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of So. California

551 So. Kingsley Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Telephone: 213 383-5702

I support the goals of the WCTU. Please find enclosed:

1. My check for $10.00

2. My signed Pledge of abstinence.


"I hereby solemnly promise, God helping me,
to abstain from all distilled, fermented, and malt liquors,
including beer, wine, and hard cider, and to
employ all proper means to discourage
the use of and traffic in the same."

Date: ____________________

Name: ________________________________________

Street Address: _________________________________

City, State, Zip: _________________ ____ __________

Telephone No. (______)___________-_______________

Email: _____________________@_________________

Please enroll me as a member of the WCTU.
My check or money order is enclosed.


(Copy & Paste to Word Processing Program; Print, Sign & Mail)



What the WCTU is all about.

Paul Scott spoke in a 2 second-interview, against alcohol.


STATE: WCTU of Southern California:!




President: Tillie Sakai

Vice President: MADELL LANDRUM

Treasurer: Leah Digman

Recording Secretary: Linda Hamby

Promotion Director: Leticia Petty


Christian Outreach:  Linda Hamby

Education: Laura McCormick

Home Protection: Diane Kerchner

Social Service: Tillie Sakai

Promotion Director: Leticia Petty

Public Relations:



Online Resources


Gateways to Better Education

Religious Freedom Day



Bible Literacy Project


National Day OF PRAYER
(first Thursday in May)









Terry Ingram

Vice President: Tillie Sakai

Treasurer: Leah Digman

Recording Secretary: Linda Hamby

Madell Landrum

At Large:

Diane Kerchner
Alice Peterson
Diane Kerchner
Chaplin Bobbie Walker
Colleen Wilson






National WCTU:


National WCTU


July 24 thru 27, 2017

NWCTU Convention, Red Lion Inn, Harrisburg, PA

















Subject: Arlington WCTU

I was very happy to find your website. I was doing some genealogy research and stumbled upon it. One of your pictures titled "Arlington WCTU" was a photograph of one of my relatives. Her name was Bertha J. McNicholl. Bertha was the wife of Oscar McNicholl. Oscar and my great grandfather Hugh McNicholl were brothers. I am from Massachusetts and do not know much about Arlington and Riverside, California but would love to find out more about these towns. Would your organization have any more info on the McNicholl family?" [Ref: wctusocal.com, Archives Section]


(Also see the links at the end of the Contact Section.)


"Even a drink a day boosts cancer death risk, alcohol study finds

By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News


"The first update of alcohol-linked cancer deaths in the U.S. in three decades shows that booze can be blamed for nearly 20,000 deaths a year -- and it’s not just the heavy drinkers.

Certainly those who downed three or more drinks a day accounted for most of the deaths from seven kinds of cancer, up to 60 percent, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

But consuming just 1.5 drinks a day -- or less -- was associated with up to 35 percent of those cancer deaths, suggesting that any alcohol use carries some risk.

“For non-drinkers, it’s another reason to feel happy they don’t drink,” said Dr. Timothy Naimi, the study’s director and an associate professor at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health.  “For drinkers, it shows that when it comes to cancer, the less you drink, the better.”

The study, conducted in conjunction with researchers from the U.S., Canada and France, used recent data and studies on alcohol consumption and cancer mortality to provide a long-delayed update on alcohol-related cancer deaths in America.

The researchers determined that alcohol accounted for about 3.5 percent of the more than 577,000 cancer deaths in the U.S. each year, or about 19,500 cases. That's about what scientists thought it was, but no one had checked for 30 years. 

Breast cancer accounted for most alcohol-related cancer deaths in women, about 15 percent of all breast cancer deaths, or some 6,000 cases a year, the study found. In men, cancers of the mouth and throat were the most common cause of alcohol-related cancer deaths, also with about 6,000 cases a year.

Despite the numbers, the link between alcohol and cancer death is not well-known or appreciated, the researchers say.
The total number of alcohol-related cancer deaths is more than the 15,500 deaths a year from ovarian cancer, or the 9,180 deaths from melanoma skin cancer, but it receives much less attention and advocacy than other risk factors, they say.

“I just don’t think there’s enough attention across the board, from physicians or public health,” said Dr. David Nelson, a study co-author and a director of cancer prevention at the National Cancer Institute. “It’s missing in plain sight.”

Part of that may be reluctance on all sides to address the health effects of alcohol use in a country where more than 65 percent of adults are either regular or occasional drinkers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s hard to talk about something that a lot of people are pretty familiar with,” Nelson said. “It can be uncomfortable.”
Indeed, the cancer findings are likely to be a buzzkill for people who thought they were off the hook for health risks from moderate drinking. Several studies have suggested that those who imbibe “moderately’’ -- up to one drink a day for women, up to two for men -- may boost their heart health, cut cholesterol, and avoid diabetes.

“We love hearing about studies that say that wine and chocolate and sex are good for us,” said Naimi. “And we’ve always been in search of snake oil.”

(In the U.S., a drink is generally regarded as one 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.)

The new study focuses solely on alcohol and cancer deaths and doesn’t venture into the long-simmering debate about the possible benefits of moderate drinking, added Naimi, who is an expert in the area.

“Anything that’s a leading cause of death is not a good preventive agent,” Naimi added.
But Eric Rimm, an associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health said while the new study provides a valuable update of alcohol's effect on cancer deaths, it doesn't change his mind about the positive effects of moderate drinking on heart disease.

"I think they've pooh-poohed the heart benefits, which is as strong as any evidence can be," Rimm said, noting that studies have shown that those who don't drink have a 50 percent higher risk of heart attack than those who do. "I don't think it can be pooh-poohed," he said.
Naimi countered that studies that show benefits from moderate alcohol use are potentially flawed because they compare non-drinkers and drinkers, who may be healthy -- or not -- for other reasons than alcohol use. Non-drinkers may abstain because of existing health problems, for instance, while moderate drinkers might have other factors, such as education, wealth and lifestyle choices that boost their health independent of alcohol. Besides, there’s never been a “gold standard” study that addresses the issue, Naimi said.
But other advocates of the health effects of moderate drinking acknowledge that when it comes to alcohol, less is better.

