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Smart Kids Prone to Dumb Choices on Pot, Booze

Posted 2 days 8 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 23, 2017 – Smart students usually know better than to light up a cigarette. But when it comes to drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana, these same whiz kids are likely to let knowledge take a backseat to "party" time. New research from the United Kingdom revealed that students who excel in English, math and science appear to be less likely to smoke cigarettes than those with poorer grades. But smart teens are more likely than their less-brainy peers to knock back some drinks or smoke pot. The study, led by James Williams of the University College London, UCL Medical School, included about 6,000 students, starting at the age of 11. The kids came from nearly 900 schools in England. Until they reached the age of 19 or 20, all of the study participants regularly completed behavioral questionnaires, which included questions regarding use of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana. ... Read more

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

Tougher Alcohol Laws Mean Fewer Young People Killed on the Road

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 – In U.S. states with the toughest laws to discourage drinking and driving, fewer children and teens were killed in car crashes, a new study shows. Half of motor vehicle accidents that claim the lives of children and teens in the United States are fueled by alcohol, the researchers noted. Of the nearly 85,000 kids and teens killed in car crashes in the United States between 2000 and 2013, 28 percent involved drivers who were legally drunk. About half the children died in crashes where the driver had any alcohol in his or her system, according to the study. But the states with the toughest policies saw a 9 percent decrease in child and teen crash deaths. "To reduce alcohol-related crash deaths among youth, it is important to strengthen policies that focus on adults, not just youth, and that focus on drinking, not just driving," said senior study author Dr. Tim ... Read more

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

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome a Global Problem: Report

Posted 17 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 – About 119,000 children worldwide are born each year with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), a new report finds. The syndrome refers to a group of conditions that include poor growth for the baby both in the womb and after birth, and mental, physical and developmental problems for the child that can last through adulthood, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Globally, an average of nearly 10 percent of women drink alcohol during pregnancy. But, the rate is as high as 45 percent in some countries, said researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. The five countries with the highest alcohol use in pregnancy were Russia, United Kingdom, Denmark, Belarus and Ireland. As a region, Europe had a 2.6 higher prevalence of the syndrome than the global average. The lowest levels of drinking during pregnancy and fetal alcohol ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Delivery, Hangover, Premature Labor, Hydrocephalus, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Labor Pain, Cesarean Section, Prematurity/Underweight in Infancy, Fetal Maturation, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Breathalyzer Lock Laws Prevent Drunk-Driving Deaths: Study

Posted 5 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 5, 2017 – Breathalyzer-type devices known as ignition interlocks that prevent drunks from driving do prevent deadly accidents, a new study indicates. States started passing mandatory interlock laws in 1993. This new study found they were associated with a 7 percent decrease in the rate of fatal crashes involving at least one drunk driver. "Our study demonstrates the value of mandatory ignition interlock laws across the United States," said study leader Emma McGinty. "We already know that alcohol plays a tragic role in the number of motor vehicle crash fatalities each year. Interlock laws which are mandatory for all DUI offenders save lives," said McGinty, deputy director at the Johns Hopkins Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy Research in Baltimore. Cars equipped with an ignition interlock won't start if the driver's blood alcohol level exceeds a preset limit. ... Read more

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

Study Ties Alcohol Abuse to Increased Heart Risks

Posted 2 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 2, 2017 – A new study suggests that people who abuse alcohol also boost their risk of three cardiac conditions: atrial fibrillation, heart attack and congestive heart failure. The possible added risk appears to be about the same as that linked to high blood pressure, smoking, obesity and diabetes, the researchers said. "We found that even if you have no underlying risk factors, abuse of alcohol still increases the risk of these heart conditions," lead researcher Dr. Gregory Marcus said in an American College of Cardiology news release. Marcus is director of clinical research at the University of California, San Francisco's division of cardiology. The study was based on a database of close to 15 million Californians aged 21 and older who had outpatient surgery, emergency room treatment or inpatient hospital care between 2005 and 2009. About 2 percent had been diagnosed with ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Myocardial Infarction, Alcoholic Cirrhosis, Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcohol Hepatitis

