Thursday, 28 July 2016

Parental Guidance: What Substances to Consume and What to Avoid Taking.




Recently, there has been discussion as to what constitutes a food supplement or a medicine and as to what can be defined as a drug.

Whilst for vested interest reasons some pharmacologists claim there is very little real difference, other medical and nutritional commentators strongly beg to differ.

One problem is that, because of modern production and distribution methods, all three of theses substances come in the form of pills, tablets, capsules, drops and / or bottles, etc., so that, for the man in the street, they very often have the same general appearance.

It is however vital - sometimes a matter of life or death - that we should all know the main differences between these substances. So, whilst the following does not claim to be a full technical compilation and summary of these matters, it does attempt to put the main agreements about their definitions and characteristics into plain language.

a) A food is any edible substance taken into the body by eating or drinking with the intention of supplying digestible bulk and nutrition sufficient to sustain the body, its energy levels and its functions for a period of time consistent with the individual's activity level and requirements.

Unfortunately, many foods by virtue of modern production, storage and distribution methods do not provide vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in quantities and / or strengths sufficient to satisfy the body's requirements - especially in those times when the body's self-repairing mechanisms may be working overtime to handle some unwanted condition.

As a result, it has been found efficacious to regularly supplement a normally deficient food intake with naturally produced vitamins and / or minerals in doses of sufficient strength to enrich the incoming food to an effective level of nutrition.

b) On the other hand, a medicine is any substance which, by one means or another, is introduced into the body with the intention of removing the individual from an unwanted physical condition, and the term 'medicine' is generally held to apply to those substances which assist, stimulate or reinforce the body's own natural defences and self-healing capabilities.

c) In contrast, the modern meaning of 'drug' is any substance, generally understood to be of a toxic or poisonous nature, but which nevertheless, by one means or another, is introduced into the body with a view to removing the individual from an unwanted physical, mental or personal condition, and the term 'drug' is usually taken to mean those substances which work by metabolically ENFORCING some other condition.

(N.B. Whilst it is recognised that practically any substance when taken in sufficient quantity can poison or otherwise adversely affect the body’s natural chemistry, the nature of drugs is such that only a very small or even a minute quantity can do so.)

Therefore the major differences between food supplements, medicines and drugs are that, whilst a food supplement provides omitted natural nutrition to the body, in times of ill health a medicine works in agreement with the body's own natural functions, whilst a drug attempts to enforce a prescribed or "desired" condition upon the body, mind or person - and this applies to both legal and illicit drugs.

Such an enforcement attempt is resisted by the body to the degree that the drug causes upset to the body's natural chemistry. Unfortunately, because of the gross variations in upset which can occur from person to person and, because of the variations which can occur for each person from one set of circumstances to another and from one time to another - the effects of a drug can never be fully predicted for anyone at any time.

As a result, taking drugs of any kind – illicit, legal or prescription - can be a dangerous game of Russian roulette because, whilst usage might bring about the desired relief or condition (normally on a temporary basis only) it can also be accompanied by mild to severe upset, unconsciousness or even death.

Therefore in addition to any benefits which usage of the drug seeks to achieve, the body's chemistry is attacked by the drug and, because drugging is a severe attack, to defend itself and ensure its continuing quality of survival, the body will often move away from its normal functions by modifying its metabolism to encompass the drug's attack.

If the drug's attacks are repeated, the body implements more metabolic changes which become increasingly permanent and which lay the foundations for physical addiction to that substance.

In other words, just as the body already has metabolic mechanisms for dealing with bad food, foul water, polluted air, germs and viruses, etc., repeated drug usage sets up not dis-similar mechanisms to handle the "bad" effects of the drug and, under conditions where the so-called "good" effects of the drug are desired, the body will then crave those good effects - in spite of the "bad" components.

The body's desire to fill and utilise the metabolically reserved “emergency ward" it has created to handle that drug, is of course the major part of the basic physical addiction. But, because of the overall relief which the individual experiences from having solved the physical demand problem, repeated usage and subsequent relief starts to also develop an increasing psychological demand for more relief - ahead of or in the absence of the body's own demand for the original physical effect, and this psychological demand is reinforced by the hypnotic effects of many drugs – both illicit and prescribed.

These are not the only psychological factors and there are also personality factors, but the point is here made that full addiction to a drug is comprised of:

i) the physical,

ii) the psychological, and,

iii) the personality components, each of them tending to work towards reinforcing the demand for the other two.

In curing addiction, it is therefore necessary to handle the physical, mental and personal aspects of the drug's effects in order to attain lifelong comfortable future abstinence.

In fact, it is the failure to handle all these aspects which creates so much of the wasted effort put into the drug rehabilitation field by so many often well-meaning people. This creates the so-called "revolving-door syndrome" of relief - relapse - relief and relapse again, etc., and gives the impression that drug addiction cannot be cured.

