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, September 4, 2010

Can parents prevent heavy episodic drinking by allowing teens to drink at home?

The current study examined whether permitting young women to drink alcohol at home during senior year of high school reduces the risk of heavy drinking in college.

Participants were 449 college-bound female high school seniors, recruited at the end of their senior year.

Participants were classified into one of three permissibility categories according to their baseline reports of whether their parents allowed them to drink at home: (a) not permitted to drink at all; (b) allowed to drink with family meals; (c) allowed to drink at home with friends.

Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to compare the drinking behaviors of the three groups at the time of high school graduation and again after the first semester of college.

Students who were allowed to drink at home during high school whether at meals or with friends, reported more frequent heavy episodic drinking (HED) in the first semester of college than those who reported not being allowed to drink at all.

Those who were permitted to drink at home with friends reported the heaviest drinking at both time points.

Path analysis revealed t
hat the relationship between alcohol permissiveness and college HED was mediated via perceptions of parental alcohol approval.

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Alcohol-induced psychotic disorder and delirium in the general population

Epidemiological data on alcohol-induced psychotic disorder and delirium (alcohol-induced psychotic syndrome, AIPS) are scarce.

To investigate the epidemiology of AIPS, the risk factors for developing AIPS among people with alcohol dependence, and mortality associated with alcohol dependence with or without AIPS, in a sample drawn from the general population of Finland.

A general population sample of 8028 persons were interviewed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and screened for psychotic disorders using multiple sources. Best-estimate diagnoses of psychotic disorders were made using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM–IV Axis I Disorders and case notes. Data on hospital reatments and deaths were collected from national registers.

The lifetime prevalence was 0.5% for AIPS and was highest (1.8%) among men of working age. Younger age at onset of alcohol dependence, low socioeconomic status, father’s mental health or alcohol problems and multiple hospital treatments were associated with increased risk of AIPS. Participants with a history of AIPS had considerable medical comorbidity, and 37% of them died during the 8-year follow-up.

Alcohol-induced psychotic disorder is a severe mental disorder with poor outcome.

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Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE 2010)

Updated Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE 2010) were released today by the North West Public Health Observatory (NWPHO). The profiles contain alcohol-related indicators for every local authority and primary care trust in England. > > > >

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RESEARCH REPORT: Potential consequences of replacing a retail alcohol monopoly with a private licence system: results from Sweden

To examine the potential effects of replacing the Swedish alcohol retail system with a private licensing system on alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm.

Two possible scenarios were analysed: (1) replacing the current alcohol retail monopoly with private licensed stores that specialize in alcohol sales or (2) making all alcohol available in grocery stores. We utilized a multiplicative model that projected effects of changes in a set of key factors including hours of sale, retail prices, promotion and advertising and outlet density. Next, we estimated the effect of the projected consumption increase on a set of harm indicators. Values for the model parameters were obtained from the research literature.

Measures of alcohol-related harm included explicitly alcohol-related mortality, accident mortality, suicide, homicide, assaults, drinking driving and sickness absence.

According to the projections, scenario 1 yields a consumption increase of 17% (1.4 litres/capita), which in turn would cause an additional 770 deaths, 8500 assaults, 2700 drinking driving offences and 4.5 million sick days per year. The corresponding figures for scenario 2 are a consumption increase of 37.4% (3.1 litres/capita) leading to an additional annual toll of 2000 deaths, 20 000 assaults, 6600 drinking driving offences and 11.1 million days of sick leave.

Projections based on the research literature suggest that privatization of the Swedish alcohol retail market would significantly increase alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm.


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Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities Affiliated with a Religious Organization

In 2008, there were 527 faith-based substance abuse treatment facilities or facilities affiliated with a religious organization that were not located in or operated by a hospital.

On the survey reference date of March 31, 2008, there was an average of 74 clients enrolled in faith-based facilities compared with an average of 88 clients enrolled in non-faith-based facilities.

Faith-based facilities were more than twice as likely as non-faith-based facilities to provide a halfway house or other transitional housing (24.1 vs. 10.4 percent)and were more likely than non-faith-based facilities to provide free treatment to all clients (10.6 vs. 3.4 percent) or to offer treatment at no charge to clients who could not afford to pay (59.4 vs. 45.2 percent).

