New study examines neighborhood and social network's relation to binge drinking among adultsIndiana University
Study examines how neighborhood and social network characteristics relate to adult binge drinking.
Study examines how neighborhood and social network characteristics relate to adult binge drinking.
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Many people in Switzerland experienced considerable psychological distress during the first COVID-19 lockdown from mid-March to the end of April 2020.
A new study provides the best evidence to date that an increase in the availability of alcohol is linked to more financial troubles among the disadvantaged.
Recent years have brought increased attention to the lasting effects of chemicals we unwittingly inhale, touch and ingest while going about our daily lives. The Experimental Biology (EB) 2021 meeting features the latest research on how environmental exposures affect health.
The overwhelmed pandemic parent has become a ubiquitous symbol of the stress and despair many have felt since COVID-19 spread widely.
In a new study, nearly two-thirds of female participants reported drinking more since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, including increases in daily drinking, drinking earlier in the day, and binge drinking.
Women in early abstinence from alcohol use disorder (AUD) show important alterations in brain connectivity that could underlie anxiety-induced relapse, according to a study reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Long-term recovery from AUD is challenging, particularly through periods of stress or uncertainty. Sustained alcohol use causes alterations in brain structure and neural functioning, including in brain regions associated with anxiety, that can persist even after stopping drinking. The first few days after quitting alcohol are dominated by physical withdrawal symptoms; after this, longer-lasting effects, including the production of stress hormones and abnormal stress responses, emerge as a result of these brain alterations. This means that many people who become sober experience months or years of anxiety and stress-reactivity symptoms. In the early abstinence phase, the anxiety symptoms can be temporarily relieved by alcohol, creating a powerful motivation
The amount of alcohol an individual consumes on a given day, and the consequences of that drinking, vary according to their motives for drinking. The findings are from a study among young adults reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. ‘High-intensity’ drinking, defined as 8+ drinks for women or 10+ drinks for men (i.e. twice the binge-drinking threshold), is a particularly risky level of drinking that is common among young adults. Because individuals may engage in high-intensity drinking on some days but not others, identifying risk factors for high-intensity drinking on a given day is critical for developing real-time interventions to reduce harm. Drinking motives – a person’s reasons for using alcohol – are known to be linked to alcohol use at a particular time, and also vary across drinking days. Certain motives, for example those related to enjoying the feeling of intoxication or enhancing the fun of a gathering, have been previously linked to higher alcohol con
For the past decade, researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Washington State University, and the VA Puget Sound Health Care System have conducted successful studies on harm reduction in Seattle homeless shelters. The researchers offer great advice on how to cut back on drinking.
College students’ alcohol consumption fell during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, notwithstanding concerns that the pandemic may drive up the risk of problematic drinking, according to new studies in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. The findings point to changing living conditions as a key influence, and a shift from heavy drinking with peers to lighter drinking with families. College students’ drinking is a longstanding public health concern in the US and international research on the effects of the pandemic has had mixed findings. Some studies have highlighted the drinking risks associated with pandemic stressors, disruptions, and deprivations, and increased depression, anxiety, and loneliness among college students. On the other hand, the closure of liquor stores and bars, the cancellation of events, and financial limitations may be protective against problematic drinking. Understanding how students’ alcohol use changed during the pandemic, and the reasons behind th
Risky drinking often co-occurs with maladaptive eating in young adults, according to a study reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. While previous research had suggested a link between heavy alcohol use and obesity-related factors in college students, the latest study aimed to identify specific profiles of problematic drinking, food addiction, and obesity within a more diverse sample of community-dwelling young people. The researchers also explored shared theoretical risk factors for heavy drinking and overeating, and how these differ across the profiles. Calorie-dense food and alcohol both require little effort to obtain and consume, and each generates immediate and potent experiences of reward in the brain. According to ‘reinforcer pathology’ theory, people who place a high value (‘demand’) on unhealthy items, and who also favor small immediate rewards (such as food and alcohol) over larger delayed rewards (such as health), are at highest risk for overconsumption
A new study suggests that devices that prevent drivers from starting their vehicles after drinking, help to reduce drunk driving in the short term and may have additional potential based on a broader research approach. Vehicle crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers result in 10,000 deaths a year in the US. About a quarter of convicted Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenders are sentenced to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs), which prevent them from driving if their breath alcohol level exceeds a certain threshold. Interlock devices are effective while installed, though it is unclear to what extent they influence longer term changes in drivers’ alcohol use. Understanding the impact of the IID on offenders’ behavior can potentially help inform strategies for decreasing DUI recidivism. The study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research is the first known investigation of offenders’ drinking and driving from before their arrest to the period of time after the interlo
The first-wave COVID-19 lockdown in Barcelona, Spain, has been linked to increased drinking among people recovering from alcohol use disorder (AUD), as reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Pandemic-associated stress has already been associated with increased drinking in the general population, but few studies have examined the impact among people with a clinical diagnosis of AUD, who may be particularly susceptible to using alcohol as a coping mechanism. Additionally, almost all COVID-19 studies to date have been based on self-reported alcohol use, which does not always provide an accurate measure, particularly among heavy drinkers and those with AUD. In the latest study, researchers used the results of urine alcohol tests to assess changes in alcohol consumption among people with AUD before and after the first-wave lockdown. Although the lockdown in Spain was one of the strictest in the world, with residents allowed to leave homes for basic needs only, alcohol r
As growing vaccine demand signals a potential turning point in the global COVID-19 pandemic, the nation’s health crisis is far from over. One year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, many adults report undesired changes to their weight, increased drinking and other negative behavior changes that may be related to an inability to cope with prolonged stress, according to the American Psychological Association’s latest Stress in AmericaTM poll.
The amount of alcohol consumed during a given drinking occasion is strongly associated with the duration of the occasion combined with the beverage type and serving size, according to a study reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Although previous research had indicated that alcohol consumption is influenced by the drinking context — for example, by the location, timing, or who was in the drinking group — it was not clear which characteristics are most strongly associated with alcohol consumption and how different factors combine to affect it. The new study aimed to identify which features, and combinations of features, are most predictive of the units of alcohol consumed during drinking occasions in Great Britain.
Alcohol and tobacco sales climb during early months of COVID-19 pandemic. Keck Medicine of USC study notes more dramatic increases among younger adults, ethnic minorities, those with younger children and/or large families and those with higher incomes
Heavy drinking combined with cadmium exposure — most commonly via smoking — escalates the risk of hypertension, according to a new study. Hypertension (high blood pressure) affects 26 percent of the global population and is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Alcohol consumption and cadmium exposure are known risk factors for hypertension. Exposure to cadmium, a metal that accumulates in body organs, occurs mainly through smoking, which often accompanies heavy drinking. Other cadmium sources include certain foods, air pollution, and wine and beer. Alcohol increases the absorption of cadmium in the body, and evidence suggests that the two substances contribute to hypertension via shared physiological pathways. The new study, in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, is the first known epidemiological investigation of the combined effects of alcohol and cadmium on blood pressure.
Researchers have identified a causal link between binge drinking and circadian clock genes in a brain region previously implicated in hazardous alcohol use. Binge drinking is a common and harmful pattern of alcohol use, responsible for more than half of alcohol-related deaths. There is already robust evidence that genes involved in controlling circadian rhythm — the body’s natural processes that follow a 24 hour light/dark cycle — are associated with hazardous drinking and alcohol abuse. However, it is not known which areas of the brain mediate the clock genes’ effects on drinking. A brain region known as the nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh) is already noted for its role in risky drinking; the region forms part of the brain’s ‘reward system’, reinforcing the use of alcohol and other addictive substances by release of dopamine. In the new study, reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, scientists investigated whether clock genes in the NAcSh are involved in regulating
The Data Science for the Public Good program, an Iowa State University project to help Iowa towns harness their data, has led to four offshoot projects to help support community recovery related to economic vulnerability, substance use and general support.
Alcohol dependence is associated with impairments in social cognition – for example, the ability to identify the emotional state of others – that persist despite abstinence from alcohol during inpatient treatment, according to new study findings. Cognitive deficits are common in alcohol use disorder (AUD), and often involve difficulties with working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control; however, it has become clear that social cognition, including the ability to recognize facial emotion, can also be affected. Poor social cognition contributes to interpersonal difficulties and conflicts. It may also have an important clinical impact, in that poorer recognition of facial emotion has been linked to poorer outcomes of treatment for alcohol dependence and a greater risk of relapse. However, research on social cognition is lacking, and it was not known if social cognitive deficits persist or might naturally improve with abstinence from alcohol. The study at the Medical University of I
According to a new study, personality traits are associated with changes in alcohol use and problematic drinking, but these relationships may vary across the lifespan. The study explores alcohol consumption in the context of adult developmental stages. It suggests that changes in impulsivity and in the perceived rewards of alcohol are strongly related to changes in drinking behavior from ages 18-21, and to a lesser degree until at least age 35. Problematic drinking is known to be associated with impulsivity traits: a lack of planning (impulse control), sensation seeking, and the anticipated benefits from alcohol, such as sociability and making activities more enjoyable. Such traits evolve through adolescence and early adulthood. Understanding how shifting factors may elevate the risk to certain people at certain times potentially helps target interventions aimed at reducing heavy drinking and preventing alcohol use disorder (AUD). The study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Rese
Western Carolina University researchers find a disproportionate number of inmates with violent offenses suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder and alcohol use disorder, and published their findings in the Journal of Criminal Psychology.
