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, January 20, 2007

EUROCARE, The European Alcohol Policy Alliance, is organising a seminar on a European Strategy to combat alcohol related harm in the EU.


Hosted by the Socialist Group in the European ParliamentPlace: European Parliament
– Brussels
Date: Wednesday, 31 January 2007
Time: 12h30 – 15h00Room ASP3H1

EUROCARE, The European Alcohol Policy Alliance, is organising a seminar on a European Strategy to combat alcohol related harm in the EU.

On October 24th 2006, the European Commission released an EU Strategy to support Member States in combating alcohol-related harm. The Strategy was welcomed by the Public Health Community who nonetheless regretted to see the undue influence of the alcohol industry reflected in the text.

The EUROCARE January seminar will bring together representatives from the Commission, the European Parliament, the World Health Organisation and the Public Health Community to analyse the virtues and shortcomings of the Strategy and to discuss key questions such as its implementation and follow-up.

According to the WHO, the European Region is the region with the highest alcohol intake in the world. The per capita consumption in Europe (15 liters of pure alcohol a year) is twice as high as the world average and so it is the disease burden. In 2002, alcohol was the third most important cause of ill-health and premature deaths and the leading risk factor among young people.

Alcohol is also a cause of harm to others than the drinker, including some 60,000 underweight births, 7 million children living in families wrecked by alcohol, 10,000 traffic deaths to people other than the driver, and 2,000 murders in the EU each year.

Recent years have brought increased information on the size and nature of the problems related to alcohol, and an increased understanding of which measures are effective and cost-effective. Meanwhile the growth of trade agreements, internal market rules (for example, very large traveler allowances) and increased globalization of the alcohol market have weakened governments’ ability to maintain effective alcohol policies at national level.

Main Aims:
Raise awareness of the size and nature of the problems related to alcohol

Increase the understanding of effective and cost-effective measures

Analyse the virtues and shortcomings of the Alcohol Strategy proposed by the Commission

See Draft Programme here (pdf 27k).

European Parliament – Brussels. Bâtiment Altiero Spinelli. 60, rue WiertzRoom ASP 3H1.

Date and time: Wednesday, 31 January 2007 from 12h30 to 15h00

EUROCARE with the cooperation of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament

Representatives from the Commission, the European Parliament, the World Health Organisation, the Public Health Community and the NGO Community and Health Permanent Representatives.

Information Forum: There will also be an Information Forum where participants can find all the latest research and publications on Alcohol Policy in Europe

Working language of the seminar: English.

Lunch will be provided at the entrance.

Due to the limited amount of available seats, prior registration is required.

Deadline for registration:
30 January 2007 (for those who have a permanent pass to the European Parliament)

17 January 2007 (for those who DO NOT have a permanent pass)

To download the registration form click here. (Word Document 120kb)Please send your registration form to or fax it to +32 (0)2 233 38 80


For any additional information please contact Ruth Ruiz: or tel.: +32 (0)2 233 38 71

Relevant documents on the Harm done by alcohol:-Report alcohol in Europe: A Public Health Perspective –

Relevant documents on the EU Alcohol Strategy- Text of the Strategy

EUROCARE analysis of the European Commission Communication on the EU Alcohol strategy Framework for Alcohol Policy in the WHO European Region – World Health Organisation – Europe

Relevant papers on Alcohol Marketing and Young people
- “Don’t ask a bird to clip its own wings” STAP -
- ”Marketing Alcohol to Young people” EUROCARE

News Release - States Differ On Treatment Or Incarceration For Pregnant Women Who Abuse Alcohol

18 Jan 2007

States differ on treatment or incarceration for pregnant women who abuse alcohol Women lawmakers shaping the debate on reproductive rights, study finds

FELTON, Calif. – Undoubtedly, abusing alcohol during pregnancy can be damaging to a developing fetus. However, a new study found women lawmakers are shaping the policy debate on whether women receive treatment or go to jail for using alcohol during pregnancy.

Scientific research has well established that adverse health consequences from abusing alcohol can occur, not just at certain points in pregnancy, but throughout it.

In the article in UCLA Women’s Law Journal titled “The Meaning, Status, and Future of Reproductive Autonomy: The Case of Alcohol Use During Pregnancy,” researchers found states with few elected women officeholders tend to have tougher sanctions for pregnant women who abuse alcohol.

Researchers suggest this scenario can have harmful long-term affects on not only the would-be mother, but also the fetus these laws are trying to protect. “Not only is jail an amazingly severe reaction to alcohol abuse during pregnancy, but substance abuse treatment programs and pre-natal care are almost non-existent in these facilities,” said Sue Thomas, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and a policy researcher at PIRE.

While few question the serious consequences of alcohol abuse on fetuses, the best way of avoiding them is to provide treatment for the pregnant women rather than lock them up.” Sanctions tend to discourage pregnant women from seeking treatment that can help them and their fetuses, Dr. Thomas said.

When women know that they could face involuntary commitment or charges of child abuse or neglect, evidence suggests they avoid medical treatment altogether,” she said.

Another interesting finding of the study is that women officeholders make a real difference in policy choices. State legislatures with higher rates of women lawmakers tended to pass laws that favored substance abuse treatment over incarceration. Conversely, states with low levels of women’s representation tended to pass policies that prosecute women and require medical staff to report women who use alcohol during pregnancy to child protective services or the criminal justice system.

At the time when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ascension turns attention to the policy difference women make, this study is evidence that women’s impact can be substantial, Dr. Thomas said. “Evidence from this research and the wider women and politics literature suggests that not only does women’s presence matter, the greater their presence across legislatures and in each individual legislature, the greater chance that positive approaches to pregnant women’s use and abuse of alcohol will be preserved and extended,” she said.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) describes the range of birth defects caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy. FASDs are considered the most common non-hereditary cause of mental retardation. The severity of the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy, the fact that they are lifelong for children born with FASDs, and that the incidence is rising resulted in substantial amounts of legislative attention to the reversing the trend. State and federal governments have been legislating on FASD issues since 1980.

Since then, two predominant approaches have been most common. The first promotes information, early intervention and treatment to pregnant women who use or abuse alcohol. This approach is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, and many women’s organizations. The second approach to reducing the incidence of FASD is an attempt to restrict a pregnant women’s behavior.

Limits in the form of punishment or restrictions on independence are central. Punitive or coercive policies include civilly committing pregnant women who use or abuse alcohol, requirements to report women who use alcohol during pregnancy or are suspected of doing so to law enforcement and/or child welfare agencies, and initiating child welfare proceedings to temporarily remove children from mothers or terminate parental rights.

Dr. Thomas is Senior Policy Researcher at PIRE’s Center for the Study of Law and Enforcement Policy. Among her numerous articles and books are How Women Legislate and Women and Elective Office: Past Present and Future. PIRE, or Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, is a national nonprofit public health research institute with centers in eight U.S. cities that is supported primarily by federal and state research and program funds.

For more information or to obtain a copy of the published report, contact Michelle Blackston at (301) 755-2444 or UCLA Women's Law Journal


For more information:

PIRE Office of Policy and Communications

Michelle Blackston(301)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Off Broadway Opening of the play BILL W. AND DR. BOB by Janet Surrey and Steve Bergman

The Division on Addictions
Cambridge Health Alliance
an affiliate of Harvard Medical School

New & Noteworthy

Off Broadway Opening of the play BILL W. AND DR. BOB by Janet Surrey and Steve Bergman

Come and witness this incredible story of hope and healing through real human connection. The journey that Bill W. and Dr. Bob took together has become a beacon of hope in the dark for so many people in our world. Alcohol and drugs create so much suffering, not only for those who abuse them, but also for our families and friends and communities.

BILL W. AND DR. BOB opens in New York at New World Stages 340 West 50th Street, with previews starting February 16, 2007 and opening night March 5. For information and tickets visit


COLUMBUS , Ohio – One of the few studies examining methods to help homeless youth found that a comprehensive intervention program can indeed dramatically improve their life situation.

The six-month study of homeless youth in Albuquerque found that teens who completed the program significantly reduced their substance abuse and depression and increased their social stability, including the number of days living off the streets, compared to those who received standard treatment.

“Homeless youth are often seen as difficult to engage and difficult to treat,” said Natasha Slesnick, lead author of the study and associate professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University.

“But what this study shows is that we can be successful in helping a group that is often seen as unreachable. We can successfully reduce their alcohol and drug use, and improve their social stability and psychological functioning.”

