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, February 9, 2013

Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis in alcohol dependence

Genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors influence the development of alcohol dependence (AD). Recent studies have shown that DNA methylation markers in peripheral blood may serve as risk markers for AD. Yet a genome-wide epigenomic approach investigating the role of DNA methylation in AD has yet to be performed. 

We conducted a population-based, case-control study of genome-wide DNA methylation to determine if alterations in gene-specific methylation were associated with AD in a Chinese population. 

Using the Illumina Infinium Human Methylation27 BeadChip, we assessed gene-specific methylation in over 27 000 CpG sites from DNA isolated from lymphocytes in 63 male AD in-patients and 65 male healthy controls. 

Using a multi-factorial statistical model, we observed differential methylation between cases and controls at multiple CpG sites with the majority of the methylated CpG sites being hypomethylated. Analyses with the online gene set analysis toolkit WebGestalt revealed that the genes of interest were enriched in multiple biological processes involved in AD development. Gene Ontology function annotation showed that stress, immune response and signal transduction were highly associated with AD. Further analysis by the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes revealed associations with multiple pathways involved in metabolism through cytochrome P450, cytokine–cytokine receptor interaction and calcium signaling. 

Associations with canonical pathways previously shown to be involved in AD were also observed, such as dehydrogenases 1A (ADH1A), ADH7, aldehyde dehydrogenases 3B2 (ALDH3B2) and cytochrome P450 2A13. 

We present evidence that alterations in DNA methylation may be associated with AD, which is consistent with epigenetic theory.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail:

NICE harmful drinking and alcohol dependence (CG115): 2013 Evidence Update

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) have released an evidence update to its 2011 guidance alcohol dependence and harmful alcohol use (CG 115).

Download the Alcohol use disorders: harmful drinking and alcohol dependence Evidence Update - January 2013 (pdf)
> > > >  Read More

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Alcohol Research UK response to the Alcohol Strategy Consultation

Alcohol Research UK has submitted its response to the Government’s Alcohol Strategy Consultation. You can download it here:

Alcohol Research UK Strategy response

Press Release - Drop in alcohol-related deaths by nearly a third follows minimum alcohol price increase of 10%

A new study made available online today in ‘Addiction’ shows that, between 2002 and 2009, the percentage of deaths caused by alcohol in British Columbia, Canada dropped more than expected when minimum alcohol price was increased, while alcohol-related deaths increased when more private alcohol stores were opened. The paper has significant implications for international alcohol policy.

The study was carried out by researchers from British Columbia, the westernmost province in Canada, using three categories of death associated with alcohol – wholly alcohol attributable (AA), acute, and chronic*, analysing death rates across the time period against increases in government set minimum prices of alcohol drinks.

The study was complicated by another provincial policy which allowed partial privatisation of alcohol retail sales, resulting in a substantial expansion of alcohol stores. Previously, alcohol could only be sold directly to the public in government owned stores, unlike in Europe where it is widely available in supermarkets, off-licences and petrol stations. The researchers therefore had to both control for the effects of the wider availability of alcohol, and assess what effect this measure had on mortality rates.
The major finding was that increased minimum alcohol prices were associated with immediate, substantial and significant reductions in wholly AA deaths:
  • A 10% increase in the average minimum price for all alcoholic beverages was associated with a 32% reduction in wholly AA deaths
  • Some of the effect was also detected up to a year after minimum price increases
  • Significant reductions in chronic and total AA deaths were detected between two and three years after minimum price increases
  • A 10% increase in private liquor stores was associated with a 2% increase in acute, chronic, and total AA mortality rates
> > > >   Read More

A spontaneous deletion of α-synuclein is associated with an increase in CB1 mRNA transcript and receptor expression in the hippocampus and amygdala: Effects on alcohol consumption

α-Synuclein (α-syn) protein and endocannabinoid CB1 receptors are primarily located in presynaptic terminals. An association between α-syn and CB1 receptors has recently been established in Parkinson's disease, but it is completely unknown whether there is an association between these two proteins in alcohol addiction.

