Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mental illness soars in UK's cannabis hotspots

I think that the claims below are probably broadly right but we must not discount that Britain has more and more blacks and that they tend to live in certain areas, that they are often drug users and that they are more prone to mental illness. These results should really be broken out by race for us to be sure of what is going on. It could just be that we are seeing nothing more than an effect of Britain's ever-increasing immigrant population

The devastating effects of skunk cannabis on the nation's mental health are revealed here for the first time, showing where the drug has hit hardest around the country. Some areas have suffered a tenfold increase in people mentally ill from using the drug. Nationally, skunk smokers are ending up ill in hospital in record numbers, with admissions soaring 73 per cent. The number of adults recorded as suffering mental illness as a result of cannabis use has risen sharply from 430 in 1996 to 743 in 2006. The government data shows how the damaging effects of the drug have swept across England. Hospital hotspots for cannabis abuse include Manchester, London, Cheshire and Merseyside.

And, as the debate over the drug's dangers continues, figures released by the National Treatment Agency for Substance Abuse (NTA) show that more than 24,500 people are in drug treatment programmes for cannabis - the highest ever. It is the most commonly misused drug by children, accounting for 75 per cent of those requiring treatment. That's 11,582 under-18s - more than double those in treatment for cannabis abuse in 2005. And more adults (13,087) are in drug treatment programmes for cannabis abuse than for crack or cocaine.

This news comes as pressure grows on the Government to reclassify cannabis to its former class B status, with the fears of police now being echoed by the Forensic Science Service, which says skunk cannabis - a highly potent form of the drug - accounts for 75 per cent of all seizures. Cannabis remains Britain's most commonly used illegal drug, with more than 4,000 kilos confiscated by police and customs officers in the first six months of this year.


A "softer" paternalist

What gives HIM the right to make decisions for other people? Should we say "Sieg heil" to him?

A radical plan to improve the nation's health - including a workplace "exercise hour" - has been unveiled by a leading Government adviser. New figures today show England is the fattest country in the EU. Now Professor Julian Le Grand, chairman of Health England, hopes to encourage people to improve their diets, give up smoking and exercise more.

He proposed the introduction of a smoking permit, which smokers would be required to show each time they bought tobacco. It is then their choice to go smoke free and not buy a permit.

Companies with more than 500 staff would have an " exercise hour". Employees would have to deliberately choose not to join in. The proposalsare the opposite of the Government's approach which requires people to opt in to healthy lifestyles. Instead it would be up to them to make the unhealthy choice.

In his speech to the Royal Statistical Society last night the professor, a former aide to Tony Blair said: "It is not like banning something, it's a softer form of paternalism."


More magic from broccoli

If anything is unpopular, it is sure to be "good for you". George Bush senior won the hearts of children everywhere when he said: "I am the President of the United States and I don't have to eat broccoli"

RESEARCH suggests that broccoli can prevent the damage from ultraviolet light that often leads to skin cancer. And, as many children would surely appreciate, you do not even have to eat it. In tests on people and hairless mice, a green smear of broccoli-sprout extract blocked the potentially cancer-causing damage inflicted by sunlight.

The product is still in early stages of development. Among other issues to be worked out is how best to remove the extract's green pigments, which do not contribute to its protective effects and would give users a temporary Martian complexion. Scientists said the extract works not by screening out the sun's rays - which also blocks vitamin D production - but by turning on the body's natural cancer-fighting machinery.

While the study, published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, stops short of proving that broccoli extracts can prevent skin cancer, it shows "direct protection" against ultraviolet radiation, say researchers. The research team exposed areas of skin to intense ultraviolet light one to three days after the broccoli sprout extract was applied to some areas. Spots treated with the extract had, on average, 37 per cent less redness and inflammation - key measures of future skin cancer development.



Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter and margarine? They are just about pure fat. Surely they should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].


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