The following is copied by permission from an article in the MICAP/RECAP Newsletter, published by the Michigan Council on Alcohol Problems (MICAP) and was written by Vernon Smith, PhD, and a member of the MICAP Board The biggest news in decades about recommendations for alcohol use came from the CDC in August 2020. In an 835-page report, the CDC indicated that it is making significant changes to its recommendations on alcohol use, and the recommendation is clear: consume less alcohol. Regarding alcohol consumption, the [“2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans”] report makes two major changes to previous guidance. Until this year, the Dietary Guidelines recommended no more than “moderate” alcohol intake, defined as no more than one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men. The new report will change that recommendation to no more than one drink per day, eliminating the distinction between men and women. Equally significant,
Partnership to End Addiciton / www.drugfree.org A young person’s brain is not fully developed until they reach their mid- to late 20s, and any drinking while the brain is still developing can be problematic. Regardless of age, alcohol lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment and coordination. It can also increase the incidence of aggressive or violent acts. Consuming large quantities in a short period of time — or binge drinking, which is defined as having 4-5 drinks on one occasion and is common among young people — can cause alcohol poisoning and even death. More than 16 million Americans misuse or are addicted to alcohol, which is a substance that is legal, widely available and normalized in our society. Prolonged, heavy use of alcohol can lead to addiction (known as alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism), liver and heart disease, and other health consequences such as a weakened immune system and increased risk
What is already known about this topic? Excessive drinking is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States and is associated with numerous health and social problems. What is added by this report? During 2011–2015, excessive drinking was responsible for an average of 93,296 deaths (255 per day) and 2.7 million years of potential life lost (29 years lost per death, on average) in the United States each year. What are the implications for public health practice? Widespread implementation of prevention strategies, including those recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force (e.g., increasing alcohol taxes and regulating the number and concentration of places that sell alcohol) could help reduce deaths and years of potential life lost from excessive drinking. Click here for a printable copy of this report. Citation: Esser MB, Sherk A, Liu Y, et al. Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost From Excessive Alcohol Use —
Alcohol weakens your immune system and can put you at a greater risk for COVID-19. How much is too much? Mercey Livingston https://www.cnet.com Alcohol, especially frequent and excessive drinking, can present some serious risks to your health, especially when it comes to COVID-19, your immune system and overall risk for developing serious complications from the virus. Click here for the full article.
By John Glenday Alcohol brands are being warned that they must be ready to face potential court action for conveying irresponsible messages to consumers through advertising, including the inadvertent targeting of underage drinkers. The warnings were made at a mental health and alcohol event where attendees raised fears of the growing embrace of influencer marketing, in which bloggers and celebrities are paid to promote brands on social media. Click here to read the article.
AFP – Yahoo News Nina LARSON Geneva (AFP) – Alcohol kills three million people worldwide each year — more than AIDS, violence and road accidents combined, the World Health Organization said Friday, adding that men are particularly at risk. The UN health agency’s latest report on alcohol and health pointed out that alcohol causes more than one in 20 deaths globally each year, including drink driving, alcohol-induced violence and abuse and a multitude of diseases and disorders. Men account for more than three quarters of alcohol-related deaths, the nearly 500-page report found. “Far too many people, their families and communities suffer the consequences of the harmful use of alcohol through violence, injuries, mental health problems and diseases like cancer and stroke,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. Drinking is linked to more than 200 health conditions, including liver cirrhosis and some cancers. Alcohol abuse also makes people
Article ID: 700910 www.newswise.com Source Newsroom: Research Society on Alcoholism Newswise — Previous research has shown that violent crimes are associated with greater access to alcohol outlets. It is unclear, however, whether on-premise outlets such as bars, or off-premise outlets such as liquor stores, have a stronger association with violent crimes. This study used more precise measurement of outlet locations to examine associations between violent crimes and access to different types of alcohol outlets in Baltimore, Maryland. The researchers collected data on 1,204 alcohol outlets: 519 (43%) on-premise outlets, 264 (22%) off-premise outlets, and 421 (35%) outlets allowed to sell alcohol on-premise or packaged alcohol for off-premise drinking (this license is called “LBD-7”). Additional data in their analyses included the number of violent crimes from 2012 to 2016 (n=51,006), and social markers such as owner-occupied housing, median annual household income, drug arrests, and population density. Access to alcohol outlets that
Michael Bonnette, Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications BATON ROUGE – “The Chute,” the newest addition to Tiger Stadium, will be unveiled when LSU opens the 2018 home schedule against Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday, Sept. 8. The Chute will be open to any fan 21-years of age or older with a game ticket. Located on the ground level of the south side of Tiger Stadium, The Chute will give fans the opportunity to purchase beer and food while watching the game and highlights on a giant-screen HD video board and numerous HD televisions. Click here to read the rest of the article.
Edited by Aaron M. White, Susan Tapert, and Shivendra D. Shukla NIAAA Binge drinking, broadly defined as consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, is a dangerous—and sometimes fatal—practice. Despite the adverse consequences associated with it, far too many people, particularly young adults, binge drink. The current issue of Alcohol Research: Current Reviews examines the predictors, prevalence, and patterns of binge alcohol consumption and its effects on health and well-being. Click here to read Binge Drinking – Predictors, Patterns, and Consequences.
Surveillance Report #110 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research Alcohol Epidemiologic Data System HIGHLIGHTS: This surveillance report on 1977–2016 apparent per capita alcohol consumption in the United States is the 32nd in a series of consumption reports produced annually by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The following are highlights from the current report, which updates consumption trends through 2016: • Per capita consumption of ethanol from all alcoholic beverages combined in 2016 was 2.35 gallons, representing a 0.9 percent increase from 2.33 gallons in 2015. • Between 2015 and 2016, changes in overall per capita consumption of ethanol included increases in 33 States, decreases in 12 States, and no changes in 5 States and the District of Columbia. • Analysis of overall per capita alcohol consumption by U.S. Census region between 2015 and 2016 indicated an increase of 1.3 percent in the Northeast, 0.4
By Jennifer Ortiz Front Page News Deaths from cirrhosis–the late stages of liver damage–jumped by 65 percent between 1999 and 2016. The biggest group of victims were people between the ages of 25 and 34 and the major cause was alcohol. (Getty Images) WASHINGTON — New data suggest young adults are drinking themselves to death, and Maryland is the only state in which the cirrhosis mortality rate is improving. According to data published in the journal BMJ, deaths from cirrhosis — the late stages of liver damage — jumped by 65 percent between 1999 and 2016. The biggest group of victims were people between the ages of 25 and 34 and the major cause was alcohol. In 2016, 11,073 people died due to liver cancer, double the number of such deaths in 1999. Cirrhosis can be caused by a virus like hepatitis C or fatty liver disease, and as liver
The following article also covers the rise in liver disease deaths among young adults: www.npr.org PAUL CHISHOLM Dr. Elliot Tapper has treated a lot of patients, but this one stood out. “His whole body was yellow,” Tapper remembers. “He could hardly move. It was difficult for him to breathe, and he wasn’t eating anything.” The patient was suffering from chronic liver disease. After years of alcohol use, his liver had stopped filtering his blood. Bilirubin, a yellowish waste compound, was building up in his body and changing his skin color. Disturbing to Tapper, the man was only in his mid-30s – much younger than most liver disease patients. Tapper, a liver specialist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, tried to get the patient to stop drinking. “We had long, tearful conversations,” Tapper says, “but he continued to struggle with alcohol addiction.” Since then, the
Walking drunk can be a deadly choice Jenni Bergal Birmingham News Stateline.org It’s 11 p.m. on a typical Saturday on U Street in Washington, and music is blaring from the glittery bars and clubs. Many of the partiers, decked out in their finest, will stick around until the bars close at 3 a.m., then pour out onto the sidewalks — and sometimes into the streets. “I’ve seen drunk people wandering into the street around 2 or 3 in the morning like zombies,” said Austin Loan, a bouncer checking IDs at Hawthorne, a restaurant with five bar areas and DJs on the weekends. “When you get drunk, you think you can rule the world. You may not be paying attention to anything else.” That could have deadly consequences. Whether they’re emptying out of bars, going home from football watch parties, or trying to get across the highway, drunken walkers are dying
By Dr. Mark Creech Executive Director Christian Action League of North Carolina The votes for advancing alcohol sales across the Tar Heel state were alarming this year. A total of 27 alcohol referendums were held in Alexander, Bertie, Burke, Camden, Cleveland, Davidson, Davie, Gaston, Haywood, Johnston, and Stanly counties. Every referendum succeeded with votes in favor of greater access to alcohol besting limited sales by an average of 62.3% to a 37.1% margin. It used to be 30 to 40 years ago, if there was an alcohol referendum on the ballot in some city or town in North Carolina, nearly every mainline church would join forces to defeat it. There was a general consensus among churches that easier access to alcohol was inherently problematic, bringing with it hosts of social problems. Today, however, it’s difficult to find a handful of churches willing to oppose an alcohol referendum. Thus, the primary
Tallahassee Democrat www.tallahassee.com by Byron Dobson Florida State University President John Thrasher has indefinitely suspended all fraternities and sororities effective immediately. The suspension follows the death of 20-year-old Andrew Coffey, a Pi Kappa Phi pledge, and the recent arrest of 20-year-old Garrett John Marcy, a Phi Delta Theta fraternity member who is accused of selling cocaine. “For this suspension to end, there will need to be a new normal for Greek life at the university,” Thrasher said in his statement. “There must be a new culture, and our students must be full participants in creating it.” All fraternity and sorority chapters are prohibited from holding new member events, chapter meetings, chapter organized tailgates, socials, philanthropy, retreats, intramurals and organized participation in Market Wednesday and Homecoming. . A ban on alcohol has also been issued at all Recognized Student Organization events during the interim suspension. “All of our student organizations –
BY PARTNERSHIP NEWS SERVICE STAFF Home https://drugfree.org/ September 8th, 2016 A new study finds a link between teens’ exposure to alcohol ads and how much of those brands they drink. Researchers at Boston University studied more than 1,000 13- to 20-year-olds who said they had consumed alcohol in the past month. Underage drinkers who didn’t see any alcohol ads drank about 14 drinks per month, compared with 33 drinks for those who had seen an average amount of alcohol ads, CNN reports. The findings appear in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. “I think one of the implications for the broader society is that currently our controls on television advertising for alcohol are minimal and they’re self-regulatory, so I think we should definitely tighten up that seam,” said lead researcher Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH.
www.shelbycountyreporter.com By Briana Harris PELHAM – The family of a teenager who was hit and killed by a vehicle in front of a Hooters restaurant in Pelham has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the restaurant chain because of alleged liquor law violations that led to the teen’s death. Shortly after Ryan Rohr, 18, left Hooters with friends on May 25, a vehicle fatally hit him while crossing Cahaba Valley Road (Alabama 119), according to a lawsuit filed in Shelby County Circuit Court by Birmingham-based firm Cory Watson Attorneys on behalf of Rohr’s parents. According to the lawsuit, the impact propelled Rohr’s body about 30 feet down the road. The lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages from Hooters of Pelham LLC and Hooters of America LLC. A jury will determine the amount if Rohr’s family wins the lawsuit. The suit claims that waiters at Hooters served Rohr alcohol without asking him
IF YOU’VE RECENTLY HAD A DRINK, WE HAVE SOME TERRIBLE NEWS FOR YOU. http://www.huffingtonpost.com An opinion piece published in the scientific journal Addiction in July gathers evidence to argue that alcohol is a direct cause of cancer in several areas of the body. The article reviews 10 years’ worth of studies from several organizations, including the World Cancer Research Fund, the American Institute for Cancer Research and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. And its conclusions are dire. Nearly 6 percent of cancer deaths worldwide can be linked to alcohol, including in people who drink light to moderate amounts of alcohol, according to author Jennie Connor, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Otago in New Zealand. “From a public health perspective,” she writes, “alcohol is estimated to have caused approximately half a million deaths from cancer in 2012.” Click here to read the rest of the article.
