A PSA About Self-Harm and Substance Abuse Will Air at the End of Every Sharp Objects Episode

In an effort to promote substance abuse and mental health services, HBO will be including a statement at the end of every Sharp Objects episode.

The new series is about a journalist, played by Amy Adams, who travels back to her hometown to report on the murders of several young women. Throughout the first episode, Adams experienced traumatic flashbacks and drank heavily to cope with her depression and anxiety.

“If you or someone you know struggles with self-harm or substance abuse, please seek help by contacting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 1-800-662-HELP (4357),” the statement reads. “For support outside the U.S. or additional resources please visit www.hbo.com/sharp-objects/resources.”

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SOBERING TRUTHS Inside country music’s complex — and increasingly lucrative — love affair with alcohol

As the temperature inched toward 92 degrees in the parking lots outside Kenny Chesney’s concert in May, the beer cans were icy, the Jell-O shots were melting, and the T-shirts were direct: “Country Music and Beer, That’s Why I’m Here.” “Pour Me Something Tall and Strong.” “Make America Drunk Again.”

Brightly hued bottles of Blue Chair Bay Rum, the country superstar’s popular beverage brand, lined the tables at tailgates around AT&T Stadium, where fans gathered hours before the first opening act went on at 5 p.m. When the crowd of about 46,000 started streaming into the venue, some friendly patrons near an entrance offered a beer bong funnel to passersby, and cheers erupted whenever anyone took on the challenge.

“Tequila, baby!” one man yelled nearby. Across the street, participants in a mother-daughter tailgate ticked off why summer Chesney concerts are so appealing: “Beer, songs, sunshine.” That night, Chesney, who has found immense success in the past two decades selling the idea of island-style relaxation, would reference alcohol in 18 out of his 23 songs.

Although fans imbibe copiously at concerts of every genre, all of which boast songs about drinking, it’s possible that no slice of American life has embraced alcohol with the enthusiasm of country music. The two have gone hand-in-hand for decades, thanks in part to the so-called “tear in your beer” songs that helped make the format famous.

I Was Addicted to Running High. It Almost Cost Me.

Getting stoned out of my mind made me a monster marathon runner — but not invincible.

It’s a blistering hot morning in downtown Denver, and I’m running as fast as I can. Harry Nilsson’s “Jump Into the Fire” is playing at full volume on my headphones as I dodge traffic, turn cartwheels, and leap over park benches. I’m about to enter my second hour of running, and I’m stoned out of my mind on marijuana edibles.

The Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” comes on and a narcotic rush shoots up my spine, exploding into gooseflesh across my body. I’m pinballing around the city, effortlessly traversing miles between one park and another, running lap after lap before jumping back into traffic. There is no discipline involved here. No fitness goals. I’m not even tracking my distance or time, but I feel ready to chase down a fucking gazelle.

Up until the age of 30 I was the least athletic person imaginable. But for the last five years, I’ve been regularly loading up on cannabis chocolates and sprinting through the city, feeling weightless as I leap up steep hills and tackle distances I never thought possible. The combination of music, stress, and weed blend into a euphoric stew that has somehow turned me into a runner. And a troubled addict.

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Moderation and the Icelandic Model

Overall, Americans are consuming less alcohol. This is especially true for young adults and underage youth who are drinking a lot less than past generations. Part of this phenomenon may be due to our focus on reducing underage drinking, but there is also a health trend that promotes healthy eating and fitness. Young adults may be more likely to look at labels for ingredients, calorie and alcohol content. It seems clear that a concern about health has impacted alcohol consumption. Millennials say that they anticipate not drinking as much as their parent’s generation.
For alcohol this trend in moderation has spawned various projects and programs. An example is Dry January, which started in the United Kingdom in 2013 and this year had over 3 million participants. We have also seen programs touting “mindful drinking” whereby one chooses to drink less or not at all; and, organizations like Better Drinking Culture, Hello Sunday Morning and Club Soda have resources for joining the mindful drinking movement. Daybreakers has organized close to 200 drug-and-alcohol-free, morning dance parties since it started in 5 years ago.

