Recent Articles:

Below are past articles previously published in Drugs & Addiction Magazine. These are filled with current and relevant information and statistics and can be used as great conversation starters with youth.

A “gold standard” study finds deleting Facebook is great for your mental health

January 31, 2019

It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day!

January 30, 2019

FDA’s opioids adviser accuses agency of having ‘direct’ link to crisis

January 25, 2019

New York Passes a Ban on ‘Conversion Therapy’ After Years-Long Efforts

January 22, 2019

Former Insys CEO pleads guilty to opioid kickback scheme

January 17, 2019

Resolve to Detox Your Social Circle

January 16, 2019

Easing test anxiety boosts low-income students’ biology grades

January 15, 2019

Craving insight into addiction

January 14, 2019

New book looks at the heart of Edmonton’s opioid epidemic through stories and art

January 11, 2019

People with low self-esteem tend to seek support in ways that backfire, study finds

January 10, 2019

Ban on cigarette sales in NYC pharmacies starts Jan. 1

January 9, 2019

Too many problems? Maybe coping isn’t the answer

January 8, 2019

Muslim youth group cleans up national parks amid government shutdown

January 7, 2019

For-profit college cancels $500M in student debt after fraud allegations

January 4, 2019

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14

January 3, 2019

Sexting Teens

December 19, 2018

Screen Addiction: Today’s Biggest Threat to Schooling?

December 19, 2018

Texting Etiquette & Safety: 5 Rules for Keeping Your Kids & Teens Secure & Drama-Free

December 17, 2018

Amnesty International: Indigenous Peoples’ rights

December 17, 2018

New Canadians sworn in as Winnipeg museum celebrates International Human Rights Day

December 13, 2018

Statement by the Prime Minister on Human Rights Day

December 12, 2018

Fentanyl is the deadliest drug in America, CDC confirms

December 12, 2018

The Illustrated Version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

December 11, 2018

Homeless man with terminal cancer donates to holiday toy drive

December 10, 2018

Malala Yousafzai Honored by Harvard for Her Work Promoting Girls’ Education

December 7, 2018

Boy gets Colorado town to overturn snowball fight ban

December 6, 2018

Fortnite addiction is forcing kids into video game rehab

December 5, 2018

Clarity on Cannabis

December 4, 2018

Mental health education recommended for RCMP members following inquest

November 30, 2018

Social Media – 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence

November 28, 2018

Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence

November 27, 2018

#GIVINGTUESDAY TODAY ONLY YOUR GIFT CAN BE MATCHED

November 27, 2018

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

November 26, 2018

#ENDViolence in schools

November 23, 2018

Statement by Minister MacLeod on National Child Day

November 22, 2018

November 20th marks National Children’s Day across Canada

November 21, 2018

National Child Day

November 20, 2018

Facts & Figures

November 16, 2018

The Push For Change®

November 15, 2018

Winter Giving 101

November 14, 2018

First came the stroke, then the inspiration…

November 13, 2018

Canadian Youth Speakers Bureau: Scott Hammell

November 9, 2018

John Connors’ brilliant IFTA Award speech

November 9, 2018

Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone

November 8, 2018

This teen pizzeria employee traveled 3 hours to deliver pizza to a man with terminal cancer

November 6, 2018

Video captures joyful law student’s reaction to passing her bar exam

November 5, 2018

More teens in Sask. are smokers than in any other province: Health Canada survey

November 5, 2018

MADD Canada launches annual red ribbon campaign in Halifax

November 2, 2018

Young cannabis users who quit see improvements in memory, ability to learn

October 31, 2018

Nova Scotia’s Health Department says talks underway for province’s first overdose prevention site

October 31, 2018

Crystal meth eclipsing opioids on the Prairies: ‘There’s no lack of meth on the street’

October 29, 2018

Opioids Don’t Discriminate: An Interactive Experience.

October 26, 2018

Guelph police warn drug users of spike in purple fentanyl

October 25, 2018

Canadians share powerful stories of teachers who made lasting impressions

October 24, 2018

What exactly are you inhaling when you vape?

