When authorities found Tiger Woods last May, his vehicle was stopped in the middle of the road and he was slumped over at the wheel. His car was damaged, his tires were flat, and Woods could not perform any of the traditional field sobriety tests. He was later charged with driving under the influence, but it wasn’t alcohol in his system causing the distress. Woods was on a powerful cocktail of meds prescribed to him by his physician to help him manage postoperative pain and sleep.
With several back surgeries now under his belt, as well as a long-running history for making headlines due to his medication habits, Woods has become a bit of a poster child for the ongoing battle America faces with prescription medications. He’s a talented athlete, a public figure, and a father. Now, Woods admits he’s also a man with a problem, and he needs help managing his medications. He’s not alone. More than 20,000 people lose their lives each year to overdoses on prescription pain medications, and those numbers don’t include people who have lost their lives in accidents involving prescription meds either. December is National Impaired Driving Month, and few drivers willfully set out to cause harm. But in the grip of pain, it may be difficult to realize when you have a problem. Please consider the following.
Recognize When You Need Help
Taking pain medication is absolutely necessary for many people. Moreover, taking it after a surgery can help ensure that a person’s body heals well and that they are able to resume normal activities faster. However, it took falling asleep at the wheel and being arrested for Woods to finally acknowledge his situation, and while he should be applauded for having the bravery to seek help, perhaps his arrest could have been avoided if he had noticed signs and taken preemptive action.
Signs to Watch For
According to WebMD, some signs to watch for include:
strong desire to use opioids
inability to control or reduce use
trouble meeting social or work obligations
having legal problems due to drug use
spending large amounts of time to obtain opiates
development of tolerance (meaning the need to use larger amounts over time)
having withdrawal symptoms after stopping or reducing use (such as depressed mood, stomach upset, insomnia, and muscle aches)
How to Talk to Your Doctor
If you recognize any of the signs above or have concerns about the medications you’re taking, it’s important to have a discussion with your doctor. Based on news reports, it seems Woods opted for in-patient treatment, which often includes changing medications and learning more about how specific prescriptions interact and impact the body. However, with your physician’s help, you can make similar changes and lower your risk from home.
1) Remember Your Doctor is Familiar with Your Condition
Many people shy away from these discussions because they fear judgment or believe they’re at fault, but your physician knows the medications he prescribes and understands how they impact people. He will be your biggest ally in managing your prescriptions better, but he needs information only you can provide to do it.
2) Share All Information
Your physician needs to know everything you’re taking, whether it’s simply the prescriptions he has given you, over-the-counter medications like antihistamines, supplements, or things you’ve obtained through other sources. Speak freely about how much of each medication you’re taking, when you’re taking it, what symptoms you have, and how you feel while you have the med in your system. Each bit of information will help him piece together how to best help you.
3) Ask Questions
Each person’s body will respond differently to medications, so it’s important to ask questions if anything seems unclear or doesn’t feel like the right choice for you. Your physician may suggest that you come off a medication entirely or may simply suggest you reduce the amount. Either of these can result in withdrawal, so it’s also helpful to ask about possible withdrawal symptoms, the length of time you’ll need to transition, and details of any new medications he recommends as replacements or to help you manage withdrawal symptoms.
Get Help Early
Woods is one of many public figures who have had issues with prescription pain medications in recent years. Both Prince and Michael Jackson are among those who did not get the help they needed and did not have positive outcomes. This only highlights the importance of paying attention to how your body responds to medications and getting in to see your physician as soon as possible when you think you might need help.
Get Help Managing Your Prescription Costs
If your physician recommends that you switch to a medication that is not covered by your insurance, or suggests you take prescription medication to manage withdrawal symptoms, RefillWise can help. Our prescription discount program works across a broad spectrum of medications and saves people an average of 40%. To get your free RefillWise card, text JOIN to 22822 or sign up on our site today.
While we celebrate and give thanks this Independence Day for our nation's freedom and those who serve to defend our liberty, the unfortunate truth is that military families are largely underserved when it comes to health resources. According to the latest data from SAMHSA, there are approximately 23.4 million U.S. veterans, 2.2 million military service members, and 3.1 million immediate family members. Close to 20% of all veterans who served in Afghanistan or Iraq returned home with traumatic brain injuries, and an almost equal number report symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Only half of those who need treatment actually seek it, and just half of those who do get help feel that they received adequate care. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as our servicemen and women face a litany of issues, both in terms of combat-related hardships, disabilities, and problems resuming a normal civilian life. With this in mind, it’s sadly no wonder that this group also has very high rates of suicide, substance abuse, and trouble with the law upon return. Moreover, it’s not only these brave men and women who suffer, but also their families.
