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.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Call for higher alcohol taxes

Friday July 20, 200

Tax rises on alcohol should be imposed in order to reduce the damage caused to health, Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson suggested.

Sir Liam, who is the senior medical adviser to the Government, said he would "strongly commend" the use of tax as a deterrent to excessive drinking, as has been the case with tobacco.

Speaking in the wake of reports suggesting that violent offences and attendances at hospital accident and emergency units have risen following the introduction of round-the-clock drinking, Sir Liam also said he would welcome a review of 24-hour licensing.
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Press release July 4, 2007 from Drug and Alcohol Findings

Drug and alcohol agencies now have free access to quality UK-focused ‘what works’ research as web-based service replaces Drug and Alcohol Findings magazine

Two open access web sites are being stocked with the entire contents of the past 15 issues of the Drug and Alcohol Findings magazine, the world’s only periodical to focus on research which could improve the effectiveness of substance misuse services. One site is the Findings site itself ( where visitors can sign up for e-mail updates on the project.

The longer term plan is to create an ‘Effectiveness Bank’ site which will also provide access source research papers and abstracts. Reports on new studies will be added to keep visitors up to date with the latest findings.

Funded initially by the J. Paul Getty Jr. Charitable Trust, the project is a joint venture between DrugScope, Alcohol Concern, the National Addiction Centre and the project’s editor.

By mid-June 2007 the first issue of the magazine had been made available on the Findings site and more will regularly be added. Though in its early stages, the site has been described as “Awesome!” by Professor John Kelly, researcher and clinician at the USA’s Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University. In the UK Gary Wallace who manages Plymouth’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team says Findings “helped us sift relevant research and identify evidence from around the world that has significantly informed our change processes … an essential tool”.

It’s not so much the design of the site which has enthused as the quality of the content. The Findings magazine gained an international reputation for the thoroughness and creativity of its analyses. Now these riches (the core contents are called ‘Nuggets’ for a reason) are being made available free of charge and at the click of a button.

For the Effectiveness Bank, national drug information experts DrugScope are constructing a customised search facility so visitors can easily find the documents they need. The aim is to provide a one-stop resource which draws on the accumulated information banks of the Findings partner agencies and the high quality content of the magazine. DrugScope’s Director of Communications Harry Shapiro is managing this part of the project: “If services want to use proven methods to improve their effectiveness, the Effectiveness Bank is where they should come to.”

Alcohol Concern made the bid to the Getty Trust on behalf of the project. “Findings is about changing what people do, not just discussing it”, said Director of Policy and Services Don Shenker. “That means we have to get it right. Quality in the science and analysis is everything but it also has to practice-friendly. The trick Findings has pulled off is to meet both agendas at once.”

Partnership with the National Addiction Centre makes the centre’s huge information resources available to the project. “The magazine was right at the time”, said Research Coordinator John Witton, “but the world has moved on. Now people expect to find information instantly and to get it free. When it comes to information which could make things better for their communities, clients, patients children, that’s exactly what they should get.”

Contributor: Mike Ashton e-mail:

FASD Task Force of Santa Clara County

NineZero Conference
Sponsored by
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Task Force of Santa Clara County

Friday, September 7, 2007

Keynote Speaker: Ira Chasnoff, MD
(full descriptions)
Read More

Contributor: Peggy Seo Oba

(Registration begins at 8:00 AM)

Foetal Alcohol-Syndrome & Interrelated Treatment Help

The Beyers Truter Foetal Alcohol-Syndrome and Interrelated Treatment Help Fund (FAITH) is a new Section 21 company geared to tackle one of the most serious issues in the winelands head-on.

The FAITH Fund will operate as a non-profit organisation and a credible vehicle for raising funds through various activities, and to distribute donations for specific projects, charities and other organisations working with children, families and communities affected by alcohol abuse, with a particular focus on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Because it is known to be the foremost preventable reason for mental retardation and birth defects in such cases, the Beyers Truter Faith Fund recognises the importance of health education in reducing the number of alcohol-exposed births. The FAITH Fund pledges to fund the implementation of innovative ideas in advocacy, prevention, education and intervention.
. . . . . .

