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, August 11, 2007

Building on Success:Cindy Ehlers Extends Innovative Research on Alcoholism

By Mika Ono Benedyk

Despite the difficult funding environment these days, Scripps Research Institute Associate Professor Cindy Ehlers is winning grants. Her c.v. lists eight—most recently a rare and prestigious MERIT award from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) providing her with 10 years of research support.

Even a quick look at Ehlers' track record makes it easy to see why funding agencies want more. Over the past decades, Ehlers has brought us dramatic new insights into alcoholism and substance abuse—problems that affect many millions of Americans, not to mention their families and communities. In the process, Ehlers has routinely challenged us to rethink what we thought we knew.

At the heart of Ehlers research is one critical question—why do some people become dependent on alcohol or other substances while others escape their grip? To shed light on the answers, Ehlers has applied an innovative approach, conducting both human and animal studies and drawing techniques from disciplines as wide-ranging as physiology, genetics, and epidemiology..
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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) - 2005 National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services

This report presents results from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) for 2005, and trend data for 1995 to 2005. The report provides information on the demographic and substance abuse characteristics of the 1.8 million annual admissions to treatment for abuse of alcohol and drugs in facilities that report to individual State administrative data systems.

Five substances accounted for 95 percent of the 1,849,548 TEDS admissions in 2005: alcohol (39 percent), opiates (17 percent, primarily heroin), marijuana (16 percent), cocaine (14 percent), and stimulants (9 percent, primarily methamphetamine

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Alcohol Misuse 2006: Campaign Evaluation [Research Publications]

This report provides an evaluation of the effectiveness of the first phase of the 'Don't Push It' alcohol misuse campaign


* TNS System Three was commissioned by Office of Chief Researcher to conduct two waves of research in order to evaluate the latest Scottish Executive alcohol misuse campaign 'Don't Push It': the first wave conducted in August 2006 prior to the launch of the advertising campaign, the second carried out in December 2006 directly following the campaign.

* Interviews were conducted in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen among 16-35 year olds who drink alcohol outside the home at least once a week. In-hall CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) was the vehicle for data collection, with the more sensitive sections of the questionnaire self completed by respondents.

* The main objectives of this advertising research were to:

* measure the effectiveness of the campaign in terms of advertising awareness and key communication take-out; and

* to monitor attitudes towards the round culture in Scotland.

* This report focuses mainly on changes between the pre and post waves of research conducted in August and December 2006. There are some references to the post wave research conducted in December 2005 (which evaluated the 2005 'Don't let too much drink spoil a good night out' campaign) as appropriate. The main findings are outlined in the paragraphs that follow. Throughout, the waves will be referred to as ' Post December 2005', ' Pre August 2006 'and ' Post December 2006'.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Alcohol tax may make it onto Anchorage ballot

10 PERCENT: The goal of levy is to curb public drunkenness while raising funds to fight it.

Published: August 7, 2007

With the city trying to figure out what to do about its public drunks, a group of activists hopes to launch a new liquor tax in Anchorage.

The plan is to put a 10 percent wholesale alcohol tax before voters in the next citywide election. The mayor and a Downtown assemblyman support the idea, which would almost certainly increase the cost of booze across the city.

To make it happen, a group led by an ex-prosecutor and former head of Anchorage's MADD chapter applied Friday for a voter initiative.
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ISSUE 2 1999

Pressure pays 609Kb PDF file

The UK increasingly relies on court-ordered treatment to reduce drug-related crime, but can this really do the trick? Distinguished British expert Philip Bean assesses the evidence.

NTORS: the most crucial test yet for addiction treatment in Britain 1044Kb PDF file

FINDINGS analysis of the influential national English drug treatment evaluation study questions the key estimate that every extra £1 spent on treatment saved over £3 in the costs of crime alone.

How brief can you get? 864Kb PDF file

Three pioneering British studies dating back to the late ‘70s showed that alcohol problems could be reduced without intensive (and expensive) treatments. The implications were and remain immense, the controversy fierce.

False dawn for drug-free schools in Taiwan 381Kb PDF file

In Taiwan, under-resourced schools, pressured to make unrealistic drug use reductions, found that fiddling the figures was the only way to avoid being seen to fail. Public and politicians thought things were fine until researchers uncovered the truth.

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Mike Ashton
Northeast ATTC

Focus On:FTraining UpdateTraining Update
Conference Brochure and Registration Form Now Available for September RTI!

