Tag Archives: alcohol abuse

No amount of alcohol during pregnancy is safe for the unborn child

USA Today reports, “A new study pinpoints the latter half of the first trimester as a critical time in the development of” signs of fetal alcohol syndrome, “such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip, small head size, unusually small-set eyes and shorter-than-average height.” Continue reading

Study links excessive texting among teens to alcohol, sex, and drugs

How many texts does your child send and receive in a day? Could an increasing number indicate an increasing risk for problems? And, could a certain number indicate your child is more likely to experiment with drugs or sex?

The AP reports, “Teens who text 120 times a day or more — and there seems to be a lot of them — are more likely to have had sex or used alcohol and drugs than kids who don’t send as many messages, according to provocative new research.”

The authors of the study “aren’t suggesting that ‘hyper-texting’ leads to sex, drinking or drugs, but say it’s startling to see an apparent link between excessive messaging and that kind of risky behavior.”

In “Vital Signs,” the New York Times reported that “the study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University, presented … at a meeting of the American Public Health Association in Denver, is based on data from questions posed last year to more than 4,000 students at 20 urban high schools in Ohio.”

Approximately “one-fifth sent at least 120 text messages a day, one-tenth were on social networks for three hours or more, and four percent did both.”

Notably, “that four percent were at twice the risk of nonusers for fighting, smoking, binge drinking, becoming cyber victims, thinking about suicide, missing school, and dozing off in class.”

“The hyper-texters were 3.5 more likely to have had sex than teens who texted less,” the Time “Healthland” blog reported. “The hyper-networkers, however, were not more likely to have had sex compared with the hyper-texters,” but “they did exceed the texters’ predilection for fighting, drinking and drug use,” according to the study authors.

So, here’s a simple tip. If you kid is a hyper-texter (texting more than 100 times per day), it may be time to sit down and have a long talk — before your kid gets into trouble.

Post-Abortion Women Four Times More Likely to Abuse Drugs, Alcohol

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Manitoba finds women who have had abortions are about four times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as those who carried their pregnancy to term. The authors confirmed a link between abortion and the substance abuse issues.

This study adds to the risks that we now know occur in women who have previously had an abortion (as opposed to a miscarriage), including mental health issues (especially depression) and, possibly, breast cancer. Before I share the details of this new study, I want to say something very important.

If you are one of the many women who has a secret abortion in your past, in no way do I intend to judge or condemn that choice. But, rather, I want you to overcome any risks that may come from the abortion. To that end, if you are a woman who has had an abortion, this information means that you need to consider a couple of actions:

  • Learn everything you can about how your can significantly lower your risk of breast cancer and depression by proper diet, exercise, and sleep,
  • Be sure to discuss breast cancer and depression screening with your primary care physician, and
  • Strongly consider seeing a post-abortion counselor. You can find one through your nearest Crisis Pregnancy Center or by contacting CareNet here.

Now, here are the details on this study from LifeNews.com:

Natalie Mota, a PhD student in the U of M’s clinical psychology department, co-wrote the study with authors Margaret Burnett and Jitender Sareen.

The study appeared in the well-respected Canadian Journal of Psychiatry and it showed women having abortions were 3.8 times more likely to have substance abuse disorders.

That was the case even when other factors such as exposure to violence were included that could have raised the risk outside of abortion.

The Canadian study also found abortion associated with other mental health conditions such as mood disorders, but substance abuse proved to be the strongest link when it comes to post-abortion problems for women.

“These are associations only,” Mota told the Toronto Sun newspaper. “Further research needs to look at the different factors that might be playing a part.”

Still, the study provides more evidence that abortions hurt women as Mota told the newspaper hers was larger than many prior studies showing adverse mental health issues for women following an abortion compared with keeping the baby.

Mota and her colleagues told the Sun they also suggest abortion centers pre-screen women for substance abuse problems prior to abortions. Women who already have struggles with drug and alcohol abuse may see those problems exacerbated by the abortion. Currently, abortion centers typically don’t provide such screening or encourage women who struggle with those mental health issues to carry to term.

Priscilla Coleman, an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University, has already conducted multiple studies on the link between abortion and mental health problems for women.

Coleman analyzed the study further and found that, when compared to women without a history of abortion, those who had an abortion had a 61% increased risk for mood disorders. Social Phobia was linked with a 61% increased risk and suicide ideation with a 59% increased risk.

“In the area of substance abuse the increased risk for alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, drug abuse, drug dependence, and any substance use disorder were equal to 261%, 142%, 313%, 287%, and 280% respectively,” she told LifeNews.com. “Between 5.8% and 24.7% of the national prevalence of all the above disorders was determined to be related to abortion.”

Coleman told LifeNews.com the Canadian study affirms “results of many previous studies on abortion and mental health” and are generally consistent with our results using an earlier version of the National Co-morbidity Survey (NCS) data.”

The Canadian researchers used the NCS replication data collected between 2001 and 2003.

“A large nationally representative U.S. sample was examined for associations between abortion and life-time prevalence of numerous mental disorders and suicidal behavior,” she said.

Coleman said researchers who support legal abortions “frequently claim the associations between abortion and mental health problems in the literature are due to an unmeasured history of violence exposure being related to both the choice to abort and to mental health problems.”

“Mota and colleagues tested this assumption by controlling for violence in all the analyses conducted. They also controlled for age, education, marital status, household income, and ethno-racial background,” she said. “The results revealed statistically significant associations between abortion history and a wide range of mental health problems after controlling for the experience of interpersonal violence and demographic variables.”

Coleman says the new study provides more evidence for the American Psychological Association in a challenge to its position that abortion presents no mental health problems for women.

“This report represents the latest in a series of articles from across the globe (U.S., New Zealand, Australia, Norway, and South Africa) published in recent years directly contradicting the findings of the American Psychological Association Task Force report released in 2008. Large scale, well-controlled studies using sophisticated data analysis methodologies consistently confirm a relationship between abortion and psychological distress that the national professional organization has dismissed,” the professor said.

“Standing above the political controversies regarding the legality of abortion, several contemporary researchers have demonstrated a willingness to publish data that contradicts many well-ingrained socio-cultural beliefs regarding psychology as a benign psychological experience. This is good news for science, the healing professions, and for women,” she concluded.

The Ten Commandments of Preventive Medicine – Part 6 – Alcohol

In my latest book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People, I teach people how to utilize these ten essentials that are necessary to live a happy and highly healthy life. Under The Essential of Self-Care, teach what I call “The 10 Commandments of Preventive Medicine. Here’s the sixth installment of this ten-part series. Continue reading

Study Finds Lesbians 50 Times More Likely to Self-Harm (nothing gay about this story)

LifeSiteNews.com is reporting that the habit of “self-harming” is 50 times more likely to occur in lesbians than in the general population of women. They quote a Scottish study showing 20 percent of lesbian and bisexual women, of a total of 500 women surveyed in Scotland had deliberately harmed themselves in the last year, compared to 0.4 per cent of the general population.

My Take? Continue reading