To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Facial Dysmorphism Across the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum

Classic facial characteristics of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) are shortened palpebral fissures, smooth philtrum, and thin upper vermillion. We aim to help pediatricians detect facial dysmorphism across the fetal alcohol spectrum, especially among nonsyndromal heavily exposed (HE) individuals without classic facial characteristics.

Of 192 Cape Coloured children recruited, 69 were born to women who reported abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy. According to multifaceted criteria, the remainder were allocated clinically to the FAS (n = 22), partial FAS (n = 26) or nonsyndromal HE (n = 75) categories. We used dense surface modeling and signature analyses of 3-dimensional facial photographs to determine agreement between clinical categorization and classifications induced from face shape alone, to visualize facial differences, and to consider predictive links between face shape and neurobehavior. 
Face classification achieved significant agreement with clinical categories for discrimination of nonexposed from FAS alone (face: 0.97–1.00; profile: 0.92) or with the addition of partial FAS (face: 0.90; profile: 0.92). Visualizations of face signatures delineated dysmorphism across the fetal alcohol spectrum and in half of the nonsyndromal HE category face signature graphs detected facial characteristics consistent with prenatal alcohol exposure. This subgroup performed less well on IQ and learning tests than did nonsyndromal subjects without classic facial characteristics.

Heat maps and morphing visualizations of face signatures may help clinicians detect facial dysmorphism across the fetal alcohol spectrum. Face signature graphs show potential for identifying nonsyndromal heavily exposed children who lack the classic facial phenotype but have cognitive impairment.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Effects of binge drinking on action cascading processes: an EEG study

High-dosage alcohol intoxication (i.e., binge drinking in humans) is an increasingly prevalent problem. Despite the well-known long-term consequences, the acute effects of high-dosage alcohol intoxication on cognitive control processes have not been investigated with respect to neurophysiological changes in humans.

We provide insights into the effects of high-dosage ethanol intoxication on action control functions in humans on the basis of neurophysiological (EEG) data. Action control processes were examined in a stop–change task.

Based on a detailed analysis of behavioral and electrophysiological data, we demonstrate a specific modulation of action cascading processes. Opposed to commonly held views, high-dosage ethanol intoxication (0.9–1.13 ‰) exerts highly specific effects on cognitive subprocesses mediating action control.

If action control processes are performed in succession, intoxicated and non-intoxicated participants perform equally well. However, action control processes become compromised during high-dosage ethanol intoxication, when different response options require processing resources in parallel.

Under high-dose ethanol intoxication, subjects are not able to prioritize different response options. We could demonstrate that the effects were of high effect sizes (η2 = 0.702) and rely more on response selection deficits than on deficits in attentional processing.

The changes in response selection processes are mediated via the anterior cingulate cortex. The specificity of the observed effects may be due to a differential involvement of dopaminergic and GABAergic processes in action control and attentional selection processes.

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ATTC Third Thursday iTraining for August 2013 - Neurobiology of Addiction


Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

Webinar Registration

Neuroscience research during the last twenty years has fundamentally changed our understanding of addiction. These new insights have elucidated many of the neurobiological changes that occur in the brain after long term drug use. It is now thought that these changes that are fundamental and long lasting are much of the underpinnings of the disease of addiction.

Presented by:
Timothy P. Condon, Ph.D.
Visiting Research Professor at the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions (CASAA) at the University of New Mexico; Former Deputy Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), NIH.  > > >   Read More
Visiting Research Professor at the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions (CASAA) at the University of New Mexico; Former Deputy Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), NIH.   > > >  Read More

Defining Substance Use Disorders: Do We Really Need More Than Heavy Use

The aim of the study was to explore whether the concept of heavy substance use over time can be used as definition of substance use disorder. 

Narrative review. 

Heavy use over time clearly underlies the neurobiological changes associated with current thinking of substance use disorders. In addition, there is evidence that heavy use over time can explain the majority of social problems and of burden of disease (morbidity and mortality). A definition of substance use disorders via heavy use over time would avoid some of the problems of current conceptualizations, for instance the cultural specificity of concepts such as loss of control. Finally, stressing the continuum of use may avoid the high level of stigmatization currently associated with substance use disorders. 

Heavy substance use over time’ seems to be a definition of substance use disorders in line with results of basic research and epidemiology. Additionally, it reduces stigmatization. This approach should thus be further explored.

