nPferils Before Birth •A Dozen Ways to Defeat the Downs • Creating ...

nPferils Before Birth •A Dozen Ways to Defeat the Downs • Creating ...



Before Birth

A Dozen Ways to

Defeat the Downs

Creating Your Own

Summer Job


I I'll be a long time before I feel comfort-

j able riding in a taxi again. The last time

JL~ I was in one, my best friend killed himself

right before my eyes.

There was nothing special about Toby

Clarendon, not until he died anyway. He was

a nice guy. Maybe he was too nice. Maybe he

should have been firmer and said No more of­


When he came to our high school in his

junior year, he was as eager as a puppy dog to

make friends. He didn't have much of a fam­

ily. He and his dad lived alone out on Route 2

west of town. Toby was always glad to be in­

vited to someone else's house, especially for a

party. He really dug being with other kids.

It was at one of those parties that Toby

had his first experience with pot. I know, be­

cause I was there. Maxwell Farmer came well

supplied from his local source. Max had the

money for it, and he's generous, Fll say that

for him.

Toby took to pot right away. He was al­

ready a cigarette smoker and didn't have the

coughing or nausea that some beginning pot

smokers have. I remember saying, "Hey,

Toby, take it easy. That stuffs Acapulco

Gold." I could tell by the glazed look in his

eyes that Toby was already drifting into a high.

That was the beginning. From then on, ev­

ery weekend was pot-time for Toby. That

schedule lasted through the rest of high

school and even into his first jobs. We didn't

see each other quite so much anymore. I was

going out steadily with Arlene by then, and we

had other things to do with our weekends be­

sides sit around and smoke pot.

When Arlene and I turned 21, we decided

to get married. On impulse, for old times' sake,

I asked Toby to be my best man.

"Me? That's cool, Sid. Yeah, Fd like that."

Toby was pleased as all get-out, I could tell.

"There's one thing though, Toby," I said.

"The wedding's on a weekend, so no pot smok­

ing the night before, OK?" I knew Arlene

would have a fit if the wedding were spoiled by

a spaced-out best man.

"Sure, Sid. No problem."

I took that as Toby's promise—but I was


The night before the wedding we had to

go to the next town where Arlene's family was

having the rehearsal and dinner. I had already

had my bachelor party the weekend before and

was still recovering. Some of my buddies,

Toby included, had tried to carry me to my car

and had dropped me on the sidewalk. Since I

was upside down at the time, I ended up with a

broken nose. Arlene's mother was really

miffed, because all the wedding pictures were

going to show the plaster strip on the bridge

of my nose. Since I was already in trouble with

my future mother-in-law, I didn't want Toby

to pull anything.

"My car's still over there," I said to

Toby, "so Fni coming for you in a taxi. After­

ward Fll drive you home." I knew Toby was,

as usual, without wheels.

"All ri-i-ight," Toby said. "That's the

way to travel."

The cab driver was plenty talkative on

the way over. He told us he'd driven a cab for

33' /2 years and that he'd met all kinds of peo­

ple. In a colorful fashion he described some of

his customers.

I let him ramble on, because I was getting

plenty nervous. Not only was the whole mar­

riage thing a super big commitment, but more

immediately I was nervous about Toby. He

had crawled into the cab with a glazed look

about him. I was sure he'd been smoking pot.

Partway to Arlene's we passed a roadside

market, and Toby leaned forward and told the

driver to stop.

LISTEN May 1983 3

"I need to buy some cigarettes," he ex­


"Can't you wait?" I asked. Tve got to be

on time at the rehearsal."

"Uh-uh." Toby jumped out of the cab and

went into the store. He talked a bit with the kid

behind the cash register. I saw Toby fumble

with some cigarettes on the counter. He opened

his jacket once and then ran back, stuffing

some bills in his pocket. Instead of getting in

the back with me, he jumped in the front.

"Okay," he said to the driver, "let's go.

Here's 20 bucks to take us the back route to


"What?" I yelled. "That'll take us even


I might as well have been talking to the

moon. Toby passed the driver a 20-dollar bill,

and the driver obligingly swung off the high­

way onto the side road.

I crossed my arms and settled back for

the extra ride. I certainly wasn't going to raise

the ante to have the driver take my route. So

long as we got there on time, that was all that


As we passed an elementary school, Toby

looked back and asked, "Is that police car still

back there?"

"Police car!" I turned around. Sure

enough, there was a police car tailing us. When

I turned back to Toby for some explanation,

he was scribbling on a postcard. "What's going

on?" I asked.

Toby didn't answer. He kept writing. This

was getting stranger by the minute. What

could Toby be writing so frantically?

"Will you look at that!" the driver said.

Up ahead I saw a roadblock on the inter­

state bypass. "Something's happened all

right," I said.

When we reached the roadblock, the

driver pulled to a stop. As troopers surrounded

the taxi, I heard a shot. Toby slumped over in

the front seat.

"Toby!" I cried. "What's going on?"

"He shot himself!" the driver cried, jump­

ing out. "It's a suicide!"

At that point the police swarmed around

the car. They pulled open the doors with guns

at the ready. I guess they knew one of us had

been shot. The driver was standing outside

saying that in all his 33 l k years of driving a

cab nothing like this had ever happened to him.

Nothing like this had happened to me, ei­

LISTEN May 1983

ther. I was really freaked out. Here I was sup­

posed to be getting married, and my friend,

the one Fd chosen as best man to see me

through the ceremony, was dead.

The police radioed for an ambulance.

After Toby's body was taken away, I had to go

with the driver to the police station and fill out

a report. That's when I found out Toby had

robbed the grocery store. That was his answer

to supporting a drug habit on odd jobs. Cash

was always a problem.

I arrived over an hour late to the re­

hearsal. Arlene understood, but her mother

was really upset. Worst of all, though, was

the gloom and sadness Toby's suicide cast over

the wedding party. The dinner was a disaster.

The next morning I went out to see Toby's

dad. He was totally broken up about Toby's


"Marijuana—that's what caused it all,"

he said over and over. "Toby was a good kid.

Then he started smoking pot in high school. I

warned him, but there's no way you can fight

it. Once it starts, it's hard to stop."

"What did he write?" I asked, hoping I

wasn't making things worse. Toby's dad did

seem to want to talk.

"Only that he was sorry for all the things

he'd done, and he wanted to end it all. I guess

he didn't have much time."

"No," I said, remembering how the state

troopers had swarmed over the cab, thinking

the driver was being held hostage. "He didn't

have much time." Only 21 years out of a life­

time. I felt my life with Arlene was just

beginning at 21. Toby would never have that


I said good-bye to Mr. Clarendon and

drove slowly home. Somehow I got through the

wedding that afternoon. My dad stood in as

my best man. While the minister was talking,

in my mind I was seeing Toby's face, so eager

to make friends at first and later so glazed and

spaced out.

At the reception the ushers were subdued.

They had all liked Toby, though no one was as

close to him as I had been. Maybe they were

thinking that a broken nose is one thing, a

broken life quite another.

Arlene and I have talked a lot about Toby

and what happened to him. If and when we

have kids, we're going to make sure they don't

start smoking pot. Mr. Clarendon was right.

Once you start, it's hard to stop. O

LISTEN (ISSN 0024-435X) is printed monthly by Pacific Press Publishing Association, P.O. Box 7000, Mountain View, California 94039 U.S.A. Second-class postage paid at


Mountain View, California. For the U.S.A.: one-year subscription, package plan, $24.00. To countries outside U.S.A.: one-year subscription, package plan, $25.00. May 1983.



I'm 12 years old and have a

boyfriend. He's very nice to me, but

he's black. My father doesn't like

him because he's black, and Dad is

very angry with me for dating him.

jt hurts me to see my father think­

ing and acting this way. I don't

know whether or not to break up

with my boyfriend. Can you give

me some advice?

The color of a person's skin

doesn't indicate whether that indi­

vidual is a good person or a bad

person. If your father says that he

doesn't like this boy only because

he's of a different race than you,

then it sounds like your father is

prejudiced against people of other

races. However there may be other

factors involved in your father's

anger with you beyond the fact that

this boy is black.

Parents don't always act rationally

or calmly when it comes to their

children, but in most cases parents

really are concerned because they

love their kids. It may be that your

father believes that you're just too

young to have a boyfriend, and this

may be the heart of the problem.

Sit down with your father and talk

with him about his feelings regard­

ing this boy and your relationship

with him. You'll better understand

where your dad's coming from after

a good talk with him.

Actually, it's not a good idea to

go contrary to your parents'

wishes at this time in your life, and

it's not good for a relationship if

the two of you have to sneak around

in order to be together.

Regarding blacks and whites be­

coming involved with each other

romantically, there've been a lot of

changes in recent years regarding

what are called mixed marriages.

There are some people who are

making their mixed marriages work,

while others in the same situation

are having a very, very difficult time.

Such a situation is especially diffi­

cult for the couple's children. The

children of a mixed marriage often­

times don't know whether to con­

sider themselves white or black, and

there's a whole new category of

race which is now being called

"mixed race," which means one is

neither white nor black. A mixed-

race child is often rejected by other

children of both races.

As I said before, skin color

doesn't indicate whether a person is

good or bad. It doesn't even have

anything to do with personality or

the other charming and attractive

aspects of a person. But there are

many problems confronting those

who would have a relationship with

someone of another race.

I think more than anything else,

you need to consider your age and

your father's feelings about your

getting serious at this time.

My parents are divorced. I love

both my parents, but when I have

a problem, I don't know which one

to turn to because each resents it

when I turn to the other. How can I

avoid hurting their feelings and

feel comfortable about myself?

When parents get divorced, they

often become quite competitive to­

ward each other regarding who will

be more important to the children.

I'm not sure that this is what's go­

ing on with your parents, but it

does sound like it if each of them re­

sents your going to the other one

with a problem.

It may be that you feed this

competition when you talk to one

parent about what another parent

has told you. If you do this, it may

start each of them wondering why

you turned to the other parent.

