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Could Managed Consumption Be a Better Form of Treatment for Alcoholism? [psmag.com]

If you laid eyes on Simionie Kunnuk, a small, gentle older man with a fetching gap-toothed smile, you probably wouldn't think, "Now, there's a guy who used to have 300 run-ins with the police every year." However, in 2007, Kunnuk spent his time chugging malt liquor, urinating in public , sleeping wherever, and screaming at passing white people—his personal revenge for Canada's horrific treatment of him and other indigenous people. More nights than not, these antics landed him in the drunk...

Ripple Effect: Two Philly Activists Share ACE Knowledge Close to Home

Anthony Ballard grew up with multiple adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) before those disruptive childhood experiences had a name. Ballard was raised, along with 11 siblings, in a North Philadelphia housing project by “a beautiful God-fearing mother and a loving father who suffered from alcoholism.” Ballard witnessed relatives who developed addictions or landed in prison; in his early 20s, he, too, abused alcohol. He got sober. He became a firefighter. And when he learned about ACEs a few...

National Prison Rate Continues to Decline Amid Sentencing, Re-Entry Reforms [pewtrusts.org]

After peaking in 2008, the nation’s imprisonment rate fell 11 percent over eight years, reaching its lowest level since 1997, according to an analysis of new federal statistics by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The decline from 2015-16 was 2 percent, much of which was due to a drop in the number of federal prisoners. The rate at which black adults are imprisoned fell 4 percent from 2015-16 and has declined 29 percent over the past decade. The ongoing decrease in imprisonment has occurred...

What’s in the well? Pediatrician probes ACEs and the biology of toxic stress in kids [seattletimes.com]

Boot-strapping types who believe that surmounting a difficult childhood is mainly a matter of will may be perplexed by an anecdote near the beginning of Nadine Burke Harris’s new book, “The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity.” In it, the pediatrician describes a 7-year-old boy named Diego, who showed up at her Bay Area clinic looking like an undersized 4-year old. He had been referred by a school nurse for suspected ADHD . But Burke Harris also noted that her...

SF safe injection sites expected to be first in nation, open around July 1 [sfchronicle.com]

San Francisco is on track to open its first two safe injection sites this July, a milestone that will likely make the city the first in the country to embrace the controversial model of allowing drug users to shoot up under supervision. Other cities — including Seattle, Baltimore and Philadelphia — are talking about opening their own safe injection facilities, but San Francisco could get there first. Facilities already exist in Canada, Australia and Europe. Barbara Garcia, director of San...

How Money Changes the Way You Think and Feel [greatergood.berkeley.edu]

The term “affluenza”—a portmanteau of affluence and influenza, defined as a “painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste, resulting from the dogged pursuit of more”—is often dismissed as a silly buzzword created to express our cultural disdain for consumerism. Though often used in jest, the term may contain more truth than many of us would like to think. Whether affluenza is real or imagined, money really does change everything, as the song...

Inside the Native American Foster Care Crisis Tearing Families Apart [vice.com]

Elisia Manuel remembers when she and her husband Tecumseh received their first foster child. “We had to go buy the boy some clothes,” she told me. “We had to get him everything, because he came with nothing. The agency even had to lend us a car seat to bring him home.” Elisia, who comes from the Mescalero Apache and Yaqui tribes, and Tecumseh, an Akimel O’odham from the Gila River Indian Community located just south of Phoenix, were thrilled to get a Native child to care for—even if it meant...

Sex harassment can make victims physically sick, studies reveal [washingtonpost.com]

When Rebecca Thurston read the accounts of 150 women and girls sexually abused by a Michigan athletic doctor, one of the first things she worried about was their health — not the psychological effect of the abuse, but the long-term physical toll it could take on their bodies. An epidemiologist, Thurston has spent the past four years studying women who have suffered sexual abuse and harassment. Over time, she discovered, sexual harassment can work like a poison, stiffening women’s blood...

Our Relationships Keep Us Alive: Let's Prioritize Them in 2018 [truth-out.org]

This piece has been a long time coming. As a young person, I spent years interviewing women involved in the Black Power movement, reading their letters, poetry and essays. I was researching their experiences and the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on their lives. Later on, I realized that I was searching for a way to be involved with movement work in which my spirit, personality and hope could remain intact. I've learned that part of that work is mine alone. But part of it is a...

How Hugs Heal — Have You Had a Hug Today? (wakeup-world.com)

From the time you were born until the day you die, touch is an important part of your emotional and physical health. Infants deprived of touch grow up with developmental and cognitive delays, attachment disorders and higher risk of serious infections . 1 On the other hand, premature infants who are held skin-to-skin exhibit better cognitive skills, are more resilient to stress and have more organized sleep patterns, even 10 years later. These early touch-based interventions demonstrate the...

Children of Addiction Awareness Week - Bringing ACEs Into Conversations and Celebrations

Children of Addiction (COA) Awareness Week is an annual celebration near and dear to my heart for many reasons, not the least of which are my personal experiences as a child of an alcoholic and as a child with four ACEs - three of which were the result of secondhand drinking (explained below). COA Week is an annual event celebrated during the week of Valentine’s Day - this year it's February 11 - 17. It is sponsored by the National Association for Children of Addiction, NACoA.org . NACoA’s...

Threat of deportation: A trigger for toxic stress in children left behind [New Haven Register]

On a snowy Saturday morning in January, Selvin, 13, and his mother were in the basement of the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church in New Haven, to support a friend in sanctuary . As they sat there, the boy tried to push away thoughts of how it would be when ICE came to take away his own mother, who is also under a deportation order. “I’m going to be alone with my little brother and my dad,” Selvin said. “Sometimes I feel I don’t want to talk to anybody. I just go to my room, lock...

Rural schools find an online resource to fill gaps in mental health services for students [hechingerreport.org]

In rural Kentucky, students go to school with people they’ve grown up with. It’s not uncommon for their teachers and principals to be family friends or even relatives. This can create a tight-knit school community, but it can also make privacy hard to come by. Vivian Carter, a longtime teacher and principal and the current innovation coordinator at Hazard Independent Schools, in Eastern Kentucky, said students don’t always open up to the adults in the school building if they have issues at...

The Psychological Forces Behind A Cultural Reckoning: Understanding #MeToo [npr.org]

Nearly a quarter century ago, a group of women accused a prominent playwright of sexual misconduct. A Boston newspaper published allegations of sexual harassment, unwanted touching and forced kissing. For the most part, the complaints went nowhere. In 2017, more women came forward with accusations. This time, everybody listened. On this episode of Hidden Brain, we explore the story through the lens of social science and ask, "Why Now?" What has changed in our minds and in our culture so that...

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