New York City is a place of constant change, invention and chaos; Avoid Eye Contact sums up these urban qualities in animated terms. Avoid Eye Contact Volume 2 continues to explore the thriving contemporary independent scene going on in New York City. Starting in the 1960s, a close-knit community has formed, fueled by small screenings, studio visits, local festivals, social events, and perhaps most consistently by the monthly events presented by Asifa-East; an intimate exchange of ideas, techniques and stories has developed.
These Artists don’t seem to follow any trends and, although savvy, are not beholden to any technology. Avoid Eye Contact Volume 2 offers a new program of acclaimed films spanning the last five years. Young animators join seasoned masters in a show that is surely to become another important part of the animation enthusiast’s library. All films are international award-winners, each with a distinct look, united only by genre and the gritty soul of New York City.
Stimulants are a class of drugs that enhance brain activity – they cause an increase in alertness, attention, and energy that is accompanied by increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration.
Historically, stimulants were used to treat asthma and other respiratory problems, obesity, neurological disorders, and a variety of other ailments here. As their potential for abuse and addiction became apparent, the use of stimulants began to wane. Now, stimulants are prescribed for treating only a few health conditions, including narcolepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression that has not responded to other treatments. Stimulants may also be used for short-term treatment of obesity, and for patients with asthma.
Stimulants such as dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and methylphenidate (Ritalin) have chemical structures that are similar to key brain neurotransmitters called monoamines, which include norepinephrine and dopamine. Stimulants increase the levels of these chemicals in the brain and body. This, in turn, increases blood pressure and heart rate, constricts blood vessels, increases blood glucose, and opens up the pathways of the respiratory system. In addition, the increase in dopamine is associated with a sense of euphoria that can accompany the use of these drugs.
Research indicates that people with ADHD do not become addicted to stimulant medications, such as Ritalin, when taken in the form prescribed and at treatment dosages.5 However, when misused, stimulants can be addictive.
The consequences of stimulant abuse can be extremely dangerous. Taking high doses of a stimulant can result in an irregular heartbeat, dangerously high body temperatures, and/or the potential for cardiovascular failure or lethal seizures. Taking high doses of some stimulants repeatedly over a short period of time can lead to hostility or feelings of paranoia in some individuals.
Stimulants should not be mixed with antidepressants or over-the-counter cold medicines containing decongestants. Anti-depressants may enhance the effects of a stimulant, and stimulants in combination with decongestants may cause blood pressure to become dangerously high or lead to irregular heart rhythms.
Treatment of addiction to prescription stimulants, such as methylphenidate and amphetamines, is based on behavioral therapies proven effective for treating cocaine or methamphetamine addiction. At this time, there are no proven medications for the treatment of stimulant addiction. Antidepressants, however, may be used to manage the symptoms of depression that can accompany early abstinence from stimulants.
CNS depressants slow down normal brain function. In higher doses, some CNS depressants can become general anesthetics.
CNS depressants can be divided into two groups, based on their chemistry and pharmacology:
Barbiturates, such as mephobarbital (Mebaral) and pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal), which are used to treat anxiety, tension, and sleep disorders.
Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide HCl (Librium), and alprazolam (Xanax), which can be prescribed to treat anxiety, acute stress reactions, and panic attacks. Benzodiazepines that have a more sedating effect, such as triazolam (Halcion) and estazolam (ProSom) can be prescribed for short-term treatment of sleep disorders.
There are many CNS depressants, and most act on the brain similarly – they affect the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that facilitate communication between brain cells. GABA works by decreasing brain activity. Although different classes of CNS depressants work in unique ways, ultimately it is their ability to increase GABA activity that produces a drowsy or calming effect. Despite these beneficial effects for people suffering from anxiety or sleeping disorders, barbiturates and benzodiazepines can be addictive and should be used only as prescribed.
CNS depressants should not be combined with any medication or substance that causes sleepiness, including prescription pain medicines, certain over-the-counter cold and allergy medications, or alcohol. The effects of the drugs can combine to slow breathing, or slow both the heart and respiration, which can be fatal.
Discontinuing prolonged use of high doses of CNS depressants can lead to withdrawal. Because they work by slowing the brain’s activity, a potential consequence of abuse is that when one stops taking a CNS depressant the brain’s activity can rebound to the point that seizures can occur. Someone thinking about ending their use of a CNS depressant, or who has stopped and is suffering withdrawal, should speak with a physician and seek medical treatment.
In addition to medical supervision, counseling in an in-patient or out-patient setting can help people who are overcoming addiction to CNS depressants. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy has been used successfully to help individuals in treatment for abuse of benzodiazepines. This type of therapy focuses on modifying a patient’s thinking, expectations, and behaviors while simultaneously increasing their skills for coping with various life stressors.
Often the abuse of CNS depressants occurs in conjunction with the abuse of another substance or drug, such as alcohol or cocaine. In these cases of polydrug abuse, the treatment approach needs to address the multiple addi,ctions.
patrick smith, christy karacas, chris conforti, jesse schmal, pat smith, bill plympton, christopher conforti,