But it can be cured and it is cured first time through a well known residential programme in up to 69+% of cases at nearly 100 centres in 49 countries around the world, and this has been happening since 1966.

It takes time. Anything from 11 to 13 weeks. But in the long run, the cash savings, the improvement in law and order and the other benefits to the society and the taxpayer - as well as to the individual - far outstrip any initial cost and time considerations.

Improving the quality of life for the community by creating ex-addicts is a win for all, except of course, for those people who produce and distribute the drugs !

Drugs are most often classified into two main groups:

Legal: legally produced and sold drugs (e.g. tobacco and alcohol), and legally prescribed pharmaceutical drugs, (e.g. methadone, benzodiazepines, Prozac and Ritalin, etc.), and,

Illegal: illegally produced, and/or smuggled illicit drugs (e.g. cannabis, cocaine, crack, heroin and skunk, etc.) and/or stolen & illegally black-marketed legal drugs (e.g. methadone & Ritalin, etc.).

However, a much more important set of classifications is:

* dangerous drugs: those likely to poison, make ill, damage, kill, weaken or otherwise adversely affect a majority of people either temporarily or permanently even when taken in small doses,

* unsafe drugs: those which even when limited to prescribed dosages, are likely to create a broad series of generally unpredictable side-effects ranging from mild to severe (including some of the temporary and occasionally the permanent effects of the dangerous drugs), and,

* safe drugs: those regarded as likely to have only a limited series of adverse effects on few people, usually of a mild or temporary nature.

(N.B. In all these cases the effect prescribed for, and the side effects which can also be produced, vary from person to person and also vary for each person from one usage occasion to another.)

Because the "dangerous" drugs are well recognised and handled with appropriate safety techniques, without doubt, the main problem class, and the largest, is the so-called "unsafe" drugs, which include amongst others those which are:

intoxicants, hypnotics, sedatives, stimulants, inhibitors, hallucinogens, euphorics, anxiolytics, suppressants, stupefiers and / or which are habit forming or addictive - with some degree of hypnotic effect ordinarily underlying most mental addictions.

Therefore in this "unsafe" classification one finds the so-called 'mind-bending' drugs (both pharmaceutical and illicit) such as cannabis, Prozac, heroin, Ritalin, ecstasy, methadone, LSD, benzodiazepines and other tranquillisers, cocaine, amphetamines and a further vast range of branded drugs of which no busy doctor can possibly keep adequate track.

As a result correct and effective prescribing is very much a hit-or-miss proposition, with the physician very often advising his patient to: "see how you get on with this, and we can always change it for something else if it doesn't suit you".

Unfortunately this is rather similar to the spurious advice of the illicit drug-pusher!

Modern research increasingly indicates that it is lack of sufficient good quality natural nutrition OR adversely excessive amounts of certain nutrients, which exposes our bodies to germs, viruses and the risk of a deficient immune system. Then also there are the problems caused by allergies. The resultant ailing bodily condition is then normally 'treated' with medicines and increasingly with drugs.

What a pity, when all that is needed is an adjustment to one's diet or, when this is impractical, an intake of vitamin and / or mineral food supplements to bring up the quality of one's food intake. Unlike nearly all drugs, the vast majority of food supplements are virtually impossible to overdose.

Physicians increasingly use medicines and drugs to handle (as 'illnesses') those conditions which are in fact merely dietary inadequacies, and it is interesting that international pharmaceutical companies which bulk produce such medicines and drugs, are the main instigators of new European directives and regulations restricting and even banning the production and distribution of large dose format natural food supplements, so that they can be replaced by lower potency chemically manufactured supplements sold only through pharmacy departments and chemists shops at higher small dose prices.


Just as important as what we should consume and what we should avoid is HOW MUCH we should eat and drink, and WHY and WHEN we should eat and drink.

Like the animal kingdom in the wild, we have flesh and blood bodies, as a result of which biologists, zoologists and doctors have been able to learn a lot about human flesh and blood bodies from a study of similar flesh and blood animals.

Whilst also true of animal and human brains, it is not however true of animal “minds”. Yes, we both have Reactive Minds for the essential continuing and over-riding protection, preservation and survival of the body.

But Man is also equipped with the Analytical Mind plus the spiritual beingness which renders him superior to the animal kingdom - the blatant, outstanding and obvious fact which psychiatrists have totally failed to notice and account for, crudely believing as they do that Man is no more than just another species of animal !?

However, for all flesh and blood body types, food and drink are the fuels which, like petrol and diesel, we put into the tank to convert into energy as required and determined by our ongoing physical activity level.

Or, that's how it should be, but it isn't.

Because there are three factors controlling our desire for food:

1) The feeling of fullness, emptiness or otherwise of our stomach,

2) The lack of incoming immediately available nutrition sufficient to fuel whatever physical activity we are engaged in, and,

3) The flavours, aromas and attractiveness of the various foods and drinks that we have been educated into desiring by our family background as well as by modern food marketing and preparation techniques.

