Heavy versus light drinking: What are the relative effects on performance years later?

Heavy versus light drinking: What are the relative effects on performance years later?
Heavy drinkers develop tolerance to alcohol over time and may be able to perform certain tasks fine while intoxicated—but that doesn't apply to more complex tasks like driving, suggests a new study. Heavy drinkers develop behavioral tolerance to alcohol over time on some fine motor tasks, but not on more complex tasks, according to a study led by a VA San Diego Healthcare System researcher. While heavy drinkers showed less impairment than light drinkers on a rote fine motor test over time, they did not perform better on a test involving more short-term memory, motor speed, and more complex cognitive processing. The study offers new insight into the changes and problems that accompany excessive drinking. As the researchers explain, "The results have implications for our understanding of alcohol-induced impairments across neurobehavioral processes in heavy drinkers and their ongoing risks for alcohol-related consequences over time." Lead researcher Dr. Ty Brumback adds, "The...
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Bleak Job Outlook for Less-Educated Whites Leads to Death by Drugs, Alcohol, Suicide

Bleak Job Outlook for Less-Educated Whites Leads to Death by Drugs, Alcohol, Suicide
A new study concludes a lack of steady, well-paying jobs for whites who don’t have college degrees has led to an increase in deaths by drugs, alcohol and suicide. The mortality rate for whites ages 45 to 54 without a college degree increased by a half-percent each year from 1999 to 2013, NPR reports. Whites with college degrees have not seen the same loss of life expectancy, Princeton University researchers report in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. Researcher Ann Case told NPR, “The rates of suicide are much higher among men [than women]. And drug overdoses and alcohol-related liver death are higher among men, too. But the [mortality] trends are identical for men and women with a high school degree or less. So we think of this as people, either quickly with a gun or slowly with drugs and alcohol, are killing themselves. Under that body count there’s a lot of...
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One in Ten Alcohol Buyers Purchase Alcohol Online

One in Ten Alcohol Buyers Purchase Alcohol Online
Whether we are toasting a friend's engagement, tossing one back at a party, or just relaxing at home with a drink at dinner or while watching TV, Americans rarely run out of excuses to partake in alcohol. With so many reasons to sip, chug, or shoot, it should come as no surprise that nearly 7 in 10 Americans aged 21 and over (68%) are "regular buyers" of alcohol (purchase any type of alcohol, either for themselves or for someone else, at least several times per year). Interestingly enough, nearly 1 in 10 adults 21+ (8%), or 12% of regular adult beverage buyers, say they purchased at least some of their alcohol online in the past 6 months. Among those regular buyers of alcohol who bought alcohol online at least once during the past six months, the percentage purchased online vs. in-store was highest for wine (42%), with beer (29%) and spirits...
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NJ Alcohol Rehab Center Weighs in on the Risk of Binge Drinking for College Kids

NJ Alcohol Rehab Center Weighs in on the Risk of Binge Drinking for College Kids
Parties, alcohol, and freedom have long gone hand in hand with college - for as long as teenagers have been leaving mom and dad to begin their educations. It isn't any wonder that college students make up one of the highest ranking demographic groups for alcohol abuse. Estimates reflect that just over 60 percent of college students have used alcohol in the last 30 days, and that as many as two-thirds of those students have taken part in binge drinking in the same period. That is a change from college students' drinking habits from the past. While the use of alcohol has remained constant for the last few decades, instances of binge drinking have increased dramatically over that time frame, and that can carry some serious risks, reports NJ alcohol rehab center Summit Behavioral Health. Binge drinking is defined as imbibing 5 or more consecutive drinks for men, and 4 or...
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Smoking Pot and Drinking Alcohol Likely by Top Students

Smoking Pot and Drinking Alcohol Likely by Top Students
A study published in the British Medical Journal Open found that teens in Britain with the highest test scores are less likely to smoke cigarettes yet more likely to drink alcohol and smoke pot compared with teens with lower scores. The study also debunks believe that smart students simply have a tendency to only experiment. The new study seems to indicate that these patterns of substance use may continue into adulthood. This information was brought to light by CNN. Researchers found that during their early teens, high-scoring pupils were less likely to smoke cigarettes and more likely to drink alcohol than their peers with lower test scores. At this time, they were slightly more likely to say they used cannabis. During their late teens, pupils with the highest scores were more than twice as likely to drink alcohol regularly compared with others, yet they also showed themselves to have less of...
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Legislators Wish to Regulate Powdered Alcohol like Liquid Alcohol