The results are important, Slesnick said, because few previous studies have tried to determine how to best help homeless youth who are not with parents or other guardians. Up to 2 million youth are estimated to leave home prematurely each year, an estimate that is probably too low, she said.

Slesnick conducted the study with Jillian Prestopnik and Robert Meyers of the University of New Mexico and Michael Glassman, associate professor of human development and family science at Ohio State . Their results appear online and will be published in a future issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors.

The researchers studied 180 youth aged 14 to 22 who used a drop-in center for homeless youth in Albuquerque between 2001 and 2005.

All the youth completed written inventories that probed drug use, social stability and depression. About half received “treatment as usual” and the other half were enrolled in a program called a “Community Reinforcement Approach.”

The youth in the program showed a 58 percent increase in social stability, compared to only 13 percent for those in the other group. Social stability was measured by the number of days they spent off the street, or in school, or working, or receiving medical care.

In the treatment as usual, youth who stopped by the drop-in center were offered food, a place to rest and the opportunity to meet with case managers who helped connect them with counseling and other services that they needed. This is the standard treatment for homeless youth around the country, Slesnick said.

The CRA program offered a more comprehensive treatment involving 12 individual therapy sessions and four HIV education/skills practice sessions.

The therapy sessions were adapted for teens who lived on the streets, Slesnick said. The first goal was to stabilize their situation, and help them address the basic needs of food, shelter and safety.

The sessions then focused on goals that the youth themselves saw as most important in their lives. The counselor helped them address coping, skills development, and the steps needed to achieve their goals.

“The youth then had to apply these skills in the real world, maintain those skills, and see how they could improve their own situation,” Slesnick said.

One of the keys to the success of this program is that it was created specifically for homeless youth, she said. For example, many of the youth did not have scheduled appointments, but could stop at the drop-in center during open hours. If their counselor was available, they could see them immediately. If not, the youth could wait at the center until their counselor was free.
The youth were tested three months and six months after beginning treatment.

The teens in both groups – treatment as usual and CRA – showed improvements after six months, the study showed. But those in the CRA program did significantly better.

The youth assigned to CRA showed a 37 percent reduction in drug and alcohol abuse, compared to just a 17 percent reduction for the others.

Depression scores dropped 40 percent for those in CRA and 23 percent for those who received treatment as usual.

Finally, the youth in CRA showed a 58 percent increase in social stability, compared to only 13 percent for those in the other group. Social stability was measured by the number of days they spent off the street, or in school, or working, or receiving medical care.

Slesnick said these results showed that communities can be successful in helping homeless youth.

“While the CRA program was successful, I think what we do in treatment is less important than the process,” she said.

“The content is not as important as having these teens come in and talk to a therapist and develop a new, positive experience with an adult. That is what they really need.”

And the cost of such a program is much less than it costs to keep youth in the criminal justice system, where many of them may end up if left untreated.

One study in Colorado suggests it costs about $5,887 to permanently move a homeless youth off the streets, while it cost $53,665 to maintain a youth in the criminal justice system for a year.
“A little money now will pay off in the long-term in integrating these homeless youth back into society,” Slesnick said.

Contact: Natasha Slesnick, (614) 247-8469;
Written by Jeff Grabmeier, (614) 292-8457;

Faces & Voices of Recovery Advocacy eNews- January 19, 2007

eNewsletter - January 19, 2007

New Mid-America RepresentativeFaces & Voices of Recovery welcomes new board member Judie Didriksen as our Mid-America regional representative. Judie is very active in the Missouri Recovery Network and will be taking the place of Jim Russell, who has served as the representative for the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma for the past two years. Thanks to Jim for his service and welcome Judie!

Make sure you’re heard! Sign up for Faces & Voices’ Recovery Advocacy Webinar SeriesEditorial Boards – Media Outreach Nuts and Bolts is the first in a four-part series of “webinars” where you will have the opportunity to listen and participate in exciting online, hour long recovery advocacy trainings. The first will be on Saturday, February 3rd. More…

Campaign to Insure Mental Health and Addiction EquityRepresentatives Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Jim Ramstad (R-MN) have launched a nationwide tour, “The Campaign to Insure Mental Health and Addiction Equity.” The first stop is at the State House in Providence, Rhode Island on January 16th more…

