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 11, 2012

Tobacco and Substances Event Tobacco and substances event Smoking cessation and addictions services: working together to support the need

Friday 30 March 2012, 10am to 4pm

Salvation Army, 429 - 431 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh EH11 2RT

A conference for those working in and supporting smoking cessation and addictions services to share good practice, debate some of the key challenges and explore possible solutions to reduce smoking and substance misuse in Scotland.

As substance misuse is often accompanied by higher levels of smoking than in the general population, more support and encouragement is needed to help those also being damaged by their nicotine addiction. > > > > Read More

APYN publishes the Impact of Marketing on Youth Report

APYN with the help of the Institute of Alcohol Studies established a group of APYN Youth researchers who designed and implemented this project, using the network of youth member organisations to recruit participants.

Youth researchers primarily aimed to document youth perceptions of alcohol marketing in Europe. The secondary aim was to document and describe the volume and types of alcohol marketing that young people in Europe are exposed to in their daily lives. The research project consisted of two parts: an online survey and a mapping exercise.

1095 respondents from 41 countries (age ranging from 14 to more than 40) participated in an online survey about their perceptions of alcohol marketing and 23 participants from 11 countries participated in a pilot mapping exercise that documented the prevalence of alcohol marketing practices in their daily lives.

Respondents who had their first drink under the age of 15 years were far more likely to report heavy episodic drinking levels throughout their lifetime. The survey results showed that respondents have felt perceived more by other things (like taste, price and special offers) than advertisements when buying alcohol. However, the majority of respondents agreed that alcohol advertising influences youth perceptions of alcohol and should not be targeted at young people (74.5 % of respondents), and that alcohol advertisements should carry health warnings (77.4 % of respondents). Respondents agreed, that price and availability are very important when deciding whether and what kind of drinks to consume (eg, more than 65 % of respondents feel influenced to buy the drink then there is a special offer for it and more than 85% of respondents claimed they do take price into consideration when choosing alcoholic drink). This suggested, that one cannot objectively assess how much is he or she influenced by marketing in general. We all know that the influence of marketing is supposed to be unobvious. > > > > Read More

Friday, February 10, 2012

Request for Applications

SAMHSA's Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) is pleased to announce the 2012 BRSS TACS Peer-Run Organization/Recovery Community Organization Awards.

To advance the goal of increasing the adoption of recovery supports, SAMHSA recognizes the importance of empowering peer-run organizations/ recovery community organizations to promote peer-delivered recovery supports and services. Peer-driven recovery supports help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process. Because they are designed and delivered by peers, they are grounded in experiential knowledge and promote a belief that recovery is possible for all people. > > > > Read More

NIAAA Director's Report on Institute Activities to the 129th Meeting of the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - February 9, 20

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Request for Information (RFI): Input into the Scientific Strategic Plan for the proposed National Institute of Substance Use and Addiction Disorders

Notice Number: NOT-OD-12-045

Key Dates
Release Date: February 8, 2012
Response Date: May 11, 2012

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


This Notice is a time-sensitive Request for Information (RFI) soliciting input into the Scientific Strategic Plan for the proposed new Institute with the working name of the National Institute of Substance Use and Addiction Disorders. This new Institute would result from the proposed reorganization of substance use, abuse, and addiction-related research at the NIH.

In September 2010, the Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB), established pursuant to Sec. 401(e) of the PHS Act, recommended that NIH create a new Institute focused on substance use, abuse, and addiction-related research. After extensive discussions with experts from within and outside the NIH, the SMRB found that the current organization of substance use, abuse, and addiction research at the NIH is not optimal for fulfilling the agency’s mission or optimizing research in substance use, abuse, and addiction. The SMRB recommended that the NIH Director establish a new Institute focusing on addiction-related research and public health initiatives. The SMRB also recommended that the reorganization should encompass all addiction-related research within the NIH, not just the programs of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The SMRB recommended that NIDA and NIAAA be dissolved and that the non-addiction research activities within their portfolios be transferred to other NIH Institutes and Centers. The November 2010 report containing the full set of recommendations made by the SMRB can be found at:

NIH has given careful consideration to the SMRB findings and agrees that the current organization of substance use, abuse, and addiction-related research at NIH does not optimally capitalize on existing and potential synergies that could be facilitated within a single Institute. Further, NIH agrees with the SMRB that such reorganization would better enable recognition and development of scientific opportunities in substance use, abuse, and addiction research, assist in meeting public health needs, and improve training opportunities for the next generation of investigators.

As such, NIH proposes to create a new Institute, with the working name of the National Institute of Substance Use and Addiction Disorders,” through inclusion in the President’s Budget for fiscal year 2014. A planning committee that includes scientific representatives from the potentially affected Institutes and Centers is developing a Scientific Strategic Plan for the proposed Institute with the primary goal of identifying new scientific opportunities that are not currently supported in the existing NIH research portfolios and public health initiatives on substance use, abuse, and addiction-related disorders. > > > > Read More

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Structuring a College Alcohol Prevention Program on the Low Level of Response to Alcohol Model: A Pilot Study

New approaches are needed to bolster the modest effects of campus drinking prevention programs. However, more definitive research on new paradigms is very expensive, and in the current economic climate, progress can be made by evaluating smaller pilot studies. This study describes one such approach.