Legislators Wish to Regulate Powdered Alcohol like Liquid Alcohol
Two Wisconsin Democratic state lawmakers have backed away from banning powdered alcohol and instead want to subject it to the same regulations as liquid alcohol. According to AP, the lawmakers introduced a bill to expand the state's definition of alcohol to include powdered forms. They indicated that they want to ensure powdered alcohol is covered by the same rules that applied to sale and consumption of liquid alcohol should it arrive in Wisconsin. They say it poses additional risks because it can be snorted or ingested and the compact packets are easy to hide. The article notes that the federal government approved a powdered alcohol product called Palcohol in 2015. Since then, states have been scrambling to ban or regulate the products before they hit shelves. At least 25 states had banned the sale of powdered alcohol as of 2015, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Palcohol is not...
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Alcohol’s Effects on Immunity

Alcohol’s Effects on Immunity
Many people are aware that excessive drinking can be harmful to the liver and other vital organs; however, there is another, less obvious, body system that is vulnerable to the negative effects of alcohol: the immune system. Because of alcohol’s effects on the immune system, people who drink to excess are at increased risk of contracting infectious diseases, may have more complications after surgery, and often take longer to recover from illness, compared with those who drink at lower levels. Disruptions in immune system function also contribute to organ damage associated with alcohol consumption. An Alcohol Alert issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reviews the normal workings of the immune system and explores how alcohol interferes with these functions. Alcohol’s Effects on the Immune SystemAlcohol consumption can alter the number, survival, and function of most immune cells. Although these alterations alone may not be sufficient to adversely affect one’s...
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Fewer Americans Say They Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol

Fewer Americans Say They Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol
Fewer Americans said they drove under the influence of alcohol In 2014 compared with 2002, according to a new government report. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found 11 percent of those surveyed said they drove under the influence of alcohol in 2014, down from 15 percent in 2002, HealthDay reports. An estimated 28 million Americans admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol in 2014. “Although it is heartening to see a downward trend in levels of driving under the influence of alcohol, it still kills thousands of people each year and shatters the lives of friends and loved ones left behind,” Frances Harding, Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, said in a news release. “We must strive to save lives by reducing this public health threat through education, prevention, and all other possible measures.”
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Many Teens Who Smoke Also Use Alcohol, Marijuana and Other Tobacco Products

Many Teens Who Smoke Also Use Alcohol, Marijuana and Other Tobacco Products
Many teens who smoke also use alcohol, marijuana and other tobacco products, a new study finds. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego studied 176 teen smokers and found 96 percent said they used at least two other substances besides cigarettes, HealthDay reports. The study found 16 percent of teen smokers said they used harder drugs, such as Ecstasy, cocaine or hallucinogens, or they misused prescription drugs. Most of the teens in the study smoked five or fewer cigarettes a day. “This tells us that multidrug use among adolescents may be more prevalent than we think, and that even kids who smoke only occasionally are likely to be doing other drugs,” said lead researcher Karma McKelvey. The findings appear in the journal Addictive Behaviors.
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President Believes Marijuana Should Be Treated Like ‘Cigarettes or Alcohol’

President Believes Marijuana Should Be Treated Like ‘Cigarettes or Alcohol’
In recent interview in Rolling Stone magazine, President Obama said that marijuana use should be treated as a public-health issue similar to tobacco or alcohol and called the current patchwork of state and federal laws regarding the drug “untenable.” In the Rolling Stone interview published this week, Obama also reiterated his long-standing position that changing federal marijuana laws is not something the president can do unilaterally. “Typically how these classifications are changed are not done by presidential edict,” he said, “but are done either legislatively or through the DEA. As you might imagine, the DEA, whose job it is historically to enforce drug laws, is not always going to be on the cutting edge about these issues.” The Drug Enforcement Administration recently turned down a petition to lessen federal restrictions on marijuana, citing the drug's lack of “accepted medical use” and its “high potential for abuse.” Congress could resolve the conflict...
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