Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on December 12, 1994 · Page 67
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 67

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Monday, December 12, 1994
Page 67
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6A DETROIT FREE PRESSMONDAY, : In Poland, alcoholism skyrockets VODKA, from Page 1A . Peter Andersen, the director of a recent WHO conference on alcohol use in 50 European countries. "Poland, in particular, is headed for the rates we see in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia and ; the like." Poland is by no means the only country with a drinking problem. Recently independent Latvia tops the ; worldwide consumption rate at 16 li-; ters per person. Russia is at 14. France and Germany have rates comparable to Poland's, though theirs are dropping. So why is Poland drinking so much? Some reasons are simple. Poles and their neighbors are looking for a little stress relief. Inflation is running at 25 percent a year, the zloty is now at 24,700 io $1 and will be devalued next year, the nation has been through five governments in five years, crime is soaring and unemployment stands at 16.2 percent. Amid this social upheaval, Poland has found that opening its doors to Western trade has meant a rush of inexpensive liquor. Thousands of liquor stores have opened across the country in the past ; five years, and they're open far more hours than shops were in the communist era. In the northwestern district of Szczecin, the number of liquor stores jumped from about 1,000 in 1985 to 4,000 in 1993. Salaries have risen, and vodka prices have not. In 1983, the average monthly salary could buy 22 bottles of vodka. Today, it's 67. "The government use to control how much liquor you could drink. Now it's up to you, and many people can't . handle it," says Janusz Sieroslawski, a sociologist at the Polish Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology who has studied alcohol use for 12 years. For centuries, high-octane vodka has been a staple of life for a simple reason it's the only alcohol the harsh climate allows. The dominant regional crops are potatoes and wheat, which are distilled into vodka. It has an ' alcoholic content of 40 to 100 percent. It's too cold for grapes or hops. Wine and beer have alcohol content .' that is nnp-fifth or Ipkr that nf vndlfa ! . So when you drank in these parts, ; you drank vodka, which got you ham-mered, and when you got hammered, you kept drinking. It showed stamina. . It was an admired trait. It still is. : "Vodka became a staple of society ; over the centuries and its traditional place has been preserved," says Sier- oslawski. ! This has led to a degree of social ; acceptance of drinking throughout the ; day, and to an intensity, that is not seen in Western countries. Recovering alco-' holies in western Poland told their ; counselor, Patricia Ziemer, a U.S. con-; sultant, that the biggest temptation to drink they would face after leaving the program was ... at work. Adam, a 40-year-old medical tech- I nician in Katowice, a grim mining! ; town, got drunk at his job so often he couldn't remember whether he'd been ' to work or not. He once passed out on : the sidewalk in front of his office. He never was disciplined. Most troubling to experts, however, is the spread of alcohol abuse among young people and women. In a 1984 survey, 78 percent of boys in Warsaw high schools said they drank alcohol. In 1992, it was 90 .;; percent, r-or girls, it increased from 77 ": percent to 84 percent. "I started drinking when I was 13, . when my family started serving me ; wine," says Marek, a 29-year-old recovering alcoholic. "My grandfather drank, my stepfather drank, and I could drink in the house. By the time I was in ; high school, it was out of control. uiDomira szawayn runs a Warsaw detox ward for women and argues that women drink at home, where they are s' less likely to be counted or receive ' help. She has an ally in Jerzy Melli- bruda, director of the State Agency for Prevention of Alcohol Related Prob- . lems. "Domestic violence is on a massive scale, something we can t really quantify," Mellibruda says. "One in five women said in a recent poll they were beaten by their husbands, and more than half said their husbands were drunk at the time." But if Poland leads the region in increased drinking rates, it also leads the battle against the bottle. More than 400 treatment centers have sprung up in the past five years, the best of which approach the success rates of their Western counterparts. Alcoholics Anonymous now has 7,000 members nationwide. "Abstinence Clubs," mostly composed of recovered alcoholics, count 20,000 members. The State Agency for Prevention of Alcohol Related Problems directs most of its $2.5-million budget to an ambi tious educational program for school children. Its efforts are far ahead of those in Russia, Ukraine and other Slavic countries. "When I talk with my counterparts from Russia and, eastern European countries, they're green with envy at our programs and funding," said Mellibruda. j DECEMBER 12, 1994 I'VT A woman buys liquor in a Warsaw says, "Nobody is buying anything an Inexact science The World Health Organization attempts to track drinking rates worldwide, though this is an inexact science. Reporting standards vary widely by country. Many nations, such as China, India and many of those in Africa, the Middle East and South America, don't track such data. The government reports are balanced with "indicators of harm," such as national rates of cirrhosis and drunken-driving accidents. WHO cautions that these numbers are more indicators of trends than precise statements. The only increasing rates are those in former communist countries in eastern Europe. One gallon equals In the coal-mining region around Katowice, one of ths most polluted areas in the world, psychiatrist Krzys-tof Czuma works with 300 alcoholics a year in a green-walled ward. He notes that only 20 years ago, alcoholics were sent