“When I talk about heart-healthy diets, my first words are not, ‘Have a glass of wine,’” said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of the women and heart disease program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

She says she has been known to recommend having a glass of wine with dinner, but “we can certainly get the health benefits from other places and other foods.”

No one should start drinking because of any perceived health benefits of alcohol, and more people should be aware of the risks, including cancer, the experts agreed.

“Why can’t people enjoy their glass of wine without twisting it into a health panacea?” Naimi said."




"Alcoholics Can Help Reverse Bone Loss
by Exercising and Quitting Drinking

Alcoholics can help reverse bone loss that results from their addiction by quitting drinking and engaging in exercise, a new study suggests.
Excessive consumption of alcohol disrupts the process of bone renewal, called remodeling, according to HealthDay. This can lead to osteoporosis. The study found that stopping drinking for just eight weeks can help reduce this disruption.

The study included 53 men being treated for alcoholism, who underwent bone density tests, and had blood drawn at the beginning of the study and two months later. They also answered questions about their physical activity. The researchers found that although bone mineral density is reduced in alcoholic men, the negative effect of alcohol on bone formation can be reduced in as little as eight weeks.

The researchers noted that bone formation can be improved, but not fully restored, in that short period. “Recovery after long-term alcoholism takes months and probably years,” lead researcher Sergei Mechtcheriakov of the Medical University Innsbruck in Austria, said in a news release. “We need better understanding of these processes in order to be able to conceive better rehabilitation programs.”

The study also suggested that physical activity has a protective effect on the bones. Mechtcheriakov noted that the study adds to evidence that treatment programs should include long-term moderate physical activity regimens. The study appears in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research."

[By JoinTogether.com Staff]


"Frequent Marijuana Use in Teens and Young Adults Can Affect the Brain: Researcher


August 13th, 2014

Using marijuana at least once a week can lead to cognitive decline, poor attention and memory and decreased IQ in teens and young adults, according to researchers at the American Psychological Association annual meeting.

Krista Lisdahl, Director of the Brain Imaging and Neuropsychology Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, noted that 6.5 percent of high school seniors reported smoking marijuana daily, up from 2.4 percent in 1993. Among young adults ages 18 to 25, almost one-third said they had used marijuana in the last month, Lisdahl noted in a news release. She said a 2012 study found people who have become addicted to marijuana can lose an average of six IQ points by adulthood.

“It needs to be emphasized that regular cannabis use, defined here as once a week, is not safe and may result in addiction and neurocognitive damage, especially in youth,” Lisdahl wrote in a study she so-authored in the journal Current Addiction Reports.

Lisdahl noted that brain imaging studies of regular marijuana users have shown significant changes in their brain structure, especially among teenagers. USA Today reports Lisdahl said abnormalities in the brain’s gray matter, which is associated with intelligence, have been found in 16- to 19-year-olds who increased their marijuana use in the past year.

A study of more than 17,000 teenagers in Montana, co-authored by Bettina Friese of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in California, found people’s acceptance of legalized medical marijuana use appears to have an effect on teens’ perception of the drug’s risks. The study found marijuana smoking was more common in counties where larger numbers of people had voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2004. “People don’t perceive it as a very harmful substance, and these community norms translate to teens,” Friese said. “From the teen study, they do reference legalization: ‘If it was that bad a drug, they wouldn’t be trying to legalize it.’"


[From Join Together Staff]



"Drinking Can Lead to Increased Social Stress and Poor Grades in Teens

"Alcohol consumption can lead to increased social stress and poor grades in teens, a new study shows. Teens who drink are more likely than their non-drinking peers to feel like social outcasts, according to HealthDay.

Social isolation that comes with drinking is most evident in schools that have tight cliques and fewer student drinkers. This suggests that teens who drink feel like outcasts when they are not with other drinkers, the University of Texas researchers said.

They looked at data from a national survey of almost 8,300 teens at 126 schools. They found a direct connection between teens’ feelings of isolation and worse grades.

“This finding doesn’t imply that drinkers would be better off in schools in which peer networks are tightly organized around drinking,” study co-author Robert Crosnoe said in a journal news release. “Instead, the results suggest that we need to pay attention to youth in problematic school environments in general, but also to those who may have trouble in seemingly positive school environments.”

The study is published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior."

[By Join Together Staff: Filed in Alcohol, Research & Youth]

7.5 Million Children in U.S. Live With Alcoholic Parent

A new government report finds 7.5 million children in the United States—10.5 percent—live with a parent who has experienced an alcohol use disorder in the past year.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 6.1 million of these children live with two parents, one or both of whom have experienced an alcohol use disorder in the past year.

The other 1.4 million children live in a single-parent home, with a parent who has had an alcohol use disorder in the same time period, Reuters reports. Of these children, 1.1 million lived in households headed by a female.

The report was released in conjunction with Children of Alcoholics Week, February 12-18, 2012.
Children who live with a parent with an alcohol use disorder are at a greater risk for depression, anxiety disorders, problems with cognitive and verbal skills, and parental abuse or neglect, according to SAMHSA. They are also four times more likely than other children to develop alcohol problems themselves, the agency notes.

“The enormity of this public health problem goes well beyond these tragic numbers as studies have shown that the children of parents with untreated alcohol disorders are at far greater risk for developing alcohol and other problems later in their lives,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release.

[From Join Together.com]

"17 Attorneys General Call on Pabst to Stop Marketing Blast to Young Drinkers



Calling the new fruity alcoholic drink Blast by Colt 45 “binge-in-a-can,” 17 attorneys general are asking the drink’s maker, Pabst Brewing Co., to stop marketing the beverage to underage drinkers and to significantly reduce the number of servings of alcohol in each can."

