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, May 12, 2007

Evidence-based strategies and interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm

Provisional agenda item 12.7 5 April 2007

Report by the Secretariat

1. Resolution WHA58.26, on public-health problems caused by harmful use of alcohol, requested the Director-General, inter alia, to report to the Sixtieth World Health Assembly on evidence-based strategies and interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm, including a comprehensive assessment of public-health problems caused by harmful use of alcohol. The resolution also requested, without giving a time limit, the Director-General to draw up recommendations for effective policies and interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm.
. . . . .

Global assessment of public-health problems caused by harmful use of alcohol (Addendum)

Rehab centres can't handle binge drinking boom

Jill Stark

May 12, 2007

WAITING lists for drug and alcohol treatment facilities are blowing out as the rate of problem drinking increases, leaving huge, unmet demand.

Some residential rehabilitation programs have been forced to close their books to clear the backlog, while others have up to 100 people waiting for treatment.

With binge drinking on the rise, addiction specialists have warned the system will not cope unless more funding is provided.

. . . . . Read Full Article


Amount of alcohol consumption and risk of developing alcoholism in men and women
Alcohol and Alcoholism Advance Access published online on May 9, 2007

It is generally accepted, but not yet documented that the risk of future alcoholism increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.

The objective of this study was to investigate this association using the Copenhagen City Heart Study.

The risk of developing alcoholism increased significantly by very low intakes of alcohol in women, while the risk is only increased significantly in men consuming more than 21 drinks per week.




Draft Dissertation: The Prohibition Option: Transnational Temperance and National Policymaking in Russia, Sweden and the United States

Mark Lawrence Schrad April 18, 2007

". . . . In the end, alcohol prohibition turned-out to be a bad policy idea. Yet even ill-advised policies have the potential to tell us much about how governments make policy decisions. While we would like to think that politicians learn from the mistakes of the past, today it seems unavoidable that leaders make, and will continue to make ill-informed and misguided policy choices. . . . ."

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Ideas, Institutions and Political Change

Chapter 3: Network Lifecycles: The Rise and Fall of Transnational Temperance

Case Studies

Chapter 4: American Prohibition Reconsidered

Chapter 5: Prohibition Averted: The Case of Sweden

Chapter 6: The Surprising Rise and Tenacity of Russian Prohibition


Chapter 7: International Influences on National Policymaking

Chapter 8: Conclusions: Transnational Activism and National Policymaking

Appendix A: International Temperance Conventions

Appendix B: Data Sources

Appendix C: The Gothenburg Option

Appendix D: Correspondence: George Kennan to Frances Willard

Archival sources

*All chapters are draft versions, some more rough than others. Please do not cite without permission, though comments are most welcome.

Source: Robin G W Room

Friday, May 11, 2007

Press Release: "Pocket Shot Introduces New Packaging Category For the Alcohol Industry"

(866) 587-6360
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San Jose, CA – Pocket Shot announced that distribution of the unique new single serve alcohol product in a flexible stand up pouch has begun in California.

Pocket Shot is an innovative new concept that provides the consumer with “grab and go” convenient and user-friendly package for alcoholic beverages. Packaged with a distinctive shape to resemble a miniature bottle complete with bottleneck for easy pouring and a high quality sheen with bright graphics, Pocket Shot is truly the first new concept in alcohol packaging to hit shelves in North America.

Each Pocket Shot comes in a 50 ml single serve flexible stand-up pouch containing 80 proof varietals including:

• Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged Four Years
• Imported Caribbean Gold Rum
• Premium, Triple Distilled Vodka
• London Dry Gin
• Especial Gold Tequila Imported from Mexico

The Development and Initial Validation of the Identification of Alcohol Dependence in Women Scale
The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Volume 33, Issue 2 March 2007 , pages 333 - 340

The purpose of this research was to develop the Identification of Alcohol Dependence in Women (IADW) Scale, which is a 51-question instrument, designed to discriminate between alcohol and non-alcohol dependent women.

Initial testing of the IADW Scale provides preliminary evidence that it is reliable, has content validity, and is capable of correctly classifying group membership with accuracy.

Eighty-six percent of the cases in the alcohol dependent group and 98% of the non-alcohol dependent group were correctly classified using direct and stepwise methods of discriminant analysis.

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Comparison of Health Realization and 12-Step Treatment in Women's Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Programs
The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Volume 33, Issue 2 March 2007 , pages 207 - 215

The purpose of this study was to compare a relatively new therapeutic option for substance abuse treatment, Health Realization, and 12-Step approaches offered in women's residential programs.

This study constitutes the first systematic evaluation of Health Realization as a substance abuse treatment program for adult women in a residential treatment setting.

The results showed that clients in both Health Realization and 12-Step treatment exhibited comparable outcomes on domains such as substance use, criminal justice involvement, employment, housing, adverse effects of substance use and psychological well being.