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Contributor: Peggy Seo Oba


Recovery Month 2007 banner: Visit the 2007 Website now

Wednesday, July 18, 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. Feel free to forward this information to friends and colleagues, include it in newsletters or listservs, or link to it from your Web site.

Last Chance to Submit a Question to the Expert For the July Webcast

Get answers to your questions about the topics covered in the latest Road to Recovery Webcast "Treatment and Recovery: Reducing the Burden on the Justice System and Society." Submit your questions using our anonymous online form, and answers from our expert will be posted in early August.

Visit Ask the Expert before July 20 to submit questions for this month's expert: Roger H. Peters, Ph.D., Chair and Professor, Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute

Next Webcast

View the Trailer

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

Addiction to drugs and/or alcohol does not just stay in the home; it often spreads into the workplace, causing decreased performance and lower profitability. In 2002, drug use disorders alone contributed to a loss of productivity amounting to $128.6 billion in the United States. (Source: The Economic Costs of Drug Abuse in the United States: 1992-2002. Pub. No. 207303. Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2004, p. X) Moreover, because an addicted individual is often quite adept at hiding his or her addiction, employers and even coworkers may not be able to recognize what is causing the individual’s decreased productivity at the office. Addiction issues do not just cause problems for the individual’s work environment, but his or her family members may be having problems at their workplaces as well.

Join Ivette Torres, Associate Director for Consumer Affairs, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and a panel of experts to examine the issues related to addiction in the workforce such as: how to identify where a problem exists, when to intervene and how, and what can be done. This program will also demonstrate how employee assistance programs are beneficial to the addicted individual, their family members, and the company.

Give People a Voice for Recovery!

Do you know someone who is celebrating recovery? Let them know that they have a voice! Because the successes of individuals in recovery are often overlooked by society, Voices for Recovery gives people the opportunity to share their stories with others and provides education for the general public about treatment for alcohol and drug addiction.

Click here to share your story!

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


Challenges of diagnosis in fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in the adult
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics
Early View 19 July 2007

Adults with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and the subsets of individuals with attenuated phenotype subsumed under the umbrella term of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) provide clinicians with a challenge.

Compounding this, FASD is different from most genetic syndromes since a specific diagnostic biological test is not available.

The diagnosis first needs to be suspected and confirmation requires a diagnostic assessment that is best carried out in the context of a multi-disciplinary team approach.

There is surprisingly little research published on the prevalence, natural history, medical, and social complications relevant to adults with FASD. The evidence that is emerging suggests that this disorder is common, and that services to diagnose and treat these individuals are limited.

Adults with FASD have a higher incidence of impairments in social adaptive and executive function, and a higher degree of psychopathology when compared to the general population. The impact of FASD has significant and serious effects on those affected with FASD, their families, and our communities.

There is a need for improved access to diagnosis, and more research and evaluation of interventions currently in use.

In this paper, we describe the current diagnostic criteria, the differential diagnosis, the prevalence, natural history, the behavioral and mental health consequences, medical and social management issues, and interventions for adults affected with this disorder.

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Lesbians, Gays, and Alcoholism Treatment: Challenges to Recovery

Veronica Jeffus, M.Ed., Therapist
Gatehouse Therapeutic Health Services

For many years, it has been the general assumption that the incidence of alcoholism was much higher for gays and lesbians than in the heterosexual population. Early studies reported that as high as 35% of gays and lesbians were excessive or problem drinkers vs. five percent of heterosexuals. (Saghir and Robins, 1973) Later reported estimates of alcohol use among homosexuals tended to remain at the 30% mark, vs. the 10% usually cited for the general population. It was not until researchers began an investigation of the methodology of the early studies that important information began to emerge. Samples for early research efforts were recruited largely in gay bars and their surroundings, given that these are one of the few public places where gays can feely socialize as a group. However, heavy drinkers are also more likely to congregate in bars than are social drinkers or abstainers. Additionally, bars are also a frequent venue for other drug use. For these reasons, early studies whose research protocols relied heavily on patrons of gay bars were at risk to overestimate the prevalence of alcohol and drug use among gay men and lesbians.
. . . . . .

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Violent crime, disorder and criminal damage since the introduction of the Licensing Act 2003

Home Office Online Report 16/07

Penny Babb


• A subset of 30 forces in England and Wales provided data for violent crimes, disorder and criminal damage offences recorded between October 2004 and September 2006. Of these forces, 18 also provided data for offences recorded as occurring at specified locations such as city centres and in or near licensed premises.

• The numbers of more serious violent crimes fell in the year after the introduction of the Licensing Act in November 2005 compared with the previous year, with the decreases occurring particularly in the evening hours before midnight, but with increases between 3am and 6am.

• A fall also occurred in less serious wounding offences in the year after the Act. The number of these offences had been rising prior to the Act.

• There is an indication of some increase between the hours of 3am and 6am for each offence group, but the total offences in this time period account for only a very small proportion of the 24-hour total (four per cent in the year to November 2006).

• The rise from 3am and up to 6am is likely to partly reflect the change to opening hours of licensed premises and the increased numbers of people in a public place at these times, including the police, with greater resources being placed on the streets to deal with disorder.

• There was no overall percentage change in the number of assault without injury offences occurring in the night-time period in the year following the introduction of the Act for the 30 forces, though in this instance the overall figure for England and Wales indicated an estimated increase of five per cent. While the levels fell in the early evening, there was a rise in the early hours of the morning. This pattern of assault with no injury recording may have been influenced by the widening of the powers of arrest in January 2006.

• The numbers of harassment offences showed a rise in the year preceding the introduction of the Act, in part driven by the increased use of penalty notices for disorder. The increase continued after the Act came in and was greater for offences occurring in the night-time period than during the day.

• In the police force areas covered by this study, there was a small (two per cent) increase in criminal damage offences occurring after 9pm in the year following the introduction of the Act, even though overall criminal damage fell slightly (One per cent).

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24-hour drinking leads to surge in violence
By Toby Helm and John Steele

Drink to blame as violence rises by 5pc

Government claims that all-night drinking would create a relaxed Mediterranean cafe culture and cut alcohol-related crime were shattered yesterday as figures showed that early morning violent offences had soared since 24-hour licensing.

A Home Office report disclosed that offences of assault, criminal damage and harassment between 3am and 6am rose sharply in the 12 months after the reforms came in. The figures are a blow to ministers who had argued that staggered and later closing times would reduce crime levels by avoiding the traditional 11pm rush on to the streets, which often resulted in ugly clashes between drunken revellers and police.
. . . . . .

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Hazelden Foundation survey reveals disparity between severity of problem and employer assistance

CENTER CITY, MINN. (July 17, 2007)

-- A national survey of human resources professionals conducted by the nonprofit Hazelden Foundation shows that while substance abuse and addiction are recognized as among the most serious problems faced in the workplace, employer policies and practices are not fully addressing the problem.

The survey also found that although most companies offer employee assistance programs, many do not openly and proactively deal with employee substance abuse issues, do not refer employees to treatment programs and face barriers that prevent them from helping employees seek and receive addiction treatment.

The survey of more than 1,000 senior human resource professionals provides an in-depth look at HR professionals’ knowledge of substance abuse and addiction in the workplace and the roles they play in helping both employers and employees identify and address this serious public health issue.
. . . . . .

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Read National Survey Highlights
January 2008 conference, Engaging States and Local Communities in Prevention Policies

Sunday - Wednesday, January 27 - 30, 2008
The Bahia Resort Hotel, Mission Bay, San Diego, California

Call for presentation proposals

Deadline: Monday, August 20, 2007

The California Council on Alcohol Policy (Cal Council), a statewide non-profit uses education, community organizing and public policy to reduce the problems associated with alcohol that impact our communities. We are pleased to sponsor the January 2008 conference, Engaging States and Local Communities in Prevention Policies. This conference is the 14th in a series of national and regional meetings that address research, policy, and prevention issues related to alcohol. We welcome an anticipated attendance of up to 300 participants including community-based practitioners, public officials, and researchers from across the North America and beyond.

