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The Great American Opioid Crisis: How the 2020 presidential candidates plan to solve it
What are the plans, and are they enough?
- The opioid crisis in this country has drawn the attention of several presidential candidates.
- A few of the largest, most well thought out plans are examined here.
- Experts agree a huge investment in treatment is needed over a long period of time.
There is an opioid crisis in the United States. About 48,000 Americans died of opioid overdoes in 2017, an average of 130 per day. This is more than the number of car crash victims for that year or the number of soldiers killed in action in Vietnam. This incredible number of overdose deaths is a key part of the recent decline in the life expectancy of Americans.
These deaths must be viewed alongside the costs of addiction. Since 2001, the total economic cost to the United States has been in the area of $1 trillion dollars. These costs include lowered productivity, health care costs, and the costs of legal services.
Death and the destruction of lives alone don't show the total damage done, however. The pain of addiction is unmeasurable. The strain that it puts on friends, family, and loved ones cannot be measured but is every bit as real as dry economic data.
The problem of how to prevent opioid addiction and how to treat the people who suffer from it will factor into the next presidential election. Knowing this, several of the presidential candidates have offered policy proposals on the subject. Here, we break down those proposals.
The candidates and their plans
I'll start by saying that I did try to find the proposals of every single candidate running for the Democratic and Republican nomination. In some cases, their plans were easy to find, in others proposals were well hidden or even had to be scrapped together from previous statements.
Not everybody has much of a plan or got back to an email asking for more information. Take that as you will, I'm just glad I didn't have to write up proposals from all two-dozen plus people. We're not out to support the candidates we like best and smother all the others, the people on this list just put enough work in to make our job doable.
Elizabeth WarrenDemocratic Presidential Candidates Attend The South Carolina Convention
Sean Rayford/Getty Images
Perhaps the most comprehensive, most thought out plan belongs to Elizabeth Warren. Her plan is characteristically wonky, extensive, broad-scoped, and at least partly integrated with her myriad of other policy proposals.
Her plan, dubbed the CARE Act and based on the similarly named federal program to fight HIV/AIDS in the 1990s, would pledge 100 billion dollars to the crisis over the next ten years. According to her article on the plan, the yearly breakdown includes:
- "$4 billion for states, territories, and tribal governments."
- "$2.7 billion for the hardest hit counties and cities, including $1.4 billion to counties and cities with the highest levels of overdoses."
- "$1.7 billion for public health surveillance, research, and improved training for health professionals."
- "$1.1 billion for public and nonprofit entities on the front lines, including those working with underserved populations and workers at high risk for addiction, and to support expanded and innovative service delivery of treatment, recovery, and harm reduction services."
- "$500 million to expand access to naloxone and provide this life-saving overdose reversal drug to first responders, public health departments, and the public."
This breakdown is designed to cover all aspects of care, from preventing addiction to harm reduction to long term support to keep people clean. It includes proposals to increase the number of treatment centers and to keep the standards of treatment high through targeted funding. All of this would be paid for through her proposed wealth tax.
She also calls for criminal investigations into the companies that produce and push opioid painkillers as part of other reform proposals centering on corporate structures.
Andrew YangThe Wall Street Journal's Future Of Everything Festival
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The darling of some strange parts of the internet, Andrew Yang has risen to strange sort of fame on the back of his universal basic income plan that he dubs the "Freedom Dividend." His plan to face the opioid crisis is also extensively thought out. The highlights of the plan on his website include:
- (He will) "Quintuple Federal funding, from $4.5 to $20 billion per year directed toward addiction treatment and rehabilitation for addictive opiates at the local levels."
- "The FDA should allow only doctors who complete specialized education in pain management to prescribe opioids for more than a few days. All states should limit the size of prescriptions and require all opioid prescriptions to be made from hospitals instead of individual offices/practices."
- "Direct the Dept. of Health and Human Services to focus their resources on combating the epidemic until it's under control."
- "Overdose patients should be sent to mandatory treatment centers for three days to convince them to seek long-term treatment."
