Many people don’t understand how people can become addicted to drugs. They think, “They just don’t have enough will power,” or, “That must mean they have very low moral principals,” a common mistake. Just as a lot of other things in real life, drug addiction is much more complex than that. Even with a strong will, in most cases, it takes much more to quit once you become addicted, due to the fact that drugs can alter the way your brain works.
So what is drug addiction?
Drug addiction starts with drug abuse, which is different. Drug abuse is when you use legal OR illegal substances in ways you shouldn’t. Some examples are taking more pills than the regular dose, using someone else’s prescription, or to get high(relieves stress for awhile/avoids reality). The part where it turns from drug abuse to drug addiction is when you can’t stop using it, not if your health is in danger. The more you use drugs, the more you feel like you need it and become dependent you on it to feel, “happy.” (The worst cases of drug addiction is when you have the urge to take drugs all the time, and can’t seem to stop thinking about it even if you want to stop.)
Effects on the brain from drug addiction:
When a person first takes drugs, he/she feels high, the result of euphoria and the chemical messenger dopamine being released. This is known as the brain’s “reward circuit,” which is a system that prompts people to repeat behaviors needed to thrive. If a person continues to take drugs, dopamine keeps on flowing throughout one’s body, causing your body to want to repeat those behaviors. Eventually, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of the cells in the reward circuit to respond, an effect called tolerance. The high that someone feels the first time the drug was taken was much stronger than the high after someone has been taking drugs for weeks. Oftentimes, to try to achieve the same high, people start taking larger quantities of drugs and/or increasing the concentration. When the brain has adapted like this, then other activities that one used to enjoy aren’t as pleasurable anymore, such as spending time with friends/family, food, or hobbies. In a sense, people start losing themselves.
Over a long period of time, other brain circuits/systems can change, affecting functions such as:
Ability to learn
“Drugs take you to hell… disguised as heaven.”
Donald Lyn Frost
What influences the risk to becoming addicted to drugs?
(Important: Although some people can get addicted easier than others,
EVERYBODY HAS THE RISK OF BECOMING ADDICTED TO DRUGS IF THEY CHOOSE TO TAKE IT. It’s the only way of ensuring that you will not become addicted to drugs!!)
Biology: Half of a person’s risk for addiction is in someone’s genes( such as gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders).
Environment/Development: Family, friends, economic status physical/ sexual abuse, peer pressure, and parental guidance are also strong factors in the likelihood of drug use and addiction.
Although anybody at any age can get addicted to drugs, the younger a person is when they start, the higher the chance is to progress to addiction.
Signs of Addiction:(Warning signs to look out for)
You don’t take care of yourself or your appearance.
Stealing, lying, or doing dangerous behaviors.
You spend more time alone.
Urges to do drugs multiple times a day.
Most of your time is spent getting, using, or recovering from the effects of the drugs.
Drug addiction is a terrible thing to get into and is extremely hard to stop, but with time and the correct treatment, it can be overcome. The good news is- is that more and more educational programs are addressing this issue, teaching kids that drugs are harmful.
Don’t let drugs control your life, YOU are the master of your sails.
Share the word, and comment your thoughts on this!
This is one of my recent works that I have made for school, and as you can guess, it’s about addressing the issue of global warming, and a teen activist, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, who is fighting to stop it.
Two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef has been damaged as a result of global warming. And that’s not the only effect of this worldwide problem that we have gotten into, with the rising temperatures breaking records every year. People like Xiuhtezcatl Martinez are fighting to stop this problem that has had a large effect on our earth. Martinez believes in the fight for a world that we want to live in, and that we want future generations to enjoy.