The next PA Regional Drug and Alcohol Training Institute (RTI) is scheduled for September 26-28 in Johnstown, PA. These events are designed for substance abuse counselors, administrators, supervisors, case managers, prevention specialists, and community leaders throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Courses in our featured track - Serving Those Who Serve: Veterans and Their Families - include: PTSD, Stressors on Families of the Veteran, Homelessness, Women in the Military and Traumatic Brain Injury. These courses will be informative and appropriate for anyone working with adult populations.

Administrative Track: Advanced Treatment Planning, Advanced Clinical Supervision, Understanding and Evaluating Research.
General/Clinical Track: Binge Drinking, Substance Abuse of Generation X, Wings to Fly-A Faith-Based Approach to Treatment, and Motivational Interviewing.
Prevention Track: Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Training and Effective Group Strategies for Prevention Specialists.
Special Populations: Problem Gambling Treatment Strategies, Problem Gambling-Finances and the Law, Issues of Women in the Criminal Justice System and Current Trends in Teen Sexual Behavior.

We have also scheduled Plenary Sessions for Wednesday and Thursday mornings. In addition to the information you will receive, attending these one hour presentations will earn you up to two more CEUs!


On-line registration is available at


Celebrate National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month 2007
Join us for a celebration of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month sponsored by the Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions (IRETA), The Northeast Addiction Technology Transfer Center, (NeATTC) and Message Carriers. Recovery Month is an opportunity to highlight the benefits of substance use disorders treatment and encourage everyone to appreciate the journey of recovery by raising community awareness. Sports-Link, in its fourth year in Pittsburgh, is part of a national initiative to recognize National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. This year marks the 18th annual national observance of Recovery Month. After a successful launch with over 400 participants in 2004 we are anticipating an even stronger fourth year!

For more information and to order tickets call Holly Hagle at 412-258-8565.

The United States Senate passed S. Res. 225, a resolution designating August 2007 as "National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month." The move comes after recent studies have unveiled an alarming trend among young people who intentionally take large amounts of cough medicine to get "high" from the active ingredient dextromethorphan (DXM).

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future Survey, conducted by the University of Michigan, 4 percent of eighth graders, 5 percent of 10th graders, and 7 percent of 12th graders reported having abused medicines containing the cough suppressant DXM in 2005 to get high. In addition, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America found that one in 10 teenagers-or about 2.4 million young people-reported having abused cough medicine to get high. S. Res. 225, which was introduced by Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., (D-Del.) and enacted June 26, encourages parents to educate themselves and to talk to their teens about the dangers associated with medicine abuse... For more please visit:

Training and EventsTraining and Events

New Jersey
Why Is It Hard to Quit Smoking
Cumberland County Health Department
790 E. Commerce Street, Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Tuesday, August 7, 2007, 3:30pm-6:30pm
To register, call Christina at 609-221-8298

Tobacco Dependence Treatment Specialist Training
The Tobacco Dependence Program of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - School of Public Health, is offering a 5-day training to prepare health care professionals to provide treatment for tobacco dependence.
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Public Health, Tobacco Dependence Program New Brunswick, New Jersey
Monday, September 24, 2007 - Friday, September 28, 2007 (every Day)
To register, visit
Contact or at 732-235-8220 for more information.

New York
Buprenorphine and Office Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence
American Society of Addiction Medicine CME: 8.0 Credit Hours in Category 1 of AMA
Syracuse, NY, August 25, 2007
Contact: 1-888-362-6784

This is to announce the availability of the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs' (BDAP’s) Clinical Supervision 5-day initial training. This training is being offered in a new format. Instead of five consecutive days, the training is now offered in two segments, an initial three-day session and the final two days presented ten days to two weeks later. The training is now being offered from August 13 through August 15 for the initial three days, and August 23 through August 24 for the final two days. The training is being held at Sheraton Reading Hotel, 1741 Papermill Road, Reading, PA 19610. The training will begin each day at 9:00 AM and end at 4:00 PM. Morning and afternoon breaks will be provided; all meals are on your own. 30 Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC) credits will be awarded for completion of the training. The cost of the training is a $75 non-refundable registration fee and a $225 training fee for a total cost of $300.

Go to and click on SCA Training System this will take you to Upcoming Training Opportunities and locate Clinical Supervision Training and click on the link.

Contact Person(s):
Tom Brown
Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs
02 Kline Plaza
Harrisburg, PA 17104

Bureau of Drug & Alcohol Programs (BDAP)
Click here for all SCA Trainings & Information

Online Trainings
The Central East ATTC has the following self-paced courses available:
- Hepatitis C: A Guide for Counselors and Outreach Workers
- Buprenorphine Treatment of Opioid Addiction: A Counselor’s Guide
- Welfare Reform for Addiction Professionals

To register for these courses and more, go to: or contact CEATTC at (240) 645-1140.