Actually, it's very good that you

have access to both your parents

when you want to talk to them and

that you still have an ongoing, con­

fiding relationship with them.

When it comes to avoiding hurt­

ing their feelings, I'm not sure how

it comes about that either of your

parents knows when you've talked

to one or the other of them. It may

be that you need to be careful that

you don't communicate too much

of one parent's ideas to the other.

For example, if you are wonder­

ing whether or not you can or

should do something, it's very

possible that you would go to both

of your parents, hoping that some­

body would agree with the decision

you'd made. When you do this

you're playing your parents against

each other.

If you've talked with one, keep

that conversation to yourself, or at

least don't make a point of saying,

"Daddy told me this. What do you

think, Mom?" or vice versa.

The best way to feel comfortable

about yourself is to be as genuine

and honest with your parents as

you can possibly be, and try to un­

derstand their problems, because

they probabjy still have a lot of pain

from their divorce. o

Have a question about friendships,

family relations, drugs and health, or

other teenage concerns?

Ask a friend^Jack Anders, parent,

grandparent, counselor, and social

worker from Silver Spring, Maryland.

Address your question to "Ask a

Friend," Listen Magazine, 6830 Lau­

rel Street N.W., Washington, D.C.

20012. Because of space limitations

we cannot print all questions and an­

swers in the magazine.

LISTEN May 1983

Bill Vossler



How can you feel good about yourself

after you've been feeling bad about

yourself? When you're down or de­

pressed because you flunked the

last algebra test or because your mom yelled

at you when you forgot to take out the gar­

bage, or if you're torn apart by your parents'

divorce, how can you feel better about your­

self so you can start holding your head up


In other words, how can you defeat the

downs without resorting to temporary and

harmful highs such as alcohol, marijuana, or

cocaine? Try one or more of these ways:


Compliment others. There's an old saying

about getting back out of life what you put

into it; in other words, if you praise others—

honestly—for their dribbling ability or their

hairstyle, someone will eventually compliment

you on your smile or a solo you sang.

Praising others makes you feel as good inside

as it does the other guy. Mark Twain once said,

"I can live for two months on a good compliment."

Dress up. Delve into your closet for your

2 snazziest and brightest clothes. Even if

you're not going anywhere, dress up anyway.

Try new combinations. There's something

about walking around in "Sunday clothes"

that warms your heart and makes you feel special

and good about yourself. Clothes, an old

saw says, make the man or woman.

6 LISTEN May 1983


Soak yourself. Take a long, soapy, soothing

bath. Submerge yourself in hot water

until the tensions melt away, or else scrub

those tensions off. At any rate, a hot soak

lightens the soul. Like Archimedes, you might

also discover some famous principle while in

the tub.

Go to church. Whether you're religious or

4 not isn't the point. Church music and the

serenity of the people there will help calm you

and help you find at least a measure of peace

within yourself.

Play upbeat music. Many times when peo­

5 ple feel bad about themselves or what's

happened to them, they tend to wallow in selfpity.

And one of the best wallowing grounds is

sad music. Avoid it when you're feeling down.

Instead, play music that uplifts you, like

"Zippity-do-dah" or "Sunshine on My Shoulders."

Exercise. Jogging is an especially strong

6 mode of exercise that will make you feel

good about yourself, not only because of the

feeling of accomplishment from running a mile

or two or trimming the body but also because

a sustained activity like that releases

epinephrine (also called adrenaline) which

gives a natural high. Other exercises—basketball,

football, calisthenics—or anything that

is relatively strenuous can be useful in helping

you feel better about yourself, because that's

when the adrenaline is released.


Play with a pet, A dog is best because it's

usually affectionate, but a cat can be a

close second. Have a pull or two at an old

sock, your dog on one end and you on the

other. Watch your cat chase a piece of string

or bat a ball around. The vivacity of a pet is

contagious and can help raise your spirits.

Buy a gift. Either for yourself or for some­

8 one else. But be sure you can afford it, or

your doldrums might end up worse than ever!

It needn't be a major gift; a book, a pen, or

even a card will exhibit your thoughtfulness

and help you feel better.

Do the best you possibly can. Choose a

9 school project or a personal one, like

decorating your room, then go to it. Take your

time and do the best job you possibly can. See

how much better you feel afterward, basking in

the glow of your own feelings of accomplishment.

"| A Clear up a misunderstanding. Go to a

-L \J friend—or enemy—and explain your

side of the disagreement. Ask for theirs, then

compromise. Nothing so drains energy as a

continued hatred, and nothing makes us feel

so bad. Instinctively we know hatred is not

good for us. So get rid of it.

Relive pleasant and happy moments. n Concentrate on the times you felt

loved and wanted and secure. Replay that mental

tape time and again. Remember the

smells, the feelings, the thoughts. They are

sure to help you feel better.

"| O Help someone else. Read to shut-ins or


Although Webster's dictionary doesn't define

chemistry in this way, it can be defined as the sci­

ence of combining substances so that the whole

is different from the sum of its parts.

Mix sodium, for instance, a chemical which

can bum the skin or explode when mixed with

water, with a poisonous, greenish-yellow gas

called chlorine. The result is not a more danger­

ous chemical but something quite different:

common table salt.

Even more extraordinary is the end result of

combining two atoms of hydrogen gas with one

of oxygen. The product, water, possesses prop­

erties that would have been impossible to predict

from the qualities of its constituents.

That's the point of this article: If simple

chemical combinations can produce such sur­

prising and seemingly unrelated results, it

should not be surprising that when two or more

drugs are combined inside the human body, some

unusual and dangerous results may occur.

The results of some drug interactions are

unimportant. Others, however, can mean

the difference between successful and

unsuccessful treatment; can produce

false or misleading results in laboratory

tests; or can cause unexpected and possibly seri-

L ous, even fatal, side effects.

r Although the government requires the manu­

facturer of a new drug to prove it is safe and ef­

fective, the drug manufacturer is not required by

law to carry out tests for safety and effective­

ness that involve simultaneous use with other

drugs. There are two reasons for this: One, drug

interactions is still a new and incompletely un­

derstood field; two, there is an almost infinite

number of combinations of drugs.

Fortunately, because of the reporting of drug

interactions by physicians and pharmacists, a

number of important facts have become known.

And as the factual information becomes known,

the government requires that the information

be printed on the label of both prescription and

nonprescription medicines.

Drugs interact in a number of ways. One drug

may make another drug act faster or slower or

more or less powerfully than it normally would.

One drug may change the effect another drug

has on the body.

The most common way one drug acts on an­

other is by affecting the way it is absorbed, dis­

tributed, or metabolized (broken down) in the

body. For example, let's assume that you have a

circulatory problem due to blood clotting in an

artery or vein and that your physician has pre­

scribed an anticoagulant medicine such as

warfarin, which "thins" the blood and helps dis­

solve the clot. If you happen to take an antacid

for a sour stomach, the anticoagulant may be ab­

sorbed at a slower rate than required to do the

job properly.

Conversely, some prescription and nonpre­

scription medicines may increase the effect of

the anticoagulant. Aspirin is just one of more

than a dozen medicines which will increase the

drug's effects. This increased effect may be dan­

gerous and should be discussed with your physi­


Alcohol and anticoagulants can interact in two

ways, both serious. Chronic alcohol use will

speed up the rate at which the liver breaks down

the anticoagulant, reducing the effect. On the

other hand, drinking a great deal of alcohol in a

short period can slow down the metabolism of

the drug. This can magnify the impact of the

anticoagulant to the point where the blood be­

comes so thin it may be difficult to halt bleeding

caused by an injury or from an ulcer aggravated

by alcohol.

There are a number of popular nonprescrip-

tion cough and cold medications that contain up

to 15 percent alcohol, and that alcohol interacts

with a number of medicines. For example, if a

person taking nitroglycerin for angina pectoris,

a painful heart ailment, is also drinking alco­

holic beverages, the result may be hypotension,

or low blood pressure serious enough to cause a

failure of the circulatory system.

In addition to interfering with a drug's absorp­

tion, distribution, and metabolism, one drug

can also inhibit or hasten the excretion of an­

other, and this can either exaggerate or reduce

the effect of the drug. A common way this hap­

pens is by taking a nonprescription drug that

changes the pH or acid of the urine.

Prescription medicines are formulated on

the basis of normal levels of acid (pH)

in the urine. Certain nonprescription

drugs, such as those containing ammo­

nium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, or

citrates, change the pH, and this can interfere

with the otherwise beneficial impact of the pre­

scription medicine. Common antacids are

among these.

Here's a more complicated example: If you

are taking an oral diabetic drug called acetohex-

amide and then take phenylbutazone (some­

times prescribed to relieve the pain of arthritis),

a breakdown product of the diabetic drug will

not be excreted at sufficient speed through the

kidneys. The result can be a serious and pro­

longed deficiency of blood sugar.

When several drugs are being taken, consid­

eration must be given to what is called their cu­

mulative effect. This additive reaction is very im­

portant if the drugs are similar in their general

effect. Some drugs, when combined, produce re­

actions that go beyond what one might assume

would result from adding the effect of one to

the other. When the end result is greater than

the sum of the two parts, the drug effect is said

to be multiplied. This is called potentiation.

Potentiation can be helpful with certain anti­

biotics prescribed for certain infections. It can

also be the most dangerous form of drug inter­

action. Mixing alcohol with sleeping aids, pain

relievers, or tranquilizers can result in death to

otherwise healthy persons.

Common aspirin has potentiating effects

when taken if a person is on an oral anticoagu­

lant. A person taking such medicine may risk

internal bleeding if he or she uses aspirin to alle­

viate a headache.

Nonprescription cold remedies contain antihis-

tamines, which can produce potentiating ef­

fects when taken with alcohol or any prescrip­

tion drug or nonprescription drug that acts as a

central nervous system depressant, including

anesthetics, barbiturates, hypnotics, sedatives,

and analgesics.

