Harm Reduction

There exists a long list of reasons not to take drugs: addiction, decreased productivity, deleterious health effects, damage to personal relationships, and the chance of fatal overdose are just a handful. To this tally of negative consequences, researchers have added another: an increased risk of suicide.
Actor Ben Stiller recently chronicled how early diagnosis of prostate cancer, using a routine blood test, saved his life. And he's urging all men over 40 to discuss the PSA test with their doctor. However, we here at the Council and other organizations have been critical of it, so it's fitting that we review where science stands on the issue.
Here's a new health condition — text neck — supposedly caused by too much attention focused on texting. While we do believe that you can get a stiff neck from a poor position, we find it hard to believe that texting can lead to multiple ailments. Falling into a manhole, sure. But this?
What exactly happens to the lungs when someone stops smoking and starts vaping? A new study in Clinical Science tries to answer that question. The authors sought to evaluate the impact of smoking cessation on lung function and smoking related symptoms, using electronic cigarettes.    
Last year roughly 17,000 car occupants nationwide needlessly died because they failed to take just three seconds inside the vehicle to virtually guarantee their safety. The three-point seat belt, a Swedish engineer's breakthrough invention in 1959, remains the single most effective automotive safety feature ever created. But it's being ignored too often, which explains the current, sharp rise in traffic fatalities -- and the nation's biggest one-year spike in 50 years. 
Twin pregnancies are at high risk of stillbirths, as compared to mothers carrying just one baby. This risk increases five-fold when they each has their own placenta, and 13-fold if twins share it. Complications can often happen in pregnancies near term that have otherwise gone well, with no single cause identified for this occurrence.  
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) V has relegated the terms substance abuse and substance dependence, replacing them with substance use. Substance use disorders (SUD) are characterized as mild, moderate, or severe according to the new diagnostic criteria which require evidence of impaired control, social impairment, risky use and pharmacological indicators (tolerance and withdrawal). The actual substances in consideration include alcohol, cannabis, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids, sedatives/ hypnotics/ anxiolytics, stimulants, and tobacco. 
In case you're wondering, it isn't just you that has more than your share of accidents. Hundreds of thousands of people per year do, as well. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that unintentional injuries are the No. 3 cause of death in the United States and account for 1 of every 4 visits to the emergency room.
In a post on her website, Khloe Kardashian expresses her love for Vitamin E. And while the benefits of this antioxidant have been well established, she wrongly recommends its use for strengthening of the vaginal lining.
Defining addiction isn't as easy as it seems.
Our founder, Elizabeth Whelan, liked to remind us that "mice are not little men," and that we ought to stop banning chemicals "at the drop of a rat." Apparently, the head of the NIAID, Dr. Anthony Fauci, agrees.
Shutterstock Two generations ago, tattoos were relatively scarce, and primarily only among a few types of people, but their presence has increased from 5% in 2003 to 12% in 2016, and half of those with tattoos have more than one, all without really knowing the safety and regulation of the inks used for tattoos and permanent makeup. In the US, 40% of 16-34-year-olds have at least one tattoo. Though the Navy and Marines have long had tattoos, they recently had to get more lenient about volume, because so many young people had them.