Social Anxiety Disorder May Increase Risk of Alcoholism

New research published in Depression and Anxiety indicates that, unlike other anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorder may have a direct effect on alcoholism. For the study, researchers assessed alcoholism, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and specific phobias through interviews with 2,801 adult Norwegian twins.

Social anxiety disorder had the strongest association with alcoholism, and it predicted alcoholism over and above the effect of other anxiety disorders. In addition, social anxiety disorder was linked with a higher risk of later developing alcoholism, whereas other anxiety disorders were not.

Reducing Anxiety, Preventing Alcoholism

The findings suggest that interventions aimed at prevention or treatment of social anxiety disorder may have an additional beneficial effect of preventing alcoholism.

"Many individuals with social anxiety are not in treatment. This means that we have an underutilized potential, not only for reducing the burden of social anxiety, but also for preventing alcohol problems," said lead author Dr. Fartein Ask Torvik, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. "Cognitive behavioral therapy with controlled exposure to the feared situations has shown good results."

Source: Fartein AT, et al. "Explaining the association between anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorder: A twin study." Depression & Anxiety March 2019.

Blackout Drinking Reduced by Brief Counseling

Short, empathetic counseling sessions – known as brief motivational interventions (BMIs) – have been effective for reducing problematic alcohol use and drinking-related problems among college students. BMIs are delivered by a trained clinician and typically involve alcohol education and personalized feedback on the individual’s drinking behavior and consequences.

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An Increase of Despair for Generation X

Indicators of despair -- depression, suicidal ideation, drug use and alcohol abuse -- are rising among Americans in their late 30s and early 40s across most demographic groups, according to new research led by Lauren Gaydosh, assistant professor of Medicine, Health and Society and Public Policy Studies at Vanderbilt University. These findings suggest that the increase in "deaths of despair" observed among low-educated middle-aged white Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) in recent studies may begin to impact the youngest members of Generation X (born 1974-1983) more broadly in the years to come.

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Many in Recovery Have Chronic Health Problems

Alcohol and other substance-use problems take enormous psychological and societal tolls on millions of Americans. Now a study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Recovery Research Institute shows that more than a third of individuals who consider themselves in recovery from an alcohol or other substance use disorder continue to suffer from chronic physical disease. The study, published online in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, is the first to look at the national prevalence of medical conditions that are commonly caused or exacerbated by excessive and chronic alcohol and other drug use among people in addiction recovery.

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Peers Key to College Drinking Intervention

Peer approval is the best indicator of the tendency for new college students to drink or smoke, even if the students don't want to admit it, according to new research from Michigan State University.

This new finding is key to help universities address the problems of underage or binge drinking, said Nancy Rhodes, professor and lead author of the study published in the journal Health Education and Behavior.

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Many Women Ignore Alcohol-Breast Cancer Risk

Middle aged women in Australia aren't getting the message about the proven link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer, at a time when more are drinking while cancer rates in their age bracket are increasing, according to a new study.

More women aged between 45 and 64 years aren't aware of the potential risks, and indicate negative impacts on their weight, relationships or lifestyle would more likely result in a reduction in drinking, rather then warnings about an increased risk of cancer.

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Fears Over Naltrexone Unfounded, Study Finds

Fears over a drug that can be used to treat alcohol addiction are unfounded, according to its first ever systematic review, led by academics at The University of Manchester. Though the study found no evidence of any serious side effects linked to Naltrexone, many doctors hold back from prescribing the drug, often citing liver toxicity as a reason

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Alcohol Frequently Considered Migraine Trigger

In a European Journal of Neurology study of 2,197 patients who experience migraines, alcoholic beverages were reported as a trigger by 35.6 percent of participants. Additionally, more than 25 percent of migraine patients who had stopped consuming or never consumed alcoholic beverages did so because of presumed trigger effects.

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ACOAs More Likely to Marry Alcoholics

Children of parents who have alcohol use disorder are more likely to get married under the age of 25, less likely to get married later in life, and more likely to marry a person who has alcohol use disorder themselves, according to a new study by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden.

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