Drug interactions can also mask and confuse

the results of diagnostic tests. Ordinary nonpre­

scription drugs can do this, and so can vita­

mins. Laboratory tests to determine a patient's

calcium or bone metabolism can be affected by

excessive use of laxatives. Vitamins A, D, and K

as well as aspirin can produce false positive and

negative readings on a number of tests. Large

doses of vitamin C can produce false negative

urinary glucose tests and mask a diabetic condi­


There are a number of ways you can protect

yourself against harmful drug interactions:

^tf /hen your physician prescribes a

M / drug for you, make sure he knows

M^mj about all the other medicines you

r Mr are taking. Headache remedies, cold

w W medicines, laxatives, antacids, and

other nonprescription medicines are drugs. No

drug is unimportant. The drugs cited in this ar­

ticle are only a few of the hundreds of drugs that

may involve serious interactions.

If possible, shop in one pharmacy and ask the

pharmacist to set up a personal record so that

anyone glancing at the record can tell if you may

be exposed to a drug interaction.

Report any reaction you may have to a medi­

cine to your physician and pharmacist. It may

help others.

Don't take drugs prescribed for others.

What's good for them may be dangerous for you.

Read the labels on all over-the-counter drugs.

They contain some very useful and possibly life-

saving advice. O

Nancy Gutmanis



({You can make money by using your own skills

and talents. As a human being, you possess spe­

cial traits, skills, and talents, and you've gone

through a variety of experiences.)}

OOKING for a job for the summer?

It's difficult to find work of any kind

in many towns nowadays. Sure, some

businesses rely on seasonal help, and

some hire-a-student programs spring up

during the summer months. But when

you really get down to the nitty-gritty, it

doesn't matter what kind of job you apply for—

statistically, your chances of finding work re­

main poor. With today's recession and high un­

employment, few businesses have positions

available for inexperienced, temporary help.

But even if your chances of finding work

seem slim or almost nil, don't despair. You can

make money by using your own skills and tal­

ents. As a human being, you possess special

traits, skills, and talents, and you've gone

through a variety of experiences.

So don't sell yourself short. You can make

10 LISTEN May 1983

money by selling your services. In short, you

can become a small-time business entrepre­


Mark, a junior in high school, runs a year-

round "rent-a-kid" advertisement in the local

paper. When Mark's phone rings it means dol­

lars. Mr. Colussi needs his windows washed.

John Turner wants his lawn mowed. Elderly

Mrs. Borrow needs a few errands run.

Already Mark has a two-page list of regular

customers who hire him to do weekly chores.

This provides him with a part-time income

throughout the school year, and during July

and August his "rent-a-kid" business expands

to fill his free daytime hours. "Things really

pick up during the summer," says Mark. "I do

everything from painting fences to cleaning


Mark's only investment is the advertisement

he runs in the paper, yet that one ad supplies

him with year-round jobs.

You can profit from doing the things you

enjoy doing most. Income and life-style can go

hand in hand during the hot summer months.

Work will become play; even if it doesn't, it

won't seem as distasteful or boring as a lot of

summer jobs available today.

Julie and Mavis, two natural jokers, opened

their own "clown" business last summer. After

one particularly grueling day of "pounding

pavement," they came up with the idea of hir­

ing themselves out as entertainers for chil­

dren's birthday parties. "Sure, it was a bit

rough at first," says Mavis, "but that's be­

cause nobody knew us. This year we've started

advertising early, and already we have lots of

engagements lined up."

Loads of opportunities exist for you to

make your summer "millions." If baking is

your thing, start a cooking class for preteens

in your neighborhood; peddle your homemade

breads around town; or organize and cater

children's parties. If baking isn't your thing,

you can mow lawns, do general yard duties,

be a housekeeper, or teach a craft.

jfl ctually, creating your own job can

XM be a whole lot easier than it sounds.

/ For example, if you'd like to try

^^B your hand at teaching, decide what

J H you enjoy and do best, whether it's a

^^ ^B. craft, baking, or a sport, then ar­

range to teach a class instructing others.

To attract students, make eye-catching ad­

vertisements and place them on community or

apartment bulletin boards, in the supermarket,

or in local papers. The price of each session

should reflect your time and skill. Classes can

be held in your home, and materials could be

supplied by each of your pupils or included in

the price of your fee.

When it comes to creating your own employ­

ment, the most important item is creativity or


You can do everything from the obvious pet-

and plant-sitting services to the not-so-obvious.

One enterprising student ran a "You talk, Til

listen" ad in her local paper. For $4 an hour

she would listen to anyone who wanted a sym­

pathetic ear.

To start your own business, you need only

these qualifications:

Q A product, service, or idea

Q] Some experience and knowledge in the area

you're interested in

Q A battle plan

Ql A complete and honest assessment of your

own character.

Do you have the necessary qualifications to

run your own business? These are some charac­

teristics essential to business success:

Q Drive: You must do more than just dream;

you must act.

Q] Thinking ability: This includes original

thinking, creative thinking, critical thinking,

and analytical thinking.

n Human relations ability: This is emotional

stability, sociability, cautiousness, consider­

ation, cheerfulness, cooperation, and tact.

Q Communications ability: This means verbal

and written communications. You must be

persuasive and able to influence the customer

to buy.

Actually, it all boils down to the fact that

you have to think business, eat business, and

sleep business. After all, it's your summer job,

your dream, your future, and most of all, your


"Whew!" you say, "I don't know if I mea­

sure up."

Well, not everyone is cut out to run his own

business. But if you don't like bosses, rush-

hour traffic, large, impersonal buildings, of­

fice politics, and the nine-to-five grind

and if you'd love to be

independent and

manage your own

business at the age

of 16, then this

may be just the

summer job for you. O


Once upon a time, 2300

years of relief ago, a Greek

physician named Hippocra­

tes prescribed the bark of the

salix willow tree for his pa­

tients who complained of fe­

ver and pain. Later another

Greek, Theophrastus, a stu­

dent of Aristotle, noticed

that the spirea rose shrub had

the same medicinal qualities

as the salix willow. Even

more years later the North

American Indians used trail­

ing arbutus for their rheu­


Throughout ancient his­

tory, chewing on special barks

was a frequently used rem­

edy for pain. It was not until

1829 that a French pharma­

cist named Leroux actually

separated salicin, the pain-

relieving ingredient, from


After that breakthrough,

Italian, Swiss, German,

French, and English scien­

tists researched, extracted,

distilled, replaced, and syn­

thesized, until they produced

12 LISTEN May 1983

two new drugs similar to

salicin but even more effec­

tive: salicylic acid and acetyl-

salicylic acid (ASA). Of the

two drugs, ASA proved to be

less irritating to the sto

ach. (Salicylic acid is still

used today in corn remover

medicines because it is a very

corrosive agent!)

In 1899 Dr. Hermann

Dreser, director of the Ger­

man Bayer Manufacturing

Company's pharmacological

research, pronounced ASA

"outstanding in all re­

spects." He coined a new

name for the miracle drug:

aspirin, a standing for acetyl,

and spirin in honor of the

spirea plant. Aspirin, the

trade name used by Bayer

for acetylsalicylic acid, be­

came an international house­

hold word.

This remarkable acid is

the 20th century's most widely

used drug. You might be sur­

prised to learn these facts:

Over 16,000 tons of aspi­

rin are produced annually in

the United States alone.

There are more than 500

aspirin-containing products

on the market.

Aspirin is processed as

tablets, capsules, supposito­

ries, liquids, gum, and


The Bayer patent ex­

pired in 1917, allowing many

companies to manufacture

the drug.

Aspirin is always avail­

able over the counter (without

a prescription).

Americans swallow 20 bil­

lion aspirin tablets every

year. Aspirin is usually a

casual drug of choice for

chasing the "miseries and the

blahs"; however, it is often

abused and ranks second only

to barbiturates among drugs

used in suicide attempts.

A low tolerance for pain—

usually from headaches—is

the main reason aspirin is

abused. Addicted persons take

from 25 to 100 tablets every

day. Even slight overdosage

may lead to intoxication

called salicylism. The symp­

toms are headache, dizzi­

ness, ringing in the ears and

difficulty hearing, mental

confusion and visual distur­

bance, thirst and sweating,

hyperventilation, nausea,

vomiting, and diarrhea.

Millions of recommenda­

tions for aspirin are made

each year by physicians. Most

children, teenagers, and

adults consider aspirin to be a

"safe" medication because it

is so common, and they con­

tinue to consume tons of it

every year because it really is

the most versatile and effec­

tive pain reliever available ex­

cept for narcotics.

Pharmacists describe the

actions of aspirin as the four

A's: analgesic (pain reliever);

antipyretic (fever reducer);

anti-inflammatory (relieves

aches and pains from inflam­

mation); anticoagulant (blood


Crushing aspirin tablets is

an old medical secret for get-



ting faster action in punching

out pain. The acid is ab­

sorbed more quickly and is

less irritating to the stomach

this way. In fact, old Doc

Witthauer in 1899 warned

that aspirin tablets "should

not be swallowed whole but

allowed to disintegrate first in

a little sugar water flavored

with two drops of lemon


What Doc Witthauer prob­

ably didn't know was that

the vitamin C, or ascorbic

acid, in lemons makes aspi­

rin work harder and longer

when taken in large amounts

because it slows the elimina­

tion of aspirin from the

body. This means that vitamin

C actually intensifies and

prolongs the action of aspirin.

(You might have guessed

that this acid-acid interaction

could cause serious trouble

for someone with ulcer prob­


You could have been unin­

tentionally exposed to this

powerful acid before you were

born. Jane complained of

"the miseries and the blahs"

while she was pregnant and

took 25 tablets every day dur­

ing her entire nine months.

