(119)

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Even Light Drinking Increases Risk of Death

Drinking a daily glass of wine for health reasons may not be so healthy after all, suggests a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Analyzing data from more than 400,000 people ages 18 to 85, the researchers found that consuming one to two drinks four or more times per week -- an amount deemed healthy by current guidelines -- increases the risk of premature death by 20 percent, compared with drinking three times a week or less. The increased risk of death was consistent across age groups.

Continue reading

Study: No Safe Level of Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is a leading risk factor for death and disease worldwide, and is associated with nearly one in 10 deaths in people aged 15-49 years old, according to a Global Burden of Disease study published in The Lancet that estimates levels of alcohol use and health effects in 195 countries between 1990 to 2016.

Continue reading

Barriers to Getting Substance Abuse Treatment

For patients with substance use disorders seen in the emergency department or doctor's office, locating and accessing appropriate treatment all too often poses difficult challenges, according to a study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

Continue reading

Poverty, Stress a Factor in Overdose Deaths

Drug-related deaths have grown to be a major US public health problem over the past two decades. Between 2006 and 2015 there were more than 515,000 deaths from drug overdoses and other drug-related causes. The economic, social, and emotional tolls of these deaths are substantial, but some parts of the US are bearing heavier burdens than others. Evidence from the first national study of county-level differences suggests that addressing economic and social conditions will be key to reversing the rising tide of drug deaths, reports the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Continue reading

Late Teen Drinking Can Lead to Liver Problems

Alcohol is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and liver-related deaths. Results of a large long-term study in Sweden have confirmed that drinking during late adolescence could be the first step towards liver problems in adulthood and that guidelines for safe alcohol intake in men might have to be revised downwards, reports the Journal of Hepatology.

Continue reading

Parental Attention Can Reduce Drug Abuse Risks

Parents who require children to follow rules and keep a constant eye on their activities, endeavoring to know where they are, who they are with and what they are doing, run less risk of facing problems when their children enter adolescence, such as abuse of alcohol and other drugs.

Continue reading

Program Closes Gap in Addiction Treatment

A program at Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction is showing that connecting patients to addiction treatment when they are hospitalized for other conditions can be a powerful tool in closing a gap in addiction treatment. In fact, early results show that many of these patients continue treatment after they are discharged, underscoring the importance of reaching patients who might otherwise not get treatment for their addiction.

Continue reading

Daily Marijuana Use Raises Concerns

Health officials are concerned that the rates of daily marijuana use by college-age Americans have returned or exceeded previously high levels seen in the early 1980s, especially among a population whose brains are still not completely developed.

Continue reading

Opioid Abuse Can Be Treated in Primary Care

A new model of collaborative care - combining substance abuse treatment with regular medical care - has been found to be more accessible, more effective and at a lower cost than traditional specialty care methods, according to a RAND Corporation study.

Continue reading

Peer Influence Doubles Teen Smoking Risk

Peer influence has long been known as a major risk factor for adolescent smoking, but findings have varied about how big the risk is or how this dynamic unfolds. A new, rigorous meta-analysis of 75 longitudinal teen smoking studies finds that having friends who smoke doubles the risk that children ages 10 to 19 will start smoking and continue smoking. It also found that peer influence is more powerful in collectivist cultures than in those where individualism is the norm.

Continue reading

Some Prevention Efforts Can Actually Backfire

Some prevention campaigns aimed at stopping young drinkers from risky drinking habits can actually backfire if not worded properly. Campaigns designed to stop young people "bolting" drinks can be ineffective and can even make them more likely to do it, new research suggests.

Continue reading

Early Brain Injury Linked to Alcoholism

Researchers at Ohio State University have surveyed previous studies to investigate the relationship between traumatic brain injuries and alcohol abuse. They found evidence that traumatic brain injuries in children and adolescents could be a risk-factor for alcohol abuse in later life.

Continue reading

12 Steps Improve Youth Treatment Outcomes

A treatment program for adolescents with a substance-use disorder that incorporates the practices and philosophy of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) produced even better results than the current state-of-the-art treatment approach in a nine-month, randomized trial.

Continue reading

Legal Marijuana Laws Affect Teen Use

A study by researchers at Dartmouth has found that adolescents living in medical marijuana states with a plethora of dispensaries are more likely to have tried new methods of cannabis use, such as edibles and vaping, at a younger age than those living in states with fewer dispensaries. The study will appear in the August issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Continue reading

Alcohol's Health Benefits Overstated?

