Join Our CommunityThe CODA Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a group of students from all over Canada who have a shared passion to reduce and prevent substance abuse in their schools, communities and among their friends. Designed to empower and encourage students to learn from each other about the dangers of drug abuse, communities across Canada will be enriched by local YAC activities.
Experts Want Gaming Addiction on Disorder ManualVideo-game addiction expert says addiction to gaming should be recognized in new DSMA new manual for mental disorders is slated to be released in May a...
Experts Want Gaming Addiction on Disorder Manual
Video-game addiction expert says addiction to gaming should be recognized in new DSM
A new manual for mental disorders is slated to be released in May and video-game addiction experts are hoping for a new addition.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders doesn’t currently list video-game addiction in its list of disorders, but tech-addiction expert Hilarie Cash said that needs to change.
Cash runs Restart in Seattle, Wash., one of the few known internet and video game addiction rehabilitation centres in North and South America.
“People’s lives completely fall apart, and there are people who die from it,” said Cash.
Addiction can start early
Winnipegger Cristian Valesquez, 18, used to be addicted to gaming.
“It’s rewarding, right? You get this pump and then it fades and you miss it and you want it back,” said Valesquez.
“It’s like a cycle.”
He began gaming when he got his first Nintendo.
“If I couldn’t play, it was like profound boredom,” he said.
That’s when it turned from a hobby into a habit for Valesquez.
“I was generally playing, at the very peak, six to ten hours a day,” he said.
As a result, his grades slid and he began to replace his real life friends with ones that were online.
“Even if you don’t want to play, you feel a responsibility to go online. It’s like a community,” said Valesquez.
Cash said those are classic signs of video-game addiction.
“Most people understand that gambling can become, can develop into a serious addiction, so it’s like that,” said Cash.
She said the most addictive games have a social component and are competitive.
Addiction can be fatal
Video games can be so addictive, according to Cash, that people have died from their use.
Fatal blood clots, death from sleep deprivation and heart attacks have all been reported in addicted gamers.
Though those cases are rare, Cash said gaming addiction is becoming more mainstream.
“I believe it is on the rise, primarily due to smartphones,” said Cash.
People with disabilities at increased risk
At increased risk are those with disabilities.
Those with Aspergers or attention-deficit hyper-activity disorder are especially vulnerable to addiction, according to Cash.
Winnipegger Drew Nordman lives with spinal muscular dystrophy and said the video games provide a special outlet for those living with disabilities.
“There are a lot of things that we can’t do, and when we find something that makes us feel in control, we take it. We abuse it,” said Nordman.
Nordman, 24, played video games for five to seven hours a day at the height of his addiction.
“You become the character. You make all the choices. It’s really engrossing and what I find the most satisfying,” said Nordman.
He has since overcome his addiction.
Admitting pot use at U.S. border may get you bannedBy Jeff Nagel - Surrey North Delta LeaderPublished: April 01, 2013 11:00 AMUpdated: April 01, 2013 11:41 AMPot-smoking B.C. residents are increasing...
Admitting pot use at U.S. border may get you banned
By Jeff Nagel - Surrey North Delta Leader
Published: April 01, 2013 11:00 AM
Updated: April 01, 2013 11:41 AM
Pot-smoking B.C. residents are increasingly being banned from entering the U.S. as American border guards try to stem the flow of Canadian marijuana tourists in the wake of Washington State's weed legalization vote late last year.
Blaine lawyer Len Saunders said he's seeing more cases of B.C. residents being permanently denied entry after trying to carry pot across the border, thinking it's no longer an issue.
Because marijuana is now legal to possess under state law, Canadians caught bringing less than an ounce across aren't charged, as they were in the past.
"I'm seeing no prosecutions – zero since November," Saunders said. "But there's more confusion."
What happens now, he said, is pot-packing Canucks having their stash confiscated and are then interrogated under oath about their drug-using habits.