To begin, global warming is caused by multiple sources. The most widely known and largest contributing factor is the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil. The problem is, we use it in our everyday lives whether it’s the gas of our cars to electricity production to other factories. It emits primarily carbon dioxide, which is a type of greenhouse gas. When greenhouse gases are put out in the atmosphere, it absorbs infrared radiation, which slows its escape from the atmosphere. Therefore, it traps heat in like a warm-air blanket that surrounds earth in which is called the greenhouse effect, even though greenhouse gases only make up 1 percent of the atmosphere. Deforestation also contributes to greenhouse gases. Since trees take in carbon dioxide to give off oxygen in its place, it creates a balance of gases in the atmosphere. With 50,000 sq. miles of forest being lost each year due to the larger demands from the increasing populations of humankind, it’s no longer stable. Other contributors would be the methane released from landfills and agriculture, and nitrous oxide from fertilizers. According to national geographic, just a molecule of methane produces more than 20 times the warming of a molecule of CO2, while nitrous oxide is more than 300 times more powerful than CO2. Fracking, although one of the less widely known causes, is the process of injecting high pressure liquid to extract oil or gas, causes gas leaks, and natural gas contains primarily methane. While the fracking industry has made more jobs for Americans, one day there will be no more fossil fuels, and those jobs will be lost anyway, all the while releasing dangerous substances. And then there are the overwhelming list of effects caused by global warming. It can hardly be compared to anything else, in which Barack Obama states, “ There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent threat of a changing climate.”(weforum.org) Already the consequences have shown, but they can only grow to more severe outcomes. One example is California’s ongoing drought. As Amanda Macmillan, a freelance journalist, states, California’s worst water shortage in one thousand-two hundred years has been intensified from 15% to 20% by global warming. The odds doubled in the past century, the chance for similar droughts happening in the future are climbing higher. Not only will there be more frequent droughts, but intensified hurricanes, longer allergy seasons, disrupted habitats, the eventual extinction of some species, and the melting of glaciers in Antarctica. Since 2002, Antarctica has been losing about 134 billion metric tons of ice each year, an alarming rate that will cause the ocean to rise several meters in the next century, which can eventually lead to the coastal flooding of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. With this pile of troubles, the scale is tipping more than ever in the majority of greenhouse gases and the more there is of it, the worse each year will get.
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez(pronounced Shu-tez-cat), name meaning the “turquoise warrior,” is the 19 year old Youth Director of Earth Guardians, “tribe of young activists, artists, and musicians from across the globe stepping up as leaders and co-creating the future we know is possible,” has been working to stop global warming. Born in Boulder, Colorado, he was raised in the native Aztec traditions of his father, saying, “My dad taught me that all life is sacred. When I was a little boy, we would always talk about our responsibility to protect our land, our culture, our earth as indigenous people. These teachings are the foundation of the music I write and the things I fight for,” and advocating for social and environmental justice with his mother, who is the executive director of Earth Guardians, both parents being seasoned activists (xiuhtezcatl.bio). With a love for nature while watching the environmental destruction of society around him, he decided that he wanted to do something about it, saying, “Now, I work on climate change, fracking, and indigenous issues because I have a personal investment in them, and because I recognize that this issue going to affect all people, but especially people of color, indigenous people, and youth.”(teenvogue.com) When he was younger, Xiuhtezcatl family was just one among the 22 million people who have already been displaced by sudden weather-related hazards caused by global warming. It is no wonder that at the young age of six that he started speaking at conferences and demonstrations from the Rio+20 United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro to the United Nations in New York, having spoken at over a hundred events around the world. His work has been featured on many shows including PBS, Showtime, and HBO. “An impressive spokesman for a viewpoint the world needs to hear,” Bill Kibben of 350.org calls Xiuhtezcatl.
Over the years, he has been working to stop global warming by taking action. Whether it is singing passionately through hip-hop or working on speeches, he’s constantly trying to raise a more aware world to do something, saying, “It’s not about being an activist. It’s about recognizing the power you have to make a difference.”(teenvogue) He has worked on successful campaigns to get pesticides out of parks, regulate coal ash, and achieve bans on fracking in Colorado cities, and has even been able to make people in his town pay fees for using plastic bags. In 2013, Xiuhtezcatl received the United States Community Service Award from President Obama, and was the youngest of 24 national change-makers chosen to serve on the President’s youth council. Later on, he became the lead plaintiff in a youth-led lawsuit against the federal government for their failure to protect the atmosphere for future generations, saying, “Our constitution was written so that we the people could protect our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This includes our right to clean water, clean air and a safe climate. If our government fails to protect these rights, it is the duty of Coloradans to take these matters into our own hands.”(westword) Besides leading the current lawsuit, he has also been working on banning fracking, asking for restrictions on fracking near schools and hospitals that significantly limit the scope of the industry. “We’ve gotten threats from the oil and gas industry… things happen when people start to tell the truth about big industries that are coming in and taking advantage of communities, and taking advantage of resources,” says Xiuhtezcatl(huckmagazine.com). Overall, Xiuhtezcatl has been working to change the laws to ban the harmful substances and processes that are harming our environment.
