February 2011 Archives

February 22, 2011

710,000 Teens in the U.S. Are Drinking Alcohol Monthly

On February 17, 2011, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a survey that showed that 710,000 Teens between the age of 12 to 14 drank alcohol per month. The survey was conducted from 2006 to 2009, and over 44,000 teens were surveyed.

The research showed that of those teens who drank, 93.4% obtained their alcohol for free from underage persons, 19.6% from parents and/or guardians, 15.7% from home, 15.2% from adult relatives, 13.9% from unrelated adults, 13.5% from someone's home, and 6.8% from other resources. Of the ones surveyed, 6.6% bought the alcohol at bars and liquor stores.

According to Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. , SAMHSA Administrator, "People who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 15 are six times more likely than those who start at age 21 and older to develop alcohol problems. Parents and other adults need to be aware that providing alcohol to children can expose them to an increased risk for alcohol abuse and set them on a path with increased potential for addiction."
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Underage drinking can lead to alcohol dependence and abuse and to serious heath problems. Alcohol not only affects the liver and pancreas, but it can also cause other chemical problems. It can lead to water loss, electrolyte depletion, deficiency of thiamine, etc.

About 5,000 people under the age of 21 die each year, as a result of alcohol use. 1,900 from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 from homicides, 300 from suicide and hundreds more from various other injuries. Therefore, parents need to be more careful and aware of the alcohol intake of their children and teens.

February 7, 2011

There Will Be More Traffic Cameras Installed in the District of Columbia

trafficcamera_thumb.jpgIn the Nations capital there are currently, 30 speed cameras and 50 red-light cameras that control speeding and the running of red lights. A new program was introduced that will expand the number of cameras and increase the types of tickets/infractions that can be issued. The new cameras will be installed in the next year in areas that demonstrate a need for additional control and enforcement.

There are various studies that show that traffic enforcement and the use of speed cameras and re-light cameras save lives. Traffic fatalities in the District dropped to 25 in 2010 from 75 a decade ago. This is according to D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

The new cameras will use technology to cut down with vehicles blocking intersections, vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians on crosswalks, truck height-restrictions and weigh trucks along I-295.

The new program would be the most aggressive in the Nation, and studies have shown that the use of this technology reduces crashes and save lives.