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, March 31, 2007

European Commission releases Eurobarometer Special Report on attitudes towards alcohol

Eurocare Press Release - 14th March 2007

Eurocare welcomes public support for Alcohol Strategy

Eurocare welcomes the Eurobarometer Special Report on attitudes towards alcohol, released today by the European Commission, and hopes the survey will be repeated at regular intervals in order to, amongst other things, measure the success of the EU Alcohol Strategy in reducing the harm done by alcohol in Europe.

The low awareness among EU citizens of the permitted blood alcohol levels or the trend among the youngest respondents to drink 3- 4 drinks or more on any given drinking occasion, show that the EU has still a long way to go in this field.

Andrew McNeil, Honorary Secretary of Eurocare, the European Alcohol Policy Alliance, welcomed the findings in the report and said that “although the results of the survey show that there is still much work that needs to be done, there is also a considerable public support for tackling drink driving and underage drinking, which bodes well for the Commission Strategy”.

Around three quarters of EU citizens would agree with putting warnings on the containers of alcoholic beverages, introducing lower blood alcohol level for young drivers or banning alcohol advertising which targets young people. Banning the sale and serving of alcohol to people under the age of 18 was regarded as an important measure by 87% of the Europeans surveyed.


Decision Making and Binge Drinking: A Longitudinal Study

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
OnlineEarly Articles 31 March 2007

Behavioral decision making, as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is found to be diminished in individuals with substance dependence and other types of disinhibitory psychopathology. However, little is known regarding the relation between heavy alcohol use and decision-making skills in young adults. This study therefore investigated whether binge drinking is related to disadvantageous decision making, as measured by the IGT. We also examined the relation between decision making and impulsivity.

Although disadvantageous decision making is related to binge-drinking patterns in emerging adulthood, this relation is independent of impulsivity. Additionally, the association appears attributable to those who engage in heavy (binge) drinking at an early age, but not to age of onset of drinking in general.



The time has come to end glamourising alcohol sponsorship

THE woes of Ben Cousins and the West Coast Eagles have been dominating the headlines, and commentators from sports journalists to the Prime Minister have weighed in to condemn the use of illicit drugs by high-profile sports stars.

The AFL's so-called drug policy, which seems to be more about keeping drug problems under wraps than about enabling clubs to deal with wayward players, is in tatters and must surely be re-written. But illicit drug use is the tip of the iceberg.

For the AFL as for the rest of the community, a drug that causes far more problems for both sports stars and society does not attract the same level of concern from prime ministers, politicians and sporting administrators.

. . . .MORE


SAMHSA Launches 2007 Reach Out Now School Program to Curb Underage Drinking

March 29, 2007

SAMHSA Launches 2007 Reach Out Now School Program to Curb Underage Drinking

On the heels of the Surgeon General´s March 6 Call to Action to prevent and reduce underage drinking, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) has once again joined with Scholastic, the global children´s publishing, education and media company, to present its annual, nationwide in-school program designed to help parents and teachers educate kids about the dangers of alcohol use. The program, Reach Out Now: Start Talking Before They Start Drinking, is distributed by Scholastic and SAMSHA to nearly every fifth and sixth grade classroom nationwide, beginning this week.

. . . . MORE

Source: Daily Dose

Welcome to the Canadian Network of Substance Abuse and Allied Professionals, the first national website developed specifically for Canada’s substance abuse workforce.


Source: Daily Dose

The American Indian/Alaska Native National Resource Center for Substance Abuse

One Sky Center is the only National Resource Center for American Indians and Alaska Natives that is dedicated to improving prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental health across Indian Country. It was originally funded by a cooperative agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's three centers (Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse Treatment, and Mental Health Services).

Additional funding sources include CDC, SAMHSA, National Highway Traffic Safety, Private Foundations, anonymous donors, and McNeil pharmaceutical company.

If you or your organization would like to help support our services, please contact us.


