Check out all the events for next week:
April 29th 10:10pm 63's Patio.................................Bonfire Vigil
April 30th 1-2pm UC Auditorium.......................Sexual Assault Speakers from RAINN
May 1st 9pm UC Auditorium.......................Delta Dance Revolution Fundraiser
May 2nd 2-8:30pm Garden Catering, Fairfield...Garden Catering Fundraiser
May 5th 1-5PM 63's Patio.............................."Take A Stand" Event co-sponsored by the Psychology Club
April 29th-May 3rd 10am-4pm...............................Awareness Tables
All events run in association with and in support of RAINN and the Center for Women and Families.
No, it is not Bob Marley’s birthday! Neither is it a California penal code for possession of weed, or the number of chemical compounds found in a cannabis plant.
What 420 is, whether expressed in the form 4:20 (as a time of day), 4/20 (as a calendar date), or just the unadorned numeral (pronounced "four-twenty"), is a universal, unofficial symbol for the use and appreciation of marijuana. In fact, 4/20 (April 20) has come to be known in certain circles as "Marijuana Appreciation Day”.
Notwithstanding the many and various urban legends that have grown up around the meaning of "420" and its connection with marijuana, the true story behind that connection is surprisingly prosaic.
In the early 1970s a small group of hippie stoners at San Rafael High School in northern California used to meet at a designated location every day to smoke weed at 4:20 p.m. They did this so regularly that among members of the group the expression "420" became a general euphemism for "time to light up."
The catchphrase spread beyond their immediate circle, beyond the high school they attended, and ultimately beyond California, so that within a decade or two pot smokers were using it across the country and indeed the world over. ." (From David Emery a freelance writer and an avid chronicler of urban legends and popular culture, April 2011)
To be Blunt….
Although marijuana may be legalized in some places and decriminalized in others like alcohol and other drugs, research indicates that marijuana can have negative effects on the brain in areas that have a direct impact on academic, social, physical and psychological success. Marijuana is also addictive for some users. The main active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short. The latest treatment data indicate that marijuana accounted for 17 percent of admissions (322,000) to treatment facilities in the United States, second only to opiates among illicit substances.
How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?
Scientists have learned a great deal about how THC acts in the brain to produce its many effects. THC acts upon specific sites in the brain, called cannabinoid receptors, kicking off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the "high" that users experience when they smoke marijuana. The highest density of cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement.(NIDA, 2010)
Marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Research has shown that, in chronic users, marijuana's adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off. The presence of MJ in the brain has also been shown to affect the brains ability to retain new information. In other words, if you get “high” on Saturday night and go to class on Monday, your ability to retain new information is impaired (even if you are not “high”). Someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time.
Long-term marijuana abuse can lead to addiction, that is, compulsive drug seeking and abuse despite the known harmful effects upon functioning in the context of family, school, work, and recreational activities. Estimates from research suggest that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana; this number increases among those who start young (to about 17 percent) and among daily users (25-50 percent).
Some people report withdrawal symptoms including: irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all of which can make it difficult to remain abstinent.
Marijuana and Mental Health
A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.
Effects on Health
Numerous studies have shown marijuana smoke to contain carcinogens and to be an irritant to the lungs. In fact, marijuana smoke contains 50-70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke. Marijuana increases heart rate by 20-100 percent shortly after smoking; this effect can last up to 3 hours.
Scientists have confirmed that the cannabis plant contains active ingredients with therapeutic potential for relieving pain, controlling nausea, stimulating appetite, and decreasing ocular pressure.
Help and information at SHU
If you are concerned about your or someone else’s use of marijuana or other substances, you can contact Janice Kessler, the Alcohol and Other Drug Intervention and Prevention Specialist. Janice is located in the Counseling Center and can be reached at 203-371-7955. All appointments are free and confidential.
Seasonal allergens are often caused by things in the air and on the ground all around us that are “springing up” everywhere. Some of us have allergies to trees, plants and grass; others of us have allergies to all of those and more, and then there are those of us who are simply allergic to the classrooms. For the latter, we at Health Services cannot help you.
However if you are a seasonal allergy sufferer you can take the following steps to ease your discomfort.
1. The first approach to treatment is to adjust your personal habits and your environment, which can both severely affect your symptoms, long time allergy sufferers know what this means. Take your meds, eat right and get enough sleep.
2. Know that reduced immune systems can worsen allergies and cause additional illness, if you are uncertain of allergy or illness consult your medical provider.
3. Air pollution can worsen allergy symptoms. Most allergy sufferers have learned to deal with their environmental issues; in home air filtering, systems can reduce irritants.
4. There are many OTC (over-the counter) remedies for easing irritations of the sinuses, you should consult with your doctor to determine which are best for you.
As for “spring colds”, you should not ignore prolonged symptoms as many patients who present to health care providers are often diagnosed with far more complicated illness i.e.;(pneumonia or chronic sinusitis) for having let symptoms go untreated.
My advice to you when in doubt get it checked out!
