February 21st, 2015
We’re a nation of addicts
By Dennis Byrne
We weren’t such a nation of addicts, maybe hordes of drug smugglers wouldn’t crash our borders to feed our habit.
Maybe drug cartels wouldn’t terrorize Mexico and Central America — our gift to our southern neighbors.
Maybe drunks wouldn’t kill so many on our highways, or our health-care system wouldn’t be so overwhelmed and costly. Maybe not so many families would fall apart and our cities wouldn’t be bloodstained by gang wars — or so many adolescent lives wasted before they could even get started.
Time to face it: We’ve become a nation of addicts. So many addictions it’s hard to list them all.
February 20th, 2015
In the United States today, more than 12 million people abuse opioid prescription drugs like like Oxycontin and Oxycodone. Vocativ got access to two Oxy users who are at the heart of the epidemic, and they allowed us to film as they smoked pills and discussed their addiction. Users Nalu and Jango talk candidly about why they started on oxy, and describe the physical effects of using this opiate substitute. Oxy is colloquially called “hillbilly heroin” because of its high abuse rate in poor Appalachian communities. In actuality, it is a very expensive drug to use. Many oxy addicts eventually turn to actual heroin since it’s cheaper to procure. The higher Nalu and Jango get, the more detail they divulge about the extremes they go to for the money to feed their expensive habit. Both men tell us they hope to eventually quit, but with few resources and a powerful physical addiction to kick, their futures seem unclear.
Watch video interview…
February 19th, 2015
Behind every young child who believes in himself, is a parent who believed first. – Matthew Jacobson
February 18th, 2015
Anti-drug ‘Reality Tour’ marking BVA milestone
By Jeremy Sellew
ebruary 9 will mark the sixth-month anniversary since the Reality Tour arrived at Belle Vernon Area High School.
The tour is a national award-winning parent-and-child drug-prevention program open to students from all area school districts. The program is recommended for students ages 10 to 17 and all students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Westmoreland County has been in the news recently for the sheer number of drug-related, overdose deaths and BVA Reality Tour Director Celeste Trilli Palamara said that the statistics show why the program is needed in this area.
“It absolutely justifies why we wanted to bring the program here,” Palamara said. “There can never be too much education.”
February 17th, 2015
Booze-free early-morning dance parties coming to Montreal
A hit in other cities, ‘Morning Gloryville’ puts unique spin on the traditional rave
by Richard Deschamps
When most people think of raves, they think of grimy warehouses full of brightly-colored lights and stylish youths dancing to repetitive techno music all night long and possibly into the morning — with alcohol and drugs usually flowing freely.
A couple of Montrealers, however, are looking to put a very different spin on the concept.
It’s called Morning Gloryville, an event that’s billed as an opportunity to “rave your way into the day.” On the surface, it’ll be like a lot of other raves — there will still be lots of bright-eyed, urbane young people dancing to repetitive electronic music. But instead of starting after dark, the event starts at the crack of dawn, and there will be no booze or drugs.
February 16th, 2015
A surge in heroin abuse across the US has resulted in a sharp rise in the rate of addiction and deaths, especially among younger, suburban users.
February 14th, 2015
Why Mental Health Systems Should Be Organized Under Alcohol and Drug Systems
By ROBERT NIKKEL, MSW
While I was in charge of the public systems for both mental health and addictions in Oregon, I found it a challenge to maintain an equal focus on alcohol/drug problems compared to mental health. One big reason for the emphasis on mental health was that the mental health budget was big, about 6 times greater than that for addictions. And that doesn’t even count the hidden funding for psychiatric drugs which probably added another 30 or 40% to mental health —atypical antipsychotics are a lot more expensive than Antabuse.
Although there was a huge difference in state financial support for the two areas, it always seemed to me that the social consequences were just as large and challenging in addictions as in mental health. Partly for that reason, when asked to recommend a new name for an integrated office blending the two previously separated program areas, I chose to put addictions first — the Addictions and Mental Health Division. The state legislature agreed and it became the agency’s name and, at least for the time being, still is. It may have been only symbolic but it was an attempt to stop seeing alcohol/drug services as the “little brother.”
February 13th, 2015
Touted as a safer alternative, electronic cigarettes are supposed to give smokers a nicotine fix without side effects of tobacco. But some have concerns that the vaping devices may actually pose more dangers.
February 12th, 2015
Enabling: Removing the natural consequences of someone’s behavior. -Author unknown