The Candy Debate

We all remember the downfall of candy cigarettes; Once big tobacco finally admitted to the evils of their products, these little novelty candies quickly vanished from store shelves ice cream trucks. Public outcry supporting the removal argued, quite vehemently, that these sugary products set the stage for tobacco use in users later in life. But the question remains: Do mock behaviors in children really dictate future behaviors? Playing cowboys and Indians in your parent’s basement does not necessarily place you on the fast track to Navajo chiefdom (follow your dreams, man!); 200 hours spent on 1st person shooter games does not make you a skilled assassin. So how big of an influence can candy cigarettes, alcohol, and pills have on future behaviors?

Without question, we, as a society know the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. THEY ARE BAD FOR YOU. Slogans, programs, and classes are rammed down our throats early in life to ensure that each and every one of us has the opportunity to live clean, sober, and happy for the rest of our days. But… as with most things that are inherently bad for us, curiosity often wins out. The issue here, friends, is how that curiosity affects our choices down the road.

The Nitty Gritty

A child who hurts another child on the playground is scolded and punished for their actions. As such, the child learns not to repeat these types of behaviors.

A child who is given candy packaged in a pillbox will experience enjoyment when consuming the product. The behavior is not punished because, well… it’s candy. As such, the child may be less inhibited by the idea of prescription drug use.

Does pill-like candy consumption place children at higher risk for prescription drug use later in life? The answer is unclear. However, the mere presence of doubt is enough for many critics to demonize their sale… and for good reason:

As children, we live by experience and the actions we are taught. A behavior learned and rewarded early in life will often translate to repetitive actions down the road. Though candy is certainly an innocent topic, it is that same innocence that creates worry among parents whose children are introduced to negative behaviors and habits on its behalf. Without over analyzing the topic ad nauseam, it may be safe to close the argument in saying that these types of products serve little use in ensuring a positive and productive path for children to follow.

Comments? Anyone? Bueller?

We at Above It All Treatment Center are always up for a good discussion. Post your thoughts and ideas on this topic below!

Bath Salts – The Ugly Truth

With the media, social feeds and dinner tables abundant in Zombie apocalypse discussion following the recent Miami bath salts attack, exaggerations and rumor have paved the way for added curiosity and experimentation regarding bath salts use. In an effort to dispel the myths and communicate the dangers associated with bath salts use, we have dedicated this entry to the facts surrounding it. Read on to learn more:

“Bath Salts” is just the newest in a long line of designer drug fads that young people can ingest to get high. The substance comes in a powder form, and can still be purchased online and in many head shops throughout the country. Due to the fact that these substances are so new to the drug scene, our knowledge surrounding their chemical makeup and potential side effects is still limited. However, the small amount of information we do possess is striking enough to warrant a public stance on the issue.

Most, if not all bath salts contain chemicals similar to those found in amphetamines, such as mephedrone, methylenedioxyprovalerone and pyrovalerone. Of the aforementioned chemicals, mephedrone is of particular concern, due to an imposed high risk of overdose. Users are able to administer the drug via inhalation, injection or orally as desired. Cravings for the drug following extended use periods is not uncommon, with many specialists citing addictive tendencies in recent case studies.

Bath salts provide the user with a condition police have begun calling an “excited delirium” – which includes unpredictable, paranoid and violent behaviors. Such is the infamous case in Miami last month, where police were forced to shoot and kill an unarmed man, allegedly eating the face of another homeless man in broad daylight.

As it stands, Bath Salts have been linked to numerous ER visits throughout the US and North America. Clinicians and physicians at various poison control centers have indicated that bath salt use can lead to a variety of adverse effects, including increased blood pressure, agitation, chest pains, increase heart rate, delusions, extreme paranoia and vivid hallucinations. With the recent media blitz fixated on the topic, these numbers are likely only to rise with time. In fact, the number of poison control calls regarding bath salts rose a staggering 6,138 in 2011 from 304 in 2010. And 2012 is well on it’s way to breaking even that number.

A variety of states, and even Canada have approved legislation to ban the sale and use of bath salts, and many other areas are following suit. If you know of someone with an addiction to bath salts, a quick call to our Above It All treatment specialists is all you need to get them on track towards the help they deserve.