eastside vancouver

juliesioux  asked:

No question, just a happy FYI: a group of us on twitter ran a Gofundme campaign to raise some money to get Emily a gift. We raised so much in such a small period of time that I bought the gifts and then donated close to $600 to the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre in Vancouver. The Olicity/Felicity fandom is amazing (minus a few bad apples) and we always seem to come together for good causes. See? Some good happens!

I love it!  What’s the link?  I’ll donate.  Thanks for doing!

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Last Thursday I went to the Jimi Hendrix shrine in downtown Vancouver! Really chill place! There was some info on Jimi that I hadn’t known previously, so it was awesome to find out more about him and his connection to Vancouver! I heard that they needed volunteers, so I’m going to try to get that on a roll this week.

If you’re ever in the area, I DEFINITELY recommend you stop by!

Addictions always originate in unhappiness, even if hidden. They are emotional anesthetics; they numb pain. The first question—always—is not “Why the addiction?” but “Why the pain?” The answer was summed up with crude eloquence, scrawled on the wall of my patient Anna’s room: “Any place I went to, I wasn’t wanted. And that bites large.”

Contrary to popular myth, no drug is inherently addictive. Only a small percentage of people who try alcohol or cocaine or even crystal meth go on to addictive use. What makes those people vulnerable? According to current brain research and developmental psychology, chemical and emotional vulnerability are the products not of genetic programming but of life experience. Most of the human brain’s growth occurs after birth, and so physical and emotional interactions determine much of our neurological development—which brain areas will develop and how well, which patterns will be encoded, and so on. As such, each brain’s circuitry and chemistry reflect individual life experiences as much as inherited tendencies.

Drugs affect the brain by binding to receptors on nerve cells. Opiates work on our built-in receptors for endorphins—the body’s own, natural opiate-like substances that participate in many functions, including regulation of pain and mood. Similarly, tranquilizers of the benzodiazepine class, such as Valium, exert their effect at the brain’s natural benzodiazepine receptors. Other brain chemicals, including dopamine and serotonin, affect such diverse functions as mood, incentive- and reward-seeking behavior, and self-regulation. These, too, bind to specific, specialized receptors on neurons.

But the number of receptors and level of brain chemicals are not set at birth. Infant rats who get less grooming from their mothers end up with fewer natural “benzo” receptors in the part of the brain that controls anxiety. Brains of infant monkeys separated from their mothers for only a few days are measurably deficient in dopamine.

It is the same with human beings. Endorphins are released in the infant’s brain when there are warm, non-stressed, calm interactions with the parenting figures. Endorphins, in turn, promote the growth of receptors and nerve cells, and the discharge of other important brain chemicals. The fewer endorphin-enhancing experiences in infancy and early childhood, the greater the need for external sources. Hence, a greater vulnerability to addictions.

What sets skid row addicts apart is the extreme degree of stress they had to endure early in life. Almost all women now inhabiting “Canada’s addiction capital”—as the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver has been called—suffered sexual assaults in childhood, as did many of the males. Childhood memories of serial abandonment or severe physical and psychological abuse are common.

—  Gabor Mate