Currently viewing the tag: "addiction"

…military-connected students reported higher levels of lifetime and recent substance use, violence, harassment and weapon-carrying compared with nonmilitary-connected students. For example:
* 45.2 percent of military-connected youth reported lifetime alcohol use compared with 39.2 percent of their nonmilitary-connected peers
* 12.2 percent of military-connected youth reported recently smoking cigarettes in the previous 30 days compared with about 8.4 percent of their nonmilitary peers
* 62.5 percent of military-connected students reported any physical violence compared with 51.6 percent of nonmilitary-connected students
* 17.7 percent of military-connected youth reported carrying a weapon at school compared with 9.9 percent of nonmilitary students
* 11.9 percent of military-connected students reported recent other drug use (e.g., cocaine and lysergic acid diethylamide [LSD]) compared with 7.3 percent of nonmilitary peers
Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or poem about a military-connected student who is struggling with inner demons.

Journaling Prompt: What inner demons did you struggle with as a teen?

Art Prompt: Inner demons

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the problems that military-connected students struggle with and give them a call to action to help.

Photo Credit: Army Sustainment Command on Flickr


Nearly four in ten [Americans] (39%) say they have known someone during the past five years who has abused prescription painkillers. Of those who have known someone who has had this problem, a majority say it has had a major harmful effect on the user’s family life (67%), work life (58%), and health (55%). In addition, 21% say that the person’s abuse of prescription painkillers led to their death.
“For much of the public, the issue of prescription painkiller abuse is not just a remote concern; it’s a problem they see in their personal lives,” said Robert J. Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Those who have known someone who has abused prescription painkillers hold different views about the problem than those who have not. They are significantly more likely to think abuse of prescription painkillers is an extremely or very serious problem in their state (64% vs. 43%) and that the problem has gotten worse over the past five years (56% vs. 28%). In addition, they are more likely to believe that prescription painkiller abuse makes a person more likely to use heroin or other illegal drugs (59% vs. 45%). –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a family that has felt the impact of prescription painkiller abuse.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about people taking drugs to feel better?

Art Prompt: Prescription painkiller abuse

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the impact of prescription painkiller abuse and suggest some solutions.

Photo Credit: mattza on Flickr

Nearly every inmate screened—96 percent—had a traumatic brain injury. That’s … far higher than the estimated 6 percent to 8.5 percent of the general population…
Traumatic brain injury has been proven to be a major risk factor for depression,post-traumatic stress disorder, aggressive behavior, substance abuse, and homelessness. But it’s also often associated with criminal behavior because it can, in some people, seem to alter all their behavior. Studies have shown that “the amount of verbal aggression, temper outbursts, and disinhibition” can increase after an injury, and that the aggression can become chronic if it isn’t addressed. According to a 2010 study in the journal Brain Injury, adult offenders with histories of traumatic brain injury also tend to enter the criminal justice system at a younger age than offenders without injuries, and to stay in it for longer. –Lauren Kirchner

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a person who changes after suffering a traumatic brain injury.

Journaling Prompt: How does this research affect your opinion of prison inmates?

Art Prompt: Traumatic brain injuries in convicts

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Share this research with your audience and suggest some possible reforms for our treatment of convicts.

Photo Credit: Wally Gobetz on Flickr

Between physician databases, incentive-happy sales reps, and an aggressive blitz package of promotional ephemera, Purdue’s multifaceted marketing campaign pushed OxyContin out of the niche offices of oncologists and pain specialists and into the primary care bazaar, where prescriptions for the drug could be handed out to millions upon millions of Americans. The most scathing irony is that what allowed OxyContin to reach so many households and communities was the claim that it wasn’t dangerous. –Poison Pill: How the American opiate epidemic was started by one pharmaceutical company by Mike Mariani

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about an epidemic that is started by a big business for profit.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about pharmaceutical companies and their advertising to consumers?

Art Prompt: Pain killer epidemic

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a true story about how big business has manipulated the public for profit.

Photo Credit: dugg simpson  on Flickr


Today’s heroin users are older — 23, on average — when they first try the drug. Most got high with prescription drugs acquired illegally before switching to heroin. They tend to live in suburban or rural areas rather than the inner city, and more than 90 percent of the study subjects who began using heroin in the past decade are white.
Previous research had reported that in the 1960s and 1970s, more than 80 percent of heroin users were young male minorities who lived in inner cities and began using the drug at about age 16.
“Our earlier studies showed that people taking prescription painkillers thought of themselves as different from those who used heroin,” Cicero said. “We heard over and over again, ‘At least I’m not taking heroin.’ Obviously, that’s changed.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a working person who becomes addicted to heroin.

