Impulse Control Log

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The impulse control log is taken from S.A.F.E and is geared specifically for self-injury but can be used for many types of compulsions.
With the impulse control log it is required that you log down every thought or feeling associated with a particular urge to self injure, whether or not you actually go through with the act or not. In the beginning the goal is that the writing will become a diversion from the act itself. The long-term goal is to understand the connection between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Self-injury itself is a thought, not a feeling. Once you can fully grasp and understand that internally, you can begin to understand that self-injury is a behavior and behaviors can be changed.

Self-injury keeps us from dealing with uncomfortable feelings. Feelings or thoughts we find unacceptable are disguised through self-harming in some way although only a temporary relief is felt. If you feel the need to self-harm there is a feeling behind that, something you need to express.

Using the impulse control log is a good way to make you slow down, think before you act and remind you that you are in control.

Below is a generic example


1.SELF-INJURY THOUGHTS: Burning, Cutting

2.TIME AND DATE: 3/9/07


4.SITUATION: A Friend and I aren't speaking, my boyfriend and I got into a fight, a relative is sick, and I lost my wallet.

5.FEELING: Angry, Upset, Lonely, Frustrated, Alone, And Disappointed

6.WHAT WOULD BE THE RESULT OF SELF-INJURY? If I cut/burn, Then I don’t have to get angry, then I don’t have to cry, then I don’t have to care,
then it won’t matter what they say or do, I can act and appear like I don't care.

That I do have feelings, that I think no ones cares, that I think I don't matter, that it hurts less if I cut/burn myself, that I'm scared.

8.ACTION TAKEN: Ended up running, doing some artwork, and writing in my journal.

9.COMMENTS: My desire to cut or act out is still w/me but I’m challenging the thoughts. Tonight I plan on going to the gym and then to a friends house.

Your Natural Feelings

What every eight-year-old should know
and most adults have never been taught
about the emotions that run our lives.


Feelings that start in our senses are natural responses to the real world.

When we notice real anger, or sadness, or scare,
we notice that something is wrong in our lives.

When we notice real joy or excitement
we notice that something is right in our lives.

Natural feelings are always trustable.
Learn what they are saying to you.
Use them well.


There are five natural and necessary feelings:
Sad, Mad, Glad, Scared and Excited.

There are many other unnatural and unnecessary feelings
- and all of them cause problems.
Guilt, shame, and imagined fear
are by far the most common and troublesome of these.
("The Basics #3" is about these.)


When any feeling starts we are immediately faced with three huge questions
- and we tend to automatically answer them in less than a second:

1) Will you admit to yourself what you are feeling?
If you don't, you'll feel "out of touch" or "crazy" or uncentered.

2) Will you express the feeling either alone or with someone else?
If you don't, you are giving up the chance for relief.

3) Will you take action to improve things?
If you don't, you are giving up the chance to improve your future.

When we are having problems,
we need to slow down this automatic process
so that it takes longer than a second or two.
This will allow us to think through each step
instead of relying on old habits.

Use this information so you will always know what you want and feel.
SADNESS When you've LOST something,
or when something important is MISSING from your life. Feel it through thoroughly, to notice how important the loss was. Work to replace what you've lost or what is missing.
ANGER / "MAD" When there is a BLOCK between you and what you want. Feel it through thoroughly, to notice how powerful you are. Work toward getting past the block powerfully, wisely, and safely.
FEAR / SCARED When your EXISTENCE is threatened.
Feel it immediately - in a second or less - and notice the danger. Tune into your senses (what you see, hear, smell, taste or feel in your body) and protect yourself!
EXCITEMENT When you are
ON YOUR WAY to something you want.
Feel it through thoroughly, to notice how good you feel about what's coming. Enjoy it for the fun of it!
JOY When You've GOT What You Want. Feel it through thoroughly, so you notice how happy you are and how good you are at getting what you want. Enjoy it for the fun of it!


