As the newly hired Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, I have been challenged to change my mentality from what I originally thought about tobacco, to what I now know to be true. I thought about tobacco the same way that you probably do as well: smoking smells gross, nicotine is bad for your body, and no factual information other than those two things. But since I have been hired, I have learned so much more about the severity of tobacco and the way that it affects us all.
And aside from all of the scary statistics that I could throw at you, it really is just so important to stay educated about the types of substances that are affecting ourselves and our families every single day. Whether it be the co-workers that are taking their smoke break, the vapes that are smoked at your kid’s school, or the smoke cloud that you walk through on your way into your apartment.
There are definitely changes to be made and knowledge to be shared, and I am making it my personal mission to accomplish both of those things within this community. If you want to join this movement, please join us at our first coalition meeting at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, October 18th at 129 East Water Street in Portland. I would love to help you learn more about drug prevention and how you can get more involved!
260-251-3259 ext. 1004
Did you know that today is the first (official) day of fall? That's right! Though some have been sipping pumpkin spice lattes since September 1st, the Almanac will tell you that today (September 23rd) marks Fall's official appearance!
But September 23rd isn't just Fall Equinox, it's also "National Dogs in Politics Day," "National Temperature Control Day," "Checkers Day," as well as a plethora of other obscure holidays. Though it's impossible to remember (let alone celebrate) every silly Holiday and National Day, for some, September 23rd might be a very special anniversary...
Did you know that September is recovery month? This national observance is held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life. This year marks National Recovery Month's 30th anniversary! The Association for Addiction Professionals' website says, "Now in its 30th year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible."
Visit the Recovery Month website to find out about joining a community of individuals celebrating their recovery! Read personal stories about recovery, or find out how to help someone you love.
So everyday, whether you are celebrating a new season, an obscure holiday, or a new drink on the Starbucks menu, remember that today could be someone's celebration of life and recovery--especially this Recovery Month!
This year marks the 4th annual Project SAFE (substance awareness and family education) event in Jay County! But this time, at a new location: the Jay County High School! Project SAFE's mission is to raise awareness of the dangers related to substance use, and to help and encourage children to make healthy choices. It is a free event with bouncy houses, carnival games, door prizes, free lunch, vendor booths, and more! Stars in the Park Finalists will be there performing, along with the Jay County HS Show Choir. With the new location this year, we're expecting Project SAFE to be bigger and better than ever! There will be outside activities in the parking lot, as well as inside the high school.
This year, our speaker will be Rupert Boneham (yes, from survivor). Rupert is a Hoosier who donated a large portion of his Survivor winnings to start a children's foundation: Rupert's Kids. The mission of Rupert's Kids is to empower our participants to discover their inner strength, realize their own self-worth and recognize their value to society. With his famous tie dye and infectious smile that won him "fan favorite" on Survivor, everyone is sure to have a great day with Rupert!
Location: The Jay County High School
Date: Saturday, September 28th, 2019
Schedule of Events:
1. Is Marijuana addictive?
Studies that attempt to answer this question have controversial results. While marijuana use is linked to dependance, it is possible to be dependant without being addicted. However, using the term dependant rather than addicted, around 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become dependant on it (with the percentage nearly doubling for those who begin use in their teens).
People who report regular use say that irritability, restlessness, issues with appetite, and/or physical discomfort occur within a week of quitting and may last for two weeks.
2. Does Marijuana have long term effects on the brain?
Studies suggest that marijuana has the most serious, long-term effects on young people such as those who were exposed before birth, soon after birth, and into adolescence. One study showed that regular use during adolescence resulted in significantly lower IQ scores. The individuals in the study did not regain these IQ scores upon quitting use in adulthood.
Though studies have shown that regular use among young people does have long term effects on the brain, the effects marijuana has on the adult brain is hard to measure because study participants often use multiple substances. However, the National Institute of Health is currently funding a study that may have more conclusive answers.
3. Does Marijuana use have an effect on lung health?
Smoking marijuana, like smoking tobacco, is an irritant to the lungs and throat. Smoking marijuana can cause a heavy cough during use, but it also contains levels of volatile chemicals and tar. Since these chemicals and tar are similar to tobacco smoke, concerns have been raised about risk for cancer and lung disease. Smoking marijuana may also reduce the respiratory system’s immune response, increasing the likelihood of the person acquiring respiratory infections, including pneumonia.
