I'm Not '2 Cuul 2 Juul'

I'm Not '2 Cuul 2 Juul', I Just Care About My Health

Didn't Augustus Waters tell you not to giving the killing stick the power to do the killing?

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Being a college student, I can't tell you how many times a day I see someone grabbing their mod or their juul and taking a drag as they're walking to their next class or walking back to their dorms. Nothing fills my lungs with happiness like getting a big whiff of mango cancer as I'm trying to walk to my class or get to my car. It's the best feeling.

I'm being totally sarcastic. I think the entire idea of vaping is stupid. It was originally developed as a way for people who smoked cigarettes to wean themselves off of the killing sticks and lower their nicotine dosage but over time, I've seen the complete opposite. Ever since people started to catch on to the concept of vaping instead of smoking cigarettes, blunts, joints, etc., it seems that the problem just keeps escalating. There really hasn't been a decrease in the amount of people vaping/smoking. Do they realize that they're slowly killing themselves? You might think your cotton candy juice that goes into your mod is great, but you're still putting nicotine into your body; You're still putting yourself at risk for ruining your body as you get older.

The most disgusting thing to hear is someone hacking up a lung because they just took the fattest drag from their juul (which I like to call an adult pacifier or a make-shift flash drive) and try to perform some 'sick vape tricks'. You honestly are just making yourself look really stupid. No one cares about the O's you can blow out of your mouth or the 'wicked' tornado clouds you can whip up because you have a lot of extra time on your hands to watch YouTube videos on how to do vape tricks.



THAT'S CRINGE: Vape Hotbox www.youtube.com

As someone who's been exposed to smoking their entire life as they've had family members who smoked or continue to smoke today, I can definitely say that I never will be one to do that. I've seen the health effects that it does to your body. Even the littlest dose of nicotine can be addicting to someone and the fact that they have to then rely on something so toxic and dangerous is sad to me. Appleton, Wisconsin recently banned public vaping and I applaud them for taking that step forward and realize that the smoke coming from these mods and pens is harming more people than those who are taking the drags realize.

The tobacco industry is thriving off of these teens and young adults who buy these tropical paradise flavored pods because they're addicting and the companies are profiting off of the addiction of these gullible children. These companies developing E-Cigarettes claim that they're dramatically decreasing the health risks posed by smoking normal cigarettes, but, if someone is simply taking their normal amount of nicotine and placing it into a vape pen, they're doing the complete opposite of what the electronic cigarette was created for.

It's not that I'm saying that these weren't good inventions, to begin with, because they were. Electronic cigarettes when they were first introduced, I thought, were going to be beneficial to those who were used to smoking packs a day if they wanted to start taking in lower doses. But, as I've grown up and more and more people are just seeing that it's the 'norm' or the 'cool thing' to do in order to fit in with a certain group of people, there really is no positive outcomes from vaping. You're just filling the air with second-hand smoke and putting those who don't vape at risk for ruining their lungs simply by walking outside and trying to enjoy the fresh air but can't enjoy said fresh air when it's filled with watermelon cancer scented smoke.

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An Open Letter To The Parent That Chose Drugs Over Me

You should know this.
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There used to be a time when you made me feel loved and wanted.

I couldn't wait to come home after school knowing that you'd be waiting for me along with all of my favorite snacks, ready to give me a big hug and ask me how my day went. I used to sit in your lap while you helped me read my chapter books. You used to show up to things.

You used to get to know my friends. You used to encourage me. But you're not that person anymore. I watched as your addiction consumed you and turned you into a monster. Your loving words turned into hateful actions. I watched as you became angry at the world until your substances were the only thing that mattered anymore. Nothing was good enough for you, and nothing could save you... not even me.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

It took me a long time to realize what was even going on. I was old enough to know that drugs were bad, but still young enough that I had no idea what they looked like or how a person may act while taking them. I didn't know that when you locked yourself in your room with strangers you were getting high, or that it wasn't normal for people to sleep for twenty hours at a time.

