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, June 28, 2008

The Globe
Issue No 3 2007 & 1 2008

On the cover of this issue

Global Advocacy Grows

Also in this issue:

Book review

Alcohol Alert
Issue No 2 2008

On the cover of this issue

Also in this issue:

Drug, alcohol abuse study measures the high cost of under-treated addiction

By Susan Brink, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 30, 2008

Ensuing diseases and hospitalization can be been avoided with more preventive treatment, researchers find.
DRUG AND alcohol abuse sets people on a path toward heart disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses. A study in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment reports that hospital costs for this medical fallout can be substantial -- and could be avoided with more drug and alcohol treatment.
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Alcopops tax hike on shaky ground

June 24, 2008

The Rudd government's alcopop tax hike is on shaky ground, as Family First considers dumping its support and Senator-elect Nick Xenophon signals there'll need to be changes to win his support.

The Labor-dominated Senate inquiry into ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages today released recommendations supporting the 70% alcopop tax hike, which came into effect on April 27 this year via regulation.

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Mental Health and Addiction 101

Welcome to Mental Health and Addiction 101 Series

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is pleased to offer you this series of free, quick, easy-to-use ONLINE TUTORIALS. These tutorials will introduce you to topics concerning substance use and mental health problems.

This material is intended for people who:

  • work in non-clinical roles in the substance use and mental health fields
  • encounter people with substance use or mental health problems, in any work setting
  • have friends or family with substance use or mental health problems.

These tutorials are a starting point for learning about substance use and mental health problems, as well as about factors that are critical to understanding those problems.

. . . . . . .

Access Tutorials


Opinion - Anti-alcohol crusaders skew facts


Drunken driving makes headlines every day. Traffic officials relentlessly remind Americans that the abuse of alcohol continues to be a huge problem on roads and, as a result, drastic measures are needed.

In fact, the Seattle P-I Editorial Board recently endorsed one such measure, when it editorialized in favor of sobriety checkpoints ("DUI Laws: Holding the line," April 7). And in February, P-I editorial columnist Joe Copeland lamented Washington's attitude toward drunken driving. Though truly "drunken" driving is a serious issue, much of the reported problem is little more than PR.

Consider fatality statistics. The number of deaths that activists attribute to drunken driving is grossly exaggerated.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Merger of schemes for prevention of alcoholism
Special Correspondent
June 27, 2008

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved the merger of two Centrally-sponsored schemes — Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse and General Grant-in-Aid Programme — and their continuation as the scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse and Social Defence Services.

The objective of the scheme has also been revised from awareness and treatment to “whole persons recovery” consisting of rehabilitation and social integration of the addicts.

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Minimum Drinking Age Laws and Infant Health Outcomes
NBER Working Paper No. 14118
Issued in June 2008

Alcohol policies have potentially far-reaching impacts on risky sexual behavior, prenatal health behaviors, and subsequent outcomes for infants.

We examine whether changes in minimum drinking age (MLDA) laws affect the likelihood of poor birth outcomes.

Using data from the National Vital Statistics (NVS) for the years 1978-88, we find that a drinking age of 18 is associated with adverse outcomes among births to young mothers -- including higher incidences of low birth weight and premature birth, but not congenital malformations. The effects are largest among black women. We find suggestive evidence from both the NVS and the 1979 National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY) that the MLDA laws alter the composition of births that occur.

In states with lenient drinking laws, young black mothers are more likely to have used alcohol 12 months prior to the birth of their child and less likely to report paternal information on the birth certificate.

We suspect that lenient drinking laws generate poor birth outcomes because they increase the number of unplanned pregnancies.

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2008 Joint Scientific Meeting of the
Research Society on Alcoholism and the
International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism

Symposia Session I

Ethanol and Receptor Gated Ion Channels: A Memorial to Dr. Maharaj Ticku
Organizers/Chairs: Fulton T. Crews and Antonio B. Noronha

New Findings on Alcohol Use Disorders in the U.S. General Population
Organizer/Chair: Deborah Hasin Co-Chair: Bridget Grant

Cytokines and Signaling Pathways in Alcoholic Liver Disease
Organizers/Chairs: Bin Gao and George Kunos

GABA(B) Receptor: A New Target for Effective Pharmacotherapies for Alcohol Dependence?
Organizer/Chair: Kimberly A. Leite-Morris Co-Chair: Giancarlo Colombo

