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

Depression

September 15, 2017

Depression is more than just a bad mood.

While it is normal to feel discouraged and frustrated during adolescence, when we are depressed, we feel trapped in our own minds.

Depression in youth is more difficult to identify, because, as a teenager, you are already going through so many changes – and the social, academic and family pressures that teens go through can make a low mood seem justified.

If you are wondering if you might be experiencing depression, here are are 5 things to look for:

You feel lower than you have felt before, and the feelings are sticking around. Emotions such as guilt, anxiety, anger, hopelessness, loneliness, and shame are typical in depressed people. Unlike “bad moods,” which can come and go, these feelings persist beyond two weeks.

You feel numb. Many people who experience depression do not find their emotions to be intense – rather, they feel numb, flat and foggy. Their most noticeable depression symptoms are lack of motivation and no energy.

Your body feels different. You may experience headaches or general aches and pains that you can’t explain. You may feel tired all the time or have problems eating or sleeping. You may unexpectedly gain or lose weight.

Your thoughts are harsh. It seems like there is a running commentary in your head of self-criticism. You might find that you think negatively about many things and people. Additionally, you may have a hard time concentrating. Depressed people find themselves saying: “why bother?” and “what’s the point?” When things become really bad, you might even have suicidal thoughts.

Your behaviour has changed. You might be withdrawing from others, crying easily, or showing less interest in sports, games, or other fun activities that you normally enjoy. You might over-react and have sudden outbursts of anger or tears over minor issues.

Do any of these sound familiar? You’re not alone: at least one out of eight teenagers struggles with depression. Sometimes, the cause of depression is a mystery, while other times it can be linked to something going on in a teenager’s life. Family conflict, bullying, social politics, pressures in school and shame about sexual orientation are all known contributors to depression in youth.

Teens who struggle with depression can experience other serious problems, such as poor grades, skipping classes, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts or attempts.

Depression is treatable. However, it might not go away on its own. When you feel helpless and powerless, keep in mind that these are a few things that you can do.

Ask for help!

Maybe you’re holding out to see if you start to feel better without any help. The fact is that an untreated episode of depression can stick around for months. Talk to an adult that you trust. A parent, a teacher, a school counsellor, coach, or your doctor. Tell them how you’ve been feeling, and let them know that you think you might be depressed. Depression can be treated, and treatment such as medication or counselling is often effective. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help right away. Suicidal thoughts are usually associated with problems that can be treated, believe it or not. Reach out to someone you trust to let them know that you need help – and if you don’t feel comfortable telling someone you know, you can always contact your local crisis centre.

Don’t believe everything you think. When we’re depressed, our thoughts are harsh. We call ourselves names (loser, failure, ugly, stupid…). We find faults in everyone and everything. These thoughts seem accurate, but in fact, depression distorts our perceptions. Thoughts ≠ truths.

Exercise. Any type of movement that gets your heart pumping can help your mood. Walking, dancing, really anything! If you’re finding it hard to motivate yourself, try the 5-minute experiment. Aim to exercise for 5 minutes! If you decide to prolong it, great – but if not, even 5 minutes is helpful! When we are feeling depressed, we sometimes assume that we are beyond help. If you feel this way, we encourage you to reach out. You are worth it!