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, July 18, 2009

Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Death in Women. Potential Mediating Mechanisms
Circulation. 2009 Published online before print July 13, 2009

Although an association between moderate alcohol consumption and decreased cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death has been reported, limited data are available on potential mediating mechanisms. We examined the association between alcohol and CVD and death in 26 399 women and estimated the proportion of reduced risk of CVD/death explained by a series of intermediate factors.

These data suggest that alcohol effects on lipids and insulin sensitivity may account for a large proportion of the lower risk of CVD/death observed with moderate drinking under the assumption that the alcohol-CVD association is causal.

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Using propensity scores to adjust for selection bias when assessing the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous in observational studies
Drug and Alcohol Dependence Volume 104, Issues 1-2, 1 September 2009, Pages 56-64

The effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is difficult to establish. Observational studies consistently find strong dose–response relationships between AA meeting attendance and abstinence, and the only experimental studies favoring AA have been of 12-step facilitation treatment rather than of AA per se. Pending future randomized trials, this paper uses propensity score (PS) method to address the selection bias that potentially confounds the effect of AA in observational studies.

These results confirm the robustness of AA effectiveness overall, because the results for higher abstinence associated with AA attendance following propensity score adjustment remained significant, and the reduction in the magnitude of AA's effect was moderate. However, the effect modification by propensity scores in both PS stratification and PS matching approaches seems to suggest that AA may be most helpful, or matter more, for those with a lower propensity to attend AA. Conversely, for those with a high propensity to go to AA (operationalized as higher motivation, greater problem severity, more prior AA and treatment exposure, etc.), attending AA may not make as much of a difference.

It will be important that future studies replicate our results, as this is the first paper to use propensity score adjustment in this context.

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Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Health: Current Evidence
Current Issue: May–June 2009

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ICAP Periodic Review on Drinking and Culture Issue 2

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new issue of the ICAP Periodic Review on Drinking and Culture. This issue presents abstracts of journal articles published between 2007 and 2009 and covers 11 central, eastern, and southern European countries and 8 languages.

The featured abstracts focus on the following topics: alcohol and pregnancy, alcohol and the workplace, drinking and violence, drinking patterns in adult population, extreme/”binge” drinking, motivations and expectancies, road safety, and drinking among young people.

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Brits abroad targeted with sensible drinking messages

The British Foreign Office have joined the list of organisations promoting sensible drinking messages to boozing Britons. . . . . . .

Alcohol industry launches £100 million repsonsible drinking campaign

A collaboration of more than 45 drinks companies and retailers have funded a 5 year responsible drinking campaign costing £100 million. The 'campaign for smarter drinking' will see the industry funded Drinkaware trust lead on the campaign that will "offer practical tips to make sure good times don’t go bad, such as reminders to drink water or soft drinks, eat food and plan to get home safely." The campaign claims it will take a social marketing approach to "use outdoor advertising, signs, drink mats in pubs and bars, on-drink and point of sale displays in retailers to deliver its message." . . . . .

Set Of Genes Contributes To Stress; Possible Drug-Taking Behavior Discovered
ScienceDaily (July 17, 2009)

A Baylor University researcher has found a set of genes that modulates stress responses that could cause some people to take drugs, specifically alcohol consumption.

The study by Dr. Doug Matthews, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor, appeared in the journal Behavior Genetics. . . . . .

Substance Use Treatment Need and Receipt among Hispanics

Combined 2002 to 2007 data indicate that an annual average of 8.3 percent (2.6 million) of Hispanics aged 12 or older were in need of alcohol treatment in the past year, and 3.4 percent (1.1 million) were in need of illicit drug use treatment.

Among Hispanics, the need for alcohol treatment was highest among Mexicans (9.2 percent), and the need for illicit drug treatment was highest among Puerto Ricans (6.1 percent).

Among those in need of alcohol treatment in the past year, 7.7 percent received it in a specialty facility, and 15.1 percent of those in need of drug treatment received it in a specialty facility.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Commissioning guidance for alcohol treatment published

The Department of Health has just published its long-awaited guidance, called Signs for improvement – commissioning interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm. . . . . .

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Consumer Integration: Next Steps to Creating Recovery-Oriented Environments
Free Homelessness Resource Center Webcast

July 23, 2009 at 12:00–1:30 p.m. ET

The second half of this two-part webcast series on consumer integration will feature Laura Prescott, founder and president, Sister Witness International Inc.; Leah Harris, author and national consultant; and Steven Samra, veterans services coordinator, Operation Standdown.

Part one of the webcast highlighted principles of recovery, benefits and common barriers to participation, and potential roles for people who have experienced homelessness.

Part two picks up where we left off, focusing on next steps to creating recovery-oriented environments that support integration. Participants in part two will discuss how to set the stage for integration, create an agency plan, and take concrete steps toward implementation.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Psychosocial Distress and Alcohol Use as Factors in Adolescent Sexual Behavior Among Sub-Saharan African Adolescents
Journal of School Health Volume 79 Issue 8, Pages 369 - 379

The results of this study are consistent with those conducted in the United States suggesting that sexual behavior, psychosocial distress, and substance use are interconnected. These findings highlight the need for school health education and health services in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically the efforts to reduce psychosocial distress and prevent substance use in efforts to prevent the spread of human immunodeficiency virus and other sexually transmitted infections.

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Raise Alcohol Tax to Finance Prevention Trust Fund, Partnership Urges Congress

Partnership for Prevention is urging chairmen of the three congressional committees crafting the House version of a health care reform bill to raise the federal excise tax on alcoholic beverages and apply those revenues to a special fund to finance prevention and wellness initiatives. . . . . . .

The effects of energy drinks alone and with alcohol on neuropsychological functioning
Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental Published Online: 15 Jul 2009

Participants who consumed the energy drink plus alcohol evidenced significantly lower post-test performance on a global score of neuropsychological status. Specifically, deficits were found in both visuospatial/constructional and language performance scores. While participants who consumed the caffeinated beverage alone trended toward improved attention scores, neuropsychological status did not show meaningful changes from the pre- to post-test

Consumption of an energy drink containing 6% alcohol by volume negatively influenced performance on a global measure of cognitive functioning.

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Concurrent cocaine and alcohol use in individuals presenting to an addiction treatment program
Irish Journal of Medical Science Online First July 14, 2009

Cocaine use among the alcohol-dependent population is an increasing problem in the Republic of Ireland, and poses a problem of higher toxicity associated with concurrent cocaine and alcohol use.

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Prevalence and neuropsychiatric comorbidities of alcohol use disorders in an elderly Korean population
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry Published Online: 15 Jul 2009

Problem drinking was common particularly in men and associated with smoking. Social drinking was associated with the lower risks of stroke and depression.

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Alcohol intoxication and mental health among adolescents – a population review of 8983 young people, 13–19 years in North-Tr√łndelag, Norway: the Young-HUNT Study
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2009, 3:18

The aims of this study were to describe alcohol use among Norwegian teenagers and investigate the associations between mental health problems and alcohol intoxications with focus on age and gender.

Gender differences in number of alcohol intoxications were small. There was a close association between both conduct and attention problems and high alcohol consumption in both genders. Girls with symptoms of anxiety and depression reported more frequent alcohol intoxications.

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Addiction Volume 104 Issue 8, Pages 1311 - 1312

The possibility that research assessments themselves have the potential to positively influence drinking behaviour has long been recognized. The earliest research data were retrospective accounts of how helpful research assessments were found to be in treatment cohort studies . The first trials investigated this issue among dependent drinkers within treatment settings and found them unimportant Nonetheless, the phenomenon continued to attract attention within the research community, and subsequent non-randomized treatment trials identified assessment effects which appeared substantial and important to further study . Qualitative process studies within large multi-centre treatment trials provided data attesting to the influence of research assessments, indicating that it was an important component of the treatment experience with impact on actual behaviour change . This research interest led to a more recent randomized trial of assessment in the context of treatment which detected smaller effects, providing greater certainty about the nature of the phenomenon and the magnitude of effects that may be expected . . . . . . .

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Reactivity to alcohol assessment measures: an experimental test
Addiction Volume 104 Issue 8, Pages 1305 - 1310

We found a significant effect of assessment on measures of risky drinking and risk reduction behaviors, but not on overall volume of drinking. Specifically, at 12 months, participants who had previously completed drinking assessments had a lower peak blood alcohol concentration (BAC) (d = −0.373), were more likely to report a low score on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT; odds ratio = 2.55) and tended to use more strategies to moderate their alcohol consumption (d = 0.352). Risk reduction behaviors that were affected tended to be those that limited alcohol consumption, rather than those that minimized consequences.