Ethanol and Brain Function: Relieve, Damage, and Repair
Organizer/Chair: Eri Hashimoto Co-Chair: Kimberly Nixon

Mechanisms of Change in Brief Interventions for Young Adult Drinking
Organizer/Chair: Scott T. Walters

Epigenetic Approaches to the Study of Alcoholism and Alcohol Effects
Organizers/Chairs: Feng C. Zhou and Subhash C. Pandey

Genetic Determinants of Subjective and Physiological Responses to Ethanol and the
Risk for Alcohol Use Disorders in Asians
Organizers/Chairs: Susumu Higuchi and Victor Hesselbrock

Symposia Session II

Towards an Individualized Treatment in Alcohol Dependence: Results from the US-COMBINE
Study and German PREDICT Study – In Honor of past work of Dr. Jack Mendelson
Organizers/Chairs: Karl F. Mann and Raymond F. Anton

Progression of Alcoholic Liver Disease
Organizer/Chair: Steven Dooley Co-Organizer: Katja Breitkopf

Alcohol and Injury in the Emergency Room: International Findings from the ERCAAP
and WHO Collaborative Study
Organizer/Chair: Cheryl J. Cherpitel

Endocannabinoid Participation in Alcohol’s Effects on Neurophysiology and Behavior
Organizers/Chairs: Loren H. Parsons and Marisa Roberto

Systems Biology Approaches to the Study of Alcohol-Induced Tissue Damage and Repair
Organizers/Chairs: Jan B. Hoek and Samir Zakhari

Symposia Session III

Understanding and Treating Patients with Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis: An Update
Organizers/Chairs: Giovanni Addolorato and Lorenzo Leggio

Molecular Nuggets Mined from INIA-West Transcriptomes: Determinants of Excessive
Alcohol Consumption
Organizer/Chair: George Koob Co-Chair: Adron Harris

Acetaldehyde-Induced Cancer Risks: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms
Organizers/Chairs: R.K. Rao and Helmut K. Seitz

Translating Research into Practice: Evaluating Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention
Demonstrations in Large Population Areas
Organizer/Chair: Thomas F. Babor

Ethanol and Glia-Neuron Interactions
Organizer/Chair: Suzhen Chen Co-Chair: Michael E. Charness

Alcohol-Induced Brain Damage: New Findings from the Asian-Pacifi c Region
Organizer/Chair: Toshikazu Saito Co-Chair: Ting-Kai Li

Alcohol Dependence: Integration of Neuroimaging and Genetic Approaches
Organizer/Chair: Kent Hutchison

Pre & Post Treatment Interventions for Youth with AOSUD: Is the Whole Greater than the
Sum of Its Parts?
Organizers/Chairs: Yifrah Kaminer and John F. Kelly

Symposia Session IV

Effects of Smoking Interventions on Alcohol Drinking: Preclinical through Public Policy
Organizer/Chair: Stephanie S. O’Malley

Ethanol Actions on the Glycine Receptor: No Longer GABA’s Little Brother
Organizers/Chairs: Daryl L. Davies and Luis G. Aguayo

Parent Involvement in Preventing High-Risk College Student Drinking: Emerging Evidence
from Etiological, Efficacy and Effectiveness Studies
Organizer/Chair: Rob Turrisi

Neurobiological Mechanisms Contributing to Alcohol-Stress-Anxiety Interactions
Organizer/Chair: Jeff Weiner

The Role of Dynorphin and Kappa Opioid Receptors in Alcohol Abuse
Organizers/Chairs: Brendan Walker and Rainer Spanagel

Innate Immunity in the Progression of Alcohol-Related Organ Injury
Organizers/Chairs: Kenichi Ikejima and Gavin E. Arteel

Alcoholic Cardiac Injury: From Basic Research to Cure
Organizer/Chair: Emanuel Rubin Co-Chair: Alvaro Urbano-Marquez

Brain Banking for Alcohol Research: Past, Present and the Future
Organizers/Chairs: Clive Harper and Therese Garrick

Symposia Session V
Current Findings on Gender and Alcoholism: Biology, Epidemiology and Treatment
Organizers/Chairs: Michie N. Hesselbrock and Susumu Higuchi

Emerging Targets at the GPCR Signaling Complex: Implications for Ethanol Reinforcement?
Organizer/Chair: Wolfgang Sommer Co-Chair: Boris Tabakoff