In conclusion, Xiuhtezcatl is a very effective teen activist. He is striving to raise awareness and to make those in power take action. Xiuhtezcatl, a teen activist and hip-hop artist, has been working to produce a better world for generations to live in, whether through his music or trying to change laws for the better. He believes if we work together and fight, then we can make this a world that our descendants will enjoy.
Today I’ll be sharing with you an essay I wrote addressing the issue of whether your PE grades should affect your GPA. Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this. ^v^
Sweat dripping off your forehead as long, heavy breaths of air are forced down your lungs, feet stumbling, struggling to finish the laps around the gym court, as you hope the coach doesn’t look at you. Yet you know you are silently being graded as the teacher glances at you, shaking his head in disappointment as he marks down something on his paper. Then suddenly, it’s the end of the trimester, and you look down at your grades only to see your perfect GPA spoiled. In many of the schools today, a commonly asked question would be, “ Should students’ grades in PE affect their overall GPA?” ‘No,’ you think, ‘I shouldn’t be graded on this just because I can’t run fast enough… right?’ With PE affecting our GPA, it isn’t making it fair, because everybody is born differently, you can be graded incorrectly, and it affects the college you go to.
To start off, not everyone is the same. Our bodies are built differently, from short to tall and thin to wide. How much a person weighs or how long someone’s legs can greatly affect someone’s overall performance, such as running. Carrying all those pounds are going to slow you down, and if your legs are shorter you have to take more strides to equal those with longer legs, resulting in more of an effort from your body. Not to mention everyone grows at different rates during high school, which is the time that grades matter. At times, it’s not even our fault, with genetics and body types to fight. And what about those who have medical problems? Some kids are just born with asthma and diabetes, along with a looming pile of other problems that might never go away throughout their lifetimes. Should we grade them when they’re in such conditions? Those who are athletes will boost their GPA when it is actually meant for their academics. It almost a discrimination, with all the varying physical attributes that people have.
In addition, you can be graded incorrectly. So the question is, “How is PE graded?” While it does grade on participation and effort, the main part of the grade is the tests and being able to reach the minimum, like any other class. As told above, not everyone is the same. That means that some will be naturally stronger, standing on the top, while others will be hanging on the thread of average hoping that they won’t fall to the below average line. Sometimes, effort simply isn’t enough when you’re up against talent. Whoever’s in charge of PE classes might not see how some struggle more than others, which results in an unfair grade. Not everyone’s limit is the average limit of the state. Being unable to reach a minimum that, at that point in time, is unreachable, shouldn’t matter. What truly matters in PE is education on how to be fit and to participate, alongside with the improvement and growth of each individual.
Finally, it affects the college you go to. Basically, the rest of your future lies in the hands of your GPA. Colleges greatly consider your GPA and class rank for admission. Having the privilege of being part of a sports team depended whether or not you could keep up good grades. So how come we’re grading it now? Second, in some cases, just one bad grade can drag down your entire year of grades, no matter how many A’s you got, especially when in your junior and senior years of high school. Should non-athletic people who actually have the brains and have done the work and effort be denied being doctors or a lawyer because of the PE grades in their GPA? Why should the athletes get better scores just because they are born that way instead of those who work hard to attain academical understanding and scores? While being fit is important, it shouldn’t dampen the chances of someone reaching their full potential when it doesn’t even require much physicality. Unless you are planning to be an athlete or be part of the army, it shouldn’t show up on your GPA. Besides those, only about 14% of jobs require heavy work, and that percentage is decreasing as more jobs that involve technology are pushing the numbers. Should we let all of these factors affect the college we go to?
To sum it up, not everyone’s born with the same talents and physical attributes, those who aren’t athletic can be graded incorrectly and have different limits, and last but not least, it affects the college you go to and paves which way your life will go. We shouldn’t do that to people who actually deserve that GPA score but aren’t as athletic to others. So in conclusion, because of all of these points, PE should not affect our GPA.
Sundquist, Kate. “Can I Get Into a Top College With a C on My Transcript?”
As I was looking through my files… I found an old school project I made back in fifth grade about whether school cafeterias should serve chocolate milk daily. So I will post it here.
I think that our school cafeteria should serve chocolate milk daily.