The statistics are grim, but one particular organization is working tirelessly to help fill the gaps in care, as well as remove the stigma associated with getting help. Given that Independence Day celebrates our country, the great people who protect it, and those who call it home, we’ve decided to highlight some of the work our partner Equest does with our military servicemen and women as well as their families, particularly through their Hooves for Heroes program.
Hooves for Heroes: A Boon for Active and Retired Military
We were lucky enough to get a few moments with Jeff Hensley, who heads up Equest’s Hooves for Heroes program. Hooves for Heroes is just one of the many community offerings of Equest. Overall, the organization provides equine therapy and horse-related activities to many groups, and their services help people who are struggling with physical disabilities, those recovering from injury, and individuals in need of alternative mental health options. In their words, the organization’s mission is: “To enhance the quality of life for children and adults with diverse needs using horses to bring hope and healing through equine-assisted activities and therapies.”
Hooves for Heroes is a Free Program
Active duty service personnel, members of the Guard or Reserve, any veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their immediate family members are able to take advantage of the Hooves for Heroes program at absolutely no cost to them. Offerings include a full wellness program with individual and group support, as well as clinical services, such as mental health and physical therapy, offered in conjunction with the individual’s primary care physician as part of a comprehensive treatment program. Oftentimes, newcomers enter the program while struggling with things like depression, stress from the trauma of combat, and PTSD. The program gives them the opportunity to feel good and productive again, whether that happens in a single event or across many sessions.
We Must Eliminate the Stigma
“The number one obstacle is the stigma,” says Hensley. Soldiers are brought up to be strong and fearless, so seeking help for the issues many of our servicemen and women face can feel daunting. At the same time, this is one of the many reasons why equine therapy works so well; it doesn’t feel like therapy at all. In fact, the organization tries to reach as many vets as possible with lots of different offerings, in order to provide an atmosphere that works well for the individual. For example, Hooves with Heroes puts on regular Horsemanship 101 events, which are one-time experiences that introduce military personnel to the program in a group setting. The camaraderie that emerges between enrollees can help by itself, as each person is usually dealing with similar issues, though in his or her own way. From there, many opt to take advantage of other offerings, such as the ongoing therapy.
Hooves for Heroes Helps Hundreds Each Year
According to Hensley, Hooves for Heroes helps around 20-25 people at a time, including military personnel and their families. This year, the organization expects to work with around 230 individuals overall — a number they’d like to increase if more funding becomes available. At present, they have two mental health counselors on staff, which occasionally leads to short waits for those seeking alternative mental health treatment. With the addition of a third, the program could expand and eliminate waits, so donations are always welcomed. Through the help of the community and the Hooves for Heroes program, more of our servicemen and women can create a new identity and adapt to civilian life.
Learn More About Equest
If you’d like to learn more about Equest, go to www.equest.org. You can also help spread the word about them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or head over to the dedicated Hooves for Heroes Facebook page.
About RefillWise Partners
At RefillWise, we’re undeniably proud of the work we do to serve our community, and our employees enjoy volunteering together at Equest on September 11. Our free prescription discount program also helps countless people afford the medications they need, and we give cash rewards to members who use our free card. One way our cards reach the community is through partnerships with various nonprofit organizations. Equest is one such partner whom we’re exceptionally honored to serve. Thank you for all you do, Equest! You’re making our community a better place through the lives you touch with your programs.
If you run a non-profit and think your employees, clients, or volunteers could benefit from discounted prescriptions, let’s talk. We also work with individuals who need help affording medications. If you’re struggling to pay for your prescriptions, sign up for your free RefillWise card today to save up to 80% at the pharmacy while earning cash back.
If lunch or dinnertime is approaching, your mind has undoubtedly already started to drift—what will you prepare? Or, maybe you’ve already pondered your options and will pick up something on the way home. For most of us, this is the greatest challenge we face when it comes to mealtimes. But for 13.1 million children scattered across America, it’s not always a question of what they’ll eat; it’s whether they will get to eat at all. Data from Feeding America indicates that some 20% of all children battle with food insecurity, which means that there’s no guarantee of a healthy meal to nourish their growing bodies. In addition to hunger, these kids tend to suffer illness more often and are generally less healthy. They also have trouble focusing in class and don’t perform as well academically as their peers. Plus they tend to be less social and have more behavior problems. The impact of childhood hunger is wide-reaching, but thankfully free or reduced meals are available for many of those in need, so most kids do get a healthy meal or snack during the day. However, this still leaves a major gap as the children go home to empty cabinets, and during the summer months, they may not have access to nutritious food at all.
