issue 4 | still FREE | October 2012
mental health, addictions & self medication
INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Artwork poetry and other stories...
Cover art by Star Sanderson | to subscribe to this magazine, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org | facebook New Mentality Guelph|
4. My First Testing Experience Erika Davidson tells about her first experience getting tested for HIV and the Hep ABCs. 6. Addictions Various short stories and quotes about the reality of addiction. 8. Throwaway Kids Gage Roberts talks about the stigmatization of mental health and addictions in at risk youth. 10. Sylvia An anonymous writer tells the story of a hypochondriac. How Come A poem by Jen Wilson. 11. Crossword Puzzle Try this fun and challenging crossword puzzle. 12. Theoretical Perspectives This issue: Prochaska and Diclemente’s “The Cycle of Change.” 18. An Unexpected Development A personal story about the pain of depression and suicide by Jen Wilson. 20. Get Smart About Drugs Learn the facts, effects and risks of popular drugs. 23. Basic Hep C Facts Get the skinny on Hepatitis C from Cassandra Sheppard Hepititis C Outreach Coordinator.
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24. Why am I Hurting So Bad Inside Amanda Milloy writes about dealing with the trauma of sexual assault. 25. Mental Health Insight A writer shares their perceptions about mental health.
the new mentality youth led magazine
THE NEW MENTALITY GUELPH IS A YOUTH LED INITIATIVE WHICH FOCUSES ON REDUCING THE STIGMA ASSOCIATED WITH MENTAL HEALTH. THANKS TO ALL FOR THEIR CREATIVE CONTRIBUTIONS. SPECIALTHANKSTODeMETRIXDESIGN
MY FIRST TESTING EXPERIENCE
BY ERIKA DAVIDSON T H E B LU E S T R A P - T H E T H I N G T H AT H E H A D H I D D E N F R O M M E F O R S O LO N G . T H E B LU E S T R A P - W H AT H A D M A D E M E R E A L I Z E I WA S I N A CO M M I T T E D R E L AT I O N S H I P W I T H S O M E B O DY W H O WA S A N I N T R AV E N O U S D R U G U S E R . If I had of known what the world was going to bring me that day,track my emotions may have been quite different when I woke up that morning. When I woke up I felt bright and energetic. I was only slightly annoyed that it still seemed to be freezing out despite the days on the calendar swiftly breezing by. Now, before I begin, I feel I must give a little bit of background. I had been meaning to get tested for quite awhile now. One might ask why I waited so long and to that, I’m afraid I couldn’t give a straight answer. Was it that it was just simply inconvenient? Was it that I didn’t think I was at risk? Was it that I didn’t know exactly what to expect? I think a very big part of it was that deep down I was ter4|
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rified of what I might find if I did get tested. I would like to say that I was above this and knew to get tested right away, regardless of my fears, because we all know it is better to know sooner rather than later. But, for the sake of honestly, I must tell the truth here. Frankly, it was easier not to know! It was much easier to blissfully go through life talking yourself into thinking that you “probably didn’t have it”. The problem is, even though with all the facts I was ok, in the end I still really didn’t know. At any point it isn’t just about finding out so you can get treatment for something like HIV or Hep C immediately, but it is crucial for individuals to get tested so that it will stop those people from unknowingly passing the virus onto someone else, and so the cycle continues. As an outreach worker, a huge part of what I do is to encourage others to get tested! The fact that I hadn’t been tested myself had been weighing on my conscience for quite some time now. I knew I was going to do it, but the question was just when and how. Luckily, when I went into Our Place (40 Baker St.) that day, I had almost forgotten that recently there had been a nurse from Public Health coming in on Mondays to do testing for some things including HIV and the Hep ABC’s (as well as other sexuality transmitted infections). It was a lucky coincidence that I was there that day. I had forgotten until a good friend of mine came from around the back corner with a big grin on his face yelling “I’m clean, I’m clean!” and throwing his hands up in the air. I immediately knew what he meant, and my hands already began
to get clammy. I knew this would be the moment that I had to do what I had been putting off for much too long already. I asked my friend if he was finished and if I could go in next. He told me that I could go and immediately, a girlfriend of mine offered to come along for moral support (if I was comfortable with that of course.) She was someone I had known for a long time and somebody I trusted. Although I am mostly the kind of person who prefers to do things alone, in that moment I felt incredibly grateful to have somebody there holding my hand, literally. I entered a small room with a small table and three chairs. The nurse sat in one and I sat down across from her as my friend took her seat next to me. I was more nervous than I thought I would be. I answered a few routine questions, gave her my name etc. She asked me if I had any reason to believe I could be at risk. I answered yes. My mind immediately flew to all of the times I hadn’t been as careful as I should have been. “What’s done is done and now it’s up to fate.” I told myself. I decided to get tested for Hep A, B, C, HIV, and Syphilis. Those were tests I could do by blood, and even though I only really wanted to get
