To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Reward-Predictive Cues Enhance Excitatory Synaptic Strength onto Midbrain Dopamine Neurons
Science 19 September 2008: Vol. 321. no. 5896, pp. 1690 - 1692

Using sensory information for the prediction of future events is essential for survival. Midbrain dopamine neurons are activated by environmental cues that predict rewards, but the cellular mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon remain elusive.

We used in vivo voltammetry and in vitro patch-clamp electrophysiology to show that both dopamine release to reward predictive cues and enhanced synaptic strength onto dopamine neurons develop over the course of cue-reward learning. Increased synaptic strength was not observed after stable behavioral responding.

Thus, enhanced synaptic strength onto dopamine neurons may act to facilitate the transformation of neutral environmental stimuli to salient reward-predictive cues.

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Process Evaluation of Serial Screening Criteria to Identify Injured Patients That Benefit From Brief Intervention: Practical Implications.
Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care. POST AUTHOR CORRECTIONS, 15 September 2008

The aim of the current study is to evaluate the effectiveness of serial screening methods for the identification of injured patients at risk for alcohol problems and are most likely to benefit from brief interventions. We hypothesize that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) alone is not sufficient to effectively identify at-risk drinkers in the trauma care setting.

During a 2-year period, patients admitted to an urban Level I trauma center for treatment of an injury were screened for alcohol problems. Screening consisted of four serial screening criteria: (1) clinical indication of acute intoxication including positive BAC; (2) self-reported drinking 6 hours before injury; (3) at-risk drinking as defined by National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism or (4) by responding yes to one or more items on the CAGE within the last year.

In all, 11,028 patients were seen. Fifty-eight percent were eligible for screening and 90% of eligible patients were screened. Of screened patients, 41% screened positive for an alcohol-related injury. Of patients that did not have a BAC drawn, 39% (n = 935) went on to screen positive using serial screening procedures. Additionally, 36% (n = 339) of patients with a negative BAC went on to screen positive using serial screening procedures.

This evaluation clearly suggests that BAC alone is not sufficient to identify patients who are most likely to benefit from brief alcohol interventions. Self-reported drinking in conjunction with BAC facilitates identification and intervention of injured patients with alcohol problems.

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News Release - Using Email To Reach Pupils In Monkseaton

19/09/2008 - North Tyneside

Police in Whitley Bay are sending e-mails to pupils at school to warn them of the dangers of underage drinking.

This is part of the North Tyneside 'Taking a Stand' campaign tackling teenage disorder and the problems of children who drink alcohol. Officers are working with Monkseaton High School in a pilot scheme, which will eventually extend across North Tyneside, to get these important messages across to students direct to their email inbox. Youngsters aged 14 and above are being targeted, using the child's school e-mail account.

. . . . . .

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Review. Neurobiological mechanisms for opponent motivational processes in addiction
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Oct 12;363(1507):3113-23.

The conceptualization of drug addiction as a compulsive disorder with excessive drug intake and loss of control over intake requires motivational mechanisms.

Opponent process as a motivational theory for the negative reinforcement of drug dependence has long required a neurobiological explanation. Key neurochemical elements involved in reward and stress within basal forebrain structures involving the ventral striatum and extended amygdala are hypothesized to be dysregulated in addiction to convey the opponent motivational processes that drive dependence.

Specific neurochemical elements in these structures include not only decreases in reward neurotransmission such as dopamine and opioid peptides in the ventral striatum, but also recruitment of brain stress systems such as corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), noradrenaline and dynorphin in the extended amygdala.

Acute withdrawal from all major drugs of abuse produces increases in reward thresholds, anxiety-like responses and extracellular levels of CRF in the central nucleus of the amygdala. CRF receptor antagonists block excessive drug intake produced by dependence.

A brain stress response system is hypothesized to be activated by acute excessive drug intake, to be sensitized during repeated withdrawal, to persist into protracted abstinence and to contribute to stress-induced relapse.

