The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent. This is how Iceland did it and why the Icelandic strategy for preventing/reducing teen substance use may or may not work elsewhere.
Feed Your Kids Peanuts, Early and Often, New Guidelines Urge [The New York Times] “Peanuts are back on the menu. In a significant reversal from past advice, new national health guidelines call for parents to give their children foods containing peanuts early and often, starting when they’re infants, as a way to help avoid life-threatening peanut allergies. The new guidelines, issued by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [Full Text] on Thursday, recommend giving babies puréed food or finger food containing peanut powder or extract before they are 6 months old, and even earlier if a child is prone to allergies and doctors say it is safe to do so. One should never give a baby whole peanuts or peanut bits, experts say, because they can be a choking hazard. If broadly implemented, the new guidelines have the potential to dramatically lower the number of children who develop one of the most common and lethal food allergies, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the institute’s director, who called the new approach “game changing.””
When Vision Zero first launched, Sweden recorded seven traffic fatalities per 100,000 people; today, despite a significant increase in traffic volume, that number is fewer than three. "The largest resistance we got to the idea about Vision Zero was from those political economists that have built their whole career on cost-benefit analysis. ... although they might not say it explicitly, the idea is that there is an optimum number of fatalities." [more inside]
President of Eckerd college Donald Eastman III wrote a letter to the students about preventing sexual assault. His recommendation? Less alcohol and less casual sex. The college's student paper, The Current, responds in a civil, well spoken and cogent rebuttal.
Today is the day to make a difference in someone's life. Suicide is one of the top 15 leading causes of death across all age groups worldwide, and the third leading cause of death among young adults in the U.S. Every person reading this probably knows someone who's thought about or attempted suicide. We've lost too many good people to this problem. It's time to take a stand and take 5 minutes to help save someone's life you know. [more inside]
Ebola is nightmare fuel: a biological doomsday device conspiring with our bodies to murder us in uniquely gruesome fashion. It’s also killed fewer than 2,000 people. How has a virus with such a modest body count so fiercely captured the darkest corners of our imagination? - Leigh Cowart for Haziltt.
The Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections ended on March 6 And the news coming out of it was astounding. 33 years after the first cases were described, researchers are genuinely excited about where we are and where we are going. [more inside]
Suicide prevention has become a key focus of public and private mental health initiatives in recent years. And as we previously have seen, in many cases suicide is not an inevitable outcome for people experiencing suicidal ideation or even those who have made a suicidal attempt. Still, the question remains: is every suicide preventable? [more inside]
South Korea has the one of the highest suicide rates in the world. An addition to the one of the more popular suicide bridges in Seoul has prevented many (SLYT).
Within the realm of criminal justice policy, drug courts have received growing attention and widespread adoption in the United States as a solution to cycles of addiction and incarceration. Their effectiveness has again been questioned, however, in recent reports released by the Justice Policy Institute and the Drug Policy Alliance: Addicted to Courts: How a Growing Dependent on Drug Courts Impacts People and Communities and Drug Courts Are Not the Answer. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals issued a lengthy initial response, pointing to past research touting the success of the drug court model. [more inside]
Masturbation cuts cancer risk! That is all.
The history of needle exchanges in the United States starts in 1986 with Jon Parker, a dyslexic Yale medical student and former IDU (intravenous drug user), who was arrested time and time again for providing sterile needles and supplies to drug users, to prevent infection and spread of disease. David Purchase started the first organized (and illegal) needle exchange in Tacoma Washington in 1988, which still exists 21 years later. [more inside]
My friends and I confided in each other, swapping stories, sharing out pain, while keeping it all hidden from the adults in our lives. After all, who could we tell? This wasn’t rape - it didn’t fit the definitions. This was Not rape. We should have known better. We were the ones who would take the blame. We would be punished, and no one wanted that. So, these actions went on, aided by a cloak of silence. From Racialicious.
No-small-news-filter: House Votes to Continue and Expand President's Global Effort Against AIDS. [more inside]
To Write Love On Her Arms is a story and the response to a story. I first saw the shirt on Switchfoot's Jon Foreman and thought "Hey that's a cool shirt." Months later I saw an ad and went to look them up. That's when I found the story. As their MySpace page points out, they are not a 24-hour helpline, nor are they trained professionals, but they do "hope to serve as a bridge to help." Its a small organization right now, using a unique method of achieving recognition and exposure, but it is an important "movement of love, a commitment to begin answering these needs and offering hope to the many who struggle with depression, addiction, suicide, self injury." (from the FAQ)
1-800-SUICIDE loses govt. funding: Despite the fact that almost 2 million callers have reached help and hope over the last 8 years, and a government funded evaluation stating the benefits of 1-800-SUICIDE, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), a division of Health & Human Services, has decided to create their own government run system where they would have direct access to confidential data on individuals in crisis. (SAMHSA has already scrubbed their websites of any and all LGBT information, and gay youth are 2-3 times more likely to commit suicide.) Save 1-800-SUICIDE website here.
17 Minutes is a performance and video blog project by new media artist Chris Barr. It's about suicide. [MI]
New drug blocks HIV from entering cells and causes "almost" no side effects, reports Asahi Shinbun.
HIV prevention efforts are failing. Last year, the discovery of a New York man with a novel form of drug-resistant HIV that rapidly progressed to AIDS caused some to warn of the emergence of a "superbug." The first clinical analysis of the case will be published Saturday in The Lancet (NYT preview); Dr. Martin Markowitz concluded the cause of the rapid progression to AIDS may be incomplete -- but that efforts to prevent the epidemic must be redoubled, especially in light of the growing use of methamphetamines. Dr. Carlos del Rio is blunt: "This is telling us that AIDS prevention programs have been a failure." The Gay Men's Health Crisis agrees.
Is circumcision an AIDS weapon? To cut or not to cut? Does circumcision prevent the transmission of HIV? It was deemed "An acceptable strategy for HIV prevention" in Bostwana and a study looking at the magnitude of females who get infected with HIV/AIDS/STDs through circumcision
Educate. Prevent. Practice Safer Sex. Insist On Needle Exchange Programs. End HIV/AIDS Discrimination. Demand Adequate Treatment for Low Income HIV+ Persons. (And fight like hell against those who drag their feet on public health issues for the sake of ideology.)
As part of March's National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2003, the Cancer Research Foundation of America will lead a nationwide, 20-city Colossal Colon Tour from March 2003 to October 2003.
Education and prevention are responsibilities of businesses also. The private sector can help take part in HIV/AIDS education and prevention, and should institute workplace policies. Has your workplace instituted a training program for managers and supervisors, implemented an aids policy, performed education on prevention, and reviewed the requirements that it needs to follow under disabilities acts and leave policies?
TheBody.Com is one of the most comprehensive sites available on AIDS and HIV. It explains everything you'd want to know including demographics, vaccines and other treatments, testing, and exactly what HIV and AIDS are for those of us without PhDs. Most importantly, it talks about prevention.
Circumcision as a way to slow the spread of HIV. I'm posting this here mostly 'cause I want to see some people's opinions on it. I'm against the operation for any reason other than religious, myself. I think a far better way to slow HIV would be to get people to stop sleeping around, but like that's gonna happen, eh?