List of Ohio doctors approved to recommend medical marijuana grows

The state’s medical board approved another round of doctors who are now able to recommend medical marijuana to eligible patients in Ohio.

The third round of certifications now brings the total to 139 doctors, with 50 being added Wednesday.

Approved doctors tend to be concentrated in the major metropolitan areas of Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland, but as more are added, the dispersal across the state is evening out.

Columbus has 9 doctors certified to recommend and central Ohio has approximately 25, with a handful in New Albany and Dublin. The full list of state approved doctors can be found here.

Patients will have five dispensaries in Columbus where they can buy medical cannabis and nine total in central Ohio.

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A New Wave Of Meth Overloads Communities Struggling With Opioids

Principal Mary Ann Hale dreads weekends.

By the time Fridays roll around, 74-year-old Hale, a principal at West Elementary School in McArthur, Ohio, is overcome with worry, wondering whether her students will survive the couple of days away from school.

Too many children in this part of Ohio’s Appalachian country live in unstable homes with a parent facing addiction. For years, the community has struggled with opioids. Ohio had the second-highest number of drug overdose deaths per capita in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But in McArthur, a close-knit village of about 2,000 in rural Vinton County, there has been a significant shift in recent months.

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Canada becomes second nation to legalize marijuana

Marijuana will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17 in a move that should take market share away from organized crime and protect the country’s youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.

The Senate gave final passage to the bill to legalize cannabis on Tuesday, legislation that will make Canada only the second country in the world to make pot legal across the country.

Trudeau said provincial and territorial governments need the time to prepare for retail sales.

“It is our hope as of October 17 there will be a smooth operation of retail cannabis outlets operated by the provinces with an online mail delivery system operated by the provinces that will ensure that this happens in an orderly fashion,” Trudeau said.

The prime minister said at a news conference that the goal is to take a significant part of the market share away from organized crime.

“Over the following months and indeed years we will completely replace or almost completely replace the organized crime market on that,” he said.

Canada is following the lead of Uruguay in allowing a nationwide, legal marijuana market, although each Canadian province is working up its own rules for pot sales. The federal government and the provinces also still need to publish regulations that will govern the cannabis trade.

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Register for a National Webinar Series on the Science and Practice of Community-Based Prevention of Substance Use

ACEs: The Role of Life Experiences in Shaping Brain Development

Thursday, August 9, 2018 | 12–1 p.m. Eastern Time

This 1-hour training will be led by public health experts from Tennessee, based on their curriculum, “Building Strong Brains: The Role of Life Experiences in Shaping Brain Development.” Participants who take the entire webinar training will receive a certificate of completion.

Register for the ACEs Webinar

Prevention in Practice: Building Communities That Strengthen the Resiliency of Future Generations

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 | 12–1 p.m. Eastern Time

Presenters from Chicago’s Jewish Center for Addiction and the Georgia Prevention Project will share strategies and descriptions of youth-led programs that are strengthening the resilience of young people and preventing future generations from harm.

Register for the Prevention in Practice Webinar

Relapse Prevention

What Is Recovery?

When someone has a problem with alcohol or another drug, they may decide to make changes to their behaviors, beliefs, relationships, habits, and thought patterns in order to address the problem. Often, this includes abstinence from using the substance and/or a decision to become sober (abstaining from all alcohol and drug use). When a person has committed to and begun to make these changes, they can be said to be “in recovery” from their problem. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), “Recovery from alcohol and drug problems is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness, and quality of life.” While there may be other definitions of recovery, this is a commonly used one.

Addiction, Dependence, and Relapse

People can become dependent on and/or addicted to a substance: Dependence means psychologically needing a substance to feel OK or function and/or using a substance despite consequences; addiction means physically needing the substance, demonstrated by higher tolerance and withdrawal symptoms if the person stops using the substance. Many factors contribute to dependence and addiction, including genetic susceptibility, personal and family history, current environment (e.g., how available are substances? how tempting is it it use them? are many of the person’s peers using?), and patterns of use (i.e., increasing quantities and frequency of substance use increases the risk of addiction and dependence).

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