1st Remember a time when you felt each feeling very strongly.
2nd Recall what was going on when you felt the feeling so strongly. Remember it in enough detail so that you actually start to feel the feeling again.
3rd Notice where, in your body, you feel each emotion. (Find your "sad spot," your "angry spot," etc.)
4th Describe what you feel in your body. Use adjectives like tight, weak, empty, heavy, light, etc.
5th REMEMBER what you learn by doing this. Do this exercise over a few times if needed.

यौर नातुरल फीलिंग्स

Heavy Drinking, Conduct Disorder Linked To High-risk Sexual Behavior

Monday, April 28, 2008

ScienceDaily (Dec. 3, 2007) — Previous studies have linked heavy drinking and conduct disorder to high-risk sexual behaviors that can, in turn, lead to unintended pregnancies, infection, and damage to reproductive health. A new study has linked the clinical diagnoses of alcohol dependence and conduct disorder among 18-to-25-year-olds to the risk of having a high number of sexual partners.

"Our study is the first of its kind to link problematic drinking and alcohol dependence with a high number of sex partners," said Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg, research instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine and corresponding author for the study. "We have moved beyond self-reports of heavy and/or frequent drinking to utilizing a clinical diagnosis of alcohol dependence in order to improve understanding of how alcohol use influences risky sexual behaviors."

"The relationship between risky sexual behavior and conduct disorder has been well documented, especially among young women," added Denise Hallfors, senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. "What was not known was whether alcohol dependence and conduct disorder independently contribute to the number of sexual partners. Previous studies tended to look at either alcohol dependence and conduct disorder, or conduct disorder and sexual risk, or heavy drinking and sexual risk, but not at all three behaviors together."

Researchers gathered data through personal interviews from 601 unmarried relatives, 18 to 25 years of age, of alcohol-dependent individuals who participated in the Collaborative Study on The Genetics of Alcoholism. Variables examined included: problem drinking, alcohol dependence, conduct problems, conduct disorder, family status, educational attainment, gender, race, age at first intercourse, age at time of interview, and number of sexual partners.

"A significant number of participants with alcohol dependence, 45 percent, had 10 or more sexual partners," said Cavazos-Rehg. "Moreover, we categorized individuals into three levels of alcohol involvement -- non-dependent, problem drinking, alcohol dependent -- and demonstrated how a stepwise increase from non-dependence to problematic alcohol use to alcohol dependence was associated with a higher rate of sexual partners. We also found a risk for high number of sexual partners among persons with conduct disorder independent of level of alcohol involvement. In addition, individuals with co-occurring alcohol dependence and conduct disorder are at even greater risk of multiple sex partnerships."

"These young adults with alcohol dependence and conduct problems are likely to have many sexual partners," said Hallfors. "This suggests that they are not only at greater risk for STDs and HIV, but if infected, they are likely to infect many others."

Hallfors suggested that college campuses help address this problem. "Students are frequently referred to the campus health clinic for alcohol-related problems," she said. "Young adults who are running into problems because of their heavy drinking and who present for treatment should be screened for sexually transmitted diseases and treated if infected. Furthermore, college health care staff could greatly improve care by asking about sexual risk behaviors and screening for STDs."

Hallfors also suggested two other possibilities for public-health intervention. "Young adults who present in emergency rooms for drinking-related injuries or illnesses could be screened for HIV and STDs," she said. "Similarly, a majority of prison inmates have been incarcerated for substance-abuse related crimes, including alcohol problems. Prison populations are known to have higher rates of STDs and HIV, but few prisons screen inmates at admission for these diseases. These data provide additional support for screening young adults in jail or prison for HIV and STDs."

"At the alcohol-treatment level, clients could be targeted by health professionals to receive education, screening, and treatment for STDs," added Cavazos-Rehg. "Furthermore, STD prevention programs and clinics can better understand the role of alcohol dependence and conduct disorder as part of a comprehensive strategy for reducing STD transmission."