Contributor: Tom Colthurst


Alcohol Metabolism Part II: A Key to Unlocking Alcohol’s Effects
Volume 30, Number 1, 2007

Up Front
3 In This Issue [PDF]



The Genetics of Alcohol Metabolism: Role of Alcohol Dehydrogenase and Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Variants [PDF]
Howard J. Edenberg


Alcohol Metabolism and Cancer Risk [PDF]
Helmut K. Seitz and Peter Becker


Role of Alcohol Metabolism in Chronic Pancreatitis [PDF]
Alain Vonlaufen, Jeremy S. Wilson, Romano C. Pirola, and Minoti V. Apte


Effects of Pregnancy and Nutritional Status on Alcohol Metabolism [PDF]
Kartik Shankar, Martin J.J. Ronis, and Thomas M. Badger

Focus on Special Populations


Variations in ADH and ALDH in Southwest California Indians [PDF]
Cindy L. Ehlers

18Health-Related Effects of Genetic Variations of Alcohol-Metabolizing Enzymes in African Americans [PDF]
Denise M. Scott and Robert E. Taylor
22ALDH2, ADH1B, and ADH1C Genotypes
in Asians: A Literature Review
Mimy Y. Eng, Susan E. Luczak, and
Tamara L. Wall
28Variations in Alcohol-Metabolizing Enzymes in People of East Indian and African Descent from Trinidad and Tobago [PDF]
Shelley Moore, L.K. Montane-Jaime, Lucinda G. Carr, and Cindy L. Ehlers
32Glossary [PDF]

A key role for corticotropin-releasing factor in alcohol dependence
Trends in Neurosciences Article in Press, Corrected Proof 16 July 2007

Recent data indicate that alcohol dependence induces long-term neuroadaptations that recruit a negative emotional state. This leads to excessive alcohol ingestion motivated by relief of negative emotionality.

A key mechanism in this transition to negative reinforcement is a recruitment of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) signaling within the amygdala.

Long term upregulation of CRF1 receptors is observed in the amygdala following a history of dependence, and CRF antagonists selectively block emotionality, excessive alcohol drinking and stress-induced reinstatement of alcohol-seeking in post-dependent animals. Innate upregulation of CRF1 receptor expression mimics the post-dependent phenotype, both with regard to emotional responses and ethanol self-administration.

Therefore, the CRF system is emerging as a key element of the neuroadaptive changes driving alcoholism and as a major target for its treatment.

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News and Notes from the General Service Office of A.A.®
Vol. 53, No.3 June-July 2007

  • 57th General Service Conference
  • 2007 Conference Advisory Actions and Additional Considerations
  • Estimates of Groups and Membersas of January 1, 2007
  • Reports From G.S.O., the General Service Board, and Trustees’ Committees
  • Reports from the A.A. Grapevine
  • The Budget Highlights
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Trajectories of Alcohol Consumption among Older Japanese Followed from 1987—1999
Research on Aging, Vol. 29, No. 4, 323-347 (2007)

This study examined the longitudinal changes in alcohol consumption among elderly Japanese, characterized the subtrajectories within the aggregate trend, and examined potential predictors of these trajectories.

Alcohol use appears relatively stable between ages 60 and 70, but declines thereafter.

Further, there are three subtrajectories: stable, declining, and curvilinear (in addition to abstainers). Predictors of these trajectories varied by trajectory.

Alcohol use may continue to be an important part of life at older ages. However, older drinkers appear to follow four drinking trajectories.

Demographic characteristics and stressors may be associated with these trajectories. Knowledge of these trajectories may aid in targeting of interventions.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Smoking, alcohol and gastric cancer risk in Korean men: the National Health Insurance Corporation Study
British Journal of Cancer advance online publication 17 July 2007;

We investigated the risk of gastric cancer by subsite in relation to cigarette smoking and alcohol in a large population-based cohort of 669 570 Korean men in an insurance plan followed for an average 6.5 years,

A moderate association was found between smoking, cardia and upper-third and distal cancers.

We also found a positive association between alcohol consumption and distal and total gastric cancer.

Combined exposure to high levels of tobacco and alcohol increased the risk estimates further; cardia and upper-third gastric cancers were more strongly related to smoking status than distal gastric cancer.

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Alcohol and Aggression: A Test of the Attention-Allocation Model
Psychological Science 18 (7), 649–655.

