Educating the youth about illegal drug use and its consequences

Educating the youth about illegal drug use and its consequences

 

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Illegal drug awareness seminars are common in schools. However, the strategies don’t seem to be working in some communities because a percentage of the population ends up addicted. Educators should be regularly updated and trained on how to spread awareness among their students regarding the use of illegal drugs.

First, most of these students already know that drugs are bad. They also know the kinds that they should be staying away from and the consequences of using these prohibited substances. However, being knowledgeable doesn’t mean that they will be spared from people who might influence them to try recreational drugs at least once. What then can a counselor or a teacher do to further prevent drug use among teens?

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Instead of focusing on just giving the facts, parents, educators, and counselors should be open to further questions. For many drug addicts, other reasons led them to fall deep into the habit. When it comes to discussing these things with the youth, it’s always important to touch on the significant issues such as mental health, family situations, and socio-economic factors. It’s also important to remind them of the repercussions of drug addiction that might have long-term effects on a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health. They can also stress that aside from affecting an individual, getting into the habit might also put a strain on relationships and hinder a user from having a better life.

The traditional drug campaigns also have their benefits. In the process, the adults who guide the youth should continue to stress that the use of these drugs is unnecessary. They should remind teenagers that even if the struggle with peer pressure is real, it is still better to prioritize their own health and safety.

Hi there. I’m Heather Taras. I am a college student from Seattle, Washington, studying to become a drug counselor. Having seen people break free from drug addiction inspires me to help others who are willing to get better. Follow me on Twitter for updates.

Keep on moving: Exercise and drug addiction recovery

Keep on moving: Exercise and drug addiction recovery

Not a lot of people are fond of exercising. However, recent studies suggest that including physical activity in a person’s addiction treatment can boost the effects of recovery. Getting into the habit of working out or getting involved in sports help in restoring an individual’s sense of accomplishment. Here are some of the exercises people in recovery can engage in:

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Strength training: Drugs can sometimes alter a person’s sleep cycles. Weight training and body weight exercises can prevent insomnia and help the body wind down at the right time.

Walking, running, cycling, and hiking: These activities are also good exercises for the mind as they release dopamine that eases a person’s cravings. Being outdoors allows a person’s to soak up some fresh air and sunshine. When there’s a path being followed, these workouts can also improve focus.

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Yoga: Focusing on breathing and the body’s movement can be a good way to relieve stress and anxiety. Yoga also helps develop mindfulness, which teaches a person to focus on the present. It is also an excellent exercise to strengthen the body slowly but surely.

Group sports: Participating in sports like basketball, volleyball, or football can help a recovering addict find a new group of friends. Being part of a team can help an individual regain a sense of camaraderie and accomplishment.

In the recovery process, it’s also important to regain physical strength that might have been lost due to the side effects of taking drugs. Regular exercise can contribute to increasing immunity and boosting overall health.

Hello there! My name is Heather Taras. I am a college student from Seattle, Washington, aspiring to become a drug counselor one of these days. Follow me on Facebook for similar updates.

The hidden pains of a drug addict

The hidden pains of a drug addict

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Drug dependent individuals are easy to condemn for the mistakes that brought them to their own downfall. When most people view them, addicts are failed to be seen for what they are, and they are victims. If people truly want to help them, their pains must be understood well first.

Drug use is a poor choice made by an individual who didn’t think through its consequences deeply enough. It could well be a case of him being vulnerable at the time he was swayed into the habit.

One of the biggest vulnerabilities of those who have chosen to get into drugs is their own loneliness. Sometimes, people live solitary lives with nobody else to talk to. Without much happiness to go around, drug use is seen as something which can fill this hollowness.

Image source: refinery29.com

Personal problems also add to the difficulty. When these people encounter challenges alone which they cannot solve easily, they turn to drugs for comfort. Sometimes, even when they are in the company of people, but they feel they are not in the right company to discuss their problems, they keep the pressure in secretly. They also turn to drugs in secret.

The most sympathetic way to view addiction inflicted individuals is to view them as normal people who took a wrong turn because of some issues which they failed to be greater than. Just like everyone else, they are not spared from bouts with loneliness along with so many other problems. This is what those who want to help have to understand the most.

Hi there, my name is Heather Taras. I am a 19-year old student from Seattle. My goal is to become a drug counselor one day so that I can help those who are struggling with substance abuse. For more on drug counseling, follow me on LinkedIn.

Sympathy vs. empathy: Which suits drug counseling better?

Sympathy vs. empathy: Which suits drug counseling better?

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The terms sympathy and empathy are often interchanged among drug counselors. Those in the healthcare profession are constantly told to engage their patients in a more personal manner. Yet there is a distinction here that must be made. Mental health practitioners should understand that while these two feelings involve compassion, one is better suited for clinical care.

Sympathy is the ability to understand another person’s distress. A person feels compassion toward another individual; fully aware of the pain the other person is feeling. Empathy, on the other hand, takes the understanding on a deeper level. In this case, the counselor tries to feel the exact emotions the patient is feeling. There is a deeper bond between the pair as the patient recognizes a kindred spirit. Disclosure of personal information usually is easier and more seamless.