tested for Hep C and HIV, I figured while I was here I may as well throw em’ all in! There were two tests, the first was a rapid test for HIV. I can’t remember the exact explanation of exactly how it works. (If you wanted to find out for sure, go down and get tested yourself and I’m sure the nurse would be more than happy to explain it to you!). In this rapid HIV test, the nurse pricked my index finger at the top with a small needle. It didn’t hurt. She then began a technique called “milking” in which she slowly massaged my finger in an upwards motion, collecting the blood with a small dropper. It was not a stressful process at all. She then dropped a bit of my blood into a small dish that was filled with a certain kind of chemical. I can’t remember if it changed colors or if it was a “two dots appear” kind of deal, but I remember it being similar to a pregnancy test. If one thing happens, you’re good, if the other thing happens, you’re whole world is about to get rocked. The three of us sat in the chairs staring at the dish of chemicals- waiting for it to change. It was only a few moments but it felt like a lifetime. The air was still and silent. Finally, after what felt like forever, the chemicals changed to a color that worked in my favor. I was clean. My body was free of HIV antibodies, which is what your body begins to produce once exposed to
the HIV virus. I knew that if I HAD been exposed, it would have been well over three months ago (there is a threemonth window period where you can test negative for antibodies even if your body does contain the virus), so I felt safe. I could finally exhale. After months and months of worrying and putting this off it felt so good to finally get it over with. Next was the Hep A and C test, as well as the Syphilis test. Luckily they can do it all in one go. It is your standard blood test where they take a small vile of blood and send it to a lab. You get your results in a week or two. It was slightly triggering for me seeing her wrap the blue rubber strap around my arm. My mind flashed back to half a year ago. I was in the bedroom that I had been sharing with my boyfriend at the time. We had lived together for almost a year now. I threw on one of his big comfy sweaters (boy sweaters are the best) and casually rested my hands inside the pockets. My hand instinctively clutched around what I had felt inside the pocket on the right side. My heart stopped as I felt my way around the rubbery strap inside and pulled it out. It was that strap. That same blue rubber strap that can be used for one thing- and one thing only. That was the moment I was forced to come to terms with something I had suspected deep down, but didn’t want to believe for a long time. CONTINUED ON PG. 7
RECREATIONAL INJECTION DRUG USE IS ASSOCIATED WITH 70-80% OF NEWLY ACQUIRED HCV CASES
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ADDICTIONS “ I H AV E A B S O LU T E LY N O P L E A S U R E I N THE STIMULANTS IN WHICH I SOMETIMES SO MADLY INDULGE. I T H A S N OT B E E N IN THE PURSUIT OF P L E A S U R E T H AT I H AV E P E R I L E D L I F E A N D R E P U TAT I O N AND REASON. IT HAS BEEN THE DESPERATE AT TEMPT TO E S C A P E F R O M TO R TURING MEMORIES, FROM A SENSE OF I N S U P P O R TA B L E LO N E L I N E S S A N D A DREAD OF SOME STRANGE IMPENDI N G D O O M .” EDGAR ALLAN POE 6|
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“The question is frequently asked: Why does a man become a drug addict? The answer is that he usually does not intend to become an addict. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict. It takes at least three months’ shooting twice a day to get any habit at all. And you don’t really know what junk sickness is until you have had several habits. It took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the withdrawal symptoms were mild. I think it no exaggeration to say it takes about a year and several hundred injections to make an addict. The questions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try narcotics? Why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in the other direction. Junk wins by default. I tried it as a matter of curiosity. I drifted along taking shots when I could score. I ended up hooked. Most addicts I have talked to report a similar experience. They did not start using drugs for any reason they can remember. They just drifted along until they got hooked. If you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict’s special need. You don’t decide to be an addict. One morning you wake up sick and you’re an addict. (Junky, Prologue, p. xxxviii)” William S. Burroughs, Junky
The model of ownership, in a society organized round mass consumption, is addiction. Christopher Lasch Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism. Carl Jung It is hard to understand addiction unless you have experienced it. Ken Hensley Addiction should never be treated as a crime. It has to be treated as a health problem. We do not send alcoholics to jail in this country [U.S.A]. Over 500,000 people are in our jails who are nonviolent drug users. Ralph Nader
A NEW INSTANT HIV TEST MAY PUSH CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES TO CHANGE ITS LONGSTANDING POLICY OF PROHIBITING MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN FROM DONATING BLOOD.
