Two simple questions can diagnose alcoholism in 87% of cases

How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?

As a result of your drinking or drug use, did anything happen in the last year that you wish didn’t happen?

For more see the following links:

The Two Questions That Could Determine If You Have an Alcohol Problem

Accuracy of one or two simple questions to identify alcohol-use disorder in primary care: a meta-analysis

My Mayor, the High-Functioning Alcoholic

fall“I’m not a drug addict. I’m not an alcoholic.” Rob Ford, the mayor.

Say what you want about his politics but there is no denying that the mayor of Toronto is a colorful person. He also is a very polarizing figure as the current media frenzy affirms. Admittedly, my outsider status has allowed me some distance from the full impact of both his politics and the current controversy. Still, it is hard not to be amazed at the circus-like atmosphere surrounding the mayor and the city. There is the video that purportedly shows the mayor smoking a crack pipe. There is the infamous photo of the mayor posing with alleged gang members outside of a crack house. There is the police surveillance of phone calls and surreptitious meetings with an accused drug trafficker behind a school and at a gas station. And, of course, there are the numerous accounts of public intoxication. Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America behind only Mexico City, New York, and Los Angeles. How is it even possible that the mayor of such an important city could be this out of control? Welcome to the absolutely insane world of alcohol and drug addiction.
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Political economy of alcohol

Finally…a little political economic analysis of the alcohol industry. After enduring the boring misery of excessive drinkers in my personal life I decided that at some point in my academic career I would target this industry in my own research. Typically considered beyond reproach, the alcohol industry is particularly predatory. I am happy to see that some critical scholarship is already occurring on the topic. From Hefferman’s article: “Horizontal integration of alcohol production. Vertical integration of distribution and retail. Loosened local regulations. National chain stores. Streamlined marketing. Volume pricing. Alcohol as an ordinary commodity. ….How do you like them apples?” For more see the following link.

The Alcohol Industry’s Plan to Give America a Giant Drinking Problem

Seedbed Part 10

My Thoughts on Alcoholism and Surrender

The drinks don’t taste the same anymore. I used to enjoy long island iced tea. Then it was whiskey. Later on, it was gin and tonic. More recently, it has been rum and coke. But try as I may I just don’t enjoy them like I used to. Although I have never had a problem with drinking myself, I have had my life shattered by alcoholics on two occasions now. Unsurprisingly, my patience for the monotonous, unremarkable, and morose conduct of those who drink excessively is in short supply. Still, part of me struggles to understand the disease of alcoholism which drives some individuals to drink uncontrollably, often hurting the ones they love, subverting their own potential, putting innocents in jeopardy, and destroying their own lives in the process. I drink very seldom these days. Yet I can’t help grappling with alcoholism every time I take a drink. Drinking will never be the same for me.

“If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”
-Bill Hicks Continue reading