April 2012 – Say NO to ALCOHOL, DRUGS and any HARMFUL SUBSTANCE
FACT: New data compiled by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and the insurance industry indicates that marijuana smoking is up among teens, and use is higher among high school kids than it has been in three decades. This is concerning because, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal, “people who use marijuana before driving are nearly twice as likely to cause a car crash as those not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
HOPE: Good communication between parents and their teenagers can have a positive influence on risk-taking behavior by teens. You can download Guidelines for Good Family Communication from http://sadd.org/pdf/FamilyGuidelines.pdf. Start the conversation today.
FACT: Energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster, Amp, and Rockstar are used daily to stimulate physical and mental activity. The downside to the supposed health effects of increased energy, however, include high sodium and sugar content which can cause health problems like dehydration, weight gain, diabetes, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and kidney problems. In addition, too much caffeine can lead to stomach problems, anxiety, panic attacks, irregular heart rate, and cardiac arrhythmias. Caffeine can also mask the symptoms of fatigue so that you continue to do activity even when your body is already overworked, therefore putting strain on your heart and immune system.
HOPE: Looking to increase your energy? To get more done? God’s health plan of a wholesome diet, regular physical activity, daily rest, and trust in Him still offers the best strategies for our health and well-being. Deuteronomy 6:24 assures us that “The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive.”
FACT: Tobacco use is associated with a wide variety of diseases, cancer and is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. The vast majority of tobacco users and smokers are hooked as children and adolescents, when they are most easily influenced by peer pressure and advertising. Nearly 20 percent of high school students smoke cigarettes and an estimated 9 percent of high school students use smokeless tobacco.
HOPE: The faith community can be a powerful force in protecting our children and reducing the terrible toll of tobacco as we partner with schools, Sabbath School classes, AY and Pathfinder leaders to promote the negative effects of tobacco and explain the reasons behind the warnings on the tobacco products. Make it fun by engaging youth (and adults) in signing temperance pledges and roleplaying situations in which tobacco might be offered.
FACT: Moderate alcohol consumption (compared to no alcohol consumption) has been associated with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease in a large number of observational studies. The link between alcohol and reduced risk of heart disease is thought to be due to the fact that alcohol interferes with blood clotting. However, this effect is valuable only in a person consuming a dangerous, heart-disease-promoting diet.
HOPE: Overall, it is safer to eat a diet that will not permit heart disease rather than to rely on alcohol to decrease the potential of blood to clot. Following a healthful eating style rich in the unrefined plant foods that our Creator has provided will give us a high level of protection against heart disease. Thinning the blood by consuming alcohol won’t add any further protection and may even present considerable risk.
Greenberg, G., & Henderson, D. B. (2012). Hazy logic: Liberty Mutual Insurance/SADD study finds driving under the influence of marijuana a greater threat to teen drivers than alcohol [Press Release]. Retrieved from http://www.sadd.org/press/presspdfs/Mhttp://www.sadd.org/press/presspdfs/Marijuana%20Teen%20Release.pdf.
Asbridge, M., Hayden, J. A., Cartwright, J. L. (2012). Acute cannabis consumption and motor vehicle collision risk: systematic review of observational studies and meta-analysis. British Medical Journal, 344(e536).
Brown, G. N. (2012). Energy drinks: Health risks and toxicity. Medical Journal of Australia, 196(1), 46-9.
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance - United States, 2009. (2010). Department Of Health And Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss5905.pdf.
Klatsky, A. L. (2010). Alcohol and cardiovascular health. Physiology and Behavior, 100, 76-81.
Saremi, A. & Arora, R. (2008). The cardiovascular implications of alcohol and red wine. American Journal of Therapeutics, 15, 265-277.