The benefits of light alcohol consumption, as well as the risks associated with not drinking at all, might not be as great as previously thought, according to Penn State researchers who examined the drinking habits of middle-aged adults.

Continue reading

Strong Policies Lower Drunk Driving Deaths

Stronger alcohol policies protect young people from dying in crashes caused by drunk driving according to researchers at Boston Medical Center. The study, which is published online in the journal Pediatrics, supports the importance of comprehensive alcohol control policies to reduce the number of young people who die in alcohol-related crashes.

Continue reading

Trusting Counselor Vital to Treatment Success

A positive, trusting relationship between counselor and patient, known as a "therapeutic alliance," can be key to successful treatment of alcohol use disorder, a study finds. Gerard Connors, PhD, senior research scientist at the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions, studied more than five dozen people engaging in a 12-week program of cognitive behavior therapy for alcohol use disorder.

Continue reading

Binge Drinking Quickly Leads to Liver Disease

Alcohol consumed during just seven weeks of intermittent binge drinking harms the liver in ways that more moderate daily drinking does not, according to researchers at UC San Francisco. The scientists discovered that just 21 binge drinking sessions were enough to cause symptoms of early-stage liver disease.

Continue reading

119,000 Children With FAS Born Each Year

Worldwide, an estimated 119,000 children are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) each year, a new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows. The study, published in The Lancet Global Health, provides the first-ever estimates of the proportion of women who drink during pregnancy, as well as estimates of FAS by country, World Health Organization (WHO) region and worldwide.

Continue reading

Alcohol Increases Risks of Heart Conditions

Alcohol abuse increases the risk of atrial fibrillation, heart attack and congestive heart failure as much as other well-established risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and obesity, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Continue reading

Primary Care Should Include Drug Screening

The misuse of both prescription and illicit drugs is so prevalent in Tijuana and East Los Angeles that community clinics in those areas should routinely, though discreetly, screen for it, according to new UCLA research. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Substance Use and Misuse, found that 19.4 percent of people answering a computerized self-administered survey in East Los Angeles community clinics admitted to moderate-to-high drug use.

Continue reading

Drug-Use Can Hamper Moral Judgment

Regular cocaine and methamphetamine users can have difficulty choosing between right and wrong, perhaps because the specific parts of their brains used for moral processing and evaluating emotions are damaged by their prolonged drug habits. This is according to a study among prison inmates by Samantha Fede and Dr. Kent Kiehl's laboratory at the University of New Mexico and the nonprofit Mind Research Network. The findings of the study, which was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, are published in Springer's journal Psychopharmacology.

Continue reading

How Is Weed Linked to Drinking Alcohol?

Adults who use marijuana are five times more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder (AUD) -- alcohol abuse or dependence -- compared with adults who do not use the drug. And adults who already have an alcohol use disorder and use marijuana are more likely to see the problem persist.

Continue reading

Early Binge Drinking Linked to Hypertension

Having an occasional drink is fine, but "binge" drinking is a known health hazard and now high blood pressure may need to be added to the list of possible consequences. Young adults in their twenties who regularly binge drink have higher blood pressure which may increase the risk of developing hypertension, concludes a study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM)

Continue reading

Alcohol Helps Bacteria Harm the Liver

End-stage liver disease or liver cirrhosis is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and approximately half of these cases are related to alcohol consumption. There's no refuting that alcohol itself harms the liver, but new research in mice and humans published February 10 in Cell Host & Microbe reveals that chronic drinking also promotes the growth of gut bacteria that can travel to the liver and exacerbate liver disease.

Continue reading

Marijuana Poses Danger in Early Pregnancy

Marijuana is up to 20 times more potent than it was 40 years ago and most pregnant women who use the drug are unaware that it could harm their unborn child before they even know they are pregnant. Writing in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis, American researcher's state the argument that marijuana is a harmless drug is no longer valid due to the emergence of 'high potency' marijuana and synthetic marijuana which pose a potential real threat for pregnant women.

Continue reading

Teen Pot Use Leaves Lasting Mental Deficits

The persistent, dependent use of marijuana before age 18 has been shown to cause lasting harm to a person's intelligence, attention and memory, according to an international research team. Among a long-range study cohort of more than 1,000 New Zealanders, individuals who started using cannabis in adolescence and used it for years afterward showed an average decline in IQ of 8 points when their age 13 and age 38 IQ tests were compared.

