Cell Phones: An Inevitable Addiction
Sep19

Cell Phones: An Inevitable Addiction

The use of cell phones has altered the way many of us function on a daily basis. Whether it’s our transportation, how we work, and managing our personal life; these devices have become an unescapable addiction.   Admittedly, most apps have made life easier as we plan, order, and communicate. With this kind of an ease of use the world is at our fingertips. Although convenience has played a significant part in the use of the cell phone, the world around us is also enduring changes in order to accommodate our addiction to convenience. But what are some of the repercussions of constantly being wired to these devices?  One of the major changes that our society has made has been that of the everyday commute. Walking and texting. Seems simple enough, right? It’s got to beat texting and driving, in any case. But planners and designers around the world are toying with a new idea for wired-in pedestrians: special lanes for people who wish to text while walking.   Most implementations of texting lanes have been stunts of one kind or another: the Belgian company who made a lot of noise earlier this summer with the “textwalk” lanes they spray-painted onto city sidewalks were accused of “graffiti” by Antwerp’s mayor; the National Geographic’s text and talk lanes were an advertisement for an exhibit on brain science; and the similar lane in China was part of an amusement park. The most recent newsmaking texting lane, on a Utah college campus, is primarily “looks and laughs.”   But the idea does raise some serious issues regarding texting and walking. Walking is a more complex process than you might think, and people who text are often walking in unpredictable public spaces. What could go wrong? Vision Texting pedestrians often miss out on their surroundings. According the National Geographic brain science project involved in the DC text lane, texting while walking can reduce your vision to “less than one tenth of [its] normal range.” They produced a short video showing texters missing out on a newspaper-reading gorilla not ten feet from where they walked. (The video is funny but informative, and can be viewed in the linked text above.)   The take-away is clear: if you can’t see what’s around you, you should stop moving. It may sound funny, but walking recklessly is a serious problem; 21% of reported pedestrian accidents in Hawaii over the course of five years lead to traumatic brain injury, according to Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner. “Text Neck” Too much texting can have other serious effects on your body. The problem getting lot of attention lately is called “text...

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Prescription Drug Abuse And How To Take Steps Towards Curbing The Addiction
Feb24

Prescription Drug Abuse And How To Take Steps Towards Curbing The Addiction

Prescription drug abuse has risen to epidemic proportions in recent years, and addiction to prescription drugs now far outstrips addiction to street drugs. People from all walks of life have fallen into the trap of drug addiction, often after being prescribed a painkiller after surgery or for other conditions. Many of the modern pain drugs are highly addictive. Using these drugs for even a few weeks can lead to dependence, and a life that begins spiraling out of control. Young people gain access to dangerous addictive drugs by locating these medications in the medicine cabinet at home. Two thirds of teenagers who have become addicted to pain medications have been introduced to these drugs from either family or friends. Taking Steps to End Prescription Drug Abuse on Your Own If you are now facing the truth and recognize that you are dependent upon prescription drugs, you have taken the first step towards curbing addiction. It can be very difficult to admit to being dependent upon pain medication, and coming up with justifications for abuse is common. There are various methods by which you can try deal with the problem on your own, but it can be a tough road. These medications are highly addictive. Some will need to seek professional help get free from addiction. Read some basic advice about dealing with prescription drug abuse on your own: Keep track of how much of the prescription drug you are actually using. By marking down the times and quantities you are taking, you can take a hard look at how the drug may be controlling your life, and the level of abuse. Take the time to have a conversation with yourself about your life. Sit down with paper and pen, and write a list of all of the things in your life that are important to you, such as children, partner, job, church and friends. Write down how the drug abuse could impact what is most important to you, and be honest with yourself. If your partner, children, friends or boss was aware that you were addicted to prescription drugs, what would be the outcome? Confronting reality is not always easy. Putting it in writing can clarify it for you. Find a trusted friend, relative or other person that you feel safe talking to. If you have a person in your life that you deeply trust, have a conversation about your drug addiction. Hiding the abuse tends to perpetuates it. When you open up about it, even to one other person, it can set you on the right track, particularly when you listen to his or her thoughts about it....

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Domestic Abuse and Repeat Offenders
Aug30

Domestic Abuse and Repeat Offenders

Domestic abuse is a thread of violence that is very often misunderstood. Abuse victims face many challenges when attempting to leave an abusive relationship. This is often-time overlooked by family members, social workers, law enforcement, and other support and advocacy systems. The role that domestic abuse plays on incarcerated, or newly-released domestic abuse victims, is just one of the many crucial aspects that we must understand in order to better serve the needs of this particular demographic.   Repeat Offenders and Assistance First off, it is important to note the relationship between domestic abuse and incarceration. The vast majority of domestic abuse victims did time for crimes related to property, drugs, and prostitution. Upon being released, they may be on probation or parole, making them vulnerable to their abuser’s threats to comply to his demands or be sent back to prison. Even so, many shelters and prosecutor’s offices may deny them protective order assistance. This type of assistance can be crucial in determining the likelihood that they will become repeat offenders. It can also help lower the level of intimidation abuse victims with a past criminal record may likely feel when being back in a courtroom again. A Vicious Circle Another factor to consider is that incarcerated, or newly-released abuse victims do not have very many social and support systems. Therefore, they may be forced by their parole officers to go back to their previous home, if it appears to be a stable environment. This is done without taking into consideration that the abuser might still be present. On top of that, if the domestic abuse victim is being released after talking fault for crimes that the abuser committed, the abuser can continue to harass the victim into a life of crime.   Why Stay? Leaving an abusive partner seems like the logical thing to do. However, many times it is easier said than done. There are many reasons why abuse victims stay. Victims on parole may have nowhere to go, few job skills, limited knowledge of resources, and may even fear for their life and freedom if they attempt to leave an abusive partner. Sometimes it can prove safer to stay until an escape plan is well-established. It is estimated that a woman who tries to flee or has fled, is 75% more likely to be murdered. Extensive safety planning is necessary before attempting to break free from an abusive relationship. Call to Action The correlation between being a repeat criminal offender and an abuse victim is too blatant to ignore. Ignoring it will surely result in more women continuing to fall prey to abusive and manipulative partners...

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