Lately, I’ve been on a clutter-clearing frenzy. For me, as for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm, and sweeping away a bunch of unloved, unused stuff has given me a huge happiness boost.
As I sifted through our possessions, I identified nine questions to ask myself when I was confronted with a questionable object. This list helped me decide what to keep and what to toss, recycle, or give away.
Britain’s National Health Service offering alcoholics ‘potentially lethal’ treatment, say campaigners
UK Advocates threatens legal action against health authorities providing drug-based treatments over rehabilitation
Alcohol dependency affects 1.1 million people in Britain
National Health Service authorities that offer alcoholics controlled drinking treatments relying on medication rather than total abstinence could face legal action from a patients’ organisation.
UK Advocates, a pressure group campaigning for the wider availability of rehabilitation courses for addicts, is preparing to file claims against the Department of Health and local health services.
The charity maintains it has found evidence of thousands of patients with severe alcohol problems being given "psycho-active drugs" while they are still drinking.
The combination, it is alleged, can be "potentially lethal" and is at odds with the manufacturer’s prescription advice and guidelines. "In many cases," UK Advocates claims, "drugs and controlled drinking programmes are administered to sufferers without the doctor or clinicians involved having performed effective liver function tests to establish the extent of liver damage from excessive drinking.
"Treating alcoholics with drugs and on a basis of ‘moderation’ is similar to advising someone with lung cancer to cut down their smoking," says Bob Beckett, founder of UK Advocates.
"Controlled drinking programmes … hark back to the 1960s and 70s when we believed pharmaceuticals would cure everything, including addiction to alcohol. They simply have not worked.
Some college women may drink excessively to gain the attention of men, but new research from Loyola Marymount University suggests that drunk women are not as attractive to men as women believe.
Science Daily reported March 11 that the majority (71 percent) of women surveyed overestimated — by an average of one-and-a-half drinks — the number of alcohol beverages men wanted their female friends, dates, or girlfriends to drink.
Researchers surveyed 3,616 college students (ages 18-25) at Loyola Marymount University and the University of Washington, and asked women questions about their perceptions of what college men want women to drink, as well as the relationship between drinking and sexual attraction. The researchers then compared the women’s answers with men’s actual preferences.
Women who overestimated men’s preferences were more likely to drink excessively, according to the study.
"There is a great, and risky, disconnect here between the sexes," said lead researcher Joseph LaBrie, who teaches at Loyola Marymount. "While not all women may be drinking simply to get a guy’s attention, this may help explain why more women are drinking at dangerous levels."
The results were published in the March 2009 journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
Alcohol Commercials and Movie Scenes Influence Drinking
In this study participants who watched films accompanied by alcohol commercials were more likely to drink beer or wine during the movies than those who viewed the flick minus the alcohol ads, according to researchers.
HealthDay News reported March 4 that the study involved 40 young Dutch men ages 18 to 29 who were invited to watch the movie ‘American Pie’ (which contained extensive drinking scenes) or ’40 Days and 40 Nights’ (which only had a few scenes with alcohol) in a home cinema equipped with a stocked refrigerator.
Those who watched the films interrupted by two alcohol ads drank more than the control group, and those who watched American Pie drank more than those who viewed 40 Days and 40 Nights. "Our study showed that the portrayal of alcohol and drinking characters in movies directly leads to more alcohol consumption in young adult male viewers when alcohol is available within the situation," the authors concluded.
"It’s one of those things the majority of people have assumed to be the case, but it’s nice to have the empirical evidence," said Jeffrey T. Parsons, chair of the psychology department at Hunter College, who was not affiliated with the study.
The research was published online in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.
University Will Welcome New Students with Alcohol Lessons; Yes, alcohol lessons!
New students arriving at the University of Virginia this summer have the option to participate in the university’s first-ever orientation session devoted specifically to alcohol abuse, the Daily Progress in Charlottesville reported July 20.
In addition to the orientation seminar, students will be asked to go online in the weeks before classes start in late August to complete an hour-long course focusing on facts about binge drinking, alcohol poisoning and sexual assault. “Every year we hear about students across the country dying from alcohol poisoning,” said Susan Bruce, director of the university’s Center for Alcohol and Substance Education. “We don’t want that to happen here.”
University officials say their efforts are focusing largely on correcting student misconceptions about the level of drinking taking place on campus. The orientation session is entitled “UVa Students: Is Everybody Drinking?”, and it already has demonstrated that students tend to overestimate drinking prevalence among peers.
Each of a group of 15 students who attended a recent session held in conjunction with fall class registration believed the school had an equal mix of heavy drinkers and non-drinkers. Yet student surveys on campus have shown that 75 percent of first-year students either drink only modest amounts of alcohol or none at all.
The orientation session also makes reference to other risky behaviors, including sex and smoking. Bruce said that 81 percent of students reported no recent smoking, and for the others the university will introduce a campaign to appeal to students’ financial interests. The campaign’s posters read, “What’s the difference between a smoker and a non-smoker? $1,766” (the annual estimated cost of cigarettes in the local community).
“We find that the monetary perspective resonates with college kids,” Bruce said.
There are, and have been, many theories about alcoholism. The most prevailing theory, and now most commonly accepted, is called the Disease Model.
Its basic tenets are that alcoholism is a disease with recognizable symptoms, causes, and methods of treatment. In addition, there are several stages of the disease which are often described as early, middle, late, treatment and relapse.
While it is not essential to fully define these stages, it is useful to understand them in terms of how the disease presents itself.
This series of articles describes the signs and symptoms of each stage as well as exploring treatment options.
Early or Adaptive Stage
Relapse to drinking
5 – Relapse
An important and frustrating facet of treating alcoholism is relapse or a return to drinking and is common. An alcoholic often relapses due to a variety of factors including:
inadequate treatment or follow-up,
cravings for alcohol that are difficult to control,
failure by the alcoholic to follow treatment instructions,
failure to change lifestyle,
use of other mood altering drugs, and
other untreated mental or physical illnesses.
Relapses are not always a return to constant drinking and may only be a one time occurrence. However, relapses must be dealt with and seen as a sign to the alcoholic that there are areas of his or her treatment and recovery that need work. Relapse prevention is an area in the treatment field that is receiving increased attention and research. A basic part of any effective treatment program will include relapse prevention activities.