Alcohol May Affect Brain Function Differently in Men and Women

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A new study presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology conference finds that chronic alcohol use affects the brain cells of young men and women differently. Participants of the preliminary study did not have alcohol use disorder, but were classified as heavy drinkers. All participants were also in their 20s, suggesting that alcohol-related brain changes may not take very long to develop. The participants included 11 men and 16 women between the ages of 23 and 28 years, who all reported "heavy" drinking patterns over the previous 10 years. People who reported little or no alcohol use served as controls. Interestingly, the researchers found differences in the activity of receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA – which plays an important function in regulating anxiety and is thought to play a role in depression. "Generally, our work showed that alcohol causes more pronounced changes in both electrical and chemical neurotransmission in men...
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With the Number of Women Drinking, Some States Take Action

With the Number of Women Drinking, Some States Take Action
America has a alcohol problem. But over the last decade we’ve seen a substantial increase in the number of women who are dinking, compared to a decade ago. And the main problem, a higher percentage of those women are binge drinking. According to The Pew Charitable Trusts and Stateline magazine, because women are more vulnerable to the damaging health effects of alcohol than men, and because drinking during pregnancy can have devastating effects on a fetus, the federal government and some states have made the growing trend a top public health priority. According to Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “the harms associated with alcohol use in women escalate more quickly, affecting women at an earlier age than men, and the damage tends to be more severe.” For decades, states have attempted to suppress drinking among men and women of all ages by...
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SPOTLIGHT: Phoenix, AZ Affiliate’s Women's Outpatient Program

SPOTLIGHT: Phoenix, AZ Affiliate’s Women's Outpatient Program
“Supporting women in building a healthy life for themselves and their children” is a motto of NCADD Phoenix and to do that, the Affiliate provides a variety of programs aimed at helping women. The Affiliate’s programs focus on providing the tools and resources needed to help women become financially self-sufficient and to believe in their potential to remain drug and alcohol free and live a quality life. Women who abuse alcohol and other drugs have unique issues. NCADD Phoenix offers an Outpatient Program that recognizes that recovery for women requires development of life skills, resolution of life issues, goals, values, self-image, independence and empowerment. The program was developed on a time frame of at least 1 year. This allows the women to master skills vital for their recovery, strengthen a support system, increase their ability to financially provide for themselves and their children, practice parenting skills with continued monitoring, increase...
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CDC Says Its Warning About Drinking and Pregnancy is Valid

CDC Says Its Warning About Drinking and Pregnancy is Valid
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said its recommendation that sexually active women should not drink alcohol if they are not using birth control is valid, despite criticism from many women. The New York Times reports the advice was viewed by some women as insulting and impractical. “We weren’t as clear as we had hoped to be,” acknowledged Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC. The recommendation is aimed at preventing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The CDC estimates that 3.3 million women ages 15 to 44 who drink alcohol and do not use birth control risk exposing their babies to the disorders, the article notes. The CDC report advises women who intend to get pregnant, or who could get pregnant, not to drink alcohol. The report notes about half of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. Most women do not realize they are pregnant until four...
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No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe for Expecting Moms

No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe for Expecting Moms
The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that no amount of alcohol should be viewed as safe throughout pregnancy and called exposure to prenatal alcohol the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual disabilities in children, Today.com reports. In a report published in the journal Pediatrics, the Academy underscored that drinking during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), a group of conditions that can occur in a child whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy and that drinking-related birth defects and developmental disabilities are avoidable through abstentions. The Academy noted that prenatal alcohol exposure is linked to higher incidences of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning disabilities, such as problems with math and language, memory skills and impulse control. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are also linked to numerous conditions that can include physical, emotional, behavioral and learning problems and can range from mild to severe. The most serious type, fetal...
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