Therefore, we aimed to examine the α-syn mRNA transcript and protein expression levels in the prefrontal cortex, striatum, amygdala and hippocampus. These brain regions are the most frequently implicated in alcohol and other drug addiction.

In these studies, we used C57BL/6 mice carrying a spontaneous deletion of the α-syn gene (C57BL/6Snca-/-) and their respective controls (C57BL/6Snca+/+). These animals were monitored for spontaneous alcohol consumption (3-10%) and their response to a hypnotic-sedative dose of alcohol (3 g/kg) was also assessed.

Compared with the C57BL/6Snca+/+ mice, we found that the C57BL/6Snca-/- mice exhibited a higher expression level of the CB1 mRNA transcript and CB1 receptor in the hippocampus and amygdala. Furthermore, C57BL/6Snca-/- mice showed an increase in alcohol consumption when offered a 10% alcohol solution. There was no significant difference in sleep time after the injection of 3 g/kg alcohol.

These results are the first to reveal an association between α-syn and the CB1 receptor in the brain regions that are most frequently implicated in alcohol and other drug addictions.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail:

The Relationship between Minimum Alcohol Prices, Outlet Densities and Alcohol Attributable Deaths in British Columbia, 2002 to 2009

To investigate relationships between periodic increases in minimum alcohol prices, changing densities of liquor stores and alcohol attributable (AA) deaths in British Columbia, Canada.
Cross section (16 geographic areas) versus time series (32 annual quarters) panel analyses were conducted with AA deaths as dependent and price, outlet densities and socio-demographic characteristics as independent variables.
Populations of 16 Health Service Delivery Areas in British Columbia, CanadAge-sex standardised rates of acute, chronic and wholly AA mortality; population densities of restaurants, bars, government and private liquor stores; minimum prices of alcohol in dollars per standard drink.

Increases in the minimum price of alcohol in British olumbia, Canada, between 2002 and 2009 were associated with immediate and delayed decreases in alcohol attributable mortality. By contrast, increases in the density of private liquor stores were associated with increases in alcohol attributable mortality.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail:

Global Actions February 6, 2013

Key Recent Milestones:

· Worldwide: The Global Actions Twitter gained 54 new followers in December and January, while the Global Actions Facebook page had 25,000 impressions and the ICAP Facebook page had 14,700 impressions during the same time frame.

Global Actions in Focus: Vietnam Drink Driving Campaign

lan.jpgVietnamese celebrities joined two-time Formula One (F1) World Champion car racer Mika Hakkinen in Ho Chi Minh City on January 12, 2013 for the launch of the “Join the Pact” drink driving awareness campaign.

Organized by ICAP sponsor company Diageo, the ongoing “Join the Pact” campaign encourages influential public figures to sign a pact committed to responsible drinking and spreading awareness of drink driving dangers.

Description: Description: Description: Description: Nhà vô địch Mika Hakkinen:Hakkinen arrived at the launch event with his luxury “supercar” Caparo and the message “Winners always stay in control.”

“Social responsibility messaging is one of the core values of Diageo,” said Global Actions Country Manager Lan Huong Nguyen. “Since 2008, the ‘Join the Pact’ campaign has asked consumers worldwide to join the McLaren drivers and Johnnie Walker’s Responsible Drinking Ambassador Mika Häkkine in signing the pact to never drink and drive.”

Diageo activity in Vietnam complements ICAP’s Global Actions on Harmful Drinking drink driving initiative.

What’s Happening Next:

· Amsterdam: ICAP staff representatives will be attending the International Council on Alcohol and Addictions (ICAA) Alcohol Education Section meeting on February 11 and 12, 2013 as a member of ICAA.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Longitudinal associations between attitudes towards binge drinking and alcohol-free drinks, and binge drinking behavior in adolescence

Alcohol attitudes are often considered an important predecessor of drinking behavior, although the literature is equivocal. Lately, attention has turned to enhancing positive cognitions on alcoholic-free drinks to discourage heavy drinking. 

