Thursday, July 19, 2012

From Health To Harmony

Humidity was at its best today. After my regular morning routine, which includes breakfast, I walked across campus with my proctor, Tessa. I decided to get my eye checked at the Student Health Clinic, and it turned out just as I thought it would be. The nurse practitioner told me I had a stye in my eye, and it’s usually treated with hot compress. I’m thankful it wasn’t anything too serious, and I hope it’ll be gone within the next few days.

The tie-dye shirts we made!

Playing foosball after meals!
Afterwards, I headed straight to class, and jumped into a movie about amphetamines and other drugs. It was interesting to hear the stories of those who were addicted to drugs, but have now stopped. I learned a lot about how the feel good chemical, dopamine, works. It creates a chain reaction to give you the feeling of pleasure. Unfortunately, meth addicts will never be able to feel pleasure again, because the drug creates a permanent change in your body. During the Vietnam War and World War II, armed forces used amphetamines as stimulants to keep themselves awake for long periods of time. The results of getting no sleep are horrific. Many people go crazy, hallucinate wildly, get paranoia, and enter in a psychotic state. Consumption of meth or amphetamine causes cell death in the frontal cortex of the brain.  Moral of the story is to not take these highly addictive drugs. You don’t want to be added to the 49% of all hospital admissions of meth. It’s just astounding to know that many people still make the decision to become addicted to the most physically damaging drug.

The second session of Pharmacology began with research in the computer lab. I think it is awesome that Macs can either have Apple or PC software. For my part of our final research project, I have been researching the question: Is the use of ADD/ADHD medications more of a placebo effect for both prescribed and non-prescribed college student users? Through much research, I have learned 1 in every 5 college students use this drug as a “study drug”, “academic steroid”, or even as “Ivy League crack.” You would be amazed to know that many non-prescribed students buy it illegally from their prescribed friends, so they can perform better on tests. As part of our project, I plan to branch off the completed studies of University of Pennsylvania, University of Rhode Island, and Lehigh University. Each of these institutions has done a study with ADD/ADHD medications with non-prescribed and/or prescribed college students, using also a placebo. So far our research project is progressing, but we still have much more to do.

We ended class today with a movie about the crisis of meth in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Meth has grown to be a large part of this city, affecting many lives. Those who are addicted may be awake for 5 days without food. Many addicted parents are not capable of taking care of their children; so many kids have to be taken under the care of their grandparents. It’s disheartening to see those traumatized children, knowing their lives are changed forever. Did you know that 12.3 million Americans over the age of 12 use meth? It’s a very scary fact to know. Yessenia and I want to find a way to inform the students at our school about the effects of all the different kinds of drugs. I believe everyone should be informed about the important factors that come along with taking drugs.

I enjoyed our last session of fencing this afternoon. If you watch me, I’ll be the little girl who screams once she gets hit. I’m getting a little better at it, and hopefully everything goes well and safe at the showcase tomorrow! I’m glad I got to step out of my comfort zone, and take a stab at a different sport.
Sushi with my friend, Elizabeth!
I ate a small dinner, because some of my friends planned to go out for sushi for SOFT night. The sushi place was pretty cool, because you got to make your own. It wasn’t too bad, and I enjoyed the company and laughs with my friends. We then went for a quick stop at Ben and Jerry’s. I ordered a delicious frozen latte. With time to spare, we headed to the Rotunda to watch Ayla Brown, an American Idol season 5 finalist. She has an amazing voice, and it was nice to get a chance to listen to her.

Ayla Brown!
I ended this day watching a scary movie with my proctor group. The loud thunder, scary lightning, and rain outside added to the dark mood. More bonding time, more fun! Good night, guys!

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