- "Create a centralized database of data to help analyze the trends of the opioid epidemic and better target resources"/ "Provide funding to localities to experiment with solutions that work for their communities"
It would be financed with a retroactive tax on the drug companies that manufacture opioid painkillers. This plan, while similar to Elizabeth Warren's in many ways, differs in a few key areas. It also seems to rely more on trying to cut down on the prescription of the pills than other plans, as it includes several proposals to cut down on how many people can prescribe such drugs at all.
It also focuses attention on the importation of opioids and proposes ways to reduce it. Most substantially, he recommends leveraging continued Chinese access to American markets as a way to force China to crack down on the amount of heroin and fentanyl that is sent to the United States.
Donald TrumpPresident Donald Trump And First Lady Melania Return To White House From European Trip
Win McNamee / Getty Images
The Trump administration has made some effort to fight the crisis over the last three years. The advances made listed on the White House Website include:
- "As of October 2018, the Trump Administration had secured $6 billion in new funding over a two-year window to fight opioid abuse."
- "To curb over-prescription, the President implemented a Safer Prescribing Plan that will cut opioid prescription fills by one-third within three years."
- "President Trump is fighting to keep dangerous drugs out of the United States by securing land borders, ports of entry, and waterways against smuggling."
- "In 2018, President Trump worked with Congress to pass the SUPPORT Act, the single largest legislative package addressing a single drug crisis in history."
The battle is far from over, but some concrete progress has been made. As the Trump campaign has only officially started for 2020, they have yet to release any new proposals. However, the above actions can serve as a benchmark against which to measure new plans.
Amy KlobucharDemocratic Presidential Candidates Attend The South Carolina Convention
Win McNamee/Getty Images
A senator from Minnesota who is making a run for the middle lane of the Democratic primary. Senator Klobuchar has released a proposal to tackle both mental health and addiction treatment issues in one stroke, though some of the details seem a bit fuzzy. The highlights of her plan are:
- Preventing opioid addiction by clamping down on "Doctor Shopping" and mandating the use of prescription drug monitoring programs.
- An expansion of federal investment in research and development of non-opioid painkilling drugs.
- Investment in more treatment capacity by increasing the number of beds in-patient centers have. This is to be achieved, in part, by repelling an execution that prevents Medicaid from paying facilities with more than 16 beds.
- Prioritization of treatment over incarceration for those suffering from substance abuse.
- Expanded access to transitional housing, job training, employment, and social services to help those in recovery fully regain their footing.
This will be paid for in part by a tax on the sale of new opioid painkillers that scales to how much active ingredient is in each pill. The scale of her plan is similar to Elizabeth Warren's and comes at the cost of $100 billion dollars.
Her plan has the advantage of being based in part on several other proposals that have already been introduced in Congress. There are also many points not included here that focus on helping those with other drug issues and mental health problems which are worth your consideration.
Bernie Sanders and Tulsi GabbardDemocratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Campaigns In Pennsylvania
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The self-described democratic socialist candidate from Vermont and the Hawaiian representative Tulsi Gabbard both cosponsored a bill to tackle the issue last year. Their plan, dubbed The Opioid Crisis Accountability Act of 2018, focuses on holding pharmaceutical companies responsible for over-prescription of the drugs.
According to Tulsi Gabbard's website, highlights of this bill include:
- "Prohibiting and penalizing illegal marketing and distribution of opioids."
- "Creating criminal liability for top company executives."
- "Requiring drug makers to reimburse an HHS-led "Opioid Reimbursement Fund" for the negative economic impact of their products."
- "Reducing market exclusivity of drug companies who illegally advertise, market, or distribute opioids."
- "Prohibiting manufacturers who violate this act from receiving certain tax credits while establishing contemporaneous tax penalties."
This bill is from last year, and both of the candidates have spoken about the opioid issue since then. Nothing more recent has been as comprehensive a statement as this bill, however.