The combination of loss of reward function and recruitment of brain stress systems provides a powerful neurochemical basis for the long hypothesized opponent motivational processes
responsible for the negative reinforcement driving addiction.

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Review. Cognitive and emotional consequences of binge drinking: role of amygdala and prefrontal cortex
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Oct 12;363(1507):3169-79.

Binge drinking is an increasingly recognized problem within the UK. We have studied the relationship of binge drinking to cognitive and emotional functioning in young adults, and have found evidence for increased impulsivity, impairments in spatial working memory and impaired emotional learning.

Since in human studies it is difficult to understand whether such behavioural changes pre-date or are a consequence of binge drinking, we have also studied parallel behaviours in a rodent model, in which rats are exposed to intermittent episodes of alcohol consumption and withdrawal.

In this model, and in parallel with our findings in human binge drinkers, and alcoholic patients who have undergone multiple episodes of detoxification, we have found evidence for impairments in aversive conditioning as well as increased impulsivity. These behavioural changes are accompanied by facilitated excitatory neurotransmission and reduced plasticity (long-term potentiation (LTP)) in amygdala and hippocampus. The impaired LTP is accompanied by both impaired associative learning and inappropriate generalization of previously learned associations to irrelevant stimuli.

We propose that repeated episodes of withdrawal from alcohol induce aberrant neuronal plasticity that results in altered cognitive and emotional competences.

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Review. Neurogenetic studies of alcohol addiction
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Oct 12;363(1507):3201-11.

Neurogenetic studies of alcohol dependence have relied substantially on genetic animal models, particularly rodents. Studies of inbred strains, selectively bred lines and mutants bearing genes whose function has been targeted for over or under expression are reviewed.

Studies focused on gene expression changes are the most recent contributors to this literature, and some genetic effects may work through epigenetic mechanisms.

In a few instances, interesting parallels have been revealed between genetic risk in humans and studies in non-human animal models.

Future approaches are likely to be increasingly complex.

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Tipplers pay for anti-liquor drive

20 Sep 2008, TS Sreenivasa Raghavan,TNN

KOCHI: The Kerala State Beverages Corporation Ltd has come up with a novel initiative to put to good use its huge earnings. The state-run department, the sole supplier of liquor, will contribute a portion of its revenue for government-sponsored campaigns against alcoholism.

Bevco MD N Shanker Reddy told TOI, "We have already given Rs 30 lakh as our contribution to create awareness against the evils of alcoholism." But it is no sweat for Bevco. The corporation’s contribution is a mere 0.65% of its total annual earning of Rs 4,600 crore that it expects to touch by this year-end.
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Alcohol studies: 'Heavy drinkers tend to be more distracted by alcohol related cues'

Prof Theodora Duka and Dr Matt Field describe their research into alcohol, binge drinking and brain function

The recording took place at the BA Festival of Science 2008 hosted by the University of Liverpool.


Friday, September 19, 2008

An economic model of social capital and health
Health Economics, Policy and Law (2008), 3 : 333-348

This paper presents an economic model to connect with the substantial empirical literature on social capital and health that exists largely outside of economics.

Representative papers from that literature are reviewed and these show that disagreements exist on the nature and definition of social capital.

The paper presents a new line of reasoning to support the view of social capital as a network of interpersonal bonds to include the bonds of family and close friends, not just the community at large. It then adapts and extends the work of Becker and Murphy on social economics to explain the demand for health goods as well as health bads in the presence of increased social capital. It further develops choice under risk to explain the demand for goods that entail a risk of death, such as cigarettes, illegal drugs, or excessive drinking.

Empirical examples, including new statistical analyses are presented to illustrate the derivations.

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Social capital, economics, and health: new evidence
Health Economics, Policy and Law (2008), 3:321-331

In introducing this Special Issue on Social Capital and Health, this article tracks the popularization of the term ‘social capital’ and sheds light on the controversy surrounding the term and its definitions.

It sets out four mechanisms that link social capital with health: making information available to community members, impacting social norms, enhancing the health care services and their accessibility in a community, and offering psychosocial support networks. Approaches to the measurement of social capital include the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey (SCCBS) developed by Robert Putnam, and the Petris Social Capital Index (PSCI), which looks at community voluntary organizations using public data available for the entire United States.