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McDonnell's push to privatize Va. liquor stores could add tax on drinks in bars

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), scrambling to make ends meet in his plan to privatize Virginia's 332 state-run liquor stores, is considering adding a fee on alcoholic drinks sold in restaurants or bars to help make up the $250 million in annual taxes and profits that state stores currently generate, according to Richmond sources familiar with the still-evolving plan.

Under the version of the proposal discussed with industry officials Friday, the drinks surcharge, which would be imposed either as a tax on customers or on restaurants' liquor receipts, would be part of a package of new fees including a per-gallon charge to wholesalers.
> > > >

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Friday, September 3, 2010

News Release - Biggest fall in UK alcohol consumption in 60 years - new industry stats bible

UK drinkers are continuing to reduce their alcohol consumption, with 2009 seeing the sharpest year-on-year decline since 1948, according to newly published figures from the British Beer & Pub Association,

This, and other major changes affecting the UK beer market, are revealed in the newly published BBPA Statistical Handbook 2010.

There was a sharp, six per cent decline in total alcohol consumption in 2009, making it the fourth annual decline in five years. UK drinkers are now consuming 13 per cent less alcohol than in 2004. UK consumption remains below the average for the EU.

The new figures are one of many highlights among thousands of updated statistics on consumption, taxation, and consumer trends in this vital UK industry: > > > >

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Alcoholic Beverages and Prostate Cancer in a Prospective US Cohort Study

Despite numerous investigations, the correlation between alcohol consumption and prostate cancer risk remains uncertain.

This report investigated the association between alcohol use and prostate cancer risk in a prospective cohort study of 294,707 US men aged 50–71 years in 1995–1996.

Cox proportional hazards regression models with hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were adjusted for characteristics including age, race, body mass index, physical activity, and family history of prostate cancer, as well as testing for prostate-specific antigen and a digital rectal examination.

There were 15,327 nonadvanced and 1,900 advanced prostate cancers identified through 2003 and 514 fatal cases through 2005. Risk of nonadvanced prostate cancer was 25% higher for men consuming ≥6 drinks daily (hazard ratio = 1.25, 95% confidence interval: 1.13, 1.37), 19% higher for men consuming 3–> for men consuming up to 3 drinks daily, compared with nondrinkers.

The association between alcohol consumption and nonadvanced prostate cancer risk did not differ appreciably by age, family history of prostate cancer, smoking status, body mass index, or self-reported prostate-specific antigen testing and digital rectal examination (the latter available for >60% of respondents).

The authors observed no association between alcohol intake and advanced prostate cancer and an inverse association with fatal prostate cancer among heavy drinkers.

These findings suggest that higher alcohol consumption modestly increases nonadvanced prostate cancer risk.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Maternal Alcohol Consumption, Alcohol Metabolism Genes, and the Risk of Oral Clefts: A Population-based Case-Control Study in Norway, 1996–2001

Heavy maternal alcohol consumption during early pregnancy increases the risk of oral clefts, but little is known about how genetic variation in alcohol metabolism affects this association. Variants in the alcohol dehydrogenase 1C (ADH1C) gene may modify the association between alcohol and clefts.

In a population-based
case-control study carried out in Norway (1996–2001), the authors examined the association between maternal alcohol consumption and risk of oral clefts according to mother and infant ADH1C haplotypes encoding fast or slow alcohol-metabolizing phenotypes.

Subjects were 483 infants with oral cleft malformations
and 503 control infants and their mothers, randomly selected from all other livebirths taking place during the same period.

Mothers who consumed 5 or more alcoholic drinks per sitting
during the first trimester of pregnancy had an elevated risk of oral cleft in their offspring (odds ratio (OR) = 2.6, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.4, 4.7).

This increased risk was
evident only in mothers or children who carried the ADH1C haplotype associated with reduced alcohol metabolism (OR= 3.0, 95% CI: 1.4, 6.8).

There was no evidence of alcohol-related risk when
both mother and infant carried only the rapid-metabolism ADH1C variant (OR = 0.9, 95% CI: 0.2, 4.1).

The teratogenic effect
of alcohol may depend on the genetic capacity of the mother and fetus to metabolize alcohol.

