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Oxytocin, Alcohol Seem to Work on Brain in Similar Ways

Posted 2 days 18 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2015 – The so-called "love hormone" oxytocin affects human behavior in much the same way as alcohol does, British researchers report. Oxytocin is a hormone involved in mother-child bonding, social interactions and romance. Previous research has shown that oxytocin boosts socially positive behaviors such as generosity, empathy and altruism, and makes people more willing to trust others, the researchers said. The research team at the University of Birmingham analyzed existing research about oxytocin and alcohol and "were struck by the incredible similarities between the two compounds," researcher Ian Mitchell, from the School of Psychology, said in a university news release. "They appear to target different receptors within the brain, but cause common actions on GABA [an amino acid] transmission in the prefrontal cortex and the limbic structures. These neural circuits ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Oxytocin, Hangover, Pitocin, Syntocinon, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Learn to Recognize the Signs of an Alcohol Problem

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 5, 2015 – More than 17 million Americans suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. But not everyone can tell when heavy drinking crosses the line to alcoholism. To help people identify when drinking becomes a problem, Dr. William Jacobs, chief of addiction medicine at Georgia Regents University's Medical College of Georgia, outlined five major signs of alcohol abuse or dependence: One is a high tolerance for alcohol, which means a person drinks increasing amounts of alcohol. Someone with a high tolerance may drink more than others without showing obvious signs of intoxication. Another sign is having withdrawal symptoms when not drinking. These symptoms include anxiety, trembling, jumpiness, sweating, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, irritability, depression, fatigue, headaches and loss of appetite. Some people suffer potentially life-threatening withdrawal seizures, Jacobs ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Quitting Drinking May Help Alcoholics' Bone Loss

Posted 16 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 – Alcoholics who stop drinking and engage in physical activity can help reverse bone loss suffered as a result of their addiction, according to a new study. Bone renews itself through a continual remodeling process, which excessive alcohol consumption disrupts. Austrian researchers found that avoiding alcohol for just eight weeks can help correct the imbalance between bone formation and resorption that results from alcoholism. Exercise also can help protect against reduced bone mineral density, they said. The study appears online Sept. 14 in advance of print publication in the December issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "This study contributes to our understanding of various deteriorating effects of long-term consumption of high amounts of alcohol on the human body," Sergei Mechtcheriakov, associate professor of psychiatry at the Medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

New Clues to How Alcohol May Boost Cancer Risk

Posted 23 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 – A new study provides insight on how alcohol may increase cancer risk. When the body metabolizes – or breaks down – alcohol, a substance called acetaldehyde is formed, which can cause DNA damage, researchers say. Acetaldehyde's chemical makeup is similar to the known carcinogen formaldehyde, according to the researchers. "We now have the first evidence from living human volunteers that acetaldehyde formed after alcohol consumption damages DNA dramatically," study leader Silvia Balbo, a research associate at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, said in an American Chemical Society news release. Acetaldehyde attaches to DNA, interfering "with DNA activity in a way [that is] linked to an increased risk of cancer," Balbo explained. The bits of DNA attached to cancer-causing chemicals are known as adducts. For the study, the researchers gave 10 volunteers ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Ethanol, Ethyl Alcohol, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Dehydrated Alcohol, Alcohol 5% in Dextrose 5%

The Health Benefits, and Risks, of Alcohol

Posted 20 Jul 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 20 – Mirroring so much of life, alcohol consumption comes with plusses and minuses. A lot of recent research has highlighted the potentially beneficial effects on the heart and other parts of the body of drinking wine and other alcoholic beverages. But risks to health exist, too, as well as the more well-known and potentially life-threatening effects of alcohol, including drunken driving and addiction. The Good Alcohol consumption in moderation has been linked to a host of good outcomes. Studies have suggested that drinking alcohol, wine in particular, may reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, gallstone formation, type 2 diabetes and dementia. It may also give your metabolism a slight boost. "Alcohol, especially red wine, has resveratrol and antioxidants and bioflavonoids and polyphenols, and all of these wonderful things that dilate the arteries and reduce ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Ethanol, Alcoholic Cirrhosis, Alcoholic Liver Damage, Ethyl Alcohol, Alcoholic Psychosis, Dehydrated Alcohol, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcohol Hepatitis, Alcoholic Gastritis, Alcohol 5% in Dextrose 5%

Doctors Urged to Lead Battle Against Alcohol Abuse

Posted 15 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 15 – Experts around the world have issued a call to doctors to lead the battle against alcohol abuse. A group of international medical bodies said physicians can help their patients avoid the harmful effects of excess alcohol, and it also urged governments to take action and address the problem, which has become the third leading risk factor in preventable and premature disease, affecting 76 million people globally. The statement, which comes ahead of next week's United Nations Summit on Non-communicable Diseases in New York City, said that to date there has been a noticeable lack of any global action to correct the problem of alcohol abuse. "Evidence-based cost-effective interventions reduce harm from alcohol, but advocacy for an alcohol policy is not politically attractive. The conflict between government-driven health policy and commercial or social governmental ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Booze Tax Hikes May Reduce Alcohol-Related Problems

Posted 23 Sep 2010 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 23 – Boosting taxes on alcohol leads to lower rates of alcohol-related disease, injury, death and crime, researchers say. University of Florida investigators analyzed 50 published papers that estimated the health and social effects of alcohol taxes or prices. The study authors concluded that higher alcohol taxes have a greater impact than drinking prevention programs. The results of the meta-analysis suggest that doubling the average state tax on alcohol would result, on average, in a 35 percent reduction in alcohol-related deaths, an 11 percent reduction in traffic crash deaths, a 6 percent reduction in sexually transmitted diseases, a 2 percent reduction in violence and a 1.4 percent reduction in crime. The study findings were released online Sept. 23 in advance of publication in the November print issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The findings "clearly ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Alcoholic Cirrhosis, Alcoholic Liver Damage, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Psychosis, Alcoholic Gastritis, Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy, Alcohol Hepatitis

Mapping the Link Between Alcohol, Cancer

Posted 2 Dec 2009 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 27 – New research suggests that alcohol may boost the progression of cancer by stimulating a pathway inside cells. The findings could have meaning for the prevention and treatment of cancer, which has been linked to alcohol use in some cases. In particular, scientists suspect that alcohol is connected to colon and breast cancer, although it's not known exactly how. A new study, published online in advance of the January 2010 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, says that a pathway known as the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) could play a role in the process in which cancer cells affected by alcohol grow and spread. "Alcohol consumption is known to increase the risk of several cancers, including cancers of the oral cavity, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and, in women, the breast," study co-author Christopher B. Forsyth, an assistant ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism

Alcohol-Related Ills Increasing Worldwide

Posted 25 Jun 2009 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 25 – Consumption of alcohol is up, and so it seems are the ills associated with it. Worldwide, one in 25 deaths and 5 percent of the years that people live with health-related disabilities are related to alcohol, according to a new study. Globally, average yearly alcohol consumption per person is the equivalent of about 1.6 gallons (6.2 liters) of pure ethanol a year, or about 12 units a week per person (with one unit equaling 0.3 ounces, or 10 milliliters). Annual consumption per person was found to be highest in Europe, where it equals 3.1 gallons (11.9 liters) of ethanol (21.5 units a week). That compares with 2.5 gallons (9.4 liters) a year (18 units a week) in North America and 0.2 gallons (0.7 liters) a year (1.3 units a week) in the eastern Mediterranean, which has the lowest levels. "In all regions worldwide, men consume more alcohol than do women, although the ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

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