April is National Alcohol Awareness Month, providing an opportunity to increase awareness of alcohol addiction, also known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), including causes, risks, and treatments. The monthly observance was started in 1987 by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). The NCADD was founded by Marty Mann, an early female member of Alcoholics Anonymous and one of the first women to find success getting sober through the 12-step group. She later started an organization which became known as National Council on Alcoholism (NCA). The organization focused on alcohol abuse as a disease and the elimination of the stigma associated with it such as beliefs that addiction is the result of poor personal choices, “moral failing,” or defects of character.
For many people, alcohol consumption has gone up since the beginning of the pandemic — alcohol-related problems have risen as well. In a recent study, researchers found that more than 99,000 people died in 2020 of alcohol-related causes, a 25% increase from 2019. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services site, Rethinking Drinking, offers interactive tools, such as the Cocktail content calculator and Alcohol calorie calculator and other research-based information to help individuals assess their drinking patterns.
This Weekend Reading Series begins with What’s New?, with current news on a variety of healthcare related topics, including the recent Michigan prior authorization legislation. In Consider This, you will find articles on the impact of high deductible health plans, proposed elimination of the ACA “family glitch” and much more. Next explore the articles in Be Mindful on human brains, mental health, and substance issues. Finally, do not miss What’s the Smell & Sound and my personal favorite, Do some perfumes actually contain whale excrement?
I hope you enjoy the following:
1. What’s New?
- Associated Press: Whitmer signs bill to speed pre- approvals of health care
- MedPage Today: Report: U.S. Ranks Last for Women’s Healthcare Among Wealthy Nations— Highest rates of preventable deaths, maternal mortality, and mental health needs
- Associated Press: Medicare enrollees to get free COVID-19 tests at drug stores
- HealthDay: U.S. Life Expectancy Drops for 2nd Year in a Row
2. Consider This
- Kaiser Health News: The End of the Covid Emergency Could Mean a Huge Loss of Health Insurance
- Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI): How Do High-Deductible Health Plans Affect Use of Health Care Services and Spending Among Enrollees With Mental Health Disorders?
- SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management: Proposal Could Lessen Family Members’ Dependence on Employer Health Plans. Change would expand access to premium subsidies for spouses and dependents
- Kaiser Health News: Never-Ending Costs: When Resolved Medical Bills Keep Popping Up
3. Be Mindful
- University of Michigan: Majority of adolescents with severe substance use disorder don’t grow out of it
- HealthDay: Problem Drinking to Blame for 232 Million Missed Workdays in U.S. Annually
- NPR: People are developing trauma-like symptoms as the pandemic wears on
- Scientific American: Your Brain Expands and Shrinks over Time: These Charts Show How
- WebMD: Study Finds No Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
4. What’s the Smell & Sound
- The Smithsonian: The World’s Favorite Scent Is Vanilla, According to Science
- McGill Office for Science and Society (OSS): Do some perfumes actually contain whale excrement?
- Perspectives on History – Elevator Sounds, Everything Has a History
- NPR: How (members of) Pink Floyd reunited to record a song for Ukraine
Enjoy your weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]