A sample of 18-year-old or older, healthy, drinking freshmen at our university was assigned to 2 groups stratified to be similar on demography, drinking histories, and their level of response (LR) to alcohol. In the spring quarter of the school year, the 32 subjects in each of 2 groups viewed four 45-minute Internet-based videotapes as part of 4 prevention sessions. All 8 modules were based on the same techniques and general content, but the 4 videos for the first group were structured around the validated model of how a low LR affects heavy drinking (the low level of response-based [LRB] Group), with partial mediation by heavier drinking peers, positive alcohol expectancies, and drinking to cope with stress. Videos for the state-of-the-art (SOTA) comparison group did not place the similar prevention messages into the low LR framework. Changes in drinking were evaluated at 3 times: before Module 1, before Module 4, and 1 month after Module 4.

Usual and maximum drinks per occasion decreased over time for both high and low LR subjects in both LRB and SOTA groups. As predicted, the low LR students showed greater decreases in the LRB Group, while high LR students showed greater decreases in the more generic SOTA Group.

The results support the hypothesis that tailoring prevention efforts to address specific predisposing factors, such as a low LR, may be associated with beneficial effects on drinking quantity. We hope that these data will encourage additional efforts to validate the low LR-based prevention paradigm and test other interventions that are targeted toward predisposing phenotypes such as impulsivity and negative affect.

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Borderline Personality Symptoms in Short-Term and Long-Term Abstinent Alcohol Dependence

Comorbidity of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and substance and alcohol use disorders (SUDs and AUDs) is very high. The literature suggests a negative synergy between BPD and SUDs, which may impact an individual's ability to achieve and maintain remission of either disorder in the face of the other.

We examined lifetime and current (past year) BPD symptom counts in 3 gender- and age-comparable groups: short-term abstinent alcoholics (STA, 6 to 15 weeks abstinent), long-term abstinent alcoholics (LTA, more than 18 months abstinent), and nonsubstance-abusing controls (NSAC). Abstinent individuals were recruited primarily from mutual-help recovery networks and about half had comorbid drug dependence. BPD symptoms were obtained using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Axis II Personality Disorders, followed up with questions regarding currency, but did not require that BPD symptoms represent persistent or pervasive behavior such as would meet criteria for BPD diagnosis. Thus, our study dealt only with BPD symptoms, not BPD diagnoses.

Alcoholics had more lifetime and current symptoms for most all BPD criteria than NSAC. In general, STA and LTA did not differ in BPD symptoms, except for a group-by-gender effect for both lifetime and current anger-associated symptoms and for lifetime abandonment avoidance symptoms. For these cases, there were much higher symptom counts for STA women versus men, with comparable symptom counts for LTA women versus men.

Our results suggest for the most part that BPD symptoms do not prevent the maintenance of recovery in AUD and SUD individuals who have established at least 6 weeks abstinence within the mutual-help recovery network—in fact the presence of BPD symptoms is the norm. However, we did find difficulty in establishing longer-term abstinence in women with anger-associated symptoms and abandonment avoidance symptoms.

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Ethanol Tolerance and Withdrawal Severity in High Drinking in the Dark Selectively Bred Mice

Mouse lines are being selectively bred in replicate for high blood ethanol concentrations (BECs) achieved after limited access of ethanol (EtOH) drinking early in the circadian dark phase. High Drinking in the Dark-1 (HDID-1) mice are in selected generation S21, and the replicate HDID-2 line in generation S14. Tolerance and withdrawal symptoms are 2 of the 7 diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence. Withdrawal severity has been found in mouse studies to be negatively genetically correlated with EtOH preference drinking.

To determine other traits genetically correlated with high DID, we compared naïve animals from both lines with the unselected, segregating progenitor stock, HS/Npt. Differences between HDID-1 and HS would imply commonality of genetic influences on DID and these traits.

Female HDID-1 and HDID-2 mice tended to develop less tolerance than HS to EtOH hypothermia after their third daily injection. A trend toward greater tolerance was seen in the HDID males. HDID-1, HDID-2, and control HS lines did not differ in the severity of acute or chronic withdrawal from EtOH as indexed by the handling-induced convulsion (HIC). Both HDID-1 and HDID-2 mice tended to have greater HIC scores than HS regardless of drug treatment.

These results show that tolerance to EtOH's hypothermic effects may share some common genetic control with reaching high BECs after DID, a finding consistent with other data regarding genetic contributions to EtOH responses. Withdrawal severity was not negatively genetically correlated with DID, unlike its correlation with preference drinking, underscoring the genetic differences between preference drinking and DID. HDID lines showed greater basal HIC scores than HS, suggestive of greater central nervous system excitability.

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Neural Mechanisms of Risk Taking and Relationships with Hazardous Drinking

Impulsivity, particularly risk taking, is believed to play a significant role in alcohol use disorders (AUDs). While risk taking has been measured using questionnaires, recent performance-based tasks such as the Balloon Analog Risk Task (BART) have shown considerable promise in understanding risky decision-making processes in drinkers. While the number of studies using the BART has grown significantly over the past decade, the neural mechanisms that underlie risky choices on the BART have only begun to be explored. The current study was designed to assess both the neural mechanisms of risk taking on the BART and to explore relationships between risk taking and hazardous drinking.

Seventy-nine individuals with an AUD completed an fMRI compatible version of the BART that required pumping simulated air into risky or nonrisky balloons to earn points on each trial, and deciding when to terminate pumping to earn points accumulated. Hazardous drinking was assessed with the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT).

Comparison of risky and nonrisky decisions revealed differences in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), anterior insula, and striatum. Comparison of Cashout responses and Explosions revealed increased responses in lateral prefrontal cortex, insula, ACC, and middle temporal gyrus during Explosions and greater response in inferior parietal lobe and caudate during Cashouts. When examining relationships between hazardous drinking and neural measures of risk taking, we found significant negative relationships with insula, striatum, and dACC.

The current results suggest that risk taking is associated with increased response in the dACC and anterior insula, regions previously implicated in representing error likelihood and negative outcome magnitudes, respectively. In addition, hazardous drinking was associated with responses in the dACC, possibly suggesting a reduced ability to predict the likelihood of errors and to predict negative outcomes associated with risk taking.

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In Vitro Evidence for Chronic Alcohol and High Glucose Mediated Increased Oxidative Stress and Hepatotoxicity

Hyperglycemia or alcoholism can lead to impaired liver functions. Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) is elevated in hyperglycemia or alcoholism and plays a critical role in generating oxidative stress in the cell.

In the present study, we have used VL-17A cells that overexpress the alcohol metabolizing enzymes [alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and CYP2E1] to investigate the toxicity due to ethanol (EtOH) plus high glucose. Toxicity was assessed through viability assay and amount of acetaldehyde adduct formation. Oxidative stress parameters included measuring reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and malondialdehyde adduct formation. Apoptosis was determined through caspase-3 activity, Annexin V- Propidium iodide staining, and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential. The effects of antioxidants and specific inhibitors of ADH and CYP2E1 on cell viability and ROS levels were also studied.

When present together, EtOH plus high glucose-treated VL-17A cells exhibited greater oxidative stress and toxicity than other groups. Apoptosis was observed in liver cells treated with the toxins, and the EtOH plus high glucose-treated VL-17A cells exhibited apoptosis to the largest extent. A distinct and graded increase in CYP2E1 level occurred in the different groups of VL-17A cells. Further, antioxidants or inhibitors of ADH and CYP2E1 were effective in decreasing the observed oxidative stress and toxicity.

The combined oxidative insult due to alcohol plus high glucose leads to greater liver injury, which may prove to be a timely warning for the injurious effects of alcohol consumption in diabetics.

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Possible Association Between OPRM1 Genetic Variance at the 118 Locus and Alcohol Dependence in a Large Treatment Sample: Relationship to Alcohol Depen

Several lines of evidence from previous research indicate that opioid receptors play an important role in ethanol reinforcement and alcohol dependence (AD) risk. Conflicting results were reported on the role of the mu-opioid receptor (OPRM1) polymorphism A118G (Asn40Asp, rs1799971) in the development of alcoholism.

We investigated a total number of 1,845 alcohol-dependent subjects recruited from inpatient facilities in Germany and 1,863 controls for the mu-opioid receptor (OPRM1) polymorphism using chi-square statistics.

An association between the OPRM variant and AD was detected (p = 0.022), in recessive (AA vs. GA/GG) and co-dominant (AA vs. GA) models of inheritance. An association between the OPRM variant and the DSM-IV criterion “efforts to cut down or could not” (p = 0.047) was found, but this did not remain significant after the correction for multiple testing.

The results indicate that this functional OPRM variant is associated with risk of AD and these findings apply to more severe AD, although the association is only nominally significant.

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Adenosine and Glutamate Signaling in Neuron–Glial Interactions: Implications in Alcoholism and Sleep Disorders

Recent studies have demonstrated that the function of glia is not restricted to the support of neuronal function. Especially, astrocytes are essential for neuronal activity in the brain.

Astrocytes actively participate in synapse formation and brain information processing by releasing or uptaking gliotransmitters such as glutamate, d-serine, adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP), and adenosine. In the central nervous system, adenosine plays an important role in regulating neuronal activity as well as in controlling other neurotransmitter systems such as GABA, glutamate, and dopamine.

Ethanol (EtOH) increases extracellular adenosine levels, which regulates the ataxic and hypnotic/sedative (somnogenic) effects of EtOH.

Adenosine signaling is also involved in the homeostasis of major inhibitory/excitatory neurotransmission (i.e., GABA or glutamate) through neuron–glial interactions, which regulates the effect of EtOH and sleep.

Adenosine transporters or astrocytic SNARE-mediated transmitter release regulates extracellular or synaptic adenosine levels. Adenosine then exerts its function through several adenosine receptors and regulates glutamate levels in the brain.

