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

Resolve to Detox Your Social Circle

January 16, 2019

Quietly dump those who are dragging you down.

While many are charging hard towards those newly made resolutions for eating healthier, losing weight, and working out you may want to consider something a bit different. The New Year is always a great opportunity to make a fresh start, but the real question is how to make that fresh start stick. 

One of the greatest hurdles we encounter when trying to make a change is the people we surround ourselves with. Our social circles do matter. Social support has long been demonstrated as one of the leading indicators of happiness and one of the greatest buffers of stress. However, not all social circles are positive and many of us suffer from the influence of toxic “friends” who always seem to find a way to drag us down.  

Ivan MisnerSource: “Ivan Misner, used with permission”

As the New Year gets into full swing you may want to consider a different kind of resolution: Taking stock of your circle. When it comes to our social circles Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI and author of the newly released Who’s in Your Room? The Secret to Creating Your Best Life believes we could all stand to do a little house cleaning and the New Year is a great time to start.  

Misner believes we should all take a hard look at our social circles and consider who among those in our social circles may be dragging us down or getting in the way of the life we want to live. Misner notes that, “while you can’t quite kick anyone to the curb without causing a substantial amount of drama, you can however box them up and put them on a shelf, so to speak.”

First, See Who’s in Your Room

Misner defines the “room” as your mind. Misner believes that everyone you meaningfully encounter does end up living in your room in some way, so we all have pretty big rooms. That is not to say that everyone you meet ends up in your room. Some studies suggest it takes 50 to 90 hours of interactions to establish a meaningful relationship that really sticks with you even if that relationship is far in the past. As he puts it, “people may be out of your life, but they’re still in your head.” So, you have to ask yourself, who are the folks in your room that still wield some sort of negative influence over you? It’s important to both understand how they got in and why they seem to have such a negative impact on your life.

The good news is that as you move forward you can learn from your reflections and be more thoughtful about how you continue to curate your circle of friends, so as to keep your “room” more constructive. The challenge is what to do about the ones who currently reside in your circle and have become toxic. According to Misner there are two simple, yet effective strategies for minimizing the effects of negative influencers: Benign neglect and homeopathic does.      

Apply Benign Neglect

When collaborating and cooperating with a toxic person just doesn’t seem to work, you have to find a way to minimize the negative influence of that individual. Benign neglect is about finding ways to push that person to the back of your room so as to make room for those more positive influences to find their way to the front of your room. “I’m not a burn the bridges kind of guy,” explains Misner, but you have to find ways to move toxic people to the back of your room.article continues after advertisement

Misner believes that sometimes it’s just easier to ice people out. “Start intentionally distancing yourself by increasing the time between your responses,” says Misner. “With a co-worker, suggest virtual meetings once a week instead of in-person ones. With a friend, speak when he/she calls, but only initiate a call once per month. Take more time between your responses to calls/emails, and increase this time a little bit each month.” Ignoring a problem won’t make it go away, but minimizing your contact with the negative people in your circle can’t hurt.  

Prescribe Homeopathic Doses

Another approach to minimizing the influence of negative people in your circle is to deliberately structure how and when you interact with these individuals. Misner describes these as homeopathic doses or guidelines for minimal, but critical exposure. This can be a valuable approach to dealing with loved ones who also drag you down. As an example Misner shares, “instead of telling them weeks in advance that you’ll be in town and can meet, tell them shortly before you arrive and keep your available window specific and small. Or, when they call, say you’re so glad they called but you only have 5 minutes to talk before you head into an appointment. Another way, instead of meeting one-on-one, set group outings to water down your dose of this person.”

Ask yourself who is in your room and are they helping or hurting you? Make 2019 the year you clean your room and clear a path to a more positive life! As Misner believes, “the best part is, doing this will free you up to spend more time with people that add value and joy into your life, thereby making you happier and more fulfilled.”

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