Letter: Smoke-free campuses will help end smoking addiction

Full disclosure, I am a smoker. I started before my 16th birthday about four years ago. Now, I hear that the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) is joining a few other schools in going smoke-free. That means no cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, water pipes, cigars, or tobacco anywhere on campus. As a smoker, I heard this and scoffed. But deep down, I think this is a good idea. Some students may say that smoking is their stress-relief. Even I say this. But it is not fact. More accurately, lighting up a cigarette has been shown to increase anxiety and tension. While students like myself might feel immediate release when the smoke hits their lips, they are not doing themselves any […]

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Cell Phone Stress: How Social Media is Controlling Our Lives

Turn to your left. Turn to your right. Both of the people next to you were probably looking at their phones. Perhaps you’re even reading this on your phone right now. Digital technology has become such an integral part of our lives that people are actually becoming addicted to their cell phones. This is especially feared for the millennial generation, who are some of the most active mobile users. Who suffers from cell phone addiction the most? Anne Bowker, a professor of psychology at Carleton, said there are a myriad of causes for mental health problems related to cell phone overuse. “There is research that suggests a strong link between lack of sleep and heightened feelings of anxiety and stress,” […]

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Panel uses art to discuss youth substance abuse

A dramatic spread of photos depicting a heroin addict’s recovery process stood behind five experts on substance abuse and health policy. The panelists were discussing addiction, drinking, and how to reach students March 12 at the Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG). On campuses in Ottawa, the biggest problem substances are alcohol and marijuana, and they are often connected to mental health problems like stress or depression, according to the panel. According to the 2004 Canadian Campus Survey by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 77.1 per cent of students reported alcohol use in the past month, while 32.1 per cent reported using cannabis in the past year. Coming in at a low third was 8.7 per cent of students […]

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Just one more click . . .

Just one more click. One more page of Texts From Last night. One more post on Reddit. It all can’t hurt, right? Actually, it can. It’s called novelty addiction, and it can take control of your life. “There are harms absolutely, I mean, there are the physical harms, but there’s also critically the psychological harms,” said Kim Hellemans, a Carleton psychology professor and addiction and mental illness expert. What is novelty addiction? Novelty addiction, according to Hellemans, is dependent on the release of chemicals in the brain when exposed to new experiences. “When particularly novel stimuli and salient . . . occur it causes a release of dopamine in critical brain regions, ” she said. Dopamine is thought of as a kind […]

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