SAMHSA IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF FACING ADDICTION IN AMERICA: THE SURGEON GENERAL’S REPORT ON ALCOHOL, DRUGS, AND HEALTH. THIS LANDMARK REPORT WAS DEVELOPED AS A COLLABORATION BETWEEN SAMHSA AND THE OFFICE OF THE SURGEON GENERAL. Today, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy published a landmark report on a health crisis affecting every community in our country. Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health is a comprehensive review of the science of substance use, misuse, and disorders. Nearly 21 million people in America have a substance use disorder involving alcohol or drugs, an astonishing figure that is comparable to the number of people in our country with diabetes and higher than the total number of Americans suffering from all cancers combined. But in spite of the massive scope of this problem, only 1 in 10 people with a substance use disorder receives
By ROBERT PREIDT HEALTHDAY November 25, 2015, 10:55 AM American women are catching up to men when it comes to using and abusing alcohol, a new government report shows. The researchers analyzed data from 2002 to 2012 and found that reported alcohol consumption in the previous 30 days rose among women, from almost 45 percent to more than 48 percent, while it fell among men, from slightly more than 57 percent to just over 56 percent. “We found that over that period of time, differences in measures such as current drinking, number of drinking days per month, reaching criteria for an alcohol use disorder, and driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year, all narrowed for females and males,” study leader Aaron White, senior scientific advisor to the director of the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), said in an institute news release. “Males still
NEW ESTIMATES SAY EXCESS ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION COST THE U.S. ECONOMY A QUARTER-TRILLION DOLLARS IN 2010. By John Tozzi http://www.bloomberg.com Drinking too much has well-known personal costs—headaches, nausea, and regrettable 4 a.m. text messages. The Centers for Disease Control has put a figure on how much it costs the American economy: $249 billion. That includes spending on health care as well as the economic toll of lost productivity, car crashes, crime, and deaths attributable to excessive alcohol consumption. The biggest economic drag from tipplers manifests in the workplace. Alcohol cost $77 billion in impaired productivity at work in 2010, according to the CDC’s breakdown published in the American Journal of Preventive Health. Adding in absenteeism and other factors, the total productivity toll from excess drinking approached $90 billion. That’s not counting losses from alcohol-related deaths. The CDC has previously estimated that one in 10 deaths of working-age Americans are caused by
By: Lindsey Tanner Associated Press Government researchers say “deplorably” few college students are warned by doctors about the danger from alcohol and drugs or encouraged to reduce drinking or substance use. Their survey suggests that most doctors ask college students and other young adults about alcohol or drug use at regularly scheduled visits. But doctors don’t go much beyond that initial question less than half of the time. The study by National Institutes of Health researchers was published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. Some highlights about the findings: THE SURVEY About 2,100 college students and other young adults across the country were asked in 2012 and 2013 if they’d seen a doctor in the previous year and had been asked and counseled about their drinking, smoking and drug use. Participants had taken part in an earlier government health survey while in high school. In the new survey, most attended college but
By Kay Campbell | email@example.com Town by town, county by county, Alabama’s laws limiting or prohibiting the sale of alcohol have been falling – usually over the protests of at least some religious leaders. “The role of any pastor is that of a shepherd — to protect the people in the church, to evangelize, and to never condone or compromise with evil,” said Father James Henderson, a Charismatic Episcopal priest. “We don’t have a choice but to take the view that we have to stand against anything evil. New alcohol sales is one of those evils. I’m not going to say someone who drinks a glass of wine now and then is going to hell, but in a community like Priceville, if you have the choice to adopt it or not – it’s always better to not.” Even more than the changing laws, what worries the Rev. Joe Godfrey, executive
By Mike Cason | firstname.lastname@example.org People in more than a dozen Alabama cities and six counties could soon be able to buy alcohol on Sunday or buy draft beer because of new legislation. The Alabama Legislature this year approved more than 20 bills to expand the availability of alcoholic beverages, mostly by allowing Sunday sales and draft beer in cities and counties where those were prohibited. That’s about twice as many alcohol bills as normal from lawmakers. In the previous 10 years, they never approved more than nine, according to the Legislature’s online bill tracking system. A lobbyist for a faith-based group watched the surge and says he’s disappointed to see more ways to sell a product that causes much misery. Click here to read the rest of the article.
Tamika C. B. Zapolski Assistant professor of psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis www.nytimes.com Alcohol use in the United States is a serious public health concern, particularly among teenagers and young adults. The key to preventing alcohol abuse is to communicate the risks, harm and disapproval of its use among young people. Recent results from a national survey found that by eighth grade, approximately 27 percent had used alcohol, which increased to 66 percent by 12th grade. Additionally, a second national survey indicated that among high school seniors, about 20 percent binge drank, consuming more than 5 drinks in one occasion, during the two-week period preceding the survey. Heavy drinking is associated with negative social, mental and physical health outcomes — including risk of violent behavior, sexual assault, accidents that cause injury, additional drug use, poor academics, legal troubles, and family and interpersonal problems. Those most likely to experience harm
By BETH MCMURTRIE | THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION New York Times Despite decades of research, hundreds of campus task forces and millions invested in bold experiments, college drinking in the United States remains as much of a problem as ever. More than 1,800 students die every year of alcohol-related causes. An additional 600,000 are injured while drunk, and nearly 100,000 become victims of alcohol-influenced sexual assaults. One in four say their academic performance has suffered from drinking, all according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The binge-drinking rate among college students has hovered above 40 percent for two decades, and signs are that partying is getting even harder. More students now drink to get drunk, choose hard liquor over beer and drink in advance of social events. For many the goal is to black out. Click here to read the rest of the article.
By John Sharp email@example.com September 09, 2014 www.al.com MOBILE, Alabama – A decision on whether to grant a liquor license to a west Mobile multiplex cinema to sell beer and wine is on hold for about one month so Mobile City Council members can address concerns from residents who fear mixing alcohol in a family-friendly establishment. Residents voiced their opposition before the council Tuesday on the proposed liquor license to Carmike Inc., to allow restricted beer and wine sales inside Wynnsong 16, 785 Schillinger Road South. Parents, a pastor and concerned citizens said the mix of alcohol into the theater could allow for dangerous driving along Schillinger Road, will be hard for authorities to monitor and hurts the family-friendly atmosphere of the movie complex, among other things. “Our children have nowhere to go,” Karen Swanson, a mother of a 19-year-old, said. “Everywhere he goes, there is alcohol. If he says
Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances on the planet. Someone dies from alcohol use every ten seconds, and one night of binge drinking can take a huge toll on your immune system. Dr. Samuel Ball of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbia) reveals the myriad effects alcohol has on your brain and body
By Mac Gipson Earlier this year, a Washington Post article hailed Alabama along with Alaska as “national leaders” when it comes to taxing alcoholic beverages. “They are the only states that claim a spot among the top five with the highest excise taxes each for beer, wine and spirits, according to the free market-oriented Tax Foundation,” the newspaper reported. That national ranking is something Alabamians should view with great pride. Not because we should feel glee in having high taxes. But because Alabama’s “sin taxes” are doing exactly what the vast majority of our citizens should want them to do: Raise badly needed revenue to help pay for essential state services, while helping control the consumption of alcohol and its negative consequences. Recently, using information from the Beer Institute, The Post took a look at the other side of the alcohol issue – consumption. As illustrated by a series of
By Harold Pollack Which intoxicating substance is associated with the most lethal violence? Devotees of the Wire might presume that cocaine or maybe heroin would top the list, especially if you asked the worst causes of violence in poor, minority communities. The correct answer, by far, is alcohol. It’s involved in more homicides than pretty much every other substance, combined. Alcohol’s relative importance has grown over the last fifteen years, as aging populations of cocaine users account for a declining proportion of violent crime. Here in Chicago, positive cocaine screens in the Cook County Jail are down by about half when compared with ten or twenty years ago. The same is true in many other cities. Surveys of people incarcerated for violent crimes indicate that about 40% had been drinking at the time they committed these offenses. Among those who had been drinking, average blood-alcohol levels were estimated to exceed
Adolescents who behave aggressively are more likely to abuse alcohol as compared to their peers, a team of Finish researchers stated. Teenage aggression in high schools has been on the rise, leading researchers explored the complex predictors linked with youth aggression. Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland evaluated the association between psychological problems and alcohol use in 4074 Finnish adolescents aged between 13-18 years. They found that aggressive behavior increased adolescent drinking; however, they found no association between depression and anxiety to increased alcohol use. Around 60 percent of the total number of participants consumed alcohol. Among 15-year-olds, more than 50 percent reported consuming alcohol. However, no significant difference was noticed between alcohol use among boys and girls. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism stated that teens don’t drink alcohol often; but when they do, they drink more than adults. More often than not, teens indulge
BY CLIFF SIMS According to the Beer Institute (yes, that’s a real thing), there are over 21,000 Alabamians employed in alcohol industry-related jobs. The industry as a whole produces an estimated $2 billion economic impact on the state, including $465 million in annual tax revenue. But as massive as it sounds like the alcohol industry is in the Yellowhammer State, Alabamians as a whole actually consume a good bit less alcohol than citizens of most other states around the country, especially when it comes to hard alcohol. Thanks to a series of maps put together by the Washington Post, we can easily see how Alabama’s alcohol consumption stacks up. Click here to read the rest of the article.