Admit that you've ever smoked or used marijuana in your life, he said, and you can be deemed inadmissible to the U.S. because you've confessed to a crime of moral turpitude.
"The key is to not admit that you've ever used it," Saunders said, stressing he isn't counselling anyone to lie under oath.
He noted anyone could be questioned about past marijuana use at the border, whether Customs and Border Protection agents find pot on them or not.
Past studies have found a majority of B.C. residents report using marijuana at least once.
Saunders said he's increasingly had calls from Canadians deemed inadmissible over pot use who say they can't believe it happened to them and must now apply for a tough-to-obtain re-entry waiver also required for anyone with a criminal conviction who wants to return to the U.S.
A pot dispensary is expected to open in Blaine, he said, but the license hasn't been granted yet.
"It's legal to possess," Saunders said. "So if you make it over the border you can buy it and you can use it."
Saunders noted Washington's legalization of pot doesn't extend to use by minors age 18 or under.
And anyone who brings a "truckload" of pot over the border can still expect to be prosecuted under U.S. federal law.
Ironically, he said, while an admission of marijuana use in the distant past can bar you from the U.S. for life, convicted drunk drivers face no such problem.
"If you have multiple DUIs you are admissible to the U.S.," Saunders said. "A DUI is not a crime of moral turpitude because you didn't have the intention to drive drunk. Because you were drunk."
CAMH First Facility in Canada Offering Test for Synthetic CannabisTORONTO, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is the first clinical lab in Canada to offer a test...
CAMH First Facility in Canada Offering Test for Synthetic Cannabis
TORONTO, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is the first clinical lab in Canada to offer a test to detect the presence of synthetic marijuana in the body. Health Canada recently issued a warning about the dangers of herbal products combined with cannabis-like chemical compounds, scientifically known as synthetic cannabinoids, being sold in stores.
More potent and resulting in more adverse effects than more natural marijuana, synthetic cannabis has been linked to hallucinations, hypertension, chest pain, acute psychosis, seizures, and even suicides, according to Health Canada. Such newly created chemical compounds require new tests to detect them. Until now, synthetic marijuana could not be detected in the body of consumers without sending their urine away to a U.S. laboratory for testing.
"CAMH's new capacity to test for synthetic marijuana will help clinicians improve client care," said Cara Vaccarino, CAMH Director of Medical Affairs. "The test will also help researchers track use rates and inform public health strategies in the community. As the only lab in Canada capable of carrying out this test, CAMH will be a resource to other hospitals across the country requiring the test."
This test will help physicians, nurses and clinicians link laboratory results to unexplained clinical symptoms. Even in the absence of symptoms, positive lab results can provide evidence of consumption and allow health care providers to advice clients of the potential dangers of these products.
"The ability to carry out this new test at CAMH gives us the unique potential of identifying an unlimited number of synthetic compounds from the JWH family of chemicals found in these herbal products, which can help us stay ahead of the manufacturers," said Cara Vaccarino. "This will also enable us to expedite test results. We no longer have to send samples to the United States and wait several weeks for results."
Synthetic marijuana is often marketed as "smokeable herbal incense" or "exotic herbal incense," but these seemingly benign herbal products can have serious consequences for those who use them.
CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit www.camh.ca.
SOURCE: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
For further information:
Media contact: Michael Torres; (416) 595-6015; email@example.com.
Video Game Addiction and Other Internet Compulsive Disorders Mask Depression, Anxiety, Learning DisabilitiesAddiction to video games and the Internet is gaining legitimacy as a psychological disorder...
Video Game Addiction and Other Internet Compulsive Disorders Mask Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disabilities
Addiction to video games and the Internet is gaining legitimacy as a psychological disorder, and experts say it's not uncommon for kids to become violent when their 'drug' is taken away
By Tracy Miller / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Monday, March 25, 2013, 10:40 AM
Updated: Monday, March 25, 2013, 1:36 PM
Video game addiction will be acknowledged for the first time in the updated edition of the American Psychological Association diagnostic manual, DSM-5, out in May.