Contributor: Don Phillips

Friday, March 30, 2007

eNewsletter - March 28, 2007

Faces & Voices of Recovery Board of Directors Call for Nominations: Deadline for nominations March 31! Faces & Voices board’s nominating committee is calling for nominations for seven board openings: four regional representatives and three At-Large members. The board will elect new members at its May 10, 2007 meeting. More…

Addiction Recovery Insurance Equity Campaign
The first Congressional hearing in eight years on a bill to address insurance discrimination faced by people seeking help with addiction and mental illness was held on March 27th by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. Take action today by sending an email to your member of Congress and asking them to support H.R. 1424, the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007! More…

Take Action! Critical FY 2008 Budget Deliberations Underway
The US House and Senate have started to work on the spending bills for fiscal year 2008, which begins on October 1, 2007. Ask your US Senators and Representative to increase funding for critical alcohol and other drug research, prevention, treatment and recovery programs, including the Recovery Community Services program and Recovery Month. More…

Addiction and Recovery: Communities Take Action! update
Over 15,000 people attended over 500 house parties around the country on March 17th as part of the recovery community’s effort to bring the power and reality of long-term recovery to HBO’s Addiction! Thanks to recovery advocates around the country and a special thanks to the many residents of Oxford Houses who invited family and community members to come, watch the show and discuss it. We’re going to post pictures and reports from events, but wanted to let you know about a few of the highlights. Email us with reports and highlights from your events!

Incredible organizing drew 1,100 people to a premiere at the Byrd Theatre in Richmond, VA organized by the McShin Foundation and successful premieres featuring people in long-term recovery and their families on panels with elected officials, addiction treatment providers and researchers were held in Seattle, WA (Alliance for Recovery); Portland, OR (Recovery Association Project); Denver, CO (Advocates for Recovery); Columbus, OH (Ohio Citizen Advocates); Pittsburgh, PA (Message Carriers) among many others! Stay tuned for advocacy updates following up on HBO’s Addiction. More…

Sign up for Faces & Voices’ Recovery Advocacy Webinar Series
Peer Recovery Support is the third in our four-part series of “webinars” where you will have the opportunity to listen and participate in exciting online, hour long recovery advocacy trainings. Tune in to find out what they are, how they work, why they’re important to long term recovery on Saturday, April 21st More…

Second Chance Act advances
The House Judiciary Committee passed out H.R. 1593, “The Second Chance Act of 2007,” advancing this important bill to the next stage – a vote before the full House. A companion Senate bill is expected to be introduced shortly. H.R. 1593, which almost made it through in the final week of the last Congress, would reauthorize and revise an existing program within the Department of Justice, providing money to states for reentry programs, creating a federal interagency task force to study and coordinate policy, commission a number of research projects including a study of barriers in federal policy to successful reentry, and authorize grants from the Justice Department directly to nonprofits for reentry program.

Legal Barriers to Offender Reentry” is the American Bar Association Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions’ national conference to discuss ways in which the legal system hinders successful reintegration of individuals with conviction records. April 30-May 1, 2007 in Chicago, Illinois.
Spirituality Increases as Alcoholics Recover is a new study from the University of Michigan Addiction Research Center which documents how spirituality changes during recovery from addiction to alcohol. More...
A Voice for Change: The Tayna Fogle Story” brings recovery advocate and People Advocating Recovery leader Tayna Fogle to YouTube.
Bill W. and Dr. Bob, A New Play. In 1929, famous New York stockbroker Bill Wilson crashes with the stock market and becomes a hopeless drunk. Dr. Bob Smith, a surgeon from Ohio, has also been an alcoholic for thirty years, often going into the operating room with a hangover. Through an astonishing series of events, Bill W. and Dr. Bob meet and form a relationship, each helping to keep the other sober. This is the amazing and often humorous story of the two men who pioneered Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as the story of their wives, who founded Al Anon. More...

UK Home Office News Release - Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Survey

29 March 2007

ALMOST half of young people aged between 11 and 15 have never had a proper alcoholic drink, six out of ten have never smoked and drug taking prevalence has dropped, according to a national school survey

The key findings of the survey are:

In 2006, 21 per cent drank alcohol in the previous week, dropping from 26 per cent in 2001. Almost half of the young people surveyed said they had never had a proper alcoholic drink.

The survey also found that in 2006, 61 per cent of pupils said they had never smoked. The proportion who have never smoked rose from 47 per cent in 1982 to 61 per cent in 2004 and has remained at a similar level since. This means the Government has continually met the target of reducing the numbers of young smokers to nine per cent by 2010, ahead of schedule for the past three years.

Drug taking prevalence among children is down from last year with 17 per cent admitting to taking drugs in the last year, down from 19 per cent in 2005. Nine per cent had taken drugs in the last month, also lower than the proportion who had done so in 2005. (11 per cent)

Four per cent said they usually took drugs once a month or more often, a decrease from six per cent in 2005.

Public Health Minister Caroline Flint has welcomed the many encouraging findings in the new survey which show inroads are being made in the fight against smoking, drug and alcohol misuse amongst young people, and has spoken of her commitment to continuing the work that still needs to be done to protect and help children.

Ms Flint said:

"This survey has revealed some very encouraging results. Six out of ten children have never smoked. Drug taking prevalence among children is down from last year. And the number of young people who have drunk alcohol in the last week, has dropped from 26 per cent in 2001 to 21 per cent in 2006.

"This demonstrates that our policies are having a real impact in terms of tackling substance misuse amongst young people.

"Despite these promising figures, we are not complacent - just one young person smoking or misusing alcohol or drugs is one too many.

"In terms of alcohol and young people it is vital that we make children aware of the sensible drinking message from an early age so that as adults, they will be responsible drinkers. We are raising this awareness through our high profile Know Your Limits responsible drinking campaign.

" We will help cut the numbers of young smokers through raising the minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 16 - 18 years old, which will come into effect from 1 October 2007. And on 1 July 2007 virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces will become smokefree. This will mean that not only will people be protected from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, it will also help denormalise smoking and make smoking less attractive to young people.

"We are committed to ensuring that progress is maintained and we are working closely with colleagues in the Home Office and DfES to ensure that we develop policies that best support the needs of young people."

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said;

"Today's results demonstrate the real impact of our unparalleled investment in work to reduce drug misuse by young people.

"This success is due to the Frank education campaign and the local professionals who work hard to divert young people from taking drugs through prevention, education, support and targeted intervention.

"However, the cost of drug misuse to people, families and communities cannot be underestimated. We are exploring how the future drug strategy can build on local success to tackle drugs and make communities even safer."

1. The stats are taken from the headline results of the Smoking Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England in 2006 survey, published by the Information Centre. This is an annual survey of secondary school pupils aged 11 - 15.

Source: Daily Dose

NEWS RELEASE - Debate Rekindled on the Two-Drinks-a-Day Road to Heart Health


First Appeared Thursday, 29 March '07

Debate Rekindled on the Two-Drinks-a-Day Road to Heart Health

By Kristen Bole

No one really wants to hear that alcohol isn’t good for us after all, which could be why scientists worldwide have convened on paper this month to debate a UCSF researcher’s study that debunks the popular notion.

UCSF School of Nursing Adjunct Professor Kaye Fillmore, PhD, led an international team on a meta-analytic study that found a common error in most significant studies connecting moderate alcohol consumption to healthy hearts. The study was published last year in Addiction Research and Theory, a bimonthly medical journal in England.

Now, eight independent scientists have filed their responses to the Fillmore study in the March 29 issue of Addiction Research and Theory, with further response from Fillmore, creating what journal editor Derek Heim said “may well constitute the most complete critical discussion of the protective effect [of alcohol] to date.”

Three of those researchers donned their boxing gloves, taking issue with Fillmore’s inclusions, exclusions or conclusions in the research, including which studies were considered flawed or were chosen for the analysis. Yet the majority agreed that most previous studies had included the same error.

The error, according to the 2006 study, was in counting among “abstainers” the people who had given up alcohol for health reasons. That inclusion skewed the health profile of the abstainer group, Fillmore said, making moderate alcohol drinkers look healthier.

The story generated huge interest, not only among media mavens, but also in the halls of the alcohol industry, which has supported past research substantiating the heart-health link.

“It’s probably the most ferocious debate in medical epidemiology right now, because we really hit the alcohol industry below the belt,” said Fillmore, who admitted she personally enjoys a drink, but said she does it for pleasure, not for her heart. “This was a tremendous threat to the industry.”

Other researchers on Fillmore’s team included William Kerr, PhD, Alcohol Research Group, USA; Tim Stockwell, PhD, University of Victoria, Canada; Tanya Chikritzhs, PhD, Curtin University, Australia; and Alan Bostrom, PhD, University of California, San Francisco.

One of the authors currently contesting the Fillmore study, Arthur Klatsky, MD, from the Division of Research at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, cited his own eight-year study of 128,934 Kaiser patients. The study, which Klatsky had led, was included by the Fillmore study in the group that contained flaws.

While Klatsky contested inclusion in the flawed group, citing precise questions in his study that had separated ex-drinkers from lifelong abstainers, his conclusion actually bolstered Fillmore’s case. His study, Klatsky wrote, found that ex-drinkers do have increased risk and should be separated from lifelong abstainers. Infrequent drinkers (those who have less than one drink per month), he said, were shown to have the same risk as abstainers.

Fillmore, whose team also published a response to the responses in the current journal, said her original paper drew international recognition precisely because so many physicians have started prescribing alcohol to prevent heart disease. That’s especially true in developing countries, where medications aren’t readily available to most people, but where alcohol — commercial or homemade — is both ubiquitous and cheap.

“The bottom line is, nobody knows what alcohol’s effect is on our hearts, because these studies are so difficult to construct to eliminate error,” Fillmore said. “We do know that it is associated with a huge number of other killers, from cirrhosis to cancer to car accidents.”

Her hope is that governments and physicians alike will at least think twice about prescribing the two- or three-drinks-a-day “medicine,” especially for those on medications that might interact with alcohol.

“That’s just dangerous. And for older people, whose tolerance to alcohol has decreased, you’re going to have a lot of broken hips from falls, or car accidents,” she said. “Why risk that, when it would be just as easy to tell them to take an aspirin a day?”

Source: Kaye Fillmore


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Social and Behavioral Characteristics of Young Adult Drink/Drivers Adjusted for Level of Alcohol Use

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 31 (4), 655–664.

Alcohol consumption and drink/driving are positively correlated and many predictors of alcohol use also predict drink/driving. Past research has not fully distinguished the contributions of personal risk factors from the level of alcohol use in the prediction of drink/driving. As a result, the extent to which predictors are specific to drink/driving, versus due to a mutual association to alcohol use, is unclear.

Lower perceived risk of drink/driving, greater social support for drinking and drink/driving, greater aggression and delinquency, more cigarette smoking, and more risky driving behaviors uniquely predicted drink/driving severity in models adjusted for alcohol use. The largest ARs were associated with social support for drinking and drink/driving and perceived risk of drink/driving.

These results confirm that alcohol use and drink/driving share risk factors, but also indicate that part of the variation in these factors is specific to drink/driving. Implications for interventions to reduce drink/driving are discussed.


An alcoholic nation

By Lauren Escher / The New Presence
Republished with permission, 29 March 2007

The Good Soldier Švejk (The protagonist of Czech author Jaroslav Hašek's novel) once famously noted that any government that raises the price of beer is destined to collapse within one year. It is a superstition that even totalitarian governments dared not forget. Today's Czech authorities appear to be no different.

In November 2006, both the Czech Republic and Germany blocked the passage of a proposed 31% increase in the minimum EU duty on beer and spirits. This would have added 1 cent to the price of a half liter (17 fluid ounces) of beer. According to Vlastimil Tlustý, the current Czech Finance Minister speaking in Brussels at a press conference on 28th November 2006, "We Czechs believe that beer is a part of food. We cannot agree that such a typical Czech product be put at a disadvantage."


Source: Robin G. W. Room KBS-LIST
Alcoholics Anonymous G.S.O. Archives

Spring 2007

Vol 27 No. 1

  • Nell Wing,A.A.’s First Archivist, Dies at 89
  • Celebrating 60 Years of Alcoholics Anonymous in South Africa
  • How A.A. Made Its Way to Santa Fe, and What Happened Then
  • Found: Burial Place of Florence R., One of First Women Sober in A.A.
  • Now Available from G.S.O.Archives: Oral Histories Kit and Collection Policy

Investigating Gender Differences in Alcohol Problems: A Latent Trait Modeling Approach

Online Early Articles
26 March2007

Inconsistent results have been found in research investigating gender differences in alcohol problems. Previous studies of gender differences used a wide range of methodological techniques, as well as limited assortments of alcohol problems.

A latent trait modeling technique was used to evaluate gender differences in the probability of endorsement at the problem level and for the overall 105-problem scale.

Significant gender differences were found in approximately one-third of the symptoms assessed and in the overall scale.

Further examination of the nature of gender differences in alcohol problem symptoms should be undertaken to investigate whether a gender-neutral scale should be created or if men and women should be assessed with separate criteria for alcohol dependence and abuse.


SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence
Monthly Update

What’s New From the SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence
Funding Announcement For Camps For British Columbian Kids and Helpers
$6 Million in Drug Free Communities Support Program Grants Available
The Moran Family Foundation Call for Proposals
Medica Foundation Call for Letters of Inquiry

The SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence has a new resource from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) available on both the FASD Center for Excellence and ACOG Web sites. The publication is Drinking and Reproductive Health: A Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Prevention Tool Kit. The publication can be accessed in the What’s New section of the FASD Center's Web site at or ACOG’s Web site at

A recent article published by the Langley Times announced that a $250,000 grant was awarded to ensure that British Columbian children, parents, and professionals of the Whitecrow Village Society who live and work with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders can attend training and recreation camps. Attached is the full Langley Times article.

The Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has announced the availability of $6 million in funds for new FY 2007 Drug Free Communities Support Program grants. The application deadline is April 17, 2007. For more information, go to the Web site at

The Moran Family Foundation is currently accepting proposals from groups to develop programs that promote healthy development of children and families at risk of poverty. Only 501(c) 3 nonprofit groups in the District of Columbia or Northern Virginia (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, and Falls Church counties) may apply and their annual budget must be $1.5 million or less. The foundation will fund innovative pilot programs that are being launched or expanded. For more details, go to The Moran Family Foundation Web site at For specific questions, e-mail

The Medica Foundation will be accepting letters of inquiry for the foundation’s Healthy Living for Children and Partnership for Prevention grants between June 1 and June 22, 2007. For more information, go to the Medica Foundation Web site at

Contributor: Peggy Seo Oba

Alcohol and head and neck cancer risk in a prospective study

British Journal of Cancer
advance online publication 27 March 2007;

We investigated the relation between head and neck cancer risk and alcohol consumption in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.

Among male and female alcohol drinkers, we observed a significant dose-response relationship between alcohol consumption and risk.

In summary, drinking >3 alcoholic beverages per day was associated with increased risk in men and women, but consumption of up to one drink per day may be associated with reduced risk relative to non-drinking.



Beta-Subunits Are Important Modulators of the Acute Response to Alcohol in Human BK Channels

Online Early Articles
28 March 2007

The BK channel (a Ca2+-activated potassium ion channel encoded by the slo gene) has been defined as a target of alcohol action in a number of preparations, possibly serving as primary mediator of intoxication in the Caenorhabditis elegans model system.

Our data reinforce the idea that, as in other systems, BK may play a major role in alcohol's actions in humans, and highlight the potential role of channel subunit composition in the response to alcohol.



Chronic Ethanol Exposure During Adolescence Increases Basal Dopamine in the Nucleus Accumbens Septi During Adulthood

Online Early Articles
28 March 2007

In humans, adolescent exposure to alcohol is associated with the onset of adult alcohol dependency and suggests that early use potentiates vulnerability to addiction.

The aim of the present study was to address whether chronic ethanol exposure during adolescence would alter nucleus accumbens septi (NAcc) dopamine (DA) levels in the adult brain.

Together these findings suggest that changes in extracellular DA may be an underlying physiological mechanism in adolescent vulnerability to the rewarding properties of ethanol.


Joint Impacts of Minimum Legal Drinking Age and Beer Taxes on US Youth Traffic Fatalities, 1975 to 2001

Online Early Articles
28 March 2997

There is a considerable body of prior research indicating that a number of public policies that limit alcohol availability affect youth traffic fatalities. These limitations can be economic (e.g., beverage taxation), physical (e.g., numbers or operating hours of alcohol outlets), or demographic (e.g., minimum legal drinking age).

This study tested one prediction of this model, namely that the impact from changing one availability-related cost depends on the level of other components of full cost.

The analyses showed that raising either MLDA or beer taxes in isolation led to fewer youth traffic fatalities. As expected, a given change in MLDA causes a larger proportional change in fatalities when beer taxes are low than when they are high.

These findings suggest that a community's expected benefit from a proposed limitation on alcohol availability depends on its current regulatory environment. Specifically, communities with relatively strong existing policies might expect smaller impacts than suggested by prior research, while places with weak current regulations might expect larger benefits from the same policy initiative.


Antisocial Behavioral Syndromes and DSM-IV Alcohol Use Disorders: Results From the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

Online Early Articles
28 March 2007

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), syndromal adult antisocial behavior (AABS) without conduct disorder (CD) before age 15, and CD without progression to ASPD ("CD only") are highly prevalent among adults with alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Among patients in AUD treatment, antisocial behavioral syndromes are associated with more severe AUDs and poorer treatment outcomes.