This review presents novel findings on how neuron–glial interactions, particularly adenosinergic signaling and glutamate uptake activity involving glutamate transporter 1 (GLT1), are implicated in alcoholism and sleep disorders.

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Alcohol Misuse and Abuse Reported by Nurse Aides in Assisted Living

Alcohol misuse and abuse in Assisted Living (AL) as reported by nurse aides is examined. Data came from a secondary analysis of nurse aides included in the Pennsylvania nurse aide registry.

A total of 832 nurse aides had a prior place of employment in AL. Information reported from these nurse aides include the percent of residents identified as drinking alcohol, opinions of alcoholmisuse and abuse, and the prevalence of alcohol misuse and abuse.

Nurse aides believe a majority (69%) of AL residents drink alcohol. Of these residents, 34% are thought to drink alcohol daily. Estimated prevalence rates show that in 19% of cases nurse aides believe alcohol consumption has influenced residents’ health and 28% are suspected to make poor choices for alcohol consumption.

The findings present preliminary evidence that alcohol misuse and abuse may be a problem of importance in AL. Given the potential impact of this on the health, safety, and quality of life for elders, more attention should be focused on alcohol misuse and abuse by residents living in AL.

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EC deny backing for Scotland's minimum alcohol price plan

A Scottish government claim that it had EU backing for plans to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol has been denied by the European Commission. > > > > Read More

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

News Release - Nearly half of all substance abuse treatment admissions involving college students were primarily for treating alcohol disorders

A new report shows that nearly half (46.6 percent) of all substance abuse treatment admissions involving college or other post secondary school students ages 18 to 24 were primarily related to alcohol disorders. The rate of primary alcohol-related treatment admissions is far higher among college students than for non-college students in the same age bracket (46.6 percent versus 30.6 percent) according to this new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
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Minimum pricing of alcohol urged

Minimum pricing and an exclusion of industry lobbyists from education programmes must be key parts of the Government’s forthcoming alcohol strategy, a Tory MP has said.

Dr Sarah Wollaston, the Totnes MP, told a Westminster Hall debate in the Parliament that alcohol contributes to 22,000 deaths in Britain every year and costs the country £20 billion.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton pledged the Government’s strategy would ensure that authorities do everything possible to help tackle the problem of alcohol abuse, but to be effective every part of society would need to take part.

Elected in 2010 following a pioneering open primary in her Totnes seat, Dr Wollaston said action needed to be taken on pricing, marketing, education and labelling. People who already have a problem must be helped, she said. > > > > Read More

Correlates of Recovery from Alcohol Dependence: A Prospective Study Over a 3-Year Follow-Up Interval

Correlates of recovery from alcohol dependence have been identified through a variety of study designs characterized by different strengths and limitations. The goal of this study was to compare correlates of recovery based on a 3-year prospective design with those based on cross-sectional analyses of data from the same source.

Data from the 2001 to 2002 Wave 1 and 2004 to 2005 Wave 2 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) were used to examine baseline characteristics associated with Wave 2 recovery from alcohol dependence, among those who classified with past-year DSM-IV alcohol dependence at Wave 1 (n = 1,172).

Abstinent recovery was significantly associated with Black/Asian/Hispanic race/ethnicity, children <1 year of age in the household at baseline, attending religious services greater than or equal to weekly at follow-up, and having initiated help-seeking that comprised/included 12-step participation within <3 years prior to baseline. Nonabstinent recovery was positively associated with being never married at baseline, having job problems or being unemployed in the year preceding baseline, attending religious services less than weekly at follow-up, baseline smoking and volume of ethanol intake, and having terminated a first marriage within <3 years prior to baseline. Findings, including others of marginal significance (0.05 < p < 0.10), generally supported results from prior pseudo-prospective survival analyses with time-dependent covariates but differed in many ways from cross-sectional analyses of Wave 1 NESARC data.

Various aspects of study design must be considered when interpreting correlates of recovery. Cross-sectional analyses of lifetime correlates of recovery are highly subject to misinterpretation, but pseudo-prospective survival analyses with time-dependent covariates may yield results as valid as those from prospective studies.

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Alcohol Behaviour Change

A new campaign aimed at encouraging Scots to think about the health effects of regularly drinking above the recommended alcohol guidelines was launched today.

The Scottish Government’s Alcohol Behaviour Change is this year encouraging women to ‘Drop a Glass Size’ in 2012.

Figures in the Scottish Health Survey show that around 38 per cent of women regularly exceed daily and/or weekly sensible drinking guidelines. It is possible for a woman to exceed the weekly guidelines for less than £3. It is estimated that 1 in 30 female deaths in Scotland is alcohol-related.

The campaign encourages people to make small changes to the way they drink such as alternating alcohol with soft drinks or water and having two alcohol-free days a week.

The initiative, which also includes a national roadshow, aims to educate Scots about what they’re drinking, how much is too much and how they can moderate their drinking. > > > > Read More

EUCAM meeting March 29-30, 2012

29 and 30 March 2012 Warsaw, Poland

EUCAM organizes in cooperation with PARPA its fourth conference on alcohol marketing in Europe 29 and 30 March 2012 in Warsaw, Poland. The EUCAM contact persons of Public Health NGOs, governmental organizations and research institutes are invited to participate.