Violent video games can be as addicting as drugs, experts say.
“It affects the same pleasure centers in the brain that make people want to come back," said Dr. Michael Fraser, a clinical psychologist on the upper East Side and professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.
"If you look at alcoholism and Internet addiction, it's the exact same pattern of behavior," agreed Dr. Kimberly Young, a psychologist and founder of the Center for Online and Internet Addiction in Bradford, Penn.
Kids are among the most vulnerable to video game addiction, experts said, and may become violent when their "drug" is taken away.
"Kids can become physically and verbally abusive," said Fraser. "Most parents have trouble imagining this—that their 12-year-old boy would push his mother when she tries to unplug the game."
Young agreed, based on her 19 years of researching Internet-based addictions.
"There definitely seems to be a correlation between violent game use and aggressive behavior," Young said. "[Kids] will throw things, they'll hit their parents, they'll start becoming violent at school. Parents say, ‘he was a good boy; he didn’t act like this before.’
"The reality is, these games must teach you something,” she continued. “When you're actively participating, looking at various weapons, getting reinforcement and recognition for your achievements from the game and from other players…I think it desensitizes you."
Video game and Internet addiction usually point to other mental problems including anxiety, depression and trouble forming healthy relationships, said Fraser. His patients—mostly boys in middle, high school and early college—use games as means of escape, whether from social anxiety or from a learning disability that makes concentrating on schoolwork difficult.
“When it comes time to bear down and concentrate, rather than work through that frustration they escape into gaming, like a drug,” Fraser said.
Modern day video games may be even more addictive, he added, because they are open-ended and allow players to save their place and pick back up again, unlike the older generations of games like Pac-Man, where players lose their allotted lives and are forced to start over.
As with other addictions, some people may be more susceptible than others.
"In other words we wouldn't want anybody to think, when we use the term 'video game addiction' or 'compulsive gaming' that the problem lies in the video games, any more than the problem for an alcoholic lies in a can of beer," Fraser said. "Many people can have one can of beer, and that's it. But others may have a biological predisposition towards addictive behavior in general."
Cases such as Newtown shooter Adam Lanza—who kept a videogame-style score sheet of past murders—may be rare, but Fraser and Young agreed that parents need to actively set usage and access boundaries.
“Monitoring is very important,” Fraser said. “If you put an iPad in a 6-year-old’s hands, that’s no different than sending them into an R-rated movie theater unsupervised.”
"When you see a heavy drinker going into a bar, you know what they're going in there for,” he also said. “But when a kid goes into the library or their room and sits at a laptop, it's not always apparent that they're going to do something detrimental."
50 years of drug PSAs Public service announcements have been around since WWII along with the popularization of propaganda in advertising to gain public influence. Since...
Teen accused of dealing drugs in schoolhttp://www.abc-7.com/Global/story.asp?S=11341313#BONITASPRINGS:A 14-year-old boy is accused of dealing drugs at middle school and he spoke only to NBC2.Brandon ...
Teen accused of dealing drugs in school
BONITA SPRINGS: A 14-year-old boy is accused of dealing drugs at middle school and he spoke only to NBC2.
Brandon Wagner has been suspended for 10 days, along with two of his classmates, after all three were arrested on felony charges in Bonita Springs.
The story revolves around four pills and a bag filled with white powder that the school resource officer initially thought was cocaine.
"All I know is the sheriff called me and told me he took some aspirins to school and tried to sell it for cocaine and then they took him to jail," said Brandon Wagner's father, Mark Wagner.
Monday, Brandon described what happened Friday morning that landed him in jail for distributing imitation drugs.
"I went to school with a little bit of crushed up aspirin in a dime bag and I gave it to my friend Dawson and he and Steve got busted in the hallway," the teen said.