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Pellagra Encephalopathy in the Context of Alcoholism: Review and Case Report

The aim of the study was to review and describe the Alcoholic Pellagra Encephalopathy, a severe neuropsychiatric condition caused by a combination of niacin (vitamin B3) deficiency and alcohol abuse.

 PsychInfo, Medline and Embase databases were searched for peer-reviewed studies addressing this illness.
A historical and conceptual review of the psychopathological aspects of this condition is offered, followed by the report of a patient with a history of chronic alcohol consumption showing signs of pellagra, delusions and visual hallucinations, which was treated successfully with niacin. 

Pellagra encephalopathy should still be considered in the differential diagnosis of acute psychotic disorders seen in the context of chronic alcoholism.

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A Cross-Sectional Study of Attitudes About the Use of Genetic Testing for Clinical Care Among Patients with an Alcohol Use Disorder

Modification and individualization of medical treatments due to genetic testing has the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery. As evidence mounts that genetic testing may improve treatment decisions for patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD), we explored patient concerns and attitudes toward genetic testing. 

Subjects of two USA cross-sectional AUD studies were surveyed regarding their attitudes regarding the use of genetic testing for AUD treatment. 

Four hundred and fifty-seven participants were surveyed. Overall, subjects showed a high degree of willingness to provide DNA for clinical use and recognized genetics as important to the pathophysiology of a number of disorders including AUD. There were, however, significant concerns expressed related to insurance denial or employment problems.

We found that patients enrolled in AUD studies had some concerns about use of genetic testing. The patients in these two samples were, however, willing and knowledgeable about providing DNA samples.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Evaluation of the Influence of Alcohol Dehydrogenase Polymorphisms on Alcohol Elimination Rates in African Americans

The relationship between alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) polymorphisms and alcohol use disorders in populations of African descent has not been clearly established. This study examined the effect of ADH1B polymorphisms on alcohol metabolism and subjective response, following intravenous (IV) alcohol administration, and the influence of gender, recent drinking history, and family history of alcoholism (FHA), in nondependent African American drinkers.
The sample included eighty-seven 21- to 35-year-old, light social drinkers of African descent. Participants included 39 sib pairs, 2 sibships with 3 siblings each, and 3 individuals who were not part of a sibship. Participants received infusions via the use of the clamp method that refers to the goal of controlling breath alcohol concentration in 2 randomized sessions at 0.06 g% ethanol and 0 mg% (placebo), and a battery of subjective scales at predefined time points. Dependent measures included alcohol elimination rates (AERs), alcohol disappearance rates (ADRs), subjective measures peak scores, and area under the curve. General linear model and mixed models were performed to examine the relationship between ADH1B genotype, dependent measures, and influence of covariates.
Participants with ADH1B1/1 genotypes showed higher number of drinks (p = 0.023) and drinks per drinking day (p = 0.009) compared with the persons with ADH1B1/3 genotype. AER (adjusted for body weight) was higher in ADH1B*1 homozygotes (p = 0.045) compared with ADH1B1/3 heterozygotes. ADR differed significantly between males and females (p = 0.002), regardless of body weight (p = 0.004) and lean body mass (p < 0.001) adjustments. Although a few subjective measures differed across genotype, all measures were higher in alcohol sessions compared with placebo sessions (p < 0.001). These observations were mediated by drinks per drinking day, gender, and FHA.
ADH1B polymorphism had a marginal effect on alcohol pharmacokinetics following IV alcohol administration in nondependent drinkers of African descent. Session (alcohol vs. placebo) and ADH1B genotype did, however, influence subjective response to alcohol with some variation by gender, FHA, and drinks per drinking day.

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Impact of Combined Prenatal Ethanol and Prenatal Stress Exposure on Anxiety and Hippocampal-Sensitive Learning in Adult Offspring