Results are published in the December issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Co-authors of the ACER paper, "The Relationship between Alcohol Problems and Dependence, Conduct Problems and Diagnosis, and Number of Sex Partners in a Sample of Young Adults," were: Edward L. Spitznagel, Kathleen K. Bucholz, Karen Norberg, Wendy Reich and Laura Jean Bierut of Washington University in St. Louis; John Nurnberger, Jr. of Indiana University School of Medicine; Victor Hesselbrock of the University of Connecticut Health Center; and John Kramer and Sam Kuperman of the University of Iowa College of Medicine. The study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Adapted from materials provided by Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

U.S. Urges H.I.V. Tests for Adults and Teenagers

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended yesterday that all adults and teenagers have H.I.V. tests as part of routine medical care. The agency also urged the removal of two major testing barriers: separate signed consent forms and lengthy counseling before each test.

Some civil liberties organizations and those representing people with AIDS, while favoring more testing, have objected to removing the consent forms and pretest counseling for fear that such changes will make testing less voluntary.

Where should the line be drawn between such concerns and the desirability of broader testing?

Meth Production

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New York, NY (1888PressRelease) April 23, 2008 - It’s been said that drug use is a “victimless crime,” but for methamphetamine addicts, it’s certainly not true—especially for those with children in their homes.

Many users of methamphetamine—a.k.a. “meth”—manufacture the drug in makeshift, homemade “labs,” using ingredients that can be easily found in household cleaners and over-the-counter allergy medications. When combined, these chemicals pose a deadly threat not only to the meth users but to anyone in the immediate area.

“More and more, children of methamphetamine users are falling victim to chemical burns, respiratory problems and even symptoms of meth addiction itself,” says Stephen Della Valle, author of the new addiction and recovery memoir Rising Above the Influence. “If they live in the house where the drug is being ‘cooked,’ they’re constantly exposed to fumes and residue that can severely compromise their health.”

Some of the symptoms of meth addiction that these children can find themselves experiencing include:
• Weight loss
• Pale complexion
• Excessive sweating
• Dental decay (known as “meth mouth”)
• Body odor
• Dry skin and “meth mites”—the feeling that they have bugs on their skin, leading to picking and sores, which can then become infected

Often, children of meth addicts even go through withdrawal when they are removed from their homes.

“But the ultimate problem,” notes Mr. Della Valle, “is that with meth production, you have an impaired person messing with chemicals and fire. Meth labs sometimes explode, causing damage to the user’s property—and possible death to any children who may be nearby.”

Although new laws are helping to curb the meth epidemic that has swept the US in recent years, there’s no telling what the long-term effects will be for its youngest and most unwilling victims. “Even if they’re taken out of that situation,” says Mr. Della Valle, “who knows what sort of permanent damage has been done to their health? Unfortunately, only time will tell on that one.”

Stephen Della Valle is president of the board of directors at Turning Point rehabilitation center in Verona, New Jersey. Currently celebrating twenty years of sobriety, he lives in Oak Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife, Donna. He has three children.

Understanding Your Teen

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Looking back, most of us would probably say that parenting a newborn was easy – tiring of course, often stressful, sometimes worrisome – but easy in comparison with parenting a teenager. You held your baby, knowing that this little person depended on you for everything he or she needed to survive – nourishment, shelter, protection from the dangers of the world outside your arms – and initially your child readily accepted what you had to give and what you had to teach. Now, 13 or 14 years later, that same child retreats into silence, resists your advice and guidance, and sometimes even your attempts to participate in or share his or her life. He/she may react with anger or sullen resentment when you make these attempts. What happened?

What happened is that your child reached the point we all must eventually reach, where we need to step out of the shade of our parents’ lives and begin to forge our own lives and our own identities.

Understanding Your Teen
Does raising your teen mean you must step aside and accept that you are no longer needed as a parent? Of course not. But this is an important time of transition for you and your child. What she or he needs from you, and how you will parent is going to change over the next few years as your child completes the metamorphosis from infant to adult. In effect, what you are doing during this time is defining the kind of relationship you will eventually have for the rest of your lives – as parent and adult child.