Pharmacological Targets for Treatment of Alcoholism: Basic Studies
Organizers/Chairs: Kalervo Kiianmaa and Jorgen A. Engel

Genetics of Alcoholism: Recent Findings Add More Pieces to the Puzzle
Organizer/Chair: Mary-Anne Enoch Co-Chair: David Goldman

The Role of Calcium-Dependent Small and Large Conductance Potassium Channels in Ethanol
Tolerance and Plasticity
Organizer/Chair: Judson Chandler

Adolescent Brain Development: Ethanol Induced Cellular and Molecular Changes
Organizers/Chairs: Antonio B. Noronha and Fulton T. Crews

Theory-Based Prevention Interventions with Alcohol-Using Adolescents at High-Risk for HIV
Organizers/Chairs: Wendee M. Wechsberg and Robert C. Freeman

Optimizing Treatment for Alcoholism Complicated with Bipolar Disorder: Current Advances
and Future Directions
Organizers/Chairs: Ihsan M. Salloum and Conor K. Farren

Symposia Session VI

New BeginnINGS: Diverse Roles of Growth Factors (BDNF, Insulin, IGF, NGF and GDNF) in
Ethanol’s Actions in the Brain
Organizer/Chair: Dorit Ron

Drinking and Symptom Trajectory Classes: The Next Step Drinking Phenotypes
Organizer/Chair: Robert A. Zucker

Neuroimaging of Animal Models of Alcoholism: Second Report from the Integrative
Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism
Organizers/Chairs: Edith V. Sullivan and Kathleen A. Grant

Alcohol and Retinoic Acid-Dependent Stem Cell Growth Control
Organizers/Chairs: William F. Bosron and Svetlana Radaeva Co-Chair: Abraham Fainsod

HIV and Alcohol: International Perspective
Organizer/Chair: Jeffrey H. Samet Co-Chair: Evgeny Krupitsky

Involvement of Infl ammatory Mediators in Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury
Organizer: Carol A. Casey Co-Chairs: Patricia Eagon and Amin Nanji

Implementation of Alcohol Interventions in Surgical Patients: Interdisciplinary Challenges
and Opportunities
Organizers/Chairs: Peter Miller and Claudia Spies

The Importance of Glucocorticoids and Alcohol Dependence and Neurotoxicity
Organizer/Chair: Hilary Little

Symposia Session VII

Doctors Will Do This: Strategies for Motivating Physicians to do Brief Interventions
Organizer/Chair: J. Paul Seale Co-Chair: Daniel C. Vinson

Ethanol and Lipid Rafts
Organizer/Chair: Cynthia F. Bearer Co-Chair: Consuelo Guerri

Alcohol and Risk Taking Behavior: A Bi-Directional Relationship
Organizer: Anna E. Goudriaan and Joris C. Verster Chair: Kenneth J. Sher

Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis Resulting from Alcohol Consumption
Organizers/Chairs: P.J. Brooks and Helmut Karl Seitz

Stress-Induced Negative Affect Associated with Withdrawal and Abstinence from Ethanol:
Contributing Sites and Mechanisms
Organizers/Chairs: George R. Breese and Rajita Sinha

Alcohol Biomarkers: Guidelines for Their Measurement and Use
Organizers/Chairs: John Whitfi eld and Anders Helander

Methylation Reactions in Alcohol-Mediated Organ Damage
Organizer/Chair: Kusum K. Kharbanda Co-Chair: Cheng Ji

Factors or Policy Measures that May Cause the Changes in Alcohol Consumption and Related
Harm: Experiences in the Asian-Pacifi c Region
Organizers/Chairs: Dongyul Oh and John B. Saunders

Read Symposia Abstracts (PDF)

The following abstracts were presented, either as oral presentations or posters, at the TRSA’ Annual Scientific Meeting, held February 29, 2008 at the University of Texas Club, Austin, Texas.
TRSA is the only state affiliate of the National RSA –

News Release - New Report Details Innovative Ways to Help Teens Struggling With Drugs, Alcohol and Crime

June 26, 2008

A national group of project directors today called on communities across the nation to better help teens beat drugs, alcohol and crime using a groundbreaking approach tested at 10 pilot sites. They have issued a national report which shares a six-step model to bring about change, reveals a road map for communities to plan for innovation, and offers step-by-step instructions and examples on how to implement this new way of helping teens in trouble.

