Archive for December, 2008

Drinking Young…and the Follow Up!

December 31, 2008

The ‘nanny state’ guide to giving children of five alcohol

Parents are to be issued with government guidance about letting their children try alcohol at home.
Currently, children as young as five can legally drink at home if they are supervised by their parents.
Many adults allow their offspring to try small amounts of beer or wine in the hope that they will adopt a sensible attitude towards drinking.
For the first time, however, Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson is drawing up a series of recommendations, which will include how much alcohol parents can safely give to their children.
Opposition MPs have criticised the Government’s approach, claiming it smacked of the ‘nanny state’.
They said most parents were able to use their common sense when deciding
whether to let their children drink at home.
Health Secretary Alan Johnson and Children’s Secretary Ed Balls have abandoned plans to take parents to court for letting their children try alcohol at home amid fears of a backlash.
In May, Mr Johnson said he would not give alcohol to his eight-year-old son.
A Department of Health spokesman confirmed that parents will be issued with the new guidance by the spring.
He said: ‘This is about informing parents by handing them guidance about the risks of giving alcohol to children rather than actually prosecuting them.
Fewer young people now drink, but those who do are drinking more – and they are probably unaware of the damage they are doing to their health.
‘So it’s essential that young people and their parents have clear, medical guidance.’
Tory health spokesman Mike Penning said yesterday: ‘Rather than telling parents how to bring up their children, they should be looking at the wider issue of the damage their 24-hour drinking policy has caused to society.
‘There is no doubt that parents should act responsibly when giving alcohol to their children but this is common sense.
‘This is yet another example of this Government’s nanny state behaviour by telling people what they should be doing in their own homes.’
Recent figures show that alcohol-related deaths among young people have risen by 57 per cent over the past 15 years, with a growing number of youngsters also suffering from liver disease caused by alcohol.
Many doctors believe the increases are linked to heavy drinking in teenage years.
Don Shenker, of charity Alcohol Concern, said: ‘Parents need strong and clear guidelines on how much alcohol is appropriate for their children to consume and at what age.
‘There is evidence that children of parents who responsibly allow them to drink under supervision find it less glamorous later on.’
But Margaret Morrissey, from the Parents Aloud pressure group, said: ‘There is no necessity for the guidelines because there is no reason for children to be introduced to alcohol.’
Alcohol and Children
● The number of under-18s in alcohol treatment programmes has soared by 40 per cent in the past year.
● 55 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds have had at least one alcohol drink in their lifetime.
● 11.4 units is the average amount of alcohol consumed per week for 11 to 15-year-olds.
● 20 per cent of those who drink buy it from friends or relatives.
● In 2006-7, one in 10 of alcohol-related hospital admissions was a young person under 18.
By Kirsty Walker

I truly can’t believe this is legal…I am in awe of it! And to top it off….

Alcoholic liver disease soars among the young as hospital admissions more than double

The number of young people suffering from liver disease caused by alcohol has more than doubled since Labour came to power.

Damning figures show 6,495 Britons aged 18 to 40 were admitted to hospital suffering from alcoholic liver disease in 2006/07, compared to 2,967 a decade ago.

In the same period, there were 43,548 admissions across all age groups for the disease, with a further 27,040 cases related to the toxic effects of alcohol.

In addition, there were 158,656 admissions made for mental health problems related to drinking, including 6,612 among those aged 17 and under.

The figures come as doctors warn they are seeing more young people suffering from alcoholic liver disease – a condition previously seen only in the middle-aged.

Eight women die a day from liver problems – often at an earlier age than men – while an estimated two million Britons are suffering from chronic liver disease, although many are unaware of it.

It is the fifth most important cause of death in the UK, which is the only developed nation with an upward trend in mortality especially among younger people.

Last year research concluded the burden would get worse and the NHS must develop more capacity to respond to liver disease.

But the Government has not yet approved a liver strategy for England despite support from the Royal College of Physicians and other professional bodies.

Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow, who obtained the latest data in response to a parliamentary question, said: ‘These figures expose an iceberg effect where enormous problems are being stored up for the NHS in the future.

‘But these figures show a growing trend with people who are in their 30s being diagnosed with liver disease caused by alcohol consumption.

‘Behind these figures are huge human and financial costs.

‘The human cost in terms of poor health and premature death, and the financial cost in terms of the drain on the NHS and the lost productivity must be huge.’

In October, a National Audit Office report blamed ministers for failing to act against binge drinking.

A report from the National Audit Office in October blamed ministers for not taking responsibility for binge drinking.

It said the number of alcohol-related deaths had more than doubled in 15 years, to 8,100.

It said the Department of Health and NHS were guilty of passing the buck on dealing with binge drinking to primary care trusts, which were not given enough ‘leadership’ to address the issue.

One in five women and one in three men are now drinking at levels considered hazardous to health – 14 units or more a week for women and 21 units or more for men, with a unit being a glass of wine, half a pint of beer or pub measure of spirits.

A spokesman for the Department of Heath said: ‘We are determined to reduce the health and social harms caused by alcohol.

‘The Government’s £10million ‘Know Your Limits’ campaign arms people with the facts about alcohol and its effects.

‘The Government recently announced its intention to crack down on irresponsible promotions and impose new standards on the alcohol industry.

We have not ruled out taking action on very cheap alcohol.’
By Jenny Hope

Can you believe this…and in the same paper…linked to one another.

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Turning the Ship Around

December 30, 2008
Well, the Pens have had a couple off and I believe it is high time they start turning this ship around. They finally have a compliment of defensemen and have too much talent not to succeed.
We get Hal Gill back tonight, that should help the penalty kill. They are also pushing Goligoski up to a forward position. Yes, they are dressing seven defensemen. The word is that it is just a precaution because it is Gill’s first game back. I like the move. Especially against this red hot Bruins team.
A win tonight could provide that same spark that the outdoor classic did last year. It could be that big. It is also Jordan Staal’s 200th game as well as Sidney Crosby’s 250th game. Sid needs only two points to tie Mike Bossy at 345 and tie for fifth all-time for number of points in the first 250 games. Crosby would be behind some big names like Wayne Gretzky (537), Mario Lemieux (423), Petr Statsny (403), and Eric Lindros (360). I consider this very impressive.
Other than that is is still a big night for the Pens.
I look forward to see if they finally start shooting and if they can finally put together a complete game.
I am tired of Fleury having to bail us out with incredible saves and barely any defense. We have no sense of urgency. I know it is not even to the halfway point, but the Sharks, Redwings, and Bruins are showing that tenacity. I want to see the next level, like all of us do.

Tonight is the night.

Let’s Go Pens!