[Join Together at The Partnership at drugfree.org]


"Alcohol kills more than AIDS, TB or violence: WHO

By Stephanie Nebehay Stephanie Nebehay

"GENEVA (Reuters) – Alcohol causes nearly 4 percent of deaths worldwide, more than AIDS, tuberculosis or violence, the World Health Organization warned on Friday.

Rising incomes have triggered more drinking in heavily populated countries in Africa and Asia, including India and South Africa, and binge drinking is a problem in many developed countries, the United Nations agency said.

Yet alcohol control policies are weak and remain a low priority for most governments despite drinking's heavy toll on society from road accidents, violence, disease, child neglect and job absenteeism, it said.

Approximately 2.5 million people die each year from alcohol related causes, the WHO said in its "Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health."

"The harmful use of alcohol is especially fatal for younger age groups and alcohol is the world's leading risk factor for death among males aged 15-59," the report found.

In Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), every fifth death is due to harmful drinking, the highest rate.

Binge drinking, which often leads to risky behavior, is now prevalent in Brazil, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Ukraine, and rising elsewhere, according to the WHO.

"Worldwide, about 11 percent of drinkers have weekly heavy episodic drinking occasions, with men outnumbering women by four to one. Men consistently engage in hazardous drinking at much higher levels than women in all regions," the report said.

Health ministers from the WHO's 193 member states agreed last May to try to curb binge drinking and other growing forms of excessive alcohol use through higher taxes on alcoholic drinks and tighter marketing restrictions.


Alcohol is a causal factor in 60 types of diseases and injuries, according to WHO's first report on alcohol since 2004.

Its consumption has been linked to cirrhosis of the liver, epilepsy, poisonings, road traffic accidents, violence, and several types of cancer, including cancers of the colorectum, breast, larynx and liver.

"Six or seven years ago we didn't have strong evidence of a causal relationship between drinking and breast cancer. Now we do," Vladimir Poznyak, head of WHO's substance abuse unit who coordinated the report, told Reuters.

Alcohol consumption rates vary greatly, from high levels in developed countries, to the lowest in North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and southern Asia, whose large Muslim populations often abstain from drinking.

Homemade or illegally produced alcohol -- falling outside governmental controls and tax nets -- accounts for nearly 30 percent of total worldwide adult consumption. Some is toxic.

In France and other European countries with high levels of adult per capita consumption, heavy episodic drinking is rather low, suggesting more regular but moderate drinking patterns.

Light to moderate drinking can have a beneficial impact on heart disease and stroke, according to the WHO. "However, the beneficial cardio-protective effect of drinking disappears with heavy drinking occasions," it said.

One of the most effective ways to curb drinking, especially among young people, is to raise taxes, the report said. Setting age limits for buying and consuming alcohol, and regulating alcohol levels in drivers, also reduce abuse if enforced.

Some countries restrict marketing of alcoholic beverages or on the industry's sponsorship of sporting events.

"Yet not enough countries use these and other effective policy options to prevent death, disease and injury attributable to alcohol consumption," the WHO said.

Alcohol producers including Diageo and Anheuser Busch InBev have said they recognize the importance of industry self-regulation to address alcohol abuse and promote curbs on drunk drinking and illegal underage drinking.

But the brewer SABMiller has warned that policy measures like minimum pricing and high excise taxes on alcohol could cause more public health harm than good by leading more people to drink homemade or illegally produced alcohol."

[from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110211/hl_nm/us_alcohol]


"Relaxed Attitudes Toward Alcohol And Youth
May Increase Risk Of Binge Drinking In College

"Should parents allow their teenage children to drink alcohol? Restaurants in Germany can legally sell alcohol to a teenager after his sixteenth birthday, and French children drink wine with dinner in the home starting at an early age. But U.S. parents who try to follow this relaxed European example, believing it fosters a healthier attitude towards alcohol, should be careful about giving alcohol to their children -- it may increase the likelihood that they binge drink in college.

That's the latest finding of researcher Caitlin Abar of the Prevention Research and Methodology Center at Pennsylvania State University. At this year's meeting of the Society for Prevention Research, she suggested that parents practice a zero-tolerance policy in the home and said that there is no scientific basis to the common belief that prohibiting alcohol turns it into a "forbidden fruit" and encourages abuse.

In 31 states, parents can legally serve alcohol to their underage children. Though U.S. teenagers drink less often than adults, they tend to drink more at a time -- on average, five drinks in a sitting -- according to Ralph Hingson of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. About 87 percent of college students try alcohol, and 40 percent say that they regularly engage in some type of binge drinking.

To see if parents prohibiting alcohol might be an underlying cause of binge drinking, Abar surveyed almost 300 college freshmen and compared their drinking habits to their parents' attitudes towards alcohol. Those students whose parents never allowed them to drink -- about half of the group -- were significantly less likely to drink heavily in college, regardless of gender.

Moreover, "the greater number of drinks that a parent had set as a limit for the teens, the more often they drank and got drunk in college," said Abar. Whether the parents themselves drank, on the other hand, had little effect on predicting their children's behaviors.

Further research is needed to confirm the preliminary study, said Abar. For one thing, she did not separate students who specifically drank with their parents at meals from those whose parents allowed their children to drink both inside and outside of the house.

A previous study in 2004 by Kristie Foley of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina showed that teenagers who received alcohol from their parents for parties were up to three times more likely to binge drink within a month, while those who drank only with the family were less likely to binge. So the context in which a parent provides alcohol may be

The difference could also be due to some other factor -- parents who prohibit their children from drinking may simply provide more structure in general, for example.

Furthermore, the sample of college students is not necessarily representative of the entire U.S. population, said Alexander Wagenaar, a social epidemiologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville who has charted the effects of raising the drinking age for nearly three decades. The survey group in Abar's sample was composed almost entirely of white students who lived on campus.

Wagenaar finds the data convincing, though, because previous research uncovered a similar effect in low-income African-American and Hispanic students. A 2007 study of 1,388 children by Kelli Komro of the University of Florida showed that schoolchildren who were permitted alcohol in the home by their parents in sixth grade were up to three times more likely to get drunk and almost twice as likely to drink heavily (five or more drinks) at ages 12-14.