I N S T I H I V - 1/ H I V - 2 R A P I D A N T I B O DY T E S T NEGATIVE RESULTS
CONTINUED FROM PG. 5 It was ironic to me in that moment that that little blue strap had such significance in the events that were to come in the next year of my life. The blue strap – the thing he had hidden from me for so long. The blue strap – what had made me realize I was in a committed relationship with somebody who was an intravenous drug user. The blue strap – something that can help intravenous drug users more safely find a vein to prevent themselves from poking the wrong spot and getting an infection or blister, something I believe in and stand for. The blue strap – which was now being fastened around my arm as part of the process in getting tested for a virus I could be at risk for. The blue strap – which had put me at risk because I was having unprotected sex with somebody who was using needles and I didn’t know it. Until I found that blue strap. When I left the nurses office I walked home with a freshly lit cigarette to keep me company. My mind wandered to all of the individuals who hadn’t gotten results as favorable as mine. I thought about that tense moment, waiting for the chemicals to change, and all the wild things that were running
through my head of what I would do if I tested positive. I couldn’t help but feel sad for people less fortunate than I. Who, in that moment, had so much MORE to worry about than I did. Those who were not only worried about their test results, but on top of that had to worry about when they were going to eat next, or where they were going to sleep that night, or worry about their children that they were struggling to provide for. I can’t imagine the stress that this could put on someone’s life, not to mention all the judgment, stigma, and mistreatment by society. I can’t imagine the loneliness and panic of those who test positive who don’t have a strong support system. My heart goes out to all those people and I couldn’t be more thankful and grateful for what programs are provided in this community to try to provide support for those who need it. It is not perfect but we have come a long way from the time when these viruses started. I would like to take this moment to stress how important it is to be honest with your sexual partners about your lifestyle. If you have had unprotected sex in the past and haven’t been tested recently, tell them. If you are an intravenous drug user, tell them. If you have many sexual partners and don’t always use condoms, tell them. It is the most selfless thing a person can do; overcome the fear of judg-
ment in the hopes of giving someone else the chance to protect themselves. Every person has the right to make his or her own decisions. You have the right to have sex and use drugs how you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want. Don’t take away someone else’s choice to decide for themselves. And don’t always let someone else make the call. It is important to take control of your own sexual health and not always rely on others to be honest. Wear condoms. Don’t share supplies (needles, crack pipes, etc.). Get tested between partners. If you are an intravenous drug user, get tested every three months and be honest with your sexual partners about your lifestyle choices. You wouldn’t like it for someone to take away your rights, so don’t take away someone else’s.
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THROWAWAY KIDS BY GAGE ROBERTS
P E O P L E T E L L M E M Y W R I T I N G I S S A D. IT ’S FRUSTRATING THAT THAT ’S WHAT SOME PEOPLE SEE IN MY WRITING, O N LY M Y PA I N , O N T H E H U R T. T H AT STUFF IS THERE FOR SURE, BUT I WONDER HOW THEY MISS THE U N D E R LY I N G TO N E O F R E S I L I E N C Y.
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I wanna talk more about addiction, about how it intersects and relates to mental health, about the impacts of both of these things on our lives as individuals, depending on who we are, where we’re coming from and how we fit or don’t fit into society. I wanna talk about the stigmatization that we face as addicts and alcoholics, as people who are living on the outskirts, as throwaway kids. The dirty looks i sometimes get while i’m riding the metro, like how i just saw that woman sitting across from me grasp tightly onto her purse as i stood up and walked past her to get off the metro. I wish that i had been thinking of grabbing it and making a run for it. I’m sure it has more money in it than the four dollars and fifty cents burning a hole in my mind and my pocket. This world isn’t the most accommodating place for us. The Conservatives lock us up in prisons, and mental institutions so they don’t have too see us on “their” streets when
they’re trying to take their family out for dinner downtown. The Liberals make promises they never keep. They promise more affordable housing, more court projects to divert addicts into “rehabilitation” programs that can provide “help” instead of prisons. Often though, these places are still prisons, because if you are forced to be there and can’t leave, it still leaves you with the feeling that you have no agency over yer own life, the feeling of not being free. It’s also crucial to talk about who gets sent to these places instead of going to jail, because the last time i checked, talked to people on the units of the jails i’ve been locked up in, you’d be pretty hard pressed to find someone who wasn’t/isn’t an addict. The majority of people in prison are addicts or alcoholics, and are dealing with mental health issues; that’s just part of the criminalization of addicts and people who deal with mental health issues. So it’s obvious that not many people are being diverted from prisons to these state run (also part of the P.I.C.) rehabilitation centers. There is a pretty long list of relatives
of mine who suffer from varying mental illnesses. Mostly these mental health issues are clinical depression, and bipolar disorder. I’ve tried to kill myself many times. It’s hard for me to say definitively that my depression is hereditary, that it is fully just the fault of a chemical imbalance in my brain. It’s difficult to believe this when there are so many things in my life that would make almost anyone fucking depressed more What often We need than is to not. be able to determine our lives for ourselves, to have real support that addresses things like trauma, cycles of violence, and systemic oppression.