By Dr. Mark Creech There is a great restaurant near my office that I visit for dinner at least five days a week. The staff has become like family to me. When they’re not so busy, the servers will stop to talk for a little while, which is always nice. One young server, Johnny, seems to have taken an interest in my work and often parks himself next to my stool at the grill. He’s clean-cut, very well-mannered, and good at making conversation. He’s truly a likeable guy. Recently, during a time when Johnny wasn’t serving, I noticed there was a celebration going on in one of the back dining areas. Johnny soon came around the corner from that gathering to say he was enjoying himself with his family and a few friends in honor of his birthday. Johnny was now 21 years old. With rapturous joy, he hailed his
Alcohol provides no heart health benefit: new multi-center study published in The BMJ and co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Results call into question previous studies suggesting one drink per day may promote cardiovascular health PHILADELPHIA – Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may improve cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure, according to a new multi-center study published in The BMJ and co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The latest findings call into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (0.6-0.8 fluid ounces/day) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health. Click on the following link to read the rest of the article: http://www.stonehearthnewsletters.com/alcohol-provides-heart-health-benefit-new-multi-center-study-published-bmj-co-led-perelman-school-medicine-university-pennsylvania/alcohol/
TUESDAY, July 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) — The brands of alcohol favored by underage drinkers are the same ones that are heavily advertised in magazines read by young people, a new study reveals. The findings provide further evidence that alcohol ads can encourage young people to drink. They also show that the alcohol industry’s voluntary advertising standards are inadequate, according to the authors of the study in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. “All of the ads in our study were in complete compliance with the industry’s self-regulatory guidelines,” lead researcher Craig Ross, of Virtual Media Resources in Natick, Mass., said in a journal news release. Click here to read the rest of the article.
One in 10 deaths among working-age adults between 2006 and 2010 were attributable to excessive drinking, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. A study published in Preventing Chronic Disease found that excessive alcohol use — which includes binge drinking, heavy weekly alcohol consumption and drinking while underage or pregnant — was responsible for approximately 88,000 deaths between 2006 and 2010. The lives of those who died were shortened by about 30 years. About 70% of those deaths were working-age adults between the ages of 20 to 64, said Mandy Stahre, epidemiologist at the Washington State Department of Health and author of the study. “We’re talking about a large economic impact, people who are contributing to society,” Stahre said. “They’re in the prime of their lives, whether they’re building up careers or midcareer. A lot of attention we tend to focus on is maybe college drinking or
UNITED NATIONS, May 12 (UPI) –Alcohol consumption was responsible for 3.3 million deaths worldwide in 2012, the World Health Organization said in a new report. The report, which examined trends in 194 WHO member countries, noted Europe has the world’s highest per capita consumption rate of alcohol, although the rate has remained stable in the past five years. Drinking increased in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific regions in that time. It noted alcohol-related mortality is more commonplace for men than women — with 7.6 percent of deaths among men and 4 percent among women globally related to excessive drinking. Yet a similar 2011 study found 6.2 percent of all male deaths and only 1.1 percent of female deaths involved alcohol, which suggests a more substantial increase for women in alcohol-related deaths. Click here to read the rest of the article.
The federal government admitted Monday that its recent approval of Palcohol—a powdered alcohol which turns water into vodka and rum—was actually done in “error.” The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau granted Palcohol “label approval” on April 8 only to withdraw it 13 days later. “TTB did approve labels for Palcohol,” it said in a statement. “Those label approvals were issued in error and have since been surrendered.” Palcohol’s parent company Lipsmark said in a statement that “there seemed to be a discrepancy on our fill level, how much powder is in the bag” and that the approvals were surrendered on the afternoon of April 21. “This doesn’t mean that Palcohol isn’t approved,” it said. “It just means that these labels aren’t approved. We will re-submit labels.” Palcohol will have to resubmit labels for approval to the bureau, which is part of the Department of Treasury. To read more click
Parents do have an influence on teens’ decisions about drinking, according to a new survey by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Teens are much less likely to drink if their parents tell them underage drinking is completely unacceptable, the survey found. To read more click here.
BY TYLER WELLS LYNCH It’s a method some parents found out about the hard way, when their kids overdosed on “smoked” booze, but it’s also a growing trend in high-end bars and restaurants. To the average drinker, it probably sounds pretty weird, but fans of e-cigarettes and oxygen bars will understand why this is an increasingly popular idea. Vapors contain few calories, carry virtually no impurities, and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. That means you get drunk more quickly and more efficiently, though the speed of absorption does raise some legitimate health concerns. (We’ll get to those a little later.) The thing is, while these facts are pretty well-known, few care enough to concoct an elaborate heating vessel and carry it around with them just to get drunk a little more efficiently. Click here to read the rest of the article.
Huffpost Politics February 14, 2014 Pew’s Stateline | by Elaine S. Povich This piece comes to us courtesy of Stateline. Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy. In Shrewsbury, Pa., near the Maryland state line, a square cinderblock building sports huge painted images of beer and soda bottles painted on the side. The sign on the private business reads, “Beer and Soda.” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and some state legislators would like to add “Liquor” to that. As it stands now, liquor is sold only in the approximately 600 stores run by the state. The latest push to privatize liquor stores in Pennsylvania is among several proposals in state legislatures this year dealing with the sale of liquor, wine and beer. A similar attempt in Pennsylvania failed last year, as it has before, amid legislative
(Opinion from ALCAP – The Birmingham News) When I talk to schoolchildren and young adults about the use of alcohol, I give them four sound reasons why they shouldn’t drink. One, alcohol is a mind-altering and addictive drug. Studies show that young people who start drinking in their teen years are much more likely to become problem drinkers and alcohol dependent. In fact, according to government surveys, of adults who started drinking before age 15, about 40 percent say they have the signs of alcohol dependence. That rate is four times higher than for adults who didn’t drink until they were 21. Two, alcohol kills. Nationwide, about 5,000 people under the age of 21 die each year from car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning and a variety of injuries as a direct result of underage drinking, reports the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. That doesn’t count the hundreds
By Anna Orso STATE COLLEGE — Vodka Red Bulls and Jäger Bombs, enjoying a recent spurt in popularity, can cause strokes, alcohol poisoning and other health problems, experts at Penn State and the University of Michigan found. Manufacturing highly caffeinated alcoholic beverages is banned in the United States because the popular Four Loko caused dozens of alcohol-related illnesses, but that doesn’t stop teens and young adults from mixing or ordering dangerous cocktails. And it’s not just these fizzy concoctions stirring up trouble. Lead author Megan Patrick, a researcher with Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, said simply drinking an energy drink the same day as alcohol is a recipe for health risks. “The message here is that consuming alcohol and energy drinks on the same day is associated with more serious alcohol consequences,” she said. “These drinks don’t have to be combined in the same glass in order to have overlapping
BY CAROL ROBINSON | CROBINSON@AL.COM MCCALLA, Alabama – Don’t drink under age. Don’t drink and drive. Best yet, don’t drink at all. That was the message given Tuesday morning to juniors and seniors at McAdory High School as The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board continued its new public awareness campaign called, “Under Age, Under Arrest” to fight underage and binge drinking. “We felt like we needed to get the message out to young people,” said ABC administrator Mac Gipson. “I’ve had some concerns since I’ve been administrator with some of the binge drinking situations, especially at the university campuses.” “There is no better time to catch them than now, when they’re experimenting,” he said. “We want to at least try to avoid the situation they get into in college when they get set free.” The campaign includes public service announcements and programs at high schools and colleges. The first
A NEW TREND AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS TRYING TO AVOID THE “FRESHMAN 15” COULD LAND THEM IN THE HOSPITAL. (SOURCE: KKCO/CNN)A NEW TREND AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS TRYING TO AVOID THE “FRESHMAN 15” COULD LAND THEM IN THE HOSPITAL. (SOURCE: KKCO/CNN) GRAND JUNCTION, CO (KKCO/CNN) – A new trend among college students trying to avoid the “freshman 15” could land them in the hospital. It’s called “drunkorexia,” and a new study says 40 percent of college students are doing it. “I’ve done it once and I was very sick after it I just didn’t like the feeling of not having anything in my stomach,” said college student Dominic Lanciaux. Lanciaux learned his lesson after one night of partying without eating left him really sick the next day. Click here to read the rest of the story.
By Join Together Staff | October 7, 2013 College freshmen’s drinking habits are often formed during the first six weeks of school, according to an expert from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). In the first six weeks, first-semester freshmen often start drinking or increase the amount they drink, says Aaron White, Program Director of NIAAA’s College and Underage Drinking Prevention Research. They may drink because of student expectations and social pressures, he notes. “Students show up with all these expectations about the role that alcohol is going to play in their lives in college, and they just get a little bit nuts with the freedom,” he said. In many cases, college freshmen are living away from their parents for the first time, and they often have easier access to alcohol, even though drinking is illegal for those under 21. However, many new college students already have experience with alcohol
By Minsi Chung and Renee Dudley – Sep 16, 2013 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is so committed to becoming America’s biggest beer retailer that it has been selling Budweiser, Coors and other brews almost at cost in at least some stores. The markup on a 36-pack of Coors Light cans at a Los-Angeles-area store was 0.6 percent, compared with 16.2 percent for a package of Flaming Hot Cheetos, according to internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg. Companies typically don’t release information about markups so the March data provide a rare glimpse of Wal-Mart’s alcohol pricing strategy. Wal-Mart’s push into beer is part of a plan to double alcohol sales by 2016 and seize a larger slice of a U.S. beer market worth about $45 billion. While founder Sam Walton frowned on drinking to excess, selling cheap suds is a way to lure shoppers who typically buy other products at the same time.
Updated: Sep 18, 2013 11:03 PM CDT By Sherea Harris BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – Vodka eyeballing appears to be a new way some teenagers and young adults are abusing alcohol. On YouTube there are videos of people experimenting with so called vodka eyeballing. Each person taking a shot glass or entire bottle of vodka straight to their eyeball. All reacting the same way as if it’s very painful. Click here to read the rest of the story: http://www.myfoxal.com/story/23471555/some-teens-young-adults-abusing-alcohol-by-vodka-eyeballing
By Kim I. Hartman Phoenix – Teenagers have found a new way of getting drunk by inserting vodka-soaked tampons into their vaginas, says a Phoenix police resource officer. And it’s not just girls; boys are inserting the alcohol-drenched feminine hygiene products in their rectum. The disturbing trend, first noted by the Oxford Journals in 1999, said the teens experience “rapid onset of effects, lower doses of alcohol are required for intoxication, and the reduced likelihood of recent alcohol consumption being being detected on the breath,” all contributed to the popularity of this method of abusing alcohol. KPHO in Phoenix, Arizona, reported on the problem in local high schools and said the growing number of incidents related to students immersing tampons in vodka has school officials concerned for student safety.”This is not isolated to any school, any city, any financial area,” Officer Chris Thomas, a school resource officer, said. “This is
(Link to USAToday article) November 2, 2011 (Reprinted in The Birmingham News on 12/1/11) The link between alcohol and breast cancer isn’t new, but most previous studies found no increased risk for breast cancer…. The new research provides compelling evidence…experts say. Click here to read the article.