This article presents the first systematic test of the attention-allocation model for alcohol-related aggression. According to this model, alcohol has a "myopic" effect on attentional capacity that presumably facilitates aggression by focusing attention on more salient provocative, rather than less salient inhibitory, cues in hostile situations.

Aggression was assessed using a laboratory task in which mild electric shocks were received from, and administered to, a fictitious opponent.

Study 1 demonstrated that a moderate-load cognitive distractor suppressed aggression in intoxicated subjects (to levels even lower than those exhibited by a placebo control group).

Study 2 assessed how varying the magnitude of a distracting cognitive load affected aggression in the alcohol and placebo conditions.

Results indicated that the moderate-load distraction used in Study 1 (i.e., holding four elements in sequential order in working memory) suppressed aggression best. Cognitive loads of larger and smaller magnitudes were not successful in attenuating aggression.

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The Effect of Alcohol Prohibition on Alcohol Consumption:
Evidence from Drunkenness Arrests
Economics Letters, Volume 86, Issue 2, February 2005, Pages 279-284

We examine the relationship between Prohibition and alcohol consumption using city level drunkenness arrests. We find that Prohibition had a substantial short-term but little long-term impact. The implied pattern of alcohol consumption is similar to that suggested by cirrhosis.

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Fraternity Membership and Drinking Behavior
NBER Working Paper No. 13262
Issued in July 2007

This paper estimates the impact of fraternity and sorority membership on a wide array of drinking outcomes among respondents to four Harvard College Alcohol Study surveys from 1993-2001.

Identification is achieved by including proxies for specific types of unobserved heterogeneity expected to influence the relationship. These include high school and parental drinking behaviors to account for time-invariant omitted factors, and assessed importance of drinking-related activities and reasons for drinking to control for changes in preferences since starting college. Self-selection is quantitatively important.

But even controlling for variables plausibly affected by fraternity membership, such as current alcohol use categorization (from abstainer to heavy drinker) and time spent socializing, fraternity membership has a large impact on drinking intensity, frequency and recency, as well as various negative drinking consequences that potentially carry negative externalities.

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Alcoholism in women: is it different in onset and outcome compared to men?
European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, online 14 July 2007

Onset and course of alcohol dependence show gender related differences (telescoping effect) suggesting that women are more vulnerable to chronic alcohol consumption. This raises the question whether the differences are associated with a different treatment outcome as well.

We hypothesized, that alcohol dependent women with a telescoping course show a less favourable treatment outcome compared to men.

Overall, we confirm the telescoping effect, a faster progression in the course of alcoholism (developmental events and adverse consequences) in women compared to men (“telescoping effect”).

However, despite the telescoping effect treatment outcome was similar in women and men. During the inpatient treatment program no alcohol relapse occurred.

Throughout the 12 months outpatient treatment we found no significant differences in the survival analysis between women (283.29 ± 11.26 days) and men (284.72 ± 12.16 days). At the end of the 12 months both groups had an abstinence rate of approximately 50% and a drop-out rate of 33%.

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A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Trial of Quetiapine for the Treatment of Type A and Type B Alcoholism.
Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 27(4):344-351, August 2007.

Atypical antipsychotics may be useful in the treatment of alcohol dependence. Human trials suggest that atypical antipsychotics may reduce alcohol craving and consumption, especially among patients with comorbid psychopathology. Therefore, these medications may be more useful for treating more severely affected alcoholics, such as patients with Type B alcoholism.

Type B alcoholics are characterized by an early age of onset of problem drinking, high severity of alcohol dependence, increased psychopathology, and treatment-resistance. Quetiapine is an atypical antipsychotic with a favorable side effect profile, and may be a promising medication for the treatment of alcohol dependence, particularly Type B alcoholism.

Forty-seven patients (77%) completed the trial, with no significant between-group differences in treatment retention. Nine quetiapine-treated patients (31%) maintained complete abstinence compared with 2 placebo-treated patients (6%).

There was a significant interaction between quetiapine and alcoholic subtype. As predicted, quetiapine- versus placebo-treated Type B alcoholics had significantly fewer days of drinking and fewer days of heavy drinking. Alcohol craving was also significantly reduced in quetiapine-treated compared with placebo-treated Type B alcoholics.

Among Type A alcoholics, quetiapine provided no advantage over placebo in improving drinking outcomes.

