Archive for April 2012
The latest over the counter product teens are using to get drunk is liquid hand sanitizer. Really? Liquid hand sanitizer is 62% ethyl alcohol and 120-proof after distillation. Teens are getting instructions for distillation online. Hand sanitizer is inexpensive and very accessible to teens and it just takes a few swallows to feel the effects. Hospitals are seeing more teens in their emergency rooms for alcohol poisoning due to this. Parents, if you are going to keep hand sanitizer in your home purchase the foam version rather than liquid. It is harder to extract alcohol from the foam and teens are less likely to drink it. Being an informed proactive parent takes time and hard work but aren't our youth worth it?
On April 20th, (420) people who want to glorify marijuana use and make it a legal and common activity will celebrate their self-proclaimed holiday by lighting up and smoking a joint in public and spreading their message and the magic number 420 everywhere they can. We will see the symbol in schools, on t-shirts, notebooks, and stickers everywhere.
Pardon the pun, but it is “high time” we take back the day and focus on the “Drug-Free” message and put an end to their misguided attempts to glamorize a drug that, contrary to their claims, is a harmful, addictive substance. Everyone but, especially, parents should be very aware of this day and the promotion that takes place. If your children recognize this day, then you may have a problem and need to have a very focused discussion about this drug that is being pushed by a few extremely wealthy individuals, the pro-drug lobby, and those who want to legally use and sell marijuana.
April 20th is a very special day in the lives of many people who celebrate their birthday or anniversary and I fall into that category. It is my wedding anniversary and the most important and memorable day in my life. It is ironic that the very day I will always remember, the day that started me on the most wonderful and meaningful journey of my life is also linked to this illegal propaganda message. It is sad that the date is hijacked by a destructive message about which there is nothing to celebrate. Numerous studies have repeatedly linked marijuana use to birth defects, respiratory system damage, cancer, mental illness, violence, infertility, and immune system damage and yet they so easily promote this to our children as the day to “light up” and take the chance to ruin your life. The latest information from the “U.S. Treatment Episode Data Set” reports that 16.1% of drug treatment admissions had marijuana as the primary drug of abuse, compared to 6% in 1992.
Can anyone explain or justify that smoking “anything” is a good or healthy activity and something to celebrate? I don’t think so, yet many keep pushing pro-drug legislation to justify their “pipe dream” of legalization. 420 can be a wonderful day to celebrate and begin a conversation with our children about the truth of how beautiful life can be without the chains of addiction or the cost and pain of dysfunction cause by marijuana use. While I celebrate my 45th wedding anniversary, I will also celebrate all the young people in this world who strive to live the good life—a drug-free life. This is not an action that will cost anyone a penny - it is an action that can save someone’s future and it may be your child or a child you know. What a wonderful return on an investment in our future!
Parents, we can take back April 20th and show the world we do strive to reach our full potential! If you would like more information about talking to your kids about drugs, please check out our website, visit our resource center or call us at 864.467.4099
Yesterday, a guy named John came by the office to ask if we helped people "get off tobacco." We try. He appeared anxious and, as I later discovered, John's anxiety spike was due to an "event" as we call it. The event could have been a visit to the doctor with a warning or an alarming prognosis. Perhaps a family member had passed. Maybe grandkids were now a part of his life and he was having trouble keeping up with them.
So now, John stood before me, smelling of tobacco, his eyes watering with desperation as we talked.
John could remember with impressive recall the details of smoking that first cigarette. It was just one. He had finally caved to pressure applied by his friend. They were 15 years old so there was plenty of time to quit. Old people who smoked were just too weak to quit. Before long, he had become a daily smoker.
At first, it made him sick, but he was not about to give up smoking and face the horrors of harassment from his pals. To a teen, quitting would be worse than admitting you like your parent's music.
So, one a day became five. Then within a year, he was abounding with coolness and was smoking a pack a day. It cost a bit, but it was still cheaper than popcorn and soda at the movies, where he admired Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant as they smoked what seemed like an endless chain of cigarettes. And they didn't look sick as Granddad.
Fortunately, thousands of people have quit. For John, it will be his battle to win. There's help: counseling, medications, hypnosis, support groups, etc. but they do not guarantee success.
Regina Benjamin, M.D, the current Surgeon General, has stated that nearly all tobacco use begins during youth. No surprise there. We can make future generations tobacco-free if we engage them at an early age with prevention programs that focus on the social, environmental, advertising and marketing influences.
Let's create a world where seeing people smoke or use tobacco products is the exception, not the norm.
Let's do it for John's grandkids.