off to labor camps, and 10 years ago the most sophisticated treatment was to sew a substance into the skin wl urn m Hate to shop? Crowley's makes rt easy with sensational savings and special services throughout the store. see our in-store flyer. when you finish shopping, present your receipts at our Secret Discount Redemption Center for extra discount savings. available upon request: call ahead or stop at Customer Service. FREE GIFT WRAP SERVICE while you shop. INFORMAL. MODELING 6 p.m. -8 p.m. beautiful holiday fashions. Liz Claiborne and WE'LL MAIL YOUR PACKAGES Any package containing $100 or more in Crowley's merchandise will be mailed FREE. Mailing charge is $5 for containing less than $100 of value. Great gift idea... Liz Claiborne perfume miniature sets. Contains three 18oz. perfume miniatures of Realities, Uz and VMd. A $92 value for only $20. Everything Crowley's sells la GUARANTEED. If It doesn't fit or you're not pleased, you can return It, no questions asked. Our hassle-free exchange policy assures your satisfaction. Cal Crowley's 1-800-733-0339 STORE LOCATIONS: Westborn Macomb Livonia New Center One Birmingham Farmington Hills t. 278-8000 293-7700 476-P300 874-5100 647-2000 5M-3800 k is NEELY TUCKERDetrolt Free Press store. Manager Jolanta Chmielewska but alcohol and juices to mix with it." 3.8 liters: Latvia: 16 liters per capita. Russia: 14 Luxembourg: 12.3 Ukraine: 12 France: 11.9 Poland: 11.6 Germany: 10.9 Hungary: 10.8 Slovakia: 10.5 Czech Rep.: 8.8 Finland: 7.4 United States: 7 Japan: 6.3 Sweden: 5.5 South Africa: 4.6 Norway: 4.1 Sourct: The World Health Organization, 1993 report that supposedly cut the body's yearning for alcohol. "We have come so far in such a short time in understanding vodka's role in our society," he says. "We will always have it as a problem in this region of the world, but it is a monster we are learning how to fight." Realities; XS for men. A CROWLEY'S GIFT CERTIFICATE la always CBS switch frustrates many Some viewers try to tune in and are turned off by poor reception TV, from Page 1A stations to Fox. CBS, desperate for a new Detroit outlet, eventually agreed to buy the woeful Channel 62. And the loss of Fox drove WKBD-TV (Channel 50) to sign on with a network being launched in January by Paramount. The changes had been publicized for months. On Sunday, CBS's Charles Osgood of "Sunday Morning" and Mike Wallace of "60 Minutes" delivered taped messages welcoming viewers to Channel 62. Still, some viewers were caught unaware. Mary Jo Midura, 40, of Ypsilanti found that some people she knew had no clue about what was happening. "It's terribly confusing for people who don't buy a paper or read the TV guide," she said. Others were aware of the changes, but powerless to do much about them. Harmon Bayer, a retired chemical engineer who lives in West Bloomfield, lamented the move of his favorite CBS shows away from Channel 2, which comes in stronger on his set than Channel 62. "I have no interest in Fox, whatsoever," said Bayer. One big trouble spot was in South-field, among subscribers to Continental Cablevision, which left Channel 62 at channel position 3 on the cable dial. In that spot, the signal was subject to blackouts and interference from broadcast signals. Sharon Gittleman, 36, of Oak Park tried all day to get through to the cable ooo any package tha right choice. CALL FO ANSKERS For more information, viewers can call the three TV stations directly affected by the changes: WJBK-TV (Channel 2), at 1-810-557-6013 WKBD-TV (Channel 50) at 1-810-350-5050 WGPR-TV (Channel 62) at 1-313-259-6288 company, with no luck. Her picture, she said, "is basically so bad that I won't watch CBS. It's ridiculous." CBS's Newman also is unhappy with the cable operator. "They knew about this problem weeks ago," he said. "They have chosen so far not to correct it." Continental, he said, could improve the signal by moving Channel 62 to a position on the cable dial that is free of interference. At Continental, a customer service representative said that the system manager, Alan Blau, declined to be interviewed. Several Radio Shack outlets reported getting numerous calls from customers, asking about TV reception. Paul Vermeulen, manager of a Livonia store, had some unexpected advice: Check Your Lottery Tickets! CALL 1-900-990-488795( A MINUTE CURRENT LOTTERY NUMBERS FOR MICHIGAN, OHIO AND ILLINOIS LTTnWri0 Men's night starts at 5 p.m. Shop 'til 10 p.m. New Center One until 8 p.m. fe3. Wok," Wi''J'M CRQWLES knowing just what you Lakeside Universal Tel-Twelve 247-1700 574-2240 354-2000 v Try a smaller set. "If 1 put Channel 62 on my 13-inch TV, it comes in nice and clear," Vermeulen said. "If I go to my 20-inch TV, you can make out the picture but there's snow." The bigger picture tube, he said, exposes signal weaknesses that are masked on a small set. An unanticipated problem, meanwhile, was reported by a soap opera lover who declined to be named. She said she's fearful of losing touch with her favorite show, "The Young and The Restless," which she listens to on a TV-band radio at work. The radio picks up only the sound of VHF stations, numbered 2 to 13, and CBS soaps will now air on the UHF Channel 62. "I wonder," she mused, "if GE makes a radio that gets Channel 62." Not everyone was unhappy about the switch. Dean LaDoceur, 33, a restaurant manager in Troy, said: "I like the fact that Letterman's going to be on at 11. It's nice to be able to catch the Top Ten list and still get a decent night's sleep." Channel 62 has scheduled "Late Night With David Letterman" for 11 p.m., at least until the station develops its own local news operation late in 1995. Sonya Avakian, 39, an actor from Novi, said the whole brouhaha was wildly overblown. "I've never heard so much hubbub over something so minor in my life," she said. "If people haven't figured it out by now, I'm worried. Maybe they're watching too much TV." "IW! on need every day Courtland CenterFlint 744-1010 .. h

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