By Piper Weiss, Shine Staff – Healthy Living – Thu, Sep 20, 2012 3:18 PM EDT Witnesses described the 17-year-old boy as “shaking, growling, foaming at the mouth. “According to police reports, Elijah Stai was at a McDonald’s with his friend when he began to feel ill. Soon after, he “started to smash his head against the ground” and began acting “possessed,” according to a witness. Two hours later, he had stopped breathing. The Grand Forks, North Dakota teenager’s fatal overdose has been blamed on a drug called 2C-I. The night before Stai’s overdose, another area teen, Christian Bjerk, 18, was found face down on a sidewalk. His death was also linked to the drug. 2C-I – known by its eerie street name “Smiles” – has become a serious problem in the Grand Forks area, according to local police. Overdoses of the drug have also been reported in Indiana and
By: Barry L. Cameron Crossroads Christian Church On Monday night, news broke that Olympic gold medalist snowboarder, Shaun White, had been charged with vandalism and public intoxication. On my Facebook wall, I posted the following comment: “This just in . . . and the gold medal for character enhancement, once again, goes to alcohol.” For years, well-meaning, sincere Christians have debated the subject of drinking. Let me be clear by saying there isn’t a single verse in the Bible that says a Christian cannot have a drink; although the Bible clearly warns about the destructive and addictive nature of alcohol (Proverbs 20:1; 21:17; 23:29-35; Ephesians 5:18) and is very clear that drunkenness is always wrong (Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Peter 4:3; Habakkuk 2:15; 1 Corinthians 5:11). The Bible is also clear that mature Christians should avoid causing others to stumble by drinking (Romans 14:21), and that leaders ought to avoid drinking alcohol (Proverbs 31:4-7) and cannot be
The unintended (and intended) consequences of privatizing Washington state liquor sales. By Erica C. Barnett Be careful what you wish for. On November 8, 2011, after a $22 million campaign financed primarily by Costco, Washington residents voted overwhelmingly to privatize the state’s liquor sales and distribution system. On June 1, after a series of thwarted lawsuits by privatization opponents including the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention, hundreds of new, privately run stores opened their doors across the state. Proponents of privatized liquor sales argued that the switch would generate hundreds of millions in new tax revenue, promote competition and lower prices, and increase access to liquor of all kinds, including high-end specialty brands. Opponents, meanwhile, argued that private booze sales would incite a flood of underage drinking, drive prices up, reduce consumer choices, and harm Washington state’s homegrown wine, beer, and craft-distillery industries. While it’s still too
Beer edges out wine by 39% to 35% as drinkers’ beverage of choice Source: Gallup by Lydia Saad Americans’ drinking habits held steady in the past year, with 66% saying they consume alcohol and drinkers consuming just over four alcoholic drinks per week, on average. Beer continues to be Americans’ preferred drink, although wine remains a close second, with liquor favored by 22%. The findings are from Gallup’s annual Consumption Habits poll, conducted July 9-12. Although 66% of Americans say they “have occasion to drink alcoholic beverages such as liquor, wine, or beer,” a third of these say they had no drinks in the seven days prior to the survey. This leaves roughly four in 10 Americans (44%) who appear to be regular drinkers, consuming at least one alcoholic beverage in the past week. While only 12% of drinkers report consuming eight or more drinks in the past week —
LANSING — Alcohol is different from other consumer products and requires different laws, a panel of alcohol policy experts said at a Center for Alcohol Policy forum this week in Lansing. Brannon Denning, professor at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law and CAP Advisory Council member, began the session by providing a global perspective on alcohol regulation, discussing factors that influence alcohol laws such as religion, ethnicity, climate and history. He recounted the history of America’s experience with alcohol, noting how unique it is for a product to be the subject of two constitutional amendments. America’s history of abuses with alcohol leading up to national Prohibition is important to remember, he argued, in order to understand why we have the state-based alcohol regulatory system that we have today. “According to national polling, over three-fourths of people say they understand that alcohol is different and needs different rules,”Denning said. Steven Schmidt, senior vice president of public policy
Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) is pleased to announce the winners of the annual ANR Smokefree Indoor Air Challenge Award, which recognizes the states that achieve the greatest number of strong local smokefree laws each year – either by passing new ordinances or strengthening existing laws. The 2011 winners are based on the analysis of all new laws enacted during 2011 that meet the ANR Foundation’s criteria for 100% smokefree bars, restaurants, and non-hospitality workplaces. Congratulations to all the winners! First Place (Tie): Alabama and California It’s not often that Alabama and California are mentioned together as smokefree leaders, but now they are. Both states will be receiving the famous ANR crystal award for their significant accomplishment in leading the U.S. local smokefree movement in 2011. Alabama led the nation in having enacted the greatest number of strong, new smokefree laws in 2011. This is a landmark achievement for public health
One News Now Chris Woodward, Reporter/Anchor The White Castle hamburger chain is considering the idea of selling alcohol at more of its restaurants, but one group doesn’t think alcohol should be given any more outlets. At this time, White Castle is only testing beer and wine sales at a location in Lafayette, Indiana. A spokesman for the chain tells Associated Press that the company has not decided whether to expand alcohol sales, but he notes that customers have reacted positively to the fact that alcoholic beverages are being offered. Dr. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League and the American Council on Alcohol Problems says it is all about marketing more outlets. “Marketing 101 is [the] more outlets [you have, the more] you sell of your product. That’s why McDonald’s has an outlet seemingly on every corner,” he explains. “And the same is true for alcohol. If you have more outlets, you’re
Creech says study should motivate to address alcohol use and abuse, not promote safe-sex One News Now Chris Woodward, Reporter/Anchor January 3, 2012 A new study out of Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health confirms that unprotected sex is more likely to occur after drinking, so one pastor thinks that should motivate Christians to address the abuse of alcohol rather than promote the message of safe sex. Though the topic is not popular today, Dr. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League and the American Council on Alcohol Problems says the fact remains that where disease prevention is concerned, the failure rate for condoms is really high. He thinks people ought to realize that sex within the context of a life-long monogamous marriage — what it is intended for — is always safe. “Protected promiscuity is not a part of God’s plan,” he notes. “But what I think we can learn
The Birmingham News The average American teen is heavily exposed to alcohol brand names in popular music, according to a study published online in the journal Addiction. Researchers analyzed 793 of the most popular songs in the youth market between 2005 and 2007 and found that brand names came up about a quarter of the time alcohol was mentioned. There were about 3.4 alcohol brand references per hour of music, and the average teen hears about 2.5 hours of music per day, meaning they’re getting significant annual exposure, the authors said. Mentions of alcohol brands are the most common in rap, R&B and hip-hop songs and were more often positive than negative, the study found.
By Join Together Staff From The Partnership at Drugfree.org Local governments in southern states are starting to look to alcohol sales as a way to boost revenues. In Harrison, Arkansas, stores began selling beer and wine earlier this year, the Associated Press reports. The city hopes it will bring in up to $200,000 annually from alcohol-related sales taxes and fees—which represents about 1 percent of the budget. The city of 13,000 residents, in the Ozark Mountains, finds tourists are staying longer ever since voters approved alcohol sales in the city last year. “We’re a pretty poor county, and we just can’t afford to say we don’t want anyone’s business,” Gerald Ragland, Harrison’s Finance Director, told the AP. Until last year, Boone County, where Harrison is located, was “dry,” as were many municipalities across the South. Critics of the move to allow alcohol sales in Harrison said dry laws help prevent
Drinking red wine has been touted over the years as way to reduce heart disease risk but new studies have found that eating grapes and drinking grape juice is just as beneficial without the negative effects of alcohol. This article discusses the benefits of eating grapes and drinking grape juice over drinking red wine. [Read more: http://healthmad.com/health/grapes-and-grape-juice-are-just-as-effective-as-wine-for-preventing-heart-disease/#ixzz12RbM1nbn] Over the years numerous studies have reported that drinking red wine may decrease the risk of heart disease, but in truth, simply eating grapes or drinking grape juice can supply the same healthy benefits. Eating Grapes for Heart Disease Prevention According to Martha Grogan, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, drinking grape juice and eating grapes can produce the same heart-healthy effects as red wine. Grapes and grape juice contain the same antioxidants, flavonoids and resveratrol, as red wine. These are the basic components that provide the heart-healthy effects. Grogan says that
The Sun Daily The study says restricting the availability of higher-alcohol drinks in Alko, the state monopoly liquor store, will save around 350 people a year from alcohol-related deaths. HELSINKI (Sept 8, 2011): Finnish researchers are recommending that beer and other drinks with more than 3.5% alcohol be banned from grocery stores to curb alcohol-related deaths. The joint study by three research institutes said that restricting the availability of higher-alcohol drinks in Alko, the state monopoly liquor store, would save around 350 people a year from alcohol-related deaths. Around 3,000 people die in Finland each year because of diseases or incidents related to alcohol. The suggested ban would be modelled on a similar move by neighbouring Sweden in 1977, which helped curb alcohol-related deaths. Finland’s current limit for alcohol content at grocery stores is 4.7%. The report on Thursday said Finland’s alcohol consumption is now highly problematic, having tripled from
The Birmingham News College freshmen who take an online alcohol prevention course may drink less, but the effects don’t last long, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Researchers looked at the effectiveness of a commercial course against binge drinking called AlcoholEdu, which is often offered just before freshmen arrive on campus. They conducted a randomized trial at 30 public and private universities in the United States, giving half the freshmen the course and then following up with surveys with some of them. They found that students who took the class reported significantly less alcohol use and binge drinking during the fall compared with the other students. But the results didn’t last into the spring semester; the authors suggest that other methods are needed to reinforce the message. [NOTE: Colleges could use the American Character Builders kit, “Alcohol–It’s a Killer!” as a follow-up later in the
UC Riverside researchers also find connection between sales of single-serve containers of alcoholic beverages and violent crime. RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Violent crime could be reduced significantly if policymakers at the local level limit the number of neighborhood liquor stores and ban the sale of single-serve containers of alcoholic beverages, according to separate studies led by University of California, Riverside researchers. In the first of two groundbreaking studies published in the September issue of the journal Drug and Alcohol Review – “Alcohol availability and youth homicide in 91 of the largest U.S. cities, 1984-2006” – researchers found a correlation between the density of alcohol outlets and violent crime rates among teens and young adults ages 13 to 24. Study authors were sociology professors Robert N. Parker and Kirk R. Williams, co-directors of the Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies at UCR; Kevin J. McCaffree, UCR research assistant; sociology professor Emily
By Gregg Doyel CBSSports.com National Columnist That spillage of blood the other night in San Francisco, where two NFL fans were shot in the parking lot and a third was beaten in a Candlestick Park bathroom? Don’t obscure the truth by blaming that on the passion of football or the hatred of gangs. That wasn’t 49ers vs. Raiders. It wasn’t Nortenos vs. Surenos. It was Budweiser vs. the bloodstream. And Budweiser, or whatever those animals were guzzling, wins every time. Which is why I’m not particularly impressed with all the anguish coming out of the 49ers, the Raiders or the NFL after those two shootings and that one beating at Candlestick. They can talk all they want, but I don’t hear solutions. I hear tut-tutting. I hear tsk-tsking. What I don’t hear is anyone — not a team, not the league — announcing that alcohol will no longer be sold in
Reuters American teenagers of middle and high school age are more likely to smoke, drink and use drugs if they also spend time on social networking sites, according to a new study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. The study, released Wednesday found that teens spending any time at all on social networking sites were five times more likely to smoke cigarettes, three times more likely to drink and twice as likely to smoke marijuana. It lists Facebook and Myspace specifically, though it casts a much wider net. CASA Columbia surveyed 12-to-17 year olds asking whether they spent any time on social media sites, finding that 70 percent of the teens they surveyed do use the sites. The survey also found that 40 percent of all teens have seen pictures on those sites of kids drinking or using drugs and that half of those
by JIM AVILA (@JimAvilaABC) , BRINDA ADHIKARI AND ENJOLI FRANCIS Aug. 5, 2011 (ABCNEWS.com) They can arrive in jewelry boxes, playing cards and even inside a game of Chinese checkers — illegal IDs from China, mailed to your waiting teenager. “They hide [fake IDs] behind things … and inside boxes,” said Sheriff Tom Dart of Cook County, Ill. “This is full service. They want to make sure their customers are happy. They are very accommodating.” One website refers to the fake IDs as “novelty items.” “The Internet so readily makes these [fake IDs] available that anybody looking for them can find them literally with a quick mouse click,” Dart said. Working with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and other agencies in Chicago, Dart has confiscated more than 1,700 IDs hidden in boxes arriving from China at the airport in the last six months. Most of them were on their way to 17- to
By DAVID KESMODEL This isn’t your father’s Colt 45. The new owners of that malt-liquor brand, with the help of rapper Snoop Dogg, plan to unveil next month a label called Blast by Colt 45. The beverage will contain fruit flavors and 12% alcohol by volume, about twice the level of the original version of Colt 45. Click here to read the rest of the article.