What Teenagers Think They Need

· Independence and Autonomy

· Privacy and Respect for individuality

· Freedom in decision-making and to make mistakes

· More time with and closer links to friends

· Less time with parents and siblings

What Parents Think Teenagers Need

· Advice and Guidance

· Rules, Structure, Limits, Restrictions

· Goals and Direction

· Protection, both from external dangers and from their own mistakes

· Responsibility

· Strong ties to immediate and extended family

The reality is that your teen does need to move away from you and out into the world beyond your guidance and protection. But he or she also still needs you to be there to provide a foundation that permits the teen to do this with confidence and minimal fear.

Visualize a preschooler in a grocery store – the child runs off, down the aisle, around the corner... freedom! And a second or two later, the child runs back to make sure that you are still there, and, reassured that you haven’t left, disappears into the next aisle again. You provide the security that allows the child to venture away, independently, knowing that if anything happens you are there as a safe haven.

This is the prototype for parenting a teenager!

Changing Your Parenting Style
To successfully parent a teenager requires a major evolution of your parenting style. It means letting go – trusting that your teen, even if he or she makes some mistakes along the way, will eventually make good choices – and conveying that message to your teen. It means understanding that the way any of us learns to make good choices is by making some bad ones along the way and experiencing the consequences.

“Remember when your teen was a baby just learning to walk?… You would take her little hands in yours and start walking along with her – but you knew you had to let go in order for her to walk by herself. You also knew that she might fall when you let go, but you had faith that this was just part of the process… Now you have a teen who is learning to be an adult… Do you know you have to let go before she can ever master adulthood? Do you know that when you do let go, she will stumble and fall? When she falls or makes a mistake, do you understand that this is just part of the growing up process?” (Nelsen & Lott, Positive Discipline for Teenagers, 2000)

However, it doesn’t mean letting go completely. Remember the image of the preschooler in the shopping mall? What we try to do as parents in that situation is encourage a sense of independence and self-confidence in the child while simultaneously ensuring that the child is safe. I call this “monitoring from a distance”, because it means we continue to be aware of what the child is doing and to head off potential dangers that the child is probably not even aware of without needing to be right there hanging over the child’s shoulder. This is exactly what we need to do to assist our teenagers in their striving toward adult status.

In order to develop the confidence he or she needs to fully enter the world of adults, your teen needs to push you far enough away to explore his or her capabilities as an individual. Try not to take this personally – it doesn’t mean that your teen hates you or that you are a bad parent. It happens to all parents. And, sometimes, the closer the relationship you have had with your child before adolescence, the harder the push away must be. Understand that this distance is temporary and your teen will eventually find a way to establish the individual identity he or she requires and to recreate a close relationship with you.

Go back in your memory to when you were a teen. You may be able to remember what it is that you were attempting to do when you individuated from your parents. Now take the next step: Remember that your teen isn’t you. You were an individual, with your own specific history and your own insecurities and your own individual needs. So is your teenage child. Don’t try to stamp your experiences or history on your teenager. It really is a much different world for teens today than it was when you were that age. Learn about what the world is like for your teen and how to look at that world through his or her eyes. There are stresses and pressures that today’s teens face daily that we never dreamed of.

Understand that your teen will ultimately live up to the level of trust and the degree of faith that you have in her or him. Convey to your teen that you have confidence in who he or she is and you will encourage the teen to live up to that confidence.

Finally, keep in mind that what is happening now between you and your teen is a process of building toward an adult relationship with her or him. What kind of relationship do you imagine you will have with your teen when he or she is 25, or 30, or 40? What kind of relationship would you like that to be? You are laying the foundation for that relationship today so trust the process of the teen years. Appreciate that you are the cheerleader, the guide, the coach and the mirror as your child takes on the task of moving toward being an adult life.

Author: Dr. Baxter is a Registered Psychologist in private practice in Ottawa. His practice includes individual therapy with adolescents and adults, relationship or couples counselling, and working with families with teens.

School Nurses Helping With Presciription Drug Abuse

Friday, April 18, 2008

Silver Spring, MD -- The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) announced "Smart Moves, Smart Choices," a program that responds to the growing rate of prescription drug abuse among middle and high school students nationwide.

