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Britain's blurry vision


IT COULD happen to anybody, really. Go out for a meal with the wife, have a few too many, she starts to nag, and before you know what's happened, she's lying on the floor covered in bruises. For most, this sort of tiff remains private; but for Paul Gascoigne, one of England's star footballers as well as a well-known drinker and self-confessed wife-beater, the photographers were there last week to record his wife Sheryl's beaten face, and there were cries of outrage when Mr Gascoigne was subsequently selected for the England squad.

Problem drinkers can help selves


Many people with moderate alcohol abuse problems recover on their own, new studies suggest.

The studies, in Friday's issue of the American Journal of Public Health, add to a growing body of research into how people successfully battle alcohol addiction.

Problem drinkers aren't necessarily those who are severely dependent on alcohol, the research points out. Moderate abusers are responsible for most of society's abuse-related costs - drunken driving, missed work days or spouse abuse.

Scientists estimate the ratio of moderate abusers to severe abusers is 4 to 1.

The studies found:

The vices of tolerance


CONVENTIONAL wisdom has it that people who hold their liquor pretty well can drink with impunity. Not so, apparently. According to an 18-year-long study by Marc Schukit and Tom Smith, at the University of California, San Diego, the reverse is true: youthful tolerance presages alcoholism in later life.

Where there's a will . . .


Don Breckenridge doesn't dispute the Salvation Army's legal right to blow most of the family coin on new digs for recovering alcoholics and junkies.

After all, his stepdad's revised will said so.

That isn't what all his grief is about.

The Squamish millworker is hurting because his stepdad altered his will days after the death of Don's mom, Myrtle, thus ignoring the intent of her will.

Instead of leaving his estate to her son and grandkids, he gave the lion's share to charity. And Don, who is her only surviving relative, thinks that's unfair.

Smoking cessation may boost success of alcohol treatment


Brief counselling on smoking cessation may have an interesting side effect for people completing treatment for alcohol problems -- it may help them stay on the wagon.

A small group of studies have suggested that quitting smoking may actually enhance, not threaten, the process of alcohol recovery," writes Janet Kay Bobo of the Department of Preventive and Societal Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She discussed the topic recently at the Addiction Research Foundation's Clinical and Research Seminar series.

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