The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) called on the government to step up action on alcohol abuse, as it welcomed recommendations by the Health Select Committee to introduce tougher measures to stem the rising tide of illness and premature deaths which result from excessive drinking. Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said: "Today's report backs up the findings of a recent RCN/RCP survey which found that 88% of nurses and doctors do not think the current national alcohol strategy is effective. It is vital that those in power listen to the frontline nurses who witness the devastating physical and psychological consequences of excessive drinking every day.
NHS Confederation chief executive Steve Barnett comments on today's recommendations by the Health Select Committee in its report on alcohol. "The NHS Confederation has already argued in its own report that alcohol is causing a growing health problem in the UK that is damaging lives as well as costing the health service billions every year. "Given the facts it is hard to escape the growing body of evidence behind the call made today for a national minimum unit price for alcohol. "The NHS can of course carry on picking up the tab for our nation's drinking but if it does so without some consideration being given by society as a whole to the price and availability of alcohol, we will be using a sticking plaster solution for a national problem.
Preliminary testing of modifications to a program aimed at strengthening families showed that parents improved their ability to control anger, exhibited less negativity and acted more positively toward their children. The study, funded by a $3.3-million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and carried out by Penn State researchers, will test changes to an intervention program called "Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14" (SFP 10-14) which educates parents and children on ways to enhance their relationships. Researchers led by Dr. Douglas Coatsworth, associate professor of human development and family studies, are adapting SFP 10-14, which was established to prevent the onset of teen drug use and shows good results.
Increasing Substance Abuse Levels Among Older Adults Likely To Create Sharp Rise In Need For Treatment Services In Next Decade
A new study done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that the aging of the baby boom generation is resulting in a dramatic increase in levels of illicit drug use among adults 50 and older. These increases may require the doubling of substance abuse treatment services needed for this population by 2020, according to the report. "This new data has profound implications for the health and well-being of older adults who continue to abuse substances, " said SAMHSA Administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. "These findings highlight the need for prevention programs for all ages as well as to establish improved screening and appropriate referral to treatment as part of routine health care services.
A massive rise in the numbers of people drinking heavily and the cost of treating them is creating an unsustainable burden on NHS hospitals but more could be done to ease existing pressures, says an NHS Confederation report published recently. Too Much of the hard stuff: What alcohol costs the NHS, from the NHS Confederation and the Royal College of Physicians shows that the cost to the NHS of excess drinking has doubled in just five years, with most of the cost being spent on hospital and ambulance services. It suggests better and more cost effective care could be provided by improving systems to identify, assess and treat patients within hospital and learn from existing best practice.
A recent evaluation by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows that online interventions for problem alcohol use can be effective in changing drinking behaviours and offers a significant public health benefit. In the first evaluation of its kind, the study published in Addiction found that problem drinkers provided access to the online screener http://www.CheckYourDrinking.net, reduced their alcohol consumption by 30% - or six to seven drinks weekly - rates that are comparable to face-to-face interventions. This result was sustained in both the three and six month follow-up. Problem drinking is a major cause of preventable deaths in Canada as well as morbidity, trauma and violence, yet many of those who struggle with problem alcohol use will never seek treatment.
A recent study shows that a bacterial protein may help cocaine addicts break the habit. Cocaine esterase (CocE) is a naturally-occurring bacterial enzyme that breaks down cocaine, thereby reducing its addictive properties. The efficacy of CocE in animals and its suitability for treatment of addiction has been limited by its short half-life in the body. A recent study, published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and reviewed by Faculty of 1000 Medicine's Friedbert Weiss, demonstrates that a more stable version of CocE, double mutant or DM CocE, significantly decreased the desire for cocaine and prevented death from cocaine overdose.
People drinking spirits at home in England are giving themselves more than double (128% extra) what they would get in a pub if they ordered a single shot according to new figures revealed today by the Know Your Limits campaign. A series of experiments across England found that the average 'home barman' pours themselves 57ml when they drink a spirit such as vodka, gin or whisky - 32ml more than a standard single 25ml measure. If that average English drinker knocked back eight spirits drinks over a week at home, they would be drinking nearly half a litre (456ml) of vodka, gin or whisky, compared to 200ml if they'd ordered the same number of single measures in a pub or bar.
The causes of obesity are complex and individual, but it is clear that chronic overeating plays a fundamental role. But when this behaviour becomes compulsive and out of control, it is often classified as "food addiction" - a label that has generated considerable controversy, according to a McMaster University psychiatrist and obesity researcher. In a commentary appearing in the Dec. 21, 2009, issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), Dr. Valerie Taylor, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster and director of the Bariatric Surgery Psychiatry Program at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, and her co-authors argue that food addiction in some individuals may be a reality and needs to be considered in the management of weight problems.
"T-rays" may make X-rays obsolete as a means of detecting bombs on terrorists or illegal drugs on traffickers, among other uses, contends a Texas A&M physicist who is helping lay the theoretic groundwork to make the concept a reality. In addition to being more revealing than X-rays in some situations, T-rays do not have the cumulative possible harmful effects. Alexey Belyanin focuses his research on terahertz, otherwise known as THz or T-rays, which he says is the most under-developed and under-used part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It lies between microwave radiation and infrared (heat) radiation. Belyanin, associate professor in the Texas A&M Physics and Astronomy Department, has collaborated with colleagues at Rice University and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory to publish findings about their T-ray research in the renowned journal Nature Physics.