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, December 11, 2010

Alcohol dehydrogenase-2 and aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 genotypes, alcohol drinking and the risk for stomach cancer in chinese males.

To investigate the relationship among alcohol dehydrogenase-2 (ADH2) and aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) genetic polymorphisms, alcohol consumption, and the susceptibility of stomach cancer in Chinese males. 

Three hundred and eighty-two stomach cancer patients and 382 healthy controls from Taixing and Changshu city of Jiangsu province were enrolled in this study. ADH2 and ALDH2 genotypes were examined by PCR and denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC). Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). 

(1) In no drinkers, compared with ALDH2G/G carriers, ALDH2 G/A (OR=1.67, 95%CI: 1.01-2.78) carriers showed a significantly elevated risk of developing stomach cancer. No association was found between ADH2 genotypes and risk of stomach cancer. 

(2) ALDH2 A allele carriers with cumulative amount of alcohol consumption ≥2.5 (Kg* years) were at a higher risk of developing stomach cancer compared with those with cumulative amount of alcohol consumption <2.5Kg (Kg * years) (OR=2.72, 95%CI:0.89-8.31) and ALDH2 G/G carriers with cumulative amount of alcohol consumption <2.5 (Kg* years) (OR=2.46, 95%CI=0.90-6.72) or ≥2.5 (Kg * years) (OR=2.53, 95%CI=0.86-7.49). 

(3) Compared with individuals with ADH2 A/A and ALDH2 G/G genotypes, ADH2 G and ALDH2 A allele carriers were not at a high risk of developing stomach cancer, with regard to the status of alcohol consumption, and even cumulative amount of alcohol consumption ≥1.5 (Kg* years) (OR =1.65, 95%CI:0.56-4.82). 

ADH2 and ALDH2 polymorphisms and alcohol drinking may not play an important role in the development of stomach cancer in Chinese males.

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Effects of the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) and α2A-adrenoceptor (C-1291G) genotypes on substance use in children and adolescents: a longitudinal study

Twin studies suggest that substance use initiation in children and adolescents is determined primarily by environmental influences, whereas the establishment of use patterns is strongly controlled by genetic factors. 
The present study analysed the effects of the serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism [5-HT transporter gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR)] and the α2A-adrenoceptor C-1291G genotype (ADRA2A C-1291G) as well as their interaction effects on alcohol, tobacco and drug use from preadolescence to the late adolescence.  
Initial sample of 9-year-old children of Estonian Children Personality Behaviour and Health Study (n = 583) was recalled at ages 15 and 18. Participants reported in all waves how frequently they smoked and used alcohol and illicit drugs.
5-HTTLPR had age-dependent effects on alcohol, tobacco and drug use: substance use did not differ by genotype at age 9, but at age 15, the participants with the short (s)/s genotype had higher tobacco use, and at age 18, they were more active alcohol, drug and tobacco users. 
Effects of ADRA2A C-1291G on drug use were dependent on gender, age and 5-HTTLPR. Males (age 18) with ADRA2A CG genotype, when compared to other participants, tended to have higher drug use especially when they had s/s genotype of 5-HTTLPR.
Our results reveal that expression of genetic vulnerability for substance use in children and adolescents may depend on age, gender, interaction of genes, and type of substance.
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The price of a drink: levels of consumption and price paid per unit of alcohol by Edinburgh's ill drinkers with a comparison to wider alcohol sales in Scotland

To compare alcohol purchasing and consumption by ill drinkers in Edinburgh with wider alcohol sales in Scotland.
Patients consumed mean 197.7 UK units/week. The mean price paid per unit was £0.43 (lowest £0.09/unit) (£1 = 1.6 US$ or 1.2€), which is below the mean unit price, £0.71 paid in Scotland in 2008. Of units consumed, 70.3% were sold at or below £0.40/unit (mid-range of price models proposed for minimum pricing legislation by the Scottish Government), and 83% at or below £0.50/unit proposed by the Chief Medical Officer of England. The lower the price paid per unit, the more units a patient consumed. A continuous increase in unit price from lower to higher social status, ranked according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (based on postcode), was not seen; patients residing in postcodes in the mid-quintile paid the highest price per unit. Cheapness was quoted commonly as a reason for beverage choice; ciders, especially ‘white’ cider, and vodka were, at off-sales, cheapest per unit. Stealing alcohol or drinking alcohol substitutes was only very rarely reported.

Because patients with serious alcohol problems tend to purchase very cheap alcohol, elimination of the cheapest sales by minimum price or other legislation might reduce their consumption. It is unknown whether proposed price legislation in Scotland will encourage patients with serious alcohol problems to start stealing alcohol or drinking substitutes or will reduce the recruitment of new drinkers with serious alcohol problems and produce predicted longer-term gains in health and social wellbeing.

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Relationship of Military Deployment Recency, Frequency, Duration, and Combat Exposure to Alcohol Use in the Air Force

With today's new military deployment environment, characterized by more frequent and longer deployments, significant attention has focused on the effects of deployment on problem behaviors, including alcohol use. 

