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

Craving insight into addiction

January 14, 2019


Dr David Marjot
 on the anti-boredom effect, and Dr Ian Flintoff on the damage done by a materialist society

I am a retired consultant psychiatrist who specialised in the field of addiction (Constant craving: is addiction on the rise?, G2, 9 January). My conclusion was that most, perhaps all, drugs of addiction were very effective ways of passing time with minimum distress – the anti-boredom effect. Even “unpleasant” experiences will pass time very effectively. Similar experiences are achieved by shopping, TV and sexual activity etc. I thought that heroin and tobacco were the best anti-boredom drugs. Nicotine is not intoxicating, the withdrawal symptoms are severe but not obvious to the observer, easily relieved by the next fag, and disease and death are delayed until towards the end of working life, thus saving the public the expense of a pension. The ideal drug?

Dopamine is incidentally involved in addiction. The function of dopamine appears to be in a system or systems for the initiation and maintenance of our behaviours – the way we think, feel and act. These systems could be called systems for iteration.Advertisement

Lack of dopamine in the brain, Parkinson’s disease, shows up as a gradual loss of the ability to initiate actions at will, so progressively you are less and less able to will your movements – a failure in the system of iteration. Parkinsonism is often accompanied by tremor or shaking; its other name is paralysis agitans. The drug L-dopa increases the availability of dopamine in Parkinsonism and enables iteration and movements to return.

The increase in, and perhaps excess of, dopamine in addictions and some other behaviours may assist their initiation and use, often overuse, but the upstream effect would be, in my eyes, that the drugs etc activate the anti-boredom effect. You might say you take the drug etc and this relieves your boredom so you take or do it again, thus involving the dopamine iteration system leading to addiction by an as yet unknown mechanism. We must escape from oversimplification, even if the current dopamine story offers a satisfying morality tale.
Dr David Marjot
Weybridge, Surrey

• Implicit in the extensive analysis of current addictions is a possible way of seeing the problem in a light which might promote coordinated and effective action. We are rightly concerned about the possible consequences of our physical environment and its pollutants. It is only a small step from this to understand that our mental, social and cultural environment may have an equally devastating effect on our lives.

Professor Terry Robinson is quoted as noting how our ancestor hunter-gathers sought sweet foods as natural sources of energy, and in this there is much to be learned from understanding the evolved realities of what we are in essence – as opposed to what we are cajoled, bullied or conned into believing that we are or must be. Junk food, in today’s culture, leads to the obesity and worse which the “evolved realities” of our (natural) diets would avoid.

Similarly, if the criteria of human wellbeing are predominantly reduced to money and materialism, our minds and personal inspirations atrophy or even vanish. Drugs, gaming, porn or sexual obsession substitute as distractions. We need to focus on, and be critical of, the cultural-social environment in which we live as much as we do on the physical environment which we now know can be so harmful.
Dr Ian Flintoff
Oxford

www.theguardian.com