The current study was the first to longitudinally examine associations between attitudes towards binge drinking and alcohol-free drinks and binge drinking behavior in a cross-lagged path model in Mplus. Participants were 293 adolescents (131 boys, Mage = 16.1 years) who filled in two online questionnaires with a six month interval. 

Binge drinking behavior and attitudes towards binge drinking and alcohol-free drinks were all significantly correlated at both waves. The multivariate model, however, showed that only higher levels of binge drinking at T1 were prospectively related to more positive binge drinking attitudes at T2, and not vice versa. Analyses were controlled for sex, educational level, and age. 

Findings discard the Theory of Planned Behavior, but rather seem consistent with the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, i.e., adolescents may adapt their cognitions to their behavior. 

More longitudinal research with several time points and over a longer period of time is needed to further examine the development of attitudes and drinking behavior.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail:

CONFERENCE AAA-PREVENT Effective Environmental Strategies for the Prevention of Alcohol Abuse among Adolescents in Europe

Monday 25 February, 2013

EUROCARE secretariat, Rue Archimede 17, 1000 Brussels (Belgium)

This is the final conference of the EC funded project Effective Environmental Strategies for the Prevention of Alcohol Abuse among Adolescents in Europe (AAA-Prevent).
The consumption of alcohol among young people in Europe has risen during the past years. Several studies indicate that one quarter to one third of all adolescents drink alcohol. Not only the number of young people drinking alcohol is growing; problematic drinking (e.g. drunkenness and binge drinking) is an issue of growing importance. Especially among 12 to 14 year olds the use of alcohol has increased.

During this three year project the AAA-Prevent research team studied the alcohol-use among European adolescents and identified and analyzed risk factors which influence the initiation of this alcohol-use. The research team confronted the study of outcomes and risk factors with different possible effective strategies for the prevention of alcohol abuse among adolescents in different European countries. They analyzed existing environmental strategies at different governance levels. The results are presented in the book ‘Alcohol-use Among Adolescents in Europe; Environmental Research and Preventive Actions’.

The final project conference will be held on Monday, 25 February, 2013 at Eurocare's premises in Brussels. The aim of the conference is to disseminate the findings of this large-scale research study to a broad European audience of researchers, practitioners and policy makers.  > > > >  Read More

Changes in Early Maladaptive Schemas After Residential Treatment for Substance Use

Early maladaptive schemas are cognitive and behavioral patterns that cause considerable distress and are theorized to underlie mental health problems. Research suggests that early maladaptive schemas may underlie substance abuse and that the intensity of early maladaptive schemas may decrease after brief periods of abstinence. The current study examined changes in early maladaptive schemas after a 4-week residential substance use treatment program.

Preexisting records of a sample of male alcohol- and opioid-dependent treatment seeking adults (N = 97; mean age = 42.55) were reviewed for the current study.

Pre-post analyses demonstrated that 8 of the early maladaptive schemas significantly decreased by the end of the 4-week treatment.

Findings indicate that early maladaptive schemas can be modified during brief substance use treatment and may be an important component of substance use intervention programs. Implications of these findings for substance use treatment are discussed.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail:

Hybrid Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Versus Relaxation Training for Co-Occurring Anxiety and Alcohol Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) is far less effective for those with a co-occurring anxiety disorder. Surprisingly, adding an independent anxiety treatment to AUD treatment does not substantially improve the poor alcohol outcomes of these patients. This may reflect the lack of attention from independent treatments to the dynamic interaction of anxiety symptoms with alcohol use and drinking motivation. 

On the basis of this view, we assembled a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program designed to both reduce anxiety symptoms and weaken the links between the experience of anxiety and the motivation to drink. 