The current study examined the relationship between aspects of deployment and alcohol use. 

The data for the current study were collected as part of the Air Force Community Assessment survey, an anonymous Web-based survey of Air Force members. The survey was administered to a stratified random sample of 56,137 active duty Air Force members across 80 bases worldwide; 78% were male and 22% were female. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test measured the rate of alcohol problems. Deployment histories were collected using a series of questions that asked respondents about various aspects and characteristics of their recent deployments. 

Logistic regression was used to examine the impact of various aspects of deployment on problem drinking. After controlling for demographic variables related to the likelihood of problem drinking, both a higher frequency of deployment and a greater total cumulative length of time deployed since September 11, 2001, were associated with a higher likelihood of problem drinking. For each increase in deployment frequency category the odds that an Air Force member was a problem drinker increased by 14%, and for each additional year spent deployed the odds increased by 23%. 

These findings indicate a significant relationship between deployment and problem drinking. However, most members who deployed multiple times remained resilient. This points to the need for future research on protective factors that foster resiliency.

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Childhood Physical Punishment and Later Alcohol Drinking Consequences: Evidence From a Chinese Context

The aim of the current study is to estimate a link between early physical punishment in childhood and later alcohol outcomes, taking family history of drinking problems into account, with epidemiological data from China. 

The yield from previous studies on this relationship is mixed evidence, largely traceable to research design variations, including model specifications that concern parental alcohol or other drug problems (AODPs) that might account for both earlier discipline practices and later drinking problems in the offspring.

Data are from the World Mental Health Surveys–metropolitan China study, with cross-sectional representative sample surveys of adult household residents living in two metropolitan cities, Beijing and Shanghai. Participants in this general mental health survey were asked about early life experiences (e.g., parental AODP, childhood misbehavior), as well as their own drinking outcomes. Stratification was used to control for parental AODP. 

Logistic regressions found robust associations linking childhood physical punishment with drinking outcomes, even with stratification for parental AODP and childhood misbehavior. 

These results from a cross-sectional survey lay a foundation for future prospective and longitudinal research on possible causal relationships that link childhood physical punishment with later drinking outcomes in China. 

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Alcohol Dose and Aggression: Another Reason Why Drinking More Is a Bad Idea

Numerous studies have examined the impact of alcohol on violence; however, only a small number have addressed differences elicited by different doses of alcohol. Such studies are limited by mixed findings, small sample sizes, inconsistent alcohol doses and control conditions, a bias toward studying only male participants, and the predominant use of only one particular measure to assess aggression. 

The present laboratory investigation was designed to elucidate and advance this literature by improving on these limitations. 

Participants were 187 (95 men and 92 women) social drinkers. Following the consumption of one of six alcohol doses (i.e., 0.0 g/kg, 0.125 g/kg, 0.25 g/kg, 0.5 g/kg, 0.75 g/kg, and 1.0 g/kg), participants were tested on a laboratory task in which electric shocks were received from and administered to a fictitious opponent under the guise of a competitive reaction-time task. Aggression was operationalized as the intensity and duration of shocks administered to one's "opponent." 

Analyses revealed a highly significant positive linear trend between alcohol dose and aggression for both genders. 

Our data aid in clarifying a body of literature that has been afflicted with numerous limitations and will help guide the selection of alcohol doses for researchers conducting future laboratory-based aggression studies.

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Drinking Behavior and Sources of Alcohol: Differences Between Native American and White Youths

We investigated drinking behavior and sources of alcohol among Native American and White youths, as well as how underage drinking behavior and sources of alcohol may be related to environmental factors.

Survey data from a sample of 18,916 youths (8th, 10th, and 12th grades) from Montana were analyzed using hierarchical linear modeling. Survey data were supplemented with county-level economic and census data.

Native American youths were more likely than White youths to report drinking and heavy episodic drinking and initiate drinking at a younger age. 

Native Americans were less likely than Whites to get alcohol from home or from someone younger than age 21 but were more likely to get it from other social sources or through theft from a store. 

Living in a county with more Native Americans was inversely related to access to alcohol for both White and Native American youths, as well as reduced lifetime, 30-day, and heavy episodic drinking. Living in a county with more single-parent households was positively related to lifetime drinking, 30-day drinking, heavy episodic drinking, and increased access to alcohol through someone younger than age 21 or a stranger. 

Median income was negatively related to lifetime drinking and ease of access to alcohol and was positively related to accessing alcohol from home without permission, theft, or purchase with a fake ID. 

Because Native American and White youths have different drinking patterns and obtain alcohol from different sources, strategies to prevent alcohol problems in these groups should take these differences into consideration.

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Friends or Foes: Social Anxiety, Peer Affiliation, and Drinking in Middle School

The relation between social anxiety and alcohol consumption suggests aspects of both risk and protection, but most research has focused on late adolescents and emerging adults.