Rally for Recovery! Mark your calendar for the 2007 Rally for Recovery! on Saturday, September 15th. This year Faces & Voices has produced a Rally for Recovery! logo that you can you can use in your organizing more…

Improving access to buprenorphineThe number of buprenorphine patients that individual doctors may treat in their medical offices was increased from 30 to 100 as part of a new federal law reauthorizing the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). More…

Resources Understanding Addiction is a satellite/webcast airing Thursday Jan. 25, 2007 from 1-2 p.m. by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). The broadcast will feature interviews with Faces & Voices of Recovery board member and People Advocating Recovery in Kentucky’s Mike Barry more…

Recovery Art Gallery. The Addiction Treatment Forum (AT Forum) has issued a call for Artists in Recovery to display their work at the new AT Forum “Recovery Art Gallery.” AT Forum is looking for contributions from persons in recovery from addiction to display their artistic creations in a new website gallery. More…

2007 Faces of Recovery Calendar. St. Joseph’s Healthcare, in conjunction with Greater Macomb (Michigan) Project VOX, has created a calendar featuring local people from all walks of life who are in long-term recovery. The calendar demonstrates that recovery is possible and it’s happening every day. More…

Recovery Radio: FOXO (Fraternal Order of X-Offenders) On the Radio. “Breaking the Cycle” can be heard every Sunday on Station WOLB 1010 AM in Baltimore, MD from 2:00-4:00 pm. More information on the programs that provide the Voice of the Voiceless can be found here. Recovery Radio: StreetMasters "People Helping People" airs in Washington, DC every Saturday on WFLO from 10:00am-12 noon with host Butch Jamieson. More information can be found here.

Faces & Voices of Recovery launches our membership campaign! Join now!

SAMHSA Releases New Issue of Substance Abuse in Brief Fact Sheet for Primary Care Providers

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announces the publication of a new issue of its Substance Abuse in Brief Fact Sheet addressing co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.

Identifying and Helping Patients With Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Disorders: A Guide for Primary Care Providers (Fall 2006, Volume 4, Issue 2) explores the complex relationship between co-occurring substance use and mental disorders, including the identification of patients with co-occurring disorders and providing or obtaining appropriate treatment for such disorders. This publication provides primary care providers concise, easy-to-understand information to help them more effectively treat their patients with co-occurring disorders. NCADI Publication No. MS994.

Substance Abuse in Brief Fact Sheets are written for health and human services professionals who do not work directly in the substance abuse prevention and treatment fields but whose work and policies are affected by issues related to mental health and the prevention of and treatment for alcohol and drug use disorders. The purpose of the Fact Sheets is to provide useful, easy-to-understand information about substance abuse topics and offer insight into each topic’s applicability to health and human service fields, beyond the core substance abuse prevention and treatment areas.

To order your FREE copies of this issue of the Substance Abuse in Brief Fact Sheet, contact SAMHSA’s National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI).

Phone: 800-729-6686 or 240-221-4017 800-487-4889 (TDD hearing impaired) 877-767-8432 (toll free) Hablamos EspañolWeb:

The issue is also available online at

Thursday, January 18, 2007

News Release - Centre for Addiction and Mental Health study sheds light on motherhood, marriage and mental lillness

Contact: Michael Torres
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

CAMH study sheds light on motherhood, marriage and mental illness
Toronto, ON, January 17, 2007

- Previously married mothers had higher rates of depressive disorders and alcohol abuse compared to married or never-married mothers, according to a new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

The study, which highlights differing rates of psychiatric and substance use disorders between single and married mothers over a 12-month period, fills an important information gap in our understanding of the relationship between family structure and psychiatric outcomes.

Lead by Dr. John Cairney, Canada Research Chair, and Research Scientist in CAMH's Health Systems Research Consulting Unit, the study also showed that previously married mothers had higher rates of mental illness, when compared to currently married mothers. In addition, single mothers who were never married and married mothers have similar prevalence rates of psychiatric and substance use disorders. These rates were generally lower than the illness rates among women who experience a disruption in their marriage.

"This pattern of results suggests that divorced or separated women with children are at greater risk for psychiatric and substance use disorders," said Dr. Cairney.

Although the increased risk for psychiatric disorder among single mothers is well established, this study enhances our understanding by examining how the pathway to single-motherhood impacts mental health.