Prenatal ethanol (EtOH) and prenatal stress have both been independently shown to induce learning deficits and anxiety behavior in adult offspring. However, the interactive effects of these 2 developmental teratogens on behavioral outcomes have not been systematically evaluated.
We combined an established moderate prenatal EtOH consumption paradigm where Long-Evans rat dams voluntarily consume either a 0 or 5% EtOH solution in 0.066% saccharin water (resulting in a mean peak maternal serum EtOH concentration of 84 mg/dl) with a novel prenatal stress paradigm. Pregnant rats were exposed to 3% 2,3,5-trimethyl-3-thiazoline (TMT) for 20 minutes a day on gestational days 13, 15, 17, and 19. Adult female offspring were evaluated for anxiety-like behavior using an elevated plus-maze and hippocampal-sensitive learning using a 2-trial trace conditioning (TTTC) task.
TMT exposure produced a threefold increase in maternal serum corticosterone compared to nonexposed, unhandled controls. Neither prenatal exposure paradigm, either alone or in combination, altered maternal weight gain, EtOH consumption, maternal care of litters, litter size, pup birth weight, or pup weight gain up to weaning. Offspring exposed to prenatal stress displayed significant increases in anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze in terms of open arm entries and time spent on the open arms, with no significant effect of prenatal EtOH exposure and no interaction of the 2 prenatal exposures. Performance in a TTTC task revealed a significant effect of prenatal EtOH exposure on freezing behavior on the testing day, with no significant effect of prenatal stress exposure and no interaction of the 2 prenatal exposures.
While each prenatal exposure independently produced different behavioral outcomes, the results indicate that there is no significant interaction of prenatal EtOH and prenatal stress exposures on learning or anxiety at the exposure levels employed in this dual exposure paradigm. Subsequent studies will examine whether similar outcomes occur in male offspring and whether other measures of anxiety or learning are differentially impacted by these prenatal exposure paradigms.

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Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Results in Long-Term Serotonin Neuron Deficits in Female Rats: Modulatory Role of Ovarian Steroids

revious studies on male rodents found that prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) decreases the number of serotonin immunoreactive (5-HT-ir) neurons in the brainstem. However, data on the effects of PAE in females are lacking. In light of known sex differences in responsiveness of the 5-HT system and known effects of estrogen (E2) and progesterone (P4) in the brain, we hypothesized that sex steroids will modulate the adverse effects of PAE on 5-HT neurons in adult females.
Adult females from 3 prenatal groups (Prenatal alcohol-exposed [PAE], Pair-fed [PF], and ad libitum-fed Controls [C]) were ovariectomized (OVX), with or without hormone replacement, or underwent Sham OVX. 5-HT-ir cells were examined in key brainstem areas.
Our data support the hypothesis that PAE has long-term effects on the 5-HT system of females and that ovarian steroids have a modulatory role in these effects. Intact (Sham OVX) PAE females had marginally lower numbers of 5-HT-ir neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus of the brainstem compared with PF and C females. This marginal difference became significant following removal of hormones by OVX. Replacement with E2 restored the number of 5-HT-ir neurons in PAE females to control levels, while P4 reversed the effects of E2. Importantly, despite these differential responses of the 5-HT system to ovarian steroids, there were no differences in E2 and P4 levels among prenatal treatment groups.
These data demonstrate long-term, adverse effects of PAE on the 5-HT system of females, as well as differential sensitivity of PAE compared with control females to the modulatory effects of ovarian steroids on 5-HT neurons. Our findings have important implications for understanding sex differences in 5-HT dysfunction in depression/anxiety disorders and the higher rates of these mental health problems in individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

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Sensory-Motor Deficits in Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Assessed Using a Robotic Virtual Reality Platform

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is associated with a large number of cognitive and sensory-motor deficits. In particular, the accurate assessment of sensory-motor deficits in children with FASD is not always simple and relies on clinical assessment tools that may be coarse and subjective. Here we present a new approach: using robotic technology to accurately and objectively assess motor deficits of children with FASD in a center-out reaching task.
A total of 152 typically developing children and 31 children with FASD, all aged between 5 and 18 were assessed using a robotic exoskeleton device coupled with a virtual reality projection system. Children made reaching movements to 8 peripheral targets in a random order. Reach trajectories were subsequently analyzed to extract 12 parameters that had been previously determined to be good descriptors of a reaching movement, and these parameters were compared for each child with FASD to a normative model derived from the performance of the typically developing population.
Compared with typically developing children, the children with FASD were found to be significantly impaired on most of the parameters measured, with the greatest deficits found in initial movement direction error. Also, children with FASD tended to fail more parameters than typically developing children: 95% of typically developing children failed fewer than 3 parameters compared with 69% of children with FASD. These results were particularly pronounced for younger children.
The current study has shown that robotic technology is a sensitive and powerful tool that provides increased specificity regarding the type of motor problems exhibited by children with FASD. The high frequency of motor deficits in children with FASD suggests that interventions aimed at stimulating and/or improving motor development should routinely be considered for this population.