Pete ButtigiegDemocratic Presidential Candidates Attend The South Carolina Convention
Win McNamee/Getty Images
The youngest candidate in the race, Buttigieg has no major plan but did comment on the topic during his widely viewed TV town hall.
As mayor of South Bend, Indiana Buttigieg filed suit against the opioid manufacturers on the grounds of "deceitful practices around the level of addictiveness of these medications," and "evidence of trying to push uses that were not appropriate." He also expanded access to Narcan, the drug that reverses overdoses, during his tenure.
In his Fox News town hall, he expressed his support of:
- Using federal spending to expand access to treatment
- The CARE act described above
- Increasing the number of people working as "helpers" to help people through the process of rehab.
These are all great, but what do experts on the issue have to say about these plans?
Many experts have argued that only a massive plan maintained for an extended period of time, such as Elizabeth Warren's ten-year plan or Amy Klobuchar's and perhaps Andrew Yang's massive funding increases, would be enough to confront the issue.
Addiction to painkillers is a terrible thing. It, and the various problems it leads to are taking a heavy toll on several parts of the country already ravaged by economic decline. No matter who wins the presidency next year, a solution to the problem will have to be found.
Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?
- Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
- It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
- COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
What conditions of the new normal were already appreciated widely?<p>First, we understand that higher education is unique among industries. Some industries are governed by markets. Others are run by governments. Most operate under the influence of both markets and governments. And then there's higher education. Higher education as an "industry" involves public, private, and for-profit universities operating at small, medium, large, and now massive scales. Some higher education industry actors are intense specialists; others are adept generalists. Some are fantastically wealthy; others are tragically poor. Some are embedded in large cities; others are carefully situated near farms and frontiers.</p> <p>These differences demonstrate just some of the complexities that shape higher education. Still, we understand that change in the industry is underway, and we must be active in directing it. Yet because of higher education's unique (and sometimes vexing) operational and structural conditions, many of the lessons from change management and the science of industrial transformation are only applicable in limited or highly modified ways. For evidence of this, one can look at various perspectives, including those that we have offered, on such topics as <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/rethinking-higher-education/lessons-disruption" target="_blank">disruption</a>, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/education/learning/education-technology.html" target="_blank">technology management</a>, and so-called "<a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/media/Excerpt_IHESpecialReport_Growing-Role-of-Mergers-in-Higher-Ed.pdf" target="_blank">mergers and acquisitions</a>" in higher education. In each of these spaces, the "market forces" and "market rules" for higher education are different than they are in business, or even in government. This has always been the case and it is made more obvious by COVID-19.</p> <p>Second, with so much excitement about innovation in higher education, we sometimes lose sight of the fact that students are—and should remain—the core cause for innovation. Higher education's capacity to absorb new ideas is strong. But the ideas that endure are those designed to benefit students, and therefore society. This is important to remember because not all innovations are designed with students in mind. The recent history of innovation in higher education includes several cautionary tales of what can happen when institutional interests—or worse, <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/02/09/apollos-new-owners-seek-fresh-start-beleaguered-company" target="_blank">shareholder</a> interests—are placed above student well-being.</p>
Photo: Getty Images<p>Third, it is abundantly apparent that universities must leverage technology to increase educational quality and access. The rapid shift to delivering an education that complies with social distancing guidelines speaks volumes about the adaptability of higher education institutions, but this transition has also posed unique difficulties for colleges and universities that had been slow to adopt digital education. The last decade has shown that online education, implemented effectively, can meet or even surpass the quality of in-person <a href="https://link-springer-com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/article/10.1007/s10639-019-10027-z" target="_blank">instruction</a>.