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Women Starting to Match Men's Drinking Habits, Study Finds

Posted 7 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 – American women are catching up to men when it comes to using and abusing alcohol, a new government report shows. The researchers analyzed data from 2002 to 2012 and found that reported alcohol consumption in the previous 30 days rose among women, from almost 45 percent to more than 48 percent, while it fell among men, from slightly more than 57 percent to just over 56 percent. "We found that over that period of time, differences in measures such as current drinking, number of drinking days per month, reaching criteria for an alcohol use disorder, and driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year, all narrowed for females and males," study leader Aaron White, senior scientific advisor to the director of the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), said in an institute news release. "Males still consume more alcohol, but the ... Read more

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

Gene Mutation May Be Tied to Drunken Recklessness

Posted 14 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 17, 2015 – Scientists say that they have identified a gene mutation that is linked to an increased risk of impulsive and reckless behavior when drunk. The research also indicates that "persons with this mutation are more impulsive by nature even when sober, and they are more likely to struggle with self-control or mood disorders," study leader and psychiatrist Roope Tikkanen, of the University of Helsinki in Finland, said in a university news release. The mutation occurs in a gene of the serotonin 2B receptor, whose function is little-known but thought to connect with impulsivity, the study authors said. "The impact of one gene on complex phenomena is typically minor. But it is possible to identify the impact of such a genetic mutation in the Finnish population, as our historical isolation has led to a relatively homogenous gene pool," Tikkanen added. More than 2 percent ... Read more

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

Heavy Drinking May Strain the Heart

Posted 10 Nov 2015 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 – Heavy drinking may dramatically increase a person's risk of heart failure, even if they're young and healthy, a new study suggests. People who abuse alcohol are 70 percent more likely to develop heart failure, according to findings that were to be presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. The detrimental effects of hard drinking were particularly pronounced in young and middle-aged adults, and people who were otherwise in good health, said lead researcher Dr. Isaac Whitman, an electrophysiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. However, the study did not prove that heavy drinking causes heart failure. These results suggest that younger adults need to take it easy on the booze, especially if they don't have any risk factors for heart disease, Whitman said. "In the case of alcohol, I don't think it's ... Read more

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

Teens Swayed by Alcohol Ads

Posted 20 Oct 2015 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 20, 2015 – Advertising strongly influences which brands of alcohol teens drink, a new study finds. The study found that 13- to 20-year-olds are over five times more likely to drink brands advertised on national television and 36 percent more likely to drink brands advertised in national magazines, compared to brands that don't advertise in these media. The results are from an online national survey conducted by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Boston University School of Public Health. More than 1,000 underage drinkers were asked which of nearly 900 alcohol brands available in the United States they had consumed in the past month. The survey was conducted between December 2011 and May 2012. "Marketing exposure is increasingly recognized as an important factor in youth drinking, yet few studies ... Read more

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

No Amount of Alcohol Safe During Pregnancy, Doctors Say

Posted 19 Oct 2015 by

MONDAY, Oct. 19, 2015 – While some studies have hinted that a little alcohol might be harmless during pregnancy, a leading U.S. pediatricians' group has issued a new warning that no amount of drinking is safe while pregnant. "The only guarantee of having no effects from alcohol is no prenatal alcohol exposure," said Dr. Janet Williams, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center and co-author of the new statement and report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It's likely, she added, that future research will continue to show that "alcohol has subtle yet important lasting effects on academic performance, attention, behavior, cognition, memory, language skills, and visual and motor development." Physicians and researchers have been warning about the hazards of alcohol use during pregnancy for decades. Yet almost half of all women of childbearing ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Emergency Contraception, Postcoital Contraception, Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Delivery, Alcoholism, Hangover, Premature Labor, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Cesarean Section, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Tough Alcohol Policies Linked to Lower Death Rates From Liver Damage

Posted 15 Oct 2015 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 15, 2015 – States with strong alcohol control policies have lower death rates connected to alcohol-related liver damage, a new study finds. Researchers gave states scores based on their alcohol control policies, such as taxes, retail price restrictions and hours-of-sale limits. The stronger the policies, the higher the score. A 10-point increase in the score was associated with 9 percent fewer alcoholic cirrhosis deaths among all women, the investigators found. Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver. When American Indian/Alaska Natives were not included, a 10-point increase in a state's alcohol policy score was associated with 11 percent fewer deaths in both sexes, and 18 percent fewer alcoholic cirrhosis deaths among women alone, the findings showed. The strongest link between alcohol policies and alcoholic cirrhosis death rates was in the ... Read more

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

Cigarettes May Sabotage Alcoholics' Recovery

Posted 7 Oct 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7, 2015 – Smoking greatly increases recovering alcoholics' risk of relapse, a new study warns. "Quitting smoking will improve anyone's health. But our study shows that giving up cigarettes is even more important for adults in recovery from alcohol since it will help them stay sober," said lead author Renee Goodwin. Goodwin is an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. The study included tens of thousands of recovering alcoholics in the United States who were followed for three years. Smokers were two times more likely than nonsmokers to start drinking again, even after the researchers accounted for factors such as mood and anxiety disorders, illicit drug use and nicotine dependence. The study was recently published online in the journal Alcoholism: Experimental and Clinical Research. It's not clear ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Don't Drink and Drive

Posted 30 Sep 2015 by

-- Thousands die each year in alcohol-related car crashes. To avoid becoming another statistic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises: Make the decision not to drink and drive. Designate an alcohol-free driver before anyone has the first drink, or decide that you'll call a taxi. Don't allow your friends to drink and drive. Stick to a reasonable amount of alcohol. Do not binge drink, and encourage friends to drink in moderation. If you struggle with alcohol, talk to a doctor or nurse about programs that can help. Always wear a seat belt, and make sure your passengers do so. Read more

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

Lower Drinking Age May Bring More High School Dropouts

Posted 28 Sep 2015 by

MONDAY, Sept. 28, 2015 – Lowering the legal drinking age from 21 to 18 might lead to a surprising consequence – more high school dropouts. So claims a new study that found U.S. high school dropout rates increased between 4 percent and 13 percent in the 1970s and 1980s, a time when many states lowered the legal drinking age to 18. Dropout rates among black and Hispanic students rose more than among white students, the study revealed. The findings don't prove that a lower legal drinking age leads to higher dropout rates, but they do suggest an association, said lead researcher Andrew Plunk, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. "The minimum legal drinking age changes how easy it is for a young person to get alcohol. In places where it was lowered to 18, it's likely that more high school students were able to get alcohol from their friends," ... Read more

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

Former Problem Drinkers Find It Tricky to Navigate Social Settings: Study

Posted 25 Sep 2015 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2015 – When former problem drinkers are socializing, they use a number of methods to let others know they don't drink, a small new study finds. Researchers interviewed 11 former problem drinkers who had been sober for between one and 19 years. Many of the study participants said they tried to avoid the issue altogether. Methods included posing as a drinker by holding a cup but not drinking, or simply refusing offers to drink without saying why. If asked why they were not drinking, some cited health problems or said they were taking medications that couldn't be used with alcohol. Some used humor to change the subject, the researchers found. A few of the former drinkers said they were open about their history of problem drinking, particularly if they thought it would get them out of a situation that threatened their sobriety, or if they believed it would help other ... Read more

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

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

Posted 7 Aug 2015 by

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

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

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, Alcohol Hepatitis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Gastritis

Most Americans Back Ban on Powdered Alcohol, Poll Finds

Posted 15 Jun 2015 by

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

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

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