Journaling Prompt: What are your feelings about drugs and the people who become dependent on them? 

Art Prompt: Heroin

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the new face of heroin addiction and what it means for our society.

Photo Credit: James Gardner on Flickr


There is no one specific trigger, but there are many contributing factors and high risk behaviors that contribute to the addictions spectrum disorders.

  • Physiological Factors – Pre-natal substance use exposure, genetic predisposition, psycho-pharmacology of the substance being use, and the person’s body ability to tolerate the substance.
  • Psychological Factors – Stress/distress, anxiety, depression, and physical/psychological pain all increases one’s likelihood of using substances
  • Social – Exposure to substance use in one’s family, community, or even one’s job are possible contributing factors
  • Spiritual – Loss of purpose, hope, or struggling with the meaning of it all.

Joseph Troiani

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write about a character as they develop an addiction. What are the triggers? What is the background?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a personal experience with addiction.

Art Prompt: Addiction

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the contributing factors that lead to the development of an addiction and how they can spot the warning signs in their loved ones.

Photo Credit: Kaushik Narasimhan on Flickr

3973 Problem solving

…people who cheated on a problem-solving task–while having little to gain–experienced a kind of ‘cheater’s high’ (Ruedy et al., 2013). They felt more satisfied with themselves and happier than those who didn’t cheat.
Some people were even specifically reminded after the study how important it was not to cheat. Perversely, these people felt even better!
Even more confusingly, when asked, most people in the study thought that someone who cheated would feel worse, or at least ambivalent afterwards. So, their prediction of how cheaters would feel was completely wrong. –Jeremy Dean

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write about a character who is addicted to the cheater’s high.

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever cheated? If so, how did you feel about at the time? A while after?

Art Prompt: Cheater’s High

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the problem of cheating and the cheater’s high.

Photo Credit: godzillante|photochopper on Flickr

Old man

Crozier hurts to the cavity in the center of his self where he is sure his soul had resided until it floated away on a sea of whiskey over the decades. -Dan Simmons, The Terror

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene or poem about a character that regrets decades of drinking.

Journaling Prompt: Write about an experience you’ve had with an addict.

Art Prompt: Cavity of the Soul

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the damage that addiction does to the soul and spirit.

Photo Credit: Tetsumo on Flickr

Stress Reduction

…researchers have found that when people are put under stress — by being told to hold their hand in ice water for a few minutes, for example, or give a speech — they start paying more attention to positive information and discounting negative information. “Stress seems to help people learn from positive feedback and impairs their learning from negative feedback,” Mather says.

This means when people under stress are making a difficult decision, they may pay more attention to the upsides of the alternatives they’re considering and less to the downsides. So someone who’s deciding whether to take a new job and is feeling stressed by the decision might weigh the increase in salary more heavily than the worse commute.

The increased focus on the positive also helps explain why stress plays a role in addictions, and people under stress have a harder time controlling their urges. “The compulsion to get that reward comes stronger and they’re less able to resist it,” Mather says. So a person who’s under stress might think only about the good feelings they’ll get from a drug, while the downsides shrink into the distance.

Stress also increases the differences in how men and women think about risk. When men are under stress, they become even more willing to take risks; when women are stressed, they get more conservative about risk. Mather links this to other research that finds, at difficult times, men are inclined toward fight-or-flight responses, while women try to bond more and improve their relationships. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a person making a decision in a stressful situation. Include the internal monologue.

Journaling Prompt: How do you make decisions when you are under stress?

Art Prompt: Stressful Decisions

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Inform your audience about the role of stress in decision making.

Photo Credit: Eamon Curry on Flickr

“People who focus on the here and now, without thinking about the impact on the future, are more aggressive than others when they are sober, but the effect is magnified greatly when they’re drunk,” said Brad Bushman, lead author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.

“If you carefully consider the consequences of your actions, it is unlikely getting drunk is going to make you any more aggressive than you usually are.”

…Bushman said it makes sense that alcohol would make present-focused people more aggressive.
“Alcohol has a myopic effect — it narrows your attention to what is important to you right now. That may be dangerous to someone who already has that tendency to ignore the future consequences of their actions and who is placed in a hostile situation.” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a bar fight.

Journaling Prompt: When are you most likely to act aggressively?

Art Prompt: Bar fight

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about the problem of aggressive behavior in our society and suggest how we can change the trend.

Photo Credit: Vectorportal on Flickr