Curbing Alcohol Abuse

 
British researchers suggest that alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine, based on how destructive it can be to individuals and society as a whole.
 
The study analyzed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body, in addition to other criteria like environmental damage caused by the drug, its role in breaking up families and its economic costs, such as health care, social services and prison.
 
Heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, or crystal meth, were the most harmful to individuals. When considering their wider social effects, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the worst. 
 
We asked you what should be done to curb alcohol abuse. As of 3 p.m. ET Wednesday, more than 1,200 votes were cast. The most popular choice, with about 59 per cent of the votes, was to implement more education and awareness programs. About 13 per cent of respondents felt that raising prices of alcoholic beverages would be effective. However, nearly 28 per cent of voters felt that nothing needed to be done about alcohol abuse.
 
Many commenters debated the study's merits and suggested that news organizations were sensationalizing the story.
 
"Considering it's availability and widespread use, it actually isn't much of a problem," CoryBarnes wrote. "Some people do stupid things with it in early adulthood, but most retreat to moderate consumption after that."
 
Reader Emmy P Citizen believes drinking wine in moderation is healthy for most people, but added that "drinking a quart of rot gut vodka a day ... is very destructive."
 
Facebook user Jayne Juddleston, however, agreed with the study's findings and feels that alcohol is more dangerous than most illegal substances. "I cannot believe [alcohol] is a legal substance. It probably is only because the government collects a lot of taxes on the sale of booze. Far less dangerous things are illegal."
 
Steven Reiss also commented via Facebook that people shouldn't shrug off the suggestion that alcohol is more dangerous than cocaine or heroine. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada, there are somewhere between 1,350 and 1,600 impaired crash fatalities in Canada each year. (http://www.madd.ca/english/research/magnitudememo.html)
 
How do you fend off a cold?
 
A new U.S. study suggests that keeping physically fit helps reduce the likelihood of falling sick with a cold. 
 
Researchers at Appalachian State University in Kannapolis, N.C., surveyed more than 1,000 adults up to age 85. They found that people who got aerobic exercise five days a week or more for at least 20 minutes had more than a 40 per cent reduction in illness days compared with those who averaged one day of exercise per week or less, said study author David Nieman, director of the university's human performance laboratory.
 
We asked you what you did to keep colds at bay. As of 3 p.m. ET Wednesday, more than 380 votes were cast. About 32 per cent of respondents said they try to get plenty of rest. About 11 per cent of respondents said they take lots of vitamin C. Only five per cent of voters said they exercised to stay healthy, while 13.6 per cent said they did nothing in particular. About 38 per cent of respondents said they did all of the above in an effort to stay cold-free. 
 
Many commenters left suggestions on how to avoid or beat a bad cold.
 
"I eat healthy, fresh foods, I drink lots of water, I stay in shape," omarofcanada84 wrote. "To this date, I have had one sick day in about 10 years on the job. The real question is not how to fight a cold, but how to take proper care of your body." 
 
Nordender said they used to get colds all the time, but has discovered that vigorous cycling and drinking echinacea tea has helped immensely. "Since doing this, I haven't had a cold yet -- even when everyone else in the household was suffering from cold symptoms!"
 
Reader CatherineCoco offered a drink recipe to help with sore throats and stuffy noses. She recommends mixing one cup of boiled water with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon and one to two tablespoons of liquid honey.
 
"Stir well, drink slowly .... Be careful, as the water should not be too hot. Cool it down slightly before mixing. It's the heat of the mixture however, that really makes it so soothing."
 
Do you believe white poppies are disrespectful to war veterans? 
 
The Royal Canadian Legion is upset with P.E.I.'s Island Peace Committee for distributing white poppies as part of a new campaign. 
 
Peace committee members say their white version stands for nonviolent conflict resolution.
 
But the legion, now conducting its annual red poppy campaign, featuring the traditional symbol of those who died in war, finds the white poppy drive disrespectful.
 
We asked you whether you felt white poppies are disrespectful to war veterans. As of 3 p.m. ET Wednesday, more than 4,000 votes were cast. About 63 per cent of respondents believed the white poppies were inappropriate, compared with nearly 33 per cent of voters who didn't think it was a big deal. Another four per cent were unsure.
 
CBCNews.ca community members weighed in on the debate, with most commenters agreeing that the white poppies should not be handed out so close to Remembrance Day.
 
"There are many other days of the year that could be chosen to promote nonviolent conflict resolution," Kluane408 wrote. "There has always been only one day to remember all those men and women who died in the line of duty -- and it is the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 a.m. -- the day the ceasefire took effect ending [the First World War.]
 
Facebook user Cadence Gillis said she was "shocked that someone would do this alongside a known national symbol. The poppy has meant what it's meant for years and years ... Use another time of year to attempt to hand out your white poppies. My lapel is reserved for the red poppy these upcoming days. Nothing gives me more pride than to show veterans of any war that, although I may not support the idea of wars, I support what they personally have sacrificed."
 
Some readers didn't see what all the fuss was about.
 
"I do not know why anyone would be upset at seeing white poppies," SayBlade wrote. "The red poppy does exactly what we have been taught it does, that is to remember those who have died in the service of their country. The white poppy in no way denigrates the red poppy. It is a symbol of hope for a future where those in our armed forces will not be forced into battles and that we can resolve conflict through peaceful means."
 
Commenter JimFox agreed. "Give me a break. No freedom of expression in Canada? Why can't I buy both? I support our veterans and troops, but don't agree with the mass killing of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq. Let us be free to wear the poppies and symbols we want in a democracy!"