Poisoning is now the leading cause of death from injuries in the United States
Over the last 10 years, the percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44% to 48%. The use of two or more drugs increased from 25% to 31%. The use of five or more drugs increased from 6% to 11%.
These statistics are good to keep in mind next time the media starts fanning the flames about an adverse reaction to a nutritional supplement. With well over half the U.S. population reporting usage of one or more nutritional supplements, only 275 adverse events were reported in 2006, and most of those involved caffeine.
It’s not surprising to see the latest statistics on poisoning deaths in an overly medicated and often drugged out U.S. consumer population. The good news is that many of the prescriptions being written are for life style diseases that we already know how to treat by eating the right foods and getting the correct nutrition.
8 November 2013 Elsevier
Investigators Look at the Link Between Geographic Patterns and Death Rates in the New Issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
San Diego, CA, November 12, 2013 – A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine gives new Age Adusted Death Rates from Posioning in U.S.insight into the geographic variation in drug poisoning mortality, with both urban centers and rural areas showing a large increase in death rates. While previous studies have looked at drug poisoning related deaths in broad strokes, this is the first study to examine them on the county level across the entire U.S.
Drug poisoning is now the leading cause of injury
death in the U.S. and has increased by more than 300 percent over the last three decades. Almost 90 percent of poisoning deaths can be attributed to illicit or licit drugs, with prescription drugs accounting for the majority of drug overdose deaths.
According to reports from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, about 2.1 percent of Americans—or roughly 5 million people—have used prescription painkillers non-medically in the past month. The rise in drug-related deaths correlates to the increase in the non-medical use of prescription drugs, especially opioid analgesics.
While there have been some reports that suggest the rise in deaths has been sharper in rural areas than in urban centers, data to support the claim had never been fully substantiated. In this new study, investigators used small area estimation techniques to produce stable estimates of drug-related poisoning deaths at a county level, which revealed more information about how geography plays a role in death rates.
Using data obtained from the National Vital Statistics Multiple Cause of Death Files, investigators found that in 1999 only 3 percent of counties had annual drug poisoning age adjusted death rates (AADRs) over ten per 100,000, but found that the rate rose to 54 percent of counties by 2008. Additionally, while drug poisoning AADRs increased across all geographic areas both large and small, there was a greater percentage increase for rural areas (394 percent) compared to large metropolitan counties (297 percent).
“The interaction suggests that both central metropolitan and rural areas experienced similar absolute rates of increase in drug-poisoning AADRs from 1999 to 2009 and that these rates were more rapid than those seen in fringe or small metropolitan or micropolitan areas,” explains lead investigator Lauren M. Rossen, PhD, MS. “However, since the AADRs in rural areas were substantially lower in 1999 as compared to central cities, the percentage increase was larger for rural areas over time.”
The study also reveals regional trends in drug poisoning related deaths. “Maps of drug-poisoning mortality over time illustrated that AADRs greater than 29 per 100,000 per year were largely concentrated in Appalachian counties in 1999-2000; by 2008-2009, counties across the entire U.S. displayed AADRs of more than 29 per 100,000 per year,” said Rossen. “These high rates could be seen in Alaska, Hawaii, the entire Pacific region, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Appalachia, the southern coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi, Florida, and across New England.”
“Mapping death rates associated with drug poisoning at the county level may help elucidate geographic patterns, highlight areas where drug-related poisoning deaths are higher than expected, and inform policies and programs designed to address the increase in drug-poisoning mortality and morbidity,” added Rossen.
Binge Drinking During Pregnancy Linked to Negative Emotions
Researchers in Norway found that negative affectivity is linked to light alcohol use and binge drinking during pregnancy. Results published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, a journal of the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology, show 16% of women had light alcohol use in the first trimester and 10% in the second trimester.
Binge drinking occurred in 12% of women during their first trimester and 0.5% in the second trimester.
Experts describe negative affectivity as the tendency to experience negative emotions such as anxiety and depression.
Individuals with negative affectivity tend to have an unfavorable view of themselves and the world in general. Previous studies have associated negative affectivity with greater vulnerability to stress, intense emotional reactions to daily life, and inclination to use intoxicants in response to stress.
Mothers who use alcohol while pregnant place their unborn child at risk for premature birth, low birth weight, fetal alcohol syndrome and even fetal death. These serious health risks have led health experts around the world to recommend that women abstain from alcohol while trying to conceive and during pregnancy.
Yet prior evidence indicates that 25% to 50% of women report drinking alcohol while pregnant, with low income level, partner’s drinking behavior, and mother’s pre-pregnancy alcohol use all contributing risk factors.