Celebrate the Holidays, But Not While Drinking and Driving

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 22, 2016 – During the holidays, cocktails, eggnog and wine are always flowing, and the danger of serious or deadly car accidents soars. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers these safety tips to help prevent tragedies caused by drinking and driving: Choose a designated driver. Before a party, make sure at least one person will stay sober and make sure everyone gets home safely. Hand over your keys. Anyone who plans to drink but doesn't have a designated driver should give someone else their keys so they won't be tempted to drive. Take along an overnight bag. If the party will run late or there will be heavy drinking, be prepared to spend the night. Take public transportation. Many cities run extra buses and trains to accommodate holiday crowds. Party-goers can also share a taxi to cut down on costs. Don't walk home. More pedestrians are killed ... Read more

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

Alcohol Can Be a Risky Guest at Holiday Parties

Posted 11 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Dec. 11, 2016 – During the holiday season, gatherings and parties are a part of the festivities. Unfortunately, so are alcohol-related accidents and deaths. Many people who attend seasonal parties seldom drink alcohol, making them more vulnerable to its effects, according to experts at UC Davis Health System in California. Meanwhile, heavy drinkers may use holiday gatherings as an opportunity to let loose and drink too much, the experts cautioned. Drinking in moderation can help prevent alcohol-related injuries and health issues. It's also important to appoint a designated driver who will stay sober and ensure partygoers get home safely, the experts advised. Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently. U.S. health officials define moderate drinking as one drink per day for women and two drinks for men. The type of alcohol also matters. One drink is the equivalent of: 1.5 ounces ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Dysthymia, Hangover, Depressive Psychosis, Alcoholic Psychosis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Scientists Spot 'Teetotaler' Gene

Posted 30 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 – Scientists say they've identified a gene variant that dampens the desire to drink alcohol. They said their discovery might lead to the development of drugs that could control alcohol consumption, possibly even among problem drinkers. This variation of the beta-Klotho gene was pinpointed through genetic research involving more than 105,000 light and heavy social drinkers. Alcoholics were not included in the research, the study authors said. Participants provided genetic samples and answered questionnaires on their weekly drinking habits. Heavy drinking was defined as more than 21 drinks per week for men and more than 14 drinks per week for women. Light drinking was considered to be 14 drinks or less per week for men and seven drinks or less per week for women. A "drink" was the equivalent of a small glass of wine, or a half pint of beer. "The study identified a ... Read more

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

U.S. Surgeon General Declares War on Addiction

Posted 18 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 – America's response to alcohol and drug addiction demands a shift in thinking – away from moralizing and toward proven medical treatment instead, the U.S. Surgeon General said Thursday. For too long, addiction has been looked at as a character flaw or a moral failing, rather than as a chronic disease of the brain, Dr. Vivek Murthy said during a morning news conference. "We have 20.8 million people in America with substance abuse disorders," the Surgeon General noted. But only one in 10 is getting treatment, research shows. "That is unacceptable, we have to close that gap," Murthy said. Addiction to alcohol or drugs is not hopeless. "There's strong evidence that prevention and treatment work," Murthy said. Under this line of thinking, treatment of opioid disorders – a national crisis – is likely to include medications such as buprenorphine and methadone. ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Alcoholism, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse

Women Reaching Equality in Dubious Habit: Drinking

Posted 25 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2016 – Women have made major strides towards equality with men, but new research shows there's one way in which they are catching up that could be harmful: drinking. Women are now nearly on par with men in alcohol consumption, and the ill effects drinking has on health, a worldwide review finds. Historically, men have been far more likely than women to drink alcohol, and to drink so much it affects their health. Older studies suggested as much as a 12-fold difference between the sexes, the researchers said. Recent data suggests that the gap has closed. Women across the globe are now nearly as likely as men to drink and to engage in excessive, harmful drinking, said lead researcher Tim Slade. He's an epidemiologist with the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Australia. "We can no longer think of alcohol use and ... Read more