Substance use declined significantly between admission and follow-up in both treatment groups, irrespective of duration of treatment. Similarly, adverse effects of substance use declined between admission and 9-month follow-up.

Health Realization and 12-Step treatment offered comparable benefits for women in residential substance abuse treatment programs.

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Alcohol at home can cut teenage binge drinking, study says

Polly Curtis, health correspondent
Friday May 11, 2007
The Guardian

Teenagers who drink alcohol with their parents are less likely to binge drink, according to a survey of 10,000 children which backs the continental style of introducing teenagers to small amounts of alcohol early.

Parents who do not want their children drinking behind their backs should limit their pocket money to less than £10 a week, says the study, carried out by academics and trading standards officers.


Polly Curtis, health correspondent
Friday May 11, 2007
The Guardian

Teenagers who drink alcohol with their parents are less likely to binge drink, according to a survey of 10,000 children which backs the continental style of introducing teenagers to small amounts of alcohol early.

Parents who do not want their children drinking behind their backs should limit their pocket money to less than £10 a week, says the study, carried out by academics and trading standards officers.

Predictors of risky alcohol consumption in schoolchildren and their implications for preventing alcohol-related harm
Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 2007, 2:15

Youth drinking patterns, including bingeing, frequent drinking and drinking in public spaces, are associated with increased risks of acute (e.g. violence) and long-term (e.g. alcohol-dependence) health problems.

Here we examine economic, behavioural and demographic factors that predict these risky drinking behaviours among 15-16 year old schoolchildren.

Binge, frequent and public drinking were strongly related to expendable income and to individuals buying their own alcohol. Obtaining alcohol from friends, older siblings and adults outside shops were also predictors of risky drinking amongst drinkers.

However, being bought alcohol by parents was associated with both lower bingeing and drinking in public places. Membership of youth groups/teams was in general protective despite some association with bingeing.

By examining factors associated with such drinking, here we have identified eradicating underage alcohol sales and increasing understanding of childrens spending as important considerations in reducing risky alcohol use.



Thursday, May 10, 2007

Eurocare Newsletter

January - April 2007 (PDF)

  • News from the European Union
  • News from the Members States
  • Events

European Parliament – Brussels
Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Full Programme and presentations

Key aspects of the EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol related harm
Keynote speaker: Commissioner Markos Kyprianou, DG Health

The impact of Alcohol in Europe
Dr Peter Anderson - International Public Health Consultant. Co-author of the Report for the Commission “Alcohol in Europe: A Public Health Perspective”

WHO initiatives to reduce alcohol related harm
Dag Rekve – World Health Organization, Geneva

Eurocare recommendations for effective action to reduce the burden of alcohol problems
Ms. Tiziana Codenotti, Vice Chairman, Eurocare

Is the industry really willing to cooperate to curb underage drinking? - Marketing of alcohol to young people
Ms. Monique Kuunders. Policy Adviser. National Foundation for Alcohol Prevention. STAP. The Netherlands.

Personal Testimony: The lives behind the statistics
Ms. Diane Black, adoptive mother of three children with fetal alcohol syndrome, mother of a child killed by a drunk driver, sister to an alcoholic man.

Relevant documents:

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

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

You can also see photographs from the Seminar.

For more information about the seminar, you can contact

SAMHSA Launches New Web Page for Veterans and Their Families

Hosts Forum on Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service Needs for Veterans

A new section of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Web site at has been launched for veterans and their families. The Web site provides critical information on prevention, treatment and recovery support for mental and substance use disorders.

Publications, fact sheets, and links to relevant agencies are provided along with information on SAMHSA-funded programs, agency activities, and training and technical assistance opportunities. Individuals seeking substance use and mental health services can easily find information about local programs by using SAMHSA’s treatment facility locator.

Also today, SAMHSA convened a meeting with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and veterans service organizations to better understand the needs and to identify ways local community-based substance abuse and mental health service organizations can best be prepared to assist veterans and their families. The discussion will help inform the development of guidance materials for states, local communities, and providers to ensure a coordinated approach to providing mental health and substance use services.

For more information, please visit Resources for Returning Veterans and Their Families at .


Surveillance of Certain Health Behaviors Among States and Selected Local Areas --- United States, 2005

Surveillance Summaries
May 11, 2007 / 56(SS04);1-160

Alcohol Consumption

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking was defined as having five or more drinks on at least one occasion during the preceding month.

In 2005, the estimated prevalence of binge drinking among adults by state/territory ranged from 8.3% (CI = 7.2%--9.4%) in Utah to 22.1% (CI = 20.5%--23.7%) in Wisconsin (median: 14.4%) (Table 16).

Among selected MMSAs, the prevalence of binge drinking ranged from 3.0% (CI = 1.0%--5.0%) in Provo-Orem, Utah, to 20.3% (CI = 16.3%--24.3%) Lincoln, Nebraska (median: 14.1%) (Table 17); among counties, the prevalence ranged from 2.9% (CI = 0.9%-- 4.9%) in Utah county, Utah, to 26.0% (CI = 21.2%--30.8%) in Denver County, Colorado (median: 14.1%) (Table 18).

Heavy Drinking

At risk for heavy drinking was defined as an average of two or more drinks per day during the preceding month for men and an average of more than one drink per day during the preceding month for women.

In 2005, the prevalence of adults who were at risk for heavy drinking by state/territory ranged from 2.7% (CI = 2.0%--3.4%) in Kentucky to 7.5% (CI = 6.5%--9.5%) in Wisconsin (median: 4.9%) (Table 19).

Among the MMSAs, the prevalence of adults who were at risk for heavy drinking ranged from 1.7% (CI = 0.5%--2.9%) in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, to 10.0% (CI = 7.8%--12.2%) in Reno-Sparks, Nevada (median: 4.8%) (Table 20); among counties, the prevalence ranged from 1.5% (CI = 0.2%--2.8%) in Tooele County, Utah, to 10.1% (CI = 5.2%--15.0%) in Travis County, Texas (median: 4.8%) (Table 21).

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European Commission and WHO/Europe boost cooperation for health


Brussels and Copenhagen, 28 March 2007

Contracts for seven new joint projects were signed today in Brussels by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO) and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe).

The jointly funded projects will be implemented by WHO/Europe over a period of three years.

They cover European health policy priorities on environment and health, injuries, equity in health, health security, health services, alcohol and emergency medical services. The overall budget of the package is €4,232,963. The European Union's Public Health Programme will cove 60% of the cost.

Read Full EC/WHO Statement (PDF)


Backgrounder Topic Area No. 6 Alcohol-related Harm

This project aims to boost those actions where the work of the two partners complement each other and add value.

The European Alcohol Information System will be updated and expanded to ensure compatibility between databases.

Tools will be developed to determine the social and economic cost of alcohol.

Based on evidence, guidelines will be developed for countries to use when making national plans on alcohol.

Read Full Backgrounder (PDF)
Commission grants €2.5 million to WHO for seven projects under Public Health Programme

Health & Consumer Voice - April 2007 Edition

The European Commission and the World Health Organisation (WHO) signed contracts on 28 March for seven new joint projects worth a total of €4,242,963, 60% of which is funded by the Commission’s Public Health Programme.

The contracts cover EU health policy priorities on environment and health, injuries, equity in health, health security, health services, alcohol and emergency services.

The projects will be implemented by WHO Europe over the next three years.

The seven projects will aim to benefit EU citizens by advancing health policy knowledge in important areas, including alcohol-related harm, injury prevention and disparities in health systems performance. They will also benefit non-EU citizens by assessing health crisis preparedness plans in neighbouring countries.

With contributions totalling $102million (over €75million) in 2006, the Commission is the third largest extra-budgetary contributor to WHO.

Length of Stay for Outpatient Discharges Completing Treatment: 2004

Increased length of stay in substance abuse treatment has been associated with improved outcomes. Data from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) have shown that those who completed treatment have a longer length of stay than those who left treatment for other reasons (i.e., transfer, termination by the facility, left against professional advice, incarceration, or death). TEDS is an annual compilation of data on the demographic characteristics and substance abuse problems of those admitted to substance abuse treatment, primarily at facilities that receive some public funding.

This report examines the median length of stay for outpatient clients who completed treatment in 2004.

  • Outpatient treatment completers who reported stimulants as their primary substance of abuse had the longest median length of stay (137 days)

  • The median length of stay among outpatient treatment completers in 2004 was longest among Hispanic discharges (126 days) and shortest among American Indians/Alaska Natives (84 days)

  • Clients referred to treatment through the criminal justice system had a longer median length of stay (107 days) than clients referred through other sources


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

News Release: No alcohol in pregnancy is the safest choice

8 May 2007

Women should not drink alcohol while pregnant or planning to become pregnant, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians was told today in Melbourne.

Professor Elizabeth Elliott, from the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: "No alcohol in pregnancy is the safest choice, particularly in the absence of clear cut guidelines."

. . . . . Read Full News Release

Contributor: Peggy Seo Oba
News Release: CSPI Tracks Beer Money in Congress

May 8.2007
Industry Seeks Roll Back of Beer Taxes

Alcohol Policy Brief: CSPI is maintaining an updated list of members of the House of Representatives who are co-sponsoring the “beer tax rollback bill” in the 110th Congress, along with a tally of the contributions each has received in the 2005-2006 election cycle from the two biggest beer-industry donors, the National Beer Wholesalers Association and Anheuser-Busch.