By Paris Jackson BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A few well-known drinks popular among students on college campuses have been banned. Alcohol and caffeine mixed beverages are now illegal to sell in the state of Alabama. The Alabama alcoholic beverage control board banned the malt drinks in February. The ABC board sent out notices to Alabama distributors about the ban. Many manufacturers have now re-formulated these drinks taking out the caffeine. The popular alcohol drink, Four Loko, was known as “black out in a can” or “liquid crack”. Last year, the drink contained caffeine and 12% alcohol, which experts say is a dangerous combination. “One of the problems with these types of drinks is that they’re very high in caffeine and very high in alcohol. What you end up having is what people are calling, a wide awake drunk,” UAB Nutrition Sciences Assistant Professor, Beth Kitchin. Following a warning from the FDA,
By Chris Pollone TUSCALOOSA, Ala– Voters in the West Alabama city of Tuscaloosa have overwhelmingly approved Sunday alcohol sales. With nearly all the ballots counted, YES votes outnumbered NO votes by nearly a 4 to 1 margin. Sunday alcohol sales have long been a source of contention in Tuscaloosa. The city was the largest in Alabama not to allow alcohol to be sold on Sunday. Proponents said allowing alcohol to be sold seven days a week will be an economic windfall for the city. Chad Smith, owner of Alcove International Tavern, said if some University of Alabama fans choose to stay an extra day after home football games, it might entice larger restaurant and hotel chains to open in the city. The first day of Sunday alcohol sales will be March 6. Unless the city council votes otherwise, businesses which currently sell alcohol will be allowed to sell it when
By SHMULEY BOTEACH Thrift, hard work, close-knit families, a pioneering spirit, a love of adventure, a rejection of indolence, faith-based ethics, a God-centric society, a belief in spreading freedom and democracy – where did that all go? Science and math. Science and math. President Barack Obama’s new mantra is science and math. If only America’s students focused on science and math, he told us in his State of the Union address, then we’ll be as innovative as China and will no longer have to farm out the building of wondrous handheld gadgets. The gods of science and math will make our economy blossom. But missing from the president’s new, post-midterm vision for America is any mention of the rot in values that is causing our decline. The reason we don’t excel in education is not because our schools focus on philosophy and the humanities to the exclusion of science and math, but rather because we
from the Fresh Story Blog – 2/1/11 A new study has found that alcohol and sports make a truly dangerous combination, with one in every 12 fans leaving major sporting events drunk. The study was reported online in January this year, and will be published in the April 2011 print edition of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Researchers from the University of Minnesota conducted the research following 13 baseball games and three football games in 2006. Fans volunteered to participate in an anonymous breathalyzer test as well as a brief verbal survey as they were leaving the event stadium. The study is the first ever in the U.S. to measure blood alcohol content levels in fans after professional sporting events. Here’s a summary of what they learned: One in 12 fans was legally intoxicated when he or she left the event. Fans under the age of 35 were nine
BY RENA HAVNER PHILIPS, PRESS-REGISTER MOBILE COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS WANT MORE LOCAL CITIES TO BAN SMOKING IN RESTAURANTS, BARS AND OTHER PUBLIC PLACES. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS) The Mobile County Health Department and other local agencies are launching a two-year campaign to try to encourage nine local municipalities, including Mobile, to prohibit smoking in public places. That would include restaurants, bars, hotels, shopping malls and other facilities. “We’re not saying that you can’t smoke,” said the health department’s Missy Wilson, who is administering the grant. “We’re saying we don’t want to breathe your smoke.” According the health department: 22 percent of Alabamians smoke, but that number is slightly higher in Mobile County. Second-hand smoke is the third most preventable cause of death in the United States, causing at least 35,000 deaths each year from heart disease and 3,000 more from lung cancer. Waiters and waitresses who work in restaurants that allow
By Meredith Melnick Four Loko is so last season. There’s a new faddish booze-infused product whipping up interest from public-health experts: alcoholic whipped cream. According to a report in the Boston Herald, products like Cream and Whipped Lightning are appearing on liquor store shelves all over the country. They look innocent enough: they are canisters of whipped dairy, like the Reddi-wip used on top of ice cream sundaes and waffles. But unlike the standard variety, the alcohol-charged “whipahol” Cream packs a 30-proof wallop. That’s 15% alcohol by volume, containing about as much or slightly less alcohol as drinks like Bacardi Mojito and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Another brand, Whipped Lightning ranges from 16% to 18% alcohol by volume, equivalent to the alcohol contained in three or four beers — that is, if you ingest the entire canister. Although alcoholic whipped cream isn’t likely to get kids as wasted as quickly as Four
Baptist Press Citing crime, Dutch may crack down on marijuana tourism AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (BP)–Acknowledging that marijuana decriminalization has led to an increase in crime and societal problems, the new Netherlands conservative-leaning government wants to crack down on drug tourism by limiting marijuana sales in so-called “coffee shops” to Dutch residents.The proposal was outlined weeks ago when the coalition government detailed its goals but is getting more attention now because Ivo Opstelten, the government’s minister of security and justice, said the government is serious about the proposal. Millions of tourists from all over Europe come to the Netherlands each year to smoke pot, which is relatively cheap at the coffee shops, or marijuana cafes. There are hundreds of such shops in Amsterdam and elsewhere. “No tourist attractions. We don’t like that,” the minister, Ivo Opstelten, said during an interview with Netherlands media Nov. 17, Reuters reported. “The heart of the problem
By MARIA CHENG The Associated Press LONDON — Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, according to a new study. British experts evaluated substances including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, ranking them based on how destructive they are to the individual who takes them and to society as a whole. Researchers analyzed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body, in addition to other criteria like environmental damage caused by the drug, its role in breaking up families and its economic costs, such as health care, social services, and prison. Heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, or crystal meth, were the most lethal to individuals. When considering their wider social effects, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the deadliest. But overall, alcohol outranked all other substances, followed by heroin and crack cocaine. Marijuana, ecstasy and LSD scored far lower. The study
By Staff Reportswww.brewtonstandard.com Now that the State of Alabama is fully enforcing its gaming laws, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians are the latest target of Gov. Bob Riley’s anti-gambling movement. For over a year, Riley’s anti-gambling task force was on a mission to rid the state of gambling establishments as it traveled county-by-county raiding such facilities. Now, with only three months left in his administration, Riley is preparing to ask federal officials to shut down the state’s Indian casinos owned by the Poach Band of Creek Indians based out of Atmore. “Gov. Riley has said that once the state has proven its determination to combat illegal gambling in our state, then the federal government will have to address the issue at Indian casinos,” Press Secretary Todd Stacy said. “There are still cases ongoing, however, the state’s determination to enforce the law has certainly been proven.” Stacy said that determination
Doctors and children’s health experts are speaking out against a controversial study recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, which suggests that “light consumption” of alcohol during pregnancy may not be harmful to babies. The study flies in the face of the extensive body of research substantiating the dangers of drinking while pregnant. The study in question tracked data from more than 11,000 children born between September 2000 and January 2002. Mothers in the study were categorized as those who never drank; light drinkers – one to two drinks per week; moderate drinkers – three to six drinks per week; or heavy drinkers – seven or more drinks per week. Children in the study were monitored to the age of five, at which time the researchers reported that there was little difference between the children of abstainers versus light drinkers. Critics of the study point out that it
Alabama Bingo Scandal Brought On By Loose Laws, Say Critics By DAN LIEBERMAN The arrest of four Alabama state legislators and three lobbyists has exposed what has long been a too cozy relationship between the two groups, say critics. The indictment handed down earlier this month alleges that Alabama legislators and lobbyists broke the law by trading votes for cash and other perks in order to pass pro-gambling legislation. But what is actually permitted under Alabama law is also shocking, according to good government advocates, and a symptom of a larger national problem. Alabama allows lobbyists to spend up to $250 a day on an individual legislator without disclosure – or more than $90,000 a year, an amount that Ellen Miller of government watchdog The Sunlight Foundation calls “outrageous.” “That’s a lot of money,” said Miller, executive director of the DC-based group. “It has to be one of the worse
Doctor Says Teen Suffered Heart Attack After Drinking High Octane Beverage By CLAYTON SANDELL and LYNNE GUEY Concern over a controversial beverage concoction of caffeine and booze, that some experts say may not even be legal, could be posing a new health threat for the drinks’ biggest fans: college-age people. Two weeks ago, an athletic, otherwise perfectly healthy 19 year-old man arrived at the emergency room at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. “He had chest pains, he was sweaty, short of breath,” said Dr. Robert McNamara, who heads the department of emergency medicine. The patient was suffering a heart attack. Tests, however, showed the man had none of the usual signs of an unhealthy heart or arteries. The symptoms were extremely unusual for such a young person, said McNamara, who added they’re typically seen in people who overdose on cocaine or speed. After further questioning, the patient admitted he’d been
BY Simone WeichselbaumDAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Federal officials are warning New York cops to be on the lookout for a cheap – and potentially deadly – heroin cocktail aimed at teens. Cops across Manhattan were recently told to watch out for “cheese,” a mix of heroin and crushed Tylenol PM. Cheese sells for as little as $2 a hit and delivers a euphoric high followed by drowsiness. To keep the high, users need to snort it up to 15 times a day – along with a potentially lethal dosage of acetaminophen. Cheese, which came on the radar in Dallas in 2005, has not been seen much in New York, but heroin use among teens is on the rise in the city – and the Drug Enforcement Agency fears cheese could be the next step. “It’s the makings of a recipe for disaster,” said John Gilbride, who heads the Drug Enforcement