She didn't know that the aspi-


rin in her bloodstream was

quickly passing into her un­

born baby's circulatory sys­

tem and could seriously affect

the blood-clotting ability of

her newborn. Neither did she

know that frequent use of as-

pirin during the last three

months of pregnancy could

also prolong her pregnancy

and labor, then complicate

delivery with excessive bleed­


After birth, children are

soon introduced to aspirin,

first in liquid drops and then

in little orange chewables as

they get older. Children never

forget a good taste! That's

why aspirin was the first

product for which a child-

resistant cover was required


Aspirin is not a nutrient, so

it cannot produce energy. It

may relieve your headache

and hunger pains temporar­

ily, but without food to break

the night's fast, the blood su­

gar levels remain low. Drop-

/ ping aspirin on an empty

I stomach will drop your blood

V. sugar levels even lower.

Headache, restlessness, anxi­

ety, and lack of concentra­

tion will plague you when

your nervous system be­

comes panicky, sending out

LISTEN May 1983 13

distress signals for the

skipped meal.

Swallowing aspirin prod­

ucts after drinking alcohol is

a definite insult to the sto

ach! This bad combination of

drugs makes the stomach

lining extremely susceptible

to hemorrhage (bleeding).

This means that if you fizzle

two Alka-Seltzers (which

contain aspirin) after a hard

night on the town, hoping to

chase a hangover by morning,

you could be more than dis­

appointed—you could bleed


Are you an asthmatic? Be­

ware! You should know that

asthmatics are considered es­

pecially prone to bad reac­

tions from taking aspirin and

that serious side effects may

be delayed for a few hours.

Martha, a mother of eight

children, walked into the

emergency room complain­

ing of an asthma attack. Two

hours later she was gasping

for life. After resuscitation

she lay in a coma for weeks.

What happened? Martha had

taken a commercial aspirin

disguise. Her asthma attack

combined with aspirin was

almost fatal.

Since there is no such

thing as a "safe" drug, aspirin

and all of its capabilities

cannot be taken for granted.

Aspirin can be a double-

edged sword, with both bene­

ficial and harmful effects.

On the positive side, aspirin

is the treatment of choice for

arthritis, has already made

history in stroke prevention,

and is now being evaluated for

treating heart attacks. The

14 LISTEN May 1983

opposite edge is that anyone

who takes aspirin loses a lit­

tle blood from irritated micro

bleeders in the stomach lin­

ing. If the normal person

takes nine, five-grain aspirin

tablets daily for three con­

secutive days, he will lose

approximately two teaspoon-

nils (10 milligrams) of blood

from his gastrointestinal tract

each day.

So, what should we do? Ban

aspirin? No. Aspirin is a

wonder drug, but it should al­

ways be respected for the

powerful acid that it is. Here

are some suggestions to help

you maintain a high standard

of ASA control.

n Don't call aspirin candy,

and don't forget the cap.

n Induce vomiting in victims

of suspected overdose, and

contact a physician immedi­


D Monitor your health with a

medical professional if you

are a regular aspirin user.

(Important symptoms of ill­

ness could be masked by ha­

bitual use.)

G Take aspirin with a. full

glass of water or milk or

with food.

Q Never take aspirin with

alcohol, antidepressants, ar­

thritis medicines,

anticoagulants, or oral diabe­

tes medication.

[21 Check over-the-counter

medication labels for acetyl-

salicylic acid and consult with

a pharmacist before taking

prescription drugs which may

contain aspirin.

Q Try "natural" aspirin sub­

stitutes before self-medica­

tion: a cool drink of water,

good nutrition, exercise,

fresh air, and meditation.

Slow down and study the

basics again!

Nutrition, exercise, and

less aspirin.

Create your own life-style,

proud and free.

Bad habits can kill need­

lessly! o


Boyd, Eldon M. "The Safety and

Toxicity of Aspirin." American Jour­

nal of Nursing, 71, (1971): 964-66.

Friend, Dale G. "Aspirin: the

Unique Drug." Archives of Surgery, 108,

(1974): 765-69.

Fromm, David. "Effects of Salicy-

late on the Stomach." Symposia Re­

porter, August 1978.

Graedon, Joe. The People's Phar­

macy. New York: St. Martin's Press,

Inc., 1977.

Govoni, Laura E., and Janice E.

Hayes. Drugs and Nursing Implica­

tions, 3rd ed. New York: Appleton-Cen-

tury-Crofts, 1978.

"Hard-to-open Medicine Bottles

Called Lifesavers." Washington Post,

20 Mar. 1982.

Kastrup, Erwin K., ed. Facts and

Comparisons. Philadelphia: J. B.

Lippincott Company, 1981.

Kleinfeld, Cynthia, ed. Handbook of

Non Prescription Drugs, 5th ed. Wash­

ington, D.C.: American Pharmaceutical

Association, 1977.

Postotnik, Pauline. "Drugs and

Pregnancy." FDA Consumer, HEW

Publication No. (FDA) 79-3083. Re­

printed from Oct. 1978.

Ross, Walter S. "Aspirin's Amazing

New Promise." Reader's Digest. Large

printed. (1980): 139-50.

Settipane, Guy A. "Adverse Reac­

tions Due to Aspirin." J. C. E. Family

Medicine, January 1978, pp. 26-32.


as WdtoBarbara Rye

Fve been staring at the ceiling for a long

time. In fact, Fve counted every spot and crev­

ice hundreds of times. I never knew life could

be so dull.

Life was a real kick before this happened.

Running around with my buddies, impressing

the girls, getting high. But no longer. Now

Fm fighting just to stay alive, and life's noth­

ing but plain hard work.

They say it's going to get better, that I'm do­

ing great, making good progress. But is it

worth it? Do I really want to go on living? They

say only I can make that decision.

Why? Why did it happen to me? I never

thought anything like this would happen to

me. It happened to a kid in the senior class last

year. I didn't know him very well, though. It

all seemed so removed from my life.

So many times Fve replayed the tape in my

head, remembering the night it happened. It

was a balmy, spring evening. Janet and I were

going to the movies in the '72 Lemans I'd re­

ceived for my sixteenth birthday. Janet was so

pretty that night in her tight jeans and a white

halter top, her long, wavy hair framing her


It was the kind of night to enjoy being

young and in love. We both sensed that this

was a night to have fun. I pulled out some

reefers, offering one to Janet. She accepted ea­

gerly. On the way to the drive-in we stopped

for some beer, which we hid in the trunk before

entering the outdoor theater.

The movie was mediocre, but the night was

warm, the beer and marijuana were exhilarat­

ing, and Janet was beautiful. I remember her

warmth and softness.

By the time the movie was over, my mouth

tasted of stale beer, and I felt an overwhelm­

ing sleepiness. My head was swimming as my

eyelids fought the effects of gravity.

A warm spring rain mingled the night air

with the day's warmth. The road was a little

slick, but a sleepy sense of euphoria masked

this fact. With one arm around Janet I guided

the Lemans over the narrow, winding road.

Where did the other car come from? I don't

know. All I remember was a sudden, blinding

light, the blaring of a horn, and a sickening,

swirling sensation. Everything went black.

Later, fading in and out of consciousness, I

viewed the scene that would be etched in my

mind forever.

"Janet!" I screamed, when I saw a tangled

mass of limbs and her blood-stained white

halter top. There was no response to my call.

I was occasionally aware of flashing lights,

and once I heard the piercing scream of a

woman calling for her baby boy who, 1 later

learned, lay dead in the ambulance.

Since that night I've had lots of time to

think. Sometimes my head feels as if it's going

to explode with all the thoughts. Where do I

go from here? Is all this really happening to

me? They tell me this paralysis is permanent.

Can I rebuild my shattered life? Is it worth it?

They ought to clean this ceiling .... o

Francis A. Soper interviews Lucy Barry Robe

Before we get into specific questions, could you describe briefly the re­

lationship between a mother and her unborn child?

It's a much closer relationship than I ever realized, and I've been

through pregnancy myself. Fortunately I was sober when I went through

it, although I smoked cigarettes; I didn't know at the time that smoking

was detrimental. My baby is now fine, but the relationship is such that it

staggers me when I look back.

People used to think that a baby was born full-blown and perfect, al­

most like buying a doll in a toy store. Until birth the mother was sup­

posed to feed it good, nutritious things, and all these nutritious things

would pass to the baby through the placenta while, theoretically, harmful

drugs would not. Well, the Thalidomide tragedy taught us otherwise about

drugs. And I now think that every time a pregnant woman has a drink, or

a cigarette, so, in effect, does the unborn baby.

Suppose a mother addicts her unborn baby to alcohol. In one of my

scientific projects I proved that newborns experience withdrawal from al­

cohol. A couple of pediatricians and I identified this. Now, if I, as an al­

coholic, pick up a drink now after almost 15 years of sobriety, Til retrigger

my own addiction, and Til be drinking alcoholically again. I firmly be­

lieve this. So what happens when that newborn baby becomes a teenager

and picks up his or her first drink? Why shouldn't the same thing happen

to him? Could not that drink retrigger that prenatal addiction? That could

explain much of what is called the "instant teenage alcoholic."

In your research, have you found that, if the mother takes drugs or

smokes during the critical formation period of the major organs of the

fetal body, particularly the heart and lungs, that the formation of these

organs is compromised?

Oh yes. A large proportion of babies born with what we call the fetal

alcohol syndrome (FAS) have a structural heart problem. And there is

other organic damage. One baby I know about was born missing a kidney.

And FAS babies often experience breathing difficulties when they are

born. All this figures. Think of alcohol as a chemical hammer that has

been beating away on the unborn baby. It stops or stunts cell growth.

We know that alcohol permeates every cell of the adult body. There­

fore it's going to permeate every cell of the unborn baby's body too. Now,

an unborn baby is supposed to be busy growing; that's what it does for

nine months. If you give it alcohol during this growth period, that

growth will be affected, perhaps in every department.

I think it's a miracle that so many babies are born as OK as they are,

but then there are more miscarriages among alcoholic women than among

women in general. I used to think it was normal for women

to miscarry, because when I drank most of my friends

were alcoholics, and when I sobered up most of my

friends were recovered alcoholics. Among both groups,

everybody talked about miscarriages. In addition, I

think that many fetuses are miscarried before they are de­

veloped enough for the woman to even know that she's

pregnant. Perhaps even fertility is affected by alcohol.