Image result for Sympathy vs. empathyImage source: today.mims.com

That said, empathy can be considered an ideal way to communicate with a patient. Such practice is discouraged, however. There is a tendency among mental health professionals to become too emotionally involved with a case. Drug counselors are asked to maintain a certain level of distance and objectivity. This protects them and the patients. Treatment plans are designed with no bias or preconceived judgments.

As such, while having sympathy seems like the “colder” option, it is better suited for medical practices. Take note that interacting with a patient with sympathy is also a skill. An experienced drug counselor understands that they can still achieve the same great results with sympathy when applied correctly.

Heather Taras is studying to be a drug counselor. For similar update, subscribe to this blog.

Asian dramas for people with eclectic tastes

Asian dramas for people with eclectic tastes

Image result for late night restaurant korean dramaImage source: koreandrama.org

I’m a big fan of Korean dramas or Kdramas, but as of late I’ve also been looking into shows and movies from other Asian cultures and I’ve found that there are so many genres out there! Here are some interesting finds you might enjoy.

Food lovers may enjoy the Kdrama, “Late Night Restaurant,” about a mysterious chef whose restaurant only opens at midnight until early morning. “Master,” as he is called, will cook anything as he listens to his patrons’ stories. Another food-adjacent but lightly-plotted, if at all, show is the Jdrama, “Wakakozake” (season 2). Here, cheerful office lady Murasaki Wakako goes out to eat after a hard day at work. It’s so much fun, but seeing her enjoy her food may not the best idea if you’re hungry!

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Another story by way of Japan is the movie, “Silver Spoon” based on the manga of the same name. I would describe it as unadventurous but in a good way, simply because it’s about city boy, Yugo Hachiken, who decides to study in an agricultural school just so he can move out of his parents’ house. This slice-of-life story shows how Hachiken rises from aimless and wimpy youngster to dedicated farming student. It’s a feel-good movie that actually gave me a deeper appreciation of the work done in agriculture.

For those interested in people living with disease or the medical profession, there are “The Hours of My Life,” a story about a young man who learns he has Lou Gehrig’s disease and how he chooses to take the reins on his now limited time, and “Thank You,” starring Jang Hyuk as an arrogant doctor who meets a single mother and her HIV-positive young daughter who will change his life.

Aside from these, there are probably thousands of interesting, funny, sad, scary, and amazing Asian dramas out there. If you have a suggestion, hit me up in the comments so I can look them up!

Heather Taras is studying to become a substance abuse counselor who enjoys spending her downtime watching KDramas. Follow her on Facebook for updates on her interests.

Communicating love: How to speak with a drug addict

Communicating love: How to speak with a drug addict

Image resultImage source: drugabuse.com

An important aspect of drug addiction recovery is communication. A recovering patient requires a multifaceted approach to treatment, including a full support system. Most family members, friends, and concerned guardians are initially unsure how to properly help their loved one. Their approach to communication can often waver in extremes; either being too tender or too forceful.

Drug counseling therapists caution families about this; recovering addicts are particularly vulnerable to suggestions or negative persuasive speeches (even if the intentions are well-meant). Language is a highly important part of therapy. Listed below are some helpful suggestions.

Image resultImage source: drugabuse.com

Address the problem directly: It doesn’t do any good to bandy about. Patients need to understand that their drug addiction is a problem. Concerned members should approach the patient with care, but not hesitate to state facts. Depending on the person’s personality, the way this is communicated can adjust. This does not mean that being sweet and gentle is condoning the behavior. People can still be tender while being firm.

Stress the support: It is typical for a recovering addict to feel alone. There are psychological conditions that can also affect recovery. Family members should stress that patients are not alone; that there is a support system that is there. Over-indulging is not encouraged nor is micromanagement. Family members can feel the need to check up on their loved one constantly; thinking that this signifies care. However, this can backfire and come across as not trusting the patient in his or her own recovery process.

It is important that family members speak with their loved one’s drug counselor for more information on how to best communicate.

Heather Taras is studying drug counseling. Learn more when you subscribe to her blog.

How to report activities related to illegal drugs

How to report activities related to illegal drugs

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Those who are struggling with drug abuse can cause destruction and disruption to people and property. Concerned about their safety, many people are scared to report illegal drug activities in their neighborhood. Authorities have come up with ways to make reporting less intimidating for concerned citizens to end a community’s struggle against substance abuse.

It is best to be clear with the details when reporting suspected drug abuse in a neighborhood. The person reporting should note the date, time, and even the current situation in the place where the illegal activities take place. Providing specific details such as names, car plates, and addresses are also useful. If the alleged drug use and distribution has been going on for a long time, a person can take note of the patterns to better help authorities.

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Once all the details are laid out, a report should be sent to the nearest police station. However, if the problem is pressing, a person can call 911 especially if there is violence involved. If the local government cannot handle the case, elevating the report to national agencies might solve the case more efficiently.

Heather Taras here. I am a college student from Seattle, Washington, studying to becoming a drug counselor. Follow me on Twitter for similar updates.