With the U.K. Department of Health telling us earlier this year (2016) that 62% of British women are obese and overweight, that 50% of British men are the same and that our children are increasingly fat and overweight, it is increasingly plain that item 3) above is by far the factor determining our eating habits and requirements.

Instead of being just a straightforward filling of the fuel tank, eating and drinking has been developed into a ritual, a set of rewards and, for some people, even the main reason for living - all based on how our foods taste, smell and look !

As a result of which, in our modern western world, OVER-EATING has become the norm for an increasing number of our citizens, which is somewhat like going on every day filling the petrol tank of our car well after it is already full – a situation which can only inevitably sooner or later lead to disaster !

Bear in mind that, in a household where Mum is a devoted housewife, Dad is a desk bound accountant, the son is a local cycling champion and the daughter is a couch potato stuck in front of the TV all day – you have four different sets of energy (and food) requirements.

BUT, dear old Mum, according to custom and trying to minimise the work to be done in the kitchen, has to insist that they all eat TOGETHER at the same time, AND that they all have roughly the same size of plate filled with the same amount of the same food.

And Mum tends to put on the plates roughly the same amount of nutrition she feels she herself needs. But that's likely to be nowhere near enough for champion cycle training son, and far too much for desk bound Dad and TV mesmerised couch bound daughter.

So when the last two above say: “I'm not really hungry”, Mum may shove some extra onto her son's plate, but will also nearly always say: “But you've got to eat something and anyway I'm not going to waste good food that I've gone to a lot of trouble to cook”.

So Dad and daughter are fattening up and putting on weight, whilst Mum and son are looking a lot slimmer and fitter.

All this of course is not helped by regular socialising invitations from other family and friends to come and tuck in to some lovely “stuff” full of fat, sugar, carbohydrates and the hormones increasingly added to meat and vegetables to make them grow bigger and faster – effects they also inflict upon human bodies.

The current fashion for overeating not only makes an increasingly fat and overweight body more difficult to move around, but it also encourages a tendency to eat even more in order to have the energy to move that ever bigger and heavier body around. It's called a vicious circle, and it is.

So how can we break into that circle and start to handle the three above reasons for feeling hungry ?

The first is easy. As and when your stomach feels empty – drink a large glass of fresh clean water. Fills you up of course, but without in any way fattening you up.

Second, you and the rest of the family must learn to “waste food”, not only by refusing offered second helpings, but also by agreeing that it's OK to leave food on your plate, and that this is not an insult to the chef.

Overeating “wastes” human bodies, which are far more valuable than any food, because, whilst you can get food anywhere and pretty well at any time, we are all issued with only one body per lifetime !

But, thirdly, the main thing we have to do in order to achieve and maintain a sensible healthy size and weight, is to start un-learning the eating habits we have developed based on the “enticing” aromas, “artistic” appearance and “wonderful” tastes we have learned from our families, from fashion, from food snobbery, and from our friends.

You have only to examine the preferred diets of various ethnic groups to confirm that their preferences are “habits they have learned”, and that, as a result they can be un-learned.

Roasting coffee-beans smell marvellous, but without the sugar and the milk, black coffee is too bitter for most people. Cognac brandy smells so lovely, but your first mouthful screams: “Yeuch”, and you want to spit it out.

By first fully recognising that ALL food and drink fragrances and flavours can be learned and also un-learned, you take the first step towards taking full control of your diet, your weight, your size and, yes, even your bank balance.

Of course, one other factor to mention is - EXERCISE.

We don't all have to be Arnold Schwarzeneggers or Silvester Stallones. (have you seen them lately ?), but daily light exercise is good for your muscles, joints, breathing, digestion, appearance and sleeping.

A couple of miles of walking, cycling, jogging, swimming, skating or dancing, etc., is enough if you don't have a physically active working life. We are here talking about minutes rather than hours, and also about those activities which can be fitted in with others. e.g. walking or cycling to the station or super-market, instead of taking the car, a bus or a taxi.

BUT, by far the most important is reduction of food and drink consumption. Those who are already well overweight and over size should follow the natural practices of the sick or injured flesh and blood wild animals, which get themselves back into good condition simply by “water fasting”.

This is not like religious fasting which mainly just transfers eating from the daylight hours to the hours of darkness.

If for you, obesity and overweight is a constant problem, and you've already tried a variety of diets with little or no success, we invite you to phone our office on (01342) 810151 or 811099, after 11.00am and before 9.00pm on any weekday, and we will arrange for you to be sent a free no obligation copy of one of the latest booklets on successful fasting.

Alternatively you may choose to e-mail directly to and give them your name and Royal Mail postal address for them to send their free booklet to.

N.B. Information on drugs is a developing subject & therefore subject to continuing change.
As a result, whilst given in good faith, the author cannot be responsible for
the accuracy or otherwise of this data, or for any actions or decisions based on it.

S.A.F.E. Is A Not-For-Profit Community Support Group Formed In 1975.


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