How many women drink today who might be

damaging their babies?

Many more women drink today than, say, 100

years ago, though 100 years ago they may have been

upstairs in their bedrooms swilling Lydia

Pinkham and other such alcohol-based medicines

instead. I gather from government statistics that

about two thirds of all women in the United States

drink at some time, and as many as one fifth of all

women drink more than is good for their unborn ba­


I think that even one drink during pregnancy is

too many, because my view is that until we know

the damage moderate drinking does, it's better for

an unborn baby to have no alcohol in its system.

Look at it this way. No sane woman would give

a newborn baby a martini. She wouldn't get the

baby all ready to have a little outing in the open air

and pour a martini or scotch or a little wine or

beer into its bottle. But if you back up a week or a

month or three, six, or nine months and the preg­

nant woman has a drink, she's in essence doing the

same thing. The alcohol in her drink goes into the

unborn baby's system, so she might as well be

handing the newborn a drink as drinking during


Isn't the most critical time of pregnancy the very

earliest, even before the woman is aware that

she's pregnant?

Certainly it's a very critical time, yes. Many

women don't know they are pregnant for a good

six weeks, and that's half the first three months,

the first trimester. This is a critical time for the

central nervous system, which includes the brain.

But also there's a tremendous amount of

growth going on in the brain during the last three

months, so think again of that chemical hammer.

A woman may think, Fve gotten past the first three

or six months, so now Fll relax and drink. If a

pregnant woman has been drinking, the best time to

stop is the very minute she learns or begins to re­

alize it's harmful for her unborn baby.

This fetal alcohol syndrome has quite recently

been identified. What does the baby look like who

has this syndrome?

Babies with FAS are described by the classical

medical term FLK (funny-looking kid). They are

not grotesque; they are not deformed like the

Thalidomide babies were. They're small, and they

have small heads, which is called microcephaly. In­

side that smaller head, of course, would be a

smaller brain. We thought originally that the men­

tal retardation seen in these children was severe.

Not necessarily. It's characteristically mild to mod­

erate mental retardation. Fetal alcohol syndrome

babies have smaller eye openings.

They have flatter cheeks, and the

top part of their noses is a bit

18 LISTEN May 1983

depressed, flattened down.

But the main clue that

I've seen over and over again in

cases is the flat upper lip. Nor­

mally, most of us have a vertical

groove running from the nose

to the upper lip. But these babies

don't have that. Instead that area

is flat and has a very narrow upper

lip underneath it. Although these

babies come from all races and all parts of the

world, there's a similarity. They all look alike, yet

it's very subtle. It's nothing that would cause you to

stop on the street and say, Hey, there's one. You

would have to know what you were looking for to

recognize it.

Is this syndrome the same for any baby who has


Well, these babies have certain clinical symp­

toms of fetal alcohol syndrome. There's some ar­

gument still going on about the condition's actual


FAS is sort of like alcoholism—it's not cut and

dried, as alcoholics are not alike in the ways they

drink and how they react to alcohol. The one thing

alcoholics share is that they cannot control their

drinking. The thing that FAS children share is that

they're small, mild to moderately mentally re­

tarded, and they have this face that I just described.

In other words, alcohol can affect the develop­

ment of the muscles, the bones, and the actual

features of the body. Is this also a danger with

the use of other drugs besides alcohol?

What fascinates me about other drugs is that

they seem to do more specific damage, whereas al­

cohol seems to cause so many things. Alcohol does

affect bones and muscles and the organs I've been

talking about. These babies can also have birth­


Behavioral problems can be enormous, which

is a recent discovery in FAS babies. There seems to

be a tendency toward hyperactivity and learning

disabilities which indicates a possibility of mimimal

brain dysfunction.

A lot of these children have eye problems. There

are about seven ways that the eyes can be affected

in these children.

How permanent are these effects?

FAS is, as far as we know, irreversible. You

have to remember that since this was identified

only 10 years ago, the babies originally studied are

only 10 years old now. However, FAS has been

found retroactively in children around the world.

Some adults, mainly in mental institutions,

have been identified as having FAS. It's dif­

ficult to find such adults though, be­

cause hospital records and obituaries

very seldom put alcoholism

down as a diagnosis for patients, let alone

the patients' mothers.

When I'm in groups of recovered alcoholics, I

look around with enormous interest, particularly if

someone says that his or her mother was an alco­

holic. I carefully look at the face. Of course, just

because a person has an alcoholic mother does not

mean that that woman drank during pregnancy.

We believe that the alcohol itself does the

damage, not the hereditary factor of alcoholism.

It's the actual alcohol. The reason we believe this

is that all the animal studies have clearly shown the

things Fve been talking about. This syndrome has

been seen in five or six different kinds of animals,

including the effect of hyperactivity.

Does actual addiction often happen in the baby

when it is born?

We don't know, because very few doctors have

been able to identify these newborns. Tradition­

ally any doctor or nurse knows what heroin with­

drawal is like in a newborn. They have been

trained to see the symptoms. But alcohol has a dif­

ferent set of symptoms from heroin withdrawal.

I'm a recovered alcoholic. I know what I went

through when I withdrew from alcohol. So I asked

these doctors and scientists, What do the newborns

with FAS go through? They said, Nothing—no

withdrawal, or at most very mild withdrawal. I re­

plied, I don't believe it; no way. There's got to be


Well, there are. Traditionally doctors and

nurses thought these newborns were just cranky. It

never occurred to anybody that they were with­

drawing from alcohol. Also most doctors didn't

know which of their patients were alcoholic.

Therefore, no one looked for alcohol withdrawal

symptoms in newborns or prepared for it.

Then this whole question has not been deliber­

ately covered up but rather has just been a mat­

ter of gradually finding out what the truth is?

Absolutely. It's been ignorance. Most obstetri­

cians weren't trained in medical school to diagnose

alcoholism. When I was drinking alcoholically,

the last people I wanted to know it were my doc­

tors, so I was always very careful. I prepared with

great care for doctors' appointments. If a doctor

would bring up the subject of drinking, I dodged

and wove and changed the subject. I was very clever

at avoiding the issue, or so I thought. Well, I was

cleverly making myself sicker.

When I started this research five years ago

most obstetricians were not aware of the problem. I

would ask them, Do you have any fetal alcohol

syndrome experience? And they would say, I'm an

obstetrician. I don't have any alcoholics in my

practice. My practice is all with young women of

child-bearing age, and there aren't any alcoholics

among them.

Well, you and I know better.

Going into some of these other drugs a bit, would

you say that nicotine from smoking mothers has

a specific effect on the baby?

One scientific effect, yes, and that is size. The

babies are born smaller than normal. Mine was. I

smoked throughout my pregnancy. My baby was

born weighing 5 pounds 6 ounces. I had no idea at

the time that there was a connection. The doctor

said it would be better if I didn't smoke. I said,

Why? He said, Well, I have a feeling. I said, I

want proof. He couldn't give me any proof, so I


You feel then that the smoking did have an effect

on your own baby?

Probably, and this brings us to the question of

guilt, which I think is very important. I didn't

know when my daughter was born that my smoking

could affect her, but about four years later I began

to suspect it. Then I got some medical papers. I

wanted to find out what I could, and I read them

one night till about 2 a.m. My heart started to

pound and my hands got wet, and I thought, Oh

God, I wonder if—

One study, for example, showed that children

of smokers during pregnancy can have trouble with

mathematics in school. I wondered if my baby was

going to have trouble with math in school, and I

really began to beat on myself for having smoked.

Actually now she's doing fine in math in fourth

grade, and she's now up to my shoulder at nine

years of age. But she was small and in nursery

school at the time I was reading these medical papers.

If there are women who drank heavily during

pregnancy and have damaged children, they should

remember that in those days very little was known

about this problem.

But the problem we face now is to educate

women so that they know it's not only themselves

they are damaging but also that they are inflicting

poison on their unborn babies. There's also, ideally,

a husband around, and it's his kid too, so he has a

right to step forward and say, Now wait a minute.

If you want to drink yourself into a stupor that's

one thing, but you're carrying my kid, and I don't

think you have a right to drink.

That's a way to lever an alcoholic woman into

treatment, in my opinion. I think if somebody had

done that for me with my smoking I would have had

to listen. £

Bringing up the subject

of the father, is

he involved also in

case he's a drinker

when the child is


We don't know yet,

because everybody has A

been concentrating on the

mother. But there is research going on, and we

know enough to indicate there's a very good

chance that he could be. All kinds of things can be

affected by drinking, like the sperm count and the

testosterone level. A man is manufacturing the

sperm today that he will be using four days from

now. The bottom line is that it's not just whether he

actually does contribute, and he may very well,

but, psychologically, how fair would it be for him to

say to his wife, Well, you'd better stop drinking

because we're thinking of having a baby, but, of

course, I don't have to. It's nice if all this is a

team effort all the way. Then if it turns out later

that he does have some kind of effect, he'll be glad

he was smart.

Do I hear you saying that when a baby is contem­

plated, that's the time both husband and wife

should be aware of their alcohol or drug use?

Absolutely. Because a woman never knows

when she may get pregnant. It's imperative to get

into physical shape for pregnancy. If she should get

pregnant—even before she planned to—every day

is precious. That unborn baby needs everything it

can get from the mother.

How about some other drugs, including tranquiliz-

ers such as Valium, even caffeine?

We don't know a great deal about those yet. I

think tranquilizers have been implicated in some

specific birth defects. I know there's withdrawal

from tranquilizers in newborns, as well as from

sleeping pills, and that's no way for a newborn to

start life.

Also, you're acclimatizing an unborn baby to

drugs by building up a tolerance to sedatives and

tranquilizers, the same way as you would be to al­

cohol. Caffeine also is a drug, and there's no

reason that an unborn baby shouldn't be affected.

Research findings are inconclusive at this point on


What about a person who drinks and at the same

time is taking tranquilizers? Is this worse?

