Estrategia Antidrogas de EEUU es Centrada en Reforzar Salud Pública

May 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

EE.UU. divulgó el 24 de abril su estrategia antidrogas para 2013 que marca las prioridades del presidente Barack Obama para su segundo mandato, incluyendo ampliar los fondos y, mediante la reforma sanitaria, el acceso a programas de tratamiento y salud mental a más de 60 millones de personas para 2020.

El documento, al que tuvo acceso Efe antes de ser presentado en la Universidad de Johns Hopkins en Baltimore (Maryland), propone que las políticas antidrogas se basen en la “ciencia y no la política”, por considerar que la drogadicción “no es solo un asunto de la justicia criminal sino también una gran preocupación de salud pública”.

“El mensaje principal es que nos estamos centrando por completo en un modelo de salud pública y la importancia de tratar a personas con problemas de drogas, porque no podemos solucionar este problema mediante arrestos ni mediante la legalización de las drogas”, dijo a Efe el “zar” antidrogas de EEUU, Gil Kerlikowske, horas antes de presentar la estrategia junto a otros expertos.

“Esperamos que entre la solicitud de fondos del presidente Obama y la reforma sanitaria, millones de personas recibirán la ayuda que necesitan y eso nos ayudará a reducir los costos del sistema judicial”, agregó Kerlikowske, quien destacó que la reforma sanitaria de 2010 exige que las aseguradoras cubran a personas que sufren de drogadicción.

Entre más de un centenar de medidas contra el consumo de drogas en EE.UU, el plan incluye un incremento de unos 1.500 millones de dólares en fondos federales, respecto a 2012, para programas de prevención y tratamiento del abuso de drogas.

En 2011, de los 21,6 millones de estadounidenses a partir de los 12 años de edad que necesitaban ayuda por el consumo de alcohol o drogas ilícitas, sólo 2,3 millones ó un 10,8 % recibió tratamiento.

Por ello, la estrategia busca ampliar el tratamiento entre grupos vulnerables como veteranos de guerra, estudiantes universitarios y miembros de tribus.

Según datos oficiales, EEUU invirtió 9.200 millones de dólares en programas de tratamiento y prevención en el año fiscal 2012. Para el ejercicio fiscal de 2014 Obama ha solicitado poco más de 10.500 millones de dólares para programas de prevención y tratamiento del abuso de drogas.

A manera de comparación, entre 2000 y 2008 EE.UU. gastó cerca de 6.000 millones de dólares en el “Plan Colombia” contra las drogas.

El documento, que abarca unas 104 páginas en siete capítulos, hace énfasis en políticas para el combate “inteligente” contra el crimen derivado del consumo de drogas de tal forma que, en vez de ir a la cárcel, los infractores no violentos vayan a programas de tratamiento.

La estrategia incorpora reformas del sistema de justicia criminal, incluyendo los tribunales para drogadictos y programas para reducir las tasas de encarcelamiento, además de programas comunitarios para “romper el ciclo” del uso de drogas, comisión de delitos y encarcelamiento.

La oficina de Kerlikowske aseguró que el énfasis en la prevención y no el encarcelamiento, en particular entre los jóvenes, rinde mayores frutos, tomando en cuenta que por cada dólar invertido en este tipo de programas escolares hay un ahorro potencial de hasta 18 dólares en el tratamiento de drogadictos.

En aras de la “responsabilidad compartida”, el documento destacó la urgencia de continuar la cooperación en la lucha antidrogas con México y Centroamérica, para que los progresos registrados con esos países “no resulten en el desplazamiento de la amenaza (del narcotráfico) a la región” del Caribe.

La estrategia también subraya la necesidad de combatir el abuso de medicamentos recetados, incluyendo analgésicos, muchos de los cuales contienen opioides y crean dependencia, como la codeína, la metadona, hidrocodona y Oxycontin.