NASN has teamed up with PriCara®, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., on the program, which features a news series and Web-based resources targeted to school nurses, teachers and parents. "Smart Moves, Smart Choices" educates teens about the serious risks of abusing prescription medicines, such as those used legitimately to treat pain.

"As the onsite healthcare professionals in schools, school nurses are preparing themselves with the right tools to help with the prevention of prescription drug abuse," said Sandra Delack, RN, MEd, NCSN, NASN President-Elect. "This program will provide schools and parents with facts in a news-style format to motivate young people to make informed choices that lead to healthy behaviors."

A national survey of more than 1,300 school nurses revealed that nearly 60 percent of school nurses indicated prescription drug abuse is a growing or significant problem in their communities.

The nurses' observations are consistent with research showing the explosion of prescription drug abuse among youth:

* From 1995 to 2005, the number of teenagers treated for addiction to prescription pain relievers increased more than 300 percent.
* Nearly one-quarter of 12th graders report that they have abused prescription drugs by the time they graduate from high school.
* Every day, 2,500 children age 12 to 17 abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time.

"Smart Moves, Smart Choices" includes four videos and lesson plans prepared for "the.Medic," a health and wellness feature of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions' "the.News," a new national news service for middle and high school students.

Videos feature interviews with experts on drug abuse, scientists, health practitioners, parents and recovering teens. The series kicks off with "Myth Busters," a video dispelling the misinformation about prescription drugs, including the beliefs that they are less dangerous than illegal drugs and not addictive.

Other topics include a look at the impact of abusing prescription pain medications on the developing brain, the social impact of addiction, and analyzing messages about drugs in popular culture.

Each downloadable video is accompanied by science and language arts curricula to facilitate classroom activities and discussion. The program includes a "the.Medic" video and guide for parents, who play an important role in reinforcing their children's education about prescription medications.

"I think this program is a great way for teens to see and hear, firsthand, the consequences of poor choices…choices that they don't have to make," said Hayley Norwood, a recovering teen. "Since prescription drugs are given by a doctor, I thought they were okay for me to take, even though they weren't for me. What I didn't realize was the serious consequences I faced by taking someone else's medications."

NASN will promote the program among its 14,000 members to reach teens and their parents around the country.

For more information on the program and to view the videos and curricula, visit

PriCara™, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., provided funding for the program.

DAWN Report-Underage Drinking

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Underage use of alcohol can have both immediate and long-lasting consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 25 percent of drivers aged 16 to 20 who were involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2003 had been drinking alcohol.

Among 14 million adults who could be classified as dependent on or abusing alcohol in the past year, 95 percent started drinking alcohol before age 21.

The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) collects data from a national sample of hospitals on emergency department (ED) visits related to recent drug use. Since 2003, DAWN has included ED visits involving alcohol alone or in combination with other drug(s) for patients younger than age 21.

This report presents findings on these alcohol-related ED visits for patients aged 12 to 20.

Australian Parents Face Mandatory Classes When Kids are Caught Drinking

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The state government of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia requires parents of underage drinkers to attend mandatory counseling sessions with their kids or face a $500 fine, the Sydney Morning Herald reported April 7.

The program, which officials say is intended to educate, not punish parents, has been operating in one Sydney neighborhood since 1999, and now the NSW government is considering expanding it to other areas. "It's not about parents being charged with offenses," sand NSW Police Minister David Campbell. "It's about saying to parents, 'This is what your child has been up to, do you condone it, do you support it?'"

Government officials are evaluating the program's effectiveness before deciding if it should be expanded.

"My view about binge drinking, or binge eating, is that it ultimately comes down to personal responsibility," said Barry O'Farrell, leader of the local political opposition. "What we need to be doing is educating both parents and children alike about the responsible use of alcohol, the responsible use of foodstuffs."

Are parents to blame for teen suicide?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

What drives a teenager to commit suicide? Is a dysfunctional family the cause of teen suicide or is it the peer pressure, low self-esteem, stress, access to drugs, guns, or an unyielding desire to make the pain disappear. Teenage suicide has and is becoming a pandemic in our country and around the world.