CSAP’s Prevention Pathways Online Free Training Topics Include:
- Environmental Strategies for Prevention
- Silence Hurts: Alcohol Abuse and Violence Against Women
- Wading Through the Data Swamp: Program Evaluation 201

More information is available at:

Information SearchInformation Search

Information Specialists in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania respond to information requests from the multi-disciplinary addiction prevention and treatment workforce providing a link between research and practice.

Vital Signs - Awareness: Counseling by Phone Benefits Drinkers

Published: August 7, 2007

Experience has shown that even a few short discussions with a health professional can help a problem drinker. But sometimes people who could benefit from the talks are unable to come in or reluctant to do so.

Maybe they do not have to, says a new study that found that counseling by telephone could be effective in curbing excessive drinking.

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Britain at Risk of Cirrhosis Epidemic

Published: August 7, 2007

LONDON (AP) -- Last call at any British pub can be like a contact sport, with a crush of drunken customers suddenly heaving toward the bar in search of one last round.

It's a hallowed British tradition, and doctors say an increasingly dangerous one.

Britain's taste for binge drinking, driven by a pub culture in which a good night out means packing in as many pints as possible before the traditional 11 p.m. closing time, could lead to a liver disease epidemic within two decades unless Britons learn to drink more responsibly, experts warn. . . . . . .

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Which Heavy Drinking College Students Benefit From a Brief Motivational Intervention?
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume 75, Issue 4, August 2007, Pages 663-669

Heavy drinking among college students is common and is often harmful. A previously reported randomized trial revealed that a brief motivational intervention (BMI) reduced the alcohol consumption of heavy drinking college students

For this study, the reseachers conducted supplemental analyses of hypothesized predictors of change using the same sample.

Greater readiness to change, higher levels of self-regulation, and less engagement in social comparison all independently predicted reductions in drinking outcomes. Furthermore, self-regulation, social comparison, and future time perspective interacted with BMI and predicted drinks per week. As expected, greater self-regulation skills enhanced response to the BMI; the remaining interaction effects were unexpected.

Overall, these findings suggest that BMIs produce relatively robust effects.

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Beer’s on Tap for Binge Drinkers

By Taunya English, Associate Editor
Health Behavior News Service

Beer is the beverage of choice for most adult binge drinkers, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The beverage preferences of excessive drinkers are important to public health because binge drinking is a common problem in the United States and because binge drinkers — and those around them — are especially vulnerable to alcohol-related problems, said lead study author Timothy Naimi, M.D.

“This study isn’t looking at alcohol consumed by people drinking responsibly, or moderately; this is alcohol consumed by people drinking five or more drinks in a sitting, so almost all of them are going to be impaired — if not overtly intoxicated. This is exactly the kind of drinking behavior that leads to so many deaths and secondhand problems that inflict real pain and costs on society, not just the drinker,” said Naimi, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC’s Division of Adult and Community Health.
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Bad Advice for Lindsay Lohan
By Stanton Peele

People have been offering advice to Lindsay Lohan since she relapsed soon after leaving her last stint of rehab. Now that she's entering another clinic, it's time to reevaluate many of these recommendations. Following are the four main mistaken pieces of advice:

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Contributor: Stanton Peele


Monday, August 6, 2007

Temporal Vulnerability of Fetal Cerebellar Purkinje Cells to Chronic Binge Alcohol Exposure: Ovine Model
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (OnlineEarly Articles) 6 August 2007

Human magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and autopsy studies reveal abnormal cerebellar development in children who had been exposed to alcohol prenatally, independent of the exposure period.

Animal studies conducted utilizing the rat model similarly demonstrate a broad period of vulnerability, albeit the third trimester-equivalent of human brain development is reported to be the most vulnerable period, and the first trimester-equivalent exposure produces cerebellar Purkinje cell loss only at high doses of alcohol. However, in the rat model, all 3 trimester-equivalents do not occur prenatally, requiring the assumption that intrauterine environment, placenta, maternal interactions, and parturition do not play an important role in mediating the damage.

In this study, we utilized the ovine model, where all 3 trimester-equivalents occur in utero, to determine the critical window of vulnerability of fetal cerebellar Purkinje cells.