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Prenatal Ethanol (EtOH) Exposure Alters the Sensitivity of the Adult Dentate Gyrus to Acute EtOH Exposure

Prenatal ethanol (EtOH) exposure results in a spectrum of structural, cognitive, and behavioral abnormalities, collectively termed “fetal alcohol spectrum disorders” (FASDs). The hippocampal formation, an area of the brain strongly linked with learning and memory, is particularly vulnerable to the teratogenic effects of EtOH. Prenatal EtOH exposure can lead to long-lasting impairments in the ability to process spatial information, as well as produce long-lasting deficits in the ability of animals to exhibit long-term potentiation (LTP), a biological model of learning and memory processing. These deficits also have the ability to facilitate EtOH and/or other drug abuse later in life. This study sought to determine prenatal EtOH exposure altered the effects of acute EtOH application on synaptic plasticity.
Prenatal EtOH exposure was modeled using a liquid diet where dams were given 1 of 3 diets: (i) a liquid diet containing EtOH (35.5% EtOH-derived calories), (ii) a liquid diet, isocaloric to the EtOH diet, but with maltose–dextrin substituting for the EtOH-derived calories, and (iii) an ad libitum diet of standard rat chow. Extracellular recordings from transverse brain slices (350 μm) prepared from 50- to 70-day-old rats, following prenatal EtOH exposure (gestational day 1 to 21). LTP was examined in the dentate gyrus following acute EtOH exposure (0, 20, or 50 mM) in these slices.
Prenatal EtOH exposure attenuated LTP in the adult dentate gyrus. In control offspring, acute application of EtOH in adulthood attenuated (20 mM) or blocked (50 mM) LTP. Conversely, the effect of acute EtOH application on LTP was not as pronounced in prenatal EtOH offspring.

Prenatal EtOH exposure alters the sensitivity of the adult dentate gyrus to acute EtOH application producing a long-lasting tolerance to the inhibitory effects of EtOH. This decreased sensitivity may provide a mechanism promoting the formation of drug-associated memories and help explain the increased likelihood of developing an alcohol dependency often observed in individuals with FASDs.

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The Expression of KLF11 (TIEG2), a Monoamine Oxidase B Transcriptional Activator in the Prefrontal Cortex of Human Alcohol Dependence

The biochemical pathways underlying alcohol abuse and dependence are not well understood, although brain cell loss and neurotoxicity have been reported in subjects with alcohol dependence. Monoamine oxidase B (MAO B; an enzyme that catabolizes neurotransmitters such as dopamine) is consistently increased in this psychiatric illness. MAO B has been implicated in the pathogenesis of alcohol dependence and alcohol-induced brain neurotoxicity. Recently, the cell growth inhibitor protein, Kruppel-like factor 11 (KLF11), has been reported to be an MAO transcriptional activator. KLF11 is also known as TIEG2 (transforming growth factor-beta-inducible early gene 2) and mediates apoptotic cell death. This study investigates the protein expression of KLF11 and its relationship with MAO B using human postmortem prefrontal cortex from subjects with alcohol dependence.
Twelve subjects with alcohol dependence and the respective psychiatrically normal control subjects were investigated. Expression of KLF11 and MAO B proteins in the prefrontal cortex was measured by Western blot analysis. Correlation studies involving KLF11 and MAO B protein expression were performed. Localization of KLF11 in the human prefrontal cortex was also determined by immunohistochemistry.
Levels of KLF11 protein were significantly increased by 44% (p < 0.03) in the postmortem prefrontal cortex of subjects with alcohol dependence as compared to age- and gender-matched, psychiatrically normal control subjects. Furthermore, KLF11 levels were significantly and positively correlated with both the increased MAO B protein levels and blood alcohol content in alcohol-dependent subjects. In addition, KLF11 protein expression was visualized in both neuronal and glial cells.
This novel study shows the important role of KLF11, an MAO transcriptional activator, in human alcohol dependence. It further supports that the KLF11-MAO B cell death cascade may contribute to chronic alcohol-induced brain damage. This argues a case for KLF11-MAO B inhibition as a novel therapeutic strategy that may impact this highly prevalent illness.

