iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) — Colorado is one of two states where it’s legal to buy and use small amounts of marijuana, provided you’re 21 or older.

However, that hasn’t stop Colorado high school students from smoking pot, according to a 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado survey.

Among those polled, more than a third admitted to having used marijuana at least once, with 20 percent saying they’d gotten high in the past 30 days.

Besides marijuana’s availability, teens seem to see less risk in using the drug. In 2013, 54 percent said there was moderate or great risk from marijuana, compared to 58 percent two years earlier.

Yet despite marijuana being legal in Colorado, the state only ranks seventh in use of the drug. The nation’s smallest state, Rhode Island, has the largest ratio of users to non-users.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) — Colorado is one of two states where it’s legal to buy and use small amounts of marijuana, provided you’re 21 or older.

However, that hasn’t stop Colorado high school students from smoking pot, according to a 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado survey.

Among those polled, more than a third admitted to having used marijuana at least once, with 20 percent saying they’d gotten high in the past 30 days.

Besides marijuana’s availability, teens seem to see less risk in using the drug. In 2013, 54 percent said there was moderate or great risk from marijuana, compared to 58 percent two years earlier.

Yet despite marijuana being legal in Colorado, the state only ranks seventh in use of the drug. The nation’s smallest state, Rhode Island, has the largest ratio of users to non-users.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — That annoying ringing in one’s ears known as tinnitus affects an estimated 50 million people in the U.S.

While doctors are still finding ways to treat tinnitus, which is actually a symptom of a more serious disorder, drinking coffee may actually reduce the chances of developing it.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers examined 65,000 women, aged 30 to 44, over an 18-year period. It was discovered that those who consumed larger amounts of caffeine were 15 percent less likely to experience a regular ringing or whining in their ears than women who drank lesser amounts of coffee.

Researchers are unsure why caffeine cuts the risk of tinnitus, although it has been previously shown to affect the physiology of the inner ear.

Just the same, people with tinnitus are not advised to start drinking excessive amounts of coffee until more research is conducted.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — That annoying ringing in one’s ears known as tinnitus affects an estimated 50 million people in the U.S.

While doctors are still finding ways to treat tinnitus, which is actually a symptom of a more serious disorder, drinking coffee may actually reduce the chances of developing it.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers examined 65,000 women, aged 30 to 44, over an 18-year period. It was discovered that those who consumed larger amounts of caffeine were 15 percent less likely to experience a regular ringing or whining in their ears than women who drank lesser amounts of coffee.

Researchers are unsure why caffeine cuts the risk of tinnitus, although it has been previously shown to affect the physiology of the inner ear.

Just the same, people with tinnitus are not advised to start drinking excessive amounts of coffee until more research is conducted.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(LAUREL SPRINGS, N.J.) — A New Jersey couple who married after learning cancer may cut short their time together are hoping their love will beat the odds.

Melanie Gaskins, 46, and Pierre Freeman, 51, of Laurel Springs were married after doctors told them that Freeman, who lives with an inoperable brain tumor, has only one more year to live.

“We just don’t accept that,” Gaskins told ABC News. “He was diagnosed in 2008 with a brain tumor that was the size of a plum tomato and he’s still here from that. So I just can’t accept that.”

The couple, who Gaskins says were both foodies before Freeman was given a feeding tube, met, fittingly, at a barbecue in 2005.

“He jumped up and asked if he could get me a plate of food,” Gaskins recalled. “But we got to talking and I never got that plate.”

So Freeman visited Gaskins at her home the next day with food from the previous night, which included a dish of fried alligator.

“It was his attention to detail that got me,” Gaskins said. “I just thought he was a big teddy bear. He’s physically in stature big, but he is so incredibly sweet.”

The couple were together for one year when Freeman started to rapidly lose his vision.

“He started dropping weight,” Gaskins said. “Doctors said he was diabetic.”

But when Freeman’s vision continued to worsen, Gaskins told him to go to the hospital. There, a doctor found a tumor in Freeman’s brain so advanced it could not be removed.

“That word, inoperable, I couldn’t understand what he meant by that. And I’ve been to college and graduated law school. It freaked me out. It was unimaginable,” Gaskins said.

But Gaskins says it that it was Freeman’s strength that carried the couple through difficult times.

“He is so incredibly strong,” she said. “He even drove himself to his chemo appointments. I was there for major appointments and whenever we got results, but for every appointment he drove himself.”

“He is my superman,” she added.

Indeed, at their wedding last week in Philadelphia, Freeman wore a superman t-shirt and socks beneath his suit.

As for the future, Gaskins has nothing but excitement.

“We used to be real foodies, but not anymore since Pierre got the feeding tube. Now we want to travel. He’s really excited about the possibility to travel. We want to go to Italy, so we’ve been planning a way to make it happen.”

In the meantime, she expects they’ll be together for longer than doctors think.

“It’s just not his time. It’s not his time. He has something to teach everybody, how to grow and how to overcome your problems even when you think they are insurmountable.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(MONROVIA, Liberia) — Demonstrators in West Africa protested the government’s delays in collecting bodies of Ebola virus victims, blocking Liberia’s busiest highway Saturday.

Health officials in neighboring Guinea closed land borders to Liberia and Sierra Leone to keep Ebola from spreading, but experts say hospitals in the region are not properly equipped to deal with the outbreak.

“The health system has completely collapsed,” said Dr. Frank Glover, missionary and president of health organization SHIELD in Africa. “And by that I mean, they don’t have capacity to even see patients. Every day they are seeing patients, mothers present with dead babies in their womb because there’s no one to do a C-section.”

