Feds want to lower standard for DUI.

My goodness? Okay, if I was politically correct I’d say yay!  But this is not logical.  People have a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and drive home. They are fine to drive. This is crazy. I’m sure many, many disagree with me.  But this is crazy.

Washington (CNN) — A decade-old benchmark for determining when a driver is legally drunk should be lowered in an effort to reduce alcohol-related car crashes that claim about 10,000 lives each year, U.S. safety investigators said on Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommended that all 50 states lower the threshold from 0.08 blood-alcohol content (BAC) to 0.05.

The idea is part of a safety board initiative outlined in a staff report and approved by the panel to eliminate drunk driving, which accounts for about a third of all road deaths.

The board acknowledged that there was “no silver bullet,” but that more action is needed.

“This is critical because impaired driving remains one of the biggest killers in the United States,” NTSB Chairman Debbie Hersman said ahead of a vote by the panel on a staff report.  Read more here.

7 Quick Takes: 7 Pilgrimage Sites in the Southeast

7quicktakes

Here we go again with our 7 Quick Takes Friday hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary. We reciprocate links to her blog and then post 7 “quick-takes” on our blogs. Since my sisters, my mother and I made an accidental pilgrimage (read about our trip here) last weekend, I thought I’d look nearby and see what other pilgrimages I could take within driving distance from Atlanta. My 7 Quick Takes are on my findings.

There has never been a better time to make a pilgrimage! During the Year of Faith, October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013, a plenary indulgence is available to the faithful for making a pilgrimage.

 

shrineShrine of Our Lady of La Leche St. Augustine, FL
This is where my sisters and I were last weekend.  Here is my post about our “Accidental Pilgrimage.”  Founded in 1565, Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, the nursing Madonna, was the first Mission and the site of the first Mass in America. Located at the shrine is the Mission of Los Nombres de Dios, a 208 foot cross, a museum, the Prince of Peace church, outdoor stations of the cross, and a cemetery. The devotion to Mary as Our Lady of La Leche, patroness of Mothers and Mothers-to-be was brought from Spain in 1603. The intercession of Our Lady of La Leche is often sought by those looking to conceive and have a successful delivery.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAve Maria Grotto Cullman, AL
Alabama’s first and only Benedictine Abbey is home to the Ave Maria Grotto. It was built by Benedictine Monk, Brother Joseph Zoettl O.S.B. beginning in 1934 and consists of 3 acres of miniature reproductions of historical building, shrines, and places such as Lourdes and St. Peter’s Basilica. The Benedictine Abbey produces a variety of candles that are available for sale. There is a small entry fee for the grotto, please check the website for details.

ourladyoftheangelsalabalaOur Lady of the Angels Monestary Hanceville, AL
In 1995 Mother Angelica traveled to Columbia on business for EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network). She visited the Sanctuary of the Divine Infant Jesus to attend mass and she prayed at the small Shrine which housed the miraculous statue of the Child Jesus. As Mother Angelica stood praying at the side of the statue the miraculous image suddenly came alive and turned towards her. “Then the Child Jesus spoke with the voice of a young boy: “Build Me a Temple and I will help those who help you.” Thus began a great adventure that would eventually result in the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, a Temple dedicated to the Divine Child Jesus, a place of refuge for all”

grand coteauShrine of St. John Berchmans Grand Coteau, LA
In 1866, through the intercession of St. John Berchmans, a young novice of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Mary Wilson was miraculously healed. St. John Berchmans appeared to Mary on her deathbed after her prayer for intercession and told her he came by the order of God. The infirmary where the miracle took place was converted to a shrine and is the only place in the United States where the exact spot of a miracle and apparition has been preserved as a shrine. Visit the website to read excerpts of Mary Wilson’s diary where she recorded the details of the apparition and her miraculous healing.

sacred heart basilicaThe Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Atlanta, GA
This is where my husband and I were married!  Not sure if I understand the rules of the USCCB on whether or not this would count—but I think “basilicas” count for receiving this plenary indulgence in the Year of Faith...The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was founded in 1880. The original church, known as Saints Peter and Paul, was a small wooden building located at the southwest corner of Marietta and Alexander Streets, twelve blocks west of the present location. In 1897, an Atlanta architect, W. T. Downing, was commissioned to design the new church. In keeping with the then popular devotion to the Sacred Heart, the name of the church was changed to “The Sacred Heart of Jesus.” The architectural style is basically French Romanesque, with some variations and additions.On May 13, 1976, the Church of the Sacred Heart was entered in the National Register of Historic Places, in recognition of its “artistically significant architecture.”  On February 22, 2010, Sacred Heart was elevated to the dignity of minor basilica by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and is now known as The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Mother Theresa of Calcutta came to Sacred Heart for a Mass on June 12, 1995.  She was present in Atlanta for the blessing of the Sisters of Charity AIDS hospice, the Gift of Grace House, which is within the boundaries of Sacred Heart parish

