Archive for February, 2011

Addiction-Prone Women More Susceptible to Depression

Results of a research released just last week in the online journal Development and Psychopathology reveal that depression symptoms for women in the 30’s and 40’s increase over time especially for those who are prone to addiction problems and antisocial behavior.

The study indicates how personal history, family life, and neighborhood instability affects the alcoholism tendencies of 273 women in a 12-year period, all at the early years of their married life and motherhood. Most women who participated in the study were from the Midwest.

depressionDepression symptoms also increased among the women even while alcohol addictions and antisocial behaviors declined over the given period.

Other factors that affect these women also include their partner’s behavior. For instance, if the husband struggles with his own addictions and comes into trouble with the law, symptoms of depression in women worsen. Their children’s problems also had the same impact on their behavior. Women become more addicted to alcohol and trigger antisocial behavior when their children get into difficult situations. Depression also increased whenever they see their children sad or in isolation.

Another factor which affected them is the unstable neighborhood that they belong to. Alcoholism and depression escalate whenever residents in their area frequently move in and out.

Robert Zucker, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Michigan Medical School and the director of the U-M Addiction Research Center, said that “our findings demonstrate the complexity of the factors affecting changes in alcohol problems, antisocial behavior and depression for these women.”

This latest findings are out to disprove that these disorders are just inherited or caused solely by environmental factors. “It’s really the network of these relationships — at the biological, social and at the community level — that influences these disorders over time,” Zucker said.

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Teen Leaders Plan for Safer Prom and Graduation Season

Whenever prom and graduation seasons arrive, sobriety and safety are the two most important factors that need to be addressed clearly. From Butler County High Schools, about 140 juniors and seniors met at the campus of The Miami University Middletown to discuss strategies and steps to persuade their peers against drunk driving as this would become the most dangerous situation that teens will be vulnerable to in the coming months.

drunk drivingStatistics show that many of the deaths involving teens in the months of April, May, and June occur due to alcohol-related traffic incidents. This is why the Alcohol and Chemical Abuse Council supported the 5th Annual Prom and Graduation Project Summit. In the event, small groups of students shared various means to get their message against drugs and alcohol across the teen population. In the past, their strategies did get most of the teen’s attention, but were not sustained when the season came.

“Everyone sees (such options) but forgets and still goes out on prom night and drinks,” said Sommer Streeval, a Talawanda senior. Some students say that strategies should have more impact on personal connections, like elementary kids writing letters to their upper level peers not to drink and drive.

Law enforcement agencies were also present during the summit. They talked with the students and gave some tips on how to go about with their plans. In a mock press conference, students were allowed to throw questions on the law enforcement members regarding the issues on hand. Middletown Police Chief Greg Schwarber said he liked the idea of campaigns on anti-drinking incorporated in Facebook pages.

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City Puts Marijuana Dispensaries Licensing on Hold

The Port Orchard City Council is putting a six-month moratorium on the licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits. The council made the decision last week and many see it as the city’s first prudent step regarding the issue. Though many citizens would be glad to have more than six months holding time for the controversial issue, they at least are happy to have some time on their side as a starting point.

medical marijuanaIn Washington, marijuana is legal under certain medical guidelines that voters approved of in Initiative 692 of 1998. Since the go signal, many marijuana dispensaries have opened and one down the road in Belfair is considering an expansion into the Port Orchard market.

The city, being proactive, discussed postponing a decision last week to have enough time to weigh out all the facts on medical marijuana matters. Most citizens only hope that when the city does arrive with a decision, they won’t let Port Orchard be part of the medical marijuana “scam.”

The stand of Port Orchard citizens can be understood as according to the US Drug Enforcement Agency website, “…the campaign to allow marijuana to be used as medicine is a tactical maneuver in an overall strategy to completely legalize all drugs. Pro-legalization groups have transformed the debate from decriminalizing drug use to one of compassion and care for people with serious diseases.” The website also notes that there is no medical value, as of now, in marijuana that can’t be met effectively by legal drugs.