Glover stressed the importance of giving protective gear to workers on the ground, due to the large death toll of nurses and doctors trying to treat Ebola.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international emergency. On ABC’s This Week, Robin Sanders, former U.S. Ambassador to Congo and Nigeria, said a quarantine and close quarters often make the situation worse.

“People are quarantined, they were not told in advance and therefore there are food shortages in those same areas,” Sanders said. “How the virus sometimes gets into the population is that people are food insecure, so they eat bush meat, rodents that are infected with the virus.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(MONROVIA, Liberia) — Demonstrators in West Africa protested the government’s delays in collecting bodies of Ebola virus victims, blocking Liberia’s busiest highway Saturday.

Health officials in neighboring Guinea closed land borders to Liberia and Sierra Leone to keep Ebola from spreading, but experts say hospitals in the region are not properly equipped to deal with the outbreak.

“The health system has completely collapsed,” said Dr. Frank Glover, missionary and president of health organization SHIELD in Africa. “And by that I mean, they don’t have capacity to even see patients. Every day they are seeing patients, mothers present with dead babies in their womb because there’s no one to do a C-section.”

Glover stressed the importance of giving protective gear to workers on the ground, due to the large death toll of nurses and doctors trying to treat Ebola.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international emergency. On ABC’s This Week, Robin Sanders, former U.S. Ambassador to Congo and Nigeria, said a quarantine and close quarters often make the situation worse.

“People are quarantined, they were not told in advance and therefore there are food shortages in those same areas,” Sanders said. “How the virus sometimes gets into the population is that people are food insecure, so they eat bush meat, rodents that are infected with the virus.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(MONROVIA, Liberia) — Demonstrators in West Africa protested the government’s delays in collecting bodies of Ebola virus victims, blocking Liberia’s busiest highway Saturday.

Health officials in neighboring Guinea closed land borders to Liberia and Sierra Leone to keep Ebola from spreading, but experts say hospitals in the region are not properly equipped to deal with the outbreak.

“The health system has completely collapsed,” said Dr. Frank Glover, missionary and president of health organization SHIELD in Africa. “And by that I mean, they don’t have capacity to even see patients. Every day they are seeing patients, mothers present with dead babies in their womb because there’s no one to do a C-section.”

Glover stressed the importance of giving protective gear to workers on the ground, due to the large death toll of nurses and doctors trying to treat Ebola.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international emergency. On ABC’s This Week, Robin Sanders, former U.S. Ambassador to Congo and Nigeria, said a quarantine and close quarters often make the situation worse.

“People are quarantined, they were not told in advance and therefore there are food shortages in those same areas,” Sanders said. “How the virus sometimes gets into the population is that people are food insecure, so they eat bush meat, rodents that are infected with the virus.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Chris Melendez may have lost a leg while serving in Iraq, but the native New Yorker is not going to let the injury cut short his dream of becoming a wrestler.

Inspired by his father, a Vietnam veteran, Melendez joined the military when he was 17 years old. In 2006, when Melendez was only 23 days away from returning home after his deployment, he lost a leg in a roadside bomb at the age of 19.

“When I was able to open my eyes after the explosion, I looked across the battlefield to see what I thought was a fellow-soldier in need of help,” Melendez told ABC News. “I quickly realized it was my leg.”

Melendez was treated at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. The bomb damage led to his jaw being rebuilt, the severed tendons in his left arm getting replaced and, ultimately, his left leg being amputated above the knee.

Despite the injuries, Melendez made a quick recovery. With a prosthetic leg, he was walking again within 40 days.

Melendez, a Purple Heart recipient, had watched wrestling since he was little with his grandmother, who was a huge fan. He had always wanted to become a wrestler, and the injury didn’t deter him.

After he able to walk again, Melendez began training to become a professional wrestler in 2012.

His talent was spotted by TNA Impact Wrestling, which offered him a multi-year contract. He made his debut at Manhattan Center in New York on Aug 5.

“I am very excited because there have been so many people who have not seen me perform, who are questioning my ability, whether I can go to the distance,” Melendez said. “Once I step in there, I will show the whole world what I’m capable of.”

Melendez had a few words of encouragement for other injured veterans: “Regardless of what happens, you can still succeed at whatever you apply yourself to.”

“I like to credit the fact, a lot, that I’m a New Yorker,” Melendez said of his recovery. “I don’t waste any time, and I have to hurry up.”

Although appreciative of his prosthetic leg, Melendez actually thinks that he wrestles better without it.

“I prefer to work with it off because my agility’s better, I move a little faster, I’m able to do certain things that I can’t do with it on,” he said. “It’s actually a hindrance to have it on.”

“I like that ability to captivate the audience and tell a story, not with words, but with our bodies,” Melendez said.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If you’re confused about how often, how long and the best way to brush your teeth, you’re not alone. It turns out even dentists don’t agree on recommendations.

According to a new analysis of 58 studies published in dental journals, recommendations vary on almost every aspect of brushing.

In terms of duration, 26 sources recommended brushing for two minutes, 12 recommended brushing two to three minutes and two recommended brushing for three minutes.

There are also some discrepancies regarding frequency: while 42 sources recommended twice daily brushing, another source recommended we brush our teeth three times daily.

Finally, there are different types of brushing techniques, which vary by the type and location of brush stroke — and each even has its own name. Again, dentists really couldn’t agree on which technique to use: 11 studies recommended the “Bass” technique (mostly horizontal, with some vertical and circular motions), 10 recommended “Fones” (large, sweeping, circular motions, with brush at right angle to teeth), five recommended the “Scrub” approach (horizontal motions, parallel to the gums) and two recommended “Stillman” (primarily vertical brush movements).

The analysis, published in the British Dental Journal on Friday, points to much-needed synthesis and streamlining of dental recommendations, so that both the public — and dentists — can understand how to brush.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →