Weekend Diversions

Somehow, I am growing bored of hearing myself think and write about my thoughts. I just can’t bring myself to be introspective today. I am feeling more energetic than I have the past few days and so am catching up on reading. I have decided to share with you the pieces I find intriguing and inspiring. 

  1. For teenagers, adult-sized opioid addiction treatment doesn’t fit -Few support systems exists designed specifically for teenagers battling substance use disorders. Teenagers’ brains are at different levels of development, young users have a high instance of untreated trauma, and they are either dependents in their families, or homeless. They require a different level of care than their older counterparts. A 2012 study from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health found that 90 percent of drug users between 12 and 17 years old do not receive any treatment. New research and policy, however, is changing the addiction therapy scene. Centers such as Serenity Mesa in Albuquerque, New Mexico are focusing on evidence-based approaches such as family therapy and motivational interviewing, in conjunction with treatment drugs such as Suboxone. With new measures and new research initiatives, more adolescents and teenagers will be given the treatment they need to become healthy. 
  2. New methods for treating opioid addiction are on the horizon -In the same vein as the above article, a new form of the opioid treatment drug buprenorphine would provide an easy alternative to daily oral treatment regimes. Probuphine is an time-released stick of medicine inserted under a patient’s skin. It contains enough of the drug to give a low six-month dose. This is helpful for people who forget their daily pill, are tempted to discontinue use in order to score a high with an opioid, or become incarcerated and may not be allowed to keep their oral medication while in jail.
  3. Why are there so few girls in children’s books? -Jennie Yabroff points out an unfortunate fact: the majority of characters in children’s books are male, even when gender is not an integral part of the story. This phenomenon is especially prevalent and, she argues, unfortunate when the protagonist is an inanimate object (think the crayons in bestseller The Day the Crayons Quit) or an animal (think the Pigeon series by Mo Williams). These characters could be girls or even gender neutral, and yet the authors choose to deliberately assign them maleness. Children are so curious about the world and their role within it during the developmental stages in which they read children’s books; this is precisely the time when strong female leads are important for young girls. If they learn that all the good parts in life are taken by men, where will they find the ambition and drive to become leaders of their generation? 
  4. Just because you do ‘good’ work doesn’t mean you are good– This is a powerful edict by writer and poet Michael Lee against social complacency and systemic injustice. Lee talks about the overwhelming white majority operating nonprofits geared at helping low-income (often minority) populations. Nonprofits do not pay well, and the majority of tasks are done by unpaid interns and volunteers, most of whom are also white and people of means; only the well-off can afford to dedicate their time to helping people on the other side of the income gap. The position of power held by whites is solidified as they help and make decisions about  (economic, ethnic, racial, sexual) minorities. While working at a nonprofit that served homeless youth, Lee observed even his co-workers who were people of color helping and justifying the actions of white youth over all others. 

          Lee calls for a change in the nonprofit system, where roles are distributed equally and society does not support organizations where good intentions are eclipsed by the power of a few. 

Alright, I hope you are all fired up know to go change the world, or at least your own small corner of community. 


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