The project directors oversee Reclaiming Futures initiatives funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Together, they have authored the report, How to Implement a Model to Get Youth Off Drugs and Out of Crime, based on six years of creating and testing new ways to help teens that enter the juvenile justice system and previously received little or no care for their drug or alcohol problems. The report describes how judges, probation officers, treatment specialists, families and community members can take steps right now to improve the future of these youths.

. . . . . .

Read Full News Release

Anheuser to stop selling alcoholic energy drinks

Thu Jun 26, 2008

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch Cos (BUD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) will stop selling energy drinks that contain alcohol in the United States under an agreement with 11 state attorneys general who had alleged that the brewer was marketing the products to underage drinkers.
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News Release - Anheuser-Busch Supports Federal Government’s Teen Summer Safety Campaign

Ads and Retail Signage Reinforce Responsibility Message

ST. LOUIS (June 10, 2008) – Anheuser-Busch, the nation’s largest brewer, is helping the federal government spread an important public service message about underage-drinking prevention. The company will place ads in national publications to support the government’s “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign aimed at fighting underage drinking. The initiative is part of an industry-wide effort timed for summer when many teens have increased freedom, are attending parties, and may, potentially, find themselves in situations where they are tempted to drink alcohol. The campaign, which launches today, also includes outdoor billboards and signs in convenience and grocery stores.

. . . . . . .

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Generalizability of clinical trials for alcohol dependence to community samples
Drug and Alcohol Dependence Article in Press, 24 June 2008

There is a growing concern that results of tightly controlled clinical trials of individuals with alcohol use disorders may not generalize to broader community samples.

To assess the proportion of community-dwelling adults with alcohol dependence who would have been eligible for a typical alcohol dependence treatment study, we developed a new, simple method: we applied a standard set of eligibility criteria commonly used in alcohol outcome studies to a large (n = 43,093) representative US adult sample interviewed face-to-face, the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).

We found that approximately one-half (50.5%) of all individuals with a DSM-IV diagnosis of alcohol dependence (n = 1484) and 79.4% of those who sought treatment (n = 185) were excluded by one or more study criteria. Individual study criteria excluded from 0.9% to 48.2% of the overall sample and 0.8% to 43.7% of the treatment-seeking sample. For the overall sample, the lack of motivation/compliance and financial situation criteria excluded the largest percentage of individuals. In the treatment-seeking subsample, comorbid medical conditions and legal problems excluded the largest proportions of individuals.

Our study provides a new method to assess the generalizability of clinical trials, and gives further evidence that typical clinical trials for alcohol dependence likely exclude most adults with the disorder in the community and under care, and support the notion that clinical trials recruit “pure” rather than “typical” patients.

Clinical trials should carefully evaluate the effects of the selected eligibility criteria on the generalizability of their results.

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Electrophysiological correlates of the disrupted processing of anger in alcoholism
International Journal of Psychophysiology Article in Press, 22 May 2008

Recent studies have shown that alcoholism is characterized by a deficit in the processing of emotional facial expressions (EFE), and that this deficit could be "emotion specific".

The present study explored the hypothesis that there is a specific deficit for the EFE of anger compared to another negative emotion (disgust). Moreover, on the basis of event-related potentials (ERPs), this study aimed at determining the locus of this deficit in the information-processing stream.

Behavioural data showed an absence of categorical perception effect for anger (but not for disgust) stimuli among alcoholic patients. Moreover, electrophysiological data revealed that alcoholism is associated with an impaired processing of anger at the attentional level (N2b/P3a complex), extending to the decisional level (P3b).

This study demonstrated disturbed processing of anger in alcoholism, at behavioural and electrophysiological levels. These preliminary results strengthen the proposition of a specific deficit for anger, and localize its possible origin to the attentional level (N2b/P3a complex) of the information processing stream. The clinical implications of these results are discussed.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

The role of acetaldehyde outside ethanol metabolism in the carcinogenicity of alcoholic beverages: evidence from a large chemical survey
Food and Chemical Toxicology Article in Press, 6 June 2008

Acetaldehyde is a volatile compound naturally found in alcoholic beverages, and it is regarded as possibly being carcinogenic to humans (IARC Group 2B). Acetaldehyde formed during ethanol metabolism is generally considered as the source of carcinogenicity in alcoholic beverages. However, no systematic data is available about its occurrence in alcoholic beverages and the carcinogenic potential of human exposure to this directly ingested form of acetaldehyde outside ethanol metabolism.

