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, August 3, 2007

Iraq veterans suffer stress and alcoholism

Long tours in combat zones linked to serious mental problems, study finds

Polly Curtis, health correspondent
Friday August 3, 2007
The Guardian

Thousands of frontline veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are facing escalating mental health problems, alcoholism and family breakdown, an extensive examination of the British military has found.

Prolonged periods in conflict are linked to higher levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological distress and problems at home, researchers report in the British Medical Journal online.
. . . . . .

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New Futures Working together to reduce underage alcohol problems and to increase access to treatment in New Hampshire
E-UPDATE 8/3/2007

In the News
National Alcohol and Drug Addiction. Recovery Month 2007. Join the Voices for Recovery. Saving Lives, Saving Dollars.
Wednesday, August 1, 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.

Recovery Month Events

There is still plenty of time to promote your event on the Recovery Month Web site. Click here to post your event today!

Next Webcast

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. 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. This program will examine 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. It also will demonstrate how employee assistance programs are beneficial to the addicted individual, their family members, and the company.

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 find out how families can be involved in the treatment of an individual with addiction. This show will examine 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. It also will demonstrate how employee assistance programs are beneficial to the addicted individual, their family members, and the company.

Ask the Expert

Get answers to your questions about the topics covered in the latest Road to Recovery Webcast, "Improving the Bottom Line: Supporting Treatment Profits Employers and Employees." Submit your questions using our anonymous online form, and answers from our expert will be posted in early September.

Visit Ask the Expert before August 17 to submit questions for this month's expert: Rebecca Adkins R.N., Occupational Health Manager, Rio Tinto Minerals Americas.

Rebecca has been a registered nurse for many years and is currently the Occupational Health Manager for Rio Tinto Minerals Americas, a mining industry. The business units are open pit mine and mill operations as well as corporate offices located in California, Colorado, Montana, Vermont, Texas, Canada, Mexico City, and Argentina, with a total population of around 1,400 employees. Rebecca's job requires the design of new programs and oversight of existing programs that meet State, Federal, and Corporate Standards for Occupational Health. Her current role is to provide direction, guidance, and oversight responsibilities to programs that include emergency medical response, drug and alcohol prevention, and testing. With the business units distributed over such a large area, Rebecca has developed a travel medical team concept that utilizes a base medical team of nurses, medical assistants, paramedics, and physicians to provide the medical surveillance to remote company sites in order to ensure that high-quality occupational medical care is provided for all employees. Rebecca has worked in many nursing and health care fields with the majority of her experience in mental health and substance abuse. Before working at Borax, Rebecca worked as Program Administrator for Aftercare Recovery Centers, Interim Director of Mental Health Services for Palmdale Community Hospital, and Administrative Supervisor for Lancaster Community Hospital.

For more information about Rebecca Adkins, R.N., visit

Recovery Month Is Almost Here!

September is quickly approaching, but it's never too late to promote Recovery Month in your local community. Choose from the four available PowerPoint presentations to help generate community awareness, support, and involvement as well as to educate others that recovery is possible. These presentations, as well as the other available publications, are great resources to help endorse your upcoming Recovery Month event!

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
Changing network support for drinking: Initial findings from the Network Support Project.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume 75, Issue 4

The aim of this study was to determine whether a socially focused treatment can effect change in the patient's social network from one that reinforces drinking to one that reinforces sobriety.

Alcohol dependent men and women (N = 210) recruited from the community were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 outpatient treatment conditions: network support (NS), network support + contingency management (NS + CM), or case management (CaseM; a control condition).

Analysis of drinking rates for 186 participants at 15 months indicated a significant interaction effect of Treatment ? Time, with both NS conditions yielding better outcomes than the CaseM condition.

Analyses of social network variables at posttreatment indicated that the NS conditions did not reduce social support for drinking relative to the CaseM condition but did increase behavioral and attitudinal support for abstinence as well as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) involvement.

Both the NS variables and AA involvement variables were significantly correlated with drinking outcomes.

These findings indicate that drinkers' social networks can be changed by a treatment that is specifically designed to do so, and that these changes contribute to improved drinking outcomes.

