The Science Behind Blacking Out

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Have you ever woken up panicked and confused, wondering how you got home after a night out drinking with friends? If this has happened, you might have experienced an episode of alcohol induced amnesia, also known as a blackout. This is different than passing out or losing consciousness. Your friends may report drinking and talking with you during the evening and you may have even driven home – but your memory of some or most of the night is wiped away. Although blacking out is not uncommon – particularly among young people who drink heavily – it is poorly understood. Alcohol-induced impairment is dangerous and can be unpredictable. What is a Blackout? Researchers have identified two types of blackouts: En bloc, or complete blackout : when a person who had been drinking has an inability to recall entire events during the drinking period of time Fragmentary-memory loss : when a...
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Anxiety More Strongly Linked To Alcohol-Related Problems than Stress

Anxiety More Strongly Linked To Alcohol-Related Problems than Stress
Stress and anxiety are widely believed to contribute to drinking. Alcohol is thought to reduce tension caused by stress (the "flight or fight" response) as well as alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of anxiety (anticipation of the unpredictable, impending threats). Prior research, however, has yielded inconsistent findings as to the unique relations between stress and anxiety, on the one hand, and alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders, on the other hand. This study was designed to examine how differences in self-reported levels of anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, and perceived stress impact the frequency and intensity of drinking, alcohol craving during early withdrawal, and alcohol craving and stress reactivity. According to an article in News-Medical.net , recent drinking was assessed in 87 individuals (70 men, 17 women) with alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Three distinct measures were used to evaluate anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, and perceived stress. A subset of 30 subjects was admitted to...
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10 years after September 11th, Exposed Individuals Display Intensity of Binge Drinking

10 years after September 11th, Exposed Individuals Display Intensity of Binge Drinking
The 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center resulted in elevated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use among exposed individuals. The relationship among traumatic exposure, PTSD, and excessive drinking is well documented; however, little is known about these relationships in the long term. This study examines factors increasing binge drinking risk among exposed individuals a decade post-9/11. According to an article in American Journal of Preventive Medicine , binge drinking was reported by 24.7% of participants in a research study, of whom 36.9% reported high-intensity binge drinking. The article concludes that observed associations among traumatic exposure, PTSD, and excessive drinking underscore the need for improved therapies addressing excessive drinking and PTSD concurrently, inclusion of repeated post-event screening for excessive drinking, and evidence-based population-level interventions to reduce alcohol consumption.
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Soldiers’ Alcohol Abuse Fought with Telephone-based Intervention

Soldiers’ Alcohol Abuse Fought with Telephone-based Intervention
It’s an unfortunate fact. Alcohol abuse is pervasive in the military, where a culture of heavy drinking and the stress of deployment lead many soldiers down a troubled path. According to a 2012 report by the Institute of Medicine, 47 percent of active-duty military members in the United States were binge-drinkers in 2008, up from 35 percent a decade earlier. According to an article on the University of Washington website , rates of heavy drinking also rose during that period. But many in the military avoid seeking help for alcohol abuse, fearing disciplinary action or other repercussions, and few soldiers are referred for evaluation or treatment. The article notes that there is little research on what type of treatment is most effective for active-duty military members. To shed new insight on that question and remove obstacles to seeking treatment, a team of researchers tested a telephone-based intervention geared specifically to...
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People May Drink More During Recession Even If They Retain Their Job

People May Drink More During Recession Even If They Retain Their Job
Economic downturns can lead to greater rates of drinking even among people who hold onto their jobs, a new study suggests. Previous research has shown people who lose their jobs during a recession are more likely to drink. Researchers at the University of Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions studied the rate of alcohol use among people who remained employed during the recession of 2007-2009. Study author Michael Frone, PhD compared the results of two phone surveys. One survey of 2,501 employees was conducted in 2002 and 2003, before the recession. The other survey included 2,581 employees, who were questioned during and after the recession, between 2008 and 2011. He found alcohol use and excessive drinking outside of work increased during the recession. Drinking at work was reduced after the recession, compared with before the economic downturn, Medical News Today reports. The findings are published in the journal Psychology of Addictive...
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Alcohol-Related Deaths Highest In 35 Years

Alcohol-Related Deaths Highest In 35 Years
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC,) there were 30,000 American deaths from alcohol-induced causes in 2014. The CDC report notes that the deaths included alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis, liver damage primarily caused by drinking. In an article published by Medical Daily, that information translates to 9.6 deaths from alcohol-induced causes per 100,000 people, a figure that has risen 37 percent since 2002. These alarming numbers don’t even include deaths from drunk driving, and other accidents or homicides committed under the influence of alcohol. According to Philip J. Cook, a Duke University professor who studies alcohol consumption patterns, when you factor in deaths directly or indirectly caused by alcohol would cause the number of annual deaths to rise to around 90,000. Per-capita alcohol consumption has been rising nationally since the late 1990s. The number of Americans who drink at least once per month rose by a small but...
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My Life Was a Series of Costume Changes

All I know is that I feel a helluvah lot better waking up without a hangover and knowing the name of the person I just slept with. Seriously. All drinking has ever given me is a talent for making bad decisions, the majority of which have had disastrous consequences. I'm a risk-taker by nature, prone to not thinking things through. I simply don't need alcohol and other substances to increase the danger. It took me until I was 26 years old to figure this out. Prior to that, all I knew about myself is that I didn't fit in. Anywhere. High school was fine, but after that I didn't have a clue. My life was a series of “costume changes” in an attempt to find the one external situation that would somehow fix the feeling of being lost in my own life. I came out as a lesbian, and then...
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