Monday, January 14, 2019

Pain Acceptance as an Alternative to Opioids

The recipient of a master of arts in counseling from Kean University in New Jersey, Kandi Derry Digiovanni has worked as a care coordinator with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence since 2014. Kandi Derry Digiovanni is particularly interested in alternatives to opioids for chronic-pain relief.

As many as 8 million Americans take opioids to manage chronic pain. In 2016, more than 40 percent of related overdoses involved pills that were prescribed by medical professionals. 

A recent study conducted at the University of Michigan and published in The Clinical Journal of Pain suggests that accepting and coming to terms with chronic pain rather than relying heavily on medications can lead to a more engaged and fulfilling life. Dr. Anna Kratz, the lead author of the study, noted that people with chronic pain need to understand that they may never be completely free from physical discomfort.

Reaching the point of pain acceptance takes time, but is far more effective and healthy in the long run than depending on medications. In addition to drawing strength and encouragement from friends and family members, those who experience chronic pain should regularly consult a pain psychologist.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A Brief Introduction to the Rule of Thirds in Photography

Kandi Derry Digiovanni holds a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and a master’s degree in counseling from Kean University. She leverages her educational background to help clients achieve psychiatric stability, sobriety, and self-sufficiency as a care coordinator for the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Outside of work, Kandi Derry Digiovanni enjoys photography.

One of the most basic composition guidelines in photography is the rule of thirds. According to this guideline, images are made up of nine parts that are created by breaking an image into thirds vertically and horizontally. When these parts are created, four points are also created where the horizontal and vertical lines meet. Points of interest should always be placed either along one of the lines that divide the image, or at one of the four intersections to create an image that is more appealing and natural to viewers.

The main goal of the rule of thirds is to introduce off-centered photography to beginners. As photographers improve, they will likely ignore the rule of thirds more often and focus on taking off-center photographs that don’t perfectly line up with the imaginary grid created by the rule of thirds. Furthermore, this guideline must be ignored with certain photography, such as headshot photography. With headshot pictures, the subject is supposed to be centered in the frame. Because of this, the rule of thirds cannot be followed since it promotes off-centered images and points of interest.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Substance Use in Athletes - Contributing and Motivating Factors

As a care coordinator with the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in Robbinsville, New Jersey, Kandi Derry Digiovanni advocates for clients with substance use challenges. Kandi Derry Digiovanni comes to this role having served for nearly four years as an athletic trainer at Kean University.

For athletes at any level of skill, the pressures involved in competition can make substance use seem enticing. Many athletes turn to drugs to improve their stamina, strength, and even competitive ferocity. An athlete that begins taking these drugs may find it difficult to stop, largely because the substances themselves create a chemical dependency that leads to extremely distressing withdrawal symptoms with cessation.

Many athletes have similar struggles with medications designed for ADHD. These medications can cause an athlete to experienced improved mental clarity and a burst of energy as well as an intense feeling of pleasure. Unfortunately, if the athlete attempts to stop taking this drug, he or she often experiences physical symptoms such as nausea and vomiting as well as suicidal ideation and other psychological symptoms.

Pain relievers can also plague athletic communities, as many athletes begin taking them to treat an injury or illness so that they can keep playing. These drugs are also extremely addictive and can be easy to obtain, either from a doctor or from fellow players.

Regardless of the athlete's choice of drug, the resultant dependence can interfere severely with his or her career and everyday life. For this reason, experts recommend preventive intervention and education as well as available treatment for athletes who may be affected.