I have been in and out of prison since i was 15. I’m 23 now. How can i believe that this revolving door prison system we have won’t keep locking me up every other year of my life. When it’s hard to see a future that looks remotely like something you’d be happy about, it’s hard to keep wanting to live. To keep seeing more prison walls, keep seeing friends o.d., keep being poor when yer not locked up, stressing about not being able to pay rent
because you drank all the money you made from hooking away, then feel guilty about that, it’s just a vicious fuckin’ cycle, and that shit is just fuckin’ real. What we need isn’t for the state to be sending us to prisons, or rehabilitation centers. What we need isn’t a conservative government or a liberal government; any government by nature seeks to control the people it governs, using whatever kind of force it deems necessary. Within that process and a capitalist system it is inevitable that it will leave some people in the margins struggling. What we need is to be able to determine our lives for ourselves, to have real support that addresses things like trauma, cycles of violence, and systemic oppression. Of course this is a much, much larger conversation and is a lot more complex than what I am just touching on right now, but i don’t have the time to delve further into those complexities right now, through writing. People tell me my writing is sad. It’s frustrating that that’s what some
For more of Gage’s writing please check out www.hookerwhoreftm.wordpress.com
people see in my writing, only my pain, only the hurt. That stuff is there for sure, but i wonder how they miss the underlying tone of resiliency. There’s more to my life than just sadness. It’s true that i should write more about the happy times in my life, there are many, but i write because there isn’t enough of us writing about these stories. Sharing our lives in a real way. People need to hear these things. We need to write about the sad and difficult things way more often. We need to because our society tries so hard to ignore that we exist. Often our lives aren’t palatable to many people; it scares them to hear about us. We need to be in their face, they need to know the staggering numbers we’re being incarcerated at, as well as the alarming rates we are dying from overdoses at, from suicides at and from gendered violence;v the list can go on…. There are too many lives that have been lost, and too many at stake to just be left as throwaway kids. xo With Love & Some Serious Fuckin Rage.
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SILVIA ANONYMOUS O N C E U P O N A T I M E T H E R E WA S A W O M A N N A M E D S Y LV I A . S H E W O U L D CO N S TA N T LY THINK SHE HAD PROBLEMS. PROBLEMS SHE D I D N ’ T E V E N H AV E . O N E D AY S Y LV I A C A L L E D H E R D AU G H T E R C AT H E R I N E A N D TO L D H E R T H AT S H E H A D C A N C E R B E C AU S E H E R L E G H U R T A LOT. C AT H E R I N E R U S H E D H E R M OT H E R TO T H E H O S P I TA L J U S T TO F I N D O U T T H AT S H E D I D N ’ T H AV E C A N C E R A N D A L L S H E H A D WA S A B R U I S E O N H E R L E G . S Y LV I A CO N S TA N T LY THINKS SHE HAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH H E R . S H E CO U G H S A N D S H E R U N S TO T H E D O C TO R S . S H E S N E E Z E S A N D S H E W I L L TA K E A B U N C H O F A D V I L CO L D A N D S I N U S P I L L S . S Y LV I A F E E L S A S T H O U G H S H E K N O W S H E R B O DY W E L L E N O U G H TO B E A B L E TO D I A G N O S E W H AT M AY B E W R O N G W I T H H E R . S H E CO N S TA N T LY CO M P L A I N S A B O U T A L L O F H E R “ P R O B L E M S ,” B E C AU S E S H E CO N S TA N T LY CO M PLAINS ABOUT HER PROBLEMS SHE IS PUSHING H E R FA M I LY AWAY. H E R FA M I LY D O E S N ’ T L I K E TO B E A R O U N D H E R B E C AU S E T H E Y D O N ’ T L I K E A L L T H E CO M P L A I N I N G , S H E C A N O N LY TA L K ABOUT HERSELF AND SHE SEEMS AS THOUGH S H E D O E S N ’ T C A R E A B O U T A N YO N E E L S E . H E R FA M I LY I S W O R R I E D A B O U T H E R . S H E I S N ’ T T H E SAME ANYMORE.
HOW COME BY JEN WILSON E V E R YO N E I S S O S C A R E D, WE’RE ALL SO VULNERABLE. I ’ M S I C K O F B E I N G CO M PA R E D, L E F T A LO N E ; D O N E B E G I N G U L L I B L E . H O W CO M E . I’M STUCK HERE, CO N C E I V E D A N D CO N C E D E D. I SHOULD SHED MORE THAN A TEAR, I N S T E A D I N T H E D A R K , I H AV E P L E A D E D. H O W CO M E . EVERY THING IS ON FIRE, T H E W O R K I S C R U M B L I N G B E N E AT H M Y F E E T. I ’ M C A L L E D A L I A R , M AY B E I ’ M T I R E D, T H E R E ’ S N O B O DY L E F T TO M E E T. H O W CO M E . H O W CO M E , W E ’ R E A L L T R A P P E D I N T H I S S LU M H O W CO M E , CO N F U S I O N T U R N S I N TO U S B E I N G G LU M . H O W CO M E , WE ARE LEFT BURNING’ YET UNMARRIED ARE SOME. H O W CO M E .