These results may have implications for the development of brief interventions.

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Early weaning and alcohol disorders in offspring: biological effect, mediating factors or residual confounding?
Addiction Volume 104 Issue 8, Pages 1324 - 1332

This study confirms a small but robust association between early weaning and increased risk of alcohol use disorders.

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Addiction Volume 104 Issue 8, Pages 1303 - 1304

The paper by Moos et al raises important questions about the purpose and definition of low-risk drinking guidelines—questions that extend beyond the elderly population examined in their manuscript to the broader rationale for gender- and/or age-specific drinking limits. Moos et al. note that older men experience at least as many problems as older women at comparable levels of consumption and conclude that 'guidelines for men should not be set higher than those for women'. This suggests that recommended drinking limits should be keyed towards absolute levels of risk, but I would argue that drinking guidelines should reflect relative levels of risk, i.e. the excess risk of adverse outcomes associated with given levels of consumption. . . . . .

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Americans of All Incomes Say They Could Not Afford Alcohol or Drug Treatment If They Needed It
CESAR FAX July 13, 2009 Vol. 18, Issue 27

Nearly half of U.S. adults say that they would not be able to afford alcohol or drug treatment if they or someone in their family needed it, according to a telephone survey conducted this past June. While adults with annual incomes under $50,000 are most likely to say they would not be able to afford treatment (67%), more affluent adults also perceive an inability to pay for treatment. Thirty percent of those with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000 and one-fourth of those with incomes above $100,000 didn’t think they would be able to afford treatment if they needed it. . . . . . .

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Ethanol preference in C. elegans
Genes, Brain and Behavior Published Online: 22 Jun 2009

In this study, we show that C. elegans is a useful model organism for studying chronic effects of ethanol, including the development of ethanol preference. We designed a behavioral assay for testing ethanol preference after prolonged ethanol exposure.

Despite baseline aversive responses to ethanol, animals show ethanol preference after 4 h of pre-exposure to ethanol and exhibit significantly enhanced preference for ethanol after a lifetime of ethanol exposure.

The cat-2 and tph-1 mutant animals have defects in the synthetic enzymes for dopamine and serotonin, respectively. These mutants are deficient in the development of ethanol preference, indicating that dopamine and serotonin are required for this form of behavioral plasticity.

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Social Cognitive and Emotion Processing Abilities of Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: A Comparison With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Published Online: 15 Jul 2009

Although children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) are at high risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), direct comparisons show distinct cognitive phenotypes in the 2 diagnoses. However, these groups have not been directly compared for social problems or social cognition, nor has social cognition been directly examined in FASDs.

Children with FASDs show a distinct behavioral profile from children with ADHD. Difficulties in social cognition and emotion processing in children with FASDs may contribute to their high incidence of social behavioral problems.

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The Role of Socioregional Factors in Moderating Genetic Influences on Early Adolescent Behavior Problems and Alcohol Use
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Published Online: 15 Jul 2009

Twin and family studies have demonstrated that adolescent alcohol use and behavior problems are influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. More recently, studies have begun to investigate how genetic and environmental influences may interact, with efforts underway to identify specific environmental variables that moderate the expression of genetic predispositions.

Previously, we have reported that community-level factors, including urban/rural residency, migration rates, and prevalence of young adults, moderate the importance of genetic effects on alcohol use in late adolescence (ages 16 to 18). Here, we extend these findings to test for moderating effects of these socioregional factors on alcohol use and behavior problems assessed in a younger sample of adolescent Finnish twins.

The moderation effects observed on behavior problems in early adolescence paralleled the effects found on alcohol use late in adolescence in an independent sample, providing further support for the idea that behavior problems may represent an earlier manifestation of the predisposition to subsequent alcohol problems.

Our findings also support the growing body of evidence suggesting that females may be more susceptible to a variety of environmental influences than males.

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Trends and issues in crime and criminal justice no. 372
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, July 2009

International research suggests alcohol consumption increases the number of homicides and that homicides involving alcohol differ significantly to non alcohol-related homicides.

The current study sought to build on the limited Australian research on alcohol-related homicide by examining solved homicides recorded in the National Homicide Monitoring Program over a six year period. Of the 1,565 homicides, nearly half (47%) of the incidents were classified as alcohol related and of those, over half involved both the victim and offender consuming alcohol prior to the incident.

Similar to previous research, the analysis found victim, offender and incident characteristics differentiated alcohol-related homicides from other homicides. Further analysis showed that the incident characteristics most clearly differentiate alcohol-related homicides, which highlights the crucial role situational and environmental factors play in precipitating alcohol-related homicide.

A key finding, not found in earlier research, was that alcohol is equally likely to be implicated in intimate-partner homicides as it is in all other homicides. However, homicides involving women killing male intimate partners were far more likely to involve alcohol consumption by victim or offender or both, and that the overwhelming majority of Indigenous intimate-partner homicides were alcohol related.

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Deficits in substance P mRNA levels in the CeA are inversely associated with alcohol-motivated responding
Synapse Published Online: 10 Jul 2009

In the present study, in vitro and in vivo studies were conducted to determine the relationship between innate substance P (SP) levels and alcohol-motivated behavior in alcohol-preferring (P) and nonpreferring (NP) rat lines.

Given the selective reductions on alcohol (compared to sucrose) responding by direct intracranial infusion of SP, the data suggest that deficits in SP signaling within the CeA (an anxiety regulating locus) are inversely associated with alcohol-motivated behaviors. Activation of SP receptors in the CeA may reduce anxiety-like behavior in the P rat and contribute to reductions on alcohol responding. The SP system may be a suitable target for the development of drugs to reduce alcohol-drinking behavior in humans.

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Development of a Student Engagement Approach to Alcohol Prevention: The Pragmatics Project
Journal of American College Health Volume 58, Number 1 / July - August 2009 Pages: 33 - 38

Significant involvement of students in the development and implementation of college alcohol prevention strategies is largely untested, despite recommendations by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and others.

The course design described would fit well into a Master of Public Health, Community Psychology, Health Psychology, or interdisciplinary curricula as well as the service learning model, and it is applicable in addressing other health risk behaviors.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

College Student Receptiveness to Various Alcohol Treatment Options
Journal of American College Health Volume 58, Number 1 / July - August 2009 Pages: 26 - 32

Heavy episodic drinking remains a significant problem on college campuses. Although most interventions for college students are behavioral, pharmacological treatments, such as naltrexone, could provide additional options.

Increasing treatment options for students interested in reducing or stopping drinking by offering pharmacological interventions such as naltrexone could provide an important unmet need among college students.

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Social Capital in the College Setting: The Impact of Participation in Campus Activities on Drinking and Alcohol-Related Harms
Journal of American College Health Volume 58, Number 1 / July - August 2009 Pages:
15 - 25

The authors aimed to replicate previous findings on social capital and harmful alcohol outcomes in the college setting and to ascertain the protective effects of additional indicators of social capital.

Results did not corroborate previous findings and revealed mixed results for other measures of participation at the campus level. The influence of social capital on college alcohol consumption deserves further attention.

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Democratic Leaders Introduce America's Affordable Health Choice Act

On July 14, 2009, House Democratic leaders introduced the America's Affordable Health Choice Act of 2009. The three panels with jurisdiction over health policy in the House have been working together as one committee to develop a single bill that fulfills President Obama's goals of reducing health care costs, protecting and increasing consumers' choices, and guaranteeing access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

In order to achieve affordable, quality health care for all, the bill establishes standards to ensure that all plans in the new Health Insurance Exchange cover a comprehensive set of necessary services and offer cost‐sharing protections for consumers.


A required core set of benefits provides coverage for essential health care services and items to ensure that consumers will no longer have to worry about being stuck in an inadequate insurance plan if they get sick. The levels of coverage will be defined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services working with the new Benefits Advisory Commission outlined above.

Benefits must include:

  • Inpatient hospital services

  • Outpatient hospital services

  • Physician services

  • Equipment and supplies incident to physician services

  • Preventive services

  • Maternity services

  • Prescription drugs

  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services

  • Well baby and well child visits and oral health, vision, and hearing services for children

  • Mental health and substance abuse services

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Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention

APHA is proud to annouce the release of "Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention: A Guide for Public Health Practitioners". This is a manual for public health professionals that provides the information, skills and tools needed to conduct screening and brief intervention (SBI) to help at-risk drinkers reduce their alcohol use.

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Alcohol consumption, finasteride, and prostate cancer risk
Cancer Early View 13 July 2009

Current research is inconclusive regarding the relation between alcohol consumption and prostate cancer risk. In this study, the authors examined the associations of total alcohol, type of alcoholic beverage, and drinking pattern with the risk of total, low-grade, and high-grade prostate cancer.

Heavy, daily drinking increased the risk of high-grade prostate cancer. Heavy drinking made finasteride ineffective for reducing prostate cancer risk.

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Health practitioners' guide on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

An Australian children's health research organisation has released 'Alcohol and Pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: a Resource for Health Professionals'. The guidance aims to provide practitioners with information and guidance for identifying and providing support relating alcohol use and pregnancy and preventing Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.
. . . . . .

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2008 Annual Report of the Alcohol Marketing Communications Monitoring Body

Our task, as a Monitoring Body, is to oversee the implementation of and adherence to the Voluntary Codes of Practice to limit the exposure of young people under the age of 18 years to alcohol advertising.

During the year, revised Codes of Practice were agreed between the Department of Health and Children and the Advertising and Alcohol Drinks Industries and these came into full effect from October 2008. This report, therefore, covers compliance with the original Codes until September 2008 and compliance with the revised Codes from October 2008.

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ALCOHOL AND POVERTY: some connections

In the third booklet Professor Samarasinghe explores the complex connections between alcohol and poverty. He tries to extract those with potential to generate novel and useful applications. Alcohol has diverse influences on people’s economic status while economic status in turn affects alcohol use in many ways.

The impact of alcohol on poverty is more than through just the money spent on it. And the converse influence, of poverty on alcohol, has far more to it than found in the inane explanation that heavy consumption is the result of the harshness of poor lives. Less recognised aspects of the interactions between alcohol and poverty will be examined in some detail here.

REDUCING ALCOHOL HARM: things we can do

This booklet is for someone who is interested in learning how to make even the smallest actions count. Successful results are dependent on selecting not only the right approaches, but also appropriate and realistic targets. Building on some general background, 14 steps for action are suggested by Professor Samarasinghe.

The new booklet builds on the methodology which is described more in detail in another FORUT publication by Professor Samarasinghe; Strategies to Address Alcohol Problems.

Unrecorded alcohol

In regions where the unrecorded alcohol consumption is high, this fact necessarily has to be taken into account when planning strategies and interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm. Interventions directed to the formal, legal production and sale have to be combined with actions to control the unrecorded market. It is in the interests of government from both a fiscal and a policy perspective to move towards eliminating illicit production and sale and to bringing informal supply under the taxation system.

Diyanath Samarasinghe gives an introduction to how the problem can be understood, and how it can be addressed; by communities, governments and NGOs.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Higher ‘sin tax’ deferred to 2012
By Lawrence Agcaoili

The Finance Department has finally agreed to defer any possible increase in the excise tax on sin products, especially on alcohol products and cigarettes, to 2012 due to the global economic slowdown.

Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran told reporters that any amendments to the excise tax structure on cigarettes and liquors would likely take effect after the full implementation of Republic Act 9334, or the indexation of excise tax on tobacco and alcohol products.

Beltran said the indexation of sin tax that was signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in December of 2004 called for the increase on the excise tax on tobacco and alcohol products every two years. The next adjustment would be implemented next year. . . . . . .


Editorial - A Lower Drinking Age? That would be a bad way to deal with binge drinking on campuses

SOME THINGS only seem like a good idea at 3 a.m. Increasingly, the Amethyst Letter, which more than 100 college presidents and chancellors signed last year to advocate rethinking the drinking age, looks like one of them. A study just published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that binge drinking has decreased nationwide with the increased drinking age -- everywhere but on college campuses.
. . . . .

California’s Traffic Safety Report Card

Alcohol related fatalities dropped 8.3% from 1,762 in 2006 to 1,616 in 2007 – first year to year decrease since 1997-98.

Alcohol Impaired Driving Fatalities (fatalities in crashes involving a least one driver or motorcycle operator with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater) decreased 9.5% from 1,276 in 2006 to 1,155 in 2007 - represents California’s first year to year reduction since 1997-98.

Statewide DUI arrests increased 3.4% from 197,248 in 2006 to 203,866 in 2007 – represents the most DUI arrests since 1994 – Department of Justice.

Public opinion and community-based prevention of alcohol-related harms
Addiction Research & Theory, Volume 17, Issue 4 August 2009 , pages 360 - 371

This article looks at alcohol policy opinions from the point of view of the possibilities and frames for creating local alcohol control policy. Local action against harms related to drinking is a compromise between different points of view, and the question of public support is important for community-based prevention.

The wide majority of the population supported such measures suitable for community-based prevention as enforcement of the minimum legal age to purchase alcohol, surveillance of restaurants and shops, and the ban to sell alcohol to a drunken person. Decreasing numbers of outlets of restaurants or their opening hours were least popular.

There was a relationship between drinking habits and alcohol policy opinions. Abstainers and moderate drinkers were most likely to support all alcohol policy measures examined, whilst heavier drinkers were least likely to support them.

There was a connection between awareness of alcohol problems in one's locality, and favourable opinions on alcohol control measures. The result is similar with the ones found earlier in other countries.

Potential members of local alcohol policy coalitions seem to have some similarities in different countries.

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Moderate alcohol intake is associated with lower dementia incidence: results from the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory Study (GEMS)
The 2009 Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease
Control #: 09-A-1235-ALZ
O2-02 - Epidemiology 1, Presentation #O2-02-05
Speaking Time: 7/13/2009, 4:00 - 4:15 PM

Among cognitively normal older adults, moderate alcohol intake (1-2 drinks/day) is associated with 40% lower risk of dementia over 6 years. In MCI, alcohol does not appear beneficial and heavy use is associated with greater risk of progression to dementia. Recommendations not to exceed 2 drinks/day are supported by these data.

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Alcohol use among university students in Sweden measured by an electronic screening instrument

The study shows that high risk drinkers tend to underestimate their own consumption compared to others, and that these high risk drinkers experience more negative consequences after alcohol intake, than other respondents. There was a strong belief, for both high- and low-risk drinkers, that alcohol helped celebrations be more festive. This study also confirms findings from other study locations that while males drank more than females in our study population; females reached the same peak alcohol blood concentrations as males.

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Alcohol attributable morbidity and mortality: new data for Scotland

A study by ISD Scotland has calculated alcohol population attributable fractions for Scotland, using the best possible estimates based on the current evidence available in the epidemiological literature and specific estimates of population drinking in Scotland. . . . . .

Minimum pricing decision in Scotland to follow new research

Scotland on Sunday "understands that the SNP is poised to back a 40p per unit rate for all alcoholic drinks when it announces its full plans later this year. The government believes that it will stop shops from selling loss-leading cheap drink, while leaving more expensive brands untouched. A final decision on the exact rate will be made after a study by Sheffield University into the likely impact. . . . . .

Sin Taxes: Do Heterogeneous Responses Undercut Their Value?

This paper estimates the price elasticity of demand for alcohol using Health and Retirement Survey data. To account for unobserved heterogeneity in price responsiveness, we use finite mixture models.

We recover two latent groups, one is significantly responsive to price but the other is unresponsive. Differences between these two groups can be explained in part by the behavioral factors of risk aversion, financial planning horizon, forward looking and locus of control. These results have policy implications.

Only a subgroup responds significantly to price. Importantly, the unresponsive group drinks more heavily, suggesting that a higher price could fail to curb drinking by those most likely to cause negative externalities. In contrast, those least likely to impose costs on others are more responsive, thus suffering greater deadweight loss yet with less prevention of negative externalities.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

College Suicide Ideation Among Students: A Multivariate Analysis
Archives of Suicide Research, Volume 13, Issue 3 July 2009 , pages 230 - 246

The goal of this study was to develop a multi-dimensional model that might explain suicide ideation among college students.
Depressive symptoms, low social support, affective dysregulation, and father-child conflict were each independently associated with suicide ideation. Only 40% of individuals with suicide ideation were classified as depressed according to standard criteria. In the group who reported low levels of depressive symptoms, low social support and affective dysregulation were important predictors of suicide ideation.

Alcohol use disorder was also independently associated with suicide ideation, while parental conflict was not.