Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

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 Northern students painting mural for city methadone clinic

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lilgirllost
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PostSubject: Northern students painting mural for city methadone clinic   Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:34 pm


Northern students painting mural for city methadone clinic
By TYLER KULA, THE OBSERVER
Updated 12 days ago


Even after falling, one can rise again.

That's the message behind a mural Northern Collegiate art club students are creating for the Bluewater Methadone Clinic.

The three-panel canvas will depict falling figures on the outside and rising figures in the middle, a statement about overcoming addiction and the themes of hope, despair, recovery and redemption.

It's also a way to talk to students about opiate addiction, said Dr. Del Donald, one of three doctors at the Sarnia clinic.

Opiate addiction is worse than most residents realize, he said.

"More kids — Grade 9 and 10 — have actually tried opiates in the last year than have smoked a cigarette."

The clinic, with a satellite office in Chatham, provides 1,600 people with doses of methadone, a synthetic opiate used to treat dependency.

An increasing percentage of users are high school students, Donald said.

"It's not just harmless experimentation, or relatively harmless experimentation like drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana. Those sometimes are just phases. This phase can haunt you forever."

The cost of addiction is staggering, not to mention the health and legal risks, he said.

But Donald, who has children attending Northern, had reservations about simply showing and talking to students.


"To them you're just another 50-year-old expert. Most teenagers think, 'What do you know?'"

So he decided instead to make a connection by commissioning an original work of art.

He also toured students through the methadone clinic, which an "eye-opening" experience, said 15-year-old Paula McLean.

"We got to see what it's actually all about."

Art teacher Ian McLean said work began on the mural in January. The students, working two nights a week after class, should had it done done by the end of the month. In preparation they studied prehistoric cave paintings, contemporary artists and Michelangelo.

They also took and posed in photographs to help create the falling and rising figures, and added skateboarding images to give the mural a youthful touch.

The project is attracting interest from other students, and those in the tech department are planning to help hang it at the clinic, McLean said.

"The goal is to try and get as many people as possible involved."

The work may also inspire patients seated in the clinic waiting area, Donald said.

"A lot of these people feel disenfranchised and isolated ... Something like this, I think it's just going to make them feel better about themselves. If you feel better about yourself, you're going to take better care of yourself."















original link
http://www.theobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3002566


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

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