may help detect whether the mother was exposed to illicit drugs even months prior to giving birth. When compared to urine analysis, hair drug testing is far more efficient in that the former can only detect most recent use of the substance.

#2 – It helps counteract the effects of drug dependence on mothers. 

Karst, Valentine and Hall, author of the paper ‘Drug Testing for Newborn Exposure to Illicit Substances in Pregnancy: Pitfalls and Pearls’ published in 2011 for the US National Library of Medicine under the National Institutes of Health, mentioned that there are various effects of illicit substance exposure of mothers during pregnancy. These mothers were found to experience poor nutrition aside from a questionable overall health status which they are required to be cautious of during this delicate stage in their lives. Add to that, the researchers of the same study found out that mothers experiencing such problems were more likely to miss on prenatal visits.

This being said, we come up with another point of importance that hair drug testing for mothers and babies will deliver. From the study made above, we can conclude that such a procedure will help monitor the patient, in this case, the mother. When mothers are monitored for drug abuse through hair drug testing, it will be easier to detect unlikely symptoms that will eventually lead to possibilities of early treatment.

#3 – When a mother decides to undergo hair drug testing early on during the pregnancy, she can help save her soon-to-be born child from drastic effects of her drug use or abuse.

Karst, Valentine and Hall enumerated possible effects of illicit substance use on the newborn. The list includes low birth weight as the most usual problem seen in babies. Of course, it was specified too that the baby whose mother was exposed to drug use during pregnancy may have an unusual behavior when compared to others whose mothers did otherwise.

WebMD’s take on the issue of ‘Drug Abuse and Pregnancy’ presented developmental concerns on the part of the newborn. Such developmental issues range from birth defects to behavioral problems that are observed during early childhood. These effects may last a lifetime, warns WebMD. The website furthermore illustrated how the National Institute of Drug Abuse defines these effects that can later on be present on these kids. Among them are deficits in cognitive performance, attention to tasks and information-processing. All of these are generally important in any person’s life.

MedlinePlus, on the other hand, reiterates on the possibilities of either short- or long-term effects of drug abuse on babies born to mothers who are positive of drug abuse during pregnancy. Among such short-term effects are feeding-related issues, irritability, jitteriness and diarrhea while the long-term ones may include organ problems and fetal alcohol syndrome that brings about intellectual disability as well as unusual facial features.

Considering all the effects on the newborn, as mentioned above, it would be wise for mothers to undergo hair drug testing. Undergoing the test will somehow ease the possible consequences that the prenatal drug use may bring to the child later on in life. When the mother submits herself to the test, it will be easier for experts to devise a treatment plan that will benefit not only her but also her child.

To conclude, hair drug testing is very important. Reasons #2 and #3 focused on how hair drug testing may help lessen the effects of drug use on both the mother and the newborn baby. Reason #1, on the other hand, says that using hair over urine for analysis is better because the former helps even when mothers used drugs months prior to giving birth.

If you suspect that your loved-one is taking illicit substances while she is pregnant, you must be wary. Part of your concern is to take action and have her hair tested for the substance. You may order from a list of products from HairConfirm.com or browse through other hair drug testing kits you may find worthy of purchase over the Internet. Put this on top of your priorities if you want to protect not only the mother but also her baby.

How to Find Your Adopted Dog’s Breed?

May 22nd, 2014

Are you a dog-lover? Do you want to adopt one? Well, that would be a good way to reach out your hand and give these pets a safer place to live in. Take note however that it is not easy adopting a dog. You need to find out a lot of things about the pet before you can even take care of it. It is also part of your responsibility to know its dog breed. Here’s how you can do that.

#1- Observe your dog.

In many cases, you may observe your dog as to its characteristics. Some of these characteristics are influenced by the dog’s ancestry. Others may also be detected physically. You simply have to look at the dog’s physical traits like its head’s shape, coat type and size. When you have observed the dog’s physical traits, you can go ahead and look for pictures of different dog breeds. From there, you may compare and contrast what you have observed to that of what the image says. You might just need your luck in this process.

You have to observe how friendly your dog is not only to other dogs but also to other pets and even to strangers. You must also measure its size and weight in the process. Ask yourself if the dog is energetic, playful or affectionate. Observe how it tolerates heat or cold as well. These traits will vary from one dog breed to another. You will need a checklist.

#2 – Look for a list of dog breeds.

With this, you need to research more about dogs. If you are indeed a dog-lover, this will be an easy task. However, it may take time before you even finally conclude your dog’s breed. There are many dog breeds listed over the Internet thus this task will require a lot of patience on your part.

#3 – Make an inquiry.

If you have adopted your dog from a certain community, the people from there may just help you identify its true breed. Approach them and ask them about that before you even take home the dog with you. There are chances though that the people from this community do not know about the dog’s breed. When this is the case, you have to explore all the other techniques listed in here.

#4 – Use a DNA test kit.

In humans, a DNA test is used to determine one person’s ancestry. Strands of hair of the parent and the child are taken to a laboratory for testing. In the case of your adopted dogs, you may use Testcountry’s Saliva Breed DNA test kit.

This one particular product tests for over 235 dog breeds. It is such a great help because it offers a detailed report specifically on dog breed insights plus it will give you an easier time identifying the right training programs that will suit your adopted pet. Additionally, as a pet owner, using this Dog DNA test kit will give you a better understanding of your dog’s behavior. Likewise, it makes you create a better and more effective care plan for your dog. You can simply order the kit and have the test performed at your veterinarian’s clinic. Your vet will take charge of the entire process and will help you find out your dog’s breed in no time.