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World's Largest Diet-Cancer Study Confirms Current Advice On Alcohol

Experts at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) welcomed the latest results from the world's largest study on diet and cancer. The new results, published online at the International Journal of Cancer, link alcohol consumption to an increased risk of colon cancer.

According to the study, those participants who reported consuming three or more alcoholic drinks per day had a 26 percent higher lifetime risk of colon cancers than non-drinkers. Smaller increases in risk were observed among those whose alcohol consumption was as low as one drink per day, underscoring the fact that alcohol is a significant risk factor for colon cancer.
. . . . . .

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Women over 40 'at risk' drinkers

3 August, 2007

Women in their 40s are more likely to drink potentially harmful amounts on a night out than younger people, researchers in Cardiff have found.

While men's drinking peaked in their late 20s, women's alcohol intake reached its heights among the over-40s.
In a year, 893 people were breathalysed late at night in the city centre for the Cardiff University study. It found 40% of men and 20% of women had drunk over a level which put them more at risk of injury and ill-health.
. . . . . .
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Third of men drink dangerous levels of alcohol

Aug 3 2007

by Tomos Livingstone, Western Mail

MORE than one in three men drink dangerously large amounts of alcohol on nights out, a study by Welsh scientists has revealed.

Researchers at Cardiff University found the blood alcohol level of more than a third of men was above the internationally- recognised “at risk” level.

That level – 0.15% – is twice the drink-drive limit and an internationally-accepted level at which the risk of injury and ill health rises dramatically.

The drinking problem is worst among men in their late 20s, the study found.

. . . . . .

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Prevalence of Alcohol Intoxication in the Night-Time Economy
Alcohol and Alcoholism Advance Access published online on July 28, 2007

To assess the prevalence of alcohol misuse in the night-time economy.

A random sample of 893 people were interviewed and breathalysed in 24 repeated, cross-sectional surveys over the course of a year in the city centre streets of a European capital city between 11.00 PM and 3.00 AM.

Median blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in men was 0.13% and in women was 0.09% —which were below the threshold used to indicate ‘at risk BAC’ (0.15%;). Men provided higher BACs than women. The relationship between age and BAC for men described an inverted ‘u’, peaking at 29 years, but for women the relationship was positive and linear. BAC was inversely related to the ability to remember and report the evening's consumption. Reported consumption predicted only 12% of the variance in BAC for men and 10% for women.

‘At risk’ intoxication was apparent only in a minority of drinkers, who were mostly employed men in their late twenties, but a third of men and half of women had consumed more than the recommended daily limit. The probability for respondents to recall past consumption diminished as BAC increased suggesting self-report data are not suitable to assess consumption in heavy drinkers.

Breath analysis surveys are valuable in understanding alcohol misuse in the night-time economy.

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Hidden Nightmare: Alcohol and Drug Abuse among South Asian Youth:

A must-attend seminar organized by Daya

in collaboration with the


Hidden Nightmare: Alcohol and Drug Abuse
among South Asian Youth

Saturday, August 11th 2007
9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Provide information on alcohol and drugs, including prescription drugs and their effects
Discuss genetic, familial, cultural and religious factors that impact a youngster’s choice to abuse drugs and alcohol
Foster communication between parents and children on chemical dependency
Provide resources for parents and youth on seeking information and help

Distinguished Speakers include:

Dr. Eugene Degner & Dr. Katie Mc Queen of Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center
Dr. Ashok Khushalani, Addiction Psychiatry; Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dr. Edward Fallick, Addiction Psychiatry
Vikram Rangala, Academic Advisor, University of Florida
Prominent Asian/South Asian professionals and advocates
Adults and Youth who have dealt with addiction

Keynote Address

Ed Brandon
Weatherman (Retired), ABC Channel 13

"Alone I Drink; Together We Stay Sober"


Happy Hour
A Presentation depicting the complexities of addiction
by Shunya Theatre

Conference Information


Neocortical plasticity deficits in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Lessons from barrel and visual cortex
Journal of Neuroscience Research Early View 1 August 2007

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is characterized by a constellation of behavioral and physiological abnormalities, including learning and sensory deficits.

