Headed by David O. Warner, MD of the Mayo Clinic and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a study examining the disciplinary records of 44,612 residents between 1975 and 2009 showed that substance abuse is on the rise among anesthesiology residents.
The study revealed that a total of 384 trainees were disciplined for substance abuse during that time period. Since 2003, however, the rates of substance abuse among residents has more than doubled. By far, the greatest number of abusers had problems with IV opioids such as fentanyl, followed by alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine. But while rates of abuse drastically increased, the rate of relapse remained unchanged. "To our knowledge, this report provides the first comprehensive description of the epidemiology and outcomes of substance use disorder for any in-training physician specialty group, showing that the incidence of substance use disorder has increased over the study period and that relapse rates are not improving," the study said.
Digging deeper into the data, the report showed that a total of 28 residents died while in training and in each case the cause of death was attributed to substance abuse. Other conclusions drawn from the study showed that far more men than women had problems with abuse, while 69 percent of those whose specific drug of choice was indicated in their records went on to finish their training. Fifty one percent received their board certification in anesthesiology. "Although relatively few anesthesiology residents develop substance abuse disorder, the incidence is continuing to increase," Warner said. "The problem is as serious now as it has been at any time over the period of study, and the consequences can be severe.”
A new study conducted by researchers at Brown University and Syracuse University has splashed some cold water on the commonly held notion that alcohol greatly reduces common sense among college students, particularly women, when engaging in sexual activity.
The year-long research project stated its findings based on 297 responses from women who reported 1,856 instances of intercourse during their first year of college at an unnamed university in the Northeast. Of those reported sexual encounters, only 20 percent involved drinking any alcohol and 13 percent involved heavy alcohol use – or what people refer to as binge drinking. Flipping that around, the study found that a whopping 80 percent of reported sexual activity involved no alcohol whatsoever.
Meanwhile, study participants reported that condoms were used 61 percent of the time during intercourse; while that number dipped when sex involved regular romantic partners (58 percent), condom use actually increased (72 percent) when involving casual partners. What’s more, when alcohol was introduced, overall condom use actually increased to 70 percent. “Among college women, alcohol use and condom use tend to co-occur, because both are more likely in events involving casual partners,” the study said. “Even in situations involving heavy drinking (four or more drinks), during which we might expect disinhibition to lead to decreases in safe-sex behavior, we found no evidence of decreased condom use across this sample of women.”
The study seemed to belie the idea that alcohol seriously impairs judgment and perhaps points to the validity of another explanation for the behavior of some college kids. “There is a second theory about alcohol and sex that the findings of this study do support,” said writer and sexual health expert Martha Kempner. “Expectancy theory says that individuals’ behavior after drinking is driven by their beliefs about alcohol’s effects on behavior. Essentially, how you behave while drunk is a self-fulfilling prophecy—if you think you are going to take more sexual risks because of alcohol, you probably will.”
- Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Admits an Addiction to...eBay? [Sporting News]
- Pair Arrested for Drugs Say They Were Cooking Chicken; Cops Say No, It Was Meth [Auburn Citizen]
- Uruguay Warns Citizens Against Drug Addiction, Legalizes Pot [The Raw Story]
- Massachusetts Attorney General Announces Grants for Substance Abuse, Mental Health Services [CBS Boston]
- Northern Ireland Launches 'Booze Control' to Crack Down on Fake Booze [The Spirits Business]
- Rental Home Makes College Residents Dizzy, Tests Positive for Meth [KOMO]
- Pittsburgh Cop Busted for Drunk Driving While on Way to Work [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
- Chicago Woman Sues Doctor After Drunk Pics Show Up on Facebook, Instagram [WLS-TV]
As it does every year at this time, the Sundance Film Festival has just revealed its slate of films for their upcoming 30th annual event in Park City, UT.
Among the many entries that will make their debuts are three movies that deal with addiction issues. The most high-profile film is Low Down from director Jeff Preiss, a heart-wrenching drama based on the memoir of the same name by Amy Jo Albany. Both the book and film detail her troubled childhood being raised by her father, Joe Albany, a bebop pianist who played with Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, but who struggled with heroin addiction and routine incarceration. The film stars John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, and Peter Dinklage, and will be slated for the U.S. Dramatic Competition.
The festival also includes two harrowing documentaries about web addiction. Love Child, directed by Valerie Veatch, focuses on a young South Korean couple who allowed their infant daughter to starve to death while they raised a virtual child online. The film covers the 2010 trial and sentencing, while exposing the dark underbelly of gaming addiction. The other film is Web Junkie, a documentary from Israel that investigates a rehabilitation center in China – the first country to label Internet addiction a clinical disorder – where three teenagers are deprogrammed to kick their online habit. Both films will be shown in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.
This isn’t normally part of a value meal: A Wendy’s employee in Lovejoy, GA was fired and arrested for possession of marijuana after putting a joint in a customer’s cheeseburger.
Amy Seiber was canned last month when a customer called paramedics after finding a half-smoked blunt in her cheeseburger. Seiber admitted the blunt was hers when questioned by police, claiming she was toking on the job and “misplaced” her joint inside of the customer’s burger. “Obviously the employee broke the rules and did not follow proper food handling steps. We are deeply sorry that this incident occurred,” said a representative for Wendy’s. The customer revealed that she experienced symptoms similar to food poisoning after eating the burger and needed to be hospitalized; the spokesperson confirmed that they are working out a resolution with the customer that includes paying for her medical bills.
Of course, this isn’t the only time that drugs have made their way into a restaurant. Last month, the manager of Smokin’ Hog BBQ in Greenfield, IN, was arrested for his role in a drug operation that involved his restaurant as a drop-off point for drug packages. Hancock County Sheriff Michael Shepherd confirmed that seven arrests have been made and that the drug transactions took place “during business hours [while] customers were inside."
And just recently, Kashif Mohammed Siddiqui, the owner of Jubille Joe’s Restaurant in Hoover, AL, was arrested on drug trafficking charges that took place within the restaurant. Siddiqui also faces firearm and money laundering charges. If convicted, he could serve up to 45 years in prison.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is teaming up with the Kenyan government to build the first drug testing center within the country. Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat confirmed that construction will begin next month and “the center will serve Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and the central Africa region. This will reduce the cost and time it takes to get results whenever we take our samples to Germany or South Africa.” The relatively remote location of Kenya has made it extremely costly to get blood samples to accredited labs within the required 36 hours of collection.
The drug testing center is also critical for Kenyan sports because positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs are on the rise within the country. David Okeyo, secretary general of Athletics Kenya, acknowledged that 13 Kenyans were found guilty of doping between January 2012 and January 2013; seven of the banned athletes tested positive for norandrosterone, linked to the steroid nandrolone. After testing positive for a steroid in June 2012, half-marathoner Mathew Kisorio alleged that systematic doping was pervasive in Kenya and even aided by foreign doctors.
A German TV documentary that aired before the 2012 London Olympics also reiterated these accusations, accusing Kenyan training camps of being rampant with doping, both among local athletes and foreign runners who took part in the high-altitude sessions. Okeyo denied that there was a culture of doping among Kenyan runners, but confirmed that a commission had been established to address the rise in doping cases.