Continue reading

Early Alcohol Use Spells Later Trouble

An early age at first drink (AFD) has been linked to later alcohol-related problems, which is one of the reasons behind the legal drinking age of 21 in the U.S. It is unclear, however, if increased risk is primarily due to initiation of any drinking, or initiation of heavier drinking. A comparison of the influence of these potential risk factors among college undergraduates found that both an early AFD as well as a quick progression from the first drink to drinking to intoxication independently predicted later problems.

Continue reading

Childhood Defiance Linked to Addiction

Children who exhibit oppositional behavior run the risk of becoming addicted to nicotine, cannabis and cocaine while inattention symptoms represent a specific additional risk of nicotine addiction. Nevertheless, hyperactivity in itself does not seem to be associated with any specific risk of substance abuse or dependence.

Continue reading

Bariatric Surgery Can Lead to Alcohol Abuse

Among patients who underwent bariatric surgery, there was a higher prevalence of alcohol use disorders in the second year after surgery, and specifically after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, compared with the years immediately before and following surgery, according to a study in JAMA.

Continue reading

Substance Use Reduces Educational Achievement

Although various kinds of substance use are associated with reduced educational attainment, these associations have been mixed and may also be partially due to risk factors such as socioeconomic disadvantages. A study of substance use and education among male twins from a veteran population has found a strong relationship among early alcohol use, alcohol dependence, daily nicotine use, and fewer years of educational attainment.

Continue reading

Ads Play Role in Underage Drinking

Minors who were familiar with television alcohol advertisements were more likely to have tried alcoholic beverages and binge drink than those who could not recall seeing such ads, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston.

Continue reading

Opioids Linked With Highest Risk of Death

People with an opioid addiction had the highest risk of death when compared with rates for alcohol and other drugs, according to a new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). For those dependent on opioids, the risk of death was 5.71 times higher than healthy individuals in the population of the same age, gender and race.

Continue reading

Chronic Cocaine Use Hastens Aging of Brain

Research by scientists at the University of Cambridge suggests that chronic cocaine abuse accelerates the process of brain ageing. The study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, found that age-related loss of grey matter in the brain is greater in people who are dependent on cocaine than in the healthy population.

Continue reading

Teens Can Benefit From 12-Step Involvement

Adolescents who misuse alcohol and other drugs to the point where they need treatment must contend with costly and limited options for youth-specific care, as well as high relapse rates following treatment. Mutual-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are widely available but little research has addressed their benefits for adolescents. An assessment of 12-step meetings and recommended activities has found that attendance, participation, and finding a sponsor promote greater abstinence among adolescents.

Continue reading

Nurse-Delivered Alcohol Interventions More Accepted

The U.S. Joint Commission approved new hospital accreditation measures related to alcohol screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) for all hospitalized patients. Yet little is known about the effectiveness of brief interventions (BIs) or inpatient acceptability of SBIRT when performed by healthcare professionals other than physicians. A new study has found high hospital-patient acceptability of and comfort with nurse-delivered SBIRT.

Continue reading

Alcohol Greatly Increases Serious Injury Risk

Researchers know that alcohol impairs coordination and the ability to perceive and respond to hazards, and that hangovers impair neurocognitive performance and psychomotor vigilance. This study closely examined alcohol-related injuries admitted to hospital, finding that alcohol greatly increases risk for serious injury.

Continue reading

Smoking Reduction Quickly Lowers Death Rates

A study by the University of Liverpool has found that a decrease in smoking rapidly reduces mortality rates in individuals and entire populations within six months. Research by Professor Simon Capewell and Dr Martin O'Flaherty at the Institute of Psychology, Health and Well-being, examined evidence from clinical trials and natural experiments.

Continue reading

Heavy Drinkers Have Poor Dietary Habits

Excessive drinking and an unbalanced diet are two preventable contributors to health problems in the developed world. Different studies have found varying linkages between amounts of alcohol consumed and quality of diet. A study of adults in Spain has found that heavy drinking, binge drinking, a preference for spirits, and drinking alcohol at mealtimes were associated with a poor adherence to major food consumption guidelines.