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BROKEN SMILES ANONYMOUS THROUGH BROKEN SMILES AND UNSEEN FACES WE FIGHT FOR ALL RACES, TO THE GOALS WE MEET WE ALL RUN ON TWO FEET.
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Prochaska and DiClemente's (1983) Stages of Change Model. This model describes five stages that people go through on their way to change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. The model assumes that although the amount of time an individual spends in a specific stage varies, everyone has to accomplish the same stage-specific tasks in order to move through the change process (Prochaska & Prochaska, 2009). There is an unofficial sixth stage that is variously called "relapse," "recycling," or "slipping" in which an individual reverts to old behaviors. Examples include having a beer after a period of sobriety, or smoking a cigarette a year after quitting. Slipping is so common that it is considered normal. Social Workers are encouraged to be honest with clients about the likelihood of backsliding or reverting to old behaviors once the change process has started, not because they expect their clients to fail, but because it normalizes the experience and takes away some of the sense of failure and shame. Although the “Stages of Change” model was identified and developed during a study of smoking cessation (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983), the model has been applied to and studied with numerous bio-psycho-social problems, including domestic violence, HIV prevention, and child abuse (Prochaska & Prochaska, 2009). The “stages of change” model is one component of the “Transtheoretical model of behavior change” (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983). It is called the “transtheoretical model” because it integrates key constructs from other theories. http://socialworkpodcast.blogspot.ca/2009/10/prochaska-and-diclementes-stages-of.html 12 |
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THE NEW | Mentality
A N U N E X P E C T E D D E V E LO P M E N T BY JEN WILSON
LIFE CAN GET HARD, it can seem prolonged, Damaged. At a time in my life, it was bad. Maybe Even detrimental. I was young, but old enough That pain was not a new restriction. My heart Ached of such agony, agony some adults Never experience or seem to notice. I had chosen many wrong paths, had paths Chosen for me, but was never this lost In a black and white forest. I was Hurting. New experience made me thirsty for Adventure. I craved freedom. But I was Held back, in more than one way. By more Than one person. By myself. I displayed Happiness, flashed a smile to every new Face. But I was haunted, drowning in personal Sorrows. I didn’t know which way was up And which way was down. I didn’t know Which path led to my escape. With no colours, They all looked the same.
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I travelled down a road of dismembering. A lonely, Secret street on an unforgiving Map. Sicker and sicker I became. Closer and closer I came To a wicked plan brewing in my head. I sucked in the Ice cold water. It filled my lungs, Stopped my blood. I was in the middle of the ocean, unable To spot the surface or reach the bottom. I stared at the empty pill bottle, it lay on my bed. Missing it’s head. My throat felt clogged, my stomach Full. On my bed I sat, clarity just wouldn’t Come. Images, thoughts and emotions surged through my Veins. I was cold, shaky and underestimated. A burning began Within, a fire that had not been Seen in a tremendous amount of time. My mind Spun. Reasons for my existence occurred. Images of my family And friends shaded my vision. I had wanted to Pause time, not experience the unknown. But Decisions were already made, could they be Undone?
I tried, I can honestly say I did. Push, push, Push. The terrible rip through my body launches me Closer. Repeat. Over and over I feel this Surge of pain, guilt and embarrassment. To my horror, a Single red pill sunk to the Bottom. Along with my heart. I thought this would Work. On my bed I lay. Awaiting fate. My hope was gone, my desire Slipping. I was too late. It hit me hard, like a deserved blow To the chest. In my head, there was no solution, to a Problem like this. This was it, the end I’d never come quite so Close to. This is where they will find me. They. Parents. Love? They can help me; fix me. They will take this out Of my hands. I can just go along with it. I imagined myself, As a child, holding my father’s large hand. But What will happen after? More hospitals. More doctors. Less freedom. A choice between life and death. A decision Only I could make.
Sudden, worsening weakness made me open my Mouth. I reveal what I had done, leaving out as much Detail as possible. I didn’t expect the look of repugnance and Dismay. Back to bed she pushed me. Everything moved in a Blur. She questioned only in her head. She Awakened the bloodline, who came to my door dressed in the Serious father attire. Things went downhill from there, but I got it In the end. Long term damages done, no Recollection of any life beyond. I was left Confused and broken. I wanted to look for Purpose, but instead on a blooming trail, I found Life. Obstacles and road blocks are Always to come; although a fire inside will help Overcome. Emptying the bottle was the Easiest thing I have ever done, yet
ASKING FOR HELP WAS THE HARDEST.
I picked myself up, opened my cotton eyes. The sleeping Set in, already making me groggy. I Stumbled to my parents door, knocking softly at First. I could barely stand, my legs Weak. I felt like I would Collapse if I stood any longer. Using the door frame to Hold myself up, I continued to knock, just a little bit Louder. Finally, my host mother came to my urgent Cries. The old, familiar still. A single, worn Photograph capturing her eyes full of Hate. I looked at her in her summer gown, fear Streaked my face. I pleaded with every Nerve in my body for Help.