In this study, we have analysed and evaluated a large sample collective of different alcoholic beverages (n=1555). Beer (9+/-7mg/l, range 0-63mg/l) had significantly lower acetaldehyde contents than wine (34+/-34mg/l, range 0-211mg/l), or spirits (66+/-101mg/l, range 0-1159mg/l).

The highest acetaldehyde concentrations were generally found in fortified wines (118+/-120mg/l, range 12-800mg/l). Assuming an equal distribution between the beverage and saliva, the residual acetaldehyde concentrations in the saliva after swallowing could be on average 195muM for beer, 734muM for wine, 1387muM for spirits, or 2417muM for fortified wine, which are above levels previously regarded as potentially carcinogenic.

Further research is needed to confirm the carcinogenic potential of directly ingested acetaldehyde. Until then, some possible preliminary interventions include the reduction of acetaldehyde in the beverages by improvement in production technology or the use of acetaldehyde binding additives.

A re-evaluation of the 'generally recognized as safe' status of acetaldehyde is also required, which does not appear to be in agreement with its toxicity and carcinogenicity.

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News Release - New Nationwide Report Estimates that 40 Percent of Underage Drinkers Received Free Alcohol from Adults Over 21

Survey reveals that 650,000 underage drinkers in the past month were given alcohol by their parents or guardians

More than 40 percent of the nation’s estimated 10.8 million underage current drinkers (persons aged 12 to 20 who drank in the past 30 days) were provided free alcohol by adults 21 or older, according to a nationwide report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The study also indicates that one in 16 underage drinkers (6.4 percent or 650,000) was given alcoholic beverages by their parents in the past month.

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Substance abuse treatment linked with prenatal visits improves perinatal outcomes: a new standard
Journal of Perinatology
advance online publication 26 June 2008

To evaluate the impact of Early Start, an obstetric clinic-based prenatal substance abuse treatment program, on perinatal outcomes.

Subjects were 49 985 women who completed Prenatal Substance Abuse Screening Questionnaires at obstetric clinics between 1 January 1999 and 30 June 2003, had urine toxicology screening tests and either live births or intrauterine fetal demises (IUFDs). Four groups were compared: women screened/assessed positive and treated by Early Start ('SAT', n=2073); women screened/assessed positive without treatment ('SA', n=1203); women screened positive only ('S', n=156); controls who screened negative (n=46 553). Ten neonatal and maternal outcomes were studied.

SAT women had either similar or slightly higher rates than the control women on most outcomes but significantly lower rates than S women. SA women generally had intermediate rates to the SAT and S groups. In multivariate analysis, the S group had significantly worse outcomes than the SAT group: preterm delivery (odds ratio (OR)=2.1, 1.3 to 3.2), placental abruption (OR=6.8, 3.0 to 15.5) and IUFD (OR=16.2, 6.0 to 43.8).

Substance abuse treatment integrated with prenatal visits was associated with a positive effect on maternal and newborn health.

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News Release - FTC Reports on Alcohol Marketing and Self-Regulation

June 26, 2008

Study Finds High Levels of Compliance with Voluntary Placement Standard

A new Federal Trade Commission report on alcohol marketing and youth examines industry efforts to reduce the likelihood that alcohol advertising will target those under the legal drinking age of 21. It also announces a new system for monitoring alcohol industry compliance with self-regulatory programs. The report explains where alcohol suppliers spend their promotional dollars, provides data on compliance with the industry's advertising placement standard, discusses the status of external review of advertising complaints, and provides information about the Commission's education program to reduce teen access to alcohol.

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Alcohol and suicide in eastern Europe
Drug and Alcohol Review, Volume 27, Issue 4 July 2008 , pages 361 - 373

The aim of this paper was to estimate how suicide rates in seven eastern European countries are affected by changes in population drinking and to put the results into a comparative perspective.

All countries obtained positive alcohol effect estimates. The effects on the overall population were largest in the spirits countries, where a 1-litre increase in per capita consumption was associated with an increase in overall suicide rates of 5.7-7.5%. The effects were somewhat smaller in the non-spirits countries, 2.7-4.7%. The estimates for males were larger, but showed the same national variations as the overall population estimates. The female estimates were generally smaller than for men and did not differ between the two country groups.

