|Poetry slam at Accent’s drink-free venue|
FACT: Drugs have been here since ever. They are at least as old as the humankind.
FACT: This is a favorite headline of most prevention programs. Finding increased rates of drug use among the youths is not difficult. Finding reasons for this increase is difficult and requires knowledge of drug markets. Young people may be using drugs as much as before. They may be using different drugs than in the past, but that’s a matter of drug availability and supply.
FACT: People take drugs for all sorts of reasons. For alcohol, these reasons can be broadly divided into: social, coping, enhancement conformity and motives. Coping with problems and solution-seeking is just one of the reasons.
This is UNTRUE for depressants (downers) and some other drugs. Although, the brochure lists sedative effects of depressants later, I don’t understand why it misleads the readers.
FACT: Same as above. Cocaine hardly makes people feel slow. It is hard to discern why false statements, such as this one, made it into the brochure. There’s almost no wheat among the weeds.
FALSE: The active compounds are not water soluble. THC is fat soluble though.
FACT: People take drugs for all sorts of reasons. See point 3 above.
Yes, BUT it takes ages to start acting and it’s harder to estimate the right dose – the risk of overdose is higher. That’s why people don’t eat cocaine. Coca leaves are chewed not ingested.
- Heroin – violence and crime are linked to its use
- Inhalants – users may also suddenly react with extreme violence
- Crystal meth – causes aggression and violent or psychotic behavior
- Alcohol – can lead to violence and conflicts in personal relationships
- Alcohol is ‘more harmful than heroin’ say Prof Nutt, King and Williams in the Lancet journal. Watch BBC News interview.
Target group and choice
How may I help you– change you?*
“Change is the Law of Life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
Trying to help somebody to change their bad habits is an admirable act of kindness. It shows our compassion and care for the less fortunate. The best is when it comes from the person’s own initiative. Motivated helpers are assumed to be good helpers. Some of us help others pro bono, while others do it as part of their job description. But what if the professional helper doesn’t want to help? How do you help the helper with change in others?
*This is a shortened version of my article published in the Irish Psychologist, Volume 40, Issue 2/3. Dennis McCarty, PhD gave me feedback on drafts of this blog post.
Citation for the full version of this article:
- Health services research
- Qualitative and mixed methods
- Systematic and non-systematic reviews of literature
- Training and education
Researching primary health in worsening economic situation is becoming increasingly difficult. Through pooling our resources we can make it easier and more effective.
Interested in knowing more about how whales form groups in nature compared to captivity?
check out: http://blackfishmovie.com/
On Wednesday, 20 November 2013, I’ve attended this conference in the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin, Ireland. The conference was organized by alcohol action Ireland. What were the fears that the presenters encouraged us to face? Read about them below
Dr Bobby Smyth started his talk with a brief intro into the ways by which culture and language shape attitudes about drinking – a cultural learning to drink. He saw teens as apprentice adults, learning by observation. The age when they start to drink has gradually lowered during the Irish boom. Who’s fault is that? The alcohol industry and crazy sports sponsorships play a role. Also, “our culture encourages us to drink to overcome low mood”.
Teens learn to wipe on the shoulder of vodka. If they continue to “bathe” their brain in alcohol soup, they are rolling the dice – can we stop it rolling or roll it safely? Dr Smyth provided their book as a guide for dealing with some of these issues (see Fig 1).
One of the key drinking motives is the social motive – alcohol is a social lubricant. This is reflected in the language too. Eskimos are surrounded by snow all year round and have 100 words for it. There are 120 words for the state of alcohol intoxication in Ireland. People have stopped having fun sober. Moral language of industry-sponsored sites is often substituted for more effective strategies. Slogans like drink sensibly can hardly foster behavior change.
Prof Ella Arensman spoke about the focused on health& women, especially on the seasonal patterns of self-harm and public holidays.
Dr Conor Farren addressed the relationship between alcohol and mental health issues, including depression. He also showcased his book (see Fig 2).
Dr Philip McGarry spoke about alcohol’s impact on mental health in Northern Ireland.
After lunch, the delegates came back for a panel discussion featuring Dr Claire Hayes, John Higgins and Fr Pat Seaver.
Watch the speakers’ presentations here