The article defines community social capital (CSC) as the extent and density of trust, cooperation, and associational links and activity within a given population. Four articles on CSC are introduced in two categories: those that address behaviors – particularly utilization of health services and use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs; and those that look at links between social capital and physical or mental health.

Policy implications include: funding and/or tax subsidies that would support the creation of social capital; laws and regulations; and generation of enthusiasm among communities and leaders to develop social capital.

The next steps in the research programme are to continue testing the mechanisms; to look for natural experiments; and to find better public policies to foster social capital.

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Trends in alcohol consumption among Lithuanian school-aged children in 1994–2006 and new challenges
Medicina (Kaunas) 2008; 44 (8): 623-632

Alcohol abuse is considered one of the most important risk-taking behaviors among young people in the world. This paper presents the results of the WHO collaborative cross-national study on Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC) carried out in Lithuania and other

he aim of this study was to analyze features and trends in alcohol consumption among the samples of 11-, 13-, and 15-year-old adolescents (school-aged children) in Lithuania during 1994–2006.

The number of students who had been drunk two or more times has increased by 2.5 times (from 9.8%. to 25.6%) during 1994–2006. A significant increase in alcohol consumption was observed among 15-year-old girls – the percentage of girls who have reported alcohol consumption almost approached the percentage of boys (50.3% and 56.8%, respectively; P=0.006). The reported mean age of the onset of first drinking had shifted by 2 years towards younger age during the period of 1994–2006. The comparison of data from 37 countries, participating in this cross-national study, revealed that the prevalence of alcohol consumption among Lithuanian school children is one of the highest (29.0% of boys and 22.1% of girls) and was in the second worst position on a rating scale when comparing with other 36 countries involved in HBSC study.

The results suggest that increased use of light alcoholic beverages can cause an increase in the number of drinking teenagers. Ready-to-drink beverages (“alcopops”) at least once per week were used by 15.3% of boys and 17.5% of girls (P=0.216); beer – 16.9% of boys and 5.6% of girls (P<0.001).

A significant shift of the onset of drinking alcohol towards younger age was observed in Lithuania during 1994–2006. In recent years, Lithuanian students as compared to peers from other countries are among those who consume alcohol most frequently.

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The Mental Health Benefits of Work: Do They Apply to Welfare Mothers with a Drinking Problem?
The Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research Published online: 17 September 2008

A longstanding tradition of employment-related research has shown the mental health advantages of employment. However, given welfare reform mandates for employment and a welfare population with disproportionately high rates of depression and co-occurring substance abuse problems, it is unclear if women on welfare reap this advantage.

This analysis draws on 4 years of data from the Welfare Client Longitudinal Study to examine the mental health benefits of employment among women on welfare (N = 419) and to assess whether drinking problems alter the relationship.

Repeated measures analyses suggest that women who enter welfare with a drinking problem may not experience the same decline in depression symptoms following employment.

Improving the connections between welfare and treatment services for women with alcohol problems may, however, have important implications for their mental health.

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A Web-based Self-guide Intervention to Reduce Alcohol Exposed Pregnancy Risk

Description of a quasi-experimental study designed to evaluate the use of the internet as a mechanism for behavioral change of women to reduce their risk of an alcohol-exposed pregnancy.
  • Prevention of AEPs has emerged as a key public health strategy to reduce incidenceof Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).
  • Despite warnings that drinking during pregnancy is unsafe, many women continue to drink, both before and during pregnancy.
  • Interventions based upon motivational interviewing have yielded statistically significan reductions in AEP risk through drinking reductions, effective contraception use, or both.
  • In the absence of professional counseling support, self-guided change processes maybe automated and well-suited for delivery over the internet.
  • This study describes the design and outcomes of a controlled study testing a selfguided change intervention, delivered over the internet or through the mail to reduce AEP risk in a sample of child-bearing age women (age 18-44).
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On the Margins: Nordic Alcohol and Drug Treatment 1885-2007

The aim of this volume is to picture the character and dynamics of the alcohol and drug treatment systems in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. How and why have new ideas and institutions emerged during its history? Who have been the actors and what have been the structures behind changes or resistance to change? What can explain the continuities and the reforms?


A Frame
Kerstin Stenius & Johan Edman

Idealistic Doctors. Alcoholism Treatment Institutions in Sweden 1885-1916
Anna Prestjan

From Gold Cure to Antabuse. Danish Treatment Traditions in a Liberal Drinking Culture
Sidsel Eriksen

“You Take a Sick Man and Put Him in Hospital”. Treatment of Excessive Drinkers in Norway in the 1930s
Olav Hamran

In the Faint Shadow of Prohibition. The First Finnish Alcoholics Act of 1936
Kerstin Stenius

Conservatism and Social Control. Treatment with Disulfiram in Denmark, 1945-2005
Henrik Thiesen

Treatment as Adaptation. A-clinics in Post-War Finland
Jukka Ahonen

On the Demise of the Norwegian Vagrancy Act
Ragnar Hauge

From Hard Labour to Unemployment. The Crisis of Work Policy within the Treatment of Alcohol Abusers in Sweden and Norway during the 1970s
Johan Edman & Olav Hamran

A Crutch for Cripples or a Shield for the Endangered? The Temporary Decline in Compulsory Care within Swedish Alcohol Treatment during the 1970s
Johan Edman

The American Package. Acceptance of Alcoholism Treatment as a Problem Solution in Iceland in the Last Quarter of the 20th Century
Hildigunnur Ólafsdóttir

After the Storm. Developments in Maintenance Treatment Policy and Practice in Sweden 1987–2006
Björn Johnson

Medicalisation with a Focus on Injecting Drug Users. Changes in the Norwegian Treatment System from the 1990s
Astrid Skretting

Professional Expertise versus Market Mechanisms in Contemporary Denmark
Mads Uffe Pedersen

From Sanatoriums to Public Injection Rooms. Actors, Ideas and Institutions in the Nordic Treatment Systems
Johan Edman & Kerstin Stenius


NAD Publications

Alcoholism 'taking root in East Africa'

By The Citizen Reporter, Arusha

Alcoholism is increasingly becoming a health burden in eastern and southern Africa region, it has been warned.

Arusha Regional Commissioner Isidori Shirima said when opening the Second Scientific Forum on Best Practices organised by the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (Ecsa) that more people were becoming obsessed with the consumption of alcohol.

He said alcoholism and substance abuse as well as non-communicable diseases were in the past associated with the developed world, adding that this was no longer the case.
. . . . . .

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3rd Scottish American Congress: 22nd - 24th September 2008

The 3rd Scottish American Congress is a unique cross-cultural event which brings together addiction practitioners from both the UK (predominantly Scotland) and the USA for a three-day symposium of presentation, exchange and discussion. The congress is now well established as an important diary date for many treatment professionals on both sides of the Atlantic since the previous two events proved to be an outstanding success. Each day of the congress is themed and the themes for this 3rd Congress are: national policy; criminal justice; and treatment. Please see our Programme pages for further details. We look forward to meeting with you in Stirling, Scotland for the 3rd Scottish American Congress.
Connecticut Attorney General's Office Press Release - Attorney General Calls On MillerCoors To Drop Alcoholic Energy Drink With Elevated Alcohol Content

September 17, 2008

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today, joined by 24 other states, called on MillerCoors, LLC to abandon its plan to introduce a new alcoholic energy drink -- Sparks Red -- that contains significantly elevated alcohol content combined with caffeine.

In a letter to W. Leo Kiely, chief executive officer of MillerCoors, Blumenthal urged MillerCoors to cancel its plan to introduce Sparks Red.

"We're demanding a stop to Sparks Red because this drink is a recipe for disaster," Blumenthal said. "Sparks Red will combine caffeine with even higher levels of alcohol -- creating wide-awake, energized drunks. Alcoholic energy drinks like Sparks Red create an illusion of alertness, masking the impairing impact of alcohol.

. . . . . .

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NIH News release - Li to Step Down as Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Bethesda, Maryland — Ting-Kai Li, M.D., director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) since November 2002, announced today that he will step down from his post and retire from Federal service, effective October 31, 2008. Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D., the NIAAA Deputy Director since February 2008, will serve as Acting Director of the Institute while a search for a new Director is initiated.

“I leave NIAAA/NIH feeling that my tenure has resulted in greater transparency, accountability, trust, and stability of funding for alcohol research. Research supported by NIAAA in the past 5 years has reframed our understanding of alcohol dependence in several ways by demonstrating that it is a developmental disorder that has its roots in childhood and adolescence. While initiation of drinking is largely influenced by peer and family environmental factors, the transition to habitual and dependent drinking is strongly influenced by genetic factors. This has important prevention and treatment implications.”

During Dr. Li’s tenure, NIAAA issued a rolling 5-year strategic plan for NIAAA; provided administrative leadership to achieve stability in NIAAA’s success rate for research grants; increased support for new investigators; engaged the NIAAA in the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research; emphasized a multi- and transdisciplinary approach to alcohol research and the study of gene-environment interactions. Finally, he guided the analysis of data showing that measures of an individual’s pattern of drinking are the best indicators of alcohol problems, in much the same way that numerical measurements of blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides relate to relative risk for cardiovascular disease.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Recessive genetic mode of an ADH4 variant in substance dependence in African-Americans: a model of utility of the HWD test
Behavioral and Brain Functions 2008, 4:42

In our previous studies, we reported positive associations between seven ADH4 polymorphisms and substance dependence [i.e., alcohol dependence (AD) and/or drug dependence (DD)] in European-Americans (EAs). In the present study, we address the relationship between ADH4 variation and substance dependence in an African-American (AA) population, and report evidence that supports an association between a different ADH4 polymorphism (rs2226896) and these phenotypes in AAs.

Two family-based association study methods, i.e., TDT and FBAT, were applied to test the relationship between ADH4 variation and substance dependence in Sample 3 (112 small nuclear families) and in Sample 4 (632 pedigrees), respectively. A population-based case-control association study method was also applied to test this relationship in 1303 unrelated subjects, with and without controlling for admixture effects. Finally, a Hardy-Weinberg Disequilibrium (HWD) test was applied to examine the association in the case-only sample, infer the genetic

The marker examined was found to be in significant HWD in AA alcoholics (p=0.0071) and drug dependent subjects (p=0.0341), but in Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium (HWE) in all other subgroups. Other association methods failed to detect any association between this variation and phenotypes. The best-fit genetic disease model for this marker is a recessive genetic model.

ADH4 variation might play a role in risk for substance dependence in AAs, potentially via a recessive mechanism. Under certain conditions, the HWD test could be a more powerful association method than conventional family-based and population-based case-control association analyses, for which, the present study provides an extreme example.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Big Alcohol Can't Police Itself

Marin Institute
has analyzed the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) Code of Responsible Marketing Practices reports from 2004-2007. The Federal Trade Commission relies upon a system of voluntary self-regulation to ensure responsible marketing practices by the alcohol industry. Our report publishes for the first time, a systematic review of the DISCUS oversight process, and concludes that the process is inherently biased and consistently fails to protect the public from irresponsible advertising.

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Revealed: the nine types of heavy drinker

John Carvel, social affairs editor
Wednesday September 17 2008

The Department of Health will today identify the nine personality types of heavy drinkers at risk of liver damage and other alcohol-related illnesses that are costing the NHS in England about £2.7bn a year.

Its researchers investigated the social and psychological characteristics of problem drinkers in an attempt to devise more effective public health campaigns to encourage safer use of alcohol.

