Millions of Americans Drink Alcohol at Dangerously High Levels

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Nearly 32 million adults in the United States (13 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 and older) consumed more than twice the number of drinks considered binge drinking on at least one occasion, according to a 2013 survey that asked about past-year drinking. This higher level of drinking is associated with increased health and safety risks. A report of the findings is online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health. Binge drinking, defined as having four or more drinks on an occasion for women, or five or more drinks on an occasion for men, can produce blood alcohol levels greater than 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit for driving in the United States. Reaching this level is well known to increase the risk of harms...
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Mixing of Opioids and Alcohol Make for a Dangerous Cocktail

Mixing of Opioids and Alcohol Make for a Dangerous Cocktail
A new study warns that drinking alcohol while taking powerful opioid painkillers can trigger a potentially deadly respiratory problem, particularly in seniors. In the study, report on by HeathDay , the researchers assessed how mixing the opioid painkiller oxycodone and alcohol affected 12 younger volunteers, aged 21 to 28, and 12 older volunteers, aged 66 to 77.  The study authors reported that taking just one oxycodone tablet with a modest amount of alcohol increased the risk of respiratory depression. The older volunteers were more likely than the younger ones to have repeated episodes where they temporarily stopped breathing. The study was published online Feb. 7 in the journal Anesthesiology .
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New Study: No Health Benefits to Alcohol

New Study: No Health Benefits to Alcohol
Every so often, research surfaces that highlights the supposed benefits of drinking alcohol, but a new study suggests these findings are exaggerated; there is no real connection between alcohol and good health; and even “moderate drinking” may be detrimental, especially in elderly individuals. Although studies have noted a common trend between moderate alcohol consumption and excellent health, according to new research now published in The Journals of Gerontology, this is simply the result of socioeconomic differences. As noted by Medical Daily , individuals of higher socioeconomic status tend to drink more, but they also tend to have the resources to better look after their health. In the new study, which was focused specifically on the effects of drinking in older adults, the team found that when they controlled for level of socioeconomic status, any relationship between moderate drinking and health significantly reduced for women and completely vanished for men. "In...
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Alcohol Mixed With High-Caffeine Energy Beverages May Increase Desire to Drink

Alcohol Mixed With High-Caffeine Energy Beverages May Increase Desire to Drink
Mixing alcohol with high-caffeine energy beverages may increase a person’s desire to continue drinking alcohol, according to a new study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research . The study included 26 adults who drank alcohol and energy drinks alone and in combination over six days, Medical Daily reports. After each session, participants rated their desire to drink. In addition, their breath alcohol concentration was measured. Participants had a greater desire to drink after they consumed alcohol and a high-caffeine energy drink, compared with drinking the same amount of alcohol alone, the study found. The researchers said caffeine may increase the rewarding properties of alcohol.
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“Drunkorexia” on the Rise Among College Students

“Drunkorexia” on the Rise Among College Students
A growing number of college students are trying to avoid alcohol-related weight gain through a practice known as “drunkorexia,” CBS News reports. Students skip meals, exercise heavily before drinking alcohol, take laxatives or diuretics, or vomit after drinking. Some students engage in drunkorexia to get a faster buzz, the article notes. Researchers at the University of Houston presented data at the recent Research Society on Alcoholism annual meeting that suggests the practice is increasing. They surveyed 1,184 college students, who said they had drunk alcohol heavily at least once in the previous month. More than 80 percent said they had engaged in at least one drunkorexia-related behavior in the previous three months. College athletes and those who lived in fraternity and sorority houses were more likely to engage in drunkorexia, study author Dipali Rinker told CBS News . While previous studies have suggested drunkorexia is more common among women, the...
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