In spite of the deep recession and troubling budget shortfalls, alcohol tax policies in many states haven’t been updated for decades and remain stuck in the 20th century. According to the U.S. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, at least 46 states have struggled with budget shortfalls for the 2011 fiscal year. Nevertheless, most state alcohol taxes (especially beer taxes), have been untouched for decades. For example, here’s a list of 10 states and the year when beer taxes were last raised: To view map, click here. Wyoming – 1935 Pennsylvania – 1947 Louisiana – 1948 Michigan – 1966 West Virginia – 1966 North Dakota – 1967 Georgia – 1967 Wisconsin – 1969 North Carolina – 1969 South Carolina – 1969 (Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest,States Ranked by Alcohol Tax Rates: Beer) In fact, there are only eight states that have raised beer taxes at all since the
Ken Allen, Pastor, Eastside Baptist ChurchSeptember 24, 2010 Can anyone see this scenario? The “wet” side needs more signatures as the deadline approaches. In comes a development that has been on the radar before the recession started. Someone says, “We need a medium to get our propaganda out – ah yes, The Cullman Times.” I don’t know if this scenario is true or not, I’ll leave it to the readers to decide. The Cullman Times did not even publish an article or quote anyone showing the ills of alcohol or if it has helped or hurt or had no effect on cities like Decatur or Birmingham. And although our city and county leaders did not say in Sunday’s articles, “I’m for going wet,” their sentiment gave them away. By the way – did anyone notice all of the positives about Cullman in Sunday’s articles: “Growing town in a market that’s not
BY STEPHANIE RAYMOND Move over red wine, purple grape juice is proving to be just as beneficial to our health without the negative effects associated with alcohol consumption. Packed full of powerful antioxidants that have been shown to do everything from reducing inflammation to discouraging artery-blocking clots, studies have found that as little as two cups (500 mL) of purple grape juice consumed daily may do wonders for our health. Heart healthy Researchers from the Université de Strasbourg in France have found that purple grape juice is just as effective as red wine at increasing nitric oxide production in the arterial lining. Nitric oxide causes the arteries to relax and widen, allowing blood to flow freely. Purple grape juice’s ability to lower blood pressure has been attributed to this artery-widening effect. In one study researchers found that when hypertensive men drank purple grape juice daily for eight weeks, the participants
Birmingham News / Letter to the EditorSeptember 12, 2010 As an advocate for racing greyhounds, I’ve watched the battle over electronic bingo with concern. Alabama’s three dog tracks are all losing money on live racing. Milton McGregor’s losses on dog racing at VictoryLand have been subsidized by the casino there, until its recent closure. The other two tracks, however, have been barely hanging on, hoping for expanded gambling to prop up dog racing at their facilities. But when VictoryLand’s casino stopped lining McGregor’s pockets, he turned to the Birmingham Racing Commission for a handout to keep the Birmingham Race Course open (“Commission OKs city race course funds,” The News, Thursday). He is worth millions of dollars, yet the county will spend $400,000 in public funds to make “improvements” to one of his two dog tracks, which is losing money hand over fist. Additionally, despite his claims of benevolence for the
Ron Bogle is a retired Superior Court Judge from North Carolina who recently published a column in The Herald Sun about the debate on lowering the national drinking age. Bogle provided a brief history of the 21 law as well as the recent movement to lower the drinking age led by John McCardell, currently university president in Tennessee. As Bogle’s column described, McCardell is a frequent speaker for the alcohol industry who continues to call for lowering the drinking age to 18. The movement initiated by McCardell has actually resulted in a national discussion about the 21 law, which is probably not exactly what he intended. That’s because there is now an overwhelming amount of evidence that shows the 21 law has reduced underage drinking and saved thousands of lives. As Bogle wrote in his column: “With current medical research confirming the health dangers of teen drinking and more supportive of continuation
By Doug Carlson – Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberties Commission Internet gambling—illegal in the United States—suffered a serious blow in June as long-delayed regulations to put the squeeze on industry profiteers and consumers evading the law finally took force. The regulations are the cornerstone of a 2006 law to block U.S.-based customer transactions to offshore online gambling merchants, thereby slowing cash flow offshore to a trickle. The plan is working. Yet some in Washington are already plotting its undoing. Congress is considering legislation that not only would repeal the law that authorized the new regulations but also would leap a frightful step further—legalize Internet gambling. The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267) sailed through the House Financial Services Committee last week in a 41-22 vote. Seven Republicans gave their approval, while four Democrats held the line in opposition. To see how all members of the
[NOTE: The following article is a New York Times op-ed by Les Bernal, Executive Director of Stop Predatory Gambling, a national organization with which ALCAP is associated.] The potential boon for cash-strapped states versus the social costs associated with addiction. A Predatory Business Les Bernal is the executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling, a nonprofit group that is against casinos and state lotteries. Internet gambling is one of the most predatory businesses in the world which is why public opinion polls show that two out of three Americans oppose its legalization. Allowing Internet gambling is like opening a Las Vegas casino in every house, apartment and dorm room in America. It is totally different from social gambling like playing cards at the kitchen table or buying a square in the Super Bowl office pool. Instead, it represents one of the purest forms of predatory gambling, which is the practice of using gambling to
The idea that parents can prevent alcohol misuse in their children by teaching them to drink responsibly at home is a popular one in many parts of Europe and elsewhere. But it may owe more to folk lore than to science, according to a new study in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. In a study of 428 Dutch families, researchers found that the more teenagers were allowed to drink at home, the more they drank outside of home as well. What is more, teenagers who drank under their parents’ watch or on their own had an elevated risk of developing alcohol-related problems. Drinking problems included trouble with school work, missed school days and getting into fights with other people, among other issues. The findings, say the researchers, put into question the advice of some experts who recommend that parents drink with their
At the American College Health Association’s annual meeting held in June this year, one college health official gave a speech on student alcohol abuse with a frank and peculiar conclusion that colleges simply can’t do anything to stop it. That’s the gist of a presentation given by Edward Ehlinger, director and chief health officer of Boynton Health Services at the University of Minnesota. As reported in USA Today, Ehlinger spoke at the meeting about alcohol as a problem for society, not for colleges. “I don’t think the problem of alcohol is an underage problem,” he said. “It is not a college or university problem. I think alcohol is a community problem – it is a societal problem. We need to be humble about the fact we don’t know what the heck we’re doing and we need to do something different.” Ehlinger’s comments would seem to support efforts by groups like the
Christian Science Monitor For the first time in four years, Michigan does NOT have the highest unemployment rate in the United States. That dubious distinction now belongs to Nevada. Unemployment at 13.6 percent is nothing to brag about, but it’s better than the 14 percent in Nevada, the new No. 1 in unemployment among the states. And the trends don’t look so good in Nevada. Its labor force has been shrinking, which usually helps suppress official unemployment counts. Nevertheless, unemployment shot up compared with 13.7 percent in April. One reason for the difference is that manufacturing tends to recover early after a recession, while services (like Nevada’s big tourism and hospitality industries [a.k.a. “casino gambling enterprise”]) tend to recover later. Nevada holds one other dubious title among the states: It has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate.
On May 3, 2010, the city of San Bernardino, California, banned single sales of beer and other alcohol products, partly in response to a research project that shows a definite link between alcohol and crime. As reported in the San Bernardino County Sun, research conducted by Professor Robert Nash Parker at the University of California Riverside was a significant factor in the City Council’s decision. The San Bernardino County Public Health Department assisted Professor Parker in the study, which analyzed city crime data and alcohol outlets selling single-serve size beer and malt liquor. The study concluded that areas with a high availability of single-serving beer and alcoholic beverages were more likely to have higher rates of crime and violence. In the research project’s final report, professor Park wrote, “We would expect that if alcohol from single serve containers is being immediately consumed, rates of violence would tend to be higher around
After making great strides in previous decades, one study shows that teen drinking is now on the rise. The study was conducted by the Partnership for a Drug Free America among 9-12 grade students in 2009 and was released in March this year. The study’s results showed a considerable increase in students who admitted to drinking in the past month – up to 39 percent or 6.5 million students. In 2008, the number of students who reported drinking over the past month was 35 percent, or 5.8 million teens. One newspaper in New Jersey reported on and confirmed the study’s results at local high schools such as Holmdel High School, where teachers and counselors are not surprised by the increase in drug and alcohol use in teens. Jon Gaspich, a student assistance counselor in New Jersey’s Toms River Regional Schools District, commented on the study and his own experience in
BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Press-Register/Bill Starling)Country Crossing owner Ronnie Gilley, seen here on Tuesday Nov. 17, 2009, says he has considered reopening Country Crossing’s electronic bingo casino on Thursday but decided against it. DOTHAN — The developer of the Country Crossing electronic bingo development in Dothan says he won’t reopen immediately. Developer Ronnie Gilley had contacted employees about reopening Country Crossing on Thursday. But he announced Wednesday he’s postponing it. Gilley said the owners of the electronic bingo machines at Country Crossing will not give their support because the governor’s gambling task force has threatened a raid. Country Crossing’s casino, restaurants and inn have been closed since late January to prevent a raid by the task force.
By Greg Phillips Geneva voters decided overwhelmingly Tuesday to allow the sale of alcohol within the city limits. With 946 supporting the sale of alcohol in the city and 498 opposing it, Geneva Mayor Wynnton Melton said the message was clear. “I’m shocked, to tell you the truth. I’m not shocked at all that it went wet, but I’m shocked at the margin of victory and voter participation in a one-issue election,” Melton said. “The numbers are almost at a two-to-one ratio. It’s a very distinct message sent to the leadership of the City of Geneva that people feel strongly about this.” The vote will have some tangible benefits for the town. With the additional money from taxes and licenses, Melton estimated the city will see between $50,000 and $100,000 of additional annual revenue.