Researcher Margaret Kerr of Orebro University in Sweden discussed her own experimental evidence in favor of prohibiting alcohol in the home. She and her colleagues have designed a no-drinking intervention program that, in a pilot study published in a scientific journal earlier this year, cut teen drunkenness by 35 percent."

[From ScienceDaily]

“Kids See Smoking as Riskier than Alcohol or Other Drug Use”

“About 70 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds see great risk in smoking a pack of cigarettes or more daily, compared to 40 percent who saw great risk in binge drinking and about 34 percent who perceived great risk in smoking marijuana monthly, according to research from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The report, drawn from findings in the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, also found that roughly half of adolescents believed that using cocaine monthly or trying LSD once or twice was very risky.
Researchers said that while risk perception was relatively constant across age groups when it come to smoking, it varied more widely in regards to other substances.

"We are on the right track with cigarette smoking and need to keep raising awareness among teens about the dangers of other substances," said SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde. "Understanding that perception of harm is a strong predictor of potential substance use among young people can help guide the development of substance prevention messages."

[from jointogether.com]

"Binge Drinking Affects Even Sober Brain, Study Finds

Research Summary

Self-reported binge drinkers performed worse on cognitive tests compared to non-bingers, even when they were sober, the Los Angeles Times reported Aug. 11.

Researchers at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain said the findings hinted that binge drinking could affect the brain in ways similar to that observed among alcoholics.

"We found that healthy young university students -- meaning those with no alcohol use disorder, alcohol dependence or associated psychiatric disorders -- who engaged in binge drinking showed anomalies during the execution of a task involving visual working memory, despite correct execution of the task, in comparison with young non binge drinkers. They required greater attentional processing during the task in order to carry it out correctly," said researcher Alberto Crego. "Healthy adolescents and young people who partake in intermittent consumption of large amounts of alcohol -- otherwise known as binge drinking -- even only once or twice a week, and who do not display chronic alcohol consumption or alcohol dependence may nonetheless suffer alterations at the electrophysiological level in attentional and working memory processing."

The study, which compared 42 binge drinkers to 53 other students, was published online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

This article summarizes an external report or press release on research published in a scientific journal. When available, links to the sources are provided above." [from jointogether.com]

"Alcoholism Among Pre-Teens Often Unnoticed, Untreated

"News Summary

Most alcoholics start drinking during their teen years, but the disease can also strike those who begin using alcohol at a younger age -- and the problem often goes unrecognized, experts say.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported July 16 that Mary Brennan of suburban Chicago began drinking at age 10 with friends of her older brother; by 15, she was bringing vodka to school in Gatorade bottles and getting drunk every day. Her father, a single parent, didn't recognize the problem, even after she overdosed and nearly died.

The underage-drinking rate in the U.S. has remained steady in recent years, but some research indicates that youths are starting to drink at a younger age. One study, from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, concluded that about 10 percent of nine-year-olds had consumed more than a sip of alcohol. And research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism indicates that children who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to have drinking problems than those who start drinking at age 21 or later.

"A third of kids ages 12 to 17 had their first drink before 13," said Susan Foster, director of policy research for the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. "That's about 6.4 million kids, many more than there have been historically. Very young drinkers are a huge concern."

"We've received calls from parents of kids as young as 8," said Cole Rucker, CEO and cofounder of the Echo Malibu treatment center. "Every year, alcohol use shows up in younger and younger kids."

Young drinkers often get started with alcohol use by getting drinks from friends or family liquor cabinets. Polls have shown that youths ages 13 and up say it is easy to get alcohol from adults -- and sometimes their own parents, who may themselves have drinking problems.

"The traditional thinking is that risk factors for alcohol abuse show up in adolescence," said Robert A. Zucker, Ph.D., director of the Addiction Research Center at the University of Michigan. "But, actually, they can show up earlier -- in children 9 or younger, even in preschoolers."

Few treatment programs exist for very young alcoholics, who rarely get adequate services, such as intensive inpatient care."

[from jointogether.com]


"Alcohol's Effect on the Brain is Rapid, Detrimental

Researchers at Heidelberg University in Germany have found that it takes only six minutes for a change in brain cells to occur after drinking the equivalent of about three glasses of beer or two glasses of wine, Science Daily reported June 15.

Researchers gave 15 healthy subjects (eight male and seven female) enough alcohol to produce a blood alcohol level of 0.05 to 0.06 percent -- sufficient to impair driving but not severe intoxication.

Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), the researchers found that the concentration of creatine, a substance that protects brain cells, decreased as the amount of alcohol increased. Chloine, a component of cell membranes, was also reduced. Lead author Armin Biller of Heidelberg's Department of Neuroradiology said that the reduction in chloine probably indicated that alcohol triggered changes in the composition of cell membranes.

The researchers also found that the day after the subjects had consumed alcohol, their brain metabolism had reverted to what it had been prior to the experiment. However, Armin warned that, "The brain's ability to recover from the effect of alcohol decreases or is eliminated as the consumption of alcohol increases. The acute effects demonstrated in our study could possibly form the basis for the permanent brain damage that is known to occur in alcoholics. This should be clarified in future studies."

The study found no differences between male and female subjects, suggesting that the brains of female and male subjects reacted to alcohol consumption the same way.

This study was published online in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism." [from jointogether.com]

"Even Patients with Severe Liver Problems Benefit from Abstinence

"Abstinence from alcohol has a more profound effect on survival rates than the degree of cirrhosis among patients with alcohol-related liver disease, according to researchers who said that stopping drinking at any stage will benefit liver patients.

Science Daily reported April 15 that drinking status was the most important factor in determining the long-term survival of patients with alcohol-related liver disease. Patients who quit drinking within a month of being diagnosed with cirrhosis, for example, had a 72-percent chance of surviving for seven years, compared to 44 percent for those who continued to drink.