Dawson Berner and Steven Davis also face charges of possessing a controlled substance without a prescription.
"Yeah those were Dawson's. He stole them from his Grandma," said Brandon.
The four pills were identified as Tramadol - a type of pain medication. As for the substance that appeared to be cocaine, Brandon said, "I think it was aspirin."
"At first glance, we thought it was cocaine. But we tested it, turned out it wasn't," said John Sheehan with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
A field test by a Lee County sheriff's deputy showed it had a trace of cocaine. It has since been sent off to a crime lab to determine exactly what it is.
Bonita Springs Middle School is a place that prides itself on being a school of excellence. Now, their student body includes three 14-year olds facing drug charges for something that happened on campus before school started.
"You know he did the crime, he can go do the time. He wants to be bad, he's going to have to learn the hard way," said Mark Wagner.
Wagner said while he wants his son to be disciplined, he does not believe that he had cocaine.
"I moved from another house and it was a high blood pressure pill in a drawer, a desk drawer. And he snooped through and found it. That's what he told me," the father explained.
When Brandon was asked why even brought the aspirin to school in the first place he said, "Just to look cool."
The principal at Bonita Middle School will meet with the three teens, their parents and the school resource officer to decide the boys' futures. They could be sent to an alternative learning center, or even be expelled.
The severity of the charges depends on the lab test results that will determine exactly what was in the bag.
By Chad Oliver
The prescription pain medication Oxycontin is becoming on of the most abused and misused drugs in Hollywood. When used correctly, it's considered a safe pain management drug. But when used inappr...
The prescription pain medication Oxycontin is becoming on of the most abused and misused drugs in Hollywood. When used correctly, it's considered a safe pain management drug. But when used inappropriately, Oxycontin, known on the street as OC, O and hillbilly heroin, becomes incredibly dangerous.
Police officials said Michael Jackson was “heavily addicted” to Oxycontin before he died. Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein had several pills in his system at the time of his death two years ago. Courtney Love suffered an overdose of the medication in 2003, the same year radio personality Rush Limbaugh sought professional help for his Oxy addiction. And the drug was one of the medications prescribed to Heath Ledger prior to his fatal overdose.
“In my opinion, the OxyContin problem is in epidemic proportions," opiate addiction specialist Clare Kavin told FOX411's Pop tarts column. "Regardless of the number of warnings and the related news in the media from the last few years, there is still a significant number of patients that are chained to this addiction and are scared or unable to seek treatment due to shame, financial means or fear of relapse.”
So what is it about Oxycontin that makes it so dangerously addictive?
“Oxycontin is a very strong opiate. It's essentially the same as heroin, and since many of the people who abuse it chop it up and snort it, or even shoot it up, there is no difference between being addicted to Oxycontin and being addicted to heroin,” said Los Angeles-based addiction specialist, Dr. Adi Jaffe. “Since the body's natural opiates (opioids) are responsible for pleasure, suppressing pain, and a whole lot more (including roles in digestion), when you take them out of the equation patients experience severe withdrawal that involved incredible pain, restlessness, and anhedonia, which results in a lack of ability to experience pleasure.”
Users of Oxycontin typically report a general state of experiencing feelings of invincibility and increased energy in the beginning. However, some develop a tolerance over time which requires larger, more deadly doses that lead to physical dependence.
“Abusers also experience brutal withdrawal symptoms if use is terminated. These include diarrhea, vomiting, insomnia, cold flashes with goose pimples, and uncontrolled leg movements,” explained Carla Lundblade, a Beverly Hills-based clinical therapist. “Larger doses can bring about acute, possibly fatal, respiratory depression, in which one’s heart slows down to the point that it ceases beating altogether."
According to Kavin, the drug is especially prevalent among entertainment industry elite because of its hefty price tag.
“Oxycontin can be very expensive, at usually 20 to 40 dollars for a single pill," she said. "We have seen celebrities that have spent thousands of dollars a week in order to have these pills delivered directly to them."