According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, "teen suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers -- almost 2,000 teens kill themselves each year." It is estimated that "over 90% of teen suicide victims have a mental disorder, such as depression, and/or a history of alcohol or drug abuse."

Our youth has become entrenched in an ideology doled out by those who seek to control, persuade, and coerce our teenagers. At the same time, communication between parent and child has become, in most situations, non-existent. This leaves teenagers to fend for themselves in areas they are too immature to understand, or too eager to become engaged in activities which can lead them astray.

There was a time when teens came directly home after school; were greeted by at least one parent; studied; had a family dinner, and off to bed. Today, the term "latch-key kid" has become the norm, rather than the exception. Teens arrive home late; often to an empty apartment or home. They engage in computer games, while eating junk food; and often do not see their parents until morning and only because they are late getting out of bed. Homework is secondary or non-existent. One can argue a two income household is necessary; but at what cost? Furthermore, if you've ever graced a public school environment, you would find teens lack even the rudimentary necessities of life; yet, cell phones are tucked in their worn out jeans and skirts.

The music, movies, and educational system have let down our teenagers in the most rudimentary way. They lack guidance and care. Our child services, our family courts, and our caregivers have offered little to assert the importance of self-worth. Over the years, the make-up of the "family" has dramatically changed. A teenager's family could be his gang members who, on a daily basis, feed into the destruction of that teen. Morality has become passe, and they have become self-absorbed in an underworld of hatred and self-loathing.

Have all teenagers talked or even thought about suicide? No. However, the statistics are still frightening. A teenager doesn't suddenly choose to die unless something terribly wrong has pushed him/her over the edge. We cannot allow them to choose that endgame. Teenagers do become depressed, alone, angry, hopeless and helpless. As parents, as friends, as educators, as guardians of this precious commodity - we cannot allow them to succeed in what they think may be in their best interest. They must be given a reason to live, to love, to become needed and useful members of our society.

As adults/parents, we must educate and interact with our youth in a positive, caring and thoughtful way to ensure they have the proper tools with which to grow and gain empowerment. To do less would without a doubt contribute to the cause of teen suicide, the ultimate tragedy.

Article Source:

Glamorization Of Drugs In Rap Music Linked To Greater Risk Of Alcohol And Drug Use Among Adolescents

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A new study finds that references to illegal drug use in rap music jumped sixfold in the two decades since 1979, the year Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" hit the charts and introduced to a mainstream audience a music genre born from inner-city America.

Moreover, illegal drug use became increasingly linked during this time period to wealth, glamour and social standing, marking a significant change from earlier years, when rap music was more likely to have depicted the dangers and negative consequences of drug abuse, according to the study authored by Denise Herd, associate professor in the division of Community Health and Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health.

"This trajectory in rap music raises a number of red flags," said Herd, who also is associate dean for student affairs at the School of Public Health. "Rap music is especially appealing to young people, many of whom look up to rappers as role models. As a public health researcher, and as a parent of a 7-year-old, I'm concerned about the impact that long-term exposure to this music has on its listeners."

The new study, published in the April issue of the peer-reviewed journal Addiction Research & Theory, is the first scientific survey to analyze the content of rap music over two decades.

Herd and her team examined the lyrics of 341 of the most popular rap songs - as determined by Billboard and Gavin music rating services - from 1979 to 1997. Researchers coded songs for drug mentions, behaviors and contexts surrounding the mention of drugs, as well as the attitudes and consequences stemming from illicit drug use.

Of the 38 most popular rap songs between 1979 and 1984, only four, or 11 percent, contained drug references. In the early 1990s, the percentage of rap songs with drug references experienced a sharp jump to 45 percent, and steadily increased to 69 percent of the 125 top rap songs between 1994 and 1997.

The study found that drug references in early rap songs - "White Lines" by Grandmaster Flash, "Crack Monster" by Kool Moe Dee and "Night of the Living Baseheads" by Public Enemy - often depicted the destructiveness of cocaine and, particularly, of crack, its freebase form.