shrine immac concThe Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Atlanta, Georgia
Located also in my hometown, this is where the local archdiocesan Mass for the Unborn is held each year on the anniversary of Roe v Wade.  Atlanta’s most historic church was founded in 1837 and was first called “Terminus” because it was the end of the railroad line. A large number of the railroad workers were Irish Catholics. and a wooden church was built in 1848, the Church of The Immaculate Conception, with Father Thomas O’Reilly as it’s pastor. Father O’Reilly was a Confederate Chaplain and he persuaded General William Tecumseh Sherman to spare his church and that of his neighbors. Legend has it that Father O’Reilly told Sherman, “If you burn the Catholic Church, all Catholic’s in the ranks of the Union Army will mutiny”. The present Shrine was rebuilt after a fire in 1982 and is open for tours.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMonastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers, Georgia
The Monastery of the Holy Spirit (MOHS) is a Roman Catholic contemplative religious community belonging to the world-wide Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (O.C.S.O.) – more commonly known as Trappists. This monastery is the first native-born Trappist foundation in the United States of America and the first daughter-house of Our Lady of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky, USA. Founded in 1944, we are currently a community of 36 monks spanning several generations, who live, work and pray at the Abbey.

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website a plenary indulgence will be granted under the normal circumstances when:

“Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith (for example, minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles or patron saints), and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, depending on the circumstances, to the Holy Apostles and patron saints.”

The other ways to earn a plenary indulgence during the year of faith include: “Each time they attend at least three sermons during the Holy Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location. Each time that, on the days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, in any sacred place, they participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding thereto the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form. On any day they chose, during the Year of Faith, if they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form.”

Massage and Dopamine

Excerpt from an article from the Integrative Institute for Healthcare Studies, 2005

Comprehensive treatment for the addicted individual is the key…The Magazine for Addiction Professionals, Joni Kosakoski, BSN, RN, CARN gives us the fuel to propel massage therapists into the realm of drug and alcohol treatment. In her article “Massage: Hands Down, a Treatment for Addiction”, Kosakoski gives us a clear and concise analysis of massage’s benefits for this population and its place in addiction treatment.

Incorporating massage into a substance abuse program is advantageous in all of the stages of quitting an addiction: withdrawal, detoxification and abstinence. The physical, emotional and spiritual components of recovery all can be directly benefited by the healing power of therapeutic touch. The nurturing contact of massage utilizes skin as the translator of the therapist’s intent. Skin, the largest sensory organ in our body, is our primary sense for connecting information from our external surroundings to our internal environment.

The Touch Research Institute in Miami, Florida has performed scientific research documenting the physiological effects of massage on the body. Kosakoski reminds us of some of their findings on massage such as decreased pain, diminished autoimmune response, enhanced immune response, and increased alertness and performance. These effects appear to be related to massage’s ability to reduce cortisol, a stress hormone, as reported by the Touch Research Institute in 2003. Several of the Touch Research Institute’s studies positively document the ability of massage to decrease anxiety, depression, agitation, and cravings.

order to understand the connection between massage therapy and its benefit in addiction treatment, Kosakoski explains the neurological biochemistry of addiction: “Much attention has been directed to the mesolimbic reward system, the so-called ‘pleasure pathway’ of the brain. The area is activated in part by the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, the chemical messenger responsible for making us feel good when we engage in any pleasurable activity. It is well known that dopamine is significantly involved in addiction and that dopamine levels are lower than average during the withdrawal process and into early recovery until brain chemistry normalizes.”

In 1998, the Touch Research Institute published the findings that a regular massage regimen produced long-term results of increasing dopamine levels. The fact that massage naturally increases dopamine levels, and decreases cortisol levels makes it a perfect addition to a standard detoxification program.

The neurochemistry of an addict takes time to get back into balance, so massage treatments after the initial detoxification phase is crucial. When a person uses a substance to feel good, his/her body stops manufacturing its own “feel good” chemicals, (endorphins), and the substance takes over that task. Therefore, when a person quits using an abused substance, they lose their source of feeling good. Since it takes time for the body to start manufacturing its own endorphins again, this is a challenging interim to endure. This interim is the recovering addict’s most vulnerable time to relapse.

In the 1989 edition of General Pharmacology, Kaada and Torsteinbo of Norway reported on study results that massage therapy increased the amount of beta-endorphins in the blood by 16 percent. The release of endorphins during a massage allows the recipient to feel normal, even fantastic, without the aid of a drug. This can be a powerful, even life-changing experience for the client.

Alcohol Dependence Hits Women Earlier

This is interesting–not sure if this is from the Huffington Post or from Scientific Americanl but Dirk Hanson writes this article about how women are hit harder by the physiological and biological effects of alcohol dependence more quickly than men.  This article advocates partially for women-only research and women-only treatment tracts.

I agree whole-heartedly with that.  I would vote for women only treatment centers.  The treatment center I went to was mixed and there was always the undercurrent of sex in the air.  There were patients having sex.  There were sexual comments from some of the men.  One man got kicked out for this.  Then there were all the hot little twenty-something female drug addicts that spent so much energy on dressing the part and little energy on their actual recovery.  There were cat-fights over men.  There was gossip and jealousy in this group.  Cliques.  I think if it were all women, then a lot of those sexual overtones would completely disappear.

Anyways, here is the link to this fabulous article and also a great video by HuffPo at the end of the piece.