We investigated the synergistic impact of social anxiety, a need for affiliation with others, and perceived peer alcohol use on drinking in a sample of more than 1,500 early adolescents from southern California (48% girls). Via school-wide surveys, middle school students completed the Social Anxiety Scale for Children–Revised, a modified version of the Interpersonal Orientation Scale, as well as measures of perceived peer drinking and self-reported lifetime and current drinking. 

For socially anxious youths, high levels of perceived peer use in conjunction with high levels of affiliation need was associated with greater alcohol use on average and more frequent episodic drinking. 

Specific to heavy episodic drinking, the interaction of social anxiety and perceived peer drinking seemed to affect girls and boys differentially. 

Sex differences emerged for the moderation of social anxiety's influence on drinking initiation by perceived peer influence. 

These findings suggest that alcohol-related risks associated with social anxiety might be gender specific and more important in earlier stages of alcohol use than previously believed.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Heavy Episodic Drinking on College Campuses: Does Changing the Legal Drinking Age Make a Difference?

This article extends the compartmental model previously developed by Scribner et al. in the context of college drinking to a mathematical model of the consequences of lowering the legal drinking age. 

Using data available from 32 U.S. campuses, the analyses separate underage and legal age drinking groups into an eight-compartment model with different alcohol availability (wetness) for the underage and legal age groups. 

The model evaluates the likelihood that underage students will incorrectly perceive normative drinking levels to be higher than they actually are (i.e., misperception) and adjust their drinking accordingly by varying the interaction between underage students in social and heavy episodic drinking compartments. 

The results evaluate the total heavy episodic drinker population and its dependence on the difference in misperception, as well as its dependence on underage wetness, legal age wetness, and drinking age. 

Results suggest that an unrealistically extreme combination of high wetness and low enforcement would be needed for the policies related to lowering the drinking age to be effective. 

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Young people and alcohol: influences on how they drink

The report identifies the influence of both existing cultural attitudes around alcohol, and new and emergent attitudes that separate younger drinkers' consumption from that of other age groups.

The report highlights that:
  • excessive alcohol consumption is the norm in young adulthood;
  • today's young adults find it difficult to imagine alternatives to the excessive drinking that supports group socialising;
  • the ways in which alcohol is sold to young people contributes to the narrowing of their options; and
  • pricing is more of an influence on decision-making than perceptions of health or risk. 
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Impact of Providing Drinkers With "Know Your Limit" Information on Drinking and Driving: A Field Experiment

Given that most effective alcohol harm-reduction laws specify the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that constitutes illegal behavior (e.g., the .08% breath alcohol concentration legal limit), interventions that allow drinkers to accurately estimate their BACs, and thus better assess their risk, have potential importance to long-term driving-under-the-influence prevention efforts. 

This study describes a field experiment designed to test the impact on drinking of providing "Know Your Limit" (KYL) BAC estimation cards to individuals in a natural drinking environment. 

We randomly sampled 1,215 U.S. residents as they entered Mexico for a night of drinking, interviewed them, and randomly assigned them to one of six experimental conditions. Participants were reinterviewed and breath-tested when they returned to the United States. The experimental conditions included providing generic warnings about drinking and driving, giving out gender-specific BAC calculator cards (KYL cards), and providing incentives to moderate their drinking. 

Cueing participants about the risks of drunk driving resulted in significantly lower BACs (relative to control) for participants who indicated that they would drive home. Providing KYL matrixes did not reduce BACs, and, in fact, some evidence suggests that KYL cards undermined the effect of the warning. 

KYL information does not appear to be an effective tool for reducing drinking and driving. Implications for prevention and future research are discussed.

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Passengers' Decisions to Ride With a Driver Under the Influence of Either Alcohol or Cannabis

The purpose of the present study was to identify the risk factors associated with passenger decisions to ride with a driver who is under the influence of either alcohol or cannabis.

We analyzed data from the 2008 Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey (CADUMS), a nationally represented telephone sample of 16,672 Canadians age 15 and older, of whom 60.5% were female. Logistic regression analyses explored the effects of sociodemographic, substance use, and driving-behavior factors on the risk of riding with a drinking driver (RWDD) and riding with a cannabis-impaired driver (RWCD). 

Risk factors for RWDD and RWCD were both shared and unique. Common risk factors were respondents' age, with young people at increased risk and those 65 years and older at decreased risk, and problematic alcohol use (as measured by Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test subscales). Having previously driven under the influence of alcohol increased the risk of RWDD, while RWCD was associated with having previously driven under the influence of cannabis. 

Considerable legal and public health attention has been devoted to eliminating impaired driving, with particular focus on driver behavior. However, with the knowledge that impaired driving is strongly related to being a passenger of an impaired driver, prevention efforts to reduce the prevalence of impaired driving must be multifaceted, targeting passengers as well as drivers. Links between attitudes, beliefs, risk-taking behavior, and related structural conditions should be emphasized, with passengers being encouraged to recognize impairment in others and make sensible choices. 

