Archive for the ‘alcohol’ Category

Happy hours and cheap alcohol should be banned, say Brit MPs

November 10, 2008

Alcohol and drug use have become more than a problem in Britain.  Some say there is now a crisis….

By Richard Edwards, Crime Correspondent
The Telegraph, London
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A damning Home Affairs Select Committee report said that alcohol-related disorder was placing a “heavy burden” on police and diverting officers from fighting serious crime.

Police chiefs blame the Government’s decision to relax licensing laws, drinks promotions in pubs and clubs, and the cheap availability of alcohol in supermarkets and off licences, it said.

The report also criticised Whitehall-imposed targets for distorting police priorities, leading them to focus on “trivial misdemeanours” and meaning that forces across the country were “hitting their targets but missing the point”.

Opposition leaders said that the findings exposed the Government’s “reckless” approach to 24-hour drinking laws and a top down target-driven agenda that has proved “an expensive disaster”.

The report, “Policing in the 21st century”, unveiled the strain that alcohol-related violence had put on police resources.

In Devon and Cornwall, Chief Constable Stephen Otter said there has been a “fairly significant increase in the proportion of violent crime where we can be absolutely sure there is an alcohol-related aspect” in the past four years.

The committee called for a ban on selling alcohol as a loss leader and the setting of a minimum price for all drinks.

Chairman Keith Vaz said: “We cannot have on one hand a world of alcohol promotions for profit that fuels surges of crime and disorder, and on the other the police diverting all their resources to cope with it.”

The report cited research that found 45 per cent of victims of violence described their assailant as being under the influence of alcohol.

There has also been an increase in trouble in suburban areas, because people are drinking locally at weekends, where pubs now stay open later, rather than paying the cab fare and entry fees of pubs in town centres.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/3411958/Happy-
hours-and-cheap-alcohol-should-be-banned-say-MPs.html

Former NFL Player, Human Superstar, Crushed by Drugs, Alcohol

November 9, 2008

“He was a man amongst boys….”  He was astrong-willed renaissance man, admired by friends.  The son of a Gaithersburg surgeon, the charming focal figure of some Montgomery Village kids…  barbecue perfectionist and restaurateur, the former undrafted free agent who carved out a nine-year NFL career on the offensive line, and the husband and father of three… 

By Andrew Astleford
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, November 9, 2008; Page D01

On the last night of his life, Tom McHale arrived at the suburban Tampa apartment of Martin Jackson, a 29-year-old furniture salesman McHale had met only a few months earlier at the drug rehabilitation clinic they attended. McHale had been staying at the one-bedroom apartment in Wesley Chapel, Fla., after a falling-out with his wife.

According to the account Jackson later gave Pasco County sheriff deputies, McHale was drunk when he stumbled through the doorway at 10 p.m. At some point, he inhaled cocaine and swallowed no fewer than three Xanax pills. He also told Jackson he was looking forward to going to rehab the next day.

At 8:30 the next morning, according to Jackson’s account, Jackson awoke to find McHale sitting on his couch, crumpling a just-finished can of Coca-Cola and eating leftover pie. Then McHale got up, walked past the clothes that were strewn about, entered the apartment’s lone bedroom and settled into the ruffled sheets on Jackson’s bed.

About 45 minutes later, Jackson noticed that McHale wasn’t breathing. He called 911, dragged McHale onto the floor and administered CPR. McHale vomited just as paramedics arrived, but they could not revive him.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/0
8/AR2008110802034.html

General bucks culture of silence on mental health

November 8, 2008

It takes a brave soldier to do what Army Maj. Gen. David Blackledge did in Iraq. It takes as much bravery to do what he did when he got home.

Blackledge got psychiatric counseling to deal with wartime trauma, and now he is defying the military’s culture of silence on the subject of mental health problems and treatment.

By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer

“It’s part of our profession … nobody wants to admit that they’ve got a weakness in this area,” Blackledge said of mental health problems among troops returning from America’s two wars.

In this photograph provided by Maj. Gen. David Blackledge, Blackledge, ... 
In this photograph provided by Maj. Gen. David Blackledge, Blackledge, right, stands in front of a helicopter in Iraq in this undated photograph. Blackledge got psychiatric counseling to deal with wartime trauma, and now is defying the military’s culture of silence on the subject of mental health problems and treatment. ‘It’s part of our profession … nobody wants to admit that they’ve got a weakness in this area,’ Blackledge said of mental health problems among troops returning from America’s two wars. The man at left is unidentified.(AP Photo/Blackledge Family Photo)

“I have dealt with it. I’m dealing with it now,” said Blackledge, who came home with post-traumatic stress. “We need to be able to talk about it.”

As the nation marks another Veterans Day, thousands of troops are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with anxiety, depression and other emotional problems.