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GET SMART ABOUTDRUGS
L E A R N T H E FA C T S - E F F E C T S & R I S K S O F CO M M O N D R U G S .
CANNABIS AKA: BHANG, BUD, DOPE, DRAW,
GANJA, GRASS, HASH, HASHISH, HERB,
AKA: BROWNIES, CO¬WIES, CRYS-
MARIJUANA, POT, PUFF, RESIN, SENSI,
DROP, FLASH, HAWK, L, LIGHTNING
SINSEMILLA, SKUNK, WEED.
FLASH, LIQUID ACID, LUCY, MICRO DOT,
TAL, DOLPHINS, E, MANDY, MDMA, MITSUBISHI’S, PILLS, ROLEX’S, XTC.
PAPER MUSHROOMS, RAINBOWS, SMILIES,
WHAT IS IT? methylenedioxymethamphetamine or “MDMA” is a drug that causes hallucinations.v
WHAT IS IT? Cannabis is naturally occurring - it is made from the cannabis plant. The main active chemical in it is tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC for short).
EFFECTS: Ecstasy makes users feel energised, alert, alive, in tune with their surroundings. Sounds and colours are often experienced as more intense. Users often develop temporary feelings of love and affection for the people they’re with and for the strangers around them.
EFFECTS: THC can make you feel very chilled out, happy and relaxed. THC can also make you hallucinate, meaning that it can alter your senses, so that you might see, hear or feel things in a different way to normal.
RISKS: A big problem with ecstasy is that it’s rarely pure. You can’t be sure what’s in it and you can’t predict how you’ll react. Sometimes, there is no MDMA at all. There’s no way of telling what’s in ecstasy until you’ve swallowed it. There may be negative side effects from other drugs and ingredients added to the E. Ecstasy affects the body’s temperature control.
RISKS: A big myth about cannabis is that it’s safe because it’s natural. Cannabis has some very real, harmful effects on your mind and body, as well as creating longer-term problems. Using it has also been linked, in some people, to serious, long-term mental health problems. Tobacco and cannabis share some of the same chemicals and just like smoking tobacco, smoking cannabis has been linked to lung diseases like tuberculosis and lung cancer.
the new mentality
AKA: ACID, BLOTTER, CHEER, DOTS,
STARS, TAB, TRIPPER, TRIPS, WINDOW.
WHAT IS IT? LSD stands for its chemical name, lysergic acid diethylamide, and is commonly called ‘acid’. It’s a powerful hallucinogenic drug. EFFECTS: A good trip can make users feel relaxed and happy, with pleasant hallucinations. A bad trip can make you feel agitated and confused, with unpleasant and scary hallucinations. Trips can feed off your imagination and may heighten a mood you’re already in. RISKS: LSD could have serious, longer-term implications for somebody who has a history of mental health problems. It may also be responsible for setting off a mental health problem that had previously gone unnoticed. People have been known to harm themselves during a bad trip. So people who are feeling depressed should avoid acid.
COCAINE AKA: C, CHARLIE, CHING, COKE, CRACK, FREEBASE, PEBBLES, PERCY,
ROCKS, SNOW, STONES, TOOT, WASH,
AKA: BROWN, GEAR, H, HORSE,
MAGIC MUSHROOMS WHAT IS IT? Heroin is a drug made from morphine, which is extracted from the opium poppy. Like many drugs made from opium (called opiates), heroin is a very strong painkiller. EFFECTS: A small dose of heroin gives the user a feeling of warmth and well-being, bigger doses can make you sleepy and very relaxed. The first dose of heroin can bring about dizziness and vomiting. The effects of heroin can last for a number of hours so it is important to be careful using any other drugs or alcohol in that time. RISKS: Heroin is highly addictive. Injecting heroin and sharing injecting equipment can be very risky, as it runs the risk of the injector catching or spreading a virus, such as HIV or hepatitis C. There is also the risk that veins may be damaged and that an abscess or blood clot may develop. If you have been taking heroin regularly you may have built some tolerance, but if you then stop heroin for just for a few days, your tolerance will rapidly drop – and you risk an overdose if you take the high dose you previously took.
AKA: AGARIC, AMANI, LIBERTIES, LIBERTY CAP, MAGICS, MUSHIES, SHROOMS
WHAT IS IT? Psilocybin mushrooms are fungi that contain psychoactive indole alkaloids. EFFECTS: colours, sounds and objects appear distorted and your senses may seem mixed up; you may feel like you can taste colours. Your sense of time and movement can speed up or slow down. You may feel disoriented, tired or sick, and some users can get stomach pains or diarrhoea. RISKS: The biggest danger is misidentification – eating a poisonous mushroom by mistake – if this happens you will soon know it. Get medical attention a.s.a.p. and take a sample of the mushroom eaten if possible. Magic mushrooms are a hallucinogen and can trigger underlying mental health issues or make them worse. A bad trip can cause confusion, anxiety and panic, and in rare instances, users can experience recurring episodes of this days, weeks or even months afterwards.