El abuso de esos analgésicos sin fines médicos ha hecho sonar la alarma entre las autoridades de EE.UU., donde sólo en 2010 se registraron más de 1,3 millones de visitas a urgencias, más del doble de la cifra de 2004 y superando incluso el número de visitas por el abuso de todas las drogas ilícitas en su conjunto, indicó el documento.

En 2010, más de 38.300 estadounidenses murieron por culpa de una sobredosis con recetas médicas, en particular analgésicos con opioides, agregó.

En general, el consumo de drogas en EE.UU. ha bajado sustancialmente en los últimos 30 años, en parte por la cooperación entre las autoridades locales, estatales, federales e internacionales.

En años recientes el consumo de la cocaína ha bajado en un 50 %, mientras que el de metanfetaminas ha bajado en casi una tercera parte desde 2006.

Sin embargo, el uso de la heroína aumentó de 373.000 personas en 2007 a 620.000 en 2011. Según el documento, para algunos drogadictos, el camino hacía la heroína comienza con el uso de opioides bajo receta médica.

Sliced Fruit More Appealing to Children

May 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

ITHACA, N.Y. — No matter how you slice it, cutting fruit into bite-sized pieces prompts children to eat more apples during lunchtime, according to a study by Cornell University researchers.

Most people believe that children avoid fruit because of the taste and allure of alternative packaged snacks. A study by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab researchers Brian Wansink, David Just, Andrew Hanks and Laura Smith concluded that the size of the snack counts the most. The paper, “Pre-Sliced Fruit in School Cafeterias: Children’s Selection and Intake,” is posted in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Kids love to eat fruit in ready-to-eat bite-sized pieces, yet in most school settings, the fruit is served whole, which could explain why children are taking fruits on the lunch line but not eating them.

The authors concluded that children dislike eating large pieces of fruit for two main reasons: For younger students, who have smaller mouths and might have braces or missing teeth, whole fruit is too difficult to eat. For older girls, eating potentially messy whole fruits in front of others is an unattractive, and potentially embarrassing, proposition.

The study found that fruit sales increased by an average of 61 percent when the fruit was sliced. For example, apple sales in schools with fruit slicers increased by 71 percent compared to control schools without such slicers. More importantly, researchers found the number of students who ate more than half of their apple increased by 73 percent, an effect that lasted long after the study was over.

Slicing fruit into handy, bite-sized pieces encourages more children to select it and to eat more of it. With an initial investment of just $200, fruit slicers constitute a means for school cafeterias not only to encourage fruit consumption among students but also to prevent food waste.

First Latino NASA Astronaut Inspires Bell Gardens Students

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Former NASA astronaut José Hernández on Tuesday visited Bell Gardens High School to share his voyage from childhood to NASA flight engineer. Hernández, raised as a migrant farm worker, shared his personal video of outer space with students from throughout the district.

Hernández told the students that he was rejected by NASA 11 times before becoming an astronaut who eventually traveled to the international space station in 2009.

“I think it’s important you realize that it doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you decide you are going,” he said. “We put up our own artificial barriers. If you believe in yourself and you have heart, anything is possible.”

Northeast LA Billboards Focus of Ethics Complaint in City Attorney Race

May 2, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

City attorney candidate Mike Feuer lodged an ethics complaint on April 29 alleging that a northeast Los Angeles billboard promoting the incumbent violates campaign disclosure laws.

Feuer’s campaign manager claims the billboard at 4000 N. Brunswick Ave. in the Atwater Village area fails to disclose who funded the sign as required by state law.

A spokesman for Carmen Trutanich’s campaign was not immediately available for comment.

The sign displays a picture of Trutanich and the words “Re-elect Carmen Trutanich for LA City Attorney.” It also references the website Trutanich13.com.

“The value of the signage may change the maximum allowable expenditures for Mr. Trutanich’s opponent,” Alex Ponder, Feuer’s campaign manager, alleged in the complaint.

In January, Greg Smith, who was a candidate for city attorney during the primary election, filed a complaint about a different sign that showed up on a building in northeast Los Angeles. At the time, representatives of Trutanich’s campaign said they did not know who paid for the sign.