The topic of the training will be:

-Alcohol and sport sponsoring

-Training how to monitor alcohol marketing effectively

Alcohol and sport sponsoring In 2012 the UEFA European Football Championship will take place in Poland and Ukraine. This event will be a new opportunity for the alcohol industry to intensify their sponsor and marketing activities. EUCAM will present during this training new relevant information about alcohol and sport sponsoring: the impact on youth, an overview of sport sponsorship of top teams in Europe and a discussion with Polish policy makers and politicians.
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Formal and informal substance use treatment utilization and alcohol abstinence over seven years: Is the relationship different for blacks and whites?

This study examines whether the effects of formal substance use treatment utilization and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) on 30-day abstinence vary for black versus white Americans.

The current analysis utilizes data from a longitudinal sample of 1013 black and white, dependent and problem drinkers across a 7-year period. Participants were identified through a probability survey in the general population and consecutive intakes in chemical dependency treatment programs in a California County. Generalized Estimating Equations assessing interactions between race and treatment utilization incorporated variables from four post-baseline interviews, controlling for baseline variables.

Formal treatment utilization was associated with 30-day abstinence (OR:1.6, 95%CI: 1.3, 2.1), yet this relationship did not differ for blacks and whites. In contrast, there was a significant interaction between AA utilization, race and 30-day abstinence. While both whites and blacks who attended AA were more likely to report 30-day abstinence compared to their non-AA attending counterparts (white OR:4.0, 95%CI: 3.2–5.1 and black OR:2.2, 95%CI: 1.5–3.2), the relationship was stronger for whites. Among those who did not attend AA, blacks were more likely than whites to be abstinent. Post hoc analyses suggest that these latter findings may be related to greater religiosity and “drier” social networks among black Americans.

While utilization of formal treatment may yield similar benefits for blacks and whites, AA utilization may be more important for maintaining abstinence among whites than blacks. Future research should investigate racial differences in social network drinking patterns and religious reinforcement of sobriety, and the role these may play in AA outcomes.

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Monday, February 6, 2012


This surveillance report on 1977–2009 apparent per capita alcohol consumption in the United States is the 25th in a series of consumption reports produced annually by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Findings are based on alcoholic beverage sales data, either collected directly by the Alcohol Epidemiologic Data System (AEDS) from the States or provided by beverage industry sources. Population data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau are used as denominators to calculate per capita rates.

The following are highlights from the current report, which updates consumption trends through 2009:

  • In the United States, per capita consumption of ethanol from all alcoholic beverages combined in 2009 was 2.30 gallons, representing a 0.9 percent decrease from 2.32 gallons in 2008.

  • Between 2008 and 2009, changes in overall per capita consumption of ethanol included increases in 9 States, decreases in 34 States and the District of Columbia,and no change in 7 States.

  • Analysis of overall per capita alcohol consumption by census region between 2008 and 2009 indicated decreases of 0.4% in the Midwest, 0.9% in the South, and 1.2% in the West, with no change in the Northeast.

  • Healthy People 2010 has set the national objective for reducing per capita alcohol consumption to no more than 1.96 gallons of ethanol. However, the prospect of reaching the Year 2010 national objective does not appear promising. From 1999 to 2008, there was a trend of increasing per capita consumption. 2009 is the first year in a decade in which a decrease in per capita consumption has been observed. To meet the 2010 objective, per capita alcohol consumption will need to decrease by 14.8 percent within one year

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How does gender equality progress link to alcohol care and death? A registry study of the Swedish parental cohort of 1988/1989

This article examines how gender equality during early parenthood (1988–1991) associates with alcohol-related inpatient care or mortality (1992–2006).

We categorised all Swedish couples having had a first child together in 1988–1989 (
N=118595) as traditional, or gender equal, or untraditional based on income and occupational position (bread-winning indicators), parental leave and temporary child care (child-care indicators).

Overall, traditional women run lower risk, whereas traditional men and untraditional women (those opposing the traditional division of parenthood responsibilities) run higher risks of alcohol harm than their gender-equal counterparts.

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Global Actions: February 1, 2012

Key Recent Milestones:

· Rwanda: An ICAP representative visited Rwanda in December 2011 to meet with individuals from the Ministry of Health, Rwanda Bureau of Standards, and the Ministry responsible for Radio & Television and industry (Bralirwa Ltd. and Brasserie des Mille Collines). A first draft of a marketing code for Rwanda has been developed and shared with industry stakeholders. The code will be finalized in the coming months.

Global Actions in Focus: Nanjing Drink Drive Education Campaign

In January, Global Actions China launched its Drink Drive Safety Education Campaign in Nanjing. The month-long effort was launched with support from the Nanjing Traffic Management Bureau, the Jiangsu Institute for Health Education, and the Jiangsu Restaurant Association.