It certainly is for the woman, because one

drink plus one pill does not equal two in this case.

They potentiate each other into an explosion of up

to 6 or 8. That's any drink, you know—beer, wine,

or liquor. Whether the same potentiation would

affect the unborn baby, I don't know, but it cer­

tainly would if it makes the pregnant woman

drunker. Then the unborn baby would be that much

drunker too. What an unborn baby goes through

when it's intoxicated only God knows; I don't.

I'm hearing from your description here, Lucy, that

you take a dim view even of so-called moderate

drinking. Would you say that in order to be safe a

woman needs to be totally abstinent?

Yes, moderate drinking is a tricky term any­

way, because what might be moderate for a 200-

pound woman wouldn't be so moderate for a 100-

pound woman. There are people who claim that

20 LISTEN May 1983

excessive drinking is the only thing that's danger­

ous to unborn babies, but we know for sure that six

drinks a day can produce birth defects. This is the

actual figure available from the Metropolitan Hos­

pital in Cleveland. Half of the babies of women

who drank during pregnancy were affected in some

way. That's playing Russian roulette with a really

loaded gun.

Nobody knows why the other half are not af­

fected. But why take a chance? Is the mother going

to get enough out of that moderate drinking to

make it worthwhile, or more to the point, does she

need that moderate drinking? If she needs it, then

she's using alcohol as a drug and needs help.

Could you briefly summarize your research over

recent years? What would you suggest to the

mother, and father, too, relative to their drug


I've studied hundreds and hundreds of medical

papers in addition to my own personal projects. If a

pregnant woman doesn't drink, there's no way

that her baby can have the fetal alcohol syndrome.

It's the alcohol that causes these birth defects.

The United States' surgeon general and the Ameri­

can Medical Association both advise abstinence

from alcohol during pregnancy.

As I said before, no sane mother or father

would give a newborn a glass of beer or wine or any

kind of hard liquor, so it would seem to me that

the best advice is simply, Don't drink if you're preg­

nant or thinking of becoming pregnant. No alco­

hol is the best amount of alcohol.

We all go through such efforts to provide for

our children. At Christmas we want to give them

toys; we want to give them a good education,

clothes, good moral values, good neighborhoods,

good friends, good everything, so why can't moth­

ering start before birth? Why treat a newborn child

like a toy that you've just bought? The time to be­

gin is before it's born, because even then it's a func­

tioning being. It's no gift to give an unborn baby a

drink, no gift at all. O

* Lucy Barry Robe is Research Associate at New

York Medical College, specializing in the study of the

fetal alcohol syndrome and the impact of other drugs

on the unborn child. She became interested in the sub­

ject because, as she says, "I'm a recovered alcoholic,

and I'm also a journalist." In addition to researching

some 700 medical and scientific papers in the field,

she has done research projects of her own.

Just So It's Healthy is her book summarizing the

results of her extensive studies. Now in its third edi­

tion, it traces the possible effects of many drugs on

pregnancy and prenatal growth. Extensive lists of

references support the evidence presented. The book

is published ($6.95 paperback) by ComCare Publica­

tions, 2415 Annapolis Lane, Minneapolis, Minnesota

55441. Toll-free telephone: 800-328-3330.

How-to Corner

Jim Conrad



Most of us would like to know someone who

could take us aside and teach us the secrets to

mastering the disorder around us. At times we

all teel as if we are prisoners on a monster's

planet; how wonderful it would be to enjoy

greater wisdom and power, to be able to get

things done.

It's possible. It's possible to become an ally

with something powerful and mysterious and to

accomplish things undreamed of. However, self-

discipline and concentration are required. In

other words, it's largely a matter of confronting

weaknesses within ourselves and exerting ini­

tiative to accomplish what needs to be done.

Many paths lead in this direction. The one I

want to tell you about is the Path of Tools—tools

like screwdrivers and hammers.

Have you ever watched someone working with

tools on a project that meant a lot to him or

her, a project like building a boat in a basement

or painting a picture or putting together a

model railroad? Speak to these special people

and they may not hear you, such is their con­

centration. They work slowly and pay meticulous

attention to detail.

The work of such people is good. They leave

no untightened bolts, no messy smudges, and

they commit no silly mistakes. When these peo­

ple stand beside their finished projects, you can

see the pride in their faces and sense a glow of

satisfaction emanating from them.

Furthermore, these people seem to have pow­

ers that regular folks do not. And why not?

Tools are nothing more than inventions with

which we may increase our powers.

With your fingers, try loosening the bolt that

holds up your bike seat. You can't do it. But

use a properly fitting wrench and it becomes

easy. With a system of ropes and pullies a

small child can lift a boulder weighing many

tons. Archimedes said, "Give me a place to

stand and I'll move the earth!" Archimedes had

no small respect for tools.

Gather some tools and try the projects being

described in this series of "how-to" articles—

fix a bike's flat tire, or stop a faucet from drip­

ping. And, whatever you do, do it with an eye

for detail, and try to do the very best job you


Then, once you have accomplished your goal,

stand back, look at your good work, and feel a

vibration all through your body.

When you've accomplished your goal and

you've felt that special thrill, go on to another

project. With tools in hand walk defiantly

through your world of self-doubts and feelings of


If you see a lawnchair coming undone, listen

for that voice speaking softly inside your head:

"Fixit." Responding to this voice will increase

your confidence and ability as you

tread the Path of

Tools into a new

world of


and fulfillment

of your

dreams. O

LISTEN May 1983 21


On a summer evening five years ago I walked

into a small suburban pharmacy and shoved a toy

pistol into the stomach of the pharmacist.

My hands shook, my eyes watered, and waves of

nausea swept over me.

I yelled that I was an addict and that I would

shoot the druggist if he didn't surrender the nar­

cotics—the morphine and Demerol—to which Fd

become addicted. I added that I was sorry, that I

didn't like doing this, but that I could find no other

way to obtain the drugs I needed to avoid with­


When I was arrested later that night I was al­

most grateful. My life had degenerated into a pain­

ful nightmare of drug injections, withdrawal, and

frantic hustling for money. Fd grown immensely

tired of the ordeal; I was weary of the misery my

habit was putting me through and terrified by the

increasing risks I had to take to maintain my equi­


My family, though overwhelmed by the news of

my arrest, shared my sense of relief that it was over

and that I was now in jail and not in the morgue.

My parents had watched with horror as Fd fought a

losing battle with my addiction, my usage broad­

ening from casual experimentation to daily injec­

tions of pharmaceutical opiates.

My initiation to drugs began when I was 16, a stu­

dent in a small private high school where I was be­

ing prepared for college and a career in my father's

business. Though always somewhat introverted, I

got along well with my classmates and teachers and

had no trouble maintaining an A average.

I was attracted to drugs out of boredom, curios­

ity, and a desire to gain acceptance among my

peers. I wanted to hang out with the fast crowd, the

ones with the pills and the weed, the ones I mis­

takenly thought were having all the fun.

Together we'd smoke grass between classes,

have a beer after school, and some coke, speed, or

quaaludes at parties. I liked the way drugs made

me feel. Stoned, I was able to talk comfortably, to

socialize, and to express myself in ways which

seemed impossible without chemicals. The world

then seemed a place without loneliness, unhappi-

ness, or sorrow, without any of the small inse­

curities which accompany adolescence. I had

no idea what the consequences of my actions would

be, that Fd nearly pay with my life to feel like


The changes I underwent in the next few years

were gradual enough to permit me to believe I

22 LISTEN May 1983

wasn't changing. I didn't notice my worsening

health, failing grades, or declining morals. The

drugs themselves fogged my perception so as to

make self-knowledge impossible and undesireable.

I was viewing myself through the rosecolored

lenses of my narcosis.

None of the "friends" with whom I was then

associating were in any position to offer intelligent

feedback. After a year of increasingly frequent

drug indulgence, Fd sacrificed most of my friendships

with nonusers. My circle of acquaintances

narrowed until it eventually included only those

with problems and habits similar to mine, and

none of us were in any condition to notice or reverse

the changes.

If we had been, we might not have begun steal­

ing. That became necessary as I drifted toward the

use of harder, more expensive substances. The first

year Fd been able to purchase from my allowance

what I used. However, as my tolerance to drugs in­

creased and I needed more and more of them to

get high, I was forced to steal to support my


Once I looted my father's coin collection for

something to exchange for cash. When my parents

discovered the theft they were devastated. I ad­

mitted my drug use and promised to quit, assuring

them the problem was less serious than they sus­

pected. I kept only half of my promise, hi the fu­

ture I no longer stole from my family; instead I

shoplifted, burglarized doctors' offices, and forged

prescriptions to obtain the substances my habit re­


My first arrests were for stealing and for drug

possession. I was granted probation by the courts.

As a stipulation of my probation I was ordered to

see a court psychiatrist, a condition which I re­

sented. Drugs by this time had distorted my think­

ing to the extent that I could no longer determine

what was right or wrong, rational or irrational. Fd

become determined that no one was going to


change my thinking, despite the possible conse­

quences of that attitude.

No one was very surprised when I was sent to

prison after the pharmacy robbery. Imprisonment

had become inevitable—as it is for anyone who uses

illegal drugs consistently. I hadn't believed that

before. I'd thought it was possible to maintain my

addiction and my freedom at the same time. I

know now that that is not possible: any type of sus­

tained drug use is antithetical to freedom. The two

cannot coexist. Death or imprisonment are the two

alternatives available to regular users of hard


By the time I reached a prison cell I'd nearly de­

stroyed my body. I'd endured hepatitis, endocardi­

tis, and vitamin deficiencies. I had open sores and

abscesses on various parts of my body. The eupho­

ria and sense of freedom I'd sought in drugs had

resulted in the total loss of my freedom, the near

ruin of my body.

In prison, of course, there is no freedom. The ad­

ministration decides what time Til get up, what

Fll wear and eat, who I'll associate with, what job

Fll perform, and what time I'll turn out my light.