Up to 20 percent of the more than 1.7 million who’ve served in the wars are estimated to have symptoms. In a sign of how tough it may be to change attitudes, roughly half of those who need help aren’t seeking it, studies have found.

Despite efforts to reduce the stigma of getting treatment, officials say they fear generals and other senior leaders remain unwilling to go for help, much less talk about it, partly because they fear it will hurt chances for promotion.

That reluctance is also worrisome because it sends the wrong signal to younger officers and perpetuates the problem leaders are working to reverse.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081108/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/
military_mental_health;_ylt=AmZE9YFVxoU6x8QhB_jGf6Ws0NUE

Coke, Superstars, Booze, Jail and Rehab: Amy Winehouse

November 5, 2008

Singer Amy Winehouse’s husband, jailed for an assault on a pub landlord in 2006 and perverting the course of justice, has been released from prison.

Blake Fielder-Civil, 26, of Camden, north London, was jailed for 27 months for assaulting James King at the Macbeths pub in Hoxton, east London.

From the BBC

Amy Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil

Blake Fielder-Civil admitted assault on the pub landlord

He also admitted trying to bribe Mr King to withdraw his complaint.

He is believed to have checked into rehab soon after he was freed from Edmunds Hill Prison in Suffolk.

In July Fielder-Civil was jailed by Snaresbrook Crown Court after admitting both charges against him.

The nine months he spent in jail on remand was deducted from his sentence.

It is believed his time in rehab is a part of the terms of his release.

Winehouse was not present when her husband was released from prison.

British troops back from Afghanistan are 10 times more likely to suffer mental illness, say MOD

November 5, 2008

British troops returning from combat in Afghanistan are 10 times more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder than colleagues who stay at home.

Last year almost 4,000 military personnel were diagnosed with mental health problems including hundreds suffering from depression, mood swings, alcoholism or ‘adjustment disorders’ after serving in war zones.

By Matthew Hickley
The Mail (UK)

This is because mentally-scarred troops often suffer in silence for many years before seeking help.

Mental health statistics released by the Ministry of Defence showed 3,917 serving armed forces were assessed as having mental disorders in  2007.

While most conditions showed no significantly heightened risk for those returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, PTSD was a dramatic exception.

Officials said that while numbers of new PTSD cases were modest there was a ‘marked increase’ in the risk for those recently deployed on combat operations, accounting for 38 out of 43 of the cases recorded in the last three months of the year.

Overall those who have served in Afghanistan were more than nine times more likely to develop the crippling condition than their colleagues who have not served abroad, while for Iraq the figure was almost seven times.

While defence officials insisted the number of PTSD cases was ‘fairly low’ – with 180 servicemen and women diagnosed last year – veterans’s charities warned that the figures could be only the tip of the iceberg.

Read the rest:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1082991/British-troops-Afghanistan-10-times-likely-suffer-mental-illness-say-MOD.html?ITO=1490

soldiers

Figures showed 3,917 new cases of armed services personnel assessed to have a mental disorder

Thai Brewery’s Stock Listing Seen as Affront to Buddhism

October 30, 2008

 

By Tim Johnston
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, October 30, 2008; Page A19

BANGKOK, Oct. 29 — Thai Beverages, the brewer of Thailand’s best-selling Chang Beer, has found itself straddling the uncomfortable point where markets and morals collide.

ThaiBev is trying to get a listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) — its second attempt in three years — but as happened the first time around, it is running into heavy opposition from campaigners who argue that such a listing would encourage alcohol consumption.

Opponents of the listing handed a letter of protest to the Finance Ministry on Wednesday, and about 100 demonstrators held a rally outside the stock exchange Monday, some of them carrying signs of opposition.

Demonstrators say that if the company is listed, it would be in the interest of shareholders to encourage alcohol consumption, something that goes against the Buddhist principles of many Thai people.

But the volume of protest against the listing is substantially quieter than in 2005, when ThaiBev last attempted to get into the exchange. Mass protests forced it to withdraw its application, although subsequently it listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/
2008/10/29/AR2008102904408.html

Cowboys’ Pacman Jones enters alcohol treatment

October 20, 2008

Suspended Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones has entered an alcohol treatment center.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says the player checked into a facility “in another part of the country.” The treatment plan is overseen by the NFL.

Dallas Cowboys' Adam 'Pacman' Jones prepares to participate ... 
Dallas Cowboys’ Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones prepares to participate in practice at the Cowboys training facility in Irving, Texas, Thursday Oct. 9, 2008. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones indefinitely for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Adam Jones was suspended for at least four games by the league last Tuesday. He had been involved in an alcohol-related scuffle with one of his bodyguards at a private party in Dallas. That came only six weeks after he was reinstated from a 17-month suspension because of repeated legal troubles.

