All posts by ashsun43

About ashsun43

Living my recovery story out loud! ~ Alcohol & Drug Counselor ~ *Activator*Arranger*Includer*Maximizer*Relator * Collegiate Recovery Program Student Representative

Stop Fad Dieting: They’re Making You Fat

Articles promoting fad diets like the one titled, “Mediterranean Diet May Promote Weight Loss, Protect Against Diabetes”, are misleading and should be considered a crime, in my opinion. Fad diets aren’t healthy solutions for weight loss and dieting can have adverse mental and physiological consequences. Dieting can, in fact, produce the opposite results. Dieting triggers the fear of starvation mechanism in the body, which is the body’s natural response to preserve itself. Studies have shown that there is a fat regulating hormone, Leptin, which tells the body to store fat in larger and more efficient fat cells when there is a shortage of food. This sends a powerful signal to the body to eat more and conserve available resources. We can never eliminate our fat cells, but we can shrink them and create more efficient transfers of calories to usable energy instead of big bold fat cells. When a person diets, the fat cells are threatened and don’t want to starve, so they switch on the storage power for survival with lipogenic enzymes. The person who follows these fad diets will typically fall victim to a predictable cycle. In addition to fat storage mechanics kicking into high gear, the hypothalamus sends hunger signals to the body directing it to eat. The dieter will then find an overwhelming desire to head to the nearest fast food drive-thru. Turn your eating habits around and have small, balanced meals throughout the day that support your energy levels. Stop dieting behavior and you will succeed in shutting off your fat storage signals.

Kratom: A Drug of Concern

Articles that promote the use of Kratom and ignore its addiction potential are reckless.

Kratom is a psychotropic substance that is made from the leaves of a tropical tree that grows in Southeast Asia. Kratom is currently legal in the United States. In the state of Minnesota, you can buy Kratom at most Tobacco shops. Six states have banned the supplement including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has labeled it a “drug of concern” because of potential health risks. The medical use of Kratom is not approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), and warnings about its use are increasing. High does produce effects similar to narcotic drugs like morphine or oxycodone. The effects are typically less intense and include euphoria, sleepiness, diminished pain, cough suppression, and itching. Additional effects include reduced blood pressure, nausea, constipation, and decreased respiration. In low dose amounts Kratom has been known to cause effects similar to stimulant drugs, decreasing fatigue and increasing energy levels. Frequent Kratom users may experience facial redness, excessive perspiration, weight loss, dizziness and dysphoria.

At the present time, Kratom is legal in the United States. Some states, however, have implemented their own regulations on the substance. These regulations are as follows: Alabama has categorized it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance since May of 2016, and it is banned in the state; Arkansas, which has categorized it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance since February of 2016, and it is banned in the state; California has banned Kratom use in San Diego only; Florida has banned the use of this drug in Sarasota Country only; Legal use of Kratom in Illinois for consumers over the age of 18 years old with the exception of the town of Jerseyville where it is completely banned; Indiana has banned Kratom use completely; New Hampshire permits the sale of Kratom to those over the age of 18; Tennessee has banned Kratom use completely; Wisconsin has banned the use completely. The banning of Kratom at the federal level is a hot topic due to overwhelming research that concludes its potential for abuse and addictive qualities. Research shows that the body can build a tolerance to Kratom, leading to compulsive drug seeking behavior and increases the risk of overdose.  

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has published warnings about the negative side effects of Kratom including nausea, excessive sweating, dry mouth, itchiness, constipation, increased need to urinate, reduced appetite, seizures, hallucinations, and psychosis. The development of physiologic dependencies after long-term use has been reported in some cases. People may also develop a tolerance to Kratom resulting in the need for higher doses to produce the desired effect. Withdrawal symptoms may include sweating, irritability, high blood pressure, cravings, and muscle pain. The DEA has indicated that long-term use can lead to symptoms of addiction such as mental confusion, delusions, weight loss, and insomnia. The FDA warns against the use of Kratom because of its risk of dependence, abuse, and addiction.

Kratom use amongst adolescents is on the rise because of its availability. Popularity of the widely available substance continues to grow. Online marketing of Kratom can be found with a simple Google search.  It is easier to buy than alcohol, in most states, and can be delivered right to your doorstep.  Media portrayal of Kratom health benefits and herbal qualities are misleading to consumers who are uneducated on the potential risks. Our country already faces a substance use disorder crisis. Allowing available access to a dangerous substance like Kratom is the last thing we need.

Register for Minnesota’s Walk for Recovery!

September 2021 is National Recovery Month! Celebration events in the Twin Cities include the Walk for Recovery on September 18th, which takes place at the Minnesota State Capitol Grounds. All are welcome and encouraged to participate in this community event. Register for free on this link:

September is National Recovery Month!

Happy National Recovery month! September 2021 marks the 32nd year of National Recovery Month that celebrates the millions of people in our nation who are in recovery from a substance use disorder.

Read the proclamation here:

Why is this important information for me to share with you? I am amongst the millions living a new an purposeful life in recovery. I am also a proud Collegiate Recovery Program Student Member. I choose to live my recovery story out loud because I have a passion for promoting recovery through advocacy, education, and demonstrating the power and proof of long-term recovery. Metropolitan State University has a new initiative called the Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP). It provides support and resources for students who have challenges with substance use disorders. Additionally, it supports students living in recovery both academically and professionally.

For more information on the Metropolitan State University CRP, please visit: