Tag Archives: alcohol use

Study Examines the High Rate of Alcohol Use and Binge Drinking

binge drinking Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have released a study that shows that adults in the United States are consuming far more alcohol than is considered safe. In fact, the study states that almost 32 million people over the age of 18 consume more alcohol than the already dangerous limits of binge drinking. Binge drinking occurs when a male consumes more than five drinks, and a female consumes more than four drinks. New data shows that millions of people are drinking twice these numbers and it is having an impact on their bodies and society.

“Drinking at such high levels can suppress areas of the brain that control basic life-support functions such as breathing and heart rate, thereby increasing one’s risk of death. The risk increases further is other sedative drugs, particularly opioids or benzodiazepines are added to the mix,” said Aaron White, one of the authors of the study. Additionally, people who binge drink are more likely to engage in risky decision-making, violence and even suicide. The side was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

And this amount of drinking is not only affecting people’s personally, but society as well. In fact, the toll that alcohol-related deaths, accidents, crime, and sickness take on the community can be in the billions.

Despite these dangers, many people are still turning to excessive amounts of alcohol. The study showed that 7 percent of participants reported consuming 15 or more drinks in one sitting. Further investigation showed that the amount of people consuming this much alcohol has risen since the last study, which was conducted in 2002. So, researchers can see that more adults are participating in dangerous levels of alcohol consumption, but it is unclear why this is occurring.

In addition to more education and prevention efforts, we must provide more successful alcohol treatment programs to assist those in need. If you have a loved one battling an alcohol problem such as binge drinking or daily dependency, contact us today to find out more about our rehab center.

Gene Variant May Lessen Desire to Drink Alcohol: New Study Finds

Scientists have long been aware that drinking habits tend to be inherited from one generation to the next, both through genetic predisposition as well as learned behavior. Very few genes have been identified with alcohol use, though. A group of researchers have conducted a study with more than 105,000 participants who were light and heavy social drinkers. The researchers didn’t include alcoholics in their representative sample.

The study participants all provided genetic samples. They were also asked to complete questionnaires about their drinking habits.

Light and Heavy Drinking Defined

Light or moderate drinking is defined as up to 14 drinks per week for men and seven drinks for women. Heavy drinking is more than 14 drinks per week for women and 21 drinks per week for men. A “drink” is generally the equivalent of one beer or a glass of wine.

Gene Variation Linked to Lower Thirst for Alcohol

The study was able to identify a gene variation that is linked to a lower desire to drink alcohol. This variant, nicknamed the “teetotaler gene,” was seen in approximately 40 percent of the study participants.

Alcohol abuse is a major public health issue that is responsible for than three million deaths annually, according to Steven Kliewer, professor of molecular biology and pharmacology at UT Southwestern and the study’s co-corresponding author. He stated in a university news release that much of the research on alcohol consumption has centered on the issue of addiction.

Professor Kliewer points out that public health issues associated with drinking encompass more than just alcohol addiction. To fully appreciate the problem, the spectrum must include the total amount of alcohol being consumed. The researchers pointed out that having people reduce the amount they drink weekly from the “Heavy Drinking” category to “Moderate” could lower their risk of developing heart disease or high blood pressure.

The researchers said that their discovery of the gene variant may eventually lead to the development of drugs that could control the amount of alcohol that a person consumes. These medications could be used to help problem drinkers in the future.

A Look at Drug & Alcohol Problems on College Campuses

pkuacampColleges and universities that receive federal funding are required to report crimes and illegal behavior on and near their campuses. Researchers at Project Know analyzed these reports, which are available through the Office of Postsecondary Education, and compared the information from 2014 to 2013 while noting any changes.

They compared arrests for alcohol and drug use as well as disciplinary actions taken by the schools. They focused their efforts on a group of about 1,000 schools of medium and larger sizes, which made up about 70% of the overall activity.

The states with the biggest increase in drug-related arrests on campus were Alaska, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Maine, while the biggest decreases were observed in Rhode Island, Vermont, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Hawaii. Those that had the biggest increases in alcohol-related arrests were New York, Nevada, Arkansas, California and Texas. The biggest decreases in alcohol-related arrests were found in Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., Vermont, Wisconsin and Colorado.

The states with the highest percentage of arrests for drug use and alcohol use were Montana and Wyoming, respectively. It is noted that lower population areas and schools only need a few arrests to make a significant impact, but it doesn’t change the statistical significance. Overall, there were about 45,000 alcohol- and drug-related arrests on campuses, with an additional 250,000 other disciplinary actions.

Rather than coming away with this with thoughts about particular colleges or states, the bigger picture is that there are serious problems on our nation’s campuses. The secondary education system as a whole has become a foster of substance abuse and related behavior. While some of this can be chalked up to the age group they’re dealing with, a much more concerted effort by colleges to reverse the substance abuse trends is badly needed.