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Differential Striatal Dopamine Responses Following Oral Alcohol in Individuals at Varying Risk for Dependence

The neurobiology of risk for alcohol use disorders (AUDs) remains poorly understood. Individual differences in vulnerability, though, have been indicated by subjective responses to alcohol ingestion and personality traits.
To investigate the relationship between these features and striatal dopamine (DA) responses to alcohol, we studied 26 healthy young social drinkers (21.3 ± 3.0 years old; 10.7 ± 8.8 drinks/wk) at varying risk for alcoholism. Each participant received 2 positron emission tomography [11C]raclopride scans after administration of either placebo or oral alcohol (1 ml/kg body weight of 94% alcohol, 0.75 g/kg) in a randomized and counterbalanced design.
Subjects with high-risk subjective responses to alcohol had more family members with AUDs, greater alcohol use problems, and, in response to the alcohol challenge, significant decreases in [11C]raclopride binding indicative of increased extracellular DA. In contrast, low-risk subjects exhibited increases in [11C]raclopride binding in response to alcohol. The results were similar when risk groups were based on personality traits, although statistically less robust.
Changes in striatal DA in response to alcohol ingestion may be a neurobiological marker of vulnerability to AUDs.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

News & updates Aug 2013: Olympics alcohol impact; alcohol stats at risk; Drink Driving rise; trade news & more

Here's some of the recent news happening over the last month or so: 

The 2012 London Olympics had no significant impact on alcohol related harms, a report published by the Centre for Public Health says. See a PHE press releasewhich states 'the findings can be used in the future to support the use of interventions such as restricted advertising and controlled pricing strategies in event planning'.
Annual alcohol statistics could get the chop as part of programme of possible cuts being drawn up by the Office of National Statistics, a Guardian article reports. An ONS response has said that a consultation on the possible options will be released shortly, emphasising no decisions have been made.
Six out of seven supermarkets sell alcohol below cost, equating to 220 million litres a year, according to a parliamentary statement. The ALMR's Kate Nicholls of the called on the Government to take firm action on "supermarket irresponsibility".
Drink drive deaths may have increased by 25% in 2012, preliminary Government figures suggest - see BBC report. A Guardian datablog feature explores the trends behind the figures.
Channel 4 and other TV companies have been issued warnings for breaching advertising codes to prevent under 18's advert exposure, theIndependent reports. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) code says an alcohol advertisement restriction should be applied when the number of 10 to 15-year-olds watching are 20 per cent over-represented.
A piece on the rise and fall of the alcopop was featured by the BBC. It looks at the rise of 'Ready To Drink' market, how they became synonymous with 90's 'binge drinking', and industry and media reactions.
One NHS hospital will offer some private patients alcohol, according to the Telegraph. The private patient unit is part of a project to increase hospital revenue, but a Trust official said the policy would be kept under review.
'Hangovers can make you stupid' is how the Telegraph has reported new research that explores how the after effects impact on memory and other brain functions.
Trade A-pint-of-beer-outside-a--001
Plans to introduce beer duty stamps have been abandoned, report the Morning Advertiser. Aconsultation last year claimed it would save £500 million in duty fraud, but the cost to the brewing industry was considered to big. 
Green shoots may be appearing for the pub industry, say an ALMR report. It reports the first positive growth across indicators 'since the sector was hit by the perfect storm of smoking ban, consumer confidence crash and recession'.
A Councilor has resigned over claims that the licensing process is bias, with decisions often made on personality - see Morning Advertiser report. Also an ex-licensee, Joe O'Riordan said the old system of Magistrates making decisions was fairer.
Blogs & comment
The charity Mentor UK have written a response to the decision on MUP, and blogs on alcohol prevention. Mentor state alcohol is the missing component of the new science curriculum and highlight that England won’t be part of the EU majority that require school based alcohol prevention.
Public Health England's Professor Kevin Fenton has written about the opportunities and challenges facing local authorities in addressing drug and alcohol misuse.

Scottish Labour are expected to propose new action on alcohol to the Scottish Parliament this year, reports the Scotsman. Proposals include a focus on new local initiatives such as tagging bottles, cracking down on adverts near schools and banning tonic wines high in caffeine. However some of the proposals, such as tougher enforcement measures, have previously been adopted but questioned in England.
As part of a new 'Community Alcohol Partnership' (CAP), supermarkets will train smaller shops on preventing underage sales - BBC report.