The risks of riding with an impaired driver or being involved in a crash caused by another person’s drinking are lower in countries that have comprehensive penalties for driving under the influence, according to an international study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Previous research on the effects of drunk-driving policies has focused on aggregate outcomes such as accident rates or fatalities involving alcohol-impaired drivers. Relatively slight attention has been paid to harms caused by another driver’s impairment, although these “secondhand” effects are widespread and serious; in the US in 2015, almost 40 percent of drunk-driving deaths were of victims other than the impaired driver. Investigators explored whether national policies relating to drink-driving, and regional drinking cultures, were associated with such effects.
People who’ve been provoked to anger are willing to purchase alcohol at higher prices, but may not be aware of their increased urge to drink, according to a new study. Anger, hostility, and aggression are known to relate to drinking, with anger a risk factor for heavy alcohol use. Building on previous studies that have deliberately manipulated emotional states to explore their effects on substance use, researchers at Wayne State University, Michigan, designed an experiment that could help clarify whether anger can motivate people to drink . For the study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the investigators sought to induce anger in participants and measure the effect of that anger on the desire to drink. They used two measures of drinking urges: self-reported alcohol craving and a behavioral task that assesses people’s motivation to drink.
Restricting the sale of malt liquor beer can help reduce crime in some communities, according to a new study. Malt liquor beer — high in alcohol content, low cost, and widely sold in liquor stores and convenience stores — is linked to heavy drinking, public inebriation, disorderly conduct, drug activity and other crimes. Consequently, since the 1990s, some cities have restricted its sale. In Washington state, certain urban neighborhoods were designated Alcohol Impact Areas and targeted with policies including restrictions on sales of malt liquor and similar products. Unpublished evaluations of these interventions have suggested positive social and health effects, but the research on crime impacts has been limited, with mixed findings. The study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research found that malt liquor sales restrictions are associated with declining urban crime.
A new study out of the University of Chicago Medicine following young adult drinkers for 10 years has found that individuals who reported the highest sensitivity to alcohol’s pleasurable and rewarding effects at the start of the trial were more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder (AUD) over the course of the study.
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine will expand a statewide program to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol, cannabis and prescription drugs.
Regular statewide retail checks for compliance with the legal drinking age are associated with a sustained reduction in alcohol-related crashes for drivers aged under 21, according to an analysis of 11 years’ data from South Carolina. Previous research has shown that reductions in underage drinking lead to a decrease in drink-driving and alcohol-related crashes. However, few studies have assessed the impact of purposeful alcohol compliance checks – in which authorities use an underage informant to attempt to buy alcohol – on drink-related road accidents. The new study, reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, evaluated the impact of the South Carolina Alcohol Enforcement Team (AET) program for reducing retail alcohol access to underage youth on drinking and driving crashes among drivers under 21 years old.
Binge drinkers increased their alcohol consumption by nearly 20% during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, according to new research by public health experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). Their study, published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, is one of the first to analyze the association of stress caused by the pandemic and dangerous alcohol consumption.
High-frequency telephone support from a familiar psychotherapist reduces the risk of relapse after inpatient treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), according to a study reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Many patients resume drinking within the first few months after residential treatment, so continuous care in this high-risk period is crucial. Typically, this involves face-to-face counselling, but compliance is often low and there is a need for alternative options to improve outcomes during the vulnerable phase. Individualized phone-based support from staff or volunteers, and automated text message-based support, are two lower-cost and user-friendly approaches. In pilot studies these appear to be well accepted and feasible, but data on efficacy have varied, probably because of differences in program delivery and patient populations. The latest study compared the effectiveness of phone and text-based continuing care programs following a 12-week residential A
Young adults who combine alcohol and cannabis use experience fewer negative consequences when they stick with a single type of drink versus consuming multiple types of alcohol, according to a new study. In addition, by avoiding cannabis concentrate they may steady or lower their overall consumption. The findings suggest that for those who choose to sustain their levels of alcohol and cannabis use, judicious choice of products may reduce the risks.
More than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals who misuse alcohol or tobacco also have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder, compared to one-third of heterosexuals, a new University of Michigan study finds.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, information about the dangers of vaping was emerging. To investigate the potentially serious health and respiratory implications of vaping, Mayo Clinic researchers wanted to better understand the factors influencing vaping in the community.