The results suggest that per capita consumption matters for suicide mortality in these eastern European countries, but that the strength of the relationship is contingent upon the drinking culture, so that it tends to be stronger in countries with detrimental drinking patterns.

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Ready to drinks are associated with heavier drinking patterns among young females
Drug and Alcohol Review, Volume 27, Issue 4 July 2008 , pages 398 - 403

To report patterns of use of ready to drinks (RTDs) and to assess if RTD consumers have heavier drinking patterns. RTDs were introduced in 1995.

Nineteen per cent of respondents consumed RTDs. Respondents aged 14-17 and 18-24 years and females were the largest consumers of RTDs. Compared to beer, wine or spirits, being an RTD consumer predicted (1) higher typical occasion quantities for respondents aged 14-17, 18-24 and 25+ years and (2) heavier drinking for those aged 14-17 and 18-24 years. When amounts of beverages consumed were modelled, quantity of RTDs predicted higher typical occasion quantities among females of all ages. Among males beer was more predictive. Similar results were found for the heavier drinking measure. For 14-17-year-old females, RTDs consumption predicted higher annual frequency, but for the other females and males the amount of wine or beer consumed predicted higher frequency.

RTDs were most popular among young people aged 14-17 years, and females. RTDs predicted higher typical occasion alcohol consumption and heavier drinking better than any other beverage for females aged 14-17 years. For the other age and gender groups, other beverages predicted higher quantity and frequency consumption

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Inquiry into Ready-to-Drink Alcohol Beverages

Terms of Reference

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On 15 May 2008 the Senate referred to the Community Affairs Committee for inquiry and report by 24 June 2008:

  1. the effectiveness of the Government's proposed changes to the alcohol excise regime in reducing the claims of excessive consumption of ready-to-drink alcohol beverages;
  2. the consumption patterns of ready-to-drink alcohol beverages by sex and age group;
  3. the consumption patterns of all alcohol beverages by sex and age group;
  4. the impact of these changes on patterns of overall full strength spirit consumption, including any increased consumption of standard drinks of alcohol;
  5. the evidence underpinning the claims of significant public health benefit in the increase of excise on this category of alcohol;
  6. applicability of incentives to encourage production and consumption of lower alcohol content beverages;
  7. the modelling underpinning the Government's revenue estimates of this measure;
  8. the effectiveness of excise increases as a tool in reducing the levels of alcohol related harm;
  9. the empirical evidence on which the government's decision to increase the excise on ready-to-drink alcohol beverages was based; and
  10. the effect of alternative means of limiting excessive alcohol consumption and levels of alcohol related harm among young people.
New materials about Faces & Voices

Thanks to recovery advocates Cheryl Floyd, PRO-A; Walter Ginter, National Alliance of Methadone Advocates; Lisa Mojer-Torres; Bev Haberle, PRO-ACT; Tom Hill, Altarum Institute; Andre Johnson, Detroit Recovery Project; Carol McDaid, Capitol Decisions; Jane Pressly, FAVOR South Carolina Greenville chapter; Phillip Valentine, Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery; Tonya Wheeler, Advocates for Recovery Colorado; and Faces & Voices Tom Coderre for their help in developing some new materials about Faces & Voices and recovery advocacy.

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Recovery-based care project

Faces & Voices is partnering with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) and the State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS) in a project to educate state legislators and legislative staff about recovery-based care for addiction.

On June 20 th Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) Executive Director Phillip Valentine participated in a briefing for legislators in Washington, DC. The next part of the project is a series of three web-assisted audio conferences. On July 11th, Bev Haberle from PRO-ACT will join Philadelphia’s Dr. Arthur Evans to discuss the transformation to recovery-oriented care in that city. The audioconferences will be recorded and can be listened to online. We'll let you know when they're available.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Effects of Clozapine on Ethanol Withdrawal Syndrome in Rats
Alcohol and Alcoholism Advance Access published online on June 25, 2008

Co-morbid substance use in schizophrenic patients is common, and an important factor affects the outcome of disease. On the other hand, drug dependence is a predictive factor for psychosis. Alcohol is one of the most frequently abused psychoactive substances and may contribute psychotic symptoms in several conditions, such as withdrawal syndrome.

The present study was designed to investigate the effects of clozapine on ethanol withdrawal syndrome (EWS) in rats.

