Showing posts from January, 2013

Good people make bad decsions

As I’m just about to begin my presentations to school communities across the country for 2013 it is quite a coincidence that today I received an email from a remarkable young woman who wanted to share her story with me. I woke up this morning to receive this email: “At the end of 2011 I heard you speak at my school in Brisbane and you were truly captivating. Since that time I've had a pretty extreme life event - very similar to those you recounted during your talk - and was wondering if I could send you a quick email about it? If you ended up retelling my story and it made even one person think again about what they were doing I would be thrilled.” I wrote back immediately and a while later an email arrived that told of the young woman’s journey over the past couple of years. To describe it as harrowing would be an understatement – you name it, she had done it and had suffered the consequences. A girl who obviously had it all – a great school, parents who gave her ever

Energy drinks - what are the issues?

There’s been a lot of media coverage recently about the issue of energy drinks. According to some of the press reports (and you never really know how much of what is reported is actually true!), some health experts are calling for energy drinks to be banned and admissions to emergency departments due to these drinks have recently doubled. Energy drinks have become increasingly popular over the past few years and are a huge money-spinner for companies. There are now many brands available and there is great pressure to increase market-share. In the advertising that promotes these products we are told that these drinks will give us an extra boost and there is often the suggestion that there is something contained within the drink that you are not going to find elsewhere. Some products do have additional ingredients (such as guarana), but for most of these drinks it is the caffeine and sugar which are the active ingredients that give these drinks their supposed ‘boost’. Let me start

'Strawberry quik': Drug warnings and Facebook

I have recently been contacted by someone who had received a Facebook message warning about a new drug apparently “going around” schools in the US called ‘Strawberry Quick’. It’s a great worry that this story is doing the rounds again, this time on Facebook instead of via emails, but let’s clear it up quickly before it gets out of hand and ends up as a headline in the Daily Telegraph, again …   This is a classic ‘urban myth’ - this time telling the story of an apparent new marketing ploy of methamphetamine manufacturers. When it first appeared in this country, media stories quoted US drug agencies warning Australians to brace for a new wave of strawberry-flavoured amphetamines specifically designed to appeal to juvenile taste-buds. These stories were accompanied by email alerts sent around the country warning parents to be on the lookout for this new form of the drug which was once again being used by ‘drug pushers’ to target their children.   The flavoured drug, known as ‘st