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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 34,484

About Me

Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Ouster of FDA chief urged

Anti-addiction activists are calling for the Food and Drug Administration’s top official to step down, saying the agency’s policies have contributed to a national epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse.

In a letter released Wednesday, more than a dozen groups ask the Obama administration’s top health official to replace FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who has led the agency since 2009. The FDA has been under fire from public health advocates, politicians and law enforcement officials since last October, when it approved a powerful new painkiller called Zohydro against the recommendation of its own medical advisers.

The new letter is the first formal call for new leadership at the agency over the issue.

“We are especially frustrated by the FDA’s continued approval of new, dangerous, high-dose opioid analgesics that are fueling high rates of addiction and overdose deaths,” states the letter, which is addressed to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, who oversees the FDA and other health agencies. The groups signing the letter include Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, a 900-member advocacy group that petitioned the FDA to drastically restrict opioid use. The FDA rejected that petition last year.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/ouster-of-fda-chief-urged-111278.html

Wednesday Toon Roundup 5- The Rest







Wednesday Toon Roundup 4- Climate










Wednesday Toon Roundup 3- US and Overseas

Texas


Georgia


Chrispie


Utah



Jihad


Saudis






Gawd

Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- Syrian War

























Wednesday Toon Roundup 1- Fence Jumping















Toon: If FDR were Running Today….

Toon: Groundhog Day

'I'm gay. Get over it,' Pennsylvania senator casually comes out

It was one of those oh-by-the-way moments -- an afterthought really. It wasn't supposed to be a coming out party.

Lawmakers gathered in the Pennsylvania state capital in Harrisburg on Tuesday to propose a major change in the state's hate crime law to extend protection to those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Lawmakers made their pitch for getting the legislation to the governor's desk by the end of the year.

Then bill sponsor, Sen. Jim Ferlo of Pittsburgh, made his surprise announcement -- very casually.

"Hundreds of people know I'm gay. I just never made an official declaration," he said. "I never felt I had to wear a billboard on my forehead. But I'm gay. Get over it. I love it. It's a great life."

more

http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/24/us/pennsylvania-lawmaker-comes-out/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Give the homeless homes


Home Free?
BY JAMES SUROWIECKI

In 2005, Utah set out to fix a problem that’s often thought of as unfixable: chronic homelessness. The state had almost two thousand chronically homeless people. Most of them had mental-health or substance-abuse issues, or both. At the time, the standard approach was to try to make homeless people “housing ready”: first, you got people into shelters or halfway houses and put them into treatment; only when they made progress could they get a chance at permanent housing. Utah, though, embraced a different strategy, called Housing First: it started by just giving the homeless homes.

Handing mentally ill substance abusers the keys to a new place may sound like an example of wasteful government spending. But it turned out to be the opposite: over time, Housing First has saved the government money. Homeless people are not cheap to take care of. The cost of shelters, emergency-room visits, ambulances, police, and so on quickly piles up. Lloyd Pendleton, the director of Utah’s Homeless Task Force, told me of one individual whose care one year cost nearly a million dollars, and said that, with the traditional approach, the average chronically homeless person used to cost Salt Lake City more than twenty thousand dollars a year. Putting someone into permanent housing costs the state just eight thousand dollars, and that’s after you include the cost of the case managers who work with the formerly homeless to help them adjust. The same is true elsewhere. A Colorado study found that the average homeless person cost the state forty-three thousand dollars a year, while housing that person would cost just seventeen thousand dollars.

Housing First isn’t just cost-effective. It’s more effective, period. The old model assumed that before you could put people into permanent homes you had to deal with their underlying issues—get them to stop drinking, take their medication, and so on. Otherwise, it was thought, they’d end up back on the streets. But it’s ridiculously hard to get people to make such changes while they’re living in a shelter or on the street. “If you move people into permanent supportive housing first, and then give them help, it seems to work better,” Nan Roman, the president and C.E.O. of the National Alliance for Homelessness, told me. “It’s intuitive, in a way. People do better when they have stability.” Utah’s first pilot program placed seventeen people in homes scattered around Salt Lake City, and after twenty-two months not one of them was back on the streets. In the years since, the number of Utah’s chronically homeless has fallen by seventy-four per cent.

Of course, the chronically homeless are only a small percentage of the total homeless population. Most homeless people are victims of economic circumstances or of a troubled family environment, and are homeless for shorter stretches of time. The challenge, particularly when it comes to families with children, is insuring that people don’t get trapped in the system. And here, too, the same principles have been used, in an approach called Rapid Rehousing: the approach is to quickly put families into homes of their own, rather than keep them in shelters or transitional housing while they get housing-ready. The economic benefits of keeping people from getting swallowed by the shelter system can be immense: a recent Georgia study found that a person who stayed in an emergency shelter or transitional housing was five times as likely as someone who received rapid rehousing to become homeless again.

more

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/22/home-free
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