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Think before acting

December 3, 2012
By CATHY BROWNFIELD - Family Recovery Center Publicist , Salem News

LISBON - By Cathy Brownfield

Family Recovery Center Publicist

When you live constantly in crisis there is little time to think about anything or contrive a plan for your short- or long-term life.

You are too busy treading water to keep from drowning. You are rolling with punches, and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

You wonder if the fight is ever going to be worth anything. If it isn't, if there's no point to anything, if nothing really matters, well, what does that kind of thinking do to you?

When nothing really matters, that is a time when poor decisions, costly decisions, are made.

And if your mama didn't teach you that there are consequences for your actions and you need to look past the end of your nose, get ready for a little enlightenment.

While the following discussion is specific, you can change that to whatever your particular demon is. The message is the same: Think before you act.

Think from every angle before you take that action and make sure the consequences are what you are willing to live with. ("If I do _____, the thing that will happen is _____.) And remember, children are products of the environment in which they grow up. That applies to everyone. Children learn from their parents, their guardians and their caregivers. That raises the bar for everyone.

One of the troubling trends of 2010 is that approximately three million persons age 12 or older used an illicit drug for the first time, or about 8,100 new users each day. More than half of them were 18 or younger.

Are you a label reader? That's something that has been recommended to every health conscious person, every woman who is responsible for the best interests of her family, everyone who shops for consumables. Or do you blindly trust that government agencies are looking out for your best interests? Think!

An example in point is energy drinks. Since 1999, reports say, there has been a 600 percent increase in the use of energy drinks.

"Energy drinks are beverages that typically contain caffeine, other plant-based stimulants, simple sugars and other additives," says Reggie Robinson, Health Recovery Services Inc. in his Think!101 Trends in Youth Substance Abuse presentation.

"They are very popular among youth and are regularly consumed by 31 percent of the 12-to-17-year-olds and 34 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds."

Alcohol energy drinks, also known as "black-out in a can,' contain the equivalent of 4-5 shots of alcohol. What are the dangers of that?

- binge drinking

- riding with an intoxicated driver

- injury

- sexual attack

Late in October, Join Together, in conjunction with The Partnership at, reported that caffeine content often lists incorrect caffeine amounts or doesn't list it at all.

Consumer Reports tested 27 popular energy drinks and shots. Of them, 16 listed specific amounts of caffeine.

"Monster Beverage Corp. told CBS News its company does not list caffeine amounts because 'there is no legal or commercial business requirement to do so, and also because our products are completely safe, and the actual numbers are not meaningful to most consumers," reports Join Together.

"Last year the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued a report that found a sharp rise in the number of ER visits linked with the use of non-alcohol energy drinks" So, how safe are those energy drinks? Is there a safer way to get that energy boost?

Family Recovery Center promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs. For more information, contact FRC at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail,



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