Posts tagged with ‘alcohol’

Alcohol appears in various products, but most familiar are alcoholic beverages that include ethanol, a psychoactive drug that depresses the central nervous system. Heavier drinkers develop higher tolerances to alcohol’s effects as the brain and body adjust to accept the constant presence of alcohol in the system. Over-consumption of alcohol can result in alcohol poisoning.

Young Adults’ Self-Control Over Alcohol Boosted by Intervention

In the U.S. and many other countries, early adulthood is known as a time of high alcohol consumption and involvement in risky, potentially life-threatening alcohol-related practices. For young adults (and the members of other age groups), the ability to limit alcohol intake is linked to a belief in one’s ability to control drinking urges and behaviors. In a study scheduled for publication in July 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, researchers from Great Britain and Iran investigated whether young adults can learn to increase their perceived level of drinking self-control.

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Do Brief Alcohol Interventions Work?

Brief alcohol interventions are short educational sessions that doctors and other professionals can use to help people who drink alcohol in unhealthy ways alter their behaviors. Unlike formal treatment programs, these interventions are typically conducted by people who don’t specialize in alcohol-related issues. In a study review published in January 2014 in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, a multinational research team analyzed the real-world usefulness of brief alcohol interventions in modifying dangerous drinking patterns. These researchers concluded that such interventions clearly work, at least for certain groups of drinkers.

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Teens’ Desire to Belong May Lead to Alcohol Abuse

Adolescence is a confusing period of emotional highs and lows. These are years when kids are, for the first time, experiencing an identity separate from that of their parents and home. Whether it is the freedom of driving a car or having their own job or even their first romantic relationship, teens are figuring out how to be their own person.

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Reduction in Drinking Acceptance Among UK Children

Peer pressure has long been considered a major component of alcohol use among underage drinkers. The need to be accepted by friends often encourages early initiation, even among kids who may not otherwise be interested in using alcohol. Early initiation is a serious problem, given that individuals who begin using alcohol at a young age are exposed longer to the risks that come with alcohol use, such as certain cancers and liver disease.

Positive Peer Pressure

A new study suggests attitudes among students in England may be pushing peer pressure in another direction. In a survey conducted by the NHS and published in late July, there is evidence that students are not impressed when their peers use alcohol, and in fact, may look down upon the behavior.

The survey’s results also indicate that fewer school-aged kids are using alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.

The NHS Information Centre report details information from a 2010 survey conducted among young people in England, asking them to answer questions about smoking, drinking and drug use. The results showed a decline in three major areas.

Among 11- to 15-year-olds, there was a decline from 46 percent to 32 percent of students who believed it was okay for a peer to drink alcohol once per week between 2003 and 2010. In addition, 11 percent of students surveyed in 2010 believed it was okay to get drunk once per week, compared with 20 percent in 2003.

Why Do Teens Drink?

In the 2010 survey, there were 7,300 participants who were surveyed between September and December of 2010. In the most recent survey, a new set of questions was introduced that assessed attitudes about the drinking behaviors of peers. Students were given multiple choice questions.

The most popular reasons provided for why peers drank were "to look cool in front of friends" (76 percent); "to be more sociable with friends" (65 percent); "peer pressure from friends" (62 percent); and "for the buzz" (60 percent).

The researchers noted a significant difference in responses between students who drank and those who did not. For those who drank alcohol within a week before the survey, their most popular reasons offered for why peers drank were "for the rush or buzz" and "to be more sociable." Those who did not drink were more likely to choose "to look cool in front of friends" or "pressure from their friends."

The number of students who had tried alcohol had declined significantly, from 51 percent in 2009 to 45 percent in 2010. This reflects a continuation of a steady decrease. In 2003, 61 percent of school-aged kids had tried alcohol.

Every Drop Matters When Drinking and Driving

A pair of sociologists from the University of California, San Diego has recently released a study in the journal publication Addiction which brings into serious question current standards for alcohol consumption and driving. The study researched linkages between blood alcohol levels and car accident severity and mortality. Study findings strongly suggest that our nation’s currently acceptable blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08% is far from protecting drivers, their passengers and fellow motorists. Full Story

Line Between At-Risk Levels of Alcohol Consumption and Social Drinking Difficult to Distinguish

A glass of wine at night or a couple of beers after dinner may be more dangerous than many people think, according to recent U.K. health reports and U.S. sources.

