With the stay at home order, social isolation, prolonged stress and employment loss- it is no surprise that substance use may be more prevalent during this time. We’ll cover some of the data that was collected by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) in the earlier months of the pandemic. The CCSA asked over 1000 respondents during April of 2020, about their alcohol and cannabis use habits/rates.
Have the days gotten longer, but time for yourself seems shorter?
When it comes to our mind, body and soul, we have to take the time to nurture ourselves. During the times of COVID-19, a lot is surpassing us within our day-to-day life, and it is now more than ever that we have to dive deep in taking care of ourselves.
With self-care, it should be known that there is a lot more than picking one specific day.
You are a beautiful temple who deserves nourishment all day every day and using that ‘self-care Sunday’ may feel good in the moment, but it is not enough. You are more than one day a week kind of deal. Being stuck at home and watching Netflix is quite cozy, why not throw in a face mask or cucumber water to keep hydrated and remember to keep the body moving!
What is Self-Care?
The WHO 1998 definition:
‘Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure etc.), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.’
During a pandemic our bodies may go into deep shock. Life is becoming more stressful as good news is hard to find these days. Being able to take that time for relaxation or just managing your own personal stress can help with maintaining your wellness.
Managing Stress Continue reading
Join us for our Community Cares event!
What is Community Care? Think self care, but broader!
We’ll be hosting a speaker and various “Choose Your Own Adventure” breakout rooms filled with art activities and community-related topics to explore with folks in our community!
Are you a young person in Toronto area wishing for or trying to connect more with your community? Are you a partier missing the scene? Are you wondering how to connect with others outside of your bubble or friend group? Do you want to chat with others feeling a similar way and come up with some ideas on how we can support ourselves, each other and our networks beyond ‘self care’?
We are humbled/honoured to have Asante Haughton (@asantetalks) from the Reach Out Response Network to come share about his work and involvements within our communities !!! Don’t miss out!
Art-based community-themed breakout groups + related discussion + harm reduction!
This is an event to get to know one another, learn how we can support ourselves and each other and connect as life continues through these new challenges
<3 We hope to see you there! <3
**Registered attendees will receive a free gift card for their participation/attendance.
*This event will not be recorded*
Breaking down various methods of reducing drug injection related risks & harms
There are plenty of reasons you might choose to inject, and injecting drugs can lead to some unique risks and harm. It allows for significantly faster, and more potent onset of drug effects (if you are mainlining) as opposed to insufflation (snorting), plugging (consuming drugs through your anal/vaginal cavity), or swallowing drugs. You can inject a number of different drugs including opioids (drugs like heroin, morphine and fentanyl), stimulants (like speed, crack, crack cocaine) and various pills. We’ll break down the basics to help keep you and your peers safer if you choose to inject your drugs through a vein; intravenously (AKA IV/mainlining) into your muscle; intramuscularly (AKA IM) or subcutaneously injecting under the skin (skin popping).
Winter is upon us and whatever holidays you celebrate or markers of time passing you acknowledge, there is usually an element of traditions, gathering with loved ones, special food and gift or token giving involved. All of that will look somewhat different this year, there’s no doubt about that, and there are still many options for connecting with each other and reflecting on the previous year.
What are some Activities you can do with low/no risk?
For centuries nutmeg has been used as a psychoactive drug, falling in and out of popularity. It is often selected because it is cheap and easy to come by, (there might be some in your kitchen spice rack right now). Nutmeg is sometimes used to ease symptoms when experiencing opiate/ opioid withdrawal.
Since the 12th century people have used nutmeg as both a drug with medicinal properties and a seasoning. French astrologer, Nostradamus, was said to have induced his prophetic visions by ingesting large quantities of nutmeg. Malcom X is even quoted noting “a penny matchbox full of nutmeg had the kick of three or four reefers,” in his autobiography.
A drug with such a rich history is sure to peak some people’s interest and curiosities, especially being so cheap and easy to access. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of the dangers and risk of harm when ingesting nutmeg in high quantities. Currently there is a recurring “Nutmeg Challenges” trend on social media sites like Facebook and TikTok where people (especially teens and young adults) are filming themselves after consuming 2-4 tablespoons of nutmeg.
Light to moderate doses for ground nutmeg range from 5-20g, (roughly 1-5 teaspoons), with strong doses being from 20-30g, (roughly 5-7 teaspoons).
When we have a headache, it’s easy to grab a pill for the pain. But what do we do when we’re in a bit of a slump? Some people swear by supplements reported to boost serotonin (the happy chemical) and your mood, but even herbal supplements have risks. Most of these supplements are unregulated or poorly regulated, and are not considered “drugs”. They can have mild to severe side effects, and dangerous interactions with prescription pharmaceuticals as well as recreational party drugs. There are many of these supplements available on the market, but we’re going to look at a few common ones in this blog: St. John’s Wort, 5-HTP, and valerian root.
***Please note that this is an informational overview on the interactions between SSRI and SNRI medications with recreational substances. You should always tell your doctor what recreational substances you use when considering treatments for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. There may be additional risks and side effects not listed here!***
SSRI and SNRI?
SSRI’s (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) and SNRI’s (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Re-uptake inhibitors) are widely known antidepressant medications that are also prescribed for many other conditions. They can be prescribed by your doctor for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), fibromyalgia and nerve pain syndromes, and even conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and premature ejaculation. Because they are prescribed for a wide variety of conditions, some folks may not be aware that they are taking antidepressant medications! This is important because there are significant risks associated with taking SSRI/SNRI medications and using recreational drugs, which is why you should always ask your doctor or other healthcare professional if there are any interactions between the drugs you use and the drugs they give you – every time! Even after talking to your doctor, it’s a good idea to take charge of your health and do your own research (such as reading this blog!)