Global Actions: Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking. August 7, 2013

Global Actions in Focus
Q&A with mrs. lan hyong nguyen
drink driving initiatives in vietnam
Mrs. Lan Hyong Nguyen joined ICAP in October 2010 as the Country Manager for the Global Actions on Harmful Drinking initiatives in Vietnam. Before joining ICAP, she was the Country Manager for the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) Vietnam. As Country Manager for Global Actions, she is responsible for assisting and advising ICAP in the implementation of the Drink Driving and Self-Regulation initiatives in Vietnam. Below, she gives us an inside look on the development and evolution of the drink driving initiatives in Vietnam, including the public education workshop that took place on July 29 and 30, 2013, in Vinh City, Nghe An province, Vietnam.
How are the materials developed for the workshop in Vinh City?
Global Actions developed capacity building modules for pilot training that was conducted in Da Nang, Vietnam in February 2010. The modules are based on good practice guidelines and tools developed by international experts. In addition, a cross-functional senior advisory group provided independent scientific and implementation advice to the Drink Driving Initiative and assisted in designing the initiative and training events. Our Vietnamese partners and experts from the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC), the Ministry of Transport (MOT), and the Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) contributed valuable comments and ideas to localize the training materials.
What type of training did the participants receive and how will they utilize this training in Vinh City and surrounding areas?
In partnership with the NTSC, the public education workshop took place on July 29 and 30, 2013, in Vinh City, Nghe An province, Vietnam. The training focused on building skills and communication campaigns to improve community awareness of harmful drinking. More than 100 individuals attended the opening event, and 60 participants attended the two-day capacity building workshop including leaders from the Nghe An Department of Transportation, local radio and television stations, and managers and staff in the media sector. The workshop also aimed to equip participants from Vinh City and neighboring areas to identify, design, and implement effective media campaigns focused on the prevention of harmful drinking.
Participants from the Vinh City Workshop on July 30, 2013
What role did Commitments signatories or industry-funded groups play in the workshop?
Diageo and the Vietnam Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Association (VBA) participated in the opening ceremony of the event on July 29. This level of engagement by both organizations demonstrated how partnerships with industry sponsors are vital to the success of any drink driving initiative.
How did this workshop differ from previous events?
The Public Awareness Campaign Development Workshop is the first workshop in the initiative to address drink driving conditions in Nghe An, but builds on and follows the successful implementation of the Global Actions pilot program in the city of Da Nang. We are focused on developing media campaigns and oral communication skills to further improve community awareness of harmful drinking and road safety. The NTSC also discussed how they will be utilizing campaign materials to promote safe driving habits, including raising awareness of self-regulation to reduce road traffic crashes and fatalities. In addition, the Nghe An Province Traffic Safety Committee committed to implement the drink driving awareness program and will continue to expand the initiative throughout the province.
How has this initiative grown and developed?
Since the Global Actions Drink Driving Initiative began in Da Nang, the traffic police have improved their effectiveness in enforcing drink driving laws. After completing Phase One of the Drink Driving Initiative, we are confident that the Traffic Safety Committee (TSC) will be able to develop education and enforcement campaigns, as well as implement these initiatives with local partners.
In partnership with the NTSC, the Global Actions Drink Driving Initiative has supervised the Da Nang TSC to organize project management teams at the provincial and district levels as well as outline the specific responsibilities of each partner involved in the project. We are also utilizing the knowledge that we gained from capacity building workshops to develop area-specific drink driving campaigns. The National Economics University performed an independent evaluation of the drink driving campaigns in Da Nang which shows that these initiatives have been effective in changing the knowledge and initial behavior toward responsible drinking habits and drink driving.
Chief of the National Road Safety Commission Mr. Nguyen Trong Thai opened the workshop in Vinh City
What future workshops are planned and what is the focus of these training events?
There is a public education workshop in Thanh Hoa Province scheduled for August 16 and 17, 2013. The focus of the workshop will also be developing communication skills to promote road safety and proper driving patterns. We are also planning two drink driving enforcement workshops for the traffic police of Nghe An and Thanh Hoa provinces in September and October 2013. These workshops will help law enforcement officers develop drink driving enforcement and safety check point skills, as well as demonstrate how to properly utilize breathalyzers. After the training is complete, Global Actions Drink Driving Initiative project teams will develop local drink driving campaigns in Da Nang, Nghe An, and Thanh Hoa.
Key Recent Milestones
· India: Global Actions hosted a capacity building workshop for 14 state police officials from Goa, Jharkhand, and Haryana on August 2, 2013.
What's Happening Next
· Nigeria: A health education intervention will be taking place in Lagos, Nigeria, beginning this week and ending during the week of August 19, 2013. The intervention will be carried out by the staff and volunteers of Strap and Safe Child Initiative. Participants will pass out health education materials, including shirts and posters, at carnivals in Apapa Park.