Continue reading

How Alcohol Interferes With Sleep

Large amounts of alcohol are known to shorten sleep latency, increase slow-wave sleep, and suppress rapid eye movement (REM) during the first half of sleep. During the second half of sleep, REM increases and sleep becomes shallower. A study of the acute effects of alcohol on the relationship between sleep and heart rate variability (HRV) during sleep has found that alcohol interferes with the restorative functions of sleep.

Continue reading

Brain Damage Seen in Young Binge-Drinkers

It's considered a rite of passage among young people – acting out their independence through heavy, episodic drinking. But a new University of Cincinnati study, the first of its kind nationally, is showing how binge drinking among adolescents and young adults could be causing serious damage to a brain that's still under development at this age.

Continue reading

Alcohol's Damaging Effects on the Brain

While alcohol has a wide range of pharmacological effects on the body, the brain is a primary target. However, the molecular mechanisms by which alcohol alters neuronal activity in the brain are poorly understood. Participants in a symposium at the annual meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Antonio, Texas addressed recent findings concerning the interactions of alcohol with prototype brain proteins thought to underlie alcohol actions in the brain.

Continue reading

Binge Drinking Affects Ability to Learn

Binge drinking is prevalent among university students, especially in the United States. One brain structure particularly sensitive to alcohol's neurotoxicity during development is the hippocampus, which plays a key role in learning and memory. A study of the association between binge drinking and declarative memory – a form of long-term memory – in university students has found a link between binge drinking and poorer verbal declarative memory.

Continue reading

Adult-supervised Teen Drinking Can Backfire

Allowing adolescents to drink alcohol under adult supervision does not appear to teach responsible drinking as teens get older. In fact, such a "harm-minimization" approach may actually lead to more drinking and alcohol-related consequences, according to a study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Continue reading

Parental Alcoholism Linked to Offspring's Alcoholism

Researchers know that there is a strong link between parental alcohol use disorders and the risk for developing an alcohol use disorders among their offspring. This study looked at the risk of alcohol use disorders in the offspring of a large population-based sample of Danish parents. Findings confirmed that parental alcohol use disorders were associated with an increased risk of alcohol use disorders among the offspring.

Continue reading

Many Kids Get Their Alcohol at Home

A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that 5.9 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 14 drank alcohol in the past month and that the vast majority of them (93.4 percent) received their alcohol for free the last time they drank.

Continue reading

Alcohol Can Increase Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

A review of research studies indicate that alcohol consumption can increase the risk for developing atrial fibrillation. Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). Its name comes from the fibrillating (i.e., quivering) of the heart muscles of the atria, instead of a coordinated contraction.

Continue reading

Alcohol's Effects on Women's Sleep More Pronounced

Researchers have known for decades that alcohol can initially deepen sleep during the early part of the night but then disrupt sleep during the latter part of the night; this is called a "rebound effect." A study of the influence of gender and family history of alcoholism on sleep has found that intoxication can increase feelings of sleepiness while at the same time disrupt actual sleep measures in healthy women more than in healthy men.

Continue reading

Spirituality of A.A. Is Effective

Addictions, whether it is to drugs or alcohol, are a very difficult hurdle for individuals to overcome. But, there are ways to help people with their recovery through 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Many of these organizations, including AA, highlight spirituality as a very important factor, but the data surrounding its effectiveness have often been contested.

Continue reading

Stigma Deters Alcoholics From Seeking Treatment

Despite the existence of effective programs for treating alcohol dependencies and disorders, less than a quarter of people who are diagnosed actually seek treatment. In a study by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health researchers report that people diagnosed with alcoholism at some point in their lifetime were more than 60% less likely to seek treatment if they believed they would be stigmatized once their status is known.

Continue reading

College Campus-Community Interventions Successful

The Safer California Universities study found that the program reduced incidence and likelihood of intoxication at off-campus parties and bars/restaurants. Heavy drinking among college students results in over 1800 deaths each year, as well as 590,000 unintentional injuries, almost 700,000 assaults and more than 97,000 victims of sexual assaults. In a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers report on the results of the Safer California Universities study, a successful community-wide prevention strategy targeted at off-campus settings.

Continue reading

Alcohol Damages Much More Than the Liver

Alcohol does much more harm to the body than just damaging the liver. Drinking also can weaken the immune system, slow healing, impair bone formation, increase the risk of HIV transmission and hinder recovery from burns, trauma, bleeding and surgery.

Continue reading

Heavy Smoking Doubles Alzheimer's Risk

Heavy smoking in midlife is associated with a 157 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and a 172 percent increased risk of developing vascular dementia, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. This is the first study to look at the long-term consequences of heavy smoking on dementia.

