Tag: substance abuse

Wesley Thomas Wesley Thomas (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

Wesley Thomas graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelors in Microbiology. He is interested in pursuing a career in Pediatrics and hopes to work both abroad and in his home state. Currently, Wesley is a medical student at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

Drug Addicts and Crazy People

“Great, six weeks of crazy people!” This is the sort of attitude with which I went into my psychiatry rotation. Couple this with the fact that while most schools only have four required weeks of psychiatry, my school has six weeks. Of course, I would have more free time compared to other rotations — it is called “psychation” for a reason — but at what cost? Mental illness was something that made me uncomfortable.


The Great Needle Exchange Debate

In the past few weeks, there has been considerable press surrounding needle exchanges and the recently declared HIV epidemic in Indiana.

The first time I talked with my friends about needle exchanges, I had a visceral reaction. “Why would you give people new needles?” I asked, completely outraged. “Isn’t that enabling and therefore doing a disservice to the very people you’re trying to help?”


Fighting Substance Abuse with Exercise

As soon as we walk through the recovery program doors, we are greeted with enthusiastic welcomes and familiar smiles. For the past two years, three of my friends and I have been leading exercise workshops at a rehabilitation program for patients overcoming addiction. At first I was nervous about how our program would be received. Would the clients be annoyed by our presence? Would they want to participate in our exercise routines?

F10.23 Alcohol Dependence with Withdrawal

A mere five weeks into my third year of medical school, I met a patient who would leave an indelible mark. Jose was a Hispanic man that teetered between overweight and obese; I am a tall, medium-build Chinese-American who was thin in high school. He struggled with depression during 40 odd years of life; my biggest worry growing up was excelling on the competitive piano circuit. He spoke of a family rife with discord and unhappiness; my family is intact and supportive. He dropped out of college; I want to stay in school forever. He ate rice and tortillas; I ate rice and tofu. We were different but for a moment, our lives intersected.


When the Brain Says, “I Need More…”

While walking around campus at the beginning of the new semester, it is hard not to notice the sudden appearance of signs instructing us to “Breathe Freely” because the campus is now “Smoke-Free.” The new law has challenged some students and faculty to forego smoking altogether, and has enticed discussion about the regulation of harmful addictive substances, often revealing the social baggage associated with addictive behavior. The duality of alcohol, for example, as both the …

A Mind Based Approach to Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a chronic illness characterized by the use of a psychogenic substance despite negative consequences associated with its use. Biological dependence is marked by cravings, increased dose and/or frequency of use due to tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of substance abuse. Addicts gain pleasure via the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is released from the ventral tegmental area of the brain and into the nucleus accumbens. This reward encourages and solidifies the addictive behavior and …

Ozan Toy Ozan Toy (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

The Commonwealth Medical College

Ozan is currently a Class of 2015 medical student at The Commonwealth Medical College. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and has a strong passion for neuroscience.