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Stop Vaping

E-cigs. E-hookahs. Mods. Pens. Vapes. Whatever the name, e-cigarettes are not safe. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. E-cigarette use among youth was recently declared an epidemic by the U.S. Surgeon General. Some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Some e-cigarettes look like pens, USB sticks, or other everyday items. Despite the “vaping” name, e-cigarette aerosol is NOT harmless “water vapor.” It can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds; cancer-causing chemicals and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead. Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said, “No one knows what’s in these products. Even the FDA doesn’t know, because they haven’t required manufacturers to submit a list of ingredients. My message to people in Philadelphia…

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Overdose Rescue: Learn how to get and use naloxone (Narcan®)

Philadelphia is facing the greatest public health crisis in a century. Every neighborhood in the city is being hit hard by an epidemic of opioid use and overdose. Across all racial and ethnic groups, the number of deaths from drug overdose is higher than the number of deaths from homicide. Of the 1,217 overdoses in 2017, 1,074 involved opioids.Opioids are a class of drugs that relieve pain. When appropriately prescribed by a doctor, opioids help the brain block the feeling of pain. Misusing opioids can cause addiction, overdose, and sometimes death.Philadelphia Fights BackThe City is working to save lives, improve access to help, and reverse the negative effects opioids have had on our communities. To support overdose prevention, the City is distributing the lifesaving drug naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote. DBHIDS is offering monthly lifesaving Naloxone (Narcan) Overdose Prevention & Rescue Training. View Calendar What is naloxone?Naloxone is a prescription…

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Game-bling

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently listed “gaming disorder” as an official addictive behavior disorder. The International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) lists gaming disorder as a “pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences” (WHO, 2018).  In order for gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behavior pattern must be of “sufficient severity” resulting in significant impairment in an individuals’ personal, familial, social, educational, occupational or other significant areas of functioning. The behavior pattern must be evident for at least 12 months. Studies suggest that gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital- or video-gaming activities. However, people who partake in gaming should be alert to the amount of time they spend on gaming activities, particularly when it is:  to the exclusion of other…

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Addiction: A Story of Love and Loss

We met when I was 16 years old, and nearly 20 years and several serious relationships later, he remains the love of my life. His smile, his sense of humor, and his ever-giving selflessness are what I loved the most about him. Drugs took that all away. Early on, I wasn’t as concerned about his drug use because he worked full time in construction and went to community college at night. It was 2003, and I lived in the dorms at Temple University. We saw each other on weekends and occasionally during the week; but I had no idea how the disease of addiction was developing.  Looking back now, it makes sense considering his family’s cycle of addiction. His own father had overdosed a few years prior, and other members of his immediate family were in various stages of addiction. For his 22nd birthday, we took a trip to Ft.…

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