I used to think that maybe if I had asked other adults more questions I would have figured it out sooner and you could have gotten help. I used to think that if maybe my sister and I didn't fight as much, or if I didn't complain every time you told me to do something, that maybe you wouldn't have been so stressed out all the time. But the truth is, it wasn't my fault. It wasn't my sister's fault.

This was all on you.

I didn't ask for a parent that was forced to enroll in various rehab programs, but that's what I got. I didn't ask for the letters you sent while you were in and out of jail, but I still read them all. I didn't want to explain to my friends' parents why your name was always in the paper, but I did it regardless.

All I ever actually wanted was for you to pick me for once in your life, but you couldn't do that.

When the going got tough, you just cowered away, too scared to confront your own demons. You had everyone else to blame, but you never took a second to think about what you were doing to us, no matter how much I begged and pleaded.

You ripped our family apart. You fucked me up.

What is a child to do when the one person in the whole world that is supposed to teach them love and affection hits them, tells them they're worthless, and leaves them to fend for themselves?

SEE ALSO: To The Children Growing Up Around Addiction

I promised myself several years ago that I would never become you. I would never let any kind of substance consume my life. I wouldn't lie, steal, and manipulate to get my way. I wouldn't become a “parent" to my children only when it's convenient for me. I would make something of myself.

It makes my blood boil to see you take credit for how I turned out. “I'm so proud of my baby. Raising you is the greatest thing I've ever done." Complete bullshit. You were never around to raise me. Any ounce of success I've tasted hasn't come from you or your guidance. If anything, you've only been a living demonstration of everything I shouldn't be.

I got to where I am today with absolutely no help from you. You don't get to come into my life now that I'm an adult and take all the credit. You don't get to try to dictate what I can and can't do as if you have some kind of authority on my decisions. You had your chance to raise me and be a part of my life, but you blew it. I don't owe you a single thing.


Cover Image Credit: Jordi Bernabeu

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Denver's Decision To Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms Offers New Hope For Those Struggling With Mental Illness

If we want to really make progress in mental health treatment, we might have to start considering solutions that are a little bit unorthodox.

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Admittedly, magic mushrooms are not the first drug that comes to mind when you think of Denver, Colorado. However, this week the residents of Denver will vote on whether to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms as part of a movement nicknamed "Decriminalize Denver." The movement is the nation's first public referendum on hallucinogenic mushrooms. Initiative 301 aims to ratify the directive that enforcing laws for personal use or possession of psilocybin mushrooms "shall be the lowest law enforcement priority in the City and County of Denver."

While the motives behind decriminalization are undeniably varied, one major reason to support the legalization of magic mushrooms is the fact that they offer a lot of potential in long-term treatment of mental illness and addiction. According to a study led by Jeremy Daniel and Margaret Haberman at the South Dakota State University College of Pharmacy in 2017, psilocybin mushrooms have high affinity for several serotonin receptors located in numerous areas of the brain, including the cerebral cortex and thalamus.

Findings like these point to the fact that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, may be an effective treatment for addiction, depression, chronic pain, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The benefits are so convincing that the FDA has granted "breakthrough therapy" status to study psilocybin for treating depression due to the fact that preliminary evidence shows "the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapy," meaning magic mushrooms might be closer to their namesake after all, bringing new hope for those who have exhausted other options and found them more harmful than helpful.

Kevin Matthews, the campaign director of "Decriminalize Denver," credits psilocybin mushrooms with "really saving [his] life" following his medical discharge from the United States Military Academy due to his major depression. Matthews says his "life had crumbled beneath [his] feet" and suffered without a solution for years until his friends introduced him to magic mushrooms. Since discovering their potential for treating his depression, he's dedicated his life to bringing others with severe mental illnesses the same opportunity.

A 2015 paper from the University of Alabama went so far as to find that "classic psychedelic use is associated with reduced psychological distress and suicidality in the United States adult population." Findings like these are imperative, especially in a time when suicide rates have risen 30% in the last decade.

If we want to really make progress in mental health treatment, we might have to start considering solutions that are a little bit unorthodox.

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