Significant deficits were found in the fetal cerebellar Purkinje cell number and density in the first and third trimester-equivalent alcohol exposed fetuses compared with those in the saline controls. However, there was no difference between the first and third trimester-equivalent alcohol administered groups. When comparing the present findings to those from a previous study where the duration of alcohol exposure was all 3 trimester-equivalents of gestation, we did not detect a difference in fetal cerebellar Purkinje cell number.

We conclude that the fetal cerebellar Purkinje cells are sensitive to alcohol exposure at any time during gestation and that women who engage in binge drinking during the first trimester are at a high risk of giving birth to children with cerebellar damage even if drinking ceases after the first trimester.

Our findings also support the hypothesis that only a certain population of Purkinje cells are vulnerable to alcohol-induced depletion irrespective of the timing or duration of alcohol exposure.

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Training through the Family Empowerment Network

FEN offers various training opportunities for parents, other caregivers and professionals who work with children and adults with FAS/FAE. Since the goal of our education is to assist all those individuals who are involved with the success of the child/adult with FAS in his/her community, our training is directed toward many disciplines: physicians, nurses, treatment center staff, AODA counselors, teachers, social workers, parents, criminal justice professionals, vocational counselors, counselors, and group home staff, to name a few. We offer many types of training sessions, ranging from one hour to one semester!

2007 Trainings:

An exciting series of three workshops have been developed for the fall of 2007. Join us for one or all! For a complete brochure detailing speakers and pricing, please contact Kristi Obmascher at

6 hours of professional continuing education will be offered. Contact Kristi Obmascher for details.

All workshops will be held at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. A workshop confirmation, parking information and directions will be sent upon receipt of registration.

September 21, 2007: Young Children with FASD
This workshop will begin with an overview of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Developmental and mental health implications for children with FASD will be examined along with a model of providing support for families while providing skills-development for providers and caregivers who work with children.

October 26, 2007: Model Programs to Prevent Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies
Workshop faculty will present current information on the impact of alcohol on women and the effects of alcohol on pregnancy. Exciting new models and programs aimed at reducing alcohol-exposed pregnancies will be showcased. Participants will be provided with self-guided change publications for distribution to clients at-risk.

November 8, 2007: FASD Training of Trainers Annual Refresher
If you have completed the 4-day FASD Training of Trainers in Wisconsin, please contact Kristi Obmascher about attending this one-day refresher! Learn the exciting new advances in the field, and plan to stay for the November 9 workshop (see below)!

November 9, 2007: Providing Effective Substance Abuse Treatment and Aftercare for Adults with FASD
This workshop will explore the substance abuse treatment needs of adults with FASD. Screening and assessment materials for FASD will be provided, along with tips and tools for transition planning and addressing the vocational and residential needs of individuals with FASD.

2008 Trainings: April 3 - 4, 2008: National Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): Evidence-Based Strategies to Support Individuals, Families, and Communities Affected by FASD

This two-day national conference will offer keynote addresses, breakout sessions, poster presentations, and exhibits sharing state-of-the-art information and strategies for providers, families, and communities affected by FASD. Space is limited.

Attention: we will accept abstract submissions for workshop sessions or poster presentations. To be considered, requests must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, October 1, 2007. You may now submit an abstract online.

View: pre-registration information
View: abstract submission instructions
View: downloadable abstract submission form

Contributor: Peggy Seo Oba

Click Here for Model Letter and Talking Points

At its July 26 meeting, the Medical Board of California, after deciding that it was not capable of effectively running a Physician Diversion Monitoring Program on its own, voted unanimously to eliminate the program as of June 30, 2008. The Board's position leaves unclear whether California will have a Diversion Program next year and holds in limbo the status of physicians who are addressing substance abuse or mental health disorders who are currently participating in the Program.
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Medical Board Votes to Eliminate Diversion Program
[Posted 08/02/07]

The Medical Board of California last week decided it was not capable of effectively running the Physician Diversion Program, which for the past 27 years has been monitoring and providing guidance to physicians with substance abuse problems. The medical board voted unanimously at its quarterly meeting last week in South San Francisco to eliminate the program, pointing to operating flaws identified in recent audits
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A cross-sectional study of personality traits in women previously treated or untreated for alcohol use disorders
Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 2007, 2:24 6 August 2007

A better understanding of the relationship between treatment-seeking for alcohol problems and personality traits could give useful insight in factors promoting or hindering treatment for alcohol use disorders (AUD).

The aim of this study was to analyze the associations between treatment-seeking for AUD, personality traits, and psychiatric co-morbidity in women.