Continue reading

Alcohol Ups Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence

A study of early-stage breast cancer patients who were light drinkers found an increased risk for recurrence of breast cancer and mortality. In the Life After Cancer Epidemiology (LACE) study, 1,897 participants diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer between 1997 and 2000 and recruited on average 2 years post-breast cancer diagnosis were evaluated for the association between alcohol intake and breast cancer recurrence and death.

Continue reading

Stress Hormone Impacts Alcohol Recovery

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that high levels of a stress hormone in recovering alcoholics could increase the risk of relapse. The study showed that cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress, is found in high levels in chronic alcoholics, as well as those recovering from the condition. Researchers found that this could result in impaired memory, attention and decision-making functions, which could decrease the patient's ability to engage with treatment.

Continue reading

Just 2 Drinks Can Impair Older Drinkers

Blood alcohol levels below the current legal limit for driving have a significant negative effect on a person's dexterity. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Research Notes found that just two single vodka and orange drinks were enough to make senior volunteers struggle at an obstacle avoidance test while walking.

Continue reading

Alcoholic Liver Disease Becoming More Aggressive

Many diagnostic and treatment options have been developed for chronic liver disease during the last 40 years, yet their influence on survival remain unclear. A study of the prognosis for patients hospitalized for liver diseases between 1969 and 2006, and of differences in mortality and complications between patients with alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver diseases, has found that the general prognosis for patients hospitalized with chronic liver diseases has not improved.

Continue reading

ER Teen Pep Talk Can Reduce Drinking, Violence

A brief, motivational talk in the emergency room reduced by half the chances that teenagers would experience peer violence or problems due to drinking, according to a study published in a theme issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The special issue on violence and human rights includes the work of University of Michigan Health System researchers who immersed themselves at the Hurley Medical Center emergency department, in Flint, Mich., for three years.

Continue reading

Child Abuse: Malicious Use of Pharmaceuticals

Child abuse is a serious problem that affects nearly one million children a year in the United States alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Department of Health and Human Services classify child abuse into four categories including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. None of these categories, however, clearly includes the abusive use of drugs on children. A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics investigates the malicious use of pharmaceuticals and attempts to shed light on this under-recognized problem.

Continue reading

Parenting Style Can Prevent Binge Drinking

Parents may be surprised, even disappointed, to find out they don’t influence whether their teen tries alcohol. But now for some good news: Parenting style strongly and directly affects teens when it comes to heavy drinking – defined as having five or more drinks in a row – according to a Brigham Young University study.

Continue reading

Addiction: a Loss of Plasticity of the Brain?

Why is it that only some drug users become addicts? This is the question that has been addressed by the teams of Pier Vincenzo Piazza and Olivier Manzoni, at the Neurocentre Magendie in Bordeaux (Inserm unit 862). These researchers have discovered that the transition to addiction could result from a persistent impairment of synaptic plasticity in a key structure of the brain. This is the first demonstration that a correlation exists between synaptic plasticity and the transition to addiction.

Continue reading

Ignoring Stress Leads to Drug Cravings

Recovering addicts who avoid coping with stress succumb easily to substance use cravings, making them more likely to relapse during recovery, according to behavioral researchers. "Cravings are a strong predictor of relapse," said H. Harrington Cleveland, associate professor of human development, Penn State. "The goal of this study is to predict the variation in substance craving in a person on a within-day basis. Because recovery must be maintained 'one day at a time,' researchers have to understand it on the same daily level."

Continue reading

Peer Drug Use Increases Genetic Tendency to Use

The nature-nurture debate is usually about how much of something is due to our genes and how much is caused by our environment. New research just published in the academic journal Addiction shows that the case is more interesting for young women who smoke, drink, or use drugs, for two related reasons.

Continue reading

Naltrexone Reduces Brain's Response to Craving

Researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital have produced the first evidence that the opioid blocker extended-release injectable naltrexone (XR-NTX) is able to reduce the brain's response to cues that may cause alcoholics to relapse. In data presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Scott Lukas, PhD, director of the Neuroimaging Center at McLean, located in Belmont, Mass., said the findings help in the understanding of how XR-NTX works in reducing the craving for alcohol and may potentially help predict which people will respond best to the drug.

