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Public Health

CDC: "Most people who drink to excess may not be alcoholics."

The New York Times (11/21, Parker-Pope) “Well” blog reports that according to a report released Nov. 20 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the CDC’s Preventing Chronic Disease journal, the majority of “people who drink to get drunk are not alcoholics.” The conclusions of “a government survey of 138,100 adults counters the conventional wisdom that every ‘falling-down drunk’” has an addiction to alcohol. Rather, “the results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that nine out of 10 people who drink too much are not addicts, and can change their behavior with a little – or perhaps a lot of – prompting.”

The Washington Post (11/21, Izadi) “To Your Health” blog points out that approximately “10 percent of people who drank excessively also met the clinical definition for alcohol dependence.” The report also found that “the vast majority of excessive drinking is binge drinking, a pattern of behavior where men consume roughly five or more drinks and women consume four or more within a short period of time.” Also covering the story are the NPR (11/21, Aubrey) “The Salt” blog, HealthDay(11/21, Reinberg) and Reuters(11/21, Beasley) also cover the story.


Alcohol dependence was defined as past-year drinking, 3 or more (of 7) dependence criteria, and consuming at least 1 drink on 6 or more days in the past 12 months (11). The alcohol dependence questions in the NSDUH align with the diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence in the fourth edition of the DSM (DSM-IV) (7). 

These include tolerance, withdrawal, impaired control, unsuccessful attempts to cut down or stop drinking, continued use despite problems, neglect of activities, and time spent in alcohol-related activity. The classification of alcohol dependence in this study is based on self-reported responses to the NSDUH and is not based on a diagnosis in a clinical setting or from medical records; therefore, alcohol dependence in this study is based on respondents’ survey data.

"Does Japan Exemplify the Correlation Between Trauma and Substance Abuse?"

Japan Reports Substance Abuse is on the Rise 

Japan, a country traumatized by recent crises including a nuclear power plant disaster, now faces an increase in alcohol abuse. 

In February of 2014, I first posted an article about concerns of "alcohol dependency" in Japan.

A recent article from the Japan Times describes a continued rise in alcohol abuse since reported in February. Author Masami Ito writes that the time in now for Japan to address the country's growing alcohol abuse problem.

Alcohol is considered an integral part of Japanese culture. From drinking sake at traditional ceremonies for newborns to after-work “nomunication,” a portmanteau word that combines “nomu” (drink) and communication, alcohol gets a positive, fun spin.

But that is changing. The government is finally taking alcoholism seriously and starting to take action — beginning with an alcohol abuse awareness week that kicked off Monday."None for the road: Japan finally takes a sober look at alcohol abuse" was published in the Japan Times November 20, 2014.


Chairman of the Board : Centre For The Study Of Intelligence Operations; Inc.

Great article and SO TRUE, I spent 3 years there and I could not believe the Intake of the Japanese, but also Smoking Cigarettes...I thought to myself these people are killing themselves, Drink during lunch, after work until 11-Midnight, off on a train, sleeping, getting home at 2 am and starting the next day over....I was with high level people, Presidents, VP's all of it... The Japanese are grossly over the limits of alcoholism and addiction….a culture I could not survive in nor do I want to… Sapere aude, Tom

Scott W. Stern, LCSW
Psychotherapist/Empowerment Professional AUTHOR 
Focused on Addictions, Anxiety, OCD, Trauma and PTSD

Thanks, Tom. Yours is an excellent post to share with the public. -- Scott

How Communicable is Ebola?

200 Healthcare Workers Die Caring for EBOLA Patients

Michael Dane
Executive Director at Florida Assisted Living Coalition

"Nurses United" is the largest Nurses Union in the United States. Its members are upset at the lack of urgency authorities have taken in regards to the EBOLA outbreak and preparing healthcare workers here at home. The union is threatening to picket hospitals if nurses are not given the proper training to take care of Ebola patients. 

A report published in DNA which is the reference for my commentary suggests that our government is aware that other countries like Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are projected to have 10,000 new cases of Ebola per week by December. Death toll has crossed the 4,500 mark in these countries. The fatality in Texas last week has America on edge. Two nurses who gave the Texas patient care have caught the virus. 

On Friday, Nurses United said: "There are no protocols." What are other countries like India doing? On Thursday, cabinet secretary Ajit Seth spoke with chief secretaries of all states to review preparedness. The government will set up 10 new laboratories in various parts of the country to conduct tests for Ebola. 

Perhaps the U.S. should follow their lead. Aggressive screening for Ebola will be done at all Seaports and Airports with an emphasis on international travelers. A tracking system under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) will aggressively pursue "contacts". 

Provision of personal protection equipment (PPE) is top priority.

"We have stocks of PPE from H1N1 days. But H1N1 was airborne. Ebola spreads by contact. PPE stocks from then have to be solidified," Dr Ranjit Guleria of AIIMS told dna. "Doctors and healthcare workers need to be trained on and take off protective equipment. There is a protocol." Healthcare workers are most at risk as long as they follow the protocol established and utilized in other countries. 

Making the equipment available will help save Health Care workers lives! So far 200 healthcare workers have died of Ebola in west Africa. Dr Guleria said aggressive surveillance at ports of call are a step toward combating the outbreak; aggressive isolation of cases of Ebola; special training to doctors and healthcare workers, and fully-equipped facilities to quarantine, test and treat Ebola-infected patients are the four important needs of the hour.

"You got to ask questions. Do you have fever? Have you traveled to and from countries in west Africa?" "Ebola takes 20-22 days to incubate. The virus manifests itself only after that. Doctors have to learn to read the signs," . Guleria added "no country can be totally prepared to tackle Ebola." 

"The enemy here is a virus: Ebola. What we need to do is all take responsibility for improving the safety of those on the front lines" — Says; Tom Frieden, director, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, United States. The World Health Organisation promised on Saturday that it would publish a full review of its handling of the Ebola crisis once the outbreak was under control, in response to a leaked document that appeared to acknowledge the WHO had failed to do enough. 

The WHO said in a statement that it would not comment on the internal document cited in an Associated Press story on Friday "We cannot divert our limited resources from the urgent response to do a detailed analysis of the past response.

Ebola is a very scary public health crisis!

Keep your eye on the ball.  This is a very serious public health emergency!

Travelers from Ebola-affected nations restricted to 5 U.S. airports
Posted by news desk

The U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Tuesday that travelers from three West African Ebola-affected countries will now be required to enter the U.S. at just five airports.

Travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will now need to arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Washington Dulles International Airport, O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta and Newark Liberty International Airport.

According to Government Security News, DHS implemented enhanced screening measures at the five airports in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention.

Israel Home Land Security

Passengers flying into one of these airports from flights originating from the three nations have been subject to secondary screening and added protocols, including having their temperature taken, before they can enter the United States.

These airports account for about 94% of travelers flying to the United States from the nations, according to DHS.

DHS currently has in place measures to identify and screen anyone at all land, sea and air ports of entry into the United States who the agency believes have been present in the three nations in the prior 21 days, he added. “We are continually evaluating whether additional restrictions or added screening and precautionary measures are necessary to protect the American people and will act accordingly.”