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Alcohol and Alcoholism

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Hormone and Neurotransmitter Systems Disturbed in Alcoholics' Brains

The brain tissue of persons with alcohol dependence shows a variety of changes compared to non-alcoholic control persons. All alcoholics' brains share some characteristics, but some are exclusive to the brain tissue of anxiety-prone type 1 alcoholics or impulsive type 2 alcoholics, according to a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland.

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Chronic Heavy Alcohol Consumption May Make It Harder to Quit Smoking

Chronic heavy alcohol consumption may lead to an increase in the rate of nicotine metabolism, which could be a contributing factor to poor smoking cessation rates in smokers addicted to alcohol.

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One-Fifth of Young Drinkers Report Consuming 'Jello Shots,' BU Study Finds

About one in five underage youths reported consuming alcoholic jello shots in the past 30 days, and those youths were more likely to binge drink, consume more alcohol, and to have been involved in physical fights related to their drinking than their peers who did not consume jello shots, a study led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher shows.

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Using “Heavy Drinking Days” to Measure Treatment Effectiveness

One of the challenges in evaluating the effectiveness of alcohol treatment is determining what constitutes a “good” outcome or meaningful improvement. While abstinence at the end of treatment is clearly a good outcome, a focus on abstinence ignores the benefits of patients reducing their drinking to less problematic levels so that they can function better and incur fewer social costs. This study estimates the relationship between drinking practices at the end of a treatment program and subsequent health-care costs, with an emphasis on heavy and non-heavy drinking levels.

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Alcohol Availability Affects Local Crime Patterns

Restrictions on alcohol availability may be an important crime-control policy, given that alcohol availability appears to influence crime by increasing consumption and alcohol-induced impulsivity. In 2003, Pennsylvania repealed its Sunday alcohol-sales ban for a portion of its state-run liquor stores. This paper investigates whether this change in alcohol policy, which affected alcohol availability, had an impact on crime occurring within the vicinity of liquor stores that opened on Sundays in Philadelphia.

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Alcohol-Induced Blackouts: The Last Five Years of Research

Alcohol-induced blackouts, defined as memory loss of all or a portion of events that occurred during a drinking episode, are reported by approximately 50 percent of drinkers, and are associated with a wide range of negative consequences, including injury and death. Identifying the factors that contribute to and result from alcohol-induced blackouts is critical for developing effective prevention programs. This manuscript is an updated review of clinical research that has focused on alcohol-induced blackouts. It outlines practical and clinical implications of these findings and provides recommendations for future research.

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Alcohol, Processed Meat, Obesity and #Stomachcancer Risk: @Fred Hutch Expert Available to Discuss Newly Discovered Link

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Self-Understanding Helps Criminal Substance Abusers

Impulsiveness, crime and problems with social interaction. Many substance abusers also struggle with antisocial personality disorders, which makes it difficult for them to complete a drug or alcohol treatment programme. New research from the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research at Aarhus BSS reveals that just six additional counselling sessions may lower the drop-out rate and increase the outcome of the treatment programme.

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Maryland’s 2011 Alcohol Sales Tax Reduced Alcohol Sales, Study Suggests

Maryland’s 2011 increase in the alcohol sales tax appears to have led to fewer purchases of beer, wine and liquor in the state, suggesting reduced alcohol use, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research indicates.

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Simultaneous Cocaine, Alcohol Use Linked to Suicide Risk

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In a general sense, medical studies support the popular intuition -- a staple of movies and literature -- that suicidal behavior and substance misuse are linked. But the relationship between the two is not so simple. A new study of hundreds of suicidal emergency department (ED) patients from around the U.S. found that the significance of the link varied with age, gender and race. Across the board, however, the use of cocaine and alcohol together was a red flag.

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Closer Examination Reveals Changes to the “Gender Gap” in Drinking

Previous research on an apparent narrowing of the historical “gender gap” in drinking prevalence found that girls were more likely to start drinking before 18 years of age compared to boys. This research seeks to extend these epidemiological findings by estimating the fine-grained, age-specific incidence of becoming a drinker among 12- to 24-year-old U.S. males and females, and comparing incidence estimates with prevalence proportions.

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Fluctuations in Student Drinking During the Calendar Year

Heavy drinking by students is common during the college years and is associated with potentially serious consequences. While student drinking tends to fluctuate throughout the calendar year, with marked increases during celebrations, most studies of the issue are limited to the academic year itself, relatively few focus specifically on special heavy drinking events, and even fewer include drinking during summer break and subsequent school return. This study uses longitudinal data to address these gaps.

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Examining Alcohol Use Prior to Suicides and Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

Injury death – including those due to intentional injury, with suicide most common, as well as unintentional injury, with motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) causing a majority – is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Postmortem examinations commonly test for blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This study utilizes postmortem data to examine the hypotheses that high, and very high, BACs are more common among MVC decedents than among suicide decedents, whereas low alcohol levels are more common among suicide decedents.

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Effects of Alcohol, Methamphetamine, and Marijuana Exposure on the Placenta

In the United States, prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is the most common preventable cause of developmental delay. Animal studies have shown some of the adverse effects of PAE on placental development, but few studies have examined these effects in humans. This is the first study to examine the effects of prenatal exposure to methamphetamine, marijuana, and cigarette smoking on human placental development.

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The Addiction Medicine Foundation Accredits Four More Fellowship Programs, Bringing Total Accredited Programs to 40

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The Addiction Medicine Foundation today announced the accreditation of four additional fellowship programs to train addiction medicine physicians. The Foundation has supported the establishment of 40 addiction medicine fellowship training programs to date, based at major medical schools and hospitals across North America.

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Study Finds Addiction Associated with Poor Awareness of Others

Developmental psychologist finds adolescents with severe alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems have a low regard for others, as indicated by higher rates of driving under the influence and having unprotected sex with a history of sexually transmitted disease.

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Opioid Relapse Rates Fall with Long-Term Use of Medication for Adults Involved in Criminal Justice System

A clinical trial from NYU Langone Medical Center and others finds use of long-term, extended-release naltrexone leads to decreases in opioid addiction relapse. Learn more.

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Curbing Opioid Abuse

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Most people know that heroin is a dangerous drug, but its cousins, the legal, pharmaceutical opioids, such as codeine or hydrocodone, must be safe, right?

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Nobel Laureate, Leading Experts Speak in APS President’s Symposium Series

Leading research experts will discuss the physiology behind organ injury in alcohol abuse, the health impacts of diet, and adaptations to stress as part of the President's Symposium Series at the Experimental Biology 2016 meeting in San Diego. The series is anchored with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Lecture by Nobel Laureate Roger Tsien, PhD.

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In-Car Breathalyzers for DUI Offenders Curb Drunk-Driving Deaths by 15 Percent

State laws that require drivers who’ve been convicted of drunk driving to pass a breathalyzer-type test before starting their cars saved an estimated 915 lives between 2004 and 2013, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The findings represent a 15 percent reduction in drunk driving-related deaths compared to states without legislation requiring DUI offenders to use “mandatory ignition interlock.”