</p><p>Digital instruction, broadly defined, leverages online capabilities and integrates adaptive learning methodologies, predictive analytics, and innovations in instructional design to enable increased student engagement, personalized learning experiences, and improved learning outcomes. The ability of these technologies to transcend geographic barriers and to shrink the marginal cost of educating additional students makes them essential for delivering education at scale.</p><p>As a bonus, and it is no small thing given that they are the core cause for innovation, students embrace and enjoy digital instruction. It is their preference to learn in a format that leverages technology. This should not be a surprise; it is now how we live in all facets of life.</p><p>Still, we have only barely begun to conceive of the impact digital education will have. For example, emerging virtual and augmented reality technologies that facilitate interactive, hands-on learning will transform the way that learners acquire and apply new knowledge. Technology-enabled learning cannot replace the traditional college experience or ensure the survival of any specific college, but it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale. This has always been the case, and it is made more obvious by COVID-19.</p>
What conditions of the new normal were emerging suspicions?<p>Our collective thinking about the role of institutional or university-to-university collaboration and networking has benefitted from a new clarity in light of COVID-19. We now recognize more than ever that colleges and universities must work together to ensure that the American higher education system is resilient and sufficiently robust to meet the needs of students and their families.</p> <p>In recent weeks, various commentators have suggested that higher education will face a wave of institutional <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/scott-galloway-predicts-colleges-will-close-due-to-pandemic-2020-5" target="_blank">closures</a> and consolidations and that large institutions with significant online instruction capacity will become dominant.</p> <p>While ASU is the largest public university in the United States by enrollment and among the most well-equipped in online education, we strongly oppose "let them fail" mindsets. The strength of American higher education relies on its institutional diversity, and on the ability of colleges and universities to meet the needs of their local communities and educate local students. The needs of learners are highly individualized, demanding a wide range of options to accommodate the aspirations and learning styles of every kind of student. Education will become less relevant and meaningful to students, and less responsive to local needs, if institutions of higher learning are allowed to fail. </p> <p>Preventing this outcome demands that colleges and universities work together to establish greater capacity for remote, distributed education. This will help institutions with fewer resources adapt to our new normal and continue to fulfill their mission of serving students, their families, and their communities. Many had suspected that collaboration and networking were preferable over letting vulnerable colleges fail. COVID-19's new normal seems to be confirming this.</p>
President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address during the Arizona State University graduation ceremony at Sun Devil Stadium May 13, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona. Over 65,000 people attended the graduation.
Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images<p>A second condition of the new normal that many had suspected to be true in recent years is the limited role that any one university or type of university can play as an exemplar to universities more broadly. For decades, the evolution of higher education has been shaped by the widespread imitation of a small number of elite universities. Most public research universities could benefit from replicating Berkeley or Michigan. Most small private colleges did well by replicating Williams or Swarthmore. And all universities paid close attention to Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, and Yale. It is not an exaggeration to say that the logic of replication has guided the evolution of higher education for centuries, both in the US and abroad.</p><p>Only recently have we been able to move beyond replication to new strategies of change, and COVID-19 has confirmed the legitimacy of doing so. For example, cases such as <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2020/03/10/harvard-moves-classes-online-advises-students-stay-home-after-spring-break-response-covid-19/" target="_blank">Harvard's</a> eviction of students over the course of less than one week or <a href="https://www.nhregister.com/news/coronavirus/article/Mayor-New-Haven-asks-for-coronavirus-help-Yale-15162606.php" target="_blank">Yale's apparent reluctance</a> to work with the city of New Haven, highlight that even higher education's legacy gold standards have limits and weaknesses. We are hopeful that the new normal will include a more active and earnest recognition that we need many types of universities. We think the new normal invites us to rethink the very nature of "gold standards" for higher education.</p>
A graduate student protests MIT's rejection of some evacuation exemption requests.
Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images<p>Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we had started to suspect and now understand that America's colleges and universities are among the many institutions of democracy and civil society that are, by their very design, incapable of being sufficiently responsive to the full spectrum of modern challenges and opportunities they face. Far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted. And without new designs, we can expect postsecondary success for these same students to be as elusive in the new normal, as it was in the <a href="http://pellinstitute.org/indicators/reports_2019.shtml" target="_blank">old normal</a>. This is not just because some universities fail to sufficiently recognize and engage the promise of diversity, this is because few universities have been designed from the outset to effectively serve the unique needs of lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color.</p>
Where can the new normal take us?<p>As colleges and universities face the difficult realities of adapting to COVID-19, they also face an opportunity to rethink their operations and designs in order to respond to social needs with greater agility, adopt technology that enables education to be delivered at scale, and collaborate with each other in order to maintain the dynamism and resilience of the American higher education system.</p> <p>COVID-19 raises questions about the relevance, the quality, and the accessibility of higher education—and these are the same challenges higher education has been grappling with for years. </p> <p>ASU has been able to rapidly adapt to the present circumstances because we have spent nearly two decades not just anticipating but <em>driving</em> innovation in higher education. We have adopted a <a href="https://www.asu.edu/about/charter-mission-and-values" target="_blank">charter</a> that formalizes our definition of success in terms of "who we include and how they succeed" rather than "<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/17/forget-varsity-blues-madness-lets-talk-about-students-who-cant-afford-college/" target="_blank">who we exclude</a>." We adopted an entrepreneurial <a href="https://president.asu.edu/read/higher-logic" target="_blank">operating model</a> that moves at the speed of technological and social change. We have launched initiatives such as <a href="https://www.instride.com/how-it-works/" target="_blank">InStride</a>, a platform for delivering continuing education to learners already in the workforce. We developed our own robust technological capabilities in ASU <a href="https://edplus.asu.edu/" target="_blank">EdPlus</a>, a hub for research and development in digital learning that, even before the current crisis, allowed us to serve more than 45,000 fully online students. We have also created partnerships with other forward-thinking institutions in order to mutually strengthen our capabilities for educational accessibility and quality; this includes our role in co-founding the <a href="https://theuia.org/" target="_blank">University Innovation Alliance</a>, a consortium of 11 public research universities that share data and resources to serve students at scale. </p> <p>For ASU, and universities like ASU, the "new normal" of a post-COVID world looks surprisingly like the world we already knew was necessary. Our record breaking summer 2020 <a href="https://asunow.asu.edu/20200519-sun-devil-life-summer-enrollment-sets-asu-record" target="_blank">enrollment</a> speaks to this. What COVID demonstrates is that we were already headed in the right direction and necessitates that we continue forward with new intensity and, we hope, with more partners. In fact, rather than "new normal" we might just say, it's "go time." </p>
Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?
- Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
- The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
- Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
How masturbation affects your brain...<p>Orgasms are a very common human phenomenon. The physical and mental health benefits have been researched frequently as a result, and yet, there is still so much to be learned about how our bodies and brains react to the chemicals and hormones released during and after experiencing this type of sexual release.</p><p>"The amount of speculation versus actual data on both the function and value of orgasm is remarkable" explains Julia Heiman, director of the <a href="https://kinseyinstitute.org/" target="_blank">Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction</a>.</p><p>Masturbation causes a rush of <a href="https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-dopamine" target="_blank">dopamine</a>, which is a chemical that is associated with our ability to feel pleasure. Along with the rush of dopamine that is released during an orgasm, there is also a release of a hormone called <a href="https://www.livescience.com/42198-what-is-oxytocin.html" target="_blank">oxytocin</a>, which is commonly referred to as the "love hormone."<br></p><p>This concoction of chemicals does more than just boost our mood, it also can play a key role in decreasing stress and promoting relaxation. Oxytocin decreases <a href="https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-cortisol" target="_blank">cortisol</a>, which is a stress hormone that is usually present (in high volumes) during times of anxiety, fear, panic, or distress. </p><p>According to BDSM and fetish researcher <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/dr-gloria-brame-colbert-ga/278388" target="_blank">Dr. Gloria Brame</a>, an orgasm is the biggest non-drug induced blast of dopamine that we can experience. </p><p>By boosting the oxytocin and dopamine levels and subsequently decreasing our cortisol levels, the brain is placed in a more relaxed, euphoric, and calm state. </p>