Determined to reach these children when other food programs fail, several RefillWise partners work tirelessly in different programs to offer food assistance to kids and their families. We’re incredibly proud of the work they do, and want to make sure their messages are spread; not only to those in a position to help, but also to those who need it this summer.
Meet Hunger Busters
Throughout the country, there are small pockets of especially food-insecure children. Dallas, Texas happens to be one such area, with nearly 90% of public school students relying upon subsidized breakfasts and and/or lunches, and it’s often the only food they receive on any given day. This is where Hunger Busters’ “Feed the Need” program comes in, offering students a third meal each school day. This year, the organization plans to provide 350,000 meals through the help of volunteers, donations, and grant money. During summer months, the organization continues to provide meals to kids in after school programs and reaches as many families as possible.
Meet Equal Heart
Last summer alone, Equal Heart served 533,359 meals to kids across four different cities. The nonprofit’s slogan is “Supporting people in times of adversity,” which they do through various meal programs. While some of their meals make their way to kids in summer programs and camps, the organization is unique in that it literally goes door-to-door with its mobile food network as well. People who sign up for the program receive 50 pounds of pantry staples as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, and the food packs are brought straight into their apartment communities. The Direct-to-Door program, as it’s called, serves families that do not have transportation to a food pantry. Like Hunger Busters, Equal Heart is able to do the work it does because of the help of volunteers and donors in Texas and Colorado.
To make a donation to Equal Heart or learn more about the programs the organization offers, visit EqualHeart.org. You can also help spread word about their efforts by following Equal Heart on Facebook and Twitter.
Meet Tarrant Area Food Bank
The reach Tarrant Area Food Bank has is exponential. Every single week, the organization serves more than 490,000 meals to people struggling with food insecurity. It provides for the hungry, and offers opportunities for individuals and communities to become more self-sufficient. Through its community gardening programs, people can learn how to create thriving gardens for themselves and/or their communities, with lessons in a real community garden that provides nutritious foods too. The organization also has a “Cooking Matters” program, which teaches individuals how to get the most nutritious meals possible from a limited budget, while the “Community Kitchen” course provides free culinary job training. Since its inception, nearly 300 men and women have graduated from the 16-week program and have learned the skills necessary to obtain employment from professional chefs.
However, it’s perhaps the work TAFB does for kids that is the most touching. In addition to providing after-school meals and in-school snacks, the organization offers “Backpacks for Kids.” Children who do not have food at home are given a backpack full of healthy food to eat over the weekend, thus ensuring they don’t go hungry between school days. Their tireless work continues throughout the summer with the “SummerPacks for Kids” and “Summer Meals” programs. With Summer Meals, kids ages 18 and under are offered free meals at select sites. They do not require any registration for the program, nor are there any income guidelines, ensuring any child who shows up hungry will walk away with a full tummy.
The team at TAFB are experts at what they do, and are able to provide as many as five meals from a single dollar donation. Financial and food donors, volunteers, and partners all make it possible for TAFB to do the work it does. If you’d like to give financially to Tarrant Area Food Bank, you may do so at TAFB.org. The site also hosts a wealth of information about its various programs, other ways you can help, and details on how to get food if you’re hungry. You can connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube too.
We’re Proud of Our Partners
At RefillWise, we support the efforts of numerous community organizations, including Hunger Busters, Equal Heart, and TAFB. Through these nonprofits, our community becomes stronger and healthier, and we’re honored to make our free RefillWise cards available to their employees, volunteers, and clients. Our cards can be used for discounts on all prescription medicine and equipment available at a pharmacy. If you have interest in obtaining our cards for your employees, clients, or volunteers, contact us today to learn more about RefillWise partnerships. Individuals may also receive a free RefillWise prescription discount card any time by signing up on our website or by texting JOIN to 22822.
It is no secret that the cost of prescription drugs has increased, and prices will likely continue to rise. You shouldn't have to choose between your health and finances. How can you combat the rising cost of prescription drugs? The answer is simple: use RefillWise.
RefillWise Is Free
A free way to save money on prescriptions may sound too good to be true, but we believe in helping — regardless of whether you have insurance or where you shop. A free RefillWise pharmacy discount card saves up to 80% on prescription medicines and Rx equipment like nebulizers, inhalers, or diabetes test strips. There is no cost to you at any time, ever. Seriously. Our free card works at most pharmacies in the United States and Puerto Rico, and there are no limits on how often you can use the card for yourself, your family members, or your pets. Our card is not a coupon, so it never expires and won't increase healthcare costs. By texting JOIN to 22822 you instantly save an average of 40% on your prescriptions.
