‘Video teen, parents need therapy’

By Donstan Bonn

Parents Need TherapyDiana Mahabir-Wyatt believes the parents of the 14-year-old girl who posted the obscene and racist video on Facebook, in which the life of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was threatened, should be called to account.

Speaking in her capacity as chairperson of the T&T Coalition Against Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, Mahabir-Wyatt said, “She’s a teenager, a young woman, and someone brought her up with certain values and standards. Isn’t it time that her parents be brought to account?

“She felt free to express, and she did express, and said she did it for fun. My question is why she thought it was funny? When I saw the words used I felt sad, and the Prime Minister is right—she needs to be spoken to.”

Full story at Trinidad Express Newspapers

Will Students Take a Mental Health Test?

By Laura Landro

Students Take Mental Health TestAs they return to classes this week, ninth-graders in Wisconsin’s Fond du Lac school district will be sent home with something for parents to sign besides the usual forms for sports activities and field trips: a consent for their children to undergo a mental-health screening.

With rising concern about adolescent depression and suicide, more schools are turning to screening tests to identify those at risk and, if necessary, help them get treatment. Voluntary screenings are being offered through school health classes, school-based health clinics and community agencies, which then can refer children for diagnosis and treatment to school psychologists or local health care providers.

Full story at Wall Street Journal

Understanding and Coping With Nicotine Withdrawal

By Deepak Chopra, MD, Alexander Tsiaras, and the VisualMD.com

Nicotine WithdrawalEach year, nearly 450,000 Americans die from smoking related illnesses. That’s more than all deaths from HIV/AIDS, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined. So why do smokers continue to light up when statistics like these make it clear that they should quit? Nicotine addiction is powerful, which makes quitting difficult–but it is possible. There are now 45 million smokers, but 47 million successful quitters. By understanding nicotine addiction and withdrawal, you can be better prepared to crush out this destructive habit for good.

Understanding the Addiction

When you smoke, nicotine speeds to receptors that trigger the release of dopamine, your body’s feel-good chemical. Nicotine causes dopamine to be released in several parts of the brain: the mesolimbic pathway, the corpus striatum, the nucleus accumbens and the frontal cortex (highlighted above). Over time, the receptors where nicotine can connect become desensitized. This means that they lose some of their ability to send signals that result in the release of dopamine, and other neurotransmitters. As a result, more nicotine receptor sites are created. The overall effect is that smokers who have developed additional receptors need more nicotine to avoid having withdrawal symptoms.

Full story at Huffington Post

A Love Letter After His Relapse

By Carole Bennett, MA

Couples alcohol relapse

Relapse is an unfortunate situation, and though it can be more common with one who is new in recovery, there are many individuals who relapse after years and years of living a clean and sober life.

My client Rachel has had a roller coaster ride with her sometimes sober, sometimes not husband. They had not been married long, and though the love and connection were very evident between them, his relapse and true slavery to his addiction began to present insurmountable odds against an honest and respectful union. She and her husband, Matt, would stitch together a few good months as he professed to work a clean and sober program by attending 12-step recovery meetings. He worked with a seasoned sponsor and appreciated his job and the future it held.

Full story at Huffington Post

Fact-Check: A Survey Links Facebook to Drug Use in Teens

By Maia Szalavitz

Facebook teen drug connection

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) released its annual “Back to School” survey on Wednesday. Among the findings: teens who use social networking sites like Facebook are five times more likely to use tobacco, nearly three times more likely to use alcohol and nearly twice as likely to smoke marijuana than those who do not.

In a statement accompanying the release of the report, CASA founder Joe Califano writes, “The results are profoundly troubling. This year’s survey reveals how the anything goes, free-for-all world of Internet expression, suggestive television programming and what-the-hell attitudes put teens at sharply increased risk of substance abuse.

Full story at Time Healthland