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Adolescents' Reported Reasons for Alcohol and Marijuana Use as Predictors of Substance Use and Problems in Adulthood

The aim of this study was to examine how reasons for substance use at age 18 relate to alcohol and marijuana use at ages 18 and 35 and to symptoms of alcohol use disorder and marijuana use disorder at age 35.

Bivariate correlation and multivariate regression analyses were conducted to examine the prediction of substance use and misuse by social/recreational, coping with negative affect, compulsive, and drug effect reasons for alcohol and marijuana use. Control variables included gender, race/ethnicity, parent education, and previous substance use (for age 35 outcomes).

Social/recreational, coping, and drug effect reasons for drinking predicted symptoms of alcohol use disorder 17 years later. Reasons for marijuana use were generally associated only with concurrent marijuana use; an exception was that drug effect reasons predicted marijuana use disorder at age 35. 

The long-term longitudinal predictive power of reasons for alcohol use (and, to a lesser extent, for marijuana use) suggests that adolescents' self-reported reasons, in particular those involving regulating emotions and experiences, may be early risk factors for continued use and misuse of substances into adulthood.

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Reducing Heavy Alcohol Consumption in Young Restaurant Workers

Restaurant employees often have high rates of heavy drinking and problems with alcohol. 

This study evaluates reductions in drinking and associated problems at work, in connection with a new program for prevention and early intervention. The program, called Team Resilience, is designed for young restaurant workers. 

A cluster-randomized trial design was used, with 28 stores from a national casual-dining restaurant chain and 235 of their employees (54% male, 46% female). Fourteen stores received the Team Resilience training workshop, consisting of three 2-hour sessions held on 3 consecutive days. Sessions included group discussion, role-play and practice activities, and a learning game. 

Workers in trained stores reported significantly greater decreases in recurring heavy drinking (i.e., having five or more drinks on the same occasion, on 5 or more days in the past month) and work-related problems with alcohol than workers in control stores. In the intervention group, the odds of recurring heavy drinking declined by about one half and the number of work-related problem areas declined by one third following training. In addition, drinking behaviors and problems were tied to age and were most common among employees in their middle 20s. 

Findings support Team Resilience as an effective intervention for reducing drinking and associated problems among young restaurant workers, a population with substantial needs.

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Daily Stress and Alcohol Consumption: Modeling Between-Person and Within-Person Ethnic Variation in Coping Behavior

Using a daily diary approach, the current study evaluated the relationship between coping and alcohol consumption using a large, multiethnic sample. 

The primary goals of this study were to (a) identify coping strategies that are either protective or risk factors for alcohol consumption and (b) model between-ethnic and within-ethnic group variation for these relations. 

College students (N = 365, 69.0% female) were recruited via flyers, course/club presentations, and university seminars. Participants completed Internet-based daily diaries over the course of 5 days and reported specifically on a target stressful event, how they coped with the stressful event, and the amount of alcohol consumed on a daily level. 

Use of more avoidance-oriented coping strategies (minimization of stressor, emotional rumination) and social support were significantly associated with more alcohol consumption. Ethnicity, however, did moderate some coping–alcohol associations. Use of religious coping was associated with less alcohol consumption and minimization of the stressor was associated with more alcohol consumption in African Americans; use of social support was associated with more alcohol consumption in Asian Americans; and use of problem-focused coping was associated with less alcohol 

Three maladaptive or risky coping strategies with respect to alcohol consumption were identified using an ecologically valid methodology. However, ethnic-specific variation of these risky (and protective) coping factors was identified. The findings highlight the importance of considering both between-ethnic and within-ethnic group variation with respect to the stress/coping and alcohol consumption.


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Depressive Symptoms, Friend and Partner Relationship Quality, and Posttreatment Abstinence


This study employed a prospective design to examine the role of friend and partner relationship quality 1 year following substance use disorder treatment in the association between depressive symptoms at discharge from treatment and abstinence from substance use 2 years after treatment. 

The sample consisted of 1,453 male veterans who used alcohol and at least one other substance in the 3 months before treatment admission, who completed treatment, and who were abstinent from substances during the 2 weeks before discharge. 

Fewer depressive symptoms at treatment discharge predicted better relationship quality with friends and a partner at 1-year follow-up, as well as abstinence from substance use at 2-year follow-up. Furthermore, friend and partner relationship quality at 1 year predicted abstinence from substance use at 2 years. Friend relationship quality at 1 year mediated part of the association between fewer depressive symptoms at treatment discharge and abstinence at 2-year follow-up. 

A stronger focus in treatment on reducing depressive symptoms and enhancing the quality of patients' relationships with their friends and partner may increase the likelihood of long-term abstinence.

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Pretreatment Clinical and Risk Correlates of Substance Use Disorder Patients With Primary Depression

The current study examined the distinction between primary and secondary depression among substance use patients to test whether the primary depressed subgroup presents to treatment with a unique profile of clinical and vulnerability characteristics. 

