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Friday, April 29, 2011

Entertainment Productions Honored by PRISM Awards

Hollywood has the power to educate and enlighten people about the effects of drug and alcohol abuse in the family. They also have the ability to lead people astray about the subject, portraying drugs in a glamorized manner. Entertainment productions that have an accurate take on drugs and alcohol are often recognized by the PRISM Awards bringing Attention to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues.

Media is an intricate part to how humans absorb and interpret information, especially to the younger generations who have had TV and computers their entire lives. Television shows and major motion pictures have the ability to point out the symptoms of problem drinking and drug abuse.

The awards are produced by the Entertainment Industries Council in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and FX.

Awards included:

Black Swan – Feature Film – Mental Health

The Fighter – Feature Film – Substance Use

Mad Men – Drama Series Episode – Substance Use

Grey’s Anatomy – Drama Series Episode – Mental Health

Nurse Jackie and Rescue Me – Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline – Substance Use

Parenthood – Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline – Mental Health

Drop Dead Diva – Comedy Series Episode

Friday, April 22, 2011

Danae Miller Pleads Not Guilty

When facing a lengthy stay in prison it is fairly typical for the accused to plead not guilty, as was the case for Danae Miller last Friday. The Newport Coast resident was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, after striking a bicyclist on her way home from work on Feb. 21. We have been following this story from the beginning, when we found out that on top of being intoxicated on that fateful day, Miller had received 16 traffic citations since 2005. It was hard to believe that Miller was still allowed to operate a motor vehicle or even be inside one for that matter. Nevertheless, Miller's actions last February cost someone their life and a love one for a family; it appears that Miller will not get off this time like the 16 times before with just a slap on the wrist.

Police claim Miller was consuming alcohol at the restaurant she worked at before jumping in the car to head home. It is believed by prosecutors that Miller had been text messaging about the time she veered into the bicycle lane on San Joaquin Hills Road hitting Amine Britel from behind. Britel received massive injuries from the hit and died at the scene. A mere two hours after the crash, Miller's blood alcohol level was 0.10, which is more than California's legal limit of 0.08.

The road is a dangerous place to begin with, high speed motor vehicles moving past each other and everyone is in a hurry. Alcohol and driving never mix as is testament to the events on Feb. 21, add text messaging to the equation and something bad is guaranteed to happen. There is no excuse for drunk driving, there is always an alternative available for you - the choice is yours.

Miller’s pretrial is set for May 19.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oral Health and Drug Addicts

Drugs and alcohol pay a heavy toll on the human body in a number of ways that are less than to be desired. Mental deterioration over years of abuse is the major side effect of addiction, but, there are other areas of the body that begin to suffer as well. Oral health is an area that can spiral out of control if left unchecked and reports show that addicts have very poor oral hygiene. Most people associate poor oral heath health and methamphetamine due to the Faces of Meth ad that have been shown across the country, but, researchers have found that they are not alone when it comes to addiction and poor oral health.

Public health, dental medicine and internal medicine faculty from Boston University examined the toll taken of different substances on oral health among a selected group of addicts. Alcohol, cocaine, meth, opioid and marijuana users were included in the study. The candidates were asked to report on their oral health status on a five-point scale ranging from poor to excellent. Interestingly, the statistical analysis of the patients' reports showed no strong connections between the types of substances used and oral health status. However, 60 percent of all subjects reported fair or poor oral health, with Opioid users in the sample showing worse oral health compared to one year ago.

"We found that the majority of our sample reported fair or poor oral health," said Meredith D'Amore, MPH, a researcher in the Health/care Disparities Research Program at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center. "Thus, oral health should be considered a significant health problem among individuals with substance dependence and providers should be aware of potential oral health issues." The Boston University research team hopes that their research will be the platform for other studies on oral health and addiction. Talking to addicts about their oral health may be a gateway to talking to them about other health concerns with addiction.

Medical News Today
Boston University Medical Center

Friday, April 8, 2011

Teen Drug Use On The Rise

Drug and alcohol use among teenagers had been on a decline for a number of years, but, according to new research that trend is changing with more teenagers from ages 12 and up using drugs and alcohol. In the last three years ecstasy use among teenagers has risen 67 percent with one in 10 teens now using it, with marijuana use up 22 percent and four in 10 teens now smoking pot, according to The Partnership at Drugfree.org. Drugs are not taboo like they once were, more teens are being exposed to certain drugs in a way that presents them as less dangerous which makes trying them that much easier. "People look down upon someone who smokes cigarettes more than they look down upon weed," said high school senior Samantha Gerson.

When it came to alcohol, 71 percent of teens have a drink before they leave high school, with kids on average starting at just 14 years old and twenty-five percent of them have had a drink by age 12. So why the sudden increase in drug and alcohol use among teens? One reason for the rise has to do with the government, as well as parents, becoming more complacent about drugs and the dangers associated with them. "Over this last decade there has been less of a message getting out if you will," said Steve Pasierb, president of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. "A lot of the programs that used to exist have been cut, through successive rounds of budget cuts."

Teens are not just partying on weekends and special occasions, some teens are drinking and smoking weed all week long. "There's people who do it after school, during school, on the weekends," said high school senior Rafe Aksad. "You come and relax after the party by getting high and drinking," said Gerson. "It's never ending."
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