My ties with the outside are limited, and I see my

family only occasionally.

The large majority of the men with whom I'm im­

prisoned have had some previous involvement with

drugs, and for most, drugs have played a role in

their incarceration. Though not everyone who

uses drugs goes to prison, nearly everyone who goes

to prison has abused drugs to one degree or an­


Many, by the time a cell door slams behind

them, have suffered chronic physical or psychologi­

cal damage. I see them daily as they walk the

prison yard, their speech slurred by amphetamine

use; their thinking scrambled by LSD, PCP, or

other mind-altering chemicals; their arms and legs

scarred by opiate or barbiturate injections.

Most users do not hit prison until they're rela­

tively advanced in their addiction. For them,

prison represents the last stop, the final darkness at

the end of a long series of darknesses. To make a

recovery at this point, to transcend that darkness,

is exceedingly difficult. Prison may be hard, but

affecting a change in one's personality is even


Such changes, however painful, are not impossi­

ble though. When I reached a point where change

was desirable, I had to find something to replace

the drugs around which I'd structured my life. I

* *When I was arrested later that

night I was almost grateful. My

life had degenerated into a painful

nightmare of drug injections,

withdrawal, and frantic hustling

for money.)) MICHAEL KNOlL

had to find other ways to fill my time, activities

which provided the mental and spiritual stimula­

tion Fd sought in drugs.

Two years into my sentence I began a daily jog­

ging program on the prison athletic field. I began

weightlifting to rebuild debilitated muscle tissue.

I enrolled in college courses and a workshop for

writers, a class where I began writing poetry,

short stories, and articles. Writing afforded a con­

text where I could express my feelings and explore

my consciousness in a creative manner. In my writ­

ing I learn about myself, and I've begun to feel

good about the person I am.

After developing my writing skills and complet­

ing a degree in English, I began teaching students

in the prison's education program. I now spend my

time explaining the nuances of English to prisoners

seeking a high school diploma, correcting their

papers, and giving advice in composition. Assisting

others helps provide for me the sense of purpose

and self-worth my life so painfully lacked during

the years of my addiction.

The Russian author Dostoevski once wrote that

man "without a sure idea of himself and the pur­

pose of his life would sooner destroy himself than

remain on earth." When we use drugs we forfeit

that sense of ourselves, of what is genuine. We fa­

cilitate alienation and drain our lives of any sense

of purpose.

If we are to achieve happiness we must confront

life directly, and we must make of life something

meaningful, something which will enrich the

world around us as we ourselves are enriched.

In or out of prison it is within our power to do

this, to make of our lives what we want, to choose

happiness over sorrow, freedom over incarcer­

ation, life over death. Those choices are ours—it's

one of the wonderful things about being human! O



rou are 11 years old and in a sea of

trouble. Yesterday Officer Riley ar­

rested you for shoplifting. You are on

suspension from school for fighting.

Your mailbox is flooded with warning

slips from your discouraged teachers.

Your father was fired again because of his

drinking, and your mother keeps remind­

ing you that you are as worthless as he.

You are an ideal candidate for Passport

for Adventure.

Passport is the state of Kansas' answer

to "at-risk" juveniles, those youngsters who

are least likely to escape the effects of

their environment. It operates as a reverse

"Who's Who." The smartest, brightest,

most personable stars of school have schol­

arships, honor societies, and opportunities

galore at their fingertips. Passport is re­

served for the other end of the spectrum; it

is tailored for students of low self-esteem

fiff Adventure


and high aptitude for trouble.

Begun as a summer experience, the out­

ward-oriented program proved so success­

ful that it was expanded seven years ago

into a year-round offering. After experi­

menting with various age groups, organiz­

ers learned that the ultimate impact was

achieved with the preteen group; thus the

St. Francis Boys' Home-affiliated plan is

geared to the sixth-grade set.

Passport's two-month residency is di­

vided into three, two-week segments, with a

five-day interval between each. Each seg­

ment involves a group of 12 youngsters and

three counselors in intensive wilderness

activity that includes backpacking,

canoeing, rock climbing, and rappelling.

The Wyoming Rockies, Arizona desert, Ar­

kansas forest, and Canyonlands of Utah

are a few of the sites where many

potential delinquents have

metamorphosed into positive members of


It is a skill-oriented course. Preteens pre­

viously condemned as worthless at school

and home suddenly find themselves vital

members of a supporting group. It is a re­

vitalizing experience.

Student responsibility increases with

each adventure. Map reading and

orienteering, planning and packing, and

buying and baking all the wilderness fare

are some of the tasks through which the

11- and 12-year-olds gain competence and


It is not problem-free. When "Huddle!"

rings through the air, bodies cram into a

circle. It may be to discuss a misplaced

compass, to discover why Johnny is al­

ways the last to be ready, or to pour well-

deserved praise onto an individual or


Choices, not orders, abound. "We al­

ways try to give options," says counselor

Rick French. "We don't say that this is

the way you must live—we don't state

whether you should or shouldn't get

smashed every night—but we do offer en­

couragement to reflect on your experi­

ence—how you feel after a certain act and

how you feel about this trip." It is an ef­

fective approach.

"We don't administer punishments," he

continues, "but student experience is a nat­

ural outgrowth of behavior. If Pam and

Sue are late starting the evening campfire,

then supper is late. If a ruckus is raised

passing through a town, then the next bus

stop is on a remote road." Students

quickly learn the relationship between their

actions and their experience.

Passport is not an inexpensive offering.

Cost per student is $3200. Though each

participant's family normally makes a fi­

nancial contribution, the brunt of the bill

is borne by charities.

In terms of savings to society, the Ad­

venture is well worth its weight in coin.

"The $3000 is a child's life!" says an en­

thusiastic counselor who has witnessed

countless juveniles shift from the prison-

bound path to the productive.

Indeed for many, the course is behavior-

altering. "It was one of the best experiences

of my life," insists a former participant in

Passport. She is today a successful beauti­


The intensive outdoor encounter offers

untold opportunities for adjustment, but

for many the greatest trauma is leaving the

program. Boys and girls alike may

collapse in a torrent of tears.

"People care for me here," they'll wail.

"I'm not a jerk. At last I feel useful."

The transition back isn't always easy.

Old habits and teacher expectations die

hard. Follow-up from caring counselors

eases the adjustment, for Passport is far

more than a ticket to two months of fun.

It is a passport to a whole new life. O

Don't be surprised if you should

happen by a park late some evening

this summer and see what looks like a

glowing light bulb sailing back and

forth over the tennis courts.

The day (and night) of the lighted

tennis ball has arrived!

Pick Point Enterprises, Inc., has

produced a clear plastic ball that plays

and bounces like a regulation tennis

26 LISTEN May 1983


ball. It also glows for up to 12 hours

with a single injection of Liqui-Lite,

the luminescent substance found in

Cyalume Lightsticks.

Of course, nocturnal players using

this ball never know whether they're

playing to their opponents' forehand or

backhand. But then it doesn't really

matter, because players can't keep

score anyway until someone invents

luminous boundary lines.

If you can't find the Nitelite

Sportsball in a toy or sporting goods

store near you, write Pick Point En­

terprises, Inc., P. 0., Mirror Lake,

New Hampshire 03853, for the name

of the nearest dealer.

At $6 (not including Liqui-Lite),

this ball may be a bit expensive, but it

should be pretty difficult to lose!


As a saleswoman by trade herself,

Sharon Otten of Anaheim, California,

knew a good deal when she saw it.

When she discovered an auto deal­

er's coupon in the Orange County

Yellow Pages offering $100 off the

price of a new or used car, she went

door to door beseeching friends and

strangers alike to give her the cou­

pons from their phone books.

When she had collected 91 cou­


People in Ames, Iowa, who wish

to nonviolently settle a score with each

other can face off in the boxing ring

set up on the dance floor in Johnny's

Ringside Lounge.

Even though the ring is complete

with bells, stools, and ropes, comba­

tants who climb into the ring at John­

ny's don't throw any punches. They

pepper each other with insults instead.

Contenders trade slurs for three

one-minute rounds. Thirty-second rest

periods are scheduled between

rounds during which cornermen can

offer advice. Three unbiased patrons

serve as judges, and winners receive a

pitcher of their favorite drink on the


In the interest of good sportsman­

ship, contestants are required to smile

throughout the bout. No body con­

tact is allowed, and use of foul lan­

guage or "mother" jokes is consid­

ered a low blow.

Could this be where Don Rickles

got his start?

pons, she offered them to Dealer Scott

Nowling after bargaining with him for

a 1982 Oldsmobile Firenza that was

listed at $10,394.

When Nowling said "No deal,"

Otten filed a suit against him for the

cost of the car, accusing him of false


In his own defense, Nowling says

no one ever told him he had to

specify only one coupon per customer.

Nowling has refused to settle out of


The youngest elected official in the

United States wasn't allowed to vote

for himself or for anyone else, for

that matter. Why? He's only 15 years


But even without his own vote, Eric

Salem of Lincoln, Nebraska, easily

beat his two adult opponents for a

$500-a-year term on his county

Weed Control Authority. Despite his

tender years, Eric could run for this

particular public office because there

was no minimum age requirement.

"I went into the county office and

told them I wanted to run for the

weed board," Eric said. "They just

stood around for a few seconds

'aahhh-ing' and looking at each other.

"I pointed out to them there was

nothing in the code that said you had

to be any specific age to run, so they

had to let me file."

Eric decided to run for office after

a friend's mother was killed in an auto'

accident that occurred because the

driver of the other car didn't see a stop

sign hidden by tall weeds. He later

learned that the Weed Control Author­

ity didn't handle overgrown weed

problems but rather concerned itself

with weeds that threatened agricul­

ture, but Eric decided to run anyway.

Eric raised the $500 he spent on

his campaign by mowing lawns and

painting house numbers on curbs.

Becoming a politician has not

court, saying, "We have to stand up

for what is right. She shouldn't get

something for nothing."

Otten contends that Nowling has

received $10,000 in free publicity, and

she's confident she'll win the case.

