Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chapter 17: Injuries

Injuries occur all the time. They effect society in a number of ways. One of the biggest ways include how much money it costs. The cost is not only the medical bill, but the cost of time lost, lost productivity to employers, and loss of income to the individual; if the injury is severe enough.

Injuries can be unintentional such as a fall or they can be intentional such as assault. To make sure that there is a universal understanding of these terms definitions are given at the begining of the chapter. I was unaware that the term accident is frowned up because it suggests that it was unpreventable. Other definitions given include unsafe act and hazards. After the definiton statistics are given on the cost of injuries to society.

The chapter focuses on both types of injuries. The first discussed is unintentional injuries. In 2004 there were, 112,012 deaths caused by unintentional injuries. Some causes include motor vehicle crashes, poisonings, and falls. Certain people tend to be more prone to unintentional injuries. Those age newborn to 44, are more likely to die from unitentional injuries than those that are old. Males and minorites are also at a higher risk. These injuries can occur at home, work, on the road, and anywhere else. Alcohol and drugs contribute to these injuries, especially those sustained in a car. There have been many ideas and contributors to injury prevention. The most common approaches to prevent injury is thru education, regulation, passive protection, and litigation.

Intentional injuries were looked at in a similar way. The forms of intentional injury include assaults, rapes, suicides, maltreatment and others. Firearms directly tie into intentional injury. Only 2.5% of all firearms fatalities are considered unintentional. Intentional injuries directly tie to the violence in our society. This violence include individual violence and family violence. No one is safe from chance violence and maltreatment. Children and the elderly are likely to become victims because it is harder for them to defend themselves. Violence is very common is schools as well.

There were a few things that really stood out in this chapter. The first thing was that unintentional injuries can be seasonal. Most fires, and injuries resulting from, happen in the winter becausae of the elevated use of stoves for heat. The same with drownings in the Summer. This made sense but I just hadn't really mad the conclusion before. The different approaches to prevention also jumped out at me. I think it is very smart to use a multitude of approaches to help with problems. An example of this would be with Motor Vehicle crashes. One needs to be educated about driving, regulations controling the speed should be in place, and airbags should be present. This uses three of the four approaches.

The last thing that really jumped at me was about Child maltreatment. It reminds me of the book I read about a child whose mother abuses him. I have seen far to many children in my area being neglected or abused. It upsets me. I don't know how someone can bring a child into the world and not want to love and care for them.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chapters 15 and 16

The earth is where we all live. We are stuck here. This is where we were born, grow up, have children of our own, and eventually, die. Who wants to speed up the process of death? Not very many would be a good answer to that question. Most of us want to live long and healthy lives, we want to thrive and be as productive and happy as possible, correct? Well what about the earth. It should live long, and thrive fully too. The way I see it, if the place in which we live is not healthy, it is not at all possible for us to be healthy.
We walk around daily, strutting around like kings and queens, thinking we can do whatever we want to do to the land, and the environment and still be ok down the road. Sure, throwing the candy wrapper discretely on the ground while walking isnt going to make you drop dead instantly, and using the toilet will not cause you disease, but what will happen is that every tiny piece of pollution that we humans contribute to earth each day, destroys us a little bit more. Poor water supply, decreasing land, less soil to grow vegetables, filthier air to breathe, more and more disposable products are depleting our world, our health, and ultimately our lives.
Humans produce residues and wastes every day through things such as
1. human body waste
2. excess food materials (trash)
3. yard waste
4. construction waste
5. agricultural waste
6. transportation waste
7. energy production wastes
8. defense wastes

Every one of these include the word "waste" or "excess." and none of them sound any good to me.