The present population-based study, led by Dr. Kim Stene-Larsen from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, Norway, used data from 66,111 pregnant women and their partners who were part of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). Mothers filled out surveys related to alcohol use at 17 and 30 weeks of gestation.
The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C) was used in the present study to measure
- light alcohol use (0.5 to 2 units, 1-4 times per month) and
- binge drinking (intake of 5 alcohol units or more in a single drinking episode).
In Norway one unit of alcohol is equivalent to
- one glass (1/3 liter or ≈11 oz) of beer,
- one sherry glass of fortified wine, or
- one snaps (shot) glass of spirit or liqueur.”
Negative affectivity was assessed in gestational weeks 17 and 30 using the Hopkins Symptom Checklist, which measures anxiety and depression. Medical evidence has established that measures of anxiety and depression symptoms are comparable to negative affectivity measures.
Findings indicate that with each unit increase in maternal negative affectivity, the odds for light alcohol increased in the first and second trimester, 27% and 28%, respectively.
The odds for binge drinking were much higher at 55% in the first trimester and 114% in the second trimester for each unit increase of negative affectivity in the mother.
“Our findings clearly show a link between a mother’s negative emotions, such as depression and anxiety, and light alcohol use and binge drinking during pregnancy,” concludes Dr. Stene-Larsen. “Further study is needed to understand why women continue to drink alcohol while pregnant despite health warnings.”
“Our findings clearly show a link between a mother’s negative emotions,
such as depression and anxiety, and light alcohol use and binge drinking during pregnancy”
29 September 2013 Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
A paper published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics provides new findings on the role of psychotherapy in regulating serotonin receptors.
This study was part of a larger project comparing psychotherapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug treatment in major depressive disorder ( MDD).
Patients with MDD were randomized to receive either fluoxetine 20-40 mg/day or brief psychodynamic psychotherapy for 4 months. Brain serotonin 5-HT1A receptors were measured before and after treatment with positron emission tomography and the radioligand [carbonyl-11C] WAY-100635.
Of all the patients in the study, 23 participated in the positron emission tomography part of the study: 8 from the psychotherapy group and 15 from the fluoxetine group. Clinical evaluations included (in addition to the main outcome measures HAM-D and Beck Depression Inventory) Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS) and Social Adjustment Scale-Self-Report (SAS-SR) and Brief Symptom Inventory.
In both groups, the SOFAS scores increased in a similar way. In the whole group, increase in 5-HT1A receptor BPND was positively correlated with increase in SOFAS scores after treatment in the orbitofrontal cortex, suggesting that those who had the highest improvements in social and occupational functioning had the largest increases in 5-HT1A receptor BPND.
Further analyses indicated that this association was driven by patients receiving psychotherapy. In this group, increase in 5-HT1A receptor BPND was positively correlated with an increase in SOFAS scores after treatment in the orbitofrontal cortex, ventral anterior cingulate cortex , medial prefrontal cortex , and parietal cortex and lateral temporal cortex. Such correlations were not seen in the fluoxetine group.
This is the first study to show that the increase in the density of the 5-HT1A receptors after psychotherapy is strongly associated with the increase in social and occupational functioning. Thus, among depressed subjects, 5-HT1A may be a marker of social functioning, not of the severity of depression symptoms.
While both treatments improved SOFAS, only psychotherapy was associated with increase in 5-HT1A density. The reason for this may be that the serotonergic neurotransmission is enhanced by SSRI treatment in a different way than by psychotherapy.
Our findings suggest that SSRI medication, although leading to decreased symptoms and increased functioning in the short run, nevertheless is associated with an incomplete recovery of the serotonin system after treatment. This could be related to higher relapse risk.
Here’s Steve’s latest interview with Dr. Parris Kidd on liver detoxification.
N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is a potent detox regulator.
NAC Detox Regulators supports the body’s natural biochemical pathways for neutralizing and excreting toxins. The three nutrients —NAC (N-AcetylCysteine) and the essential minerals selenium (Se), and molybdenum (Mo)—sustain glutathione, the body’s most important antitoxin, along with many enzymes that use glutathione to neutralize toxins and clear them from the body. These nutrients are all naturally integral to the body’s biochemistry. They are therefore ortho molecules, or right molecules for the body, following the idea of “the right molecules in the right amounts” for optimal health as conceived by two-time Nobel Prizewinner Professor Linus Pauling.
