ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

Filtering by Tag: addiction

Parental Recovery

They were out getting high, now they’re out going to “meetings!”  Don’t I matter to them? Having a parent who is addicted to drugs or alcohol affects people on many levels.  A big question often asked is, “Why am I not important enough to make my parent stop?”  Al-anon, the 12 step support group for people whose loved ones drink too much, has a great saying: “You didn’t cause this and you can’t fix this.”  Let’s say we get through this tough period and amazingly our parent gets clean and sober.  Suddenly, they are in recovery meetings every night and we’re back to feeling ignored or unimportant.  Let’s try a different perspective.  There is a pendulum action happening, from going to  bars or drinking every night to spending time getting better every night.  Would you rather your parent be drunk or sober?  Eventually the pendulum does find the middle.

Consider asking your parent if you can join them.  Or, since the meetings last only an hour, ask them if they can pick one or two nights when they socialize after the meeting, and come home early the other nights.  It’s important to support our loved ones in recovery but also to remember that we matter and that we can voice our needs.

The Gateway Effect

A recent study conducted by Tristan Kirby MPH and Adam E Barry Ph.D. confirms that alcohol, not pot, is the primary indicator of whether an individual will experiment with other drugs. Researchers looked at the annual Monitoring the Future survey, in which 50,000 high school sophomores and seniors are questioned about their substance use and lifestyle choices. They compared high school seniors who had and had not consumed alcohol at least once in their lives and found that those who drank were 13 more times likely to smoke cigarettes, 16 times more likely to use  marijuana and other narcotics, and 13 times more likely to use cocaine.

So why isn’t alcohol considered a “gateway” as marijuana is? For one thing, drinking is extremely common. Alcohol is legal and relatively easy to obtain. The Centers for Disease Control recently found that 71 percent of American students have consumed alcohol in their lifetime, and that nearly 39 percent drank within the last 30 days.

Painkiller Abuse a Game of 'Whac-a-Mole'

When OxyContin, a drug of choice for middle class kids, was reformulated to prevent the pills from being crushed for snorting or injecting to achieve a more intense high, resourceful drug abusers switched to another powerful prescription pain killer, Opana. Now the manufacturer of Opana is changing its formula to make it harder to abuse. In a USA Today article, Jeffrey Reynolds, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in Mineola, N.Y. is quoted as saying, "It's almost like a game of Whac-A-Mole. You get a handle on OxyContin; they switch to Opana. My guess is it will be something new tomorrow." What’s the next medicine to rise and fall for addictive cravings?

Click to read the USA Today article, Opana Abuse in US Overtakes OxyContin.  For more information on prescription drug use and abuse, click here.