Quetiapine may be effective for the treatment of alcohol dependence, particularly in the more complicated Type B, early-onset alcoholics.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Genetic polymorphisms in alcohol metabolism, alcohol intake and the risk of stomach cancer in Warsaw, Poland
International Journal of Cancer Early View 13 Jul 2007

Genetic variations increasing blood levels of acetaldehyde, the first metabolite of alcohol, refrain their carriers from drinking alcohol but may also put them at increased risk of cancer because of the mutagenic and carcinogenic effect of acetaldehyde.

In a population-based study of 305 cases and 428 controls in Warsaw, Poland, we evaluated the effect of polymorphisms in alcohol metabolizing genes, including ADH1B (Ex9+5C>T, Ex3+23A>G, Ex3+58A>T and Ex9+77A>G), ADH1C (Ex8-56A>G and Ex6-14G>A) and ALDH2 (Ex1+82A>G), on levels of alcohol drinking and susceptibility of stomach cancer.

We found that among control subjects frequency of alcohol drinking varied by alcohol metabolizing genotype. In particular, the weekly consumption of individuals carrying the AA, GA and GG genotypes of ALDH2 Ex1+82A >G polymorphism were 3.75, 2.26 and 1.53 drinks, respectively (p= 0.04). However, none of the assessed polymorphisms in these 3 genes had a measurable effect on stomach cancer risk.

When stratified by ALDH2 Ex1+82A>G polymorphism, alcohol-related increases in stomach cancer risk were restricted to individuals with the AG/GG genotypes, with a more than 2-fold risk among daily drinkers and 3-fold risk among those with 40 or more drink-years.

In summary, our results suggested that the ALDH2 Ex1+82 G allele may be functionally deficient in eliminating acetaldehyde and discourage alcohol drinking. Furthermore, heavy drinkers of alcohol who were genetically prone to accumulate acetaldehyde may face an increased risk of stomach cancer.

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News Release - Nationwide Survey Shows Most Illicit Drug Users and Heavy Alcohol Users Are in the Workplace and May Pose Special Problems


Most of the nation’s approximately 16.4 million current illicit drug users and approximately 15 million heavy alcohol users hold full-time jobs, according to a new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The study, Worker Substance Use and Workplace Policies and Programs, shows that substance use can pose significant risks to workers’ health and productivity. The report also says that workers who use illicit drugs are less likely than nonusers to be employed by companies that have drug or alcohol testing policies and programs.
. . . . . .

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Worker Substance Use and Workplace Policies and Programs

This report presents findings on substance use among workers and on workplace drug policy and programs from the 2002, 2003, and 2004 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUHs). NSDUH is an annual survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 12 years or older. The survey is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) to provide data on substance use and related issues among the U.S. population.

NSDUH collects information on employment status, type of business, specific occupations and industries, and information on drug-testing policies and programs from U.S. workers. This report analyzes the worker information in conjunction with the substance use data collected in the survey to investigate substance use among full-time employed U.S. workers aged 18 to 64 during the period 2002 to 2004.

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Screening and Brief Alcohol Interventions in Underage and Young Adult Populations (R01)

Program Announcement (PA) Number: PA-07-406

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), is to encourage research grant applications on screening and brief interventions to prevent and/or reduce alcohol use and its adverse consequences.

This FOA is designed to stimulate a developmentally grounded program of research on screening and brief interventions to prevent and/or reduce underage drinking and hazardous young adult drinking.

Research objectives of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) include, but are not limited to: (1) testing strategies to improve screening methods for youth with or at high risk for alcohol-related problems; (2) testing the efficacy and effectiveness of novel or modified existing brief prevention interventions to: (a) prevent or delay the initiation of alcohol use, or (b) decrease the risk for the development of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and associated problems among youth; (3) examining individual, peer, familial, community, setting, cultural, or other contextual factors that affect the selection, implementation, and outcomes of empirically validated screening measures or brief interventions.

Studies of racially and ethnically diverse populations in various social and cultural settings are encouraged. Investigations must be especially sensitive to unique human subject issues when conducting research in minors.

