End of the War on Drugs?

According to Businessweek: President Barack Obama’s plan to fight drug abuse and trafficking proposes spending $15.5 billion next year and shifting the emphasis from fighting a war on drugs to treating the problem as a national health issue, the administration’s top drug-policy adviser said in an interview. “It’s a disease, it’s diagnosable and it’s certainly…

Flushed

I just finished reading an interesting book on plumbing.  I can just see that I lost half my readers with that last sentence.  How can plumbing be interesting? It turns out that if you are interested in health, you must be interested in plumbing.  Disposing of human waste is one of the biggest health problems,…

Flu Surveillance

Google searches as a public health resource: Google.org has released Flu Trends, an online reporting tool for flu-related search activity. It’s long been theorized that Google’s search data would be useful to predict epidemics. This is the first time they’ve released a tool like this to the public. As they say on the main page: We have found a…

Violence as a Public Health Issue

Can we think of issues related to violent crime as basically similar to that of a contagious disease?  This is the question an article in the N.Y. Times Magazine (“Blocking the Transmission of Violence“) attempts to answer. Violence may spread like an epidemic; murders lead to revenge killings, which lead to more revenge killings.  Stopping…