Differences in delta- and mu-Opioid Receptor Blockade Measured by Positron Emission Tomography in Naltrexone-Treated Recently Abstinent Alcohol-Dependent Subjects
Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication 9 May 2007

Blockade of brain mu-opioid receptor (mu-OR) and delta-opioid receptor (delta-OR) was investigated in recently abstinent alcohol-dependent subjects (N=21) maintained on naltrexone.

The FDA recommended therapeutic dose of naltrexone was sufficient to produce near complete inhibition of the mu-OR in recently abstinent alcohol dependent subjects.

The lower percent inhibition of delta-OR and greater variability in delta-OR blockade by naltrexone across subjects may contribute to individual differences in treatment outcomes to naltrexone.

Further investigations on the relationship between individual differences in delta-OR blockade by naltrexone and clinical outcomes should be explored.

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Increased Leptin Permeation across the Blood–Brain Barrier after Chronic Alcohol Ingestion
Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication 9 May 2007

Leptin, a polypeptide mainly produced in the periphery, crosses the blood–brain barrier (BBB) by receptor-mediated transport to exert multiple central nervous system actions including decreased food intake. The reciprocal interactions between leptin transport and alcohol drinking are not clear.

In this study, we tested whether alcohol increases leptin entry into brain and, if this occurs, whether it is a consequence of a generalized increase in the permeability of the BBB.

The results showing increased leptin permeation across the BBB lead to the speculation that leptin may serve as a homeostatic feeding signal in these mice.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A review of policies on alcohol use during pregnancy in Australia and other English-speaking countries, 2006

  • It is well accepted that heavy alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a risk factor for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, but research findings for exposure to low to moderate alcohol levels during pregnancy are equivocal, allowing a range of interpretations.

  • The 2001 guideline from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for low-risk drinking for “women who are pregnant or might soon become pregnant” recommends fewer than seven standard drinks per week, and no more than two standard drinks on any one day. This position has polarised health professional and consumer opinion in Australia.

  • The NHMRC guidelines on alcohol are scheduled for review in 2007. We surveyed the alcohol and pregnancy policies and clinical practice guidelines of Australia and six other English-speaking countries to identify current policy. Documents were obtained through Internet searches and direct contact with the relevant organisations.

  • The policies and guidelines varied both across and within countries, and the NHMRC guideline, while not universally supported in Australia, is in step with the policies of the United Kingdom and Canada.

  • Research is needed to elucidate the true association between low to moderate alcohol consumption and fetal harm, the impact of different policies on rates of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy, and any untoward outcomes of an abstinence message, to inform and underpin future policy development in Australia.


Monday, May 7, 2007

Effects of Ethanol on Midbrain Neurons: Role of Opioid Receptors

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (OnlineEarly Articles). 3 May 2007

Although ethanol addiction is believed to be mediated by the mesolimbic dopamine system, originating from the ventral tegmental area (VTA), how acute ethanol increases the activity of VTA dopaminergic (DA) neurons remains unclear.

Ethanol excites VTA DA neurons at least partly by increasing ongoing opioid-mediated suppression of local GABAergic inhibition. This indirect mechanism may contribute significantly to the positively reinforcing properties of ethanol.


Brain Activation Elicited by Affectively Positive Stimuli Is Associated With a Lower Risk of Relapse in Detoxified Alcoholic Subjects

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (OnlineEarly Articles). 4 May 2007

Stimuli that are regularly associated with alcohol intake (AI) may acquire incentive salience, while other reinforcers can be devalued. We assessed whether brain activation elicited by (1) alcohol associated, (2) affectively positive, and (3) negative versus neutral stimuli is associated with the subsequent risk of relapse.

In this study, brain activation elicited by briefly presented alcohol-associated stimuli was not associated with the prospective risk of relapse. Unexpectedly, alcoholic subjects displayed increased limbic brain activation during the presentation of affectively positive but not negative stimuli, which may reflect a protective factor in detoxified alcoholic subjects.




National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Summary of Meeting
September 20-21, 2006

Call to Order of the Closed Session, September 20, 2006

Call to Order of the Open Session and Introductions, September 21, 2006

Director's Report

Staff Updates on Initiatives
  • Underage Drinking Research Team
  • Centers and Training Team
Stress, Genes, and Addiction: Recent Developments in Mouse Behavioral Models

Extramural Advisory Board Report Update: Mechanisms of Alcohol Addiction (Neuroscience)

Results of the COMBINE Study: Combining Medications and Behavioral Interventions in Treating Alcohol Dependence

Council Member Round Table

Consideration of the June 2006 Minutes and Future Meeting Dates



Current Issue: May-June 2007

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National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and AlcoholismNational Institute on Drug Abuse Boston Medical Center Boston University Medical Campus