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Alcohol Use: international conference "Correlates and Consequences"


The international conference took place at the First Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague, on June 29th, 2006. The principal speech was given by Dr. Isidor Obot (Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, WHO Geneva).

Published by: PhDr. Matúš Šucha

The one-day conference was organised by the Centre for Addictology and its partners. In addition to the principal speech, leading Czech and Slovak scientists in addictology presented their papers, among them Dr. Lubomir Okruhlica (Slovakia), Prof. Tomas Zima (Dean of the First Medical Faculty, Charles University), and Dr. Ludek Kubicka (Psychiatric Centre Prague).

The conference was opened with welcoming speeches by Prof. Tomas Zima, Dr. Alena Steflova (head of the WHO office in the Czech Republic), and Ms. Nina Janyskova (drug policy coordinator of the capital city Prague). The conference was held under the auspices of the Mayor of Prague, Pavel Bem, and the governor of the Central Bohemia region, Petr Bendl
. . . . .

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Nutrition and Alcohol-Related Health Outcomes (R03)

Program Announcement (PA) Number: PA-07-404

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Cancer Institute and Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, solicits Research Grant (R03) applications from institutions/organizations that propose to examine associations between nutrition and alcohol-related health outcomes in humans and animal models.

The goal of this program announcement is to stimulate a broad range of research on the role of nutrition in the development, prevention, and treatment of a variety of alcohol-related health outcomes including alcohol dependence and psychiatric co-morbidities, chronic and acute diseases, and organ function and damage.

Study designs may include biomedical research, epidemiologic approaches, and intervention studies.

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Informative phenotypes for genetic studies of psychiatric disorders
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics Volume 144B, Issue 5 , Pages 581 - 588

Despite its initial promise, there has been both progress and some set backs in genetic studies of the major psychiatric disorders of childhood and adulthood. Finding true susceptibility genes may be delayed because the most genetically informative phenotypes are not being used on a regular basis in linkage analysis and association studies. It is highly likely that using alternative phenotypes instead of DSM diagnostic categories will lead more rapid success in the search for these susceptibility genes.

The objective of this paper is to describe the different types of informative phenotypes that can be employed in psychiatric genetic studies, to clarify their uses, to identify several methodologic issues the design and conduct of linkage and association studies that use alternative phenotypes and finally to suggest possible solutions to those difficulties.

This is a conceptual review with a focus on methodological issues that may arise in psychiatric genetics and examples are taken from the literature on autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and alcoholism.

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Kenya: Alcohol Guidelines Proof of Regulation Failure


Charles Maringo

The recent guidelines for alcohol business cannot go unchallenged.

First, there is no such thing as responsible drinking! Consuming alcohol products at the age of 18 and above does not make alcohol safer. Whichever way you look at it, alcohol is an addictive drug. Just like a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, the road to alcoholism and related consequences commences with a sip, a glass, a bottle, several bottles and whisky.

Finally, it leads to illicit brews as the habit becomes too expensive to maintain. Throughout the journey, there are direct and indirect costs individuals, families and society bear. The guidelines clearly demonstrate why the industry cannot regulate itself.

At best, they are weak, misleading, non-binding and meaningless. They give a false perception of the industry concerns about the effects of their products. In essence, this is just a cleverly thought out alcohol public relations exercise. The idea is an industry-driven attempt to forestall Government regulation. It is rather coincidental that the guidelines have coincided with the gazettement of Nacada, the Government agency mandated to handle all issues concerning drug use and abuse, to a full parastatal and the development of an alcohol policy.
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Alcohol Pricing and Public Health in Canada: Issues and Opportunities

While the price of alcoholic beverages has been identified as a major determinant of the extent of alcohol-related problems, alcohol taxes have rarely been used in any systematic way to achieve public health and safety objectives. This paper examines the operation of alcohol taxes in Canada from a health perspective, and identifies a number of opportunities for protecting the health and safety of the population through ‘discerning and purposeful’ reforms of taxation and pricing policies.

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The complexity of current alcohol pricing and taxation systems in Canada creates an excellent opportunity for the implementation of new, more efficient systems in which prices and taxes are used in a “purposeful and discerning manner” in the interests of health and safety, while maintaining the social and economic benefits derived from the responsible production, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in Canada.

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Source: Tim Stockwell