Sunday, February 19, 2012

turned his life around

Brantford Expositor: Senior students at Assumption College got a wakeup call Thursday morning. It came from motivational speaker Paul Christie, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who "turned his life around" in 1999 and now travels across Ontario delivering his message at schools. His "Get Real" presentation detailed a struggle with addiction that started in Grade 8 and e next 30 years of his life, including jail time and attempted suicide. "His stories are real," said Assumption principal John Burroughs. "It's his life. He does not preach to the kids. He basically says, 'This is what happened to me, so you have a choice to make' (Addict helps students 'get real'). Misconceptions about addiction disorders abound. It is not poverty that causes chemical dependence; rather it is the addiction disorder, and the compulsive use of drugs (including alcohol) that in many cases cause the kind of crippling poverty seen in the DTES. Addiction is not just a phase of development, it is an illness. There is an enormous body of scientific/medical evidence which both identifies and describes substance dependence disorders as well as the treatment options that have proven effective in their treatment. All mood-altering substances disrupt the function of the central nervous system, the most evident manifestation of this disruption being intense euphoria. In addition to the change in mood, however, as drug use becomes compulsive, judgment and impulse control are impaired, moods become unstable, and the stress of day-to-day living becomes overwhelming (Drug addiction is Problem One).

Ledgehill: Alcoholism and alcohol abuse statistics reveal that in Canada an estimated 4 percent of the population over the age of 15 is dependent on alcohol. There are twice as many male alcoholics as female alcoholics. The highest rate of alcoholism occurs in Canadians between the ages of 20 and 24. In Canadian surveys, about 20% of the current and former drinkers stated that their alcoholic drinking negatively affected them, usually affecting their jobs or their finances. The problem of alcoholism can be seen from a variety of perspectives: biological (how alcohol affects the body), psychological (how it affects the mind) and sociological (how alcohol is provided and consumed in society) (Alcoholism in Canada).


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