Watanabe restates his casino losses OMAHA WORLD-HERALD Terry Watanabe has given new heft to his unofficial title as Vegas’ biggest loser. Watanabe alleges in his latest court filings that in a single year he gambled away $189 million — an average of more than a half-million dollars a day — at two Las Vegas casinos owned by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. His total losses over a two-year period hit $200 million, said Pierce O’Donnell, his attorney from Los Angeles. Watanabe, a former Omaha businessman, is embroiled in a dispute with Harrah’s on several legal fronts. He is believed to be one of Vegas’ all-time biggest “whales” — the name used for high-rolling gamblers. Watanabe faces criminal charges for allegedly skipping out on $14.7 million owed to Harrah’s. And, in rebuttal, Watanabe filed a civil complaint alleging that Harrah’s took advantage of his gambling addiction and allowed him to gamble when drunk. In
“I have good news for you tonight. According to an American Gaming Association report, revenue from casino gambling fell by almost two billion dollars last year. A lot of people are out of work and it turns out that when people are unemployed, they gamble less. You’d think they might gamble more but they don’t. There’s some good things about everything, I guess. In 2008 the casinos earned $32.5 billion. Last year they earned only $30.7 billion. I use the words “earned” and “only” loosely but casino income was down a lousy little two billion dollars last year. It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes. It’s a law for people to protect themselves by wearing seat belts for their own safety when they’re in car. How come the government doesn’t protect citizens from losing their money by making gambling in casinos illegal? There should be a sign in front
by Bob Lever (AFP) 3/7/10 WASHINGTON — US casinos have run into a string of bad luck as the recession and other factors cut into gambling revenues, even as more states move to get a piece of the action. Gaming revenues in the 12 US states authorizing casinos fell 5.7 percent in 2009 to 30.7 billion dollars, according to a preliminary estimate by the American Gaming Association, a trade group. This followed a 4.6 percent drop in 2008 gross gaming receipts, the figures showed. Gaming industry analysts say the recession has hit gambling along with all other consumer and leisure activities. But some say other factors are hurting casinos, including new entertainment offerings such as Internet gambling, which is illegal in the United States but according to some surveys is still widely practiced. A study by market research firm Mintel showed that 30 percent of adults visited a casino in
BY GEORGE ALTMAN Mobile Press-Register photo: Visitors to the Wind Creek Casino in Atmore play some of the electronic bingo machines at the facility, which is owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. A bill in the Alabama Legislature would allow state-regulated facilities to offer the same games that are offered at Indian casinos. MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A bill that would allow state-regulated casinos to offer the same games as Indian casinos, as well as shield cruise ship casinos from gambling raids, passed a House committee on Wednesday. The approval, on a voice vote, followed hours of discussion before the House Tourism and Travel Committee, mostly by members of the public. State House security estimated that 450 to 500 people came to see the first vote on a gambling bill in the 2010 legislative session. Among them were several representatives of Country Crossing, a new gambling and country music venue
MEDIA CONTACT: citizensforabetterAL@gmail.com CASINO BOSS ADMITS ORDERING INVESTIGATION OF OPPONENTS “Sounds Like Something Straight Out of a Mob Movie” MONTGOMERY, AL – Eric Johnston, president of Citizens for a Better Alabama made the following statement today: “So if you’ve ever wondered what a casino mogul does with the millions he’s made off Alabamians who lost their hard-earned money at his casino, now you know.” “In an article appearing in today’s edition of the Mobile Press-Register, casino boss Milton McGregor admits he hired a private eye to follow a law enforcement official who disagreed with him about gambling in Alabama. McGregor then claims he threatened to expose him, if the Governor did not. That sounds like something straight out of a mob movie.” “Alabamians should pay attention to this. The evidence that casinos and gambling bring increased crime and corruption is indisputable. Milton McGregor has just helped prove that point with
Riley: Machines are illegal KIM CHANDLER Birmingham News staff writer MONTGOMERY – Gov. Bob Riley said Thursday he has urged the Alabama Supreme Court to rule that the slots look-alike game of electronic bingo is illegal across the state. Riley and St. Clair District Attorney Richard Minor filed a joint brief with the court earlier this month asking the court to issue a ruling in a St. Clair County bingo case that declares all of the machines illegal. The Alabama Supreme Court in June issued a 6-3 order delaying enforcement of a St. Clair judge’s ruling that allowed the games to be installed at the American Legion Hall in Ashville. Riley urged the court to use the opportunity to issue a broader ruling on the machines. “Ultimately, only this court can put a statewide end to the cancer of slot machines masquerading as `electronic bingo,’” Minor and lawyers for the governor
By Art Toalston WASHINGTON (BP)–A new law in Mexico decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana and other narcotics — including cocaine and heroin — will inflict “a serious setback” to the battle against drugs in the United States, a Southern Baptist policy expert has predicted. “We now have an entire country on our southern border that is a haven for drug abuse,” Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, noted in an Aug. 29 blog. “Our southwestern states will suffer first from this tragic surrender as more drug-addicted people come across the border. Then the rest of the country will feel it as they move inland,” Duke wrote. “Inspections at the border will become more difficult as well, as more people attempt to cross into the country with their ‘legal’ drug amounts. You can be sure that U.S. relations with Mexico are
The following open letter to President Barack Obama has been distributed to news outlets throughout the nation by Dr. Dan Ireland, Executive Director of the American Council on Alcohol Problems (ACAP) and the Director Emeritus of ALCAP. It addresses the inappropriateness of the recent “Beer Summit” held by the President in the White House Gardens. The White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, With your recent “Beer Summit” you have provided a tremendous complimentary boost to the alcohol industry at the public’s expense. As the American Medical Association as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention point out, alcohol is a drug. As reflected by the millions of alcoholic and problem drinkers in the United States, alcohol is an addictive drug as well as a killer drug. The Surgeon General says the nation averages 100,000 deaths a year due to alcohol abuse. As I’m sure
New study shows 1 in 25 deaths worldwide attributable to alcohol, but CAMH researcher sees glass as half full For Release: June 26, 2009, (Toronto) Research from Canada’s own Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) featured in this week’s edition of The Lancet shows that worldwide, 1 in 25 deaths are directly attributable to alcohol consumption. This rise since 2000 is mainly due to increases in the number of women drinking. CAMH’s Dr Jürgen Rehm and his colleagues found that alcohol-attributable disorders are among the most disabling disease categories within the global burden of disease, especially for men. And in contrast to other traditional risk factors for disease, the burden attributable to alcohol lies more with younger people than with the older population. Dr. Rehm still takes an optimistic ‘glass half full’ response to this large and increasing alcohol-attributable burden. “Today, we know more than ever about which strategies can
Often, people will ask me, “What can I do to make a difference in my community, in our state and in our nation?” The following is an edited version of my response to someone asking that very question. Of course, there are a number of other actions that an individual can take, but these are given as a way of triggering other ideas in your own mind. While I don’t mention it in the list below, prayer should certainly head the list! As Christians, we are called by the Apostle Paul in Romans 13 to pray for our government leaders. Stand up and let your voice be heard concerning the moral issues confronting our nation! Make contact with your United States Senators (Shelby and Sessions) and with your U.S. Representatives (depends on where you live). Let them (or someone in their local or Washington offices) know where you stand on specific
Summary : “It’s predatory, deceptive, addictive and undermines the purpose and promise of America.” An Overview No major public policy issue exists in America that is more talked about yet less understood than casino-style gambling. While there are many well-intentioned public officials, reporters, editorial writers and bloggers who discuss the issue in terms of state revenues and potential jobs, most know virtually nothing about the product design, the technology, the marketing and the business model used by the casino trade. Most don’t even use the products frequently, if at all. And most don’t have personal relationships with the out-of-control gamblers who make up nearly all of the profits. The debate on slot machines and casino-style gambling is not about jobs and revenues. Nor is it about whether we “permit” gambling. It’s not about buying a square in the Super Bowl office pool or playing poker with the guys from the neighborhood
Asst. Prof. Natasha Schull has studied gambling in Las Vegas for 15 years. Photo: Ed Quinn Natasha Schull, who was raised in New York’s Greenwich Village, first encountered Las Vegas on the way to college, when her connecting flight was delayed there for a few hours. “It was the most bizarre place I’d ever been. I wasn’t familiar with malls or theme parks or any of the elements that you see exemplified in Las Vegas,” she says. “I was immediately fascinated.” Schull, who has studied gambling in Las Vegas for the past 15 years, is a cultural anthropologist and assistant professor in MIT’s Program on Science, Technology, and Society. She recently wrote Machine Zone: Technology and Compulsion in Las Vegas, a book based on her research on compulsive gamblers and the engineers who design the slot machines they play. The book will be published next fall. She also has created
By Carey GoldbergGlobe Staff / March 7, 2009 Among addiction specialists, video slot machines have come to be known as the “crack cocaine” of the gambling industry. The mechanical wheels of spinning fruit used in the old one-armed bandits have gone the way of the typewriter. Modern-day slot machines are computerized sound-and-light shows so skillfully designed to keep players glued to their seats that some have been known to wear adult diapers to avoid bathroom breaks. As state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill promotes the idea of licensing three slot parlors in Massachusetts, some mental health and gambling specialists warn that the newer machines deliver such potent gambling highs that they can be particularly addictive. The video slots allow players to gamble incredibly rapidly, winning or losing a game every several seconds without a break, to the point that their brains are undergoing the equivalent of an intravenous drip of an
Parade Magazine, Page 6 Drunk drivers kill about 13,000 Americans each year and injure hundreds of thousands more. Now, California and Wisconsin are considering new laws that would require people convicted of drunk driving to use a technology called an ignition interlock. Drivers blow into a device that measures blood-alcohol content. If the level is too high, the car will not start. Fourteen states already routinely use the technology, which experts say can reduce subsequent drunk-driving offenses by up to 64%. Critics say that manufacturers of the devices–for which convicted drunk drivers must pay up to $110 a month–have aggressively lobbied to make the units mandatory to increase profits. But law-enforcement officials say ignition interlocks work. “When the device is on, you see a decrease in repeat offenders,” says Barbara Lauer of Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles. “Once it’s off, the numbers go right back up.”