A stepwise logistic regression model showed that treatment-seeking for AUD was not associated with personality traits. Among women with lifetime AUD , those who had been treated had significantly higher scores than untreated women on three personality traits of the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP); somatic anxiety, muscular tension, and guilt.

Women with resolved AUD, who had received treatment had significantly higher scores on scales measuring somatic anxiety, psychic anxiety, muscular tension, irritability, and guilt than untreated women with resolved AUD. The latter group resembled women without AUD on most personality traits.

There were no differences in occurrence of lifetime psychiatric disorders between the treated and the untreated women, whereas treated women with current AUD had increased risk of lifetime anxiety.

Treatment-seeking was not associated with personality traits in this study. Still, it can be concluded that women with resolved AUD who had received treatment had high scores on the KSP-scales measuring psychic and somatic anxiety, tension, irritability, and feelings of guilt. This suggests that personality assessment might be a useful tool in tailoring individual treatment programs for women with AUD.

Future studies need to explore if women who do not seek treatment have special needs which are not met in usual treatment settings.

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The Alcohol Dependence Syndrome, 30 years later: a commentary. The 2006 H. David Archibald Lecture
Addiction (OnlineEarly Articles) 4 August 2007
Major classification systems for alcohol use disorders (DSM-IV and ICD-10) contain elements of the 1976 Edwards and Gross formulation of the Alcohol Dependence Syndrome (ADS). However, issues remain about the criteria that identify Alcohol Dependence (AD) as distinct from Alcohol Abuse (AA) in DSM-IV and Harmful Use in ICD-10. These issues, in part, have their roots in changing historical perceptions of alcohol use and its problems.
We discuss current diagnostic criteria for AA and AD, collectively called Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs), in the context of their historical evolution; research progress in understanding alcohol problems, including alcohol dependence; new findings on the severity of AUDs as classified by DSM-IV; and the role of alcohol consumption patterns in future classifications of AUDs.
The original Edwards and Gross ADS construct is supported by advances in biological and behavioral science over the past 30 years. New findings indicate that DSM-IV AA and AD are not diagnostically distinct entities, but represent a continuum of severity of AUDs. The ADS criteria may best represent one quantifiable dimension of alcohol use problems and this scale can be related to that of the frequency of harmful patterns of drinking.

The Edwards and Gross ADS criteria can be used as the basis for beginning the development of scalable multi-dimensional criteria for diagnosing AUDs in new initiatives to revise DSM-IV and ICD-10.
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Japan: alcohol today
Addiction (OnlineEarly Articles). 4 August 2007

The purpose of this paper is to outline alcohol availability, alcohol consumption and related harm, alcohol control policy and prevention programmes in Japan, few of which have been discussed in either the Japanese or English literature.

Although per capita alcohol consumption has tended to decline for more than 10 years, it has remained at a high level. Diversification of the drinking population has progressed rapidly, specifically in women, among whom alcohol consumption has increased sharply. Cross-sectional data suggest that alcohol consumption is associated with serious health and social consequences.
Existing longitudinal data suggest that alcohol-related problems, especially health problems, have increased steadily over the past several decades, with few exceptions, including alcohol-related fatal road traffic accidents.

Alcohol policy and prevention programmes have not developed to a level that can control these problems adequately. Specifically, the high availability of alcoholic beverages, including the lack of restrictions on sales and advertising and decreasing prices, are noted.

This review provides basic information regarding alcohol availability and alcohol consumption and related harm that may facilitate the improvement of existing alcohol control measures in Japan and encourage the development of new alcohol control measures.

This research revealed the scarcity of longitudinal data regarding alcohol consumption and its consequences, and the lack of several important variables, such as disability adjusted life years, for improving our understanding of the comprehensive status of alcohol in Japan.

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California State Board of Equalization Meeting on Taxation and Classification of Flavored Malt Beverages

Enclosed are the Agenda, Issue Paper, and Revenue Estimate for the August 14, 2007, Business Taxes Committee meeting. This meeting will address the taxation and classification of flavored malt beverages (FMB) with respect to the Alcoholic Beverage Tax Law. In December 2006, the Board voted to initiate the rulemaking process on this matter. Interested parties meetings were held on February 22, 2007, and June 6, 2007, to identify and discuss issues relating to this subject. Staff and interested parties have provided draft regulatory language that, if adopted, would tax FMB as distilled spirits. The attached Formal Issue Paper sets forth three alternatives and discusses various issues raised by interested parties and pros and cons of the alternatives.
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Read Full Formal Issue Paper (PDF)