This cautionary tone about cocaine gave way to rap lyrics in the early 1990s that increasingly portrayed marijuana use as a positive activity. The UC Berkeley study documented a threefold increase between 1979 and 1997 in rap songs' mentions of marijuana and marijuana-stuffed cigars, or "blunts," and noted marijuana's association in those songs with creativity, wealth and status.

Herd noted that the study puts hard numbers to a trend that has long been noted anecdotally among observers of the music industry. She referenced a 1996 article in Vibe, a magazine that covers hip hop culture, highlighting the success of Cypress Hill's 1991 debut album celebrating marijuana use as a turning point in rap music's popularization of the drug. The Vibe article noted that other rap artists, including Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, soon followed suit with their own references to marijuana as an appealing drug to use.

Herd said that after rap albums celebrating marijuana use started going platinum in the early 1990s, drug references became increasingly common in rap music, as if they were a key ingredient to success.

"There is a common perception that drugs and rap music are inextricably linked, but that wasn't always the case," said Herd. "The fact that rap music didn't always have those drug references is compelling because it shows that this music didn't depend on that as an art form. The direction of the music seemed to change with the music's growing commercial success."

Herd's analysis stopped at 1997, but she noted that a recent study suggests the continued prevalence of substance abuse references in contemporary rap music. That study, led by Dr. Brian Primack from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine, found that of Billboard's 279 most popular songs in 2005, a staggering 77 percent of the 62 rap songs portrayed substance use, often in the context of peer pressure, wealth and sex. He also found that only four of the 279 songs analyzed contained an "anti-use" message, and none of them was in the rap category.

Notably, other music genres had far lower rates of substance abuse references. Country music came in a distant second to rap with 36 percent of songs referencing substance abuse.

Herd noted that the image that rap artists portray of drug use in the African American community distorts reality. "Young black people actually have similar or lower rates of drug and alcohol abuse compared with their white peers, but you wouldn't guess that based upon the lyrics in rap music," said Herd.

The reasons behind rap music's shift in drug references are complex, said Herd. They may reflect the nuanced interplay of changes in the drug use habits of rappers and listeners - particularly the growing popularity of marijuana during the study period - greater commercialization of rap music, and the rise of gangsta rap and other rap music genres. It could also be a reflection of social rebellion stemming from the disproportionate punishment of African Americans in the U.S. government's War on Drugs.

"Rap is inherently powerful," said Herd. "It has experienced phenomenal growth in many sectors of society in this country and even abroad. Rap artists have become key role models and trendsetters, and their music serves as the CNN for our nation's young people by providing them with a way to stay current. But we have to ask ourselves whether there are other kinds of messages rap music could deliver. We need to better understand how this trend got started so we can find effective ways to counter it."

Herd did not study whether rap music's glamorization of illegal drugs actually led to increased drug abuse, but the debate about the potentially negative influence on young people of various media, from movies to music to video games, that depict drug and alcohol use in a positive light is certainly not new.

Herd's paper cited other studies linking certain movies and music videos to the onset of smoking, alcohol and drug use. One study specifically linked greater exposure to rap music videos to a greater risk of alcohol and drug use among adolescents over the next 12 months, while another survey associated the use of codeine-laced cough syrup among some at-risk Houston teens with an emerging form of rap music called "screw music," in which cough medicine abuse was promoted.

"Most adults have very little idea about what's going on in music these days," said Herd. "This new study reinforces the need for adults to pay closer attention to the music children are listening to."

This study is part of a larger research project analyzing changes in rap music funded by the Innovators Combating Substance Abuse program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropic organization devoted exclusively to health care.

Through this project, Herd published an earlier study that found a significant increase in references to alcohol in rap music over the years, and she is now analyzing rap music's depiction of violence.

Source: Sarah Yang
University of California - Berkeley

How can you Manage Alcohol and Heroin Addiction?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

How can you Manage Alcohol and Heroin Addiction?