There is growing evidence that abnormalities of neuronal plasticity underlie these deficits. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which prenatal alcohol exposure disrupts neuronal plasticity remain elusive.

Recently, studies with the barrel and the visual cortex as models to study the effects of early alcohol exposure on neuronal plasticity shed light on this subject.

In this Mini-Review, we discuss the effects of ethanol exposure during development on neuronal plasticity and suggest environmental and pharmacological approaches to ameliorate these problems.

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Youth Exposure to Alcohol Advertising in Magazines --- United States, 2001--2005

MMWR Weekly August 3, 2007 / 56(30);763-767

Alcohol consumption among persons aged 12--20 years contributes to the three leading causes of death (unintentional injury, homicide, and suicide) in this age group in the United States and is associated with other health-risk behaviors, including high-risk sexual activity, smoking, and physical fighting .

Recent studies have documented the contribution of alcohol marketing to underage drinking In 2000, the trade association for the wine industry changed its voluntary marketing code to stop advertising in magazines in which youths aged 12--20 years were >30% of the audience. In 2003, this threshold was adopted by the trade associations for beer and liquor producers.

To determine the proportion of alcohol advertisements placed in magazines with disproportionately large youth readerships (i.e., >15% of readers aged 12--20 years) and to assess the proportion of youths exposed to these advertisements, the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (Health Policy Institute, Georgetown University, District of Columbia) evaluated the placement of alcohol advertisements in 143 national magazines for which readership composition data were available for 2001--2005; these 143 publications accounted for approximately 90% of expenditures for all alcohol advertising in national print magazines.

This report summarizes the results of that study, which indicated that alcohol advertising remained common in magazines with >15% youth readership but decreased substantially in magazines with >30% youth readership. These results suggest that although voluntary industry standards have reduced youth exposure to alcohol advertising in magazines, strengthening these standards by establishing a >15% youth readership threshold would further reduce exposure. In addition, independent monitoring of youth exposure to alcohol advertising should continue, as recommended by the U.S. Congress and Surgeon General .

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The NSDUH Report: Gender Differences in Alcohol Use and Alcohol Dependence or Abuse - 2004 and 2005

Based on combined data from SAMHSA's 2004-2005 National Surveys on Drug Use & Health, the rate of past year alcohol dependence or abuse among persons aged 12 or older varied by level of alcohol use: 44.7% of past month heavy drinkers, 18.5% binge drinkers, 3.8% past month non-binge drinkers, and 1.3% of those who did not drink alcohol in the past month met the criteria for alcohol dependence or abuse in the past year.

Males had higher rates than females for all measures of drinking in the past month: any alcohol use (57.5% vs. 45%), binge drinking (30.8% vs. 15.1%), and heavy alcohol use (10.5% vs. 3.3%).

Also, males were twice as likely as females to have met the criteria for alcohol dependence or abuse in the past year (10.5% vs. 5.1%).

Read Full Report (PDF)

August 2007 vol. 8 issue 8

eYe on research:  addiction science made easy

Brief Motivational Interviews Work Best Long Term for College Students Sent to Alcohol Counseling

Drinking & Driving: Immediate Removal of a Driver's License Saves Hundreds of Lives per Year

Eat Fish: Especially If You Drink High Levels of Alcohol

Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Alters Brain Activity in the Frontal-Striatal Areas

Earn NAADAC Contact Hours

eYe on funding

SAMHSA Anticipated FY 2008 Funding Opportunities "At A Glance"

NIH Grant: Nutrition & Alcohol-Related Health Outcomes

eYe on special populations

CESAR Fax: Among Young Adults, Native Americans & White Males in South & West Most Likely to Use Crystal Methamphetamine (PDF)

en español

Mid-America ATTC: Medicamentos Psicoterapéuticos del 2006 (PDF)

eYe on resources

Senate Committee Passes Legislation to Change Names of NIDA & NIAAA

The NIATx Workbook: An Introduction to the NIATx Model of Process Improvement

NSDUH Report: Demographic & Geographic Variations in Injection Drug Use

eYe on events

August is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

2007 Substance Abuse Treatment & Recovery Conference

The 8th National Conference on Addiction & Criminal Behavior

eYe on education:
Online/Correspondence Course: Linking Substance Abuse & Interpersonal Violence: Implications for Effective Interventions

