Preventing Teen Substance Abuse Through the Holidays
The holiday season is supposed to be joyful, butstudies reveal that the holiday season is a risk factor for teen and adolescent substance misuse, with relapses occurring frequently as the year comes to an end (1).
There are several reasons contributing to the use of drugs and alcohol over the holiday season according to nationally certified School Psychologist and Gamechanger’s Director of Prevention, Kim Legg.
“One of the reasons first ... Continue Reading »
Holiday Blues? 5 Ways to Keep Spirits Up This Holiday Season
While holidays are marked by joy and celebration, nearly 90 percent of Americans admit to feeling higher stress and lower mood during the season (1).
And as it turns out, youths and teens are not immune to the same feelings of loneliness, and sadness as the year comes to an end. According to nationally certified School Psychologist, Kim Legg, the same stressors that impact adults’ moods during the holiday season can affect ... Continue Reading »
The Dangers of Fentanyl: An EMT’S Perspective
Despite its well-established grip in Appalachia, the West Virginia opioid epidemic hasn’t always looked the same. The crisis has changed, ebbed, and flowed to reveal new challenges along the way.
It’s a familiar pattern, according to 29-year-old Paramedic, Nathan Weese, who describes opioid-related emergencies as arriving in “waves”. Public health experts echo his theory, crediting the epidemic’s first wave to over-prescribed opioids in the mid-1990s, followed ... Continue Reading »
What is “stigma”—and how it impacts addiction.
There are many obstacles when it comes to facing substance misuse.
Navigating withdrawal, repairing friendships and coming to terms with the aftermath of addiction.
These are examples of the hard parts we can see. Did you know there’s another challenge that goes unseen, but is felt by nearly every person battling addiction?
It’s called stigma. And it’s rooted in the myth that addiction is not a disease, ... Continue Reading »
Suspect Your Friend Is Using Drugs? Here’s What (and What Not) To Do
We’ve covered what to do if you find out your friend is using drugs. But what do you do if you suspect drug use without being 100% sure?
Perhaps you’ve seen pills in their backpack, heard rumors, or have noticed your friend acting differently. Whatever the reason, it’s a tricky spot to be in. Some signs of addiction overlap with symptoms of depression, medication side effects, or other ... Continue Reading »
Urban vs. Rural Youth Substance Abuse—What’s the Difference?
When you think of the epicenter of a drug trade, skyscrapers, traffic, and bustling cities may come to mind.
But research shows drug use may be just as high—or even higher—in less populated towns across America. In fact, among the many factors that increase likelihood of substance abuse, living in a rural area is one of them.
Are there differences in urban and rural drug use, and what ... Continue Reading »
How COVID-19 Has Impacted the Opioid Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic altered the way we live and interact with those around us. For many, the changes that occurred between 2019 and 2020 mark the separation of two different worlds.
As the pandemic continues, the one we live in now includes higher rates of drug use, relapses, and overdose deaths than ever before.
How did it happen? Let’s take a look at what the current research is telling us, and ... Continue Reading »
5 Ways to Ask for Help With Addiction
If you or a loved one is in the depths of addiction and ready to get help, congratulations.
Acknowledging a problem is the first step in solving it. No matter the role addiction has played in your life, there’s hope on the other side.
You or your friend have several options once you’re ready to take the first step towards recovery. Not sure which path to take? Let’... Continue Reading »
Drugs: Costs and Consequences Exhibit Opens at West Virginia Culture Center
On September 7, 2022, a ribbon cutting at West Virginia Culture Center opened the traveling exhibit Drugs: Costs and Consequences. This impressive exhibit – a cooperative effort between GameChanger, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and its educational foundation – is now open to the public through January 15,2023.
Drugs: Costs and Consequences Virtual Tour
West Virginia Culture Center and State Museum
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Managing Pain Without Opioids
Pain can severely impact quality of life.
Whether your pain is temporary or chronic, managing it allows you to accomplish daily tasks and live a life you enjoy. And while your pain symptoms may have you considering prescription pain medication, it’s important to explore all options—especially ones less dangerous and addictive than opioids.
Why Should I Consider Non-Opioid Pain Treatment?
At the surface, taking a pill to manage ... Continue Reading »