“Approximately 100 local restaurants joined in the campaign by promising to provide customers with reminders about drink driving,” said Global Actions China Country Manager James Yu. “In each restaurant, volunteers will remind customers of drink driving at three times: when they park their cars, when they drink, and when they are leaving the restaurant.” Security staff in restaurant parking lots have been trained to caution intoxicated customers not to drive, with instructions to call police if the customer does not comply.

Before the project launch, James Yu and Channel Research’s Annina Mattsson distributed thousands of Global Actions posters, brochures, and educational cards to local hotels and restaurants. Traffic police officers are now conducting enforcement activities that target drink driving on Nanjing streets. Once the campaign wraps up at the end of February, educational content addressing the progress of enforcement operations will be updated and available online.

“Although alcohol-related road traffic accidents have reduced by about 50% from last year, we need to do something more to tackle the problem,” said Nanjing Traffic Management Bureau’s Lihong Zhao, “especially during the Spring festival holiday when people have more chances to consume alcohol.”

Highlights from the launch event included performances by traffic police that incorporated drink drive education into song, sketch, and poetry routines that were well-received by the audience.

What’s Happening Next:

· Argentina: Consejo de Autorregulación Publicitaria (CONARP) is conducting an internal review of its processes. Once reviewed, CONARP will publish the results of these findings on its website in order to further align with international advertising self-regulation best practice. These developments are part of CONARP’s collaboration with ICAP and the World Federation of Advertisers.

National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS): 2010 Data on Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities

This report presents results from the 2010 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment
Services (N-SSATS), an annual census of facilities providing substance abuse treatment.

by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), N-SSATS is designed to collect data on the location, characteristics, and use of alcohol and drug abuse treatment facilities and services throughout the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and other U.S. jurisdictions.

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Alcohol Consumption and Mortality Risks in the USA

To estimate all-cause and cause-specific mortality risks by alcohol consumption level for the US population.

The survival analysis of data from National Health Interview Survey participants from 1997 to 2004 who were followed for mortality through 2006. Hazard ratios (HRs) adjusted for available demographic and health characteristics were calculated by alcohol consumption level for all-cause mortality and for mortality from circulatory and external causes. Alcohol consumption levels were generally defined as ‘never drinker’ (<12 drinks in life), ‘former drinker’ (0 drinks during last year), ‘infrequent drinker’ (<12 drinks in any year), ‘light drinker’ (1 drink per drinking day), ‘moderate drinker’(2 drinks) and ‘heavy drinker’ (3+ drinks).

Adjusted mortality hazards for lifetime infrequent drinkers were much lower than the hazards for never drinkers among women, so lifetime infrequent drinkers were used as the reference category in survival analysis to estimate the mortality effects of alcohol consumption. Estimated all-cause mortality HRs for moderate drinkers were generally somewhat lower when compared with infrequent drinkers [HR for male moderate drinkers = 0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.75–1.01 and HR for female occasional moderate drinkers = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.69–0.93]. Former drinkers and regular heavy drinkers had higher mortality hazards among both men and women.

US light to moderate drinkers may have reduced mortality risks, but some portion of their previously observed lower mortality may be due to factors other than alcohol consumption such as medical care and social integration, particularly among women. Alcohol consumption among former and heavy drinkers appears to have increased their mortality risks

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Mortality and potential years of life lost attributable to alcohol consumption in Canada in 2005

Alcohol is a substantial risk factor for mortality according to the recent 2010 World Health Assembly strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol which outlined the need to characterize and monitor this burden. Accordingly, using new methodology we estimated 1) the number of deaths caused and prevented by alcohol consumption, and 2) the potential years of life lost (PYLLs) attributable to alcohol consumption in Canada in 2005.

Mortality attributable to alcohol consumption was estimated by calculating Alcohol-Attributable Fractions (AAFs) (defined as the proportion of mortality that would be eliminated if the exposure was eliminated) using data from various sources. Indicators for alcohol consumption were obtained from the Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey 2008 and corrected for adult per capita recorded and unrecorded alcohol consumption. Risk relations were taken from the Comparative Risk Assessment within the current Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study. Due to concerns about the reliability of information specifying causes of death for people aged 65 or older, our analysis was limited to individuals aged 0 to 64 years. Calculation of the 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the AAFs was performed using Monte Carlo random sampling. Information on mortality was obtained from Statistics Canada. A sensitivity analysis was performed comparing the mortality results obtained using our study methods to results obtained using previous methodologies.

In 2005, 3,970 (95% CI: 810 to 7,170) deaths (4,390 caused and 420 prevented) and 134,555 (95% CI: 36,690 to 236,376) PYLLs were attributable to alcohol consumption for individuals aged 0 to 64 years. These figures represent 7.7% (95% CI: 1.6% to 13.9%) of all deaths and 8.0% (95% CI: 2.2% to 14.1%) of all PYLLs for individuals aged 0 to 64 years. The sensitivity analysis showed that the number of deaths as measured by this new methodology is greater than that if mortality was estimated using previous methodologies.