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U.S. Drinks Conference 2010

U.S. Drinks Conference will include key note speakers, industry expert panel discussions and networking.

Translating Industry Trends into Actionable Insights
Tues. October 12, 9:00 to 9:30
Mike Ginley,Co-Founder and Partner, Next Level Marketing

Spirits, Wine and Beer Category and Brand Trends. Interpreting syndicated data to make informed decisions.

What’s It all About?— Social Media Marketing
Tues. October 12, 9:30-10:30
Gary Vaynerchuk, Author and Wine Library TV host

Author, entrepreneur, blogger, retailer, host of Wine Library TV, Gary Vaynerchuk challenges the status quo to help his readers trust their own palates. His daily videos are viewed by over 90,000 people (that’s 2.79 million per month!) And with a Facebook fan base of 40,000+ and over 800,000 twitter followers, Gary is a force to be reckoned with in the U.S.

Social Media Marketing Panel Discussion
Tues. October 12, 11:00-12:30

Moderator:Steve Raye, Partner, Brand Action Team


Christian McMahan,Chief Marketing Office, Heineken USA
Colleen Graham, Cocktail and Mixology Expert,
Tyler Colman, Wine Author, Dr. Vino

Everybody's talking about social media, but what exactly is it? This session will focus on what SMM is all about…what is a Social Network, how is it different from a Blog? Should I be on Twitter and Facebook? How much does Social Media Marketing cost, and what kinds of results can be expected?

Navigating Brand Entry and Distribution
Tues. October 12, 1:30-2:00
John Beaudette, President and CEO, MHW, Ltd

Understanding the process and timeline for cracking the US market is critical for a successful product launch. Key questions that will be answered will be how to find the right importer, the label/liquid registration process, realistic timelines, addressing customs issues, in-bond, open verses control states, price structures and brand valuations and finding the right distributor partner.

Regulatory Panel: What You Don't Know Might Hurt You.
Tues. October 12, 2:00-3:30
Moderator: Bill Earle, President, NABI

Vince O'Brien, Senior Council, Nixon Peabody
Thomas J. Donohue, Council to the Authority, New York State ABC
Karen Freelove, Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

This panel will consist of representatives from Federal and state regulatory authorities and law firms specializing in the drinks industry. They’ll provide guidance on how to comply with and avoid the legal pitfalls of the U.S.’ highly complex “Three-Tier System.” Some critical questions that will be addressed include: How to structure and manage a U.S. presence, criteria to use in deciding whether to staff locally or manage from overseas, contract do's and don'ts, and more. Last year's most popular session, now with expanded time for you to ask specific questions of the people who make the decisions.

Retailer Panel: Strategies for the Street
Tues. October 12, 4:00-5:30
Moderator: Steve Walkerwicz, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Pernod Ricard

Mike Berkoff, CEO, BevMax
Bob Gallo, VP Operations, Cuba Libre Restaurants

The session will focus on the obstacles, opportunities and strategies suppliers can use to get on and off premise accounts to carry and promote their brands. The 5-member panel will give you practical insights and ideas that make cash registers ring at retail. Types of questions to be answered will include: How do off and on-premise operators learn about new brands? How do they decide what to sell and how to merchandise them? What do they expect from the supplier in terms of brand support?

Supplier/Importer Panel - Spirits:
Wed. October 13, 9:00-10:30
Moderator: Donna Hood Crecca, Publisher & Director, Nighclub & Bar Magazine

Chester Brandes, President and CEO, Imperial Brands, Inc.

Matti Anttila, Founder and President, Cabana Cachaça

Tim Murphy, VP Innovation and Marketing, Pernod-Ricard USA

Jim Ryan, Executive VP, Crown Imports

A behind the scenes look into the spirit brands that have succeeded in America despite difficult economic and industry conditions.

The focus of this session is to explore how established and new suppliers launched new products, and from their point of view what constitutes “success”, the critical problems they have faced and lessons learned, and what some of the most common problems or misperceptions suppliers have when coming to the US.

Supplier/Importer Panel - Wines:
Wed. October 13, 9:00-10:30
Joe Czerwinski, Editor, Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Barry O’Brien, Founding Partner/CEO, Select Fine Wines

Nora Favalukes, President, QW Wine Experts, Wines of Argentina

William Deutsch, Chairman, W.J. Deutsch and Sons Ltd.

A behind the scenes look into the wine brands that have succeeded in America despite difficult economic and industry conditions.

The focus of this session is to explore how established and new suppliers launched new products, and from their point of view what constitutes “success”, the critical problems they have faced and lessons learned, and what some of the most common problems or misperceptions suppliers have when coming to the US.

Allocating Marketing Budgets
Wed. October 13, 11:00-11:45
Jeff Grindrod, Partner, Brand Action Team

What kind of budget do I need? How should I allocate marketing spend? How long till I get profitable and what kind of realistic volumes can I expect? For behemoths to boutique brands you'll get the straight scoop on allocating marketing spend that's right for your company.

Financial Panel: Sourcing Capital
Wed. October 13, 1:00-2:30

Moderator: Brendan M. Burns, Managing Director, Stepping Stone Capital Partners, LLC


Alexander Panos, Managing Director, TSG Consumer Partners
John Muldoon, Managing Partner, EMI Ventures, LLC

Ross Colbert, CEO, M&A Americas, Zenith International

William Anderson, Chairman and CEO, First Beverage Group

Angel Investor or Venture Capitalist? Sourcing capital is challenging and understanding how to access it and what options exist is critical to new suppliers. This experienced panel will share insights on the range of resources available and what they specifically look for when investing in beverage alcohol brands.

Distributor Panel: Supporting New Brands
Wed. October 13, 3:00-4:30
Moderator: Ted Roman, Senior Vice President of Sales, William Grant & Sons

Kevin Fennessey, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Southern Wine & Spirits
Efren Puente, Vice President of Marketing,Charmer-Sunbelt
Jeffrey Altschuler, CEO, Allied Beverages
Bob Hendrickson, Executive Vice President, Republic National Distributing Corporation

Distributors are bombarded daily with new brands looking for distribution. How they decide which brands to take on and support will be the topic of this session. In addition, panelists will share examples of brands that have been successful…and lessons learned from those that haven’t. You'll get the insights from the people who make the decisions on issues like what distributors expect from suppliers and how they manage and motivate their sales forces.

US Drinks Conference Home Page

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why Do Heavy Drinkers Outlive Nondrinkers?

One of the most contentious issues in the vast literature about alcohol consumption has been the consistent finding that those who don't drink actually tend to die sooner than those who do. The standard Alcoholics Anonymous explanation for this finding is that many of those who show up as abstainers in such research are actually former hard-core drunks who had already incurred health problems associated with drinking.

But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that — for reasons that aren't entirely clear — abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one's risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers' mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers. > > > > >

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Tax beers and wine more heavily, whisky giant Diageo tells Treasury

DRINKS giant Diageo has demanded an overhaul of the tax system for alcohol which would see hikes in duty for wine, beer and cider.

The intervention is the latest bid by the company to influence a review by the UK government looking at how to tackle alcohol-related problems.

It comes as SNP ministers in Scotland are still attempting to push through minimum pricing.
The company, the world's largest producer of whisky, has told the Treasury that spirits are currently unfairly discriminated against in the tax system.

In a submission to a review of alcohol taxation being carried out by the Treasury and Home Office aimed at reducing drink- related social problems, Diageo has said all other forms of alcohol should be taxed at the 23.8p a unit currently levied on spirits. > > > >

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Alcohol News - 35/2010

Times of India (UK) - Drink, obesity behind liver deaths Binge drinking and obesity are contributing to a steep rise in deaths from liver disease. The number of deaths from damaged, diseased and worn-out livers has gone up by 60 per cent in just a decade in Britain.

MedPage Today -
Alcohol's Breast Cancer Risk Traced to Subtypes Women who averaged one alcoholic drink a day had almost double the risk of hormone-sensitive breast cancer of nondrinkers, data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) showed.

Herald Sun (Australia) -
Alcohol bingeing in teens spurs call to increase legal drinking age HEALTH experts concerned about alcohol bingeing want the legal drinking age raised from 18 to 21. Psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg said the latest research showed one in 20 older teenagers was downing an average of 50 standard drinks a month.

Washington Post (USA) -
Virginia ponders losing ABC stores; studies conflict on privatizing liquor sales As Gov. Robert F. McDonnell pushes a proposal to privatize state-owned liquor stores, he has reassured the public that problems associated with drinking would be unlikely to worsen if the state government relinquished control over distilled spirits. (UK) -
David Cameron to call time on strict alcohol laws – Exclusive The ban on all-you-can-drink deals and other irresponsible booze promotions could be revoked by the ConDems. Laws forcing pubs to check the ID of anyone who looks under age would also be axed under the proposals.

MarketWatch - Developing markets boost alcohol giant Diageo Robust growth in key developing markets helped offset weakness in North America and Europe and a big jump in marketing expenditures to push Diageo PLC's fiscal-year profit slightly higher, the British beverage alcohol behemoth said Thursday.

RIA Novosti (Russia) -
Officials call for prosecution of retailers selling alcohol to children Retailers caught selling alcohol to minors should face criminal prosecution, Moscow's Deputy Head of Consumer Market and Services Vladimir Slepak said on Monday.

The Guardian (UK) -
Super-strength alcohol 'is killing more homeless people than crack or heroin' Charities urge ministers to save lives by bringing in punitive pricing to save a generation of 'young olds' who are pressing the fast-forward button to self-destruction.

Solomon Star -
Alcohol-related harm, a global issue The Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the South Pacific Community(SPC) are taking the lead in organizing a historical two days workshop on the 25th and 26th this week at the Quality Inn. The Workshop was first of its kind in the country to develop a Multi-Sect oral National Alcohol Policy for our country Solomon Islands.

eGov monitor (Scotland) -
Government Of Scotland: Hidden Harm Of Alcohol Misuse The hidden harm caused by parental alcohol misuse was highlighted today by a group of Dundee youngsters who shared their experiences with Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People Tam Baillie and Public Health Minister Shona Robison.

BuaNews Online (South Africa) - Law to close drinking spots earlier welcomed An anti-alcohol abuse lobby group has welcomed reported plans in legislation to deal "harshly" with alcohol abuse by teenagers in Gauteng.

New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) - Supermarkets are drug pushers, says lobbyist Supermarkets are drug "pushers" who are selling high quantities of discounted wine and should be viewed the same as dealers dishing out Ecstasy pills or morphine. (UK) -
Tax on alcohol should rise by ten per cent: charity Tax on alcohol should rise by ten per cent to reduce deaths, fund treatment and discourage the production of extra strong beer, Alcohol Concern has said.

7thSpace Interactive -
Alcohol dependence (AD) has negative effects on cognitive processes such as memory Alcohol dependence (AD) has negative effects on cognitive processes such as memory. Metamemory refers to the subjective knowledge that people have of their own cognitive processing abilities, such as their monitoring and control of memory. A new study has found that AD has a negative impact on both episodic memory as well as metamemory.

Philadelphia Bulletin (UK) -
UK’s Hard-Drinking Subculture More Likely To Abort But now an extensive new study has shown that the so-called “ladette” subculture’s combination of socially accepted heavy weekend drinking and uninhibited sex has resulted in previously unthinkable levels of unplanned pregnancies and abortion.

Private MD - Alcohol-related liver problems result in poor outcomes As cases of obesity rise in the U.S., so too have cases of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. While this illness has garnered significant attention in recent years, a new study has found that it is still not as damaging as liver disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption, which underscores the need for liver testing for heavy drinkers.$19931893.php

Alcohol News

Accumbens Homer2-mediated signaling: A factor contributing to mouse strain differences in alcohol drinking?

Alcohol-induced increases in nucleus accumbens glutamate actively regulate alcohol consumption and the alcohol responsiveness of corticoaccumbens glutamate systems relates to genetic variance in alcohol reward.

Here, we extend earlier data for inbred mouse strain differences in accumbens glutamate by examining for differences in basal and alcohol-induced changes in the striatal expression of glutamate-related signaling molecules between inbred C57BL/6J and DBA2/J mice.

Repeated alcohol treatment (8 X 2 g/kg) increased the expression of Group1 metabotropic glutamate receptors, the NR2a/b subunits of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, Homer2a/b, as well as the activated forms of protein kinase C epsilon and phosphoinositol-3-kinase within ventral, but not dorsal, striatum.

