Thursday, May 15, 2014

Alcohol Infused News Part 1

Sometimes news headlines seem to collide...Part 1


This week it seems news items about alcohol use are or should be juxtaposed. Simply put, there are four items we are sharing with you this week, two today and two tomorrow. Each could provide an impetus to start a conversation about how we view alcohol use and alcohol use disorder. 

"It's Time to Let Teenagers Drink Again" ~ Commentary by Camille Paglia


TIME Magazine header (Click to enlarge)
The cover of TIME Magazine's May 19, 2014, issue has a teaser line "Let's Teens Drink" by Camille Paglia. Of course, this is provocative, it stops you in your tracks and curiosity gets the best of the casual reader. When you thumb to page 22 you soon realize that this is not a scientific article, but instead a commentary by Ms. Paglia. We invite you to read the entire piece, but will share just a bit of Paglia's thoughts here.

"Exhilaration, ecstasy and communal vision are the gifts of Dionysus, god of wine. Alcohol’s enhancement of direct face-to-face dialogue is precisely what is needed by today’s technologically agile generation, magically interconnected yet strangely isolated by social media. Clumsy hardcore sexting has sadly supplanted simple hanging out over a beer at a buzzing dive. By undermining the art of conversation, the age-21 law has also had a disastrous effect on our arts and letters, with their increasing dullness and mediocrity. This tyrannical infantilizing of young Americans must stop!"


It should be noted that this opinion piece first appeared online April 23, 2014; it has since received 404 comments. Go ahead and read some...you will see it started a lively conversation.

Flag of the World Health Organization

World Health Organization wants more action to prevent alcohol-related deaths and diseases


On May 12, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that worldwide 3.3 million deaths in 2012 resulted from alcohol use. Their news release will get your attention.  You can read the full report Global Status Report On Alcohol and Health 2014 here. Consider these facts provided by WHO:

  • Alcohol consumption can not only lead to dependence but also increases people’s risk of developing more than 200 diseases including liver cirrhosis and some cancers. In addition, harmful drinking can lead to violence and injuries. 
  • On average every person in the world aged 15 years or older drinks 6.2 litres of pure alcohol per year. But as less than half the population (38.3%) actually drinks alcohol, this means that those who do drink consume on average 17 litres of pure alcohol annually.
  • The report also points to the fact that a higher percentage of deaths among men than among women are from alcohol-related causes - 7.6% of men’s deaths and 4% of women’s death. 

WHO's website also offers a global view of the management of substance abuse.

Some thoughts...


As we offered in our opening, these are just two articles that caught our attention this week regarding alcohol and alcohol use disorder. Camille Paglia's commentary can be considered her micro view of alcohol use, while WHO is offering a macro view of how the stats and facts impact the world population as a whole.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's alcohol infused news.

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