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December 16, 2010     The Ponchatoula Times
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December 16, 2010

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THE PONCHATOULA TIMES. DECEMBER 16, 2010, PAGE B-4 T wiq esp By DR. RANDOLPWHOW-ES M.D., PhD (EDITOR'S NOTE: Longtime medical columnist for The Ponchatoula Times. the author is an accomplished surgeon, medical inventor, and Country music recording artist. Dr. Howes grew up on his parents' Ponchatoula strawberry farm. He is a graduate of St. Joseph, Ponchatoula High School, Tulane - two doctorates, followed by a residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in plastic surgery. He says he is "re- tired" now in Kentwood.) A government report indicates that, for the first time, abuse of painkillers and other medication is sending as many people to the emergency room as the use of illegal drugs. In 2008, emergency room ..... visits from people abusing pre- scription or over-the-counter medicines, mostly painkillers and sedatives, totaled about 1 million. That equaled the num- ber of visits from those overdos- ing on heroin, cocaine and other illegal drugs. The number of drug-related visits have about doubled over the past five years and it seems to 15e still increasing. The trend was clearly led by painkillers. such as oxycodone and hydo- codone and sedatives, with tranquilizers bringing up the rear. Some cases are from mix- ing or combining (stacking) of drugs or combining them with alcohol. Actually, the number of prescriptions for these drugs have also been increasing and many may have legally obtained their drugs. In 2009, a CDC report found that, "The rate of drug-related deaths roughly doubled from the late 1990s to 2006, and most of the increase was at- tributed to prescription opiates such as the painkillers metha- done, Oxycontin and Vicodin." Dr. Howes Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said, "The abuse of pre- scription drugs is our nation's fastest-growing drug problem." In recent years, drug com- panies have fired up the mar- keting of pain medications, anti-depressants, sleep aids and tranquilizers. Experts say, "People believe that legally ob- tained drugs are safer because they are prescribed by doctors and approved by the FDA." Rest assured, they can still kill you. Now, there is a startling federal report that 30 million Tuesday 12:00- 5:00pm Wed-Friday 9:00-5:00pm Saturday 9:00-2:00pm Cookies Pastries Freshly prepared by the Order Only Wedding Cakes startin t at $80 www.paulaspastrypalace.com 985-370-4509 l lti Davis V .... I08N, C oHa LA 70401 ................................. [ [I l----ILl'EL h [ Americans are driving drunk and another 10 million are driving drugged. Although it varies, in some states, drunk and drugged drivers are over 20 percent, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administra- tion (SAMHSA). Unfortunately, younger drivers are more likely to drive while impaired. Sadly, over ten thousand were killed by drunk drivers in 2009 and drugged drivers caused one in three car accident deaths. In the America that I love, this is an outrage and we will not tolerate it. These injuries and deaths are preventable and guilty parties should be pros- ecuted to the fullest extent of the law (no deals, no excuses). If someone is going to drink, then do not drive. Do not risk the life and limb of innocent people be- cause of stupidity and irrespon- sibility. l applaud parents, commu- nity leaders, MADD, police and the judicial system who fight against driving while drunk or drugged. Personally, I would put a bounty on drunk or drugged drivers and give law enforce- ment officers a bonus for every- one they apprehend. Remember, no deals, no excuses. For repeat offenders, throw away the key! Alcohol and Cancer: know your limit HOUSTON - When raising your glass at this year's holi- day toast, choose your beverage wisely, say experts at The Uni- versity of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. If adults wish to drink alco- hol, they should select drinks low in calories and alcohol con- tent to limit cancer risk. "Research shows that drink- ing even a small amount of al- cohol increases your chances of developing cancer, including oral cancer, breast cancer and liver cancer," says Clare McK- indley, clinical dietitian in MD Anderson's Cancer Prevention Center. Yet, other research shows that drinking small amounts of alcohol may protect the body against coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Some evi- dence even suggests that red wine may help prevent cancer. "Researchers are still trying to learn more about how alcohol links to cancer," says McKind: ley. "But, convincing evidence does support the fact that heavy drinking damages cells and in- creases the risk for cancer de- velopment." Until we know more, MD An- derson offers the beverage guide below to help adults choose al- coholic drinks and drink limits with the lowest health risk: Stick to the recommended serving size. Alcoholic drinks come in three choices: beer, wine and liquor. A drink is defined as 12 ounc- es of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor. The National Cancer Insti- tute recommends that women have no more than one drink per day and men have no more than two drinks per day. "Women don't have as much flexibility as men when it comes to alcohol consumption because women generally have less total body water to dilute the effects of alcohol," says McKindley. This means alcohol stays in'a woman's body longer than in a man's. And, the longer large amounts of alcohol stay in the body, the higher the risk for brain and organ damage, mo- tor vehicle crashes, high blood pressure, stroke, violence, sui- cide, and other injury. "How much you drink over time matters more than what you drink," says McKindley. Select low-calorie options Many of us get way too many calories from all drinks, not just alcoholic ones about 460 calories a day, according to a re- cent study. "That can lead to a grow- ing waistline and an increased cancer risk associated with be- ing overweight or obese," says McKindley. Before taking a sip of alco- hol, check the bottle label and look at the calories per serving, if listed. Many popular drinks are loaded with empty calories - especially drinks mixed with soda, fruit juice or cream. Eggnog is one of the largest holiday offenders with about 340 calories per one-cup serv- ing. Stay away from 100-proof li- quor It's the ethanol or alcohol in beer, wine and liquor that researchers believe increases cancer risk. "So while you're checking the bottle label, check the ethanol percentage or number as well," McKindley says. ' rou'll find either an alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage or an alcohol proof number." ABV and alcohol proof are standard measures used world- wide to show how much alcohol or ethanol is in a beverage. In the United States, the alcohol proof number is twice the ABV percentage. Beer, wine and liquor contain the same amount of alcohol per serving about half an ounce. That equals to about: 40% ABV or 80-proof in liquor2 - 12% ABV in beer 9 - 18% ABV in wine. "Avoid anything with even more alcohol, like 100-proof liquor," McKindley says. Non- alcoholic drinks are probably best. Avoiding alcohol, or limiting the amount you drink, is your best bet to ringing in a healthy New Year. If you're looking for a non-alcoholic drink with a "cocktail-like" feel, try club soda and lime. It has minimal calo- ries and health risks. "Remember, alcoholic bever- ages offer few nutritional ben- efits," McKindley says. "Look for healthier food sources and practice portion control during the holidays." For more information, visit www.mdanderson.org/focused We ship via UPS for the Holidays $I Off Shipping with this ad www.cent r a I d ru g s.n et 125 E. Thomas St. Hammond 985.345.5120 fax: 985.345.7062 Fire chief on parade (Times Photo) Councilwoman Jeannemarie Pierson at the Christmas Parade ANNIVERSARY Noon - Close FOOD, MUSIC, PRIZES, BUDWISEK PKOMO & ENTERTAINMENT ALL DAY Special Guests Shawn Allen Eli Seals, Aliia Green Rick & Robbie 7:00pm Southern Shot 9:30pm-l:3Oam Bring a wrapped gift and play Thurs. 16th Remedy Blues - FrY. 17th. Sharon Sue & Sugarcane New Years Eve Toni 0 & Blue Haze sses st 11 starti Jan th w tlql'% 42368 Club Deluxe Plaza Suite 2t Hammond LA www compasscareercollege corn