Pubdate: Fri, 01 Dec 2006
Source: Kootenay Western Star (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Kootenay Western Star
Author: Willa Condy


Addictions can happen with many different substances. Some, like food 
are very hard to understand or cope with. Others addictions are new 
variations on older themes.

The internet has brought the world into our homes. It has also 
spawned addictions to various activities that lead to excessive time 
spent on-line.

Behavioural or process addictions are harder for most people to 
understand. Many turn out to stimulate the same area of the brain 
that opiates trigger in addicts.

The hard part in telling if you have a problem is many of these 
activities are things we all do on a day-to-day basis. It is hard to 
stop eating or shopping or to totally stay away from the internet. 
All of these activities are part of our everyday lives.

Other addictions are more main stream and are slightly more 
understood. Drugs and alcohol are substances that can cause a 
physical dependency.One of the still legal addictive agents is 
nicotine in cigarettes.

A recent study done in seven Canadian cities showed more people are 
abusing prescription drugs than heroin now. This is a new problem 
that is showing up all over North America.

On November 23 in Trail, an information workshop for parents about 
meth and other street drugs in the West Kootenay area was held by 
Freedom Quest.

One surprise was that meth is not the drug of choice for teens in the 
West Kootenay. Alcohol, marijuana, crack cocaine and ecstasy all 
score higher with youth of this area.

Freedom Quest went through what drugs looked like, what effect they 
would have on children and most importantly, what parents should be 
watching with their children.

That soother that a teenager is using is more than a fashion 
statement. It can be an indication that ecstasy has been used. The 
main message is to talk clearly with your children about drugs from 
an early age and try to stay part of their lives.

Freedom Quest covers the West Kootenay region from Grand Forks to 
Kaslo. They provide counselling, education, day treatment and family 
support for youth 19 and under. Their philosophy is all people have 
the right to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of age.

Their main office is based in Castlegar, but they have satellite 
offices in Nelson and Trail. They have contact people in Kaslo, Grand 
Forks and Salmo.

Some of the services they provide include short term housing and day treatment.

They are in hospitals for youths with substance abuse issues or 
mental health issues.

"We do have a support program for families with youth with substance 
abuse issues. If you have an adult in the family with substance abuse 
issues and you are a youth are struggling with it you can still 
contact us and come seek counselling in regards to that as well," 
said Holly Jack, with Freedom Quest.

For any information on the programs call 1-877-304-2676.
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