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Nine different reasons to drink to excess

Zoe Williams
Thursday September 18 2008

Department of Health researchers have revealed the nine types of heavy drinker. Presumably they want us to stop drinking heavily, but when I see anything divided into types, I think of it more like a quiz. Confused about whether your self-harming behaviour is motivated by boredom, depression or a desire to conform? Let me walk you through it. I, by the way, have identified myself as a macho drinker. "Mostly men, of all ages, they do it to stand out from the crowd." You think I'm being facetious, but it does say "mostly" men, and I do drink to excess mainly to show off. So it gets me down to a tee. Tea? Ha! With whisky in it, mate. Etc, etc.
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The avoidable costs of alcohol abuse in Australia and the potential benefits of effective policies to reduce the social costs of alcohol

This monograph estimates the proportion of Australian social costs of alcohol abuse which are potentially avoidable as a result of implementing appropriate public policy interventions, and the values of the potential benefits of the identified interventions.

Alcohol abuse in Australia is a serious problem whose social costs in 2004/05 have been estimated to be over $15 billion. The present study estimates the extent to which these costs could be reduced by the implementation of appropriate public policy interventions It indicates that it should be possible, over a period of time, to reduce these costs by approximately half.

The study arises from the participation of the authors as the lead authors in the development of International Guidelines for the Estimation of the Avoidable Costs of Substance Abuse, published by Health Canada. These guidelines represent the first major attempt to examine in detail the issues involved in estimating the avoidable costs of substance abuse—that is, those costs that would potentially be able to be eliminated or reduced if appropriate public policies were adopted.

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Call for Abstracts: Alcohol Harm Reduction

‘Harm Reduction 2009’ will take place in April 2009 in Thailand, and we would like to encourage all GAHR-Net members to submit abstracts about their alcohol harm reduction interventions, ideas, experiences, research, or advocacy work. In order to assist delegates, a short guide has been created on how to develop and submit an abstract. Abstracts must be submitted in English before November 10th 2008.

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News release - Alcohol: A Focus on Health and Safety

One of the functions of religious leaders in a democracy is to add their moral voice to issues of public importance. This is why churches take positions on social issues.

While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches its members to avoid alcohol altogether, it acknowledges that alcoholic beverages are available to the public. The Church has always called for reasonable regulations to (1) limit overconsumption, (2) reduce impaired driving and (3) work to eliminate underage drinking. The Church will continue to focus on these public health and safety requirements.

In this, the Church adds its voice to those of many others. Parents inform their children about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. Teachers and community leaders educate the public. State laws control the distribution of harmful substances.

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News Release - Researcher of Genes and Behavior Speaks Sept. 29

GREENSBORO, NC –Dr. David Goldman, a world-renowned researcher of how genes affect behavior, will speak at UNCG on Monday, Sept. 29.

His speech – “From Genes to Complex Behavior in the Domain of Addiction” – will take place at 2 p.m. in the Kirkland Room of Elliott University Center. The event is free and open to the public.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Factor Structure of Leigh’s (1990) Alcohol Sex Expectancies Scale in Individuals in Treatment for HIV Disease
AIDS and Behavior Published online 15 September 2008

The purpose of this study was to validate the use of Leigh’s (1990) alcohol sex expectancies scale among HIV-infected individuals presenting for treatment as a way to facilitate research on sexual risk reduction among individuals in that population.

A principal components factor analysis with oblique rotation of the original 13-item Leigh scale within each HIV group in Sample 1 revealed a 2-factor (7 and 4 items, respectively) solution that was consistent across both HIV groups. These factors were named “More Open to Sexual Pleasure” (Factor 1) and “Reduced Inhibitions about Sex (Factor 2).” A confirmatory factor analysis of the 11-item, 2-factor solution on the full Sample 2 showed a modest fit to the data, excellent internal consistency reliability of both factors, a high correlation between the factors, and strong evidence for construct validity.

These results were interpreted as supporting the use of the 11-item, 2-factor version of Leigh’s scale in studies of clinical samples of HIV-positive adults, and directions for research on further scale refinement are discussed.