Continue reading

Smoking Bans Reduce Heart Attack Admissions

A nationwide smoking ban in public places would save more than $90 million and significantly reduce hospitalizations for heart attack, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study. After analyzing data from the 13 states that don't have a law banning smoking in public places, researchers concluded that more than 18,596 fewer hospitalizations for heart attack could be realized from a smoking ban in all 50 states after the first year of implementation, resulting in more than $92 million in savings in hospitals costs for caring for those patients.

Continue reading

Heavy Alcohol Use Hikes Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Heavy alcohol use and binge drinking could increase the risk of pancreatic cancer in men, research from UT Southwestern Medical Center suggests. In a study available online in Cancer Causes and Control, researchers found that the more alcohol a man consumed, the higher his risk of pancreatic cancer compared with those who drank little or no alcohol.

Continue reading

Delay in Driver's License Reinstatement Signals High Risk Drinkers

Driver's license suspension has become the most widely used as well as effective method for incapacitating individuals who have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). A new study has found that encouraging license reinstatement with continued controls, such as interlocks as a condition of reinstatement, may be effective as long as they do not extend delays.

Continue reading

Teen Smokers Don't Recognize Signs of Dependence

Kids who have just started smoking, but not on a daily basis, don't seem to recognize the early symptoms of dependence, according to a study. Published in the journal Pediatrics by Chyke Doubeni, MD, MPH of the University of Massachusetts, the study found that among kids who have started smoking, "an urge to smoke or being irritable because they are not able to smoke is a sign of early dependence. But they don't seem to recognize that symptoms such as irritability are harbingers of addiction."

Continue reading

Couples Therapy Best for Alcohol Dependent Women

Barbara McCrady and Elizabeth Epstein wanted to know whether cognitive behavior therapy worked better for alcohol-dependent women when delivered as couples therapy than when delivered as individual therapy. They reported recently that both treatment methods worked well, but women treated in couples therapy maintained their gains a bit better than those in individual therapy. Also, women suffering from depression in addition to alcohol-dependence did better in couples therapy. Their paper appeared in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Continue reading

Watching R-Rated Movies Linked to Early Drinking

Middle-school children whose parents restrict access to R-rated movies are substantially less likely to start drinking than their peers who are allowed to see such films, a new study suggests. In a study of nearly 3,600 New England middle school students, researchers found that among kids who said their parents never allowed them to watch R movies, few took up drinking over the next couple years.

Continue reading

Adolescent Drinking Adds to Breast Cancer Risk

Girls and young women who drink alcohol increase their risk of benign (noncancerous) breast disease, says a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard University. Benign breast disease increases the risk for developing breast cancer.

Continue reading

Test Could Identify Smokers at Risk of Emphysema

Using CT scans to measure blood flow in the lungs of people who smoke may offer a way to identify which smokers are most at risk of emphysema before the disease damages and eventually destroys areas of the lungs, according to a University of Iowa study.

Continue reading

Cocaine Use a Significant Teen HIV Risk Factor

Teens with a history of crack or cocaine use are significantly more likely to engage in unprotected sex than youth who have never used these drugs, putting themselves at increased risk for HIV, according to a study in the <i>Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse</i>.

Continue reading

Risky Drinkers Less Likely to Seek Medical Care

Women and men who engage in frequent heavy drinking report significantly worse health-related practices, according to a Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research study in the journal Addiction Research & Theory. For the study, researchers surveyed 7,884 members of the Kaiser Permanente Northwest integrated health plan in Oregon and Washington.

Continue reading

Energy Drinks A Dangerous Mix

Energy drinks, favored among young people for the beverages' caffeine jolt, also play a lead role in several popular alcoholic drinks, such as Red Bull and vodka. But combining alcohol and energy drinks may create a dangerous mix, according to University of Florida research.

Continue reading

More Alcohol Outlets Mean More Violence

More alcohol sales sites in a neighborhood equates to more violence, and the highest assault rates are associated with carry-out sites selling alcohol for off-premise consumption, according to new research released by two Indiana University professors.

Continue reading

Social Factors Affect Seniors' Alcohol Misuse

Social factors have consistently been implicated as a cause of vulnerability to alcohol use and abuse. The reverse is also true, in that individuals who engage in excessive drinking may alter their social context. New research on drinking among older adults has found that older adults who have more money, engage in more social activities, and whose friends approve more of drinking are more likely to engage in excessive or high-risk drinking.

Continue reading



Page top