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AUG
17
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Becoming Wiser with Piscataway Seniors

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By: Gina-Marie Miraglia This summer, the Piscataway Senior Center hosted the Wellness Initiative for Senior Education program (WISE). It was delivered by Wellspring Center for Prevention’s Preventionists Helen Varvi and Gina-Marie Miraglia. The WISE program met once a week for six weeks and is designed to celebrate healthy aging, healthy lifestyle choices, and avoiding substance abuse through drug education. Our group of friends really valued their time together. Each lessons covered important and relevant information such as: understanding changes with aging, valuing cultural diversity, safe medication use, and how to enhance one’s quality of life. Within our lessons the senior adults made posters, role played, and participated in fun games; making the WISE program well-received and an enjoyable way to spend a part of the day. Even though our lessons were educational, we all bonded with one another through sharing personal experiences, smiles, and laughter. This is a group of...
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226 Hits
AUG
03
0

Summer Day Camp in Perth Amboy

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By: Gina-Marie Miraglia Established in 1993, the Perth Amboy Municipal Alliance Prevention Summer (M.A.P.S) Day Camp provides substance use awareness and education to children about the dangers and effects of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. During the six-week program participants are engaged in fun, recreational and creative activities that help instill decision making skills. Wellspring Preventionists Melisa Damcevska and Gina-Marie Miraglia delivered creative and fun lessons once a week. These lessons focus on instilling important information to help the campers make the best possible choices for their own health. Here were our weekly highlights: During week one we talked about self-image, what it means, and why it is important to see ourselves accurately and positively. We reinforced the lesson by having the students make ‘vision boards’ where they cut out pictures from magazines and create a collage that focuses on what they want to become and their individual goals. Week...
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155 Hits
JUN
25
0

Syringe Access Program Stigma Still Exists

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By Gina Miraglia, Wellslpring Preventionist In October of 2017, the Trump Administration declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. In response, the department of Health and Human Services of the US government announced a 5-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis. However, a recent study showed that there is less support than expected among Americans to reduce the risk of overdose and infections among opioid users using evidence-based strategies. In the June issue of Preventive Medicine journal, a study of over 1,000 American adults expressed their views on syringe access programs (SAPs) and safe injection sites. The study revealed that “only 29% of respondents supported legalizing safe injection sites in their communities and only 39% supported legalizing [SAPs] in their communities.” Those with unsupportive views were also found to have negative views about opioid users. Though this study exposed unfavorable views about these opioid epidemic tactics, it was still...
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194 Hits
JUN
25
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Substance Use Cure through Exercise?

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By Gina Marie Miraglia – Wellspring Preventionist Exercise has the ability to improve many physical and mental health conditions. It is not new news that exercise reduces depression, anxiety, and stress, all while increasing one’s self-esteem. Now, a recent study suggests that exercise can even cure substance use disorder. A 2018 study published in Medicine and Science Exercise executed by University at Buffalo, found that daily aerobic exercise altered dopamine signals in the brain. This then caused alcohol and other substance of abuse less appealing and rewarding to the brain. Exercise releases endorphins from the brain which increases the happy-chemical, dopamine, in a combination that mimics the use of alcohol and other substances. This natural “high” may give an individual enough pleasure to not seek out additional substances. Exercise can be a key part of recovery when combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy. In addition to exercise benefiting the brain it can...
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266 Hits
MAR
05
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Marijuana Legalization is Affecting New Hires

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For decades, pre-employment drug tests have been a standard protocol for new hires. Now, as marijuana becomes legalized in more states, these tests may be coming to an end. Nine U.S. states ( Including Washington D.C.) have legalized recreational marijuana, meaning it will now become harder for employers to test potential new hires who happen to legally use marijuana. In fact, companies in states that have legalized either recreational or medicinal marijuana are leading the way on dropping drug tests. Large companies across America are deciding not to penalize those who test positive for marijuana use. Many companies believe that they cannot disregard candidates who test positive for marijuana use because it is making it difficult for companies to grow. These companies also believe that changing this policy can boost the economy. According to data from Quest Diagnostics Inc., failed drug tests reached an all-time high last year in 2017...
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392 Hits

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