The heterogeneous sample comprised 286 individuals (76% male) with alcohol and/or drug abuse or dependence (according to criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised) across four treatment outcome studies conducted at the alcohol research center at the Rutgers University Center of Alcohol Studies. Participants were classified as having comorbid lifetime history of primary depression (21%), secondary depression (24%), or no depression (55%). 

Participants in the primary depression and secondary depression groups were comparable in severity of substance use, and both of these groups had more severe substance use problems than the no-depression group. The primary depression group presented with more severe depression histories, higher levels of current depressive symptoms, and higher rates of additional Axis I comorbidity at treatment entry. In terms of vulnerability indices, the primary depression subgroup had a uniquely high family history risk for major depressive disorder; underlying personality vulnerability to depression was also evident in the primary depression group, with higher neuroticism and lower extraversion relative to secondary depression patients. 

The findings suggest that careful assessment of lifetime depression symptoms vis-à-vis substance use history and severity yields important information identifying the primary depression subtype of substance use patients as a group with a unique and more severely affected clinical presentation of depression and other Axis I psychopathology relative to secondary depression patients. 

Effectiveness of substance use interventions may be augmented with depression treatment for primary depression patients, given their more severe clinical presentation and vulnerability characteristics.

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Does Alcohol Craving Decrease With Increasing Age? Results From a Cross-Sectional Study

Long-term studies on patients with impulsive behavior have shown a decrease of symptoms with increasing age. Alcohol craving has many analogies in psychopathology with obsessive-compulsive behavior patterns. 

The aim of the present study was to find evidence of a possible decrease of craving in elderly alcohol-dependent patients. 

One hundred ninety-eight alcohol-dependent patients at the beginning of alcohol withdrawal therapy were included in this study. The extent of craving was measured using the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale on the day of hospital admission before starting the detoxification regime and 1 week after admission. 

Linear regression analysis showed a significant negative association between craving and age after 1 week of treatment (no association at admission). T test for independent samples confirmed lower obsessive-compulsive craving in older patients. 

The lack of association between craving and age at the beginning of the detoxification can be explained by the influence of other different (e.g., neurobiological) parameters during acute withdrawal. At the end of the physical detoxification after 1 week of treatment, a significant negative association between patient's age and Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale score occurred, which points to a decrease of alcohol craving in later years. 

Alterations in endocrinological functions or in mesolimbic neurotransmission are discussed as possible reasons for this finding.

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Does Family History of Alcoholism Moderate Naltrexone's Effects on Alcohol Use?

Primary outcomes from the COMBINE Study indicated support for naltrexone (Revia) on measures of abstinence and time to heavy drinking; however, effect sizes were modest. The delineation of individual difference variables that qualify these results could aid efforts to target treatment approaches appropriately. Laboratory and clinical studies have found greater effectiveness of naltrexone among men and those with familial alcoholism. 

The present study used multilevel modeling to investigate family history of alcoholism (FHA) based on first-degree relatives and gender as moderators of naltrexone's effects on three drinking outcomes: percentage of days abstinent, drinks per drinking day, and percentage of heavy drinking days.

Data were drawn from the COMBINE public data set and included the subsample of participants (n = 603) randomized to receive active medication or placebo plus medical management.

We observed a main effect of FHA on drinks per drinking day (B = 2.01, SE = .91, p = .03) such that greater FHA was associated with greater alcohol use per drinking occasion. No other main effects of FHA were observed on drinking outcomes. A significant Naltrexone Time interaction was observed for percentage of heavy drinking days (B = -1.61, SE = .69, p = .02), consistent with the previously published COMBINE results. No significant Naltrexone FHA interactions were observed for any of the three outcomes. Gender did not modify these results. 

Taken together, these results indicate an effect of FHA on drinking behavior but do not support FHA among first-degree relatives as a moderator of naltrexone's efficacy in this sample. 

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News Release - In an average year 30 million Americans drive drunk - 10 million drive impaired by illicit drugs

 A new survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that on average 13.2 percent of all persons 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol and 4.3 percent of this age group drove under the influence of illicit drugs in the past year.
The survey’s state-by-state breakdown of drunk and drugged driving levels shows significant differences among the states. 

Some of the states with the highest levels of past year drunk driving were Wisconsin (23.7 percent) and North Dakota (22.4 percent).  The highest rates of past year drugged driving were found in Rhode Island (7.8 percent) and Vermont (6.6 percent).
States with the lowest rates of past year drunk driving included Utah (7.4 percent) and Mississippi (8.7 percent).  Iowa and New Jersey had the lowest levels of past year drugged driving (2.9 percent and 3.2 percent respectively).
Levels of self-reported drunk and drugged driving differed dramatically among age groups.  

Younger drivers aged 16 to 25 had a much higher rate of drunk driving than those aged 26 or older (19.5 percent versus 11.8 percent). 