Added Dr. Cairney, "the picture of Canadian families has changed so dramatically over the past 60 years, including the dramatic rise in lone parent families. Understanding how these transformations in family structure influence health and well-being in our population is critical."
Dr. Cairney and his team suggest that clinicians look at the impact of marital history on the relationship between family structure and psychiatric outcomes, and carefully screen for psychiatric and substance use disorders in mothers who've experienced marital disruption.

For Dr. Lori Ross, Research Scientist in CAMH's Social Equity & Health Research Section, this study makes an important contribution by "enhancing our understanding of the relationship between single parenthood and mental illness, in particular by highlighting the diversity among single parents. The data show that it is important for both researchers and clinicians to recognize that all single parents are not alike. This concept is critical to understanding the context of single parenthood, its potential mental health implications."


Drugs, Alcohol and Criminal Justice - University of Warwick (UK) Conference

'Drugs, Alcohol and Criminal Justice - the shape of things to come' University of Warwick, 26th/28th March 2007

- the UK drug and alcohol field setting its own agenda on drugs and crime
.A timely opportunity for those working in the closely related fields of drugs, alcohol and criminal justice to discuss and debate major challenges facing services and service users.
- NOMS heralds major changes in national policy and structures within criminal justice- the implementation of the national alcohol strategy;
- drafting the next national drug strategy is at an advanced stage

The conference programme is designed to enable participants to both hear and learn about current models of good practice linked with sessions aimed at influencing the shape of policy and practice in the future.

Sessions include:
- Motivating the coerced
- what do we mean by motivation?
- All I want is a room somewhere
- the role of housing and residential rehabilitation in addressing drug and alcohol use/misuse
- What's happening in the world of alcohol?

Speakers include:
- Steve Tippell (Acting Head of the Home Office Drug Strategy Unit;
- Neil McKeganey (University of Glasgow)
- Edward Garnier MP (Shadow Spokesperson on Home Affairs)
- Kazim Khan (Race and Drugs Project)
- Martin Barnes (CEO DrugScope)
- Vivienne Evans (CEO Adfam)
- Srabani Sen (CEO Alcohol Concern)
- Martin Lee (Head of Drug Strategy NOMS/HMPS)
- John Thornhill (Deputy Chair, Magistrates' Association
- Bill Puddicombe (Chair, EATA)- Charlie Lloyd (Joseph Rowntree Trust)

Many other leading figures in the field have also agreed to give their time to take part to ensure the programme will cover all shades of opinion and also represent all disciplines and professions.

The full programme and online registration system can be accessed by visiting and following the links. For more information you can also contact Michelle Vatin

New Alcohol Use Dataset - NHANES

NHANES announces the release of the following new datasets: Questionaire: Alcohol Use (ALQ_C 2003-2004) Drug Use (DUQ_C 2003-2004) Immunization (IMQ_C 2003-2004)Laboratory Lab 06 Ferritin and Transferrin Receptor (L06TFR_C 2003-2004) Lab 04 Volatile Organic Compounds in Blood and Water (L041999-2000)Datasets and detailed information can be accessed on the NHANES "What'sNew" page:

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

SAMHSA's Road to Recovery Update

The Road to Recovery Update keeps you informed about activities leading up to National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) in September.
(Link to complete Recovery Month , Wednesday January 17, 2007)

2007 Recovery Month Web Event Season
Mark your calendars! The first Webcast, "The Road to Recovery 2007", premieres Wednesday, February 7th.

Wednesday, February 7th: "The Road to Recovery 2007"(Kickoff Show)

Wednesday, March 7: "Treatment 101"

Wednesday, April 4: Alcohol en la Comunidad Latina"—Producido en español

Wednesday, May 2: "Helping Families Find Recovery"

Wednesday, June 6: "The Financial and Medical Benefits of Treatment for Health Care
Providers and Insurers"

Thursday, July 5 (due to the 4th of July holiday): "Treatment and Recovery: Reducing the Burden on the Justice System and Society"

Wednesday, August 1: "Improving the Bottom Line: Supporting Treatment Profits Employers and Employees"

Wednesday, September 5: "Investing in Treatment: Policymakers' Positive Impact on Their Community"

Wednesday, November 7: "Saving Lives, Saving Dollars: A National Showcase of Events"

About Recovery Month
National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, celebrating 18 years of observance in 2007, is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). For more information about Recovery Month, visit