For more highs, lows and everything in between please check out www.talktofrank.com
WHAT IS IT? Powder cocaine, freebase and crack are all forms of cocaine. They’re all powerful stimulants, with short-lived effects – that means they temporarily speed up the way your mind and body work. EFFECTS: It can give a powerful high that can leave you feeling really down. It can make you feel on top of the world, very confident, alert and awake, but some people can get overconfident, arrogant and aggressive and end up taking risks. It raises the body’s temperature, makes the heart beat faster and reduces your appetite. When the effects start to wear off, people experience a long ‘comedown’, when they feel depressed and run down. This crash can happen for days afterwards. RISKS: Crack and cocaine users can die from overdoses. High doses raise the body’s temperature, cause convulsions and heart failure. Risk of overdosing increases if crack is mixed with other drugs or alcohol. It’s easier to overdose if you’re injecting cocaine. Using cocaine with alcohol (or other drugs) can substantially increase risk of side-effects.
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THE NEW MENTALITY
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: We want your: drawings, poetry, stories, photos, etc. The Relationship Issue Submit work to: email@example.com, drop it off at 26 Douglas Street or find us on Facebook at New Mentality Guelph
I F A NY O F T H E B E LO W S O U N D FA M I L I A R TO YO U G E T T E S T E D! H E PAT I T I S C C A N B E T R E AT E D, B U T I F I T ’ S L E F T TO O LO N G A N D S E V E R E L I V E R D A M A G E O CC U R S , T R E AT M E N T M AY N O LO N G E R B E P O S S I B L E . I F YO U A R E A B A B Y B O O M E R G E T T E S T E D ! M O S T R E C E N T LY, M A N Y B A B Y B O O M E R S H AV E B E E N T E S T I N G P O S I T I V E F O R HEP C. CHRONIC HEPATITIS
HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA (WITH CIRRHOSIS)
t Once someone who is living with Hepatitis C experience symptoms, there may be significant damage to the liver. t There is no licensed vaccine for Hepatitis C. t In Canada, an estimated 242,500 individuals are infected with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)
BASIC HEP C FACTS t Hepatitis C is a virus that is transmitted through blood to blood contact only.
t If someone who is infected with Hepatitis C does not get tested they may not know that they are infected. t Someone living with Hep C may not have symptoms for many years. t During this time the virus is sowly attacking the liver.
t Approximately 21% of those individuals don’t know they are infected and remain undiagnosed.
If you have any questions regarding any of the below information please do not hesitate to contact Cassandra Sheppard by phone at: 519-763-2255 E X T 154, O R V I A T E X T AT 519-803-3885, O R BY E MA I L AT H E P C @ AIDSGUELPH.ORG.
C A S S A N D R A S H E P PA R D HEPATITIS C OUTREACH COORDINATOR A I D S CO M M I T T E E O F G U E L P H A N D W E L L I N G TO N CO U N T Y
THE NEW | Mentality THE MAJORITY OF VICTIMIZATION STARTS EARLY
WHY AM I HURTING SO BAD INSIDE?
IN LIFE. APPROXIMATELY 80% OF FEMALE VICTIMS EXPERIENCED THEIR FIRST RAPE BEFORE THE AGE OF 25 AND ALMOST HALF EXPERIENCED THE FIRST RAPE BEFORE AGE 18 (30% BETWEEN 11-17 YEARS OLD AND 12% AT OR BEFORE THE AGE OF 10). ABOUT 35% OF WOMEN WHO WERE RAPED AS MINORS WERE ALSO RAPED AS ADULTS COMPARED TO 14% OF WOMEN WITHOUT AN EARLY RAPE HISTORY. 28% OF MALE VICTIMS OF RAPE WERE FIRST RAPED WHEN THEY WERE 10 YEARS OLD OR YOUNGER. THEY WERE 10 YEARS OLD OR YOUNGER.