Trutanich and Feuer will face off in the May 21 general election.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the Historic Olvera Street Marketplace in Downtown L.A.

May 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Saturday, May 4 & Sunday May 5

11am-9pm Enjoy FREE live performances of popular & traditional music & dancing, family activities, authentic Mexican cuisine and great shopping for culturally inspired artwork, pottery, jewelry and so much! SAVE TIME & MONEY and take Metro to Union Station, El Pueblo is just across the street.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo With Music! Dancing! Food! Fun!

May 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Friday, May 3

6:30 p.m.—Para Los Niños 17th Annual El Gran Baile de Cinco Fundraiser. Proceeds support educational and social services for children living on skid row and at-risk neighborhoods in LA County. Location: Gilmore Adobe, 6301 W. Third St. LA 90036. Tickets are $150 per adult; to purchase tickets visit www.paralosninos.org/cinco2013

Saturday, May 4

11am-5pm—City of Commerce Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Rosewood Park. Enjoy good food, live music & dance entertainment, game booths, raffle prizes, and more! Rosewood Park is located at 5600 Harbor Blvd. For more information, call (323) 722-4805.

11am—Annual El Cinco de Mayo Parade & Celebration in Cypress Park. Parade starts at Cypress Park Recreation Center, travels west on Cypress Park Avenue, turns left on Future Street and ends at Rio de Los Angeles State Park: 1900 N San Fernando Rd. Entrainment, vendors, and a resource fair beginning at 1pm. Sponsored by the Greater Cypress Park Neighborhood Council. Call Alexia Teran at (323) 223-6840 for more information.

Sunday, May 5

1-6pm—31st Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration In Monterey Park.The Free event features a wide variety of entertainers, including Folklorico Dancers, Mariachis, and other traditional Mexican music. There’s also going to be a raffle drawing with prizes ranging from free car washes to piñatas to free dinners at local restaurants. A second drawing will be made for the popular money hat. Location: Barnes Park Amphitheater, 350 S. McPherrin Ave. For more information, go to http://www.ci.monterey-park.ca.us/index.aspx?page=813

12 Noon-5pm— “A Quilted Rebozo & Quilt Show” at Self Help Graphics & Art. TELAS de la Vida, a unique Latina quilting group, presents their first exhibit, showcasing over 30 handcrafted quilts and shawls reflecting Latino culture, a “Viewer’s Choice” Rebozo/Quilt competition, and a quilt and rebozo (shawl) raffle. Items will be on sale. Admission is free but donations accepted. Self Help Graphics is located at 1300 E First St., LA 90033. For more information, call Ida Leon Ramos at (626) 806-5512.

10am-9pm – Japanese Boys’ Day & Mexican’s Cinco de Mayo” at the Boyle Heights Certified Farmers Market. Experience two cultures and celebrations side-by-side at Mariachi Plaza, located at 1831 E. 1st St. LA 90033. Enjoy international & traditional foods from local restaurants, artisans, children’s activities  & live entertainment representing both cultures. For more information call Antonia Juarez at (323) 331-2752 or email arodjrz@gmail.com

12 Noon-4pm—Cinco de Mayo at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Downtown L.A. See a colorful theatrical production about Cinco de Mayo & its significance as a part of American Civil War history. The production includes historically accurate music and costumes, and is presented by the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture (CESLAC) at UCLA. Teatro presentation at noon, 2pm special presentation with invited guests, and 3pm book signing with Dr. David Hayes-Bautista. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is located at 501 N. Main St, across the street from El Pueblo Historical Monument. For more information email ogcincodemayo@yahoo.com or call (310) 794-0663.

Wednesday, May 8

6-8pm—The East Los Angeles County Library Presents Mariachi Zapopan. Attend a free post Cinco de Mayo celebration. Sing along with perennial favorites Mariachi Zapopan as they play the most cherished traditional folk tunes. East Los Angeles Library is located 4837 E. Third St., LA 90022. For more information, call (323) 264-0155.

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