First of all, it is a healthy part of a young kid’s diet. Studies show that chocolate milk has less than half of the carbohydrates, added sugar, and fat of soda/sports drinks. It has the same essentials nutrients as white milk. Some might say that milk has zero or little effect on the growth of bones, either if it’s flavored or not. I believe it matters on the quantity you consume daily, and the brand of milk (any flavor) you drink.
Second, chocolate milk has a different flavor than white milk or any other milk. It results in more kids who want to drink this type of milk. People who drink chocolate milk don’t consume more added fat, sugar, and calories than non-milk drinkers. (Some might say that the chocolate adds extra sugar which can possibly lead to health problems, but it depends on how much you drink.) It is good to drink a certain amount each day, preferably one small glass.
The chocolate in chocolate milk can contain some extra sugar, but it can provide you with much more. According to some new researches, dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, and reduce the risks for heart attacks. Like milk, it maintains healthy bones and teeth.
If we serve chocolate milk at our school, kids who don’t get the nutrients they need can drink chocolate milk at school, and it will boost their immune system and overall fitness.
Overall, I think chocolate milk is a delicious and healthy choice to drink. I think it should be served in our school cafeteria, for it is a nutritious and delicious part of a person’s diet.
Poetry… an art form in which we humans express our feelings through words… We play around with the rhythms, styles, and arrangements… trying to find what will truly bring out the right impressions and truly convey its message.
If I read a book and it makes my body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.
I have been interested in poetry for about a year and a half now. When I’m feeling restless or tired from life, I go read a few poems, which helps ease my mind with it’s mystical, magical powers. The sites that I most often visit are family friend poems and poetry foundation.
I made this poem a little while back, but I consider it my best creation:
Walking through this icy land,
Wishing for someone to hold my hand.
Feeling the cold upon my fingers,
Wishing for warmth that never lingers.
White swirling all around,
A dreary silence, an awful sound.
Trees white and bare,
Trying not to remember when I cared.
Bitter chills and stinging wind,
The quiet earth grows grey and grim
Then spikes of icy crystal fall,
Cascading over mountain walls
On the wind, whispers ride,
And on the wind, a sorrowful song does glide.
Shadows creep through crevices and cracks,
Wishing for what I lack.
Staring at the pale blue skies,
Knowing where all the pain lies.
Thin, stretched clouds drift about,
As high as all of my doubts.
I feel as cold as the water that freezes,
I know this pain will never cease,
Unless I fight back this mere season,
For I have more than just a reason.
Memories drift on a blustery breeze,
Dying light ushers in the freeze
I take in an icy breath,
I will push through this winter of loneliness and death.
Thanks for reading! If anyone of you have any good sites you’d like to recommend or any poems, feel free to leave it in the comment section below! UwU
Allergies. My worst enemy. The little thing that follows me day and night, haunting my daily social life…(coughs loudly).
For some of you lucky peeps out there… allergies don’t even exist. You live your day to day lives strolling around a park without even twitching your nose.
Me? THE OPPOSITE. When I decide to stroll into a park, my eyes start blinking really rapidly, my nose starts feeling itchy, and my mind starts screaming, “ALLERGY ALERT, ALLERGY ALERT, GET TISSUES!!!” And then, I start blowing my tissues really, really loudly. Not on purpose, but because it doesn’t feel so great to have your nose clogged up 24/7.
Even indoors, it’s not much better. Especially in the classroom. It’s already bad enough feeling allergic, let alone when it turns into something embarrassing. In the classroom, even the smallest whispers can be heard by pretty much the whole class, so you can imagine how loud I am. (And my class isn’t even that quiet…) Every time I blow my nose in class, I feel very self-conscious. And they all know who blew their nose because I’m usually the only one in class who does that every five minutes.
People tend to think I’m always sick, which isn’t true. I’m just allergic to the majority of the native plants in my area, making me allergic for the whole year, not including winter, which is the one season that I actually get sick. One time, one of my teachers thought that I had a cold for a whole month. (What actually happened was that I was sick for two weeks, but the rest of the time I was just allergic.)
Now, I take allergy shots every month. For those of you who don’t know what allergy shots are, they are basically shots full of sneezes and suffering– I mean, full of the very things that make you allergic, so that your body can help build up resistance to these allergens. I also take Zyrtec every morning to lower the severity of my allergic reactions.
For those of you who also suffer from this, know that you are not alone. There are a lot of other people who are also undergoing this experience. I’m hoping that my allergies will go away someday, but until then… let us suffer together ^v^
Also, here’s a funny poem about allergies I found online: link