Masturbation boosts your immune system and raises your white blood cell count.<p>How do those effects on the brain from reaching orgasm translate to boosting our immune system and making our body healthier?</p><p>The increase of oxytocin and dopamine that causes a decrease in cortisol levels can help boost our immune system because cortisol (well-known for being a stress-inducing hormone) actually helps maintain your immune system if released in small doses. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.health24.com/Sex/Great-sex/incredible-health-benefits-to-masturbating-20181030-2" target="_blank">Dr. Jennifer Landa</a>, a hormone-therapy specialist, masturbation can produce the right kind of environment for a strengthened immune system to thrive. </p><p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15316239" target="_blank">A study</a> conducted by the Department of Medical Psychology at the University Clinic of Essen (in Germany) showed similar results. A group of 11 volunteers were asked to participate in a study that would look at the effects of orgasm through masturbation on the white blood cell count and immune system.</p><p>During this experiment, the white blood cell count of each participant was analyzed through measures that were taken 5 minutes before and 45 minutes after reaching a self-induced orgasm. </p><p>The results confirmed that sexual arousal and orgasm increased the number of white blood cells, particularly the natural killer cells that help fight off infections. </p><p>The findings confirm that our immune system is positively affected by sexual arousal and self-induced orgasm and promote even more research into the positive impacts of sexual arousal and orgasm. </p>
Masturbation can ease and prevent pain, which allows you to achieve the restful sleep that helps your immune system stay strong and healthy.<p>The benefits of masturbation have long been debated, but the more research that is done on the topic the more we understand that there are many positive reactions that happen in our bodies and brains when we orgasm.</p><p>Orgasms can help prevent or mitigate pain, which boosts the immune system, preventing cold and flu symptoms. </p><p>According to neurologist and headache specialist Stefan Evers, about one in three patients experience relief from migraine attacks by experiencing sexual activity or orgasm. Evers and his team <a href="https://www.livescience.com/27642-sex-relieves-migraine-pain.html" target="_blank">conducted an experiment</a> with 800 migraine patients and 200 patients who suffered from cluster-headaches to see how their experiences with sexual activity impacted their pain levels. </p><p>The study showed that 60% of migraine sufferers experienced pain relief after participating in sexual activity that resulted in orgasm. Of the cluster-headache sufferers, about 50% said their headaches actually worsened after sexual arousal and orgasm. </p><p>Evers suggested in his findings that the people who did not experience pain relief from migraines of headaches during their sexual activity did not release as large amounts of endorphins as those who did experience pain relief. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.sharecare.com/health/chronic-pain/chronic-pain-affect-immune-system" target="_blank">rheumatologist Dr. Harris McIlwain</a>, people who suffer from chronic pain have immune systems that are simply not functioning at full capacity - therefore, alleviating pain (through orgasm, as an example) can help boost the immune system. </p><p>Orgasms can also promote relaxation and make it easier to fall asleep. Serotonin, oxytocin, and norepinephrine are all hormones that are released during sexual arousal and orgasm, and all three are known for counteracting stress hormones and promoting relaxation, which makes it much easier for you to fall asleep.</p><p>There are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1233384" target="_blank">several studies</a> showing that serotonin and norepinephrine help our body cycle through REM and deep non-REM sleeping cycles. During these sleep cycles, the immune system releases proteins called <a href="https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-sleep-affects-your-immunity" target="_blank"><span id="selection-marker-1" class="redactor-selection-marker"></span>cytokines<span id="selection-marker-2" class="redactor-selection-marker"></span></a>, which target infection and inflammation. This is a critical part of our immune response. Cytokines are both produced and released throughout our bodies while we sleep, which proves the importance of a good sleep schedule to a healthy immune system.</p>
Masturbation promotes a high-functioning immune system; a healthy immune system prevents cold and flu.<p>The immune system is a balanced network of cells and organs that work together to defend you against infections and diseases by stopped threats like bacteria and viruses from entering your system. While there are many things we need to do to keep our immune systems functioning at optimal levels, masturbation (or other means of achieving orgasm) has proven to have positive effects on the immune system as a whole.</p><p>Just as bad habits (such as an inconsistent sleep schedule or harmful chemicals in your body) can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system. </p>
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