Jerry Jones spoke Monday after a news conference about a company the Cowboys are starting with the New York Yankees to handle concessions and merchandise sales at their new stadiums.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081020/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_cowboys_
pacman;_ylt=Akt_g97xRQvwR9L4QnyiNJas0NUE

Finding God at a beer festival

October 16, 2008

By ERIC GORSKI, AP Religion Writer 

DENVER – In the beginning, there was a long line for Judgment Day ale.

Bryce Baxter of Salt Lake City with Mormon drinking team clothing ... 
Bryce Baxter of Salt Lake City with Mormon drinking team clothing and accessories at the 27th annual Great American Beer Festival in Denver on Friday, Oct. 10, 2008.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Shortly after the doors opened on the 27th Great American Beer Festival, a crowd congregated at the booth offering that and other pours from The Lost Abbey of San Marcos, Calif., where the tap handle is a Celtic cross and the legacy of beer-brewing monks endures.

Standing under a banner promising “Inspired beers for Saints and Sinners Alike,” proprietor and former altar boy Tomme Arthur had a confession: He’s using God to sell some beer.

“It’s the oldest story ever told — the struggle between good and evil,” said Arthur, 35, a product of Catholic schools in his native San Diego. “There is a battle being waged between those who make good beer and those who make evil beer.”

Without question, unholy excess is in evidence anytime 18,000 gallons of alcohol is served to 46,000 people over three days. See: women in Bavarian maid outfits and “Beer Pong” tables.

Yet perhaps surprisingly, God could be found at last week’s Great American Beer Festival — in the crassly commercial, in homage to religion’s long history in brewing, in needling faiths that turn a suspect eye on drinking, and (if the prophet of home-brewing is to be believed) at the bottom of every glass.

While alcohol and religion don’t always mix, no less a figure than Benjamin Franklin once said: “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

Charlie Papazian, author of “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing,” the undisputed bible of the craft, can cite many intersections of beer and the divine. Mayan and Aztec priests controlled the brewing of beer in pre-Columbian days, monks in Bavaria brewed strong bocks for sustenance during Lent and the first brewery in the Americas was founded by Belgium monks in Ecuador in 1534.

Before Louis Pasteur pinpointed yeast as the culprit in the 1850s, brewers didn’t know what caused fermentation, said Papazian, president of the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association. So they invented one run-on word to describe the mysterious stuff at the bottom of the bottle: “Godisgood.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081016/ap_on_re_us/
rel_god_and_beer;_ylt=Akt0GqmtQmI4hafe4AVGU7Ss0NUE

Does drinking alcohol shrink your brain? Yup!

October 15, 2008

By Theresa Tamkins
CNN

What’s good for the heart may hurt the brain, according to a new study of the effects of alcohol.
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People who drink alcohol — even the moderate amounts that help prevent heart disease — have a smaller brain volume than those who do not, according to a study in the Archives of Neurology.

While a certain amount of brain shrinkage is normal with age, greater amounts in some parts of the brain have been linked to dementia.

“Decline in brain volume — estimated at 2 percent per decade — is a natural part of aging,” says Carol Ann Paul, who conducted the study when she was at the Boston University School of Public Health. She had hoped to find that alcohol might protect against such brain shrinkage.
Some typical alcoholic beverages. 

“However, we did not find the protective effect,” says Paul, who is now an instructor in the neuroscience program at Wellesley College. “In fact, any level of alcohol consumption resulted in a decline in brain volume.”

In the study, Paul and colleagues looked at 1,839 healthy people with an average age of about 61. The patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and reported how much they tippled.

Overall, the more alcohol consumed, the smaller the brain volume, with abstainers having a higher brain volume than former drinkers, light drinkers (one to seven drinks per week), moderate drinkers (eight to 14 drinks per week), and heavy drinkers (14 or more drinks per week).

Men were more likely to be heavy drinkers than women. But the link between brain volume and alcohol wasn’t as strong in men. For men, only those who were heavy drinkers had a smaller brain volume than those who consumed little or no alcohol.

In women, even moderate drinkers had a smaller brain volume than abstainers or former drinkers.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/diet.fitness/10/14/
healthmag.alcohol.brain.shrinkage/index.html

Intoxicated drivers face high-tech lockouts

April 15, 2008
High-tech efforts against drunken driving are intensifying around the USA as more states adopt or consider laws requiring first-time offenders to equip their vehicles with devices that prevent operation by intoxicated people.

Federal highway officials and safe driving advocates, noting that crash deaths involving drunken drivers have remained about 32% of all fatalities for the past decade, say the devices are the best way to cut the toll. State legislators are listening.

Read the rest:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-04-14-dui_N.htm