The mortality burden attributable to alcohol consumption for Canada is large, unnecessary, and could be substantially reduced in a short period of time if effective public health policies were implemented. A monitoring system on alcohol consumption is imperative and would greatly assist in planning and evaluating future Canadian public health policies related to alcohol consumption

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Alcohol News - 6/2012

PubMed (Finland) - Mortality in people with depressive, anxiety and alcohol use disorders in Finland
Individuals with depressive and alcohol use disorders have an increased mortality risk comparable with many chronic somatic conditions, that is only partly attributable to differences in sociodemographic, somatic health status and hazardous health behaviour.
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The Foreigner (Norway) - Norway dairy goes alcoholic
Farmers’ dairy cooperative TINE may be complementing its butter-based products (eventually) and dispensing French red wine into cartons.
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Alcohol Help (Denmark) - First fine ever for targeting alcohol marketing at minors
Lately a ruling in Denmark – the first of its kind – provides that alcohol has no place in advertising targeted minors. The ruling is a victory for the Consumer Ombudsman, as well as for Alcohol and Society (former Danish Alcohol Policy Network) being the fruit of several complaints throughout the years.
Read more (Denmark) - The effect of occasional binge drinking on heart disease and mortality among moderate drinkers
Most studies have found that binge drinking is associated with a loss of alcohol's protective effect against ischemic heart disease (IHD) and most studies have found an increase of coronary risk among binge drinkers.
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alcoholsubstanceabuse (Denmark) - Danes Developing Pill to Cure Alcoholism
Researchers in Denmark are testing a pill among alcoholics that reduces their alcohol consumption by more than 50% if they take it over a 12-month period.
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The Guardian - Two glasses of wine a day 'triples mouth cancer risk'
Regularly drinking two large glasses of wine or two strong pints of beer a day triples the risk of developing mouth cancer, a government campaign will warn.
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The Press Association (Scotland) - App to show alcohol's ageing effect
A phone app which illustrates the impact alcohol has on personal appearance aims to "shock people into drinking just a little bit less", its creator has said.
Read more (UK) - Alcohol death toll equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every 17 days, British Liver Trust reveals
The number of Brits being killed by drinking is equivalent to a major plane crash every 17 days, a charity revealed yesterday. It says there were 8,664 alcohol-related deaths in 2009, more than double the 4,023 during 1992.
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Doctors Lounge - High Alcohol Intake, Family History Impact Colon CA Risk
Individuals who consume 30 g alcohol or more per day have a significantly elevated risk of colon cancer, especially those with a family history of colorectal cancer, according to a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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Irish Examiner (Ireland) - Public health not a luxury, says alcohol group
Government ministers raising objections to plans to scrap alcohol sponsorship for sports and arts events have been told by Alcohol Action Ireland: "Public health is not a luxury."
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Irish Times (Ireland) - Average alcohol consumption falling, says report
THE AVERAGE alcohol consumption per person fell in the last decade to 12 litres per year – 17 per cent below the 2001 peak, according to an industry report.
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OnMedica (Scotland) - Study backs discount ban on alcohol
A minimum pricing policy combined with an off-licence discount ban would significantly reduce alcohol-related harm. These are the conclusions from the University of Sheffield, which worked on an updated report commissioned by the Scottish Government to examine whether a restricted pricing policy would make a real difference.
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Toronto Sun - Health benefits of alcohol still uncertain
While a moderate amount of alcohol may be beneficial for the heart, those benefits may be cancelled out by an elevated risk for other diseases.
Read more (UK) - Alcohol charity urges Government to act on workplace drinking
Alcohol Concern has written to Vince Cable, secretary of state for Business, Innovation and Skills, to call for greater focus on alcohol issues in the workplace, which have a major negative impact on productivity.
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Yorkshire Post (UK) - Street alcohol ban a success in area blighted by drunken yobs
A BAN on street drinking in an area once plagued by alcohol-fuelled yobs has been hailed as a success, after bringing about a “significant” reduction in crime.
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Renal and Urology News - Prostate Cancer Linked to Heavy Alcohol Intake
Heavy ethanol intake is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer (PCa) among low-risk men with at least one prior negative prostate biopsy, investigators reported here at the annual Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. It also is associated with an elevated risk for high-grade PCa.
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Elliot Lake Standard (Canada) - Solutions exist for fetal alcohol related crimes: lawyer
More grandmothers are needed in the lives of those with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, says lawyer and advocate David Boulding.
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WA today (Australia) - Pregnant women 'ignoring alcohol warnings'
Women are continuing to place their unborn children at risk by drinking while pregnant, health experts have told a federal parliamentary inquiry.
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FASD News - 5/2012

