2016 – It’s All About Quality of Life by Pat Conrad MD


Detailed, independent research has indicated that two of the favorite activities pursued in celebrating New Year’s Eve involve drinking, and gettin’ busy. To that end, there are warnings and tips aplenty for ringing in 2016, none more timely than the following:

  1. As my final “really stupid study of the year” offering for 2015, I give you a study from the University of Florida, published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine, that warns of a link between gonorrhea rates and the price of alcohol. The state of Maryland raised booze taxes form 6% to 9% in 2011, and recorded 1,600 fewer cases of the clap in the subsequent 18 months. The state population is 5.8 million so let’s lop off a third to account for minors (22.6%), those over 65 and nursing homers (13.8%), and other “non-actives.” The 1,600 newly applause-silent represent 0.04% of the potentially frisky. The decades-long case of anal warts known as the Center for Science in the Public Interest was pushing the Old Line State to increase booze taxes years before they did it, and now come the nags and do-gooders from Florida to make this disease a contagious one. “If policymakers are looking for methods to protect young people from harmful STIs, they should consider raising alcohol taxes, which have decreased remarkably over the years due to inflation,” nags lead researcher Stephanie Staras. Has this busybody ever spent any time in Maryland? While the state’s policy decisions and choices for elected representatives certainly indicate impaired thinking, curtailing their access to cheap alcohol only worsens a depressing situation. (By way of full disclosure, I was born at the University of Florida, and graduated from their medical school. That school and town love to party, and it’s just plain embarrassing for them to make spurious moral choices for less fortunate areas. Go Gators!) Who would have guessed that being soused makes you less likely to consider catching an STD? A lot of people of marginal attractiveness owe great holiday memories to the possibilities of inebriation, and it stinks that some are trying to ruin their good time.
  2. Planning on tipping a few for New Year’s Eve despite the threat of a Monday G-C swab? If you prefer the wobbly drive home to the hung over walk of shame, and do see those instantly sobering blue lights in the rearview mirror, fear not, you have a new out: “A New York judge has dismissed a drunk driving charge against a woman who took steps to prove her body works as a brewery, using excess intestinal yeast to turn ordinary food into alcohol, resulting in breathalyzer readouts that generally would indicate life-threatening intoxication.” Dr. Anup Kanodia of Ohio, “an Auto-Brewery Syndrome expert who monitored and tested the woman”, states between 50 and 100 people have this disease and are likely unaware of it. The New York defendant was “found driving on a flat tire with “ glassy-bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.” She said she had three cocktails, but a breathalyzer found her blood alcohol content was .33 percent.” Possibly the greatest attorney ever, Joseph Marusak told reporters, “She can register a blood alcohol content that would have you or I falling down drunk, but she can function.” Damn. All it takes are some extra carbs? Ice the bubbly, I’m off to the Krispy Kreme!

So there we have it, to much New Year’s cheer will up your risk of a strategically unfortunate bacterial infection, but if you are suffering Auto-Brewery syndrome, it might not be your fault. At which point the increased alcohol tax revenues from Maryland and elsewhere should go to paying your disability and ACA-approved antibiotic subsidies. Until this new strain of gonorrhea hits our shores.

A very Happy New Year to us all , Cheers!

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “2016 – It’s All About Quality of Life by Pat Conrad MD

  1. DrG
    December 30, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Interesting thoughts. Guess I would have to take exception to placing the over 65 age group as non active unless you take away their little blue pill. That might slow down a few.

  2. Steve O'
    December 30, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Since uncle Siggy’s time, the Superego and its prudish warning about Fun has been scrutinized, and generally disarmed. Moralities often incorporate good public health measures. Such things as prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance, are seen as a suckers’ game for playing off against the naive – obstacles to success.

    To crib some old definitions:

    Human virtues acquired by education, by deliberate acts and by a perseverance ever-renewed in repeated efforts …They forge character and give facility in the practice of the good. The virtuous person is happy to practice them.

    Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it. What’s the BEST way out of a circumstance? It all depends on one’s own definition of “BEST.”

    Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to (all persons.) An obvious oldie but goodie.

    Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good.

    Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods.

    Only the last of these are in particular conflict with the idea that “If you’re gonna DO it, wear a rubber, you idiot!” The last one might remind one that “Rubbers Don’t Always Work.”
    Although they are very useful for classical morality, they also have significance for Not Catching HIV.

    I wouldn’t take off the list those minors (22.6%), those over 65 and nursing homers. (13.8%) Not much brain function is needed to get drunk and screw, and STD’s are climbing most rapidly among the group of over-sixties, it is said. Statutory rape is a common, though felonious, pastime.

    A great deal of the medical budget is wasted in the treatment of Rank Stupidity. Prying car-bits and hosing people-bits out of smashes costs a lot of money, too.

    I think that individual self-destructive negligence is a symptom – a vital sign – of a dying culture, perhaps.

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