344 patients undergoing residential AUD treatment with current social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, or panic disorder were randomly assigned to receive either the CBT or an active comparison treatment, Progressive Muscle Relaxation Training (PMRT). Assessments took place immediately following treatment and 4 months later (n = 247).

As predicted, the CBT group demonstrated significantly better alcohol outcomes 4 months following treatment than did the PMRT group. Although both groups experienced a substantial degree of anxiety reduction following treatment, there were no significant group differences immediately after treatment and only a slight advantage for the CBT group 4 months after treatment. 

These findings suggest that specific interventions aimed at weakening the association between the experience of anxiety and drinking motivation play an important role in improving the alcohol outcomes of these difficult-to-treat patients beyond that of anxiety reduction alone.

Read Full Abstract
Request Reprint E-Mail:

The effects of drinking goal on treatment outcome for alcoholism.


It is well known to clinicians and researchers in the field of alcoholism that patients vary with respect to drinking goal. The objective in this study was to elucidate the contribution of drinking goal to treatment outcome in the context of specific behavioral and pharmacological interventions.

Participants were 1,226 alcohol-dependent individuals enrolled in a large, multisite trial of combined behavioral intervention, acamprosate, and naltrexone. Drinking goal was coded as follows: (a) controlled drinking, (b) conditional abstinence, and (c) complete abstinence. 

Analysis revealed a main effect of drinking goal on percent days abstinent (p < .0001), days to relapse to heavy drinking (p < .0001), and global clinical outcome (p < .001). These results were such that a goal of complete abstinence was associated with the best outcomes, followed by conditional abstinence; controlled drinking was associated with the poorest outcomes. Conversely, a main effect of drinking goal was observed on drinks per drinking day (p < .01), such that controlled drinking was associated with fewer drinks per drinking day whereas complete abstinence was associated with the highest number of drinks per drinking day. Combined behavioral intervention performed better than medical management alone for participants whose drinking goal was not complete abstinence. 

These results suggest that drinking goal represents a highly predictive clinical variable and should be an integral part of the clinical assessment of patients with alcohol dependence. Assessment of patients' drinking goals may also help match patients to interventions best suited to address their goals and clinical needs. 

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Press Release - NIH study finds missed opportunities for underage alcohol screening

Physicians often fail to ask high school-aged patients about alcohol use and to advise young people to reduce or stop drinking, according to a study led by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

In a random survey of more than 2,500 10th grade students with an average age of 16 years, researchers from NIAAA and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found that 34 percent reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Twenty-six percent said they had binged, defined as five or more drinks per occasion for males, and four or more for females.

“While more than 80 percent of 10th graders said they had seen a doctor in the past year, just 54 percent of that group were asked about drinking, and 40 percent were advised about alcohol harms,” says lead author Ralph W. Hingson, Sc.D., M.P.H., director of NIAAA’s division of epidemiology and prevention research. He adds that, among students who had been seen by a doctor in the past year and who reported drinking in the past month, only 23 percent said they were advised to reduce or stop drinking. The findings are now online in the February issue of Pediatrics.  > > > >  Read More