NAC is the nutrient best proven to sustain the body’s glutathione stores. Glutathione is concentrated in all human cells. Detoxification (“detox”) enzymes in the liver, kidneys, lungs, and other organs use glutathione to bond with (“conjugate”) toxins and thereby make them able to mix into water for excretion (usually via the urine). The Se and Mo in this formulation each have unique properties that power detox enzymes. The detox system has considerable overlap with the antioxidant defense (“antiox”) and redox regulatory (“redox”) systems. This product’s combination of NAC plus Se plus Mo supports a diverse collection of detox enzymes that dispose of natural and man-made toxins. Learn how these nutrients can help you.
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Thanks to Alliance for Health on keeping this story alive. Who needs more people telling us what we can and can’t say? When it comes to our health and well being maybe we sould reserve that right for ourselves.
State licensing boards are trying to prevent unlicensed citizens from even talking about certain subjects. Here are some of the latest gag orders.
In May, newspaper advice columnist John Rosemond received a cease-and-desist letter from the Kentucky attorney general’s office on behalf of the state’s Board of Examiners of Psychology because Rosemond dispensed advice to his readers without having a Kentucky psychology license. Rosemond is a licensed family psychologist in North Carolina, has written numerous books, and is syndicated in over 200 newspapers! The letter also stated that because Rosemond is only licensed to practice psychology in North Carolina, he may not call himself a “family psychologist” in the tagline of his newspaper column.
The public was understandably outraged, prompting the board to do some serious backpedaling, speciously claiming that it did not attempt to censor Rosemond’s advice column. He has now filed suit in federal court to defend his First Amendment rights.
Regular readers will recall our story on Steve Cooksey, a blogger in North Carolina. The state’s Board of Dietetics/Nutrition wanted to prevent him from offering free nutrition advice based on personal experience—even to his friends over the phone. Cooksey also sued. Just recently, in a significant win for free speech, the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals held that Cooksey has legal standing in the case and the lawsuit can go forward. This is a big win.
The North Carolina board has attempted to chill free speech numerous times, having been involved in the investigation and surveillance of nearly fifty people and organizations in the state over the past five years—athletic trainers, a nurse, a pharmacist, and even Duke University’s Integrative Medicine department. All have been accused of the same “crime”: practicing nutrition without a license.
Now the Cooksey case goes back to federal court in North Carolina, where the merits of the case will be decided—whether the dietetics practice law is constitutional or not. Certainly the 4th Circuit Court seems to be on Cooksey’s side.
It’s not just Southern states having this problem. Remember that it was the state of Washington’s Medical Quality Assurance Commission (MQAC) that recently ordered integrative physician Jonathan Wright, MD, to draft a paper on the importance of licensure, even though MQAC was itself responsible for the alleged employee licensing violation that led to the order, because it knowingly posted misleading and deceptive information on its website. Forcing Dr. Wright to write an essay telling MQAC what it wants to hear is a profound violation of his right to free speech, as will no doubt be argued in his appeal to the courts.
As state-sanctioned licensing boards continue to proliferate, the trend of limiting free speech is increasing—almost without exception as a tool for the board to protect the professional turf of licensed practitioners. In the 1950s, only one in twenty US workers needed government permission—for that is what licensure is—to pursue their chosen occupation. Today, it is closer to one in three. Yet there is little evidence that licensing protects public health and safety or improves products and services. It does, however, increase consumer costs and reduce opportunities for workers. Utah’s cosmetology licensing board recently prevented a hairdresser from doing hair extensions without a license. Does anyone really believe that’s a public safety issue?
Licensing boards create strict scope-of-practice regulations so that only licensed people can practice—which automatically creates a monopoly on the field. State dietetic boards in particular are following this strategy in their attempt to monopolize the practice of medical nutrition therapy. Happily, we’ve recently seen numerous victories in state legislatures where new dietetics board bills had been introduced—twelve such bills were defeated in 2012!
Mainstream media is starting to pay attention to the issue, and the anti-competitive behavior of boards is even drawing the attention of the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC investigated the North Carolina dental board over its attempts to monopolize the teeth whitening business, and found it had illegally thwarted competition through cease-and-desist letters. The Alabama dental board is attacking its unlicensed teeth whitening competitors, but the FTC may not be able to intervene there because state law defines “dental service” very broadly.
The FTC is also scrutinizing state laws and practices that foster anticompetitive behavior by physicians, such as the scope-of-practice restrictions supported by physicians who trying to monopolize their field. In Tennessee, for example, until recently, only physicians were allowed to provide interventional pain management services. The state legislature wrote a bill eliminating that restriction—and FTC weighed in with its support, to the consternation of conventional doctors in the state. Happily, the bill passed.
The battle continues. “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must…undergo the fatigue of supporting it,” Thomas Paine famously wrote. We must stay vigilant and assert our constitutional rights whenever they are in danger of being taken away from us.