A study reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research has highlighted the link between emotional functioning and alcohol use. Previous research has shown that mood regulation is a core component of problematic drinking, and that emotions have a role in reinforcing repeated alcohol use – whether via the mood- and social-enhancing effects of alcohol (‘positive reinforcement’), or through drinking as a coping strategy to alleviate negative feelings of stress and anxiety (‘negative reinforcement’). According to theoretical models of addiction, alcohol reinforcement can act as a pathway to development of alcohol misuse and dependence over the longer-term. However, it is also important to understand the daily impact of emotional regulation and alcohol associations. In the latest study, researchers from the University of Central Florida examined snapshots of mood in college students in real time across drinking and non-drinking days, using a technique called ecological momentary
How social drinkers experience the effects of alcohol on their mood and energy levels may help predict their future drinking habits, a new study suggests. The factors that drive some people to excessive drinking, including Alcohol Use Disorder, are not well understood. Evidence indicates that subjective responses to alcohol play a role. People who experience alcohol as a mood-lifter, for example, appear more likely to drink excessively than those who find it to be an anger trigger or powerful sedative. This association is complex, however, and interacts with other factors, possibly including the cardiovascular effects of alcohol. A study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research explores how alcoholic drinks and placebo drinks affected participants’ moods and drinking behaviors.
Think twice before drinking that holiday nightcap. According to a recent survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), a vast 68% of Americans have lost sleep due to drinking alcohol past bedtime. With the holidays approaching, the AASM explains why alcohol and sleep don’t mix.
Data from a new study presented this week at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience® – held by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases – found that the burden of cirrhosis in women in North America has increased substantially in recent years, a worrying trend driven by a rise in alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Projections suggest that both ALD and NAFLD rates will result in even higher cirrhosis incidence by 2040, with the most worrisome upward trends seen in young women with ALD and post-menopausal women with NAFLD.
In a study published today in Scientific Reports, a Nature Research Journal, a team of researchers led by Dr. Joseph Fisher presents a proof of concept of a simple method that could become a game-changer in rescue therapy for severe alcohol intoxication, as well as just “sobering up.”
Both fatal and nonfatal overdoses have increased this year compared to last, according to a recent report by the Overdose Data Mapping Application Program. And, anecdotal information suggests that compared to last year, people in recovery are relapsing at alarming rates.
Researchers at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans honed in on one population particularly at risk during the pandemic: people living with HIV with at-risk alcohol use. They surveyed 80 people living with HIV in Louisiana during that state’s stay-at-home order, recruiting participants from the ongoing longitudinal Aging in Louisiana: Immunosenescence, HIV and Socioenvironmental Factors-Exercise (ALIVE-Ex) study.
People experiencing depression, anxiety disorder, or bulimia are at heightened risk of unhealthy drinking, according to a new study involving more than two million patients. Unhealthy drinking is known to frequently co-occur with behavioral health conditions, potentially impeding disease management and leading to more serious problems such as alcohol use disorder (AUD) and chronic medical issues. Although one in four US adults drink beyond recommended limits, little is known about the relationship between particular psychiatric diagnoses and varying levels of alcohol consumption. The study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research aimed to change that.
Clinical testing of an online cognitive training intervention for co-occurring alcohol misuse and social anxiety will soon be underway, following successful evaluation of a demo program in young adults. In a study reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, researchers assessed the demo’s acceptability and ease-of-use among service providers and target users in Sydney, Australia, with the feedback used to develop and refine the full program.
Study Highlights • The full impact of COVID-19 on alcohol use is not yet known, but rates have been rising during the first few months of the pandemic • There’s an urgent need for public health and medical responses to address harmful alcohol use
A study has revealed diverse routes to recovery among people with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders admitted for psychiatric inpatient care, while highlighting that some patients need additional support. Problem drinkers who also have a psychiatric condition — such as major depressive disorder (MDD) — often struggle to sustain long-term recovery following treatment. Mutual health groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can provide an ongoing source of recovery support for alcohol misuse, and involvement with AA is also linked to improvement in depression. However, it was not known how depression and involvement influence drinking during and after inpatient psychiatric treatment, and how they predict recovery. The new study, reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, investigated long-term trajectories of alcohol use, depression, and AA involvement over time among patients with co-occurring diagnoses.
People who report having low social support are substantially more likely to experience heavy drinking and binge drinking than those who feel more supported, a large European study suggests. The researchers also found strong evidence that risky drinking is associated with areas of residence. Although alcohol use is known to be linked to social, economic, and demographic factors, the research is incomplete; it is not clear to what extent some of these factors, especially environmental conditions, predict dangerous drinking. Investigators in Spain designed a study that was unusual in exploring both heavy drinking and binge drinking and both individual and contextual (environmental) factors. The study, in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, confirmed individual risk factors and highlighted certain environmental conditions that may help target interventions for those at risk.
A new IU study examining effects of low-level developmental lead exposure in mice could explain why some people dependent on alcohol return to using.