"This study clearly confirms the commonsense knowledge amongst hepatologists that the single most important determinant of long-term prognosis in alcohol-induced cirrhosis is for the patient to stop drinking," said lead researcher Nick Sheron of the University of Southampton and Southampton General Hospital in the U.K. "At the most simplistic level, the successful management of alcohol-induced liver disease comprises two components; firstly to keep the patient alive long enough for them to stop drinking and secondly to maximize their chances of continued abstinence."

The study was published in the journal Addiction." [from jointogether.com]

"A Drink a Day May Increase Your Cancer Risk


Consuming as little as one alcoholic drink per day may increase the risk of several types of cancer in middle-aged women, according to a new study published online yesterday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study involved more than 1.2 million British women, making it the largest study ever to look into the role of alcohol use in women's cancer risk. During the seven-year follow-up period, 68,775 women in the study were diagnosed with cancer. Cancer risk increased as the consumption of alcohol rose, and the kind of alcohol the women drank didn't seem to make a difference. Moderate drinking, the study suggests, accounts for about 13 percent of cancers of the breast, liver, rectum, and upper respiratory/digestive tract in women, HealthDay reports.

Alcohol consumption affects more than cancer risk; in fact, in some women, alcohol may protect against heart disease and fractures—if it's not abused. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis reported last year that alcohol use and alcoholism are on the rise in women, though not in men."



"What Alcohol Does to a Child

"Alcohol and pregnancy don't mix. Fortunately, most women who drink cut their consumption dramatically once they realize they are carrying, and the number of children who develop the severest alcohol-related effects is relatively small: from 0.5 to 2.0 per 1,000 live births in the U.S. But doctors still don't know what harm--if any--comes from light to moderate drinking during pregnancy, which is why they caution expectant mothers not to drink at all.

The wisdom of that advice grows with each new study on the topic, as a paper released last week reminds us. Just one drink a day (12 oz. of beer or 4 oz. of wine) during the first three months of pregnancy is associated with a 2-point drop in overall IQ by the time the child is 10, according to a report in the June issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The effect shows up most clearly in certain visual tasks--like fitting pieces of a puzzle into an empty space--and was strongest among African-American children.

The apparent racial gap is puzzling--and ultimately inconclusive. Although other studies had shown similar effects of moderate drinking among pregnant Caucasian women, this one did not, says Jennifer Willford, a psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and co-author of the report. The gap does not appear to reflect differences in income or drinking patterns, Willford says, since the two groups were comparable in this particular population. And in her previous research, Willford says, she has found problems in learning and memory among 14-year-olds--both black and white--whose mothers drank during pregnancy.

As you might expect, the effects on IQ and cognitive abilities became more pronounced if moms continued to drink throughout their pregnancy or consumed more alcohol. Conversely, the children of women who stopped drinking during pregnancy fared better than those of women who did not.

Of course, to stop drinking during pregnancy, you have to know that you're pregnant in the first place. But as another study in the same issue of Alcoholism points out, younger women are more likely to drink heavily than older women and are more fertile--and therefore more likely to become pregnant.

About 45% of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, says Dr. Raul Caetano of the Dallas campus of the University of Texas School of Public Health, a co-author of the second paper. A month may pass before a woman even realizes she is pregnant. "If you want to drink and you are sexually active, the best thing to do is to use contraception," Caetano says. "That's what I say to my daughter." And the best time to quit drinking is from the moment you--and your partner--decide you would like to conceive a child.

From the Jun. 5, 2006 issue of TIME magazine"
[link sent by Alice Peterson]

FDA, FTC Target Alcoholic Energy Drinks

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) simultaneously notified makers of popular caffeinated alcoholic beverages that such products are unsafe, unapproved, and misleadingly marketed, The Washington Post reported Nov. 17.

Large brewers like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors stopped selling similar caffeinated alcoholic beverages in 2008, after several states’ attorneys general argued that they were unsafe and were inappropriately marketed to young people.

Smaller companies stepped into the breach, marketing drinks such as Core High Gravity, Moonshot, Four Loko, Joose, and Max. The drinks have become popular with young people, especially on college campuses, where they have been dubbed “blackout in a can.”

In Nov. 2009, the FDA sent a letter to about 30 manufacturers of these drinks, stating that the addition of caffeine to alcoholic drinks had not been approved and that it would evaluate its safety. It asked the drink makers to submit information on the safety of caffeine as a food additive.

On Nov. 17, 2010, the FDA notified four companies -- Charge Beverages Corporation, New Century Brewing, Phusion Projects Inc., and United Brands Company, Inc. -- that the addition of caffeine to their alcohol drinks was unapproved and unsafe, effectively making the manufacture and distribution of caffeinated alcoholic beverages illegal.

"There is evidence that the combinations of caffeine and alcohol in these products pose a public health concern," said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, deputy commissioner at the FDA.

The FDA's letters cited recent scientific studies showing that when combined, alcohol and caffeine posed an elevated risk to the health and safety of consumers, especially younger drinkers. In response to criticisms of that research made by United Brands and Phusion Projects, FDA officials wrote that, "[T]here are currently no studies or other information that refute the safety concerns or otherwise affirmatively establish the safety of caffeine directly added to alcoholic beverages."

Simultaneously, the Federal Trade Commission warned the four companies that their marketing practices for the drinks were potentially deceptive.

"Consumers might mistakenly assume that these beverages are safe because they are widely sold," said the FTC's Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, David Vladeck. "In fact, there is good reason to believe that these caffeinated alcohol drinks pose significant risks to consumer health and safety. Consumers -- particularly young, inexperienced drinkers -- may not realize how much alcohol they have consumed because caffeine can mask the sense of intoxication."

The FDA's letters made no mention of recent incidents in four states where young adults were hospitalized or died after consuming caffeinated alcoholic beverages. The FTC letter explicitly cited the incidents as a factor in its decision.