Comparative data concerning associations of antisocial syndromes with clinical characteristics of AUDs and the sociodemographic and clinical correlates of these syndromes among general population adults with AUDs have not previously been available.

This study examines prevalences and correlates of antisocial syndromes among adults with lifetime Diagnostic and Statistical Manual—Version IV (DSM-IV) AUDs, and describes associations of these syndromes with clinical characteristics of AUDs, in the general U.S. population.

Antisocial syndromes, particularly ASPD, appear to identify a more pernicious clinical profile of AUDs among adults in the general U.S. population.




Alcohol use self-assessment: Rate your drinking habits

Answer a few questions to learn more about your alcohol use, understand possible risks and explore solutions for drinking problems.



Heavy Drinking and Drug Use Linked to Higher Rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Young Adults

Contact Media Services: (240) 276-2130

SAMHSA News Bulletin

Date: 3/29/2007
Media Contact: SAMHSA Press Office
Telephone: 240-276-2130

Heavy drinking is linked to higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases among young adults, according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Combined drug and alcohol use were associated with even higher STD rates.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Substance Use, based on data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2005, showed that 3.1 percent of past month heavy drinkers ages 18 to 25 had an STD in the previous year, compared with 1.4 percent of young adults who did not drink in the past month.

. . . .



Swaziland: Govt Attempts to Check Drinking

March 27, 2007
Posted to the web March 27, 2007

Recognising excessive alcohol consumption as an economic and social problem, the Swazi government has decided to regulate the distribution of drinks containing alcohol.

A draft National Liquor Policy prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors, discourages alcohol consumption in the workplace, and calls for a public education policy focusing on the damage caused by drunkenness. Until now there has been no age restriction on drinking. Swaziland's first attempt to check alcohol consumption is likely to come into effect in 2008.
The policy underlines the need for action against drunkenness associated with violence against women and children, a rising number of road accidents, unemployment, and accelerating the spread of HIV/AIDS. Two-thirds of the country's roughly 1 million people live on US$2 or less a day, and the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS has reached 34.2 percent among those aged 15 to 49, the highest in the world.

. . . .



Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Smoking, Hypertension, Alcohol Consumption, and Risk of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm in Men

American Journal of Epidemiology 2007 165(7):838-845;

Despite the known protective association between moderate alcohol consumption and ischemic heart disease, little is known about the effects of alcohol consumption on abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA).

After adjustment for other risk factors for AAA, including smoking, hypertension, and body mass index, alcohol consumption at baseline was independently associated with AAA diagnosis (p for trend = 0.03), with a maximum hazard ratio of 1.21 (95% confidence interval: 0.78, 1.87) for ≥30.0 g (approximately ≥2 standard drinks) of daily alcohol consumption.

This association was stronger when the updated alcohol consumption data were assessed rather than simply baseline exposure (p for trend = 0.02); the hazard ratio for the highest level of intake (≥30.0 g/day) was 1.65 (95% confidence interval: 1.03, 2.64).




Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the January-September 2006 National Health Interview Survey

(Released 3/28/2007)

9. Alcohol consumption (PDF)

bullet graphicFigure 9.1. Percentage of adults aged 18 years and over who had 5 or more drinks in 1 day at least once in the past year: United States, 1997-September 2006

bullet graphicFigure 9.2. Percentage of adults aged 18 years and over who had 5 or more drinks in 1 day at least once in the past year, by age group and sex: United States, January-September 2006

bullet graphicFigure 9.3. Age-sex-adjusted percentage of adults aged 18 years and over who had 5 or more drinks in 1 day at least once in the past year, by race/ethnicity: United States, January-September 2006

bullet graphicData tables for Figures 9.1-9.3


Seeking the Connections:
Alcoholism and Our Genes

April 2007 issue

Identifying genetic influences on vulnerability to alcohol addiction can lead to more targeted treatments and help those at risk to make informed choices about their own lives

By John I. Nurnberger, Jr., and Laura Jean Bierut

The tendency to become dependent on alcohol has long been known to run in families, which for some only added to the social stigma attached to this complicated condition. But to scientists, that apparent heritability suggested that some genetic component underlying vulnerability to alcohol problems was being transmitted from generation to generation.

