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Face-to-Face Support Groups Still Best for Staying Sober: Study

Posted 7 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 7, 2015 – Traditional face-to-face support groups are better than increasingly popular online support groups at helping people with substance abuse problems stay sober, a new study finds. Researchers surveyed 141 women and 55 men, aged 18 to over 60, who used both types of support groups. More than 90 percent of the participants had been in recovery for more than a year. People who attended more face-to-face meetings had greater success in achieving and maintaining sobriety than those who used online support groups more often, the findings showed. One factor that may explain that difference is that participants said they were less likely to be dishonest in face-to-face meetings than online. A commitment to honesty is a major part of 12-step substance abuse recovery programs, so being dishonest could jeopardize recovery, the researchers said. The study was presented ... Read more

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

Could Blue Eyes Raise Odds for Alcoholism?

Posted 2 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 2, 2015 – People with blue eyes may be more likely to become alcoholics, a new study suggests. Genetic researchers at the University of Vermont said their findings could help doctors learn more about the roots of alcoholism, as well as other psychiatric disorders. Study co-author Dawei Li, an assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, has worked with other scientists for years to build a genetic database of more than 10,000 people. Most of those in the database are black or European Americans. All are affected by at least one mental illness, but many have multiple disorders, including depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, along with alcohol or drug dependence. "These are complex disorders," Li said in a university news release. "There are many genes, and there are many environmental triggers." Using the database, the researchers identified over ... Read more

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

Virtual Reality May Help Alcoholics Beat Cravings, Study Finds

Posted 24 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2015 – Virtual reality therapy may help alcoholics battle their addiction, a small study from South Korea suggests. Researchers recruited 12 people being treated for alcoholism for the study. The volunteers went through a week-long detoxification program and then did two sessions of virtual reality therapy a week for five weeks. The patients were presented with three virtual scenes: a relaxing environment; a high-risk setting in a restaurant where other people were drinking; and an aversion situation that featured the sights, sounds and smells of people getting sick from drinking too much. PET and CT brain scans suggested that the patients had a reduced craving for alcohol after the virtual reality therapy, according to the study. The research is published in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. While it was a small study, the findings ... Read more

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

Most Americans Back Ban on Powdered Alcohol, Poll Finds

Posted 15 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 15, 2015 – Most Americans support banning powdered alcohol because of its potential misuse by teens, a new survey finds. Powdered alcohol was approved in March by U.S. regulators but some states have already banned it, the poll's authors said. The products, which will be sold in pouches, will be available in flavors such as vodka, rum and mixed drinks. "Given that several states are considering legislation about powdered alcohol, our poll looked at what the public thinks about this new product," Dr. Matthew Davis, director of the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, said in a university news release. "The majority of adults agree that powdered alcohol may spell trouble for young people," he said. Sixty percent of adults favor a complete ban on powdered alcohol in their states, and another 84 percent support banning ... Read more

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

Underage Drinking Down in Past Decade

Posted 11 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 11, 2015 – Underage drinking in the United States is declining. But, alcohol remains the most widely used substance of abuse among American children, federal researchers reported Thursday. The rate of current drinking (within the last month) among youngsters aged 12 to 20 fell from 29 percent in 2002 to 23 percent in 2013. Plus, the rate of current binge drinking in this age group declined from 19 percent to 14 percent during that time period. Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion. However, more American teens use alcohol (23 percent) than tobacco (17 percent) or illicit drugs (14 percent), according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report. The report is based on data from an annual, national survey of 67,500 Americans aged 12 and older. "When parents communicate clear expectations and ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

3 in 10 Americans Have Drinking Problem at Some Point in Their Lives

Posted 3 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2015 – Nearly 30 percent of Americans have a problem with alcohol at some point in their lives, ranging from binge drinking to full-blown alcoholism, but less than 20 percent are ever treated, a new study found. Alcohol use disorders are among the most common mental health problems worldwide and result in disability, illness and death, researchers from the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) said. "The problem of alcohol abuse is bigger than people thought," said NIAAA Director George Koob. "Alcohol disorders cost the United States $224 billion a year. "Seventy percent of Americans drink and most don't have a problem, but there is a significant group that do have a problem," he added. One of the biggest concerns, Koob said, is that less than 20 percent of those who have a drinking problem get help. Koob thinks people avoid treatment for a ... Read more

Related support groups: Contrave, Naltrexone, Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Vivitrol, Alcoholism, Campral, Hangover, Revia, Embeda, Acamprosate, Bupropion/naltrexone, Campral EC, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Depade, Morphine/naltrexone

'Moderate'Drinking Might Harm Older People's Hearts: Study

Posted 26 May 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 26, 2015 – "Moderate" drinking might harm your heart if you're a senior citizen, a new study suggests. And women appear to be at greater risk for alcohol-related heart damage than men, the researchers found. "In an elderly population, increasing alcohol intake is associated with subtle alterations in heart structure and function, with women appearing more susceptible than men to the toxic effects of alcohol," said lead researcher Dr. Alexandra Goncalves. She is a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. The study involved more than 4,400 adults, average age 76. The investigators found that women who drank even moderately – one drink daily – experienced a small reduction in heart function. Among men, consuming more than 14 drinks a week – considered heavy drinking – was linked to enlargement of the heart's left ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Hangover, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Oxytocin, Alcohol Seem to Work on Brain in Similar Ways

Posted 20 May 2015 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, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Syntocinon

Learn to Recognize the Signs of an Alcohol Problem

Posted 5 May 2015 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 5% in Dextrose 5%, Alcohol Hepatitis, Alcoholic Gastritis

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, Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy, Alcoholic Psychosis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcohol Hepatitis, Alcoholic Gastritis

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

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