Alcopops Remain a Danger for Young Drinkers

Supersized alcopops pose unique risks to young drinkers, despite new serving size labels mandated by the Federal Trade Commission, according to two new research studies. Supersized alcopops--such as Four Loko--are sugar-sweetened beverages with as much as 14 percent alcohol-by-volume (abv) or 5.5 standard alcoholic drinks in one 23.5 oz. can.

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Excessive Drinking a Burden to Taxpayers

The total harm caused by excessive alcohol consumption is a staggering $2.05 per drink in the United States, and, of this, the government ends up paying about 80 cents per drink. However, the federal government and states only bring in about 21 cents per drink on average in alcohol taxes, according to new research in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. This leaves the majority of the cost of alcohol's harms borne by those who don't drink excessively or who don't drink at all.

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Even Low-level Alcohol Use Increases Miscarriage Risk

Women who consume alcohol during pregnancy — even in small amounts — have a 19 percent greater risk of miscarriage than women who don't use alcohol, according to a new study by Vanderbilt researchers. The study also found that for alcohol exposure of less than five drinks per week, each additional drink per week during pregnancy was associated with a 6 percent increase in miscarriage risk.

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Seeing Greenery Can Reduce Cravings

Being able to see green spaces from your home is associated with reduced cravings for alcohol, cigarettes and harmful foods, new research has shown. The study, led by the University of Plymouth, is the first to demonstrate that passive exposure to nearby greenspace is linked to both lower frequencies and strengths of craving.

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Friends and Family of Drinkers Face Significant Harm

Each year, one in five U.S. adults -- an estimated 53 million people -- experience harm because of someone else's drinking, according to new research in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Similar to how policymakers have addressed the effects of secondhand smoke over the last two decades, society needs to combat the secondhand effects of drinking, the authors state, calling alcohol's harm to others "a significant public health issue."

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Addiction as a Disease Is More Complicated, Researchers Find

Research finds that people with substance-use problems who read a message describing addiction as a disease are less likely to report wanting to engage in effective therapies, compared to those who read a message that addiction behaviors are subject to change. The finding could inform future public and interpersonal communication efforts regarding addiction.

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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.

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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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