Similarly people aged 16 to 25 had a much higher rate of driving under the influence of illicit drugs than those aged 26 or older (11.4 percent versus 2.8 percent).
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Relation of Alcohol Consumption to Angiographically Proved Coronary Artery Disease in Chinese Men

Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption is believed to be protective against coronary artery disease (CAD) in many studies. However, the cardioprotective effects of alcohol intake lack epidemiologic evidence in a Chinese population. 

The present case–control study was designed to explore the relation between alcohol consumption and angiographically proved CAD in Chinese men. 

The study population consisted of 1,476 consecutive men 36 to 84 years of age who underwent coronary arteriography. Participants were categorized as nondrinkers, light drinkers, moderate drinkers, and heavy drinkers.

Adjusted odds ratios for light, moderate, and heavy drinking were 1.16 (95% confidence interval 0.68 to 1.94), 1.78 (1.35 to 2.27), and 2.18 (1.46 to 3.25). Adjusted odds ratios were 1.36 (1.08 to 1.83) for drinking alcohol 2 to 3 days/week, 1.58 (1.17 to 2.26) for 4 to 5 days/week, and 2.03 (1.36 to 3.27) for 6 to 7 days/week. 

Compared to nondrinking, adjusted odds ratios were 1.03 (0.54 to 1.87) for drinking 0 to 15 years, 1.61 (1.28 to 2.14) for 16 to 30 years, and 1.98 (1.23 to 3.05) for >30 years.

In conclusion, moderate-to-heavy alcohol consumption increased the risk of CAD in Chinese men. CAD risk tended to increase with an increase in frequency and duration of drinking.

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NEWS RELEASE Minister Schouppe announces the implementation of alcolocks in Belgium

The 35% decrease in road deaths between 2001 and 2009, down to 955 deaths, has been to a large extent the result of a successful anti-drink driving campaigns combined with increased enforcement. 

Yet, drink driving accident data in Belgium remain incomplete and patchy, with breath test results available in only 60% of all crashes. IBSR estimates that drink driving is the  ain cause in 25% of all lethal accidents. 

The recent Eurobarometer survey
showed that people driving under the influence of alcohol are considered to be a major safety problem by 92% of the polled Belgian citizens, and that 68% of them believe the government should do more to tackle this 

The Belgian government published today the decrees implementing the framework law on

using alcolocks(6) in rehabilitation programmes adopted in Parliament on the 4th of June 2009. A judge will now be able to offer the participation in an alcolock rehabilitation programme to a drink driving recidivist or a first time offender caught with a BAC limit of
0.8g/l and over for a period of at least one year up to five years. The alcolock will allow this person to continue driving with the help of the alcolocks and to benefit from a follow-up up with a professional trained for this. The limit for the lock will be set at 0.09mg/ml exhaled
air (the equivalent of 0.2g/l BAC, which is lower than the legal limit of 0.5).

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Press Release - Alcohol sales at restaurants and bars expected to increase by nearly 2 percent in 2011, says Technomic

Consumers are expected to increase their purchases of alcohol in bars and restaurants in 2011, with a forecasted uptick of 1.9 percent, according to leading food and beverage consultancy Technomic. Citing an improving sales climate at the nation’s eating and drinking establishments, Technomic notes that consumers are beginning to order more drinks as they entertain away from home.

“The past several years were brutal for the alcohol category in bars and restaurants. Consumers were trading down to value offerings or simply not ordering alcohol at all,” said David Henkes, Vice President at Technomic and head of the firm’s On-Premise Practice. “As conditions improve, we expect to see positive sales growth in 2011.”

Despite positive growth forecasts, however, Henkes cautions that the industry still has a ways to go. “While a positive forecast is good news for bars and restaurants, the fact is that we’re comparing 2011 to a very weak year in 2010. There are still some longer-term structural issues in the economy, including unemployment, that tell us that the improvement in alcohol sales won’t be as robust as it has been after previous downturns.”

Spirits-based drinks will see the highest rate of growth in 2011 at 2.3 percent, with some return to more expensive cocktails and premium brands. Wine sales will increase by 1.4 percent but are being depressed by a move toward more wines-by-the-glass and lower-priced value wines. Beer sales are expected to grow 1.6 percent and will be supported by continued strength in the craft/microbrew beer category.


For the first time in the European Parliament, the MEPs Against Cancer (MAC) interest group hosted a meeting to evaluate the cancer hazards of alcoholic beverages, and the potential impact of this knowledge on alcohol-related policy in order to address concerns over a lack of public awareness about  he carcinogenicity of alcohol.

MEPs, scientists, representatives from cancer leagues in Europe, DG SANCO and NGOs all voiced their support for immediate action to raise awareness about the health risks of alcohol consumption, especially amongst young people, in relation to cancers of the pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, breast and colorectum.