Clozapine significantly and dose-dependently inhibited the EWS-induced locomotor hyperactivity, wet dog shake, stereotyped behaviour, tremor and tail stiffness. However, it did not produce any significant effect on agitation and audiogenic seizures. Doses of clozapine used in the present study did not produce any significant change on locomotor activities of naïve rats.

Our results suggest that clozapine had some significant beneficial effects on EWS in rats. Thus, this drug may be helpful for controlling some withdrawal signs in ethanol-dependent patients.

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'Binge' drinking in the UK: a social network phenomenon

In this paper, we analyse the recent growth of ‘binge’ drinking in the UK. This means
the rapid consumption of large amounts of alcohol, especially by young people, leading
to serious anti-social and criminal behaviour in urban centres. This phenomenon has
grown very rapidly.

British soccer fans have often exhibited this kind of behaviour abroad, but it has become
widespread amongst young people within Britain itself. Vomiting, collapsing in the
street, shouting and chanting loudly, intimidating passers-by and fighting are now
regular night-time features of many British towns and cities. A particularly disturbing
aspect is the huge rise in drunken and anti-social behaviour amongst young females.
Increasingly, policy makers in the West are concerned about how not just to regulate but
to alter social behaviour. Smoking and obesity are obvious examples, and in the UK
‘binge’ drinking has become a focus of acute policy concern.

We show how a simple agent based model approach, combined with a limited amount of
easily acquired information, can provide useful insights for policy makers in the context
of behavioural regulation.

We show that the hypothesis that the rise in binge drinking is a fashion-related
phenomenon, with imitative behaviour spreading across social networks, is sufficient to
account for the empirically observed patterns of binge drinking behaviour.

The results show that a small world network, rather than a scale-free or random one,
offers the best description of the data.

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Longitudinal trends in hospital admissions with co-occurring alcohol/drug diagnoses, 1994–2002
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Volume 35, Issue 1, July 2008, Pages 1-12

In this observational study, longitudinal trends (1994–2002) in hospital admissions with co-occurring alcohol/drug abuse and addiction (ADAA; N = 43,073) were examined to determine prevalence and hospital costs by payer group and type of drug used.

Four primary drug types were reported: 49% used a combination of two or more drugs, 25% used alcohol only, 11.8% used opioids only, and 6.5% used cocaine only. Costs of admissions increased significantly for those using two or more drugs (119%, from US$12.7 to US$27.8 million), alcohol (120%, from US$9 to US$19.8 million), and opioids (482%, from US$1.7 to US$9.9 million).

Medicaid/Medicare represented 70% of the overall number of admissions and also paid 70% of hospital costs. Among Medicaid/Medicare and uninsured admissions, illicit drug use was more common, whereas among private payer admissions, alcohol abuse was more common.

Hospital admissions with co-occurring ADAA must be considered when estimating the scope of ADAA and its financial burden.

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Alterations in the levels of heterotrimeric G protein subunits induced by psychostimulants, opiates, barbiturates, and ethanol: Implications for drug dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal
Synapse 62:689-699, 2008

Neuronal adaptations have been found to occur in multiple brain regions after chronic intake of abused drugs, and are therefore thought to underlie drug dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal.

Pathophysiological changes in drug responsiveness as well as behavioral sequelae of chronic drug exposure are thought to depend largely upon the altered state of heterotrimeric GTP binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptor (GPCR)-G protein interactions.

Responsiveness of GPCR-related intracellular signaling systems to drugs of abuse is heterogeneous, depending on the types of intracellular effectors to which the specific G protein subtypes are coupled and GPCR-G protein coupling efficiency, factors influenced by the class of drug, expression levels of G protein subunits, and drug treatment regimens.

To enhance understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie the development of pathophysiological states resulting from chronic intake of abused drugs, this review focuses on alterations in the expression levels of G protein subunits induced by various drugs of abuse.

Changes in these mechanisms appear to be specific to particular drugs of abuse, and specific conditions of drug treatment.

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Koreans Turn to Mild Alcoholic Beverages

By Yoon Ja-young
Staff Reporter

More Koreans are turning to mild alcoholic beverages instead of hard liquors, reflecting a growing interest in healthy lifestyles, statistics showed.

According to the National Tax Service (NTS), Koreans consumed 3.3 million kiloliters of beer, soju, and other alcoholic beverages in 2007, up 3.8 percent from the previous year. The alcoholic consumption has been rising each year except for 2005, when the consumption fell to 3.1 million kiloliters from 3.2 million kiloliters of the previous year.
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Self-medication of anxiety disorders with alcohol and drugs: Results from a nationally representative sample
Journal of Anxiety Disorders Article in Press 22 Mar 2008

Self-medication – the use of alcohol or drugs in an attempt to reduce anxiety – has often been invoked as an explanatory mechanism for the high co-occurrence of anxiety and substance use disorders (for reviews, see Allan, C. A. (1995). Alcohol problems and anxiety disorders—A critical review. Alcohol & Alcoholism, 30(2), 145–151; Kushner, M. G., Abrams, K., & Borchardt. (2000). The relationship between anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorders: A review of major perspectives and findings. Clinical Psychology Review, 20(2), 149–171).

The current study expands upon previous self-medication research by: (1) examining prevalence and comorbidity of self-medication for anxiety disorders (panic disorder, social phobia, specific phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder); (2) using a nationally representative sample (National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions; N = 43,093) to do so; and (3) by differentiating self-medication with alcohol from self-medication with drugs.

Prevalence rates ranged from 18.3% (self-medication with alcohol for generalized anxiety disorder) to 3.3% (self-medication with both alcohol and drugs for specific phobia and panic disorder without agoraphobia). Multiple logistic regression analyses determined that self-medication with alcohol was associated with increased likelihood of any mood or personality disorder diagnosis, while self-medication with both alcohol and drugs further increased these associations over and above self-medication with alcohol alone.

Findings remained significant after adjusting for sociodemographic and substance use disorder variables, which suggests that independently of substance use disorders, self-medication can be viewed as a marker of severity.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Reasons for substance use in dual diagnosis bipolar disorder and substance use disorders: A qualitative study
Journal of Affective Disorders Article in Press, 20 June 2008

Few systematic studies have examined the reasons why patients with bipolar disorder and substance use disorders misuse alcohol and drugs of abuse. Such reasons may depend heavily on context so qualitative research methods that made no prior theoretical assumptions were employed.

We explored the reasons patients give for misusing drugs and alcohol and how these relate to their illness course.

Qualitative semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis with a purposive sample of 15 patients with bipolar disorder and a current or past history of drug or alcohol use disorders.

Patients based their patterns of and reasons for substance use on previous personal experiences rather than other sources of information. Reasons for substance use were idiosyncratic, and were both mood related and unrelated. Contextual factors such as mood, drug and social often modified the patient's personal experience of substance use. Five thematic categories emerged: experimenting in the early illness; living with serious mental illness; enjoying the effects of substances; feeling normal; and managing stress.

The prevalence of these underlying themes was not established and the results may not apply to populations with different cultural norms.

Patterns of substance use and reasons for use are idiosyncratic to the individual and evolve through personal experience. Motivating the patient to change their substance use requires an understanding of their previous personal experience of substance use both in relation to the different phases of their bipolar disorder and their wider personal needs.

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More Thinking About Drinking

Tuesday, June 24, 2008; Page HE02

I'm delighted that the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is interested in the detection and treatment of alcohol abuse through primary care medicine ["How Much Is Too Much?" June 17].

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Coping in male partners of female problem drinkers
Journal of Substance Use, Volume 13, Issue 3 June 2008 , pages 193 - 203

Despite a wealth of literature looking at how families cope when a member has a drinking problem, little is known about the experiences of male partners. This study sought to redress this balance by exploring coping behaviours in male partners of female problem drinkers.

Contrary to what was expected, male partners reported using engaged coping behaviours most frequently and withdrawal coping behaviours least frequently. Significant positive correlations were found between the males' coping behaviours, and both the length of the problem drinking and the extent to which they saw their partners' drinking as problematic.

The results gave little support to the idea that males withdraw from females with drinking problems, and the males reported to be engaged in both an active and controlling way in trying to cope with their partner's drinking. The results reinforce the need to include a female's significant others in the treatment of her alcohol problem.

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Press release - Alcohol Advertisements Seen by Youth on TV on the Rise

12-20 Year Olds' Exposure Increased 38% From 2001-2007

Washington, DC - A comprehensive review of television advertising practices by alcohol companies from 2001-2007 finds an increase in youth exposure to alcohol advertising and relatively few industry-sponsored "responsibility" ads. The new study, released today by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at Georgetown University, evaluated advertising trends and identified the best and worst brands with regard to youth exposure to alcohol.

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