But unlike those who are addicted to the drug’s close (and illegal) relative heroin, the majority of Oxycontin addicts initially sought out the readily available narcotic for genuine pain-relieving reasons.
“Some of my patients have become addicted because they had a skiing accident or a dental extraction, something very innocent, but were prescribed oxy and ended up developing some tolerance to it, needing more and more for the same desired effect, and then it got to the point where they couldn’t live without the drug,” said Dr. Reef Karim, addiction specialist and founder of The Control Center in Los Angeles. “They started abusing it, taking more of it, getting in black market ways, tricking doctors, and it became a problem.”
Purdue Pharma L.P., the company that makes Oxycontin, told us that in 2010 they reformulated the pain reliever in an effort to make the tablet more difficult to manipulate for the purpose of misuse and abuse by various routes of administration, such as snorting and intravenous injection. They say the reformulated tablet has properties intended to prevent it from being easily cut, broken, crushed or dissolved to release more medication. As part of Purdue’s proposed risk evaluation and mitigation strategy, a company representative said they will continue to emphasize to healthcare professionals the risks of OxyContin, and how to mitigate them.
“Appropriate patient selection and assessment is a must. Patients at increased risk for opioid abuse include those with a personal or family history of substance abuse (including drug or alcohol abuse or addiction) or mental illness (e.g. major depression). Patients should be assessed for their clinical risks for opioid abuse or addiction prior to being prescribed opioids. All patients receiving opioids should be routinely monitored,” a Purdue rep told Pop Tarts. “Criminal activity and drug abuse should not dictate medical care of the people with moderate to severe pain when a continuous around-the-clock opioid analgesic is needed for an extended period of time and who take these medications as directed by their physician.”
By Hollie McKay, Fox News
Under new measures, Health Canada requires companies to limit and indicate the amount of caffeine in energy drinks; include ingredient, nutrition and allergen declaration, as with all other foods; an...
SAIT students can still enjoy a Jagerbomb, but it now comes with a buzz kill. Major warnings will soon be attached to the shot.
On Oct. 6, the Canadian government announced new measures to provide consumers with more information about energy drinks.
These new regulations have been introduced to reduce the chances of over consumption of caffeine and other ingredients such as vitamins.
Following this change, most energy drinks require nutrition facts tables on the container and warning statements will also be affixed, advising consumers not to mix with alcohol.
Even though there will be major warnings and Health Canada has not approved the sale of any pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks, it’s still not
illegal for bar and club-goers to add alcohol to energy drinks.
Jagerbombs aren’t SAIT student Leah Barker’s first choice of drink, but she says almost every time she goes out to a bar someone orders a round and she finds herself downing the Redbull and Jagermeister concoction.
“I don’t see Jagerbombs going anywhere,” said Barker. “People tend not to care about that sort of thing when they are drinking. I’ll probably still keep drinking them.”
However, Barker said she likes the new regulations. “Most energy drinks I drink, like Rockstars, already include a lot of this information, like the do not mix with alcohol or drink if you are pregnant,” said Barker, first-year graphic communications and print technology student.
Paul Dudar, Gateway food and beverages manager, says he isn’t fond of energy drinks himself, but he said the concoctions combining them with alcohol are popular at the campus bar.
Even with all the hype, “we don’t promote drinks such as Jagerbombs,” said Dudar. You’d never see them as a drink special, he said.
Dudar said the buzz surrounding energy drinks is beginning to die down. “There has been a shift to more natural heath products such as smoothies.”
He also said he supports the new government measures. “The more info and caution you give the consumer, the better choices they will make.”
However, he doesn’t think the new regulations will drastically affect energy drink sales at the Gateway.
Health Canada is working with the industry over the next six months to co-ordinate this transition. Products must meet the new requirements within the next 18 to 24 months.
by Kiah Gutowski, The Weal
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