Youth and Substance Abuse


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Leanne Paisley, Addictions Counsellor at The Royal, spoke about youth and substance abuse, addictions and opioids.

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Youth and Substance Abuse

  1. 1. Youth & Substance Use Leanne Paisley Regional Opioid Intervention Service Addiction Counsellor Date: Saturday October 5, 2013
  2. 2. Overview Introduction Housekeeping Notes (question and answer) Substance Use/Abuse – Opioids – Marijuana Mental Health
  3. 3. How does “Youth Substance Abuse” Happen? An excerpt from: “Young, Assured and Playing Pharmacist to Friends”
  4. 4. Spectrum of Substance Use The varying points of people’s use:
  5. 5. What is addiction? • Chronic disease of brain reward circuitry • Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioural control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviours and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Excerpt from American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) definition
  6. 6. Who becomes addicted? EVERYONE! Risk factors that are commonly seen: 1. Stress 2. Family history 3. Self-esteem 4. Exposure 5. Trauma 6. Mental illness – concurrent disorders
  7. 7. The Statistics - Youth • Between October 2010 and November 2011 CAMH completed a survey with 9,288 Ontario students • 54.9% of students used alcohol • 22.3% of students binge drink • 22% of students used cannabis • 14% of students used opiates • 1/8 students report symptoms of drug use problems
  8. 8. Opioids/Opiates/Painkillers
  9. 9. Prescription Opioid Abuse • Opioid abuse is a growing problem • Canada is the world’s third largest per capita consumer of opioids. Ontario tops the list in Canada. • Prescription opioids has become the predominant form of illicit opioid use (rather than heroin) • Increase in number of individuals seeking treatment for opioid dependence in the last 10 years • Opioids are a commonly abused substance by youth and young adults
  10. 10. What is an Opioid? • Opioids are depressants-- they slow down certain brain functions • Opioids are also referred to as narcotics • Opioids can be effective painkillers • Some opioids are prescription medications (like oxys, fentanyl) and others are not (ie., heroin)
  11. 11. Why Prescription Opioids? Why now? • Perceived safety because it is a pharmaceutical • More socially acceptable than heroin • Purity • Potent opioid (euphoria effects) • Easy access (inadequate monitoring of prescription narcotics) • High dose • Possible to circumvent delivery system: chew, suck, snort, smoke, inject
  12. 12. Opioid Dependence is characterized by • Control – loss of control over use • Consequences – continued use despite knowledge of harmful consequences • Compulsion to Use • Cravings
  13. 13. Marijuana • Also know as cannabis, pot, weed • These plants have resin containing molecules known as cannabinoids • Cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in your brain and other parts of your body, in particular the nervous and immune systems • It tends to suppress hormones produced by stress reactions and stimulate an increase in dopamine in the brain which activates pleasure pathways
  14. 14. Marijuana continued… • Impacts: coordination, movement, decision making, social skills, consciousness, short-term memory, and the reward pathway (your ability to distinguish between different things that feel good) • Different effects depending on the person – can be feelings of calm to feelings of paranoia • Effects based on setting, environment, person’s biochemistry, dosage, plant strain, person’s diet, person’s mood or mindset
  15. 15. Potential Consequence of Substance Use • Most concerning – overdose and death • Addiction • Accidents • Infectious illnesses/diseases • Loss of relationships or turmoil in relationships • Decrease in functioning with school, job, responsibilities • Legal difficulties
  16. 16. Mental Health and Substance Use • People with substance use problems have higher rates of mental health problems than the general population • People with mental health problems have higher rates of substance use problems than the general population • Young people age 15-24 are more likely to report mental health and/or substance use problems than other age groups • Concurrent Disorders = condition in which a person struggles with both a mental health and a substance use problem
  17. 17. Rates of Concurrent Disorders • 40-70% of people with substance use problems have mental health issues • Most common combinations: – Substance use problems + Anxiety disorder – Substance use problems + Mood disorder
  18. 18. Questions from Cue Cards?
  19. 19.