Regardless of prior alcohol experience, C57BL/6J mice exhibited higher accumbens levels of mGluR1/5, Homer2a/b, NR2a and activated kinases versus DBA2/J mice, while an alcohol-induced rise in dorsal striatum mGluR1/5 expression was observed only in C57BL/6J mice.

We next employed virus-mediated gene transfer approaches to ascertain the functional relevance of the observed strain difference in accumbens Homer2 expression for B6/D2 differences in alcohol-induced glutamate sensitization, as well as alcohol preference/intake.

Manipulating NAC shell Homer2b expression actively regulated these measures in C57BL/6J mice, while DBA2/J mice were relatively insensitive to the neurochemical and behavioral effects of virus-mediated changes in Homer2 expression. These data support the over-arching hypothesis that augmented accumbens Homer2-mediated glutamate signaling may be an endophenotype related to genetic variance in alcohol consumption.

If relevant to humans, such data pose polymorphisms affecting glutamate receptor/Homer2 signaling in the etiology of alcoholism.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Prevention of Adolescent Reoccurring Violence and Alcohol Abuse: A Multiple Site Evaluation

“Prevention of Adolescent Reoccurring Violence and Alcohol Abuse: A Multiple Site Evaluation” is a multiple component alcohol abuse and violent behavior prevention strategy, targeted to adolescents ages 16-21 who have high levels of anger, or who are victims/perpetrators of violence, and their families.

Three community centers located in upstate New York provided group participants (N = 210) known to have conduct disorder and substance abuse history. The centers were used as the intervention sites over a seven-week period with the youth assessment staff using objective screening measures. The participants were exposed to a two-pronged intervention, using a parental involvement cohort with approximately half of the study participants.

The Teams, Games, and Tournaments strategy was the intervention method. Teams, Games, and Tournaments is a Social Learning Theory-based intervention with demonstrated empirical evidence of the model's effectiveness.

A 2 times 3 factorial design with two follow-up points encompassed: anger control, alcohol/substance abuse, and family interactive education.

The goals of the study were to help adolescents reduce their alcohol use, to increase productive family interaction, and ultimately to reduce the adolescents' aggression levels and subsequently reduce the possibility of their becoming victims or perpetrators of a violent crime.

Consistent with Social Learning Theory, the Teams, Games, and Tournaments treatment intervention makes use of adolescents as peer counselors.

The practical implications include that professionals or students in our public schools, juvenile courts, correctional institutions, and residential treatment centers can easily implement this program. A standardized treatment manual is available. It offers a complete, ready-to-use, and cost-effective tool for reducing adolescent violence and alcohol abuse.

Further, the data provide support for a hypothesis of social learning theory, that is: interventions using multiple components are more effective than single treatments on their own.

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Organizational and Clinical Implications of Integrating an Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Within Non-Substance Abuse Serving Agencies

Although there have been efforts to advance evidenced-based practices into community-based organizations the limited successes of dissemination and poor implementation of efficacious treatments within these organizations are beginning to be documented.

This article builds on the knowledge gained from organizational research and those internal structures (e.g., culture and climate), which possibly impede or enhance evidenced-based practice implementation within community-based organizations.

While there are many evidenced-based practices available to human services organizations, there seems to be a gap between research and the implementation of these clinical practices.

Recommendations are provided to better enable community-based organizations to integrate evidenced-based practice into its existing service structures.

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Super-strength alcohol 'is killing more homeless people than crack or heroin'

A leading homeless charity last night pleaded with the government to drastically raise the price of super-strength beers and ciders, saying that cheap alcohol was killing more people living rough than crack cocaine or heroin.

Thames Reach, which helps thousands of homeless people throughout London and the south-east, said it was alarmed that proposals to increase the price of cider, put forward by the last government, had been scrapped in response to furious lobbying from West Country producers.

However, it is understood that ministers are now looking at proposals to increase the price of "white cider" – the cheap, high-strength alcohol that is made with a minimum apple content and has become the drink of choice for homeless people in recent years.