With rapid advances over the past 10 years in technologies for discovering and analyzing the functions of genes, researchers are now increasingly able to get at the biological roots of complex disorders such as substance abuse and addiction. The power to examine patterns of inheritance in large populations, and to survey hundreds of thousands of tiny variations in the genomes of each of those individuals, enables investigators to pinpoint specific genes that exert strong or subtle influences on a person's physiology and his or her resulting risk for disease.


Contributor: Albert Pawlowski

Press Release - Launch of two new Reports by the Joint Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

Cecilia Keaveney T.D., Chairperson, Joint Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs today, 27th March 2007, launched her Committee’s Twelfth and Thirteenth Reports –

"Drug Abuse in Ireland – A Waterford Perspective" and "The Relationship Between Alcohol Misuse and the Drinks Industry Sponsorship of Sporting Activities".

Deputy Keaveney paid tribute to Deputy Brian O’Shea and Deputy James Breen who were charged with the task of doing the basic research for the two Reports.

With regard to the drug abuse in Waterford report Deputy Keaveney pointed out that the Joint Committee had done a lot of work on the subject of drug abuse at a national level but this latest Report shows how serious the problem is outside the capital and the case histories in it demonstrate how grubby and grimy and often fatal the drugs trade is. A series of recommendations are made including enabling the Criminal Assets Bureau to seize pubs and clubs where drugs are traded and consumed. There is also a proposal to separate the methadone clinics for those who are drug free from those provided for continuing abusers.

The Joint Committee also strongly recommends the proper funding of the Mental Health Services which deal with much of the fall-out from both drug and alcohol abuse. Deputy Keaveney made the point that if we can spend some €700 million on sporting facilities surely we can provide services in an area such as mental health which can affect as many as 1 in 4 of our population.

The Report on the relationship between alcohol misuse and the drinks industry sponsorship of sporting activities shows the upward curve in alcohol consumption parallel to the rise of sponsorship of sport.

Deputy Keaveney concedes that this is yet another report highlighting alcohol abuse to add to the many previous studies and asks the question as to when we as a nation will come to accept that we are in a national collective state of denial when it comes to alcohol and this is why the principal recommendation of the Report calls on the Government to acknowledge the extent of the problem of alcohol abuse in the country and the underlying role that the sponsorship and promotion of alcohol plays in it or have we reached a position where regular alcohol consumption by teenagers is almost regarded as being the norm?

Further information:

Deputy Cecilia Keaveney
Ph: 01 6183552
Ph: 074 9385618

Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas, Leinster House, Dublin 2. Ph: + 353 1 618 3000

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Policy Issues for California Wineries in 2007

This Issues & Trends newsletter summarizes some of
the important issues in the public policy arena that
will have an impact on wine sales this year. The content
is based on remarks given by Wine Institute President
and CEO Robert P. (Bobby) Koch at this year’s Unified
Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento.

Excise Tax/Fees
The year following elections is typically the most dangerous
for potential tax increases--federal excise taxes and
excise taxes in California and other states. . . . . (READ MORE)

Code Compliance Review Board 2006 Annual Report

The Code Compliance Review Board (CCRB) has been established to review concerns from the public that a brewer’s advertisements or marketing materials are inconsistent with the Beer Institute Advertising and Marketing Code, and that attempts to resolve those concerns directly with the responsible brewer have been unsuccessful.
CCRB Annual Report (Full Report)
Click to View

CCRB Annual Report

Genetic influences on bipolar EEG power spectra

International Journal of Psychophysiology
Article in Press, Corrected Proof

The EEG bipolar power spectra provide more localization than spectral measures obtained from monopolar referencing strategies, and have been shown to be useful endophenotypes of psychiatric disorders such as alcoholism.

Our results suggest that substantial proportions of the variability in the bipolar EEG measures are explained by genetic factors.


Alcohol Treatment Guide

Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2007;297:1307

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has released an updated guide, Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much: A Clinician's Guide, for physicians treating patients with alcohol problems (

For the first time, the publication includes instructions for primary care physicians and nurses who wish to provide medication-based therapy to patients with alcohol dependence. According to the agency, such treatment is crucial because many patients lack access to specialty treatment or refuse such care.

Other new features include a handout that describes strategies to help patients reduce their drinking or to quit, a Web page with resources for clinicians and patients, and information about the recently approved monthly injectable version of naltrexone.