What is heroin?
Heroin is a powerful drug which is processed from a chemical called morphine. Morphine is extracted from poppy plants. It is a powdery substance which appears to be white or brown. Heroin gives high pleasuring sense to its users. Of the entire drugs heroin is highly addictive because it develops a tolerance causing intense euphoria and strong physical dependence.

How is it used?
Heroin can be taken in different ways; the effect on the body depends on the methods of administration. It can be administered orally which gets metabolized to morphine in the body. It can be smoked, which will have immediate heightening sense of pleasure. It can be injected which results in rush and euphoria in 7 to 8 seconds.

Why does a person get addicted?
When a person succeeds in something he/she experiences intense feelings of pleasure due to the limbic system because it is flooded with dopamine. So he/she is naturally driven to seek these feelings again. So likewise when a person uses a drug he/she experiences intense feelings of pleasure and the limbic system creates an appetite which drives us to seek those things again and again. Once a person stops using these drugs, it makes him feel lifeless and depressed and the only way is to use the drug again and again which makes him addicted. Drug addiction is a sort of disease. It makes the natural pleasuring sense of our brain to decrease. It is called as down regulation.

What are the Problems of Using Alcohol?
The teenagers may find it difficult to follow their studies.
They may commit crimes than those who don’t.
Those who have drunken may be sexually active and have unsafe, unprotected sex. This may result in unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS.
Use of alcohol may be cause for car crash, homicide or suicide.
It may affect the health also such as making to get high blood pressure. It is damaging your organs such as the liver, heart and brain.

How to avoid your bad habit?
In an unavoidable circumstance, you can leave that place at once. Otherwise you can drink some other beverages which do not contain any alcohol. You must have full self-confidence in that situation.
If you think you have drinking problem, get help soon. You must get treatment from a good doctor. These treatment centers help a person to gradually overcome the physical and psychological dependence of alcohol.

Binge Drinking
The habit of drinking over several days is known as binge drinking. This may lead to alcoholic poisoning. The symptoms of alcohol poisoning include
Extreme confusion
Inability to be awakened
Trouble in breathing
Low body temperature
Pale skin

People who have impaired judgment may have unprotected sex leading to Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) or unplanned pregnancy. Their physical and mental health may get upset.

Abuse and Addiction
Using the legal drugs or illegal medicines in a wrong way is known as abuse. Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses a drug or drinks. Addiction can be physical, psychological or both. Overcoming addiction is not easy. Get help right away so that you can find recovery.
What is the treatment?
There is no cure for addiction, but it is a recoverable disease. The person must undergo drug addiction therapy and it takes time and moreover strong desire to get rid of it.

What are the effects?
Heroin enters the body rapidly and affects the regions of the brain like cerebellum and basal ganglia which are responsible for physical dependence, memory, actions and reaction time. It also affects the way one thinks. To get the same effect, the abuser must have or intake higher dose. Usage of heroin is always associated with crime, violence, fetal effects, AIDS, tuberculosis and also long term effects like disastrous personal life both physically and mentally. Of all the other drug abuse deaths, heroin tops the list.

What are the withdrawal symptoms?
Withdrawal symptoms can occur from a few hours to 72 hours after the dose and which can include drug craving, restlessness, bone and muscle pain, nausea, insomnia, vomiting and involuntary twitching or kicking movements.

What are the addiction treatments?
Medical drugs like methadone and buprenorphine administration have proven to be successful in treating heroin addiction. There are different opiates which can be used for heroin addiction. Methadone, a synthetic opiate is administered for blocking the effects for about 24 hours but it has more risk when being used in private office. Buprenorphine is also an opiate which is the most recent medication for the treatment of heroin. It also offers less risk and can be dispensed in the privacy of a doctor’s clinic.

There are other medications such as naloxone and naltrexone, which also block the effects of heroin and other opiates. There are also behavioral treatments available for heroin addictions which are designed to help and modify the patient’s thinking and behaviors to increase the skills in coping up with various life stresses. Moreover addiction can be overcome only by hard work and pure determination of the patient himself/herself.

If you need help with alcohol or heroin addiction we can help you by offering you support in overcoming these issues.