centers for disease control

These Are Trump's 7 'Forbidden Words'

Leaving a meeting of top officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday, a CDC analyst in attendance who spoke anonymously to reporters described being briefed on a Trump administration dictum of “forbidden words” that the public health agency was told not to use in any official capacity in documents.

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Can Medical Marijuana Help Alcoholics Stop Drinking For Good?

Could cannabis be a helping hand to alcoholics? If possible, it could be a watershed moment for themany as 33 million Americans who struggle with alcohol use disorder. Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive drug in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that approximately 88,000 Americans die as a result of excessive alcohol use each year. 

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Adult Pot Use Up, But Abuse is Down, Feds Say

As legal access to cannabis goes up, abuse of the drug is on the decline. New data from the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the legalization movement’s long running message about responsible use seems to be getting through. The same report shows that teen use has also declined during that time period.

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The Top 10 Fattest Cities in America

The whole world is getting fatter. One 2015 study, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, found that an astounding 2 billion people around the globe are either overweight or obese, and that figure just keeps climbing. While the United States has been unseated as the world’s fattest country, we’re still home to 13 percent of the world’s fat population, despite making up less than 5 percent of the world’s total citizenry. (Taken together, China and India, the world’s most populous countries with a combined total of 37 percent of the world’s people, just pass us with 15 percent of the globe’s fat population.)

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Having to Work Before 10 AM Is 'Torture,' Scientist Says

Sleep deprivation ranks among the most beloved torture methods of dictators, religious cults, Inquisition leaders and garden-variety sadists. Roughly two years ago, when the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques”—the genteel expression for torture—it revealed that, along with waterboarding and rectal feeding, the agency has a soft spot for sleep deprivation.

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Modern Science Says Homeopathy Is Total Bunk - So Why Is It More Popular Than Ever?

Does homeopathy actually work? It's a long-standing debate. Although the evidence is mounting that it doesn't, a lot of Americans seem to believe in it. According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control, about 3.3 million Americans spent $2.9 billion on homeopathic remedies in 2007. The alternative healing practice has a long list of famous acolytes, from W.B. Yeats, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Twain and Dizzy Gillespie to more recently, Cindy Crawford, Paul McCartney, Martina Navratilova and Oprah Winfrey. Even former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop called homeopathic physician Dr. Justice Gage Wright "a great model."

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Booze Protecting its Turf Against Pot in Colorado

If you heard a drug dealer denigrate his competitor's product as unsafe, would you trust his criticism? Or would you think he's a hypocrite with ulterior motives? Last week, thanks to Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper (CO), these became the central political questions in the fight over whether to continue America's destructive War on Marijuana. 
The frontline in that war is Colorado, where the federal government has interfered with its system of state-regulated medical marijuana businesses, despite President Obama's promise to refrain from doing so. Countering that crackdown is a 2012 ballot initiative that would make Colorado the first state to fully legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol.
Enter Hickenlooper. In the same month a poll showed majority support for the marijuana legalization initiative, the governor blasted the measure for allegedly "detract(ing) from efforts to make Colorado the healthiest state" and for "send(ing) the wrong message to kids."
What makes his announcement so stunning, and what evokes the drug-dealer comparison, is the governor's career as a purveyor of the drug commonly known as alcohol. That's right, as the founder of the state's first brewpub, Hickenlooper was instrumental in flooding the state with his beery drug of choice. In fact, he is so proud of his record pushing that mind-altering substance that he recently made national headlines telling reporters that "I'm the first brewer who's ever been a governor."
So it all comes down to trust. Will voters trust that their beer-mogul-turned-governor is actually worried about health and children? Let's hope not, because when you put Hickenlooper's brewing career and beer triumphalism next to his marijuana fearmongering, he's essentially saying that while pot is unhealthy and bad for kids, alcohol is not - and that assertion is not supported by facts.
Whereas the Centers for Disease Control report that alcohol use is the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death, marijuana use has never been shown to kill a single person. Whereas the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse reports that more than a third of violent crimes are connected to alcohol use, no research has ever shown a correlation between violence and marijuana use. And whereas alcohol is a known carcinogen, pot has never been proven to contribute to cancer. All of this explains why in a 2006 commercial trying to make teenagers dislike marijuana, the Bush administration's drug czar's office inadvertently let slip that pot is "the safest thing in the world."
The standard retort to these facts is to insist that two wrongs do not make a right, and to then claim that marijuana prohibition at least keeps one of those wrongs off the market. But those suppositions are negated by three realities: 
1) Under our existing prohibition, marijuana is already "almost universally available," according to the federal government.
2) Because it is available but not legal, marijuana is not adequately regulated for quality, and that poses safety hazards. 
3) Even if you do believe all mind-altering drugs are "wrong," it makes no sense health-wise to only let users choose a dangerous substance (alcohol) rather than a safer alternative (pot).
But, then, that last item spotlights a powerful economic force shaping the politics of drugs. Despite the health consequences of a market that legally preferences alcohol over marijuana, the alcohol industry that has an obvious business interest in maintaining the status quo. After all, that status quo means huge alcohol industry profits.
This is almost certainly why the industry bankrolled the fight against more tolerant marijuana policies in California and probably why the nation's first self-described brewer-governor opposes the measure in Colorado. Alcohol peddlers and their political allies are simply trying to preserve a government-mandated monopoly - health, safety and facts be damned.
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