Heard of GYT on MTV sponsored by the CDC? It’s the “Get Yourself Tested” campaign; it empowers young people to reduce the spread of STDs through information, testing and treatment as needed. Why is this important? Well, we all need to be responsible for our own wellness and health. Here are a few facts to consider:
One in two sexually active young people will get an STD by the age of 25.
Most young people with an STD don’t know it.
Of the approximately 19 million new STDs that occur every year in the U.S., most will go undiagnosed.
Many STDs are curable and all are treatable.*
The Connecticut Department of Public Health will be on campus tomorrow for s.w.e.e.t.’s “Are You Positive You’re Negative?” screening. Students can get a free, confidential STD screening on Thursday, April 4th from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm in the Pitt Center Board Room. The STD screening requires no payment or appointment and could not be more convenient! If a student tests positive, the Department of Public Health staff will provide direct follow up and free medication. Students can also take home free giveaways, educational information, and lists of resources that are available to help keep our campus community healthy.
Since the most common symptom is no symptom at all, think about GYT.
*Statistics provided by GYTNOW.org
Depression doesn’t discriminate! If you have been experiencing a persistently sad mood, feeling overly emotional, anxious, irritable, distracted or empty, please get a mood check-up or call for an appointment at the Counseling Center at 203-371-7955.
We are here to help!
New findings suggest that diet soda mixed with alcohol leads to faster intoxication than regular soda mixers.
From the ABC Medical New Unit, 2/5/13
By SAMIR VERMANI, M.D.,
Cutting calories with diet soda may seem like a good idea, However………
A new study released in the journal Alcoholism suggests that cutting alcoholic drinks with diet soda makes them more potent than using their full-calorie counterparts. Specifically, researchers found that mixing alcohol with diet (sugar-free) soft drinks resulted in higher breath alcohol content than mixing alcohol with a regular (sugar-sweetened) soft drink.
"The results were surprising," said Cecile A. Marczinski, assistant professor in the department of psychological science at Northern Kentucky University, and one of the lead investigators of the study.
Researchers served one of three beverages: vodka added to a diet drink, vodka added to a regular drink or a regular soft drink with a vodka scent added so that participants would believe it was an alcoholic beverage. They then sat back while the subjects enjoyed their cocktails.
Those participants drinking the vodka-diet drink cocktails had significantly higher breath alcohol content and had the highest degree of behavioral impairment among the groups, the study found.
Hopefully, these tips will help you have a fun, yet safe, spring break trip. Above all else, just try to enjoy your time away from school because it won’t be long before you are back to the daily grind of writing papers, taking tests, and reading page after page of boring college textbooks. Good times.
Check out the events for LOVE YOUR BODY Month!!
Thursday, 2/21 Don’t Weigh your Self-Esteem Outside of 63’s
Friday, 2/22 11:30am-1:30pm
Monday, 2/25 Don’t Weigh your Self-Esteem Linda’s
Monday, 2/25 Healthy Eating Screenings Seton and Merton Hall Lobbies
Monday, 2/25 Nutrition for Performance UC Auditorium
For female athletes
Dr. Beau Greer
Tuesday, 2/26 Your Diet is Making you Fat Edgerton Theater
Melanie Jatsek, RD
Wednesday, 2/27 How do you help a friend in need Outside of 63’s
Wednesday, 2/27 Love Your Body Roncalli Hall—9th floor
Wednesday, 2/27 Active Minds fundraiser Pinkberry
Love Your Body month is co-sponsored by the Body image Task Force, the Social Work Club, Health Sciences Club, Residential Life, s.w.e.e.t., Kappa Delta, SATO, Active Minds and Chartwells Dining.
Call a friend or relative whom you are close to, but have not had a chance to talk to in a while, and wish him a Happy Valentine's Day. You will be reminded of the people in your life who always stand by you.
Celebrate the fact that you are no longer in a bad relationship. If you recently broke up with someone, the chances are good that you were in a poor relationship. Couples always break up for a reason. You might have been treated poorly, or perhaps the relationship brought out the worst in you. Let go of the sorrow and embrace the fact that you are now open to a good relationship when the opportunity comes around.
Host a singles-only gathering with single family members, friends and co-workers. Invite a few single friends over for a nice dinner and movie or game night. Having a get-together with other singles will remind you that you are not the only person who is not in a relationship. You can all get through the holiday of love by providing support for one another and enjoying a fun evening.
Take time to decide if you are ready to look for a relationship. Ask yourself if you are single because you have been unable to find someone to date, or if you like living the single life. Consider whether you often find yourself longing to be in a relationship, or only when Valentine's Day and other holidays roll around. If it's the latter, you might not really want a relationship. Follow your heart, engage in some self-reflection and you will be able to determine if it's time to start looking for someone new.
Spoil yourself for a change. If you are like most people, you devote your time and energy to everyone and everything while neglecting yourself. Use Valentine's Day as an excuse to appreciate yourself and all you do for others. You do not need to buy yourself traditional Valentine's Day goodies and products. Treat yourself to that sweater you have been admiring at the mall or that new CD you have been meaning to buy. Order in some dinner on Valentine's Day and take a few hours off to pamper yourself.
And if these tips don’t work, if you are feeling more alone and isolated than you would expect, please make an appointment to see one of the counselors at the Wellness Center.