Despite research dating back to 1987 that conclusively indicates the carcinogenicity of all alcoholic beverages, the connection between alcohol and cancer is often not made in consumer’s minds. On the contrary, a Eurobarometer report in 2010 found that 1 in 10 European citizens do not know that there is even a connection between alcohol and cancer. The same study also indicated that 1 in 5 citizens do not believe that there is a connection between cancer and the drinks that millions of us enjoy every week.
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Perception of the Amount of Drinking by Others in A Sample of 20-Year-Old Men: The More I Think You Drink, The More I Drink

The amount a person drinks can be influenced by their perception of drinking by others.
We studied whether perception of the amount of drinking by others (same age and sex) is associated with one's own current drinking, and the factors that are related to this perception. 
A random sample of drinkers (n = 404) from a census of 20-year-old Swiss men (n = 9686) estimated the percentage of others who drink more than they do. Using weekly alcohol consumption data of the census, we computed for each subject the percentage of individuals drinking more than they do. We compared the ‘perceived’ to the ‘computed’ percentage and classified the drinkers as overestimating or not drinking by others. We compared the alcohol consumption of those who overestimated drinking by others to those who did not, using analyses of variance/covariance. We used logistic regression models to evaluate the impact of age, education level, occupation, living environment and family history of alcohol problems on estimations of drinking by others.
Among the 404 drinkers, the mean (SD) number of drinks/week was 7.95(9.79); 45.5% overestimated drinking by others, while 35.2% underestimated it and 19.3% made an accurate estimation. The likelihood of overestimating increased as individual alcohol use increased. Those overestimating consumed more alcohol than those who did not; the adjusted mean number of drinks/week (SE) 11.45 (1.12) versus 4.50 (1.08), P < 0.0001. Except for current drinking, no other variables were significantly associated with overestimating.
This study confirms prior findings within selective student populations. It sets the stage for preventive actions, such as normative feedback based on social norms theory. 

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Effect of Detoxification on Liver Stiffness Assessed by Fibroscan® in Alcoholic Patients

The aims of this study were to determine whether alcohol consumption or cessation influences transient elastography (TE) measurements and whether TE is a useful tool to monitor alcoholic patients.
Twenty-three consecutive heavy drinkers (20 men and 3 women; mean age 47.2 years) admitted for a 7-day hospitalization for alcohol detoxification were included. On admission (D0), a detailed medical history was taken and the following laboratory tests were performed [aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT), gamma glutamyltransferase (γGT), and carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) levels, and Fibroscan®]. All examinations were repeated on D8, D30, and D60. Variation in the median Fibroscan value of >20% was considered significant.
After 1 week of detoxification, the % variation in TE was −21.67 ± −27.6%. The median variation in TE between D8 and D60 was −20% in the abstinent group and 32% in the relapse group (p = 0.007). An increase in proportion of patients with a significant decrease in TE was observed with an increased duration of abstinence: 41.7% at D8 and 66.7% at D60. TE values were significantly correlated with ASAT, γGT, and CDT at D0 and D8, and with ASAT and γGT at D60.
TE in alcoholics is influenced by major variations in the biochemical activity of the disease. The kinetics of variation of TE suggest that this method may be useful to assess alcohol abuse and control.

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Ethanol Effect on Cell Proliferation in the Human Hepatoma HepaRG Cell Line: Relationship With Iron Metabolism

Alcoholism increases the risk of cirrhosis and/or hepatocellular carcinoma development. Iron, like ethanol, modulates the cell growth. However, the relationship between alcohol and iron toward hepatocyte proliferation has not been clearly elucidated. 

The purpose of this study was to evaluate, in the human HepaRG cell line model, the impact of ethanol on hepatocyte proliferation in relation to modulations of iron metabolism and the protective effect of iron metabolism manipulation by chelators in alcohol liver diseases.
The human hepatoma HepaRG cell line model was used. Cell viability was determined by measuring succinate dehydrogenase activity, total protein level by the Bradford method. DNA synthesis was evaluated by [3H]-methyl thymidine incorporation. Cytotoxicity was studied by release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in culture medium and apoptosis by measuring caspase 3/7 activity. Gene expression was analyzed by RT-qPCR. Total iron, soluble transferrin receptor, and ferritin levels were, respectively, measured by colorimetrical, immuno-nephelometrical, and immuno-turbidimetrical methods. Intracellular iron uptake and accumulation was examined by radionuclide 55Fe (III) measurement and Perls staining.
Results showed that ethanol decreased all the parameters associated with HepaRG cell proliferation (cell viability, total protein levels, and DNA synthesis) in a dose- and time-dependent manner. This effect was accompanied by cytotoxicity and apoptosis as evaluated by a significant increase in extracellular enzymes (LDH, AST, ALT) and caspase 3/7 activity, respectively. Ethanol exposure was accompanied by an increased cellular iron uptake, together with increased expression of genes involved in iron transport and storage such as l-ferritin, Divalent Metal transporter 1, transferrin, transferrin receptor 1, and ceruloplasmin. Ethanol impact was intensified by iron-citrate and decreased by iron chelators when added to the culture medium.
The results indicated that (i) ethanol-induced iron metabolism dysfunction could be one of the underlying mechanisms of ethanol antiproliferative effect and (ii) exogenous iron may accentuate ethanol hepatoxicity.