While it is true that nobody wants to see sick people suffer, the only thing worse is the exploitation of their pain to force something that is obviously illegal to become legal. In DEA’s words, marijuana is “dangerous, addictive drug that poses significant health threats to users.”

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CBS Cancels “Men” After Charlie Sheen Outburst

CBS and Warner Brothers have made the decision to cancel their hit comedy series, “Two and a Half Men”, for the rest of the season. This happened after the show’s lead actor, Charlie Sheen, made an outburst in a particular radio show. After the announcement of the producers, the troubled actor immediately launched another tirade.

Two and a Half Men“Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of ‘Two and a Half Men’ for the remainder of the season,” the producers said in a statement.

Sheen was briefly hospitalized last month after non-stop partying that involved booze, drugs, prostitutes and porn stars. News broke out that he checked into a rehab facility after he was released from hospital where he was rushed due to “severe abdominal pains” caused by, again, partying for days at his Los Angeles home where five women and booze played the lead roles.

The situation called for the suspension of production on “Two and a Half Men” in which Sheen plays the main character. After CBS and Warner’s announcement, the actor released an open letter published by TMZ. In his statement, he attacked Lorre, calling him a “contaminated little maggot.”

“I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels, especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly, I have defeated this earthworm with my words — imagine what I would have done with my fire-breathing fists.”

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Outdoor Smoking in NYC Banned Starting May 23

Despite reactions from New Yorkers that the government is going overboard in meddling with their personal lives, May 23 will mark the day when smoking in outdoor areas, like beaches, parks, pedestrian plazas, and other public areas, will be put to a stop.

smoking in parksNYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has put his signature on the legislation after the city council held a voting session regarding the urgent matter. The final outcome of the session indicated that 36 are for the implementation of the new outdoor smoking guidelines while only 21 are against it.

The city already has an existing restriction on smoking in restaurants and bars and this new legislation will extend its campaign against smoking. It also joins Chicago and San Francisco in protecting non-smoking individuals exposed to secondhand smoke in public places.

The New York City’s parks department authorities will enforce the ban, including a warning for violators before a $50 fine can be issued. The police department is not tasked to implement the ban, though.

As expected, there are citizens who are vehemently against the ban. New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment director Audrey Silk says that the ban is a “tyranny rationalized by a lie.” She was quoted in saying “second hand smoke harming anybody outside is a total and absolute lie.” Still, New York City will push through with the new ordinance starting on the set date.

Aside from smoking, other health-related initiatives undergone by Mayor Bloomberg include a ban on trans fats in restaurant food and for calorie contents be displayed on their menus.

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Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force Formed in Ohio

Ohio Governor John Kasich has implemented the formation of a new task force to handle prescription drug abuse as advised by a former attorney general, according to a feature in The state also provided extra funding for a treatment center and an executive order allowing the state’s local treatment partners to use new medication in dealing with heavy opiate addiction.

prescription drug abuseIn Ohio, drug overdoses accounted for most of the fatal car crashes since 2007. Latest figures also show that about 1,300 people have died due to accidental drug overdoses in 2009 alone.

The governor said that everything that has been newly implemented in his state are all for the continuing battle of prescription drug abuse which is concentrated in the troubled Scioto County after he had meetings with officials and treatment advisors. He said that last year, his office gave out a massive 9.7 million doses of prescription pain killers – the equivalent of 123 doses for each resident, all in Scioto County.

In his interview with the Portsmouth Daily Times, Kasich said that the people in Scioto County “are ready, willing, and able to launch this battle to win this war on prescription drugs. We believe if we can win it in Scioto County, then we can spread it throughout all of Ohio,” he said. “If we can make gains in Ohio, this will allow us to be engaged nationally. Failure is not an option in Scioto County.”

The state of Ohio will be releasing $100,000 for the development of a new halfway house and outpatient treatment facility at the non-profit Counseling Center in Portsmouth. Officials are still seeking to add $300,000 in federal funds for the same project.

An emergency executive order was also signed by the governor allowing treatment options to be expanded by treatment providers using the medications approved by the FDA to help treat people with opiates addiction.

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