Manufacturers were given 15 days to act, or face seizure of their products or even a court order barring them from selling it.

A day ahead of the FDA and FTC's announcements, on Nov. 16, Phusion Projects Inc. said that it would remove all additives, including caffeine, from its product Four Loko, according to The Boston Globe.

The founders of Phusion Projects stated in a press release that they "still believe, as do many people throughout the country – that the combination of alcohol and caffeine is safe," citing commonly-consumed drinks like rum and cola, or Irish coffee. The press release did not mention the hospitalization incidents that have been linked to the consumption of caffeinated alcoholic beverages.

Phusion Projects' founders added, "[I]f our products were unsafe, we would not have expected the federal agency responsible for approving alcoholic beverage formulas – the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) – to have approved them."

The FDA acknowledged the TTB approvals in its Nov. 17 letters to all four companies, but stated that the matter was unrelated to the need to have food additives approved by the FDA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

[from <http://www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/2010/fda-ftc-aeds.html>]




"Hospital Visits Due to Ecstasy Use
Climb 75 Percent Between 2004 and 2008

Emergency room visits related to use of the illicit drug ecstasy rose 74.8 percent between 2004 and 2008, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), HealthDay News reported March 24.

A new analysis from SAMHSA's Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) showed that ER visits related to use of ecstasy jumped from 10,200 in 2004 to 17,865 in 2008. The drug is addictive, and can cause, "anxiety, agitation, recklessness, increased blood pressure, dehydration, heat stroke, muscle cramping, blurred vision, hyperthermia, heart failure, and kidney failure," according to The DAWN Report released March 24. Use in a crowded dance parties can increase its cardiovascular risks.

"It remains to be determined how severe the long-term neurotoxic effects may be on the brain," said Dr. Lewis Goldfrank, of the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. "There is no reason for anyone to believe that the use of this drug is safe at some dose -- the risk is consequential at any dose."

Most patients -- 69.3 percent – treated for ecstasy use were between the ages of 18 and 29, but 17.9 percent were between the ages of 12 and 17. The majority of patients (77.8 percent) used ecstasy in combination with one other drug (31.3 percent); two other drugs (15.0 percent); three other drugs (14.0 percent); or four or more other drugs (17.5 percent).

The March 24 DAWN Report also noted that trend data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed an increase in ecstasy use among adolescents between 2004 and 2008 (from 1.0 percent to 1.4 percent), as well as young adults (from 3.1 percent to 3.9 percent).

"The resurgence of ecstasy use is cause for alarm that demands immediate attention and action," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. in a press release. "The aggressive prevention efforts being put into place by SAMHSA will help reduce use in states and communities, resulting in less costly emergency department visits related to drug use."

[from Join Together]



"Using Bath Salts: Playing Russian Roulette With Your Brain, Expert Says
By Celia Vimont

| January 15, 2013: Using the designer drugs known as “bath salts” is like playing Russian roulette with your brain, according to an expert at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Michael H. Baumann, PhD, Chief of the Designer Drug Research Unit at NIDA’s Intramural Research Program, recently published a study that explains how bath salts cause dangerous effects in the brain.

“People using bath salts can’t be sure about what psychoactive chemicals are present in them, and studies have shown that ingredients on the label often are not present in the products,” he says.

The active ingredients in bath salts that have been identified thus far are structurally similar to cathinone, which is a naturally occurring stimulant found in the khat plant, explains Dr. Baumann. In a rodent study recently published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, he and his colleagues reported that synthetic cathinones disrupt the transport of the brain chemical dopamine, thereby causing large spikes in the amount of dopamine outside of nerve cells. Dopamine is implicated in the pleasurable effects of drugs, as well as their potential for abuse. “When a drug causes increases in dopamine, people will want to take that drug repeatedly,” he says. The study found a bath salt ingredient, MDPV, is 10 to 50 times more potent than cocaine in its ability to increase dopamine in the brain.

Emergency rooms around the country have reported cases of people taking bath salts who become psychotic, violent and delirious. These patients also may have a very high body temperature. Some people have died from bath salts use.

Data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers indicate that calls due to bath salts dropped from January to November 2012, though Dr. Baumann notes the data for the year are not yet complete. “If it is indeed the case that bath salts calls are declining, perhaps it is because of all the publicity about these substances being quite dangerous,” he says.

Dr. Baumann also notes government action may be playing an important role in the decrease in bath salts calls. In the fall of 2011, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced a temporary ban on three synthetic stimulants sold as bath salts—mephedrone, methylone and MDPV. The ban made it illegal to possess and sell these chemicals or the products that contain them. In July 2012, President Obama signed legislation that permanently bans a number of synthetic drugs including mephedrone and MDPV.

A troubling trend is the availability of newer, similar compounds that chemists are devising to replace the banned substances, Dr. Baumann observes. “This cat-and-mouse game is likely to continue,” he says. It is possible some of these newer compounds may no longer be called bath salts, and are thus not showing up in the poison control data.

Much is still not known about bath salts, such as how they interact with alcohol and other illicit drugs. Scientists also don’t know what happens when several different cathinone products are mixed, or the long-term effect of bath salts use.

Bath salts are dangerous,” Dr. Baumann says. “We don’t know a lot about how they affect the body, and there is no quality control in their manufacture or packaging. There’s just no way of knowing what byproducts or toxic impurities are in these products.”

For the latest information about bath salts, visit the NIDA website."

[From: <drugfree.org/join-together>]

Connie Bennett & Laura McCormick
San Diego WCTU


BATH SALTS: A new designer drug known as “bath salts” has become increasingly popular and increasingly scary. The people who make these things have skirted the laws that make these types of things illegal. While several states have banned the sale of bath salts, ultimately it will have to be a federal law that labels these as a schedule 1 drug, which means it has no medicinal value but a high potential for abuse, and declare them illegal." Make no mistake: These are not bath salts like those you would use in your bath but by marketing these as bath salts and labeling them ‘not for human consumption,’ they have been able to avoid them being specifically enumerated as illegal.” Though they come in powder and crystal form like traditional bath salts — hence their name — they differ in one crucial way: they are used as recreational drugs. People typically snort, inject or smoke them.