By Amanda Milloy I T ’ S L I K E I WA S A V I C T I M O F A M A S Q U E R A D E F E LT L I K E I WA S J A B B E D W I T H A B L A D E B LO O D P O U R ING EVERY WHERE JUST A B O U T TO FA I N T WA L K I N G B U T B A R E LY FA S T A N D AT A N Y M O M E N T I W O U L D J U S T D E CO M P R E S S . Felt like I was the
only one in the world with the world just standing still all I could see was blood and all I could feel is complete pain and for part of the moment It just drove me insane. I just wanted to run out and scream but I felt like my mouth was glued with tape the fear to speak made me feel oh so 20 |
the new mentality
weak. I was shaking there was a pain in my throat and my body felt like it was completely exposed grabbed a towel and wiped myself down the trauma within was all that seemed real and that is all I could feel. I shock like the streets looked all black I was dizzy and queasy and felt like I was a complete mess. I couldn’t even talk nor could I even shed a tear because the trauma within created so much fear. Walking one foot at a time down the street just wanted to disappear felt so hurt I just didn’t understand why this had to happen it all just made no sense the story went like this met him in a shelter knew him for a few days I moved away then talked to him in the summer and saw him once again twice in October. First he was a roommate and then a friend
and a lover now he’s an enemy within every time I close my eyes blood is all I could see. I feel so scared that he will just pop out of nowhere on the street the fear too that he will be following me. So hard to sleep or even to close my eyes just knowing he’s out there makes me terrified. It hurts that my parents aren’t there Mom doesn’t really know the whole story and Dad can’t handle me there. I feel so upset and completely confused crying so deep down but nothing seems to come out. Hurting so bad each day just feels worse and days seem to feel longer so terrified and depressed I just can’t take this any longer. Sometimes I blame myself and sometimes I just aks myself why am I hurthing so bad inside?
MENTAL HEALTH | Insight
It goes with out saying that mental health has been a topic that has been extremely misunderstood and in all likeliness probably will continue to be misunderstood for quite some time. It is my opinion that because mental health is an issue that lacks tangibility it’s often something that is easily overlooked or dismissed. Only a few decades ago treatment for these conditions would now be considered archaic, for example lobotomy’s, electroshock therapy, chemical restraints, and confinement in prison like institutions. While many of these methods are still used to day, it is easy to see that there has been definite progress with in the last few years. I believe that this progress comes out of a new understanding and sensitivity towards the issue. However, even though there has been a vast improvement, there is still a definite need for more services, education, support, and compassion. As someone who understands the difficulty faced by those who are dealing with mental health issues, I believe that the first step is fighting the stigma that goes along with these conditions. Having a mental health problem does not make you insane, does not make you incompetent, and should not be a reason for you to be treated as a second rate citizen. Now I also understand that this is an issue that can easily misunderstood by many, and as a result can cause those who live with it daily to feel alienated and frustrated. I do believe that because this is an issue that deals with both sides of the coin, a community dialogue should be opened and ongoing in order to create a better understanding and awareness about appropriately responding to these issues. As well I believe support groups with those who suffer from these conditions would be a great tool for both sides, as not only would it help those afflicted to meet others who can offer an understanding that only comes from those with experience, but it could allow service providers to get more of an inside look into the lives of these people in order to be able to provide more suitable care. Personally I know I have felt extremely alienated as a result of my condition. To me it seems that I was being told that because I thought in a different way than the rest of the population, I was expected to change in to be considered “normal”. It is because of this reaction that many people avoid seeking treatment for fear of being labelled and judged for being different. I believe that throughout history some of the greatest thinker have seen the world from a different point of view and as a result challenged the status quo. These individuals may have felt discriminated against as a result of their radical views. Maybe we should take a page from their book and listen and celebrate those who think differently. After all the curse of genius is insanity.
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Ma g azine First Edition
THE NEW MENTALITY WORKS TO EMBED THE PRACTICE OF YOUTH ENGAGEMENT IN MENTAL HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS BY SUPPORTING NEW MENTALITY GROUPS WITHIN MENTAL HEALTH CENTERS, PROVIDING A TRAINING PROGRAM ON YOUTH ENGAGEMENT THEORY & FACILITATE THE ENGAGEMENT OF YOUTH IN FOCUS GROUPS, MEETINGS & CONFERENCES. GROUPS MEET ON A REGULAR BASIS TO WORK ON INDIVIDUAL ANTI-STIGMA PROJECTS THAT APPLY TO THEIR COMMUNITIES. SO THAT EACH GROUP CAN BEST ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF THEIR SURROUNDINGS. THE NEW MENTALITY GROUP MODEL IS A FORMAL AND EVALUATED GROUP MODEL THAT HAS PROVEN TO MEANINGFULLY ENGAGE YOUTH AND HELP YOUTH MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR COMMUNITIES.
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT IS ABOUT EMPOWERING ALL YOUTH AS VALUED PARTNERS IN ADDRESSING, AND MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT ISSUES THAT AFFECT THEM PERSONALLY AND/OR THAT THEY BELIEVE TO BE IMPORTANT. THE MOST SUCCESSFUL AND SUSTAINING YOUTH ENGAGEMENT MODELS OPERATE UNDER A YOUTH-ADULT PARTNERSHIP STRUCTURE THAT PERMITS BOTH GROUPS TO SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER WHILE WORKING TOWARDS AN AGREED-UPON OUTCOME.
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BY ABE KINGSBURY
The New Mentality Magazine a DeMETRIX, SANDRINE and MALOUPA Production