Tag: substance abuse

Melissa Gibson Melissa Gibson (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine


Melissa Gibson attends Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine and is part of the class of 2020. In her free time, she can be found at the lake or hiking with friends.




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 …

Mariam Bonyadi Mariam Bonyadi (14 Posts)

Columnist and in-Training Staff Member

University of Illinois College of Medicine


Mariam graduated with a BS in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she conducted undergraduate research in B-cell development and lymphomagenesis as well as the neurobiology of stress. In high school, Mariam spent several years studying mechanisms of induced pluripotency in an embryonic stem cell research lab at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. She now studies computational neuroscience and medicine as part of the Medical Scholars Program (MD/PhD) and the Neuroscience Program (NSP) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Outside of research and clinical experiences, Mariam has earned a black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys yoga and San Diego beaches.

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap focuses on the relationship between basic research and medicine, in order to develop an appreciation for the science that underlies the foundations of modern medicine.