SPICE/K2: According to former San Diego Sheriff’s Deputy William Perno (co-founder of PASS, People Against Spice Sales), “the herbal incense products, known as “Spice,” are being sold in flavors like cotton candy, juicy fruit and pineapple express, making them more attractive to children.” He went on to explain that “it’s not marijuana and it’s not synthetic marijuana. It is a unknown toxic chemical that’s sprayed on anything that is flammable. These drugs are dangerous, if not more dangerous, than cocaine, crystal meth, LSD, and PCP.” The drugs started turning up regularly in the United States last year and have proliferated in recent months, alarming doctors, who say they have unusually dangerous and long-lasting effects.


San Diego WCTU


Ecstasy May Cause Long-Lasting Changes in the Brain, Study Suggests

Ecstasy may produce long-lasting changes in brain chemistry, a new study suggests. The drug can cause a drop in the levels of the brain chemical serotonin for up to two years, according to HealthDay. Serotonin is involved in regulating mood, appetite, sleep, learning and memory.

“We’ve always known that ecstasy produced transient effects, but with the suggestion that there would be recovery over time,” study co-author Dr. Ronald Cowan of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s School of Medicine told HealthDay. “But here we find that these effects may be sustained over time with no evidence of reversal.” He noted the study found an association between the drug and the drop in serotonin, but did not prove Ecstasy caused the decrease.

The study included 24 women, including 14 who used Ecstasy between three to four years. The researchers used brain scans to determine the number of brain receptors for serotonin. The receptor levels increase as serotonin levels go down, the article notes. The women who took Ecstasy had higher receptor levels than those who did not take the drug, suggesting women who used the drug had a drop in serotonin levels.

The more Ecstasy the women took, the higher their receptor levels, the researchers report in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

[From Join Together.com]

Parents, Officials Protest Marijuana-Shaped Candy

Filed in Community Related, Drugs, Marketing And Media, Parenting, Prevention & Youth
Parents and officials are protesting the appearance of candy shaped like marijuana leaves in stores around the country. The candy, labeled “Pothead Ring Pots,” and “Pothead Lollipops,” are made by Kalan LP, a novelty supply company based in Landsdowne, Pennsylvania.

The candy is being sold in 1,000 stores nationwide, according to the Associated Press. Andrew Kalan, president of the company, says the candy promotes the legalization of marijuana.

An angry parent in Buffalo, New York, brought the candy to the attention of the City Council. One Council member said he would refuse to grant licenses to stores in his district that sold the candy, as well as the synthetic marijuana known as K2.

The marijuana-shaped candy does not contain any illegal ingredients, according to the AP. The packaging contains the word “Legalize” and shows someone smoking marijuana.

“It’s the whole idea that it promotes drugs and the idea that, here, you’ll look cool if you use this — which is what gets these kids in trouble in the very first place,” said Jodie Altman, Program Supervisor at Renaissance House, a treatment center for drug- and alcohol-addicted youth near Buffalo.
Hershey stopped making Ice Breakers Pacs in 2008, after police in Philadelphia said the candy looked too much like bags used to sell powdered drugs.

[By Join Together Staff : from Join Together]


"Internet Gamblers More Likely to Use Alcohol, Marijuana
Than Offline Gamblers

"People who engage in Internet gambling, such as online poker, are more likely to use alcohol and marijuana than those who gamble offline, a new study suggests.

Online gamblers also were found to be involved in more types of gambling, and spent more money and time playing, PsychCentral.com reports.

Researchers from Concordia University in Montreal studied 8,456 offline-only gamblers and 111 people who gambled both online and offline. Participants were asked how often they gambled in the past year, how much money and time they spent gambling on a typical occasion, and
how much alcohol and marijuana they used.

In a news release, lead researcher Sylvia Kairouz said it is not known whether Internet gambling creates substance abuse problems, or whether those who already have addictive behaviors are more likely to gamble online. “We need to conduct more research looking at individual characteristics, environmental conditions, the object of the addiction (poker, for example) and so on to help us understand whether this group is more at risk for gambling- related problems. The hope would be to ultimately find ways to identify who the people at risk are, why they are at risk and then try to develop preventive measures to reduce the possibility of excessive online gambling.”

The study appears in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking."

[From Join-Together.com]




"E-cigarette explosion hospitalizes Collier man
by Jennifer Jones

“ The family of a man is warning others about the dangers of electronic cigarettes.

“Evan Spahlinger, 21, is in critical condition at a Miami hospital after he was badly burned Monday morning when his e-cigarette blew up.

He was laying in bed with my 2-year-old and I heard an explosion, then I started smelling burning, smoke and fire, said Ema Richardson, who says she found her brother on the floor.

Spahlinger was covered in soot after the e-cigarette he was smoking exploded in his face.
“I found my brother not breathing, with his whole face burned and his neck burned and trying to throw up a little or maybe he was gasping for air, so I called 911,” said Richardson.

Spahlinger was rushed to NCH Downtown Naples Hospital before he was flown to a Miami hospital for treatment. Richardson said he’s in a medically induced coma so he’s not in pain.

They said he has internal and external burns and damage to his lungs from the explosion itself. And possibly the mouth piece went, when the cigarette exploded, it went down his throat and exploded again.

North Collier Fire & Rescue is investigating the incident. They tell WINK News the explosion was likely caused by the lithium battery.

Richardson said her brother will never smoke e-cigarettes again.

He said, “I’m done, that’s it.” That’s the only thing he said. Luckily I was here, it was the most traumatic experience I think of my life. She hopes others will learn from her brother’s story. We want people to know the risk and dangers. Had Evan of known, maybe he wouldn’t have chosen to smoke the electronic cigarette.

WINK News did some digging and found several stories where batteries from e-cigarettes exploded. A jury just awarded a California woman nearly $2 million after her e-cigarette exploded and left her with serious burns.”



