The pernicious dangers of pornography and opioids were the subjects of two recent local public information meetings that urge everyone to proactively respond for the sake of the community.
On March 2 in Grantsville High School’s auditorium, around 100 people learned that emerging research shows pornography can damage the brain, according to Clay Olsen, CEO and co-founder of “Fight the New Drug,” a nonprofit, Salt Lake City-based, anti-porn organization.
He is especially alarmed about pornography’s effects on youth, as reported in last Tuesday’s news story headlined, “Pornography is affecting youth like a ‘landslide’ …” Olsen explained that youth in America are under immense pressure from pornography. Fight the New Drug’s website claims 93 percent of boys and 62 percent of girls will view pornography before the age of 18.
“… The rising generation today, is dealing with this topic [pornography] to an intensity and scale no generation in the world ever had to,” he said.
Olsen also said new research shows that pornography can damage the brain’s frontal lobe and affect its natural system that rewards behavior. The result is similar to a drug addiction, he said, which can tear lives and families apart, create distorted views of sexual behavior, and at the world level, lead to violence, sexual trafficking and exploitation.
Fight the New Drug has developed an online app, which uses a series of videos and activities to empower individuals who are struggling with pornography addiction. The program can be found at Fortifyprogram.org. Additional information on the Fight the New Drug movement can be found at fightthenewdrug.org.
“Stop the Opidemic: A Community Solution” was held at the Community Learning Center last Tuesday and provided alarming information on Tooele County’s growing abuse of opioids. That growth has prompted the call for more local public safety agencies and citizens to carry the antidote Naloxone. A front-page story on the meeting appeared in last Thursday’s edition.
According to keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Plumb, director of the Utah Naloxone Program and a physician for the University of Utah Health Care Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, one person dies in Utah every day from a drug overdose. State data shows Tooele County had eight overdose-related deaths in 2015, making the county fourth in the state for drug-poisoning deaths.
Also, a Mountain West Medical Center official reported at the meeting the hospital used Naloxone 200 times last year for drug overdose patients.
All of which underscores why last Tuesday’s meeting was held, and why officials are urging citizens to have Naloxone on hand if they have loved ones or friends addicted to opioids. The antidote is available at the Tooele County Health Department, 151 N. Main Street in Tooele City.
Addictions involving pornography and opioids aren’t just happening elsewhere; they’re happening in Tooele County, Utah, USA. Let’s punch through denial and assist those whom we suspect or know are struggling with either addiction.
When the county experienced a series of heartbreaking teen and adult suicides in 2014, local leaders and citizens took immediate action to inform and help prevent further loss. Another call to action is needed now.