We’ve all seen it. A celebrity falls victim to the effects of addiction and gets trashed in the press. Is there any empathy? Noooo… Are there any attempts to use this as an introduction into the dangers of alcohol and drugs? Noooo… Because such things don’t sell, and they don’t get clicks — and clicks, as we all know, are money in the bank.
Another thing that bothers me when people start trashing celebrity alcoholics and addicts is that it indicates, half a century after alcoholism and addiction were recognized officially as diseases, that as a society we still view them as an issue of morals. And it seems that most of us enjoy seeing icons brought down, speaking more to our character than that of the icons.
In my opinion, this is because nearly all of us have had our lives touched by addiction, and have experienced the chaos that addicts carry and leave behind them the way a tornado carries dust and debris. Continue reading
A pernicious distinction of the first decade of the 21st century was the rise in painki ller abuse, which ultimately led to a catastrophic increase in addicts, fatal overdoses, and blighted communities. But the story of the painkiller epidemic can really be reduced to the story of one powerful, highly addictive drug and its small but ruthlessly enterprising manufacturer.
In the past 20 years recreational cannabis use has grown tremendously, becoming almost as common as tobacco use among adolescents and young adults, and so has the research evidence. A major new review in the scientific journal Addiction sets out the latest information on the effects of cannabis use on mental and physical health.
“E-cigarettes have the same physiological effects on the brain and may pose the same risk of addiction to other drugs as regular cigarettes, especially in adolescence during a critical period of brain development. We don’t yet know whether e-cigarettes will prove to be a gateway to the use of conventional cigarettes and illicit drugs, but that’s certainly a possibility. Nicotine clearly acts as a gateway drug on the brain, and this effect is likely to occur whether the exposure comes from smoking cigarettes, passive tobacco smoke, or e-cigarettes.”
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, of adolescents visiting the emergency department for any reason, one in five girls and one in eight boys reported dating violence in the past year. According to a study, dating violence among adolescents was also strongly associated with alcohol, illicit drug use and depression.