RefillWise Rewards Your Loyalty with Cash
We are the only free pharmacy discount provider sharing our profits with you when you use your RefillWise card at a pharmacy. You earn a $5 cash reward when you use your card to fill your first prescription with RefillWise, then another $5 reward after every tenth prescription filled. The cash rewards can be used on any item in the store of your choosing (CVS, Target, or Walmart), whether for groceries, your next prescription, or other necessities. RefillWise will neither drive up insurance premiums nor interfere with your ability to earn loyalty points if you have a pharmacy loyalty card. No matter which way you look at it, RefillWise saves you money and gives money back to you.
RefillWise Is a Community
Over one million members strong, RefillWise believes in the power of community. We understand the importance of family, savings, and health, and strive to support all of those through our business. We encourage families to share one card so that they earn more cash rewards fast. We have discounts on pet medications and prescription medicines for people of all ages. RefillWise is available for use by anyone in the United States and Puerto Rico, regardless of income or insurance status. We take pride in making prescriptions more affordable so that you, your family, and all in our community can lead happier, healthier lives.
Affordable prescriptions start now. Join RefillWise to combat rising drug prices and let us know how much money you save.
Being an involved dad is often thankless, but it’s one of the most rewarding things a man can ever do. With Father’s Day at hand, we’d like to give you all a pat on the back for your hard work, and offer some non-traditional tips that will help you improve your quality of life.
1) Do Chores (Monday)
No, you probably don’t need to be told to do your chores, and it’s quite likely you’ve got a honey-do list a mile long anyway, but there are a few reasons to give yourself accolades for doing them that you may not have considered. First of all, daughters of dads who do chores have higher aspirations in life. So, as your daughter watches you check off your list (or better yet, helps you with it), you’re actually priming her for higher education and better pay throughout her life. If that’s not dance-worthy enough, you’re improving your overall health. If you’re a 150-pound man, mowing the lawn for an hour will help your burn an awesome 374 calories, according to MyFitnessPal. Working inside the house? Shape magazine says spending the same amount of time mopping is worth 153 calories, and 90 calories get zapped away in just 15 minutes if you’re scrubbing the bathtub. Of course, don’t spend your Father’s Day doing all these things. Look to the rest of the list for fun and easy ways to improve your quality of life.
Need an excuse to goof off? Studies have shown that when kids play with their dads, they display a wider range of emotions and get more “hyped up” than they do with their moms. This adds up to greater socialization as they age, so the kids form better friendships and healthier relationships. According to FitDay, general vigorous play that involves walking and running will help you burn 165 calories an hour too, but it doesn’t stop there. Because active play is a form of exercise, it comes packed full of other benefits, such as improved moods, reduced depression, better hormonal balance (increased testosterone), healthier sleep patterns, greater mental acuity, and more. While you get these benefits just from playing a game of tag around the house, consider some of these other family-friendly activities:
Tennis or Table Tennis
Build an Obstacle Course
Baseball or Catch
Walking/ Hiking/ Adventuring
3) Sleep Well
A good night of sleep is the foundation for everything, but the CDC reports one-third of all adults is not getting enough shuteye. Even if you do make sleep a priority and schedule a solid seven hours of downtime at night, sleep apnea could still be robbing you of quality, leaving you chronically fatigued. The Cleveland Clinic notes this could be the case with as much as 24% of all men; if you’re finding yourself tired, groggy, short-fused, or unalert, lack of sleep could still be the culprit. What’s more, poor sleep impacts your mood, hormones, weight, productivity, and your overall heath. Plus, driving while fatigued can be more dangerous than driving drunk, so it even has the potential to turn deadly quite easily. We know you have a lot of things to do in your day, but scheduling time for sleep is essential. If you find that’s not enough, you could be part of the population that suffers from apnea. Schedule an appointment with your physician to be tested and discuss treatment options as soon as possible.
4) Eat (Manly) Super Foods
Diet is a four-letter-word in more ways than one. If you’re like most men, you probably think eating well means dieting, and that means giving up all the good foods you love. Don’t. Joe Gould over at Men’s Fitness put together a fantastic list called “20 of the Best Superfoods for Men,” and it’s a great place to start. Load up on things like beef, almonds, eggs, blueberries, and of course, water, before indulging in your other favorites. You won’t feel like you’re giving up what you love and your body will get the fuel it needs as a primary focus.
5) Get Regular Checkups and Take All Prescriptions
Your doctor should be your partner in wellness, not just someone you see when you’re sick or the guy who scolds you over what you’re doing wrong. Make sure you find the right match for you, and work together to combat any issues you have before they become problems that hurt your quality of life. If the cost of prescriptions or medical equipment is a concern to you, sign up for your free RefillWise prescription discount card on our website or by texting JOIN to 22822.