USA TODAY - Study: No alcohol intake safe during pregnancy
It's known that drinking during pregnancy leaves babies vulnerable to a spectrum of abnormalities called fetal alcohol syndrome. Now, a new study pinpoints the latter half of the first trimester as a critical time in the development of some of the syndrome's most telling physical characteristics.
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Primedia Broadcasting - Eyewitness News (South Africa) - 0% alcohol is best for pregnancy - WHO
A Worcester-based alcohol syndrome organisation on Friday urged pregnant women not to drink any alcohol as doing so may cause brain damage. The World Health Organisation (WHO) pin-pointed the Western Cape as having the highest number of children who have fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in the world.
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CBS Local - New Study Reveals More Problems With Drinking During Pregnancy
A new study released this week reveals the hidden dangers of women who drink alcohol while pregnant.
Read more - Colton Harris-Moore's attorney says emails are examples of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome behavior
After emails and phone calls from Colton Harris-Moore, also known as the "Barefoot Bandit," ridiculing police were released, his attorney John Henry Browne responded saying this is a classic example of behavior seen in people diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
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Elliot Lake Standard (Canada) - Solutions exist for fetal alcohol related crimes: lawyer
More grandmothers are needed in the lives of those with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, says lawyer and advocate David Boulding.
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WA today (Australia) - Pregnant women 'ignoring alcohol warnings'
Women are continuing to place their unborn children at risk by drinking while pregnant, health experts have told a federal parliamentary inquiry.
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The North West Star (Australia) - Don't poison your baby, don't drink
MOUNT Isa is the perfect environment for a health disorder that condemns children to a life of misery and often jail, but which is 100 per cent preventable.
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Wall Street Journal - Stricter Thinking on Alcohol During Pregnancy
In the sixth to 12th week of pregnancy, a fetus's bones, brain and central nervous system are forming. Buds blossom into arms and legs, and internal organs start to function. A face with eyelids, lips and other features appears.
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Fetal Alcohol Forum – Issue 6 December 2011
NOFAS-UK have published Issue 6, 2011 of their newsletter.
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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Understanding the Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in the United States has recently released a 6-page summary called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Understanding the Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. It summarizes the latest research on the full spectrum of alcohol-related developmental disorders, new diagnostic tools that can detect these disorders, and promising interventions and treatment options.
Pregnancy and Alcohol Brochure for Aboriginal Families
Best Start Resource Centre in Ontario has released a new brochure for Aboriginal women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy and their families on pregnancy and alcohol.
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Managing Difficult Behaviour in FASD Children in the Community

Food Holland (Netherlands) - Schippers voor zelfregulering logo alcohol en zwangerschap op fles
Minister Schippers van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport (VWS) gaat inventariseren of het mogelijk is een logo alcohol en zwangerschap op flessen alcoholische dranken via zelfregulering in te voeren. Schippers antweoord dat op vragen vanuit de Tweede Kamer.

Alcoholism and Cellular Vulnerability in Different Brain Regions

Alcohol-induced damage causes dysfunction of selected brain regions. Multidisciplinary studies have provided an extensive description of changes observed in neurons and glia following alcohol consumption.

In this study the authors have elucidated preferential cellular vulnerability in three different brain regions.

Autopsy material of the prefrontal cortex, striatum, and substantia nigra obtained from the brain tissue of alcoholic subjects was used in this study.

We found that dendritic tree and astroglial damage is irreversible, while neuronal somata and most axons do not display irreversible changes.

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Gene Coexpression Networks in Human Brain Identify Epigenetic Modifications in Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol abuse causes widespread changes in gene expression in human brain, some of which contribute to alcohol dependence. Previous microarray studies identified individual genes as candidates for alcohol phenotypes, but efforts to generate an integrated view of molecular and cellular changes underlying alcohol addiction are lacking.

Here, we applied a novel systems approach to transcriptome profiling in postmortem human brains and generated a systemic view of brain alterations associated with alcohol abuse.

We identified critical cellular components and previously unrecognized epigenetic determinants of gene coexpression relationships and discovered novel markers of chromatin modifications in alcoholic brain.

Higher expression levels of endogenous retroviruses and genes with high GC content in alcoholics were associated with DNA hypomethylation and increased histone H3K4 trimethylation, suggesting a critical role of epigenetic mechanisms in alcohol addiction.

Analysis of cell-type-specific transcriptomes revealed remarkable consistency between molecular profiles and cellular abnormalities in alcoholic brain.

Based on evidence from this study and others, we generated a systems hypothesis for the central role of chromatin modifications in alcohol dependence that integrates epigenetic regulation of gene expression with pathophysiological and neuroadaptive changes in alcoholic brain.

Our results offer implications for epigenetic therapeutics in alcohol and drug addiction.

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Veteran Status and Alcohol Use in Men in the United States

This study sought to compare patterns of alcohol use between male veterans and nonveterans.

Data came from the 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a U.S. national telephone survey using stratified random sampling. Outcomes were 30-day alcohol use, binge drinking (5+ drinks on one occasion), and heavy drinking (2+ drinks per day). Age-stratified weighted regression analyses compared men who were veterans (
n = 36,874) to those who were not (n = 77,056), and veterans who used Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services in the past year (n = 7,606) to veterans who did not, adjusting for potential confounders.

Veterans aged 41 to 60 were less likely to binge drink (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.8) and veterans aged 61 to 70 were more likely to drink heavily compared to same-age men without military experience (AOR = 1.7). There were no significant differences in binge or heavy drinking for other age groups. Among veterans aged 51 to 60, those who used VHA services were more likely to report binge drinking than those who did not (AOR = 1.4).

Male veterans generally have similar patterns of alcohol use as men without a history of military service, but the elevated alcohol use of specific groups of veterans merits concern.

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