Do Syringe Exchange Programs Really Work?

How And Why Syringe Exchange Programs Are Spreading Across The Country

Information and benefits about syringe exchange programs.

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The Syringe Exchange Program has been popping up in many cities across the United States.

These programs are set out to target IV drug users to provide them with clean needles to prevent the spread of diseases.

The Syringe Exchange Programs is going on in many places in the United States including Bellingham, Washington.

Although most people would think these programs would be counter-intuitive, they are actually allowing access to people who are IV drug user whether it is access to treatment or normal healthcare. This allows connection to be made and can open the doors to them receiving treatment when they are ready.

Jon Parker was one of the first activist involved with the Syringe Exchange Program. Parker was also an IV drug user. The Syringe Exchange Programs appeared in Europe in the early 1900s, and appeared in the United States in San Francisco, west coast areas and New York City, according to PBS.

These types of programs are more efficient when dealing with or fighting addiction.

The IV drug user will inject themselves about 1000 times per year, according to PBS.

When it comes to the Syringe Exchange Programs, the benefit and protection it gives people are extremely important in many areas of the United States.

The primary goal of these programs is to prevent the spread of diseases that these people have to live with, possibly for the rest of their life.

When people are using drugs such as heroin, crystal meth, and cocaine and become addicted, people will make harmful decisions that can lead to harming themselves in a multitude of ways whether its overdosing or infecting themselves with a horrific disease, according to DrugRehab.

Some people see the Syringe Exchange Programs as enabling drug addiction and feeding into it rather trying to steer people away from the use of drugs and it puts a burden on taxpayers.

However, research shows that it can help recruit people to seek treatment for drug abuse while being cost-efficient. Other conclusions show that it doesn't have negative consequences, according to DrugRehab.

The Syringe Exchange Programs don't just decrease the spread of HIV or other serious diseases, it can also potentially decrease the use of IV drug because more people will have access and information to help them get clean.

Through these programs, we can help people who are suffering from addiction and help them reconnect to their communities. Through these programs, we show that they aren't alone and that treatment is waiting for them when they are ready.

The positive outcomes that are being shown through research can prove that the benefits of the Syringe Exchange Programs outweigh the risks. So far it has been helpful to our society struggling with addiction. Protecting those who can't protect themselves.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Stop Demonizing CBD Just Because You Associate It With THC

CBD doesn't get you high, do your research.

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I'm sure you've heard about CBD already, but if not, then let me break it down for you. Cannabidiol, CBD, is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids identified in the cannabis plant, but unlike the THC in the marijuana plant, it doesn't have any psychoactive properties.

CBD doesn't get you high.

When extracted from the plant, CBD has proven to be effective in the medical field. It has shown to be effective in the treatment of epilepsy, in the management of pain, in reducing depression and anxiety, and relieving cancer symptoms, among a host of other uses. New research from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York has revealed that CBD may be beneficial for society as a whole, too.

Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital conducted the study to understand how we can fight the opioid epidemic through the discovery of alternative treatment options by assessing the potential effects of CBD on craving and anxiety in heroin users.

42 drug abstinent men and women between the ages of 21 and 65, who had recently stopped using heroin, were recruited for the study. Two groups were formed out of the participants: a control group that received a placebo and a test group that received CBD doses ranging from 400 mg to 800 mg per day. After administration, participants were exposed to neutral environmental cues and cues that would be considered drug-use inducing over three sessions. The cues in the environment were tested because an addict's environment and the cues it gives are the strongest triggers for relapse and continued drug use.

The results of the research hold great promise for the future of CBD.

Participants who were in the test group and given CBD had significantly reduced cravings for heroin, and noted feeling less anxiety when exposed to drug-use inducing cues. Moreover, the CBD had a lasting effect on this group as it continued to reduce cravings and relieve anxiety for seven days after the last dose was administered. In essence, this is the most important takeaway from the research: CBD had lasting effects well after it was present in the body. Numerous vital signs like heart rate, skin temperature, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation were taken to ensure only objective results were obtained since cravings and anxiety are subjective feelings. Another finding was a reduction in participants' heart rate and salivary cortisol levels, which would have both increased in the presence of anxiety-provoking images.

I think the evidence points to a logical conclusion: CBD is safe, it is effective in treating opioid addictions, and it is beneficial for those who experience a host of issues from pain, to anxiety, to epilepsy or to illnesses. Now is the time to keep pushing for legalization to continue larger scale studies and introduce CBD as a valid treatment option.

"A successful non-opioid medication would add significantly to the existing addiction medication toolbox to help reduce the growing death toll and enormous health care costs." - Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

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