October 23, 2018

Study ADHD Medication Overdoses

June 14, 2018

A Cry for Guidance

January 18, 2018

Vaping 101 – Health Relation, Benefits, Dangers, Fun Facts and More

January 2, 2018

Your Friend’s Substance Abuse

September 15, 2017

Depression

September 15, 2017

Methamphetamines

September 15, 2017

Alcohol

September 15, 2017

25 Healthy Ways to Feel Better

September 15, 2017

Canadian Youth Speakers Bureau: Scott Hammell

November 9, 2018

The Most Important Out Of All..

Imagine two different people doing the same card trick. One person is an amateur, the other, a professional magician.  Imagine that that trick goes wrong. The amateur giggles nervously, apologizes and starts over.  The professional magician, without skipping a beat, continues on with the trick and still manages to fool you.  The reason?  It’s about an idea known among magicians as “Outs”.  

“Outs” are contingency plans for magicians.  When learning or constructing a new trick, a magician will try to determine all the possibilities where things can (and probably will) go wrong in the execution of the trick.  Then, the magician can work out realistic possible solutions for each of these possible outcomes.  Time is often dedicated during practice specifically to these “Outs” so that when and if they ever happen, the transition through the mistake is seamless, and the audience isn’t aware that a mistake occurred.  (That is one of the reasons it can take SO long for a magician to learn a new trick.  The process is, in essence, learning ten variations of the same trick!).

In 2015, I had the pleasure of helping my good friend Mark Correia set his first World Record.  His goal was to wear a fully secured straitjacket for fourteen days straight. Without any breaks. I can tell you, as someone who’s spent a considerable amount of (voluntary!) time in a straitjacket, that this was an ambitious goal. In fact, when I was in high school, I spent one night in my straitjacket on a dare and can say without question that it was an AWFUL experience.  My elbow joints were throbbing, and it was impossible to get comfortable.  I should add here that my night in the straitjacket was done in the winter. Straitjackets are made of thick canvas, so keeping cool was vital. Mark’s World Record attempt was done in the middle of summer so that it didn’t conflict with school time.  I can’t imagine spending 24 hours in a straitjacket, let alone two weeks, in summer, without a break.

Mark was inspired by a desire to raise money for the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. He doesn’t have Parkinson’s Disease, nor do any of his friends or relatives. However, he felt that completion of this creative project was an artistic and compelling way to draw attention to some of the challenges faced by those with Parkinson’s, such as wanting to complete the most basic tasks and not being able to.

The first few days in the straitjacket were uncomfortable for Mark, but exciting. He was covered by every major news network in Canada, and social media took notice. People submitted challenges for Mark to complete without using his hands. Make an omelette! Ride a bike! He did it all!

At about the halfway point, I could tell that he was struggling to keep a smile on his face, and was trying hard to stay comfortable. He had had enough. When the cameras were turned off for the day, I reminded him of an Out that he had forgotten about. He could get out of the jacket at any point. He was, after all, in there voluntarily. Would anyone die? No. Would thousands of dollars still have been raised for The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research? Yes! Was there a ton of exposure for the cause? Yup! Would it still technically be a World Record? Yes, it would. Would people understand? Absolutely.

I believe that Mark was SO focused on his goal that he forgot about his Outs. He forgot that he could simply bow out gracefully.  It was almost like he just needed permission.  So did he use his Out and take the jacket off? No way. Realizing that he could, and he’d still be loved and supported was the permission that he needed.  

Sometimes just knowing that you can quit is enough to keep you going to the end.  The world will keep spinning, people won’t die, and your family and friends will still love you.  

I have seen first hand where student leaders have a tendency of creating overly ambitious goals for themselves. They burn too many resources while forgetting about the most important “Out” of all.  That it’s OK to quit. Remind them. Reinforce it! Sometimes, all they need is permission to quit, and that might be enough to insure that they don’t!