Shelly Sloan is the health promotion coordinator and Ted Winkworth is the alcohol and other drug program coordinator. You can find them at The Lifestyles Center in Walker Health Center. Shelly received her master’s degree in community health education and is certified in health education. Ted received his master’s degree in counseling and is also a credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselor.
Dear Shelly and Ted,
My father used to teach chemistry until he was diagnosed with cancer. Now I think he’s dealing meth. How should I approach this sticky situation?
Methamphetamine is a very dangerous drug by its own right because it’s exceptionally addictive and destructive to the body. Producing and dealing this substance just increases the risk. A chemistry teacher cooking meth could potentially use his chemistry knowledge to produce an extremely pure product that would attract the attention of local drug pushers or even big time drug cartel members. I wouldn’t jump the gun but maybe it would be a good idea to look out for warning signs. An influx of money from unknown sources is usually a good indication that someone could be dealing drugs. Is your dad buying cars that seem too flashy? Maybe he’s buying too-expensive household maintenance items like tankless hot water heaters? If you notice these signs, it’s best to act. Since he is a former teacher my feeling is that he could reconnect with a former student who did poorly in his class to work on chemistry-related projects that would benefit them both. Whatever you do, do it quickly. The Drug Enforcement Agency is always working to eradicate methamphetamine use and production and if your dad doesn’t stop soon, results could be disastrous.
Dear Ted and Shelly,
My friend came out to me as gay and told me he has a crush on me. I don’t want to stop being friends but it kinda weirds me out. What should I do?
Dear Weirded Out,
I think the first thing to do is to ask yourself why it weirds you out. Is it because you are not comfortable with him being gay? Is it because you feel that your relationship will change? Is it because you feel uncomfortable knowing that he has a crush on you? Once you find the source of your discomfort, the best thing you can do is to have a conversation with your friend. Let him know why you feel uncomfortable. You might find yourself feeling better after you have sorted out your feelings and have been able to have a good conversation. If you need some help sorting out your feelings before you talk to your friend, the Counseling Center is a great place to start. Give them a call at 315-312-5648.
Dear Shelly and Ted,
The holidays are coming up and my family likes to make sweets. How can I stop my urges to eat sweets?
Dear Sweet Seduction,
The holidays can be a very difficult time to resist sweets! I wouldn’t try to stop your urges to eat sweets completely. If you want something sweet, then have it; just don’t over-do it. Rather than having a whole piece of pie, have a half of a slice or even a few bites. You could also encourage your family to make some lower calorie treats from websites like www.hungrygirl.com or www.skinnytaste.com. If there are sweets in the house and you can’t get away from them, brush your teeth, chew some gum, go for a walk or find something to occupy your hands. Playing video games, knitting or crocheting or painting your finger nails are good ways to keep your hands busy and help prevent over- indulging.
If you have a question, you can submit anonymously at www.lifestylecenter.net/RealTalk or send a Direct Message on Twitter @LSC_Oswego
Real Talk contributions by Graduate Assistant: Danielle Urbaniak and Peer Educators: Elsaa Batista, Jillian Bergemann, Halie Bloom, Kyle DeCarr, Julie Jacques and Racheal Richardson