In chapter 16, it discusses how environmental hazards are effecting the lives of people everywhere. These are any factor that contributes to the increased risk of human injury, disease, or death. These can be classified as biological, chemical, psychological, physical, or sociological hazards, and can even be natural disasters and terrorist attacks as well. One of the interesting ones to me was the lead poisoning, which is a chemical hazard. I have always heard people joke about getting lead poisoning but never took any of it too seriously. How would you even get lead poisoning? By eating paint? Well what kind of idiot would eat paint?? The fact is, it is so much easier than that. It is most commonly developed by children up to age five, and can come from multiple sources such as lead based gas for a car, batteries, pipes and paint in your homes, water, dust, and off of toys and furniture as well. This can cause serious damage for those afflicted, and is why it was so interesting to me, because i never took the thought of lead poisoning all very seriously. anemia, birth defects, bone damage, neurological and psychological depression, kidney damage, learning disabilities, miscarriages, and infertility. After reading all of that, I have no doubt any longer that it is something serious, and i doubt anyone would argue me on that.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chapter 14

In the US, there are many problems with the health care system, but they can summed up into cost, access, and quality. A large part of why so many citizens go without health care is because they don't have insurance and the costs of simple health care procedures are enormous. Many cannot afford to pay health care providers out of pocket. There are different types of health care insurance, but most people get it through their workplace. Each week or each paycheck, a certain amount of money is taken out of your paycheck to supplement the cover you and your family are recieving through your employer. Many people choose careers simply for the reason of good health care coverage. A family plan allows you, your spouse, and your children (as long as they're in school) to stay on the policy. Of course, the more people you have under your coverage, the more expensive it is going to be. In Maine, there is insurance called Maine Care which provides those who qualify to be covered by the state's policy. Typically you pay nothing or a small amount, depending on your income. This system also has faults because there still are many people that fall through thr cracks and get left behind without coverage. As of today, the US is the only country without nationalized health insurance. I think this has a lot to do with the different classes. The US is home to every nationality, race, age group, and class. Therefore, those who work hard for what they have may end up paying for someone that does not work at all, which makes people become enraged. It is a tough goal to reach, but hopefully someday there will be no gaps in the health care system in the US. It will lead to a healthier population of people and will save lives.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chapter 12: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs

Chapter 12 focused on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs as a concern to the community. The chapter discussed different types of drugs and different methods used on all three levels of prevention. There was also a lot of information on drug prevention organizations and where federal drug funding goes. What I became concerned with was why the two drugs causing the most damage are the legal ones.

At the begining of chapter 12, a lot was focused on showing the statistics and numbers that are associated with drugs. There was a list of total number of deaths and the costs associated with the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs on page 343. The bottom of the same page had a table with a list of 20 personal and community consequences of drug abuse. The first two pages focus on scaring the reader, not just informing them. After the initial scare, definitions are given.

There are both genetic and environmental factors that contribute to drug abuse. Environmental factors include personal, peers, sociocultural, and family. All of these factors play a role and if there are many different factors working together, a person is more likely to abuse. Personal factors include personality traits and susceptability to stress. Family also effects a child greatly. The values a child is instilled with young about drugs, can really impact their future.

Most of the chapter was devoted to the types of drugs and what can negatively result from using drugs. The chapter discussed both legal and illegal or illicit drugs. The legal drugs discussed were alcohol, nicotine, over the counter, and perscription. Alcohol and Nicotine were two of the biggest focus points in the chapter. This could be because both cause a seriously high number of deaths each year. Over the Counter Drugs are becoming more of an issue as people within the last 10 years have started to use them to cook crystal methamphetamine. Prescription drug abuse is also an issue on the rise. Here in Maine there is a large concern about this type of drug abuse. This could be contributed to accesibility of pharmacuticals.

The illicit drug that was focused on the most was marijuana. I found the argument given to be unconvincing and was unsurprised that the number of high school seniors who had smoked pot. The chapter went on to discuss narcotics, hallucinogens, stimulants, and depressants. There are many other types of drugs not listed in these categories, all of which remain a problem in the US.

There are multiple levels and types of prevention. There are many organizations on both state and federal levels that push the war on drugs. NIDA, the National Insitute on Drug Abuse is the largest institution in the world devoted to drug abuse research. The department of justice, the department of homeland security, and the department of education all also fight drug use. State agencies differ from state to state.

There are a few things that really got me thinking in this chapter. The first thing was that the two drugs we have the most issues with are ones that are legal. Another issue that I was concerned with was that Marijuana was a schedule one drug. This is reserved for drugs with no medical use. However, marijuana has been proven to help with many health concerns. I found the chapter to be very biased and not mention any of the good points.