Could a diet high in refined sugars make children and adults more susceptible to opioid addiction and overdose? New research, from our laboratory of behavioural neuroscience at the University of Guelph, suggests it could.
Approximately 20,000 people died of fentanyl-related overdoses in the United States last year and in Canada, there were at least 2,816 opioid-related deaths. During 2017 so far, over 1,000 people have died of illicit drug overdoses in British Columbia. High schools are stocking up on the overdose-reversing drug naloxone and universities are training staff to administer the drug.
Several years ago, I had an acquaintance that for a short period of time had access to and sold painkillers. Not wanting to miss the opportunity of exploring a new high, I bought several Oxycodone pills from him. That night I went home, crushed two of them into a fine powder and railed them as if they were lines of coke. The euphoria that followed was completely unprecedented.
There was a garden of pretty flowers growing from the center of my belly and stemming toward my limbs. I was so light that I felt almost weightless, both physically and emotionally. All the darkness of the world had instantly and magically dissipated. It was an intense, unique and incredibly addictive feeling that I have only experienced at that level with opiates, which led me to the conclusion that this was a big-league substance, one with the ability to cause major damage in one’s life.
One in Four. That is the number of people that suffer from a mental illness, which means that they are all around you. Do you know how to treat them? Do you know how to show your support? Here are some tips on what NOT to do:
There is still so much stigma surrounding mental illness that most people in today’s society have no clue when it comes to addressing someone who exhibits symptoms of mental distress. Children, especially, are victims of the ignorance that envelops society—Most parents and family members tend to blame obvious behavioral issues on the child’s age, and usually do more damage than good when attempting to address them. My depressive issues began when I was 8 years old, but it was only when I was 30 that I first received professional help. By that time I had suffered tremendously and felt completely misunderstood. My life had nosedived to great lows, and my hope was barely holding on. This is why I believe that everyone must educate themselves on how to deal with and talk to someone with a mental illness, because it could be their parents, siblings, friends, and even children. Let us start by exploring some basic things NOT to say, so we don’t make things worse than they already are.
The National Institutes of Health is releasing a new online tool that aims to help those who want to find good care: directories of alcohol treatment providers accompanied by key questions patients should ask in order to get high-quality care.
As someone who struggled with severe addiction for over ten years, I had my share of failures, relapses and moments where I thought it was worthless to keep on fighting. You might feel the same way right now, and I am here to tell you that there is a way out, not matter what. I hope this video helps you see just that.
Countless, the number of times I was strongly determined to stay sober, and countless were the number of times I failed. There were instances where I couldn’t go a week without relapsing; sometimes I couldn’t even go an entire day. But the times that hurt the most were the ones when I had managed to stay clean for several months, and in a moment of careless weakness I had managed to screw it all up.
Addiction is an incredibly powerful force with a very strong grip, and once it has a hold of you it will refuse to let go. There will be times when all your failures and relapses are going to make you consider giving up, letting the choppy waters of addiction take you out to open sea, and, in due time, drown you. But in the midst of all the turmoil, I assure you, there is hope. Here are a few pointers that helped me stay afloat.
Sept. 26, 2017 | A University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) research scientist has been awarded a $409,750 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to lead a study investigating ways the brain develops resilience to mental illnesses like addiction.
Andrew James, Ph.D., an associate professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, is the principal investigator in the two-year study, which will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine patterns of brain organization in adult subjects who experienced childhood trauma.