by Brian O’Keefe, www.smartmoney.com “You can’t win…”Everyone knows the house has an advantage. But most casino patrons don’t realize just how heavily the odds are stacked against them. Take keno, in which you pick a string of numbers, hoping to match them to what the casino randomly generates. The house advantage is at least 25%, increasing with the more numbers you pick, says John Alcamo, author of Casino Gambling Behind the Tables. The odds of hitting, say, the 10 spot — a string of 10 numbers — are nine million to one. (Getting killed by fireworks is nine times more likely.) Despite those odds, a $2 bet usually pays off at only $50,000 to $200,000. Slot machines are popular because they offer a shot at a big jackpot for little investment. For example, $3 gets you a chance at the Megabucks jackpot, which links slot machines in Nevada and builds
by Dwayne Hastings NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–If someone in your family has a new cell phone on their Christmas list, you might want to get to Santa before he packs his sleigh. The latest generation of cell phones offers an expanded array of features — some which may put your teenager at risk. New wireless technology allows users to download digital video content and other material directly from the Internet to wireless handheld devices such as the feature-rich cell phones and iPods. These rapid advances in wireless technology and mobile entertainment prompted the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families to publish a timely and practical guide for parents: “Sex and Cell Phones: Protect Your Children.” Approximately 79 percent of all teens (17 million) have a mobile device — a 36 percent increase since 2005, according to the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry (CITA). Most teens have
News Report A settlement between MillerCoors and a group of state attorneys general will spell the end of the brewer’s foray into marketing alcoholic energy drinks. The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 18 that MillerCoors announced that it will stop producing and selling caffeinated alcoholic beverages, including those sold under its popular Sparks brand. At the same time, company officials maintained that the AGs allegations that the drinks were marketed to young drinkers were “inaccurate.” “Attorneys general from around the country are gravely concerned about premixed alcoholic energy drinks because these products are dangerous and look and taste like popular nonalcoholic energy drinks,” said Maine Attorney General Steve Rowe. “They’re popular with young people who wrongly believe that the caffeine will counteract the intoxicating effects of the alcohol.” Critics condemn youth-orinted Sparks marketing materials implying that alcoholic energy drinks allow users to stay awake longer and drink more. “It was
An article from “The Inside Story” The International Organization of Good Templars (IOGT), under the leadership of Vince Peterson, PhD, a former professor at Indiana University and author of the book, A Nation Under the Influence: America’s Addiction to Alcohol, has proposed a 10-point agenda for all who are concerned about educational and public policy issues regarding alcohol. Click here to read this story.
Should Christians Argue Politics? by Frank Pastore ‘Our political and social policies should grow out of our theology, not vice versa.’ Note: This column originally appeared Sept. 30 on Townhall.com. It is used with permission. For the past several months, I’ve heard two recurring themes from critics of my show: “You’re too political and unloving; Christians shouldn’t argue about politics,” and “You’re not fair and balanced; you’re close-minded and too biased against liberals.” Perhaps many Christians believe these things because they don’t understand politics is really an exercise of theology applied — one way we love our neighbors as ourselves. Our political and social policies should grow out of our theology, not vice versa. We are not to reverse engineer our theology based upon our political and social agendas. Our faith is foundational to everything else. For Christians, theology creates and shapes our approach to politics; for non-Christians, politics creates and
By Justin Pope Associated Press Writer College presidents from about 100 of the nation’s best-known universities, including Duke, Dartmouth and Ohio State, are calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, saying current laws actually encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus. The movement called the Amethyst Initiative began quietly recruiting presidents more than a year ago to provoke national debate about the drinking age. “This is a law that is routinely evaded,” said John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College in Vermont who started the organization. “It is a law that the people at whom it is directed believe is unjust and unfair and discriminatory.” Other prominent schools in the group include Syracuse, Tufts, Colgate, Kenyon and Morehouse. But even before the presidents begin the public phase of their efforts, which may include publishing newspaper ads in the coming weeks, they are already facing sharp
Article originally published in Medical News Today on August 13, 2008 After returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan, younger service members and Reserve and National Guard combat personnel are more likely to begin heavy drinking, binge drinking, or other alcohol related problems. These findings are reported in a study published in the August 13 issue of JAMA. Previous studies have suggested a strong link between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse. Additionally, several other psychological disorders are known to occur after stressful and traumatic events such as war. As alcohol is commonly used to help those cope with traumatic events, there is a high probability that military deployment is associated with increased rates of alcohol consumption or problem drinking. There have been reports from earlier conflicts that personnel have misused alcohol at high rates after deployment, but there is little information on patterns of alcohol use regarding the most current crop
Research Summary Participants in this comprehensive, long-term health study generally drank less as they got older and later generations drank less than their predecessors, WebMD Health News reported Aug. 6. Study subjects also were found to drink less beer and more wine as they got older, with that shift more pronounced for men than for women. Beer made up at least half of men’s alcohol intake before they reached their mid-30s, but only about one-quarter by their mid-70s. The study of residents of Framingham, Mass., included 50 years of data of 8,600 white adults, all of whom were born between 1900 and 1959 and were at least 28 years old when they began reporting in detail on their health and lifestyle habits. The study found that heavier drinking gave way to moderate drinking as later generations’ behaviors were analyzed. Yet it is uncertain as to whether these findings reflect national trends, since
Posted on Jul 30, 2008 | by Michael Foust SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–Supporters of a proposed constitutional marriage amendment in California filed suit against the state attorney general July 29, charging that a new ballot title and summary is inflammatory and could lead voters to oppose the measure. The title and summary — the language voters see on the ballot when entering the voting booth — was changed recently by California Attorney General Jerry Brown. A Democrat, Brown changed the title to read, “Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry” and the first sentence of the summary to read, “Changes California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.” The new ballot summary also says the amendment’s fiscal impact would result in “potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars” to state and local governments over the next few years. [Click here to read
By Doug Carlson Long-time California residents have experienced their share of earthquakes over the years, but perhaps they were rocked most on two days recently over the course of three weeks. These fault lines, however, ran not in the Earth’s crust but in the state’s highest court, and its citizens are still feeling the aftershocks. The first quake came somewhat unexpectedly on May 15 as the state Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, granted homosexuals the legal right to “marry” in the Golden State, trampling underfoot the will of 61 percent of voters who approved a 2000 ballot measure on traditional marriage. [Click here to read the full story]
Omaha World-Herald At best, destination casinos are in places that generally remain checkered destinations for daily living. This is worth remembering as Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s claim of 30,000 new construction jobs for three resort casinos appears to be crumbling. An independent analysis done for the Globe says that as few as 4,000 to 5,000 jobs might be created. Even the Massachusetts Building Trades Council projects just 20,000 jobs. Just as important, it is unclear what casinos change. Take Atlantic City, N.J., Las Vegas and the state of Mississippi. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Atlantic City casino industry is in the midst of spending $20 billion to rehab its fading image as a Las Vegas wannabe. Las Vegas casinos are in the midst of spending $35 billion to brighten their already blinding image. And the first thing Mississippi did after Hurricane Katrina was to make sure the Gulf Coast
By Daniel Hoare Research has pointed to a link between problem gambling and homelessness. While the Federal Government has been quick to act on its election promise to address homelessness, there are calls for the Prime Minister to extend the action to include problem gambling. Social researchers say addiction to gambling is one of the root causes of homelessness and that Kevin Rudd needs to address it. Mr Rudd initially went about examining homelessness with little fanfare but now that he is loudly trumpeting his intention to do something about the homeless problem, there are some who believe he should just as carefully examine one of the reasons behind it. Problem gambling has long been an area of debate in Australia, but it is an area that has not been examined closely since a Productivity Commission report in 1999. But research has pointed to a link between problem gambling and
USA TODAY’S VIEW: “IDEA GAINS TRACTION ON CAMPUS, BUT EVIDENCE SHOWS 21 LAW SAVES LIVES.” Article from USA Today, Page 12A On most college campuses, only seniors and some juniors are old enough to consume alcohol legally. But you’d never notice that distinction on a Saturday night. Or, for that matter, Thursday night or Friday night. Despite the minimum drinking age of 21, students of all ages imbibe, many to excess. The American Medical Association links drinking to 1,400 deaths, 500,000 injuries and 70,000 sexual assault cases on campuses every year. This all suggests that the age 21 law has been about as successful at preventing underage drinking as Prohibition was at banning alcohol from society as a whole. So does that mean it’s time to revert to 18? Supporters of the idea, which is gaining traction, make a number of logical arguments. But what sounds logical isn’t necessarily prudent
Baptist Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–In what some are calling groundbreaking research, a new four-year study concludes it is possible for homosexuals to change their physical attractions and become heterosexual through the help of Christian ministries. The data was released Sept. 13 at a news conference in Nashville, Tenn., and is published in the new book, “Ex-Gays?” (InterVarsity Press) by psychologists Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse. Thirty-eight percent of the subjects followed in the study said they had successfully left homosexuality, while an additional 29 percent said they had had only modest successes but were committed to keep trying. In another significant finding, Jones and Yarhouse said attempts at conversion do not appear to be psychologically harmful. [Read more]
From the Ethics & Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention Website By Penna Dexter Overexposed is a word that comes to mind when considering young celebrities like Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Nicole Richie. We see too much coverage of them in the news and not enough coverage on their bodies. But it’s not just Hollywood. Young women in general are looking a bit trashy these days… [Read more]
CASA’s 2007 Teen Survey Reveals America’s Schools Infested with Drugs; Popular Kids at Drug-Infested Schools Much Likelier to Get Drunk and Use Drugs
Washington, D.C., August 16, 2007 – Eleven million high school students (80 percent) and five million middle school students (44 percent) attend drug-infested schools, meaning that they have personally witnessed illegal drug use, illegal drug dealing, illegal drug possession, students drunk and/or students high on the grounds of their school according to the National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XII: Teens and Parents, the twelfth annual back-to-school survey conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. For the first time, this year CASA sought to survey in depth the drug situation in America’s schools. The survey revealed that at least once a week on their school grounds, 31 percent of high school students (more than four million) and nine percent of middle school students (more than one million) see illegal drugs used, sold, students high and/or drunk. At least weekly, 17 percent of all
Washington, DC — The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) today released a new survey from Zogby International showing that when parents become aware of what abstinence education vs. comprehensive sex education actually teaches, support for abstinence programs jumps from 40% to 60%, while support for comprehensive programs drops from 50% to 30%. This sharp increase in support of abstinence education is seen across all political and economic groups. As federal and state lawmakers debate funding for sex education in public schools, this new survey offers a compelling look into what parents want for their children. To Read the Full Story Click Here
Alan Blum, MD, Professor, Gerald Leon Wallace Endowed Chair in Family Medicine and Director of The University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society recently teamed up with Matt Bors to develop a series of satirical cartoons that poke fun at the tobacco industry and the Food & Drug Administration for their hypocrisy concerning tobacco products. The first of these cartoons, originally published in The Birmingham News in June 2007, is published below with permission from Dr. Alan Blum. It is followed by an explanation of the events and actions addressed in the cartoon. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif) have introduced a bill (S.625 in the Senate and H.R. 1108 in the House of Representatives) that would provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with regulatory control over tobacco products but would not permit the FDA to ban the sale or promotion of cigarettes. The