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Forde: Get high on positives

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Forde: Get high on positives

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Do not turn to alcohol or a couple of “spliffs” to make you feel good and high – get involved in positive activities that can make you feel just as good.
This was the advice to the country’s youth from National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) manager Yolande Forde, speaking to the media during NCSA’s annual youth seminar at Solidarity House, Harmony Hall, St Michael, today.
“No one is telling young people that you can actually feel good naturally. There are activities you can involve yourself in [that give you] the same sense of well-being,” she explained.“If you run, swim or engage in physical activity, the brain is structured to release certain chemicals . . . called endorphins.
“Endorphins give you a sense of well-being and a positive outlook and a good feeling . . . when you use drugs, you hijack that natural reward system [in] the brain.”The manager stressed that youth should engage in structured, wholesome activities that would assist them in developing interactive goal-setting skills for their success  in the future, particularly holding down a satisfying job.
“Young people are becoming dependent on [drugs]. If they want to relax – ‘man, let me hold a little mango vodka or let me hold a spilff and relax myself’. They are really destroying themselves and that’s unfortunate because there are many activities that young people can get involved in out there, and I know it,” she said.During the one-day workshop, students from a number of secondary schools across the island were exposed to drug education and also learnt about programmes offered by the NCSA.(AH)