Identifying the dog’s breed on your own is never an easy task. While you can begin by simply observing the dog’s movements, behavior and physical traits, you cannot just rely on your instinct unless of course you are an expert in finding out the answer to your “what dog breed is this?” question using the technique. You can ask help from others too. If you are after an easy way to find out the answer, you just have to purchase a DNA test kit then ask your veterinarian for assistance.

5 Facts You Must Know about Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory

May 12th, 2014

The Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI), is a tool used to assess if a person is suffering from a certain substance abuse disorder. This assessment is done with the help of questionnaires making the entire evaluation process simpler and more effective. Its simplicity makes it easier for SASSI-related organizations to develop treatment goals customized for the needs of each patient undergoing the process. Here are other facts you must know about SASSI:

# 1 – Substance abuse assessment via the SASSI is available in different versions.

There are actually two versions as listed in the Multi Health Systems. These two versions are the SASSI-2 which is used for adolescents or patients aged 12-18 years old and SASSI-3, the version for adults or those whose ages are above 18 years old.

Both versions of the SASSI, as noted by SASSI Institute, help assess the probability of substance use on the person undergoing evaluation. They deliver clinical insight on whether or not a patient may acknowledge the existence of problems that may have caused dependence on a certain substance. This can also be used to learn if a patient desires change or not.

#2 – This substance abuse screening may also be availed of in two formats.

The SASSI versions, mentioned above, may be availed by patients in two forms namely the hardscored and software formats. These formats may be ordered by patients or their representatives via an organization that offers SASSI services.

The hardscored format is a paper and pencil test where the patient may assess the answer to each question and put an equivalent score to it according to the manual or user guide that comes with the purchase. This can be sent to the SASSI representative who will plot the scores on your Profile Sheet. The representative will help analyze the plotted scores to know if the patient is indeed having substance abuse problems.

The software format, on the other hand, can be generated from the computer via a purchase or order made from the SASSI provider. This is favored by patients who want to generate immediate results after undergoing the assessment.

#3 – The different versions of the substance abuse screening vary in terms of accuracy.

Accuracy of results pertaining to the SASSI may vary depending on whether an adolescent or adult undergoes the assessment. A publication made via the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism noted that SASSI-2 generates 94% accuracy while SASSI-3 assessments are said to be up to 93% accurate. This was a claim made by SASSI-related organizations though Lazowski, et.al in their study entitled ‘Efficacy of the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory-3 (SASSI-3) in Identifying Substance Dependence Disorders in Clinical Settings” published via the Journal of Personality Assessment for Taylor and Francis Online found out that the accuracy of the SASSI-3 can reach as high as 95%.

#4 – SASSI is not as accurate as it claims.

While the statistics provided above says that a SASSI may be 93% to 94% accurate, there have been questions raised as to the validity of these claims. This led some researchers to make their own studies of the entire procedure. For instance, Feldstein and Miller in their study entitled ‘Does subtle screening for substance abuse work? A review of the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI)’ which was published in 2007 through the Wiley Online Library had found out a question on SASSI’s validity. They have noted that the said assessment does not deliver an advantage over other testing or screening procedures in identifying drug use for patients.

#5 – Fact #4 leads to questionable actions on the part of patients that undergo substance abuse screening through SASSI.

It can be noted from the previous facts that SASSI is a self-report administered through psychological screening. With this, patients may take questionable actions so that they may not be tested positive for substance abuse. Feldstein and Miller have noted that patients may either deny or be dishonest about their real situation. This led them to recommend that SASSI must be enhanced in terms of features for more accurate results.

SASSI is not the sole choice you will have when it comes to learning whether your loved ones have substance abuse problems or not. Drug testing kits are now available for purchase online from sites such as TestCountry or HairConfirm. Urine, saliva, hair follicle drug testing is offered. You may order these kits then send them to laboratories for evaluation. Results of the tests will be delivered to you within the next 2 to 4 days, depending on the type of test you opted to undergo. These drug testing kits are convenient and reliable choices that provide accurate results.

The Difference Between Immunoassay and Chromatography Testing

May 11th, 2013

Two words you are likely to run into a lot when discussing drug testing are immunoassay and chromatography. But, what do they mean and how do they relate to drug testing?

Immunoassay

Immunoassays are antibodies that specifically bind to drugs and their metabolites in urine and other bodily fluids. Metabolites, by the way, are the chemical compounds that result after the human body has metabolized a drug. So, if a person smokes marijuana, for example, his body metabolizes the drug, which leaves behind the tell-tale compounds in his urine, blood, sweat, hair, etc. When he takes a drug test and his urine is mixed with a reagent (something that is added to the urine to bring about a chemical reaction) the reagent reacts with the metabolites in his urine and tells the tester that he has smoked marijuana.

When you purchase an instant drug testing cup or a drug testing strip or cassette from TestCountry, they are all immunoassay type tests. They are typically inexpensive, quick and provide accurate results if done properly.

Chromatography

Gas chromatography (and mass spectrometry, another phrase you’ll hear often in terms of drug testing) are analytical techniques used in laboratory settings and that need laboratory equipment to be performed.

Chromatography and spectrometry testing can distinguish a specific drug from other substances that have similar chemical properties (like prescription medication). With this technique, technicians are able to identify and determine the quantity of atoms, isotopes and the chemical composition of a sample because the samples various components are separated from each other.

Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry can determine the presence of drugs and other substances and are often used to confirm the positive results from immunoassay drug tests. When you make an appointment through TestCountry for a laboratory drug test, these are generally the techniques that will be used on samples taken.

So now you know the difference between immunoassay and chromatography/spectrometry testing.



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Answers, comments, information, articles and opinions provided on all TestCountry related webpages are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, counseling, psychological, or other professional advice. You should not use the information on TestCountry for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. You should always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, rehabilitation or detoxification from any substance abuse or adopting any treatment for a health or drug problem.

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