Addiction at Morgan with Dr.Ruth Potee

Written by Nick Putnam|

Dr.Ruth Potee is a board certified Family Physician and Addiction Medicine physician at Valley Medical Group in Greenfield, MA. Dr.Ruth came to Morgan last Thursday night to give a presentation on the physiology of addiction. Dr.Ruth attended Wesley College, Yale University School of Medicine and did her residency at Boston University.   

Dr. Ruth talked about the many different things that people are prone to get addicted to, more specifically what high school students are most prone to being addicted to. The main substances were opioids, alcohol and vaping.  

Dr. Ruth talked about vaping for a long time because of the current teen vaping epidemic across the entire world. She complimented the generation’s cigarette usage as it is at an all-time low and felt bad for kids being roped into the bad addiction by the tobacco industry.  She also talked about how the vapes were more addictive due to the large amounts of nicotine in them. One stat that is used frequently is that just one Juul pod has the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. 

The next major topic discussed was alcohol. Dr. Ruth said that kids should not start drinking until 21 because the highest percent of alcoholics started drinking before the legal age. She also advised parents in the crowd that allowing kids to drink before college to “prepare them” is not a good idea as they are setting their kids up for alcoholism.

The last major topic was opioid usage. Dr. Ruth said the cause of the opioid epidemic was the over-prescription of opioids in America. The United States has the highest daily opioid dose by almost 20,000 people per million people. On the graph, Canada wasn’t even a close second. Dr. Ruth told parents in the crowd to ask doctors how to get through post operations while using the minimal amount of opioids. 

When Dr. Ruth was asked before the presentation what she wanted people to take home from her presentation. She stated, “I want people to be aware that addiction is a disease but is 100% avoidable with the right knowledge.” This was her main point throughout the presentation.  

    

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