These data suggest that iron metabolism manipulation by chelators may be a useful therapeutic approach in alcohol-related liver diseases.

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A Systematic Evaluation and Validation of Subtypes of Adolescent Alcohol Use Motives: Genetic and Environmental Contributions

Alcohol use motives are closely associated with specific profiles of alcohol use and reflect a subjectively derived decisional framework based on a motivational style of responding. Adult twin studies typically estimate the heritability of alcohol use motives to be between 7 and 42%, although relatively little is known about genetic and environmental influences upon alcohol use motives in adolescence.
Latent class analysis (LCA) models containing 1 through 5 classes were fitted to the data derived from 1,422 adolescent twin and siblings self-reported alcohol use motives. Using twin models, we estimated the genetic, shared, and nonshared environmental influences to the class membership data derived from the LCA.
Four drinking motives classes were identified (family-oriented, social, enhancement/social, and coping/social). The coping/social and enhancement/social classes were differentiated from the social class on measures of depression, delinquency, and aggressive behavior. Analyses indicated that nonadditive genetic factors accounted for 76% of the variance in the coping/social motives class and additive genetic influences accounted for 66% of the variance in the social motives class. There was a moderate contribution of genetic factors and shared environmental factors influencing class membership of enhancement/social motivated drinkers (28 and 20% explained variance, respectively). Substantial shared environmental influences were revealed for membership of the family-oriented class (75%).
Heritable influences may predispose individuals to drink to cope with negative affect, for social reasons, and to a lesser extent for enhancement. Familial environmental influences shape family-oriented motives for drinking in adolescents.

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Predictors and Outcomes of Variability in Subjective Alcohol Intoxication Among College Students: An Event-Level Analysis Across 4 Years

Individual differences in subjective alcohol intoxication, as measured by laboratory-based alcohol challenge, have been identified as a phenotypic risk factor for alcohol use disorders. Further, recent evidence indicates that subjective alcohol response is also associated with event-level physiological consequences among college students, including blackouts and hangovers.
The current investigation tested predictors of and outcomes associated with subjective intoxication in the natural drinking environment. In a preliminary laboratory alcohol-challenge study (= 53), we developed a brief measure of subjective alcohol intoxication for use in event-level research. Participating students in the principal study (= 1,867; 63% women; 54% Caucasian) completed 30 days of Web-based self-monitoring in each of the 4 college years.
In the principal study, generalized estimating equation analyses revealed that both lighter drinking and a family history of alcohol problems predicted greater subjective intoxication after accounting for estimated blood alcohol concentration (eBAC). Moreover, greater subjective intoxication during a given drinking episode was associated with negative alcohol-related consequences, illicit drug use, and unsafe sex, and at higher eBACs, was associated with aggression, sex, and property crime. Students who on average experienced greater subjective intoxication were also more likely to experience negative consequences and engage in illicit drug use, sex, unsafe sex, and aggression.
These findings suggest that both within-person variability and between-person individual differences in subjective intoxication may be risk factors for adverse drinking outcomes at the event level. Intervention efforts aimed at reducing problems associated with collegiate drinking may benefit from consideration both of who experiences greater subjective intoxication and of the situations in which they are more likely to do so.

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An Acute Psychosocial Stressor Does Not Potentiate Alcohol Cue Reactivity in Non-Treatment-Seeking Alcoholics

Relapse risk factors, such as psychological stress and alcohol cues, are often encountered together. Understanding how they interact has the potential to improve alcoholism treatments.

This study was conducted to examine whether an acute psychosocial stressor enhanced alcohol cue reactivity in non-treatment-seeking alcoholics.
Seventy-nine alcohol-dependent individuals (39 women) randomly received either the Trier Social Stress Test or a no-stress control condition. Stress reactivity was measured with serum adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol, mean arterial blood pressure, and subjective distress. Immediately following the stress manipulation, participants held and sniffed a neutral cue then their preferred alcoholic beverage. Cue reactivity was measured by 2 subjective measures of craving following each cue. Additionally, general craving was assessed with the Alcohol Urge Questionnaire at the beginning and end of the laboratory procedure.
The stress manipulation showed internal validity on all measures of stress reactivity. There was not a main effect of stress nor a stress × cue interaction on either cue reactivity measure. As expected, there was a main effect of cue (alcohol > neutral cue) on both measures of cue reactivity. General craving increased during the challenge, but not differently by stress group. Magnitude of stress reactivity was not associated with magnitude of cue reactivity, and all results were independent of gender.
In this well-controlled clinical laboratory study of non-treatment-seeking alcoholics, an acute psychological stressor did not make an alcohol cue a more potent urge-inducing stimulus, and stress had no effect on general alcohol craving.

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