Seminar for Success

Stacey Franciamore, Managing Editor

The Iona College Counseling Center hosted a Seminar for Success, “Achieving Your Goals on Your Own: Substance Abuse Myths and Realities,” to educate students on the dangers of drug use on March 9.


Dr. Platt, a staff psychologist at the counseling center, led students through a detailed presentation on substance abuse and provided a range of alarming facts to emphasize the consequences of using drugs as well as the effects of drug addiction.


“Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences,” Platt said. “It is considered a brain disorder because it involves functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress and control.”


Drug use has serious and harmful effects that may last a lifetime and even lead to death, according to Dr. Platt. Addiction is dangerous, but the reality is that people still take drugs. The question is why.


“One reason might be to feel good,” Platt said. “Drugs can produce intense feelings of pleasure. The initial euphoria can be followed by other effects that differ with the type of drug used.”


Other reasons people take drugs is to feel better, to do better and as a result of curiosity and social pressure. One of the primary issues with drug use is that drugs can eventually take over a person’s life, according to Dr. Platt.


“Over time, if the drug use continues, other pleasurable activities become less pleasurable, and the person has to take the drug just to feel normal,” Platt said.


Values such as food, shelter and even family relationships will become less important because substance abuse will be prioritized. As a result, an individual’s life may change dramatically. Substance abuse can lead to weight loss, aggression and even a change in personality.


Not only is the use of drugs detrimental, but it’s expensive as it costs billions of dollars a year.


“Rehab is pretty expensive, detox, outpatient – that’s just the treatment stuff,” Platt said. “The work you miss, the impact you have on your family – that will add up to a lot of money.”


If you have questions about substance abuse or would like counseling call the Iona College Counseling Center in Spellman Hall to make an appointment or drop by during their walk-in hours from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.


Myths and Realities:


Myth: People can quit whenever they want. It’s not a big deal.

Fact: Drug addiction is a complex disease. Quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will.


Myth: Addicts are only homeless people and people who don’t have jobs.

Fact: Anyone can become addicted.


Myth: Marijuana is safe and you can’t be addicted to it.

Fact: In 2016, around 4 million people ages 12 and over had a marijuana use disorder. Research also shows that marijuana can harm the development of the brain.


Myth: It won’t happen to me.

Fact: People of all ages and social classes suffer the harmful consequences of drug use and addiction.