"From our experiences, we feel pretty confident in saying these drinks are killing more people than heroin or crack," said Mike Nicholas, spokesman for Thames Reach. > > > >

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Measuring addiction propensity and severity: The need for a new instrument

Drug addiction research requires but lacks a valid and reliable way to measure both the risk (propensity) to develop addiction and the severity of manifest addiction.

This paper argues for a new measurement approach and instrument to quantify propensity to and severity of addiction, based on the testable assumption that these constructs can be mapped onto the same dimension of liability to addiction.

The case for this new direction becomes clear from a critical review of empirical data and the current instrumentation. The many assessment instruments in use today have proven utility, reliability, and validity, but they are of limited use for evaluating individual differences in propensity and severity.

The conceptual and methodological shortcomings of instruments currently used in research and clinical practice can be overcome through the use of new technologies to develop a reliable, valid, and standardized assessment instrument(s) to measure and distinguish individual variations in expression of the underlying latent trait(s) that comprises propensity to and severity of drug addiction.

Such instrumentation would enhance our capacity for drug addiction research on linkages and interactions among familial, genetic, psychosocial, and neurobiological factors associated with variations in propensity and severity.

It would lead to new opportunities in substance abuse prevention, treatment, and services research, as well as in interventions and implementation science for drug addiction.

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The effectiveness of brief intervention among injured patients with alcohol dependence: Who benefits from brief interventions?

Research investigating the differential effectiveness of Brief Motivational Interventions (BMIs) among alcohol-dependent and non-dependent patients in the medical setting is limited.

Clinical guidelines suggest that BMI is most appropriate for patients with less severe alcohol problems. As a result, most studies evaluating the effectiveness of BMI have excluded patients with an indication of alcohol dependence.

A randomized controlled trial of brief intervention in the trauma care setting comparing BMI to treatment as usual plus assessment (TAU+) was conducted. Alcohol dependence status was determined for 1336 patients using DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. The differential effectiveness of BMI among alcohol-dependent and non-dependent patients was determined with regard to volume per week, maximum amount consumed, percent days abstinent, alcohol problems at 6 and 12 months follow-up. In addition, the effect of BMI on dependence status at 6 and 12 months was determined.

There was a consistent interaction between BMI and alcohol dependence status, which indicated significantly higher reductions in volume per week at 6 and 12 months follow-up (β = −.56, p = .03, β = −.63, p = .02, respectively), maximum amount at 6 months (β = −.31, p = .04), and significant decreases in percent days abstinent at 12 months (β = .11, p = .007) and alcohol problems at 12 months (β = −2.7, p12 = .04) among patients with alcohol dependence receiving BMI. In addition, patients with alcohol dependence at baseline that received BMI were .59 (95% CI = .39–.91) times less likely to meet criteria for alcohol dependence at six months.

These findings suggest that BMI is more beneficial among patients with alcohol dependence who screen positive for an alcohol-related injury.

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The role of alcohol misuse in PTSD outcomes for women in community treatment: A secondary analysis of NIDA's Women and Trauma Study

Individuals with comorbid substance use and posttraumatic stress disorder may differentially benefit from integrated trauma-focused interventions based on specific presenting characteristics such as substance use type and PTSD severity.

The current study is a secondary analysis of a NIDA Clinical Trials Network study exploring the effectiveness of two interventions for women with comorbid PTSD and substance use disorders.

Generalized estimating equations were used to examine the association of baseline alcohol misuse with PTSD outcome measures over time for all randomized participants.

Women entering treatment with baseline alcohol misuse had higher Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Scale (PSS-SR) total scores (t = 2.43, p < .05), cluster C (avoidance/numbing) scores (t = 2.63, p < .01), and cluster D (hyper-arousal) scores (t = 2.31, p < .05). For women with alcohol misuse, after treatment week 1, PSS-SR scores were significantly lower in the Seeking Safety intervention during treatment (χ2(1) = 4.00, p < .05) and follow-up (χ2(1) = 4.87, p < .05) compared to those in the health education intervention. Alcohol misusers in the Seeking Safety group who had higher baseline hyper-arousal severity improved more quickly than those with lower baseline hyper-arousal severity during treatment (χ2(1) = 4.06, p < .05).

These findings suggest that the type of substance abuse at treatment entry may inform treatment selection, predict treatment response among those with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders, and indicate a more severe clinical picture.

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