Online/Correspondence Course: Screening & Assessment of Clients in the Criminal Justice System

eye on epubs

Faces & Voices of Recovery - July 13, 2007

National GAINS Center eNews - July 2007

NIATx eNews Update - July 2007

SAMHSA News - Expanding HIV Assistance - Vol. 15, No. 3

national daily news

National Daily News from Join Together

eYe on the web

Helping America's Youth

Fetal alcohol exposure impairs hedgehog cholesterol modification and signaling
Laboratory Investigation
(2007) 87, 231–240.

Consumption of alcohol by pregnant women can cause fetal alcohol spectrum defects (FASD), a congenital disease, which is characterized by an array of developmental defects that include neurological, craniofacial, cardiac, and limb malformations, as well as generalized growth retardation. FASD remains a significant clinical challenge and an important social problem.

Although there has been great progress in delineating the mechanisms contributing to alcohol-induced birth defects, gaps in our knowledge still remain; for instance, why does alcohol preferentially induce a spectrum of defects in specific organs and why is the spectrum of defects reproducible and predictable.

In this study, we show that exposure of zebrafish embryos to low levels of alcohol during gastrulation blocks covalent modification of Sonic hedgehog by cholesterol. This leads to impaired Hh signal transduction and results in a dose-dependent spectrum of permanent developmental defects that closely resemble FASD.

Furthermore, supplementing alcohol-exposed embryos with cholesterol rescues the loss of Shh signal transduction, and prevents embryos from developing FASD-like morphologic defects.

Overall, we have shown that a simple post-translational modification defect in a key morphogen may contribute to an environmentally induced complex congenital syndrome. This insight into FASD pathogenesis may suggest novel strategies for preventing these common congenital defects.

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Candidate genes, pathways and mechanisms for alcoholism: an expanded convergent functional genomics approach
The Pharmacogenomics Journal
(2007) 7, 222–256

We describe a comprehensive translational approach for identifying candidate genes for alcoholism. The approach relies on the cross-matching of animal model brain gene expression data with human genetic linkage data, as well as human tissue data and biological roles data, an approach termed convergent functional genomics.

An analysis of three animal model paradigms, based on inbred alcohol-preferring (iP) and alcohol-non-preferring (iNP) rats, and their response to treatments with alcohol, was used. A comprehensive analysis of microarray gene expression data from five key brain regions (frontal cortex, amygdala, caudate–putamen, nucleus accumbens and hippocampus) was carried out.

The Bayesian-like integration of multiple independent lines of evidence, each by itself lacking sufficient discriminatory power, led to the identification of high probability candidate genes, pathways and mechanisms for alcoholism.

These data reveal that alcohol has pleiotropic effects on multiple systems, which may explain the diverse neuropsychiatric and medical pathology in alcoholism. Some of the pathways identified suggest avenues for pharmacotherapy of alcoholism with existing agents, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Experiments we carried out in alcohol-preferring rats with an ACE inhibitor show a marked modulation of alcohol intake. Other pathways are new potential targets for drug development.

The emergent overall picture is that physical and physiological robustness may permit alcohol-preferring individuals to withstand the aversive effects of alcohol. In conjunction with a higher reactivity to its rewarding effects, they may able to ingest enough of this nonspecific drug for a strong hedonic and addictive effect to occur.

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NewsRoom Finland
UPDATE: Finnish finance ministry unveils alcohol duty U-turn


Finland's finance ministry proposed on Wednesday an increase of 15 per cent in the duty rate levied on spirits and a 10-per cent hike on beer and wine taxes.

The proposed change, part of the draft budget for next year, would raise the price of spirits markedly more than those of beer and wine.

In March 2004, the government introduced a significant cut in alcohol duties.
. . . . . . .

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fast Breaking Papers

Essential Science IndicatorsSM lists highly cited papers in 22 broad fields of science. These papers comprise the top 1% of papers in each field and each year from 1997 through 2007. The lists are updated every two months to reflect their current citation counts and also include new papers that enter the top percentile. ESI Special Topics here identifies a subset of these papers having the largest percentage increase in citations in their respective fields from one bimonthly update to the next. We call these "fast breaking papers" because they represent very recent scientific contributions that are just beginning to attract the attention of the scientific community. For full details and citation histories of these papers, see the Essential Science Indicators listings of highly cited papers.

The following Fast Breaking Papers had the highest percentage increase in citations in Essential Science Indicators from the first bimonthly period of 2007 to the second bimonthly period of 2007.

August 2007
Fast Breaking Comment by: Kaye Fillmore, William C Kerr, Tim Stockwell, Tanya Chikritzhs & Alan Bostrom
Article Title: Moderate alcohol use and reduced mortality risk: Systematic error in prospective studies
An inverse relationship between typical alcohol consumption and facial symmetry detection ability in young women
Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol. 21, No. 5, 507-518 (2007)

The relationship between monthly alcohol consumption over the past 6 months and facial symmetry perception ability was examined in young sober women with typical college-age drinking patterns.

Facial symmetry detection performance was inversely related to typical monthly alcohol consumption, Other variables that were predictive of facial symmetry detection included alcohol-related hangover and blackout frequency over the past 6 months, number of alcoholic drinks over the past week, early adolescent alcohol consumption and frequency of drug use. The relationship between alcohol use and symmetry detection could not be explained by individual differences in personality, family alcoholism history or other drug use.

These findings suggest the possibility of a neurotoxic effect of alcohol on facial symmetry perception ability in female undergraduate students. As similar results did not emerge for a test of dot symmetry detection, the findings appear specific to facial symmetry. No previous studies have examined the effect of alcohol history on symmetry detection.

The findings add to a growing literature indicating negative visuospatial effects of early alcohol use, and suggest the importance of further research examining alcohol and drug effects on sober facial perception in non-alcoholic populations.

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Weekday but not weekend alcohol consumption before pregnancy influences alcohol cessation during pregnancy
The European Journal of Public Health 2007 17(4):394-399;

Cantabria has the highest prevalence of alcohol consumption among women in Spain. Patterns of alcohol consumption before pregnancy were assessed as a determinant of alcohol cessation in pregnant women in Cantabria.

Nearly half (49.5%) of the women drank regularly before pregnancy and 22.7% during pregnancy. Sociodemographic variables favouring alcohol cessation were: high education level and smoking cessation, whereas high social class, advanced maternal age and employment outside of home decreased the rate of alcohol cessation.

Cessation decreased with the amount of alcohol consumed on weekdays , but not with intake during weekends only. In women with alcohol use only during weekends, only the consumption of spirits increased the rate of alcohol cessation . Pre-pregnancy binge drinking (≥4 drinks on one occasion) decreased alcohol cessation in pregnancy .

Drinking patterns influenced the rate of alcohol cessation: the heavier the alcohol consumption on weekdays, the lower the rate of alcohol cessation.

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Conference: "Reducing the harm caused by alcohol", November 2007

The Royal College of Physicians launches a new event entitled Reducing The Harm Caused By Alcohol: A Coordinated European Response, that will take place on 13 November 2007, in London.

The one-day conference aims to bring together representatives from the UK and European medical professionnals to share the latest evidence and experience. Moreover, it will produce a Conference Charter for a coordinated response to reduce the harm caused by alcohol on Europe.

The event, financially supported by the European Commission, is specifically addressed to medical experts and medical professionals associations. In addition, it represents one of the first concrete activities of the Building Capacity Project, that aims to reduce inequalities between member states and promote the achievement of the Lisbon agenda for a viable productive Europe.

The booking information is available from the Royal College of Physicians website and in the Alcohol Conference Brochure

For more information:
* Alcohol Conference Brochure
* Conference Programme
* Booking on-line
* Printable booking form
* Royal College of Physicians website with alcohol conference details
* Building Capacity Project

RCP Alcohol Conference Flyer

RCP Alcohol Conference Programme