March 1996

The vices of tolerance

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CONVENTIONAL wisdom has it that people who hold their liquor pretty well can drink with impunity. Not so, apparently. According to an 18-year-long study by Marc Schukit and Tom Smith, at the University of California, San Diego, the reverse is true: youthful tolerance presages alcoholism in later life.

Where there's a will . . .

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Don Breckenridge doesn't dispute the Salvation Army's legal right to blow most of the family coin on new digs for recovering alcoholics and junkies.

After all, his stepdad's revised will said so.

That isn't what all his grief is about.

The Squamish millworker is hurting because his stepdad altered his will days after the death of Don's mom, Myrtle, thus ignoring the intent of her will.

Instead of leaving his estate to her son and grandkids, he gave the lion's share to charity. And Don, who is her only surviving relative, thinks that's unfair.

Smoking cessation may boost success of alcohol treatment

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Brief counselling on smoking cessation may have an interesting side effect for people completing treatment for alcohol problems -- it may help them stay on the wagon.

A small group of studies have suggested that quitting smoking may actually enhance, not threaten, the process of alcohol recovery," writes Janet Kay Bobo of the Department of Preventive and Societal Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She discussed the topic recently at the Addiction Research Foundation's Clinical and Research Seminar series.

Manic Depression: The CEO's disease

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AIMLESS, RECKLESS AND POtentially dangerous whims used to be a fact of life for Pierre Peladeau. One day in 1972 the president and CEO of Quebecor Inc. decided he wanted to go to Tokyo. He took the flight, did some inconsequential business and returned home 24 hours later. Another time he flew off to make movies in Rome, although he had no prior interest in producing films. A similar impulse to launch a newspaper called the Philadelphia Journal in 1977 cost him about $14 million before he folded the doomed effort. "It's stupid. I didn't know what the hell I was doing," he says, looking back.