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An angel on Kauai, touching lives one by one

Some people are born with a mission and purpose. My life has been dedicated to helping people be as healthy as they can be. Simply, I was born to be a fitness trainer and a nutritional coach. I have a new friend who was born to be a beacon of hope to people whose lives have been touched by drug, alcohol or cigarette addiction. She has written three booklets dealing with the subjects and has collected stories from those who want to help others by telling of their personal journeys.

One of her books deals with the stories of those who have been bullied who then turned to alcohol or other drugs or contemplated suicide. Another booklet gives stories of those who became addicted to the drug ice and another gives stories of those who struggled and broke their addiction to cigarettes.

Janice Bond continues to try to touch the lives of those who need help the most. Her books are free and available by contacting her at janbond@hawaiilink.net.

Janice notes that the Hawaii suicide statistics are high. Hawaii ranks 34th in the nation in suicide death rates, and suicide was the single leading cause of death in Hawaii from 2004 to 2013.

Disturbingly, Hawaii high school students had the seventh highest self-reported prevalence of considering suicide, seventh highest for making a plan, seventh highest for attempting and 15th highest for receiving treatment for a self-inflicted injury in the country during that time-frame.

It is noted in her booklet “Suicide, Alcohol and Other Drugs Underlying Bullying” that female students are generally more at risk. Janice notes that in Hawaii, one in six high school students make a suicide plan and that 85 percent of them tell someone about it. The warning signs include direct verbal statements such as “I want to die” or indirect ones such as “Nothing matters” or “I won’t be a problem much longer.” Behavioral signs include withdrawal from friends, loss of interest in formerly engaging activities, substance or alcohol abuse, a drop in grades at school, and dramatic changes in moods, personal hygiene or appearance.

Some of the negative statistics related to alcohol in Hawaii and nationwide as given by Janice in one of her booklets are that in Hawaii, 44 percent of all alcohol-related fatalities, the driver was over the limit of .08. She notes that 68 percent of children who died in alcohol-related traffic accidents were passengers of drinking drivers.

In colleges, alcohol is a factor in 40 percent of academic problems and related to 28 percent of drop- outs. Nationwide, more than 40 percent of people who begin drinking before the age of 15 become alcoholics.

Clearly, alcohol use can adversely affect your brain, your body, your self-control and reflexes, and can kill you and those around you.

Women who drink during pregnancy risk giving birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome or mental retardation. Short-term alcohol use causes risk taking behavior, impaired balance, coordination and judgment, confusion and slurred speech, drowsiness and nausea. Long-term, it creates inflammation of the digestive tract, nutritional deficiencies muscle wasting, increased risk for some types of cancers, and liver disease. Because it is a depressant, long-term usage can lead to chronic depression.

In Janice’s booklet “End Ice,” she notes that the use of this highly addictive drug can cause psychotic behavior, including violence, and criminal acts to support the habit and loss of personal care and hygiene.

The physical manifestations from using the drug include increased blood pressure and body temperature, irreversible brain damage, nausea, extreme depression, paranoia, tooth decay, skin ulcerations, auditory and visual hallucinations, stroke, heart attack and digestive disorders.

Janice notes that this highly addictive drug can hook people possibly only after one use and it is one of the most physically damaging drug known. This information is drawn from the Prevention Resource Center at www.drugfreehawaii.org.

Janice also wants people of Kauai to know about the Kauai Drug Court Adult Program, which is a court supervised treatment program for non-violent adult offenders. The program is for eligible drug offenders who want to get off drugs and turn their lives around. It consists of a 12-step program, community work, scholastic or vocational training and is an alternative to criminal prosecution.

In addition to the inspirational stories that Janice Bond has collected together to help those in trouble to realize they are not alone and that they can overcome their issues, the booklets also have resource agencies and information listed in the back so people know where they can go or who they can contact for help. So often people in need believe that they are on their own, even when there are many resources available to them.

If you know someone who may need this help, email Janice and ask for one of her booklets or ask which agency would be best to suited to help.

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Jane Riley is a certified nutritional adviser. She can be reached at janerileyfitness@gmail.com, (808) 212-1451 and www.janerileyfitness.com

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