National health agencies in the U.K. have said that for men, no more than three to four alcoholic "units" should be consumed daily, which could be exceeded in one pint of lager beer. For women, no more than two to three alcoholic units – or the equivalent to one large-sized glass of wine – is recommended to prevent serious and life-threatening health problems, ranging from cancer to heart attacks and strokes.

However, many people don’t know that consistent consumption of alcohol can cause health problems, and may falsely believe that people who frequently binge drink or are labeled "alcoholics" have the highest health risks. A survey of 2,000 adults said that more than 80 percent thought they weren’t damaging their health by drinking daily over time. According to the U.K. survey results, as many as 7.5 million people may feel the same way.

The health risks associated with consistent alcoholic consumption are tangible, say experts. For women, having a 250 ml-sized glass of wine daily have a three-times higher chance of being diagnosed with oral cancer, and may be at three times higher risk of experiencing a stroke. For men, these risks are also present, especially if he consumes two pints of lager beer daily.

Blood pressure is also affected, increasing a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke. For women, the risk of having elevated blood pressure doubles if she consumes two large glasses of wine on a daily basis. She will also have a 50 percent elevated risk of developing breast cancer.

In the U.S., similar numbers of adults may also be unaware of the dangers of consistent drinking. For middle-aged adults in the Baby Boomer generation, the news may be especially unknown. A study conducted at Duke University suggests that nearly one-third of adults in the 50-plus age bracket consumed alcohol regularly in the form of binge drinking, defined in this case as consuming at least five alcoholic beverages in a single episode.

Experts like Dr. Mark Willenbring, Director of the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), say the rise in daily consumption of alcohol and binge drinking in the U.S. may be related to the blurry line between problem drinking and social drinking. What constitutes reduced-risk levels of alcohol consumption can vary from person to person, and many people may not have the knowledge to determine if their drinking patterns have reached problematic levels. The daily drinking levels are the most important, says Willenbring, over the weekly totals because daily drinking behaviors may be a stronger indicator of a person’s dependence on alcohol.

t is believed that nearly 25 percent of people whose alcohol consumption goes beyond the levels deemed to be low-risk are abusing alcohol and are living with alcoholism. Experts suggest anyone who consumes alcohol regularly should explore tools for learning more about their consumption levels, including an online risk analysis from the NIAAA.

National Report Shows 1 in 4 Young Adults Are Binge Drinkers

A new report by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that more than 1 in 4 teenagers and young adults (ages 18 to 34) engage in binge drinking. Even though the dangerous behavior of binge drinking has the potential to lead to immediate health and safety risks, binge drinking occurs almost 4 million times a day among U.S. adults.

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Early Alcohol and Tobacco Use May Delay Puberty in Girls

Both alcohol and tobacco use are known to produce several adverse effects, including psychological, physiological, emotional, and physical health hazards. These side effects have been extensively investigated among teenagers and adults, and are acutely apparent in older age, after long-term use, or following binge episodes. Yet alcohol and tobacco’s adverse reactions upon younger adolescents, especially on their physical development, are not fully known. Alcohol use has already been found to impede puberty growth rats, but the same evidence has not been established among humans, particularly young girls.

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Delinquent Behaviors in Late Childhood Can Lead to Crime and Alcohol Use Disorders in Young Adulthood

New research suggests that early intervention and treatment can help reduce crime, alcohol-use disorder, and other risky behaviors among young adults with delinquency problems.

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Maltreatment during Childhood Increases Risk of Mental Problems, Substance Abuse in Adulthood

Dealing with memories of childhood abuse or neglect is generally considered the root of many individuals’ mental conditions or mood problems during adulthood. Yet a new study shows that not just memories of childhood maltreatment, but the maltreatment itself can influence the likelihood of behavioral disorders in later life.

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