Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for September 19th, 2008

Addiction as illness

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It’s now generally accepted that alcoholism is an illness, no more a moral failure than cancer. Viewing alcoholism as an illness has implications, of course: health insurance coverage, for one thing, but also the need to find treatments that will fight the disease. In other words, the definition has operational implications, as does the definition of alcoholism as moral failure—which definition doesn’t offer much to do except say “Get a grip” (to the alcoholic or, if you’re the alcoholic, to yourself). In general, saying “Get a grip” has a low success rate, whether used for alcoholism, depression, phobias, or whatever.

Now Germany is looking at nicotine addiction as an illness:

Germany’s Federal Medical Society is proposing to classify nicotine addiction as an illness, saying doctors should evaluate and treat heavily addicted smokers the same way they do patients suffering from physical illness. They hope that labeling smokers as being sick will pressure more of them to seek professional help to overcome their addiction. The label may be more than just a strategy, though. In June 1998, the Director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D., testified before a Congressional panel that addiction, including nicotine addiction, is now considered to be a chronic, recurring brain disease. German health insurance companies fear the Medical Society’s proposal will lead to a spike in smoking-related claims, and are unenthusiastic about paying for medical treatment for something they consider to be a “self-inflicted addiction.” About 140,000 German citizens die annually from smoking-related illnesses.

Source: Deutsche Welle (Germany), September 17, 2008

The US seems to believe the treatment of choice for drug addiction is locking the patient up in a prison.

Written by Leisureguy

19 September 2008 at 8:44 am

Posted in Daily life, Medical

The FDA needs renovation

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To develop its new website that tries to help the public understand direct-to-consumer drug ads, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “turned to a nonprofit front group erected by Shaw Science Partners, a public relations firm that specializes in launching new drugs,” according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). EthicAd, the nonprofit behind the FDA site, is funded by Shaw Science and its own board members. Shaw Group founder Michael Shaw admitted that “if not all, almost all” of EthicAd’s funders “do work for industry.” EthicAd also “shares the same physical address as Shaw Science Partners.” CSPI gives a negative review of the FDA site, calling it “jargon-filled” and lacking advice on how to evaluate messages about drug side effects, among other consumer topics. CSPI is calling on the FDA “to scuttle the web site, to terminate its relationship with the drug companies’ PR firm, and to seek out advice from leading physicians, pharmacists, or consumer groups.”

Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest, September 15, 2008

Written by Leisureguy

19 September 2008 at 8:37 am

FREE today only: PDF-to-Word Converter

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A useful Giveway of the Day. You know the drill: you must download AND INSTALL the program today to get it free. This one is cute: no registration code, but when you first run it, it checks the GOTD site to see if it can go live. And it works well, but read the comments at the link and make your own decision, of course.

Written by Leisureguy

19 September 2008 at 8:29 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

Soup report

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I wasn’t able to fit the parsley into the pot, so had to save it for another day. I did add (to pot and to recipe) a stalk of celery and a carrot. Final verdict: adding the bacon at the end was sheer genius—a terrific idea. Soup was somewhat too salty—what with Parmesan, Romano, and bacon, it needs no additional salt. I forgot to remove the Parmesan rind when I started blending, so it got blended into the soup—worked out fine, save for the saltiness. A great soup.

Written by Leisureguy

19 September 2008 at 8:23 am

Posted in Daily life

Trumper’s Violet

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Another heavily dyed shaving cream, but with a great fragrance and making terrific lather—this morning, with the Simpsons Keyhole 3 Best. The Edwin Jagger ivory Chatsworth with a Treet Classic blade did a very fine job—great razor, that—and St. John’s Bay Rum aftershave finished the shave with a flourish. And now I’ve watered the shiso, made the coffee, and put the laundry in.

Written by Leisureguy

19 September 2008 at 8:17 am

Posted in Shaving

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