Body of Evidence

My writing assignment today is to write something suitable for this Blog’s category “body” and since I’m not feeling inclined to write about my own body, which is getting fitter but fatter, I’ll save that for another article. So I ran a search in Yahoo News of the word “health” and read a round-up of the days news stories related to health. The 2 stories which were news-worthy to me, and relevant to “body” were about Bird-Flu reaching Canada and another article about substance abuse and painkillers in USA.

I was very saddened to read the following; Canada this weekend broadened quarantine measures to contain bird flu on Prince Edward Island, where an infected gosling was found on a farm last week and a second farm was under watch after officials discovered there had been movement of people and perhaps poultry between the two farms.
We knew Bird-Flu was inevitable for all parts of the world but it doesn’t make it any less disturbing as it’s such a nasty virus. Also, I found an interesting but unrelated article that provides study results from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.
2.4 Million Started Painkillers Without Prescription in 2004
New federal statistics show that almost 2.4 million Americans began taking narcotic pain relievers for nonmedical use in the past year — more than those who started using marijuana or cocaine.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration took data from the 2004 National Applied Surveys on Drug Use and Health and found that 2.4 million persons 12 or older initiated non-medical use of prescription pain relievers in the 12 months prior to the survey. Meanwhile, an estimated 2.1 million Americans started using marijuana, and 1 million began using cocaine.
Among the drugs taken: 48 percent of new initiates used Vicodin, Lortab or Lorcet; 34.3 percent used Darvocet, Darvon, or Tylenol with codeine; 20 percent used Percocet, Percodan or Tylox; 18.4 percent used generic hydrocodone; 14.3 percent used generic codeine; 8.4 percent used Oxycontin; and 4.3 percent used morphine. Over half of people who began non-medical use of pain medications (54.9 percent) in 2004 were female, according to the report.
“While overall illicit drug use continues to decline among our young people, we are always paying close attention to the data to identify any potential areas of concern,” said SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie. “Abuse of prescription pain medication is dangerous and can lead to the destructive path of addiction. The initiation rates show we must continue our efforts to help the public confront and reduce all drug abuse.”

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