Alcohol News - 5/2013

Science Nordic (Nordic) - High levels of drugs, medicines and alcohol in dead drivers
A new study shows that alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescribed medicines are contributing factors in roughly half of all fatal road accidents in Sweden, Finland and Norway.
THL (Finland) - Alcohol-related harm at a high level
The prevalence of alcohol-related harm remained high in 2011, according to the latest Yearbook of Alcohol and Drug Statistics.
Zee News (Russia) - Russia mulls ban on duty-free alcohol on planes
Russian lawmakers are looking to ban passengers from carrying duty-free alcohol on board airplanes, amid a rise in disruption caused by Russian drunk travellers, Russian media said.
Radio Iowa - Study finds first drink of alcohol from a friend has lots of consequences
A national study led by University of Iowa researchers finds kids who get their first drink from a friend are more likely to drink sooner in life. The U-I’s Samuel Kuperman, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, part of the reason is it’s easier to get a first drink from a friend.
GlobalPost - Alcohol in excess has lasting effects on brain, study says
Excessive alcohol use has lasting effects on the brain according to a new study. Researchers found that excessive alcohol consumption while young had effects on memory, brain size and learning later in life.
The Guardian (UK) - Alcohol labels to include calorie content
Drinkers will have even less excuse for getting a beer belly or putting on weight under government plans that would display the calorie content of beer, wine and spirits on bottles and cans.
Times of India (India) - Need control on alcohol, diet to curb cancer: Doctors
Two-thirds of the cancer cases in India can be prevented either by making effective policies or better implementation of the existing ones, say experts. What's more, a grip on alcohol consumption and obesity can help prevent a large percentage of cancer.
GlobalPost (Chile) - Chilean researchers to conduct human trials of alcohol vaccine in India
Chilean researchers plan to start human trials an alcohol vaccine in India later this year. The aim of the hangover-inducing drug is to help cure alcoholism, according to Dr Juan Asenjo of the Institute for Cell Dynamics and Biotechnology at Universidad de Chile.
Khaleej Times (UK) - 1,000 British doctors charged with alcohol abuse
Doctor heal thyself. Over 1,000 doctors in Britain have faced disciplinary hearings for alcohol and drug misuse over the past five years, a media report said.
Dublin People (Ireland) - Junior Minister to bring alcohol proposals to the Cabinet
Minister of State for Primary Care, Deputy Alex White (Lab), is to bring concrete proposals to the Cabinet next week on long awaited legislation to curb alcohol abuse.
Voice of America (Malawi) - Malawi to Restrict Alcohol Consumption
A 2009 survey by the World Health Organization on Non Communicable Diseases, or NCDs, and its risk factors shows that 20 percent of all Malawians consume alcohol.
New Scientist (UK) - Minimum booze price will rein in alcohol abuse
Binge drinking and preloading – drinking cheap shop-bought alcohol before going to a bar – are two behaviours the UK government hopes to curb by imposing a minimum price for alcohol.
VOXXI - Exposure to alcohol ads makes children more prone to underage drinking
Children exposed to alcohol ads on television may be more inclined to start drinking as early as seventh grade, and the more exposure to such advertising and the higher the level of enjoyment gained from watching it, the more likely children are to drink by the time they reach tenth grade.
Belfast Telegraph (UK) - Zero alcohol limit urged for young
Half of UK motorists would welcome a zero drink-driving alcohol limit for young drivers, according to a survey.

Shame about past alcoholism predicts relapse and declining health in recovering alcoholics


Feeling shame about past instances of problem drinking may increase the likelihood of relapse and other health problems, according to a new study in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia, shows that behavioral displays of shame strongly predicted whether recovering alcoholics would relapse in the future.

Public shaming has long been viewed as a way to encourage people to amend their ways and research suggests that experiences of shame can motivate people to improve their self-image and contribute to a common good.
But it's not clear that improvement on a general level extends to specific behaviors. Researchers don't know whether experiencing shame about a DUI, for example, actually deters drinking and driving. In fact, some studies suggest that shame might do more harm than good, as it can motivate hiding, escape, and general avoidance of the problem. > > > >  Read More

luorescent Transgenic Zebrafish Tg(nkx2.2a:mEGFP) Provides a Highly Sensitive Monitoring Tool for Neurotoxins

Previously a standard toxicological test termed as DarT (Danio rerio Teratogenic assay) using wild type zebrafish embryos has been established and it is widely applied in toxicological and chemical screenings. As an increasing number of fluorescent transgenic zebrafish lines with specific fluorescent protein expression specifically expressed in different organs and tissues, we envision that the fluorescent markers may provide more sensitive endpoints for monitoring chemical induced phenotypical changes.