Cancer Risk Falls 70 Percent When Smokers Quit

A study of half a million adults concludes that quitting smoking lowers your risk of dying from lung cancer by 70 percent, researchers say.

The George Institute for International Health reported that the Asia-Pacific Cohort Studies Collaboration also found that the risk of dying from lung cancer was about 20 times higher among female smokers than among men.

"If interventions only focus on prevention, then 160 million current smokers will die before 2050, with the vast majority of deaths occurring in China," warned lead researcher Rachel Huxley, director of The George Institute's nutrition and lifestyle program. "There are huge numbers of lives to be saved through campaigns to alert current smokers to the dangers of their habit. Effective action in Asia would help to head off a significant part of the projected one billion deaths from smoking that will otherwise occur around the world this century."

The study was published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Huxley, R., et al. (2007) Impact of Smoking and Smoking Cessation on Lung Cancer Mortality in the Asia-Pacific Region. American Journal of Epidemiology, doi: 10.1093/aje/kwm002. [from jointogether.com]


"WHO: Secondhand Smoke Kills 600,000 a Year

"In the first such global study of its kind, the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that one out of a hundred deaths each year worldwide is caused by secondhand smoke exposure, amounting to about 600,000 deaths a year, Reuters reported Nov. 26.

Overall, 47% of deaths from second-hand smoke occurred in women, 28% in children, and 26% in men.

Researchers led by Dr. Annette Prüss-Üstün of the WHO's Public Health and the Environment Department based their findings on comparative risk assessments from 192 countries, during 2004 -- when data were sufficient to assess exposure to secondhand smoke.

Children were most likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke, usually at home. Approximately 165,000 children died per year as a result. Hardest hit were children in poor and middle-income countries, particularly those in Africa and Asia, where infectious disease and tobacco exposure combined to have the deadliest impact on child mortality.

Conversely, deaths from passive smoking among adults were spread evenly across countries, regardless of living standards.

Prüss-Üstün hoped the findings would serve as a catalyst for countries to enforce the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a global initiative aimed at reducing the burden of tobacco-related disease by increasing taxes on tobacco products, banning tobacco advertising, eliminating smoking in public places, and making packs less commercially attractive.

"Policy-makers should bear in mind that enforcing complete smoke-free laws will probably substantially reduce the number of deaths attributable to exposure to second-hand smoke within the first year of its implementation, with accompanying reduction in costs of illness in social and health systems," she said.

The study was published online in the Lancet Nov. 26."

[from: http://www.jointogether.org/news/research/summaries/2010/passive-smoking-kills.html]


"Cutting Sugar from Kids’ Diets Improves Health in ‘Just Days’

“Children who reduced their sugar intake saw a reversal of chronic metabolic diseases in as little as 10 days, according to a new study. “Writing in the journal Obesity, researchers at the University of California San Francisco and Touro University California say the reversals of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other metabolic diseases occurred without reducing calorie intake or weight loss.

“This study definitively shows that sugar is metabolically harmful not because of its calories or its effects on weight; rather sugar is metabolically harmful because it’s sugar,” said lead author Robert Lustig, M.D., MSL, pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, in a statement.

Reducing childrens' intake of sugar can lead to improved health in a matter of days, according to new research.

“This internally controlled intervention study is a solid indication that sugar contributes to metabolic syndrome, and is the strongest evidence to date that the negative effects of sugar are not because of calories or obesity.”

Jean-Marc Schwarz, Ph.D., of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University California and senior author of the paper called the findings “striking” and underscored the importance for parents to monitor their children’s sugar intake.

The study monitored 43 children aged between nine and 18 who had “at least one other chronic metabolic disorder.” They were given nine days’ worth of food that restricted sugar and added starch to maintain fat, protein, carbohydrate and calorie levels as they were eating before the experiment. Total sugar intake was “from 28 to 10 percent, and fructose from 12 to 4 percent of total calories, respectively.”

Researchers say the food substitutions were “kid food” such as turkey hot dogs, potato chips and pizza in place of sugary cereals, pastries and sweetened yogurt.

“When we took the sugar out, the kids started responding to their satiety cues,” said Schwarz. “They told us it felt like so much more food, even though they were consuming the same number of calories as before, just with significantly less sugar. Some said we were overwhelming them with food.”

Impressive results

The results were impressive, seeing drops in blood pressure, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol. Live function also appeared to improve.

“All of the surrogate measures of metabolic health got better, just by substituting starch for sugar in their processed food, all without changing calories or weight or exercise,” said Lustig."

“This study demonstrates that ‘a calorie is not a calorie.’ Where those calories come from determines where in the body they go. Sugar calories are the worst, because they turn to fat in the liver, driving insulin resistance, and driving risk for diabetes, heart, and liver disease. This has enormous implications for the food industry, chronic disease, and health care costs.”

[voanews.com; nbcnews.com]



[This subsection is for WCTU members who wish to contact their elected officials.]


1. Contact your elected official:

So. Calif. WCTU:

Legislative / Citizenship Director Connie Bennett at <sandigo-wctu@cox.net>.

U.S. Congressman:

Write your U.S. Congressman - https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

(or one example below for Glendale, CA)

U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff - Representing California's 29th District - http://schiff.house.gov/HoR/CA29/Contact+Information/Contact+Form.htm

U.S Senator:

United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, California at http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactUS.EmailMe

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer at http://boxer.senate.gov/contact/email/policy.cfm


U.S. President at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

2. Write your concerns about your issue clearly, i.e..

I support legislation that would restrict the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful drugs. Alcohol causes many deaths on highways and much damage to the brain. Tobacco causes lung cancer and many other health problems. Illegal drugs cause much illness, crime and death too.

Please do everything you can to help restrict the consumption of these substances.



3. U.S. Postal Service or Email?

If you do not have a computer and desire So. California State Headquarters to send an email in your name, please contact the Office Manager by phone at 213 383-5702.


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