Marijuana smoking is connected with inflammation, airway resistance, and lung hyperinflation. Those who smoke marijuana regularly report more chronic bronchitis than those who do not smoke--this leads to more outpatient medical visits. It has been suggested that THC has immune-suppressing effects, which would lead to an increase in infections such as pneumonia.
Though the connection between smoking marijuana and lung cancer is still being studied, marijuana does contain carcinogenic combustion products (including about 50% more benzoprene, 75% more benzanthracene, and more phenols, vinyl chlorides, and nitrosamines) than cigarette smoke. The differences in the way tobacco and marijuana are smoked make it difficult to compare the long-term effects of smoking each substance. Another factor which makes comparison difficult is that many people use both marijuana and tobacco.
4. Is Marijuana safe or effective as medicine?
The medical properties of marijuana and its components have been the subject of debate for decades, but within the past decade, the debate has become more streamlined. THC's medical benefits have been proven in particular formulations: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved THC-based medications (Marinol® and Cesamet®) for the treatment of nausea in patients being treated with chemotherapy. Epidiolex®, a CBD-based, FDA-approved medication, has been used to treat two forms of severe childhood epilepsy. These medications are delivered to patients in a reliable dosage form and through a reproducible route of delivery to ensure that patients derive the anticipated benefits. Several other marijuana-based medications are currently undergoing testing.
An important factor to keep in mind is that medications such as these use purified chemicals derived from or based on those in the marijuana plant. This means that they have more promising therapeutic effects than use of the whole marijuana plant or its crude extracts. It is difficult to develop drugs from botanicals (such as marijuana). Botanicals contain hundreds of unknown, active chemicals, and developing a medication with consistent and accurate doses of chemicals is incredibly challenging. Additionally, there are adverse health effects of smoking and THC-induced cognitive impairment.
There are many additional concerns with "medical marijuana" because little is known about long-term impact--especially by people with health- or age-related vulnerabilities. Further research must be done to determine if people with health disparities are at greater risk for adverse health outcomes from marijuana use.
5. Is Marijuana a "gateway drug"?
Some research suggests marijuana is likely to precede other substance use as well as the development of addiction to other illicit and licit substances. A study from the National Epidemiological Study of Alcohol Use and Related Disorders found that adults who used marijuana were more likely than those who had not to develop an alcohol use disorder in less than 5 years. In addition to alcohol use, marijuana use is also related to other substance use disorders such as nicotine addiction and drugs such as morphine. Though these findings are consistent with the idea of marijuana as a "gateway drug," the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other illicit substances. The phenomenon called cross-sensitization where the continued use of one substance yields the same heightened behavioral response as the introduction of a new drug is not unique to marijuana. Alcohol and nicotine also prime the brain for a heightened response to other drugs and are, like marijuana, also typically used before a person progresses to other, more harmful substances.
It is vital to note that factors such as a person's social environment are also at play. These environments are critical to a person's risk for drug use--just as biological mechanisms are. Instead of using a gateway-drug hypothesis, some researchers believe that people who are more vulnerable to drug use are more likely to begin use with substances that are readily available (such as marijuana, tobacco, or alcohol). Frequent social interactions with others who use drugs then increases that person's chances or trying other drugs. Though more research needs done to explore this question, it is likely that both social and biological factors are at play.
Are you celebrating your recovery? Weather your recovery journey started 30 years ago or today, recovery is something to celebrate! If you or a loved one has overcome addiction, you can join in the 2019 Recovery Month Celebration this September! This year's theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger." This emphasizes the need to share resources and build networks across the country that support recovery in all its forms. The observance will work to highlight inspiring stories to help people from all walks of life find the path to hope, health, and wellness. Click here for more information.
Addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, tobacco or involving other substances or actions, is a disease that can be effectively treated, allowing individuals and those around them to recover their lives. If you'd like to participate in the Ride (or walk) To Recovery Event, we'd love to see you there! There will be one hosted in Downtown Indianapolis, and one in Angola, Indiana.
Indianapolis Details: IAIC RECOVERY RALLY Saturday, September 7th. Registration at 9:30 am Ride begins at 10:30 at Southside Harley. Walk begins at 10:30 at Historic Military Park at White River State Park 601 W New York St. Downtown Indianapolis.
Angola Details: Ride and Rally for Recovery Saturday, September 7. The police-escorted Ride begins at Serenity House in Auburn at 11:30 a.m. and travels to Women in Transition in Angola, then Shepherd’s Chevrolet in Kendallville, then to the DeKalb County Airport for the Rally, where there will be a speaker meeting and recovery comedian Bob Perkell joining us all the way from California!