Here we employed Tg(nkx2.2a:mEGFP) transgenic zebrafish which have GFP expression in the central nervous system to investigate its potential for screening neurotoxic chemicals. Five potential neurotoxins (acetaminophen, atenolol, atrazine, ethanol and lindane) and one neuroprotectant (mefenamic acid) were tested.

We found that the GFP-labeled ventral axons from trunk motoneurons, which were easily observed in live fry and measured for quantification, were a highly sensitive to all of the five neurotoxins and the length of axons was significantly reduced in fry which looked normal based on DarT endpoints at low concentrations of neurotoxins.

Compared to the most sensitive endpoints of DarT, ventral axon marker could improve the detection limit of these neurotoxins by about 10 fold. In contrast, there was no improvement for detection of the mefenamic acid compared to all DarT endpoints. Thus, ventral axon lengths provide a convenient and measureable marker specifically for neurotoxins.

Our study may open a new avenue to use other fluorescent transgenic zebrafish embryos/fry to develop sensitive and specific toxicological tests for different categories of chemicals.

Read Full Article    (PDF)

Differential Phosphorylation of GluN1-MAPKs in Rat Brain Reward Circuits following Long-Term Alcohol Exposure

The effects of long-term alcohol consumption on the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) pathway and N-methyl-D-aspartate-type glutamate receptor 1 (GluN1) subunits in the mesocorticolimbic system remain unclear.

In the present study, rats were allowed to consume 6% (v/v) alcohol solution for 28 consecutive days. Locomotor activity and behavioral signs of withdrawal were observed. Phosphorylation and expression of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), p38 protein kinase and GluN1 in the nucleus accumbens, caudate putamen, amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of these rats were also measured.

Phosphorylation of ERK, but not JNK or p38, was decreased in all five brain regions studied in alcohol-drinking rats. The ratio of phospho/total-GluN1 subunit was reduced in all five brain regions studied.

Those results suggest that the long-term alcohol consumption can inhibits GluN1 and ERK phosphorylation, but not JNK or p38 in the mesocorticolimbic system, and these changes may be relevant to alcohol dependence. To differentiate alcohol-induced changes in ERK and GluN1 between acute and chronic alcohol exposure, we have determined levels of phospho-ERK, phospho-GluN1 and total levels of GluN1 after acute alcohol exposure.

Our data show that 30 min following a 2.5 g/kg dose of alcohol (administered intragastrically), levels of phospho-ERK are decreased while those of phospho-GluN1 are elevated with no change in total GluN1 levels. At 24 h following the single alcohol dose, levels of phospho-ERK are elevated in several brain regions while there are no differences between controls and alcohol treated animals in phospho-GluN1 or total GluN1.

Those results suggest that alcohol may differentially regulate GluN1 function and ERK activation depending on alcohol dose and exposure time in the central nervous system.

Read Full Article    (PDF)

Complexity: Researching alcohol and other drugs in a multiple world

An interdisciplinary conference for international researchers in drug use and addiction studies from a range of research disciplines.

Aarhus University, 21-23 August 2013

Read more about the conference

Events & dates: NDSAG 2013 conference

New Directions in the Study of Alcohol Group (NDSAG) has announced its 2013 conference which will take place at the Copthorne Hotel, Birmingham, England from 25th April to 28th April 2013

The conference will address a number of themes including alcohol and the family - see the 2013 conference flyer. Keynote speakers will include Professor Jim Orford, Dr. Alex Copello, Pip Mason, Professor John Booth Davies, Dr Jim McCambridge, James Nicholls, Mike Ashton, Sarah Galvani, Robin Davidson and others - see the draft conference programme here. > > > >  Read More

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Longitudinal Study of the Reciprocal Effects of Alcohol Use and Interpersonal Violence Among Australian Young People

The impact of alcohol-related violence on individuals and society continues to receive attention from both media and policy makers. However, the longitudinal relationship between alcohol consumption and violence is unclear, with findings from prospective studies producing mixed results.