Meanwhile, she hasn't quit collect­

ing coupons.

changed Eric's life much except that

more people recognize him now. And

his classmates have given him the

nickname "Weeds."

LISTEN May 1983 27


Ruth Schiefen

A number of words are spelled the same both forward

and backward (noon and pop, for example). Such

words are called palindromes, and several of them are

defined below. See how many you can figure out.

1. A female sheep

2. Energy

3. Real estate document

4. A small child

5. Chirping sound

6. A practical joke

7. A bomb or shell which fails to explode

8. A garment that protects babies' clothing

9. Flat, even

10. A young wolf or seal

11. A short, quick blast of sound

12. Member of a religious order

13. Eskimo canoe

14. Device which measures radio wave echoes



Patricia L. Dombrink

Forts and "Fort" cities are found in many states.

Where do you find these forts?

1. FortWayne

2. Fort Dodge

3. Fort Worth

4. Fort Knox

5. Sutler's Fort

6. FortSumter

7. Fort Duquesne

8. Fort McHenry

9. Fort Lauderdale

10. Fort Smith

a. Pennsylvania

b. California

c. Kentucky

d. Indiana

e. Arkansas

f. Texas

g. Iowa

h. Florida

i. South Carolina

j. Maryland



Answers to "Back and Forth"

pnp 7 6B6 -9 daad '5 joj > paap p g dad

listen Hews

Alcohol Use Is Up

On College Campuses

A new national survey says that

heavy drinking among college students

is increasing, led by white females who

are adopting male drinking patterns.

A survey of 5000 students in all 50

states says that last year 17.2 percent,

or more than one out of six college stu­

dents, classified themselves as heavy

drinkers. When the survey was pre­

viously taken in 1974, 11.6 percent

said they were heavy drinkers.

Heavy drinking among white female

students had nearly tripled, from only

4.8 percent in 1974 to 14.4 percent in


Twenty-five percent—one out of

four—of the male American college

students surveyed classified the

selves as heavy drinkers. Eight years

ago the figure was 20.3 percent, or

one out of five. The survey, conducted

by Ruth C. Engs of Indiana University

and David J. Hanson, also showed that

heavy drinking among black students is

sharply lower than among whites.

A little more than 10 percent of black

male students classified themselves as

heavy drinkers, compared with 30.8

percent of white males.

Only 1.8 percent of black female stu­

dents said they were heavy drinkers,

and that was a drop from the 3.6

percent recorded in 1974.

Heavy drinking among students af­

filiated with religious denominations

ranged from 24.5 percent among

Catholics and 23.6 percent among

members of Protestant denominations

that allow drinking, to 10.7 percent

among members of Protestant

churches that don't allow drinking. A

large number of Jews said they drank,

but not heavily; 90.5 percent said they

drink, but only 12.3 percent were

heavy drinkers.

"Another interesting thing," said

Engs, "is the correlation between a

high grade point average and lower

drinking rates."

Among students with a 4.0 grade

average, 10.7 percent were heavy

drinkers, compared with 38 percent

among students with less than a 2.0


Smoke Can Worsen

Children's Ear Disorder

Physicians have found another bad

effect that breathing cigarette smoke

can have on children.

Chronic middle-ear disease is wors­

ened when children are exposed to

such smoke, report researchers at

Seattle's Children's Orthopedic Hospi­

tal and Medical Center.

Factors most often involved in chil­

dren with persistent middle-ear drain­

age are: nasal congestion, exposure to

household cigarette smoke, and a pre­

disposition to certain allergies.

No-smoking Automobiles Offered by

Thrifty Rent-a-Cars System

A program launched recently to pro­

vide nonsmokers an opportunity to ride

in Thrifty-Rent-a-Cars without inhaling

smoke from cigarettes and cigars is

getting the blessing of scores of users

of these cars, according to Georgette

Lynch, city manager for the car group

in Phoenix.

Lynch said that Phil Wiser, owner

and former smoker, and president of

the rental franchises in Omaha, Des

Moines, Tucson, San Diego, and Phoe­

nix, is convinced that nonsmokers will

seek out and enjoy the nonsmoking-

designated cars at the offices of Thrifty


Lynch reports that about 30 percent

of the 400 cars in the Wiser chain are

set aside for nonsmokers. This suc­

cess has been reflected also in fran­

chises in Dallas, Houston, Tulsa, Okla­

homa City, and Los Angeles.

Nonsmoking kits are available in

these rentals, containing a gold metal

plate carrying a no-smoking message,

and decals for ashtray, window, and


Suicides Up, Church

Attendance Down

Does attending church help protect

young people against suicide?

Possibly so, according to a study by

Steven Stack, a sociology professor at

Pennsylvania State University, who

was searching for reasons back of the

nearly threefold increase in the suicide

rate for young American adults be­

tween 1954 and 1978.

About 5000 people aged 15 to 24

committed suicide in 1978, the last

year for which statistics are available.

This is a rate of 12.5 per 100,000. In

1954 this rate was 4.2 per 100,000.

Church attendance for the 15-to-24

age group fell from 48 percent in the

late 1950s to 28 percent in 1973.

"Church attendance measures quite a

bit about the state of religion in a soci­

ety," said Dr. Stack, who commented

that suicide is an "extreme" act that

often occurs after years of problems.

"Religion is one of the things that

sees people through the rough times,"

he explained. "It teaches them to per­

severe. A significant fall in church at­

tendance might be an indication of less

willingness to persevere. Religion sup­

plies moral guidelines. Without regula­

tions, people have too many options."

Divorce and unemployment are also

factors in the suicide rate, added Dr.


LISTEN May 1983 29


Weather Forecast

Weather changes are usually preceded by conditions from

which such changes can be forecast. From the winds or baro­

metric pressure observers can predict what is coming.

Now indications are beginning to show that weather changes

are in the making as far as the alcohol scene is concerned. Obvi­

ously such changes are needed, for current approaches to alco­

hol problems, which focus almost exclusively on alcohol abuse

and abusers, "are not the only, and may not be very effective,

ways of coping with alcohol problems."

This admission is made by none other than the prestigious

National Academy of Sciences, in its major report called Alco-

hol and Public Policy. "Heavy drinkers typically account for

less than half of the people with problems," says the report.

This academy report strongly supports the need for treating

alcoholics, but it also emphasizes that policies must be de­

signed and aimed at moderate and light drinkers as well.

These proposed policies include the following:

1. Taxes on alcoholic beverages, especially federal taxes,

should be raised, and part of all of the revenue should be ear­

marked for alcoholism prevention and treatment programs.

2. Alcohol advertising should be sharply restricted or banned

altogether. Counter-advertisements should be run frequently,

describing the risks of alcohol and the benefits of light drinking

or abstinence.

3. Alcohol beverage labels should include alcohol content, a

complete list of ingredients, and a rotating series of warnings

such as those on cigarette packages regarding health dangers.

4. Continued efforts to control drunk driving and to treat alco­

holics should be maintained.

Understandably, the liquor industry takes a dim view of any

efforts to reduce consumption, claiming that they won't work. In­

stead they call for more research into the causes of alcohol

abuse and more programs to treat alcoholics. This has been

their demand since the repeal of Prohibition some 50 years ago,

and such measures have yet to solve the problem.

During this same time the National Council on Alcoholism

(NCA), the most important professional group in the field, has

taken the same approach, which was understandable since its

board included representatives of the alcohol industry.

However, in recent years a sentiment for prevention has been

infiltrating the NCA rank and file, leading up to the departure of

industry representatives from the board and the abandoning of

the old emphasis exclusively on treatment in favor of a new em­

phasis on prevention.

Dr. Ernest Noble, an NCA vice-president and director of the

Alcohol Research Center at the University of California at Los

Angeles, calls for the bringing together of more groups with con­

cerns in this area.

Already such a coalition seems to be in the making. For exam­

ple, take the rising nationwide movement against drunk driving.

Its members are pushing not only for laws to deal with drunken

drivers but also for measures that will reduce the number of peo­

ple who end up driving drunk in the first place.

Some other movers in this coalition include the national Par­

ent-Teacher Association, the National Women's Health Network,

the Consumers Federation of America, and the American Medi­

cal Student Association.

It's encouraging to note that the signs indicate a favorable

weather change in dealing with this alcohol problem.

May 1983 Vol. 36. No. 5

Editor Francis A. Soper

Assistant Editor Barbara Wetherell

Audio Services Sherrie Thomas

Editorial Secretary Gloria Meyers

Office Editor Juanita Tyson-Flyn

Art Director Howard Larkin

Layout Ed Guthero

Circulation Manager Gary D. Grimes

Office Manager Henry Helson

Photo and Illustration Credits

Cover and pages 16, 17, 18, Dr. Rainer Jonas; page 2, Robert Hunt;

pages 6, 12, 13, 14, 21, 27, Ed Guthero; page 7, Guthero/Cruz/Walter;

pages 8, 9. 10, 15, 17,19,22, D. Tank; page 11, Lauren Smith Design;

page 13, Joan Walter; page 21. Jim Conrad; pages 23, 27, 31, Nery

Cruz; pages 24, 25, Janice Schofield; page 26, Donna Lang; page 28,

Masters Agency; page 31, H. Armstrong Roberts.

Editorial Offte«

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California 94039.

All editorial inquiries should be addressed to the Editorial Office in

Washington, D.C. Inquiries regarding subscriptions should be ad­

dressed to the Pacific Press.

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mailed to addresses in Canada or overseas.

LISTEN, monthly journal of better living (twelve issues a year), pro­

vides a vigorous, positive, educational approach to the problems

arising out of the use of tobacco, alcohol, and narcotics. It is utilized

nationally by Narcotics Education Inc., also by many organizations in

the field of rehabilitation. Second-class mail privileges authorized at

Mountain View, California. Form 3579 requested. Litho in the United

States of America.

This publication is available in microform from Xerox University

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Copyright © 1983 by Narcotics Education, Inc.



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