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

Alcoholics May Lack Key Enzyme

Posted 21 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – Alcoholics may lack an enzyme that would help them control their impulse to drink, a new study with rats suggests. Researchers found that turning off production of the enzyme PRDM2 in the frontal lobes of the rodents led the animals to drink alcohol, even when it was unpleasant to do so. "PRDM2 controls the expression of several genes that are necessary for effective signaling between nerve cells. When too little enzyme is produced, no effective signals are sent from the cells that are supposed to stop the impulse," said study leader Markus Heilig, head of the Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience at Linkoping University in Sweden. "We see how a single molecular manipulation gives rise to important characteristics of an addictive illness," Heilig said in a university news release. "Now that we're beginning to understand what's happening, we hope we'll ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Diagnosis and Investigation, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Psychosis, Alcoholic Gastritis

Who Drinks More -- Couples or Singles?

Posted 18 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 18, 2016 – People who are married or live together drink less than single people, according to a new study. The findings show that "once you're in a committed relationship, your drinking frequency declines permanently, whereas quantity goes back up if you exit that relationship," said lead author Diana Dinescu, a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia. The researchers looked at more than 2,400 twin pairs (about 1,600 female pairs and more than 800 male pairs). They found that those who were married drank less alcohol and drank less often than those who were single or divorced. This isn't the first study to show that married adults drink less than their peers without partners. But by focusing on twins, the authors said genetic predispositions and differences in upbringing would be less likely to affect the results. "It seems that intimate ... Read more

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

U.S. College Kids Drink More, Smoke Less Than Others Their Age

Posted 16 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 16, 2016 – There's good news and bad news on America's college kids: They smoke less than other young adults, but they drink more. So finds data from a 2014 – the latest year available – federal government survey of more than 10,000 people aged 18 to 22, about 4,000 of whom were in college. The poll found that compared to others their age, about 60 percent of full-time college students are current drinkers compared to just over half of people their age who aren't in college. About 38 percent of college students said they have had a binge-drinking episode at least once over the past month, compared to about one-third of their peers who weren't in college, the report found. Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on one occasion. All of this is "important now that many students are starting, or returning to, college," said Fran Harding, who directs the ... Read more

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

Would Weaker Beer Help Reduce Alcohol's Harms?

Posted 11 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2016 – Lowering the alcohol content in beer and other drinks may help reduce their harmful health effects, researchers say. Alcohol causes substantial disability and death worldwide. Nearly a quarter of deaths among people between the ages of 20 and 39 are alcohol-related, according to the World Health Organization. "The idea is that a small reduction in alcohol – such as beer with four percent ethanol content versus six per cent – would reduce alcohol intake per drinker even if the same overall amount of beverage is consumed," researcher Jurgen Rehm said. Rehm is director of the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. He and his colleagues concluded that lower levels of ethanol – the most harmful ingredient in alcoholic beverages – would lead to lower blood alcohol levels in drinkers. That would ... Read more

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

Heavy Drinking Might Harm the Lungs

Posted 5 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 5, 2016 – Heavy drinking may increase the risk of lung problems, a new study suggests. "Alcohol appears to disrupt the healthy balance in the lung," said study lead author Dr. Majid Afshar, of Loyola University Chicago. He is an assistant professor in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine and department of public health sciences. Afshar's team analyzed data from more than 12,000 American adults. The researchers found that heavy drinkers (more than one drink a day for women and more than two drinks a day for men) and people who binge-drink at least once a month had less nitric oxide in their exhaled breath than non-drinkers. Binge-drinking is consuming four or more drinks per occasion for women and five or more drinks for men. Also, the researchers found that the more alcohol heavy drinkers consumed, the lower the level of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Respiratory Tract Disease, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Respiratory Failure, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Psychosis

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