photo from www.newscientist.com
A recent medical study by Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff of the Children’s Research Triangle asserts that Hispanic women who have assimilated to American culture have a greater risk of having children born with fetal alcohol syndrome. According to Chasnoff, pregnant Hispanic women in San Antonio had the second highest drinking rate of 29 cities in the states that were studied. I find that rather hard to believe based on my twenty-one year history of taking caring of Hispanic pregnant women. I have seen first, second and third generation Hispanic women and never encountered alcoholism among any of them. However, Chasnoff brings up an interesting point about alcohol and pregnancy. There are two schools of thought. According to Good Morning America, there are physicians such as Dr. Jacques Moritz, who think an occasional glass of wine is okay to consume during pregnancy however the U.S. Surgeon General and the American College of Obstetrician-Gynecologists advocate strict abstinence from alcohol while pregnancy.
According to medical literature, more than one-half of women of childbearing age report drinking alcohol and 1 out of 8 women report binge drinking. Alcohol appears to have negative effects throughout the entire pregnancy, not just during the first-trimester. At present, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*
I know I have said this before, but now there is more research to back it up. A recent report on the results from the “back-to-school” survey (September 2009) done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reports a decade of research finding that the more often children have dinner with their parents, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use drugs.
Bottom line – compared to teens who have family dinners 5+ times a week, those who do not are twice as likely to use tobacco and marijuana and 1.5 times likelier to use alcohol. They also get significantly better grades and report that it is easier to talk to their parents. Read more »
This post, How To Reduce Teen Drug Use: Dinner With Parents, was originally published on
Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..
When looking for the cause of atrial fibrillation during a physical examination, not only can the doctor’s olfactory bulb be helpful, but so can the examination of what gets brought into the exam room.
Patient: “Hey doc, it’s just a Pepsi.”
Doctor: “Really? Can I see?”
Nothing a good knife and a piece of scotch tape can’t manufacture.
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*
In continuing with the theme of getting ready for the beach and water sports this summer, let’s consider what to do about substance abuse. There is no controversy whatsoever about the fact that persons under the influence of alcohol or any other mind-altering substance have a higher incidence of accidents. In fact, ingestion of alcohol figures prominently as a statistic in falls, drownings, motor vehicle accidents and virtually every variety of activity that has ever been studied. The issue, then, is not whether or not alcohol contributes to illness and injury, but to what extent we are able to control its use by reason and, when necessary, prohibition.
Im June of 2008, Solana Beach, California banned alcohol consumption on its beaches for at least a year. This ban continues. Here is what appears on the city’s website:
Alcoholic Beverages – Alcohol is banned at all beach areas in Solana Beach. Alcohol is also prohibited in the parking lot, community center, viewpoint or any other public place adjacent to the beach. Glass is prohibited as well.
There are similar rules at, among others, Torrey Pines State Beach, Cardiff, San Elijo, South Carlsbad and Carlsbad state beaches.
City officials made this move proactively, to avoid the sorts of tragedies and social problems that have intermittently plagued “wet” beaches. Recognizing that judgment is often an irrelevant factor when it comes to drinking alcohol, they made a strong and, in my opinion, laudable move. Like it or not, judgment is impaired by drinking alcohol, so the concept of “responsible drinking” is an oxymoron when water sports and potentially hazardous surf conditions coexist with beer, wine, and liquor. Of course, the same is true for certain prescription drugs and illicit drugs.
Needless to say, civil libertarians and numerous other individuals are opposed to mandated prohibitions. They cite lack of observation of problems, principles of freedom and personal rights, and even the loss of romanticism. The issue obviously has two sides.
From a safety perspective, it’s a no-brainer. There’s no benefit to drinking alcohol and entering the ocean. It can never make you safer, and can only make you less safe. Even if you are able to drink alcohol at the beach and safely dispose of your metal cans and glass bottles, not litter, not be rowdy or obnoxious, and keep your drinking to yourself, the moment you dip a toe, you are a greater risk to yourself and to the lifeguards and other rescuers entrusted to protect you. You may not believe that to be the case, but the stories and statistics don’t support you. Having pulled intoxicated victims from the water, treated them at the scene, stitched their heads and set their broken bones in the emergency department, and having had to tell their families and friends that they are dead (while knowing that none of this would have ever happened had the victims been sober), I am offering well-intentioned advice. Not every city will mandate that you leave your beer cooler at home when you head to the beach. When you need to be the one to decide, choose wisely.
Preview the Annual Meeting of the Wilderness Medical Society, which will be held in Snowmass, Colorado July 24-29, 2009.
Join me from January 24 to February 2, 2010 for an exciting dive and wilderness medicine CME adventure aboard the Nautilus Explorer to Socorro Island, Mexico to benefit the Wilderness Medical Society.
photo courtesy of www.aquaticsafetygroup.com
*This post, Alcohol At The Beach, was originally published on Healthline.com by Paul S. Auerbach, MD, MS.*