The current study utilized Australian data from the International Youth Development Study to examine longitudinal relationships between alcohol consumption and severe interpersonal violence across the developmental periods of early adolescence to late adolescence/emerging adulthood.

The full sample comprised 849 adolescents (53.8 % female) who had been followed up over a 5 year period, from Grade 7 secondary school (age 13) until Grade 11 secondary school (age 17). Cross-lagged path analysis was used to examine reciprocal relationships between alcohol consumption and interpersonal violence; analyses controlled for a range of covariates considered to be common risk factors for both behaviors.

Alcohol use during early and mid adolescence was found to predict violence 2 years later, whereas a bi-directional relationship between adolescent heavy episodic drinking and violence was observed. Some of these relationships were not significant when covariates such as family conflict and affiliation with antisocial and drug using friends were included in the models.

These findings suggest that risk processes begin in late childhood or very early adolescence; efforts to reduce one problem behavior are likely to reduce the other. Further, the role that social and family contexts have in influencing the relationships between alcohol use and interpersonal violence should be considered in future research to better inform preventive efforts

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint -Mail:

The Economic Burden of Alcohol Dependence in Europe

To determine the economic burden pertaining to alcohol dependence in Europe.

Database searching was combined with grey literature searching to identify costs and resource use in Europe relating to alcohol dependence as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) or the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Searches combined MeSH headings for both economic terms and terms pertaining to alcohol dependence. Relevant outcomes included direct healthcare costs and indirect societal costs. Main resource use outcomes included hospitalization and drug costs.

Compared with the number of studies of the burden of alcohol use disorders in general, relatively few focussed specifically on alcohol dependence. Twenty-two studies of variable quality were eligible for inclusion. The direct costs of alcohol dependence in Europe were substantial, the treatment costs for a single alcohol-dependent patient lying within the range €1591–€7702 per hospitalization and the annual total direct costs accounting for 0.04–0.31% of an individual country's gross domestic product (GDP). These costs were driven primarily by hospitalization; in contrast, the annual drug costs for alcohol dependence were low. The indirect costs were more substantial than the direct costs, accounting for up to 0.64% of GDP per country annually. Alcohol dependence may be more costly in terms of health costs per patient than alcohol abuse.

This review confirms that alcohol dependence represents a significant burden for European healthcare systems and society. Difficulties in comparing across cost-of-illness studies in this disease area, however, prevent specific estimation of the economic burden.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail:

Exposure to Alcohol Advertisements and Teenage Alcohol-Related Problems

This study used prospective data to test the hypothesis that exposure to alcohol advertising contributes to an increase in underage drinking and that an increase in underage drinking then leads to problems associated with drinking alcohol. 
A total of 3890 students were surveyed once per year across 4 years from the 7th through the 10th grades. Assessments included several measures of exposure to alcohol advertising, alcohol use, problems related to alcohol use, and a range of covariates, such as age, drinking by peers, drinking by close adults, playing sports, general TV watching, acculturation, parents’ jobs, and parents’ education. 
Structural equation modeling of alcohol consumption showed that exposure to alcohol ads and/or liking of those ads in seventh grade were predictive of the latent growth factors for alcohol use (past 30 days and past 6 months) after controlling for covariates. In addition, there was a significant total effect for boys and a significant mediated effect for girls of exposure to alcohol ads and liking of those ads in 7th grade through latent growth factors for alcohol use on alcohol-related problems in 10th grade. 
Younger adolescents appear to be susceptible to the persuasive messages contained in alcohol commercials broadcast on TV, which sometimes results in a positive affective reaction to the ads. Alcohol ad exposure and the affective reaction to those ads influence some youth to drink more and experience drinking-related problems later in adolescence.

Read Full Article    (PDF)