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Repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure in mice increases voluntary ethanol drinking and ethanol concentrations in the nucleus accumbens
Psychopharmacology Published online 13 Septmeber 2008

This study examined the relationship between voluntary ethanol consumption and ethanol concentrations measured in the nucleus accumbens of ethanol dependent and nondependent C57BL/6J mice.

Voluntary ethanol consumption progressively increased over repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure but remained unchanged in CTL mice. Analysis of lick patterns indicated EtOH mice consumed ethanol at a faster rate compared to CTL mice. The greater and faster rate of ethanol intake in EtOH mice produced higher peak brain ethanol concentrations compared to CTL mice, and these levels were similar to levels produced during chronic intermittent ethanol exposure.

These results show that in this model of dependence and relapse drinking, dependent mice exhibit enhanced voluntary ethanol consumption relative to nondependent controls, which consequently produces blood and brain ethanol concentrations similar to those experienced during chronic intermittent ethanol exposure.

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Press Release - Irish College of Psychiatrists call for Ban on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship in Ireland

The Irish College of Psychiatrists today (16th September) published a Policy Paper, which calls for a ban on all alcohol advertising and sponsorship in Ireland. The Policy Paper states that: “It is the opinion of the Irish College of Psychiatrists that, particularly given the evidence of adolescent alcohol related harm, the Republic of Ireland should ban all promotion (advertising and sponsorship included) on alcohol products”.
. . . . . .
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Policy Paper: 'Calling Time on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship in Ireland". (PDF)

Stop booze tours, plead Scottish students

  • Tuesday September 16 2008
Student leaders call on Scottish government to keep binge-tour organisers off campuses

Student leaders have called on the Scottish government to clamp down on booze binge tours.

The Coalition Against Raising the Drinking Age in Scotland (Cardas) says universities have been swamped by event organisers promoting alcoholic binge tours for students across Scotland.

The coalition - which includes Scotland's National Union of Students, the Scottish Youth Parliament and most students' unions - has demanded action after a host of binge-tour promoters swooped on campuses at the start of term.

. . . . . .

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Irish alcohol sales slide faster in weak economy
Tue Sep 16, 2008

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The consumption of alcoholic drinks in Ireland is likely to fall more in 2008 than in the past six years combined, as a weakening economy and high costs take their toll, an industry group said on Tuesday.

Alcohol sales dropped 7 percent in the first eight months of the year and they registered a 14 percent fall in the month of August alone compared with a year ago, the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) said.

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New alcopops sneak around tax

Paul McIntyre Marketing Editor
September 16, 2008

THE maker of leading alcopop brands such as Vodka Cruiser and Pulse has found a way around the tax on premixed drinks: using alcohol derived from lower-taxed beer to attract younger drinkers back to the sweet stuff.

The arrival of the first Australian "malternative", as they are dubbed overseas, comes as nationwide alcohol consumption figures obtained by the Herald show the tax rise on ready-to-drink beverages in April is having a massive impact on sales and the broader consumption of alcohol.

The number of standard drinks consumed each week has fallen by 3 million since the alcopop tax rise, says a confidential report sent this week to key players in the alcohol industry by the research group Nielsen.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

The relationship between a less gender-stereotypical parenthood and alcohol-related care and death: a registry study of Swedish mothers and fathers
BMC Public Health 2008, 8:312

n general men tend to drink more alcohol and experience more alcohol-related sickness, injuries and mortality than women. In this paper, the overall hypothesis was that increased gender similarity in the division of parental duties would lead to convergence in alcohol-related harm. The aim was to analyse whether the risk of alcohol harm differs between parents who fit a gender-stereotypical versus those with a less gender-stereotypical division of childcare and paid work.

The main results show that fathers who took paternity leave had 18% lower risk of alcohol-related care and/or death than other fathers. Mothers who worked full-time about two years after having a child had 71% higher risk than mothers who were unemployed or worked part-time.

A less gender-stereotypical division of duties between parents in early parenthood may contribute to a long-term decreased gender disparity regarding risky alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm. In order to know more about the causal direction however, future research has to consider subjects' drinking patterns in the years prior to parenthood.

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