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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College Students Studying Abroad Drink More Alcohol While They’re Away

College Students Studying Abroad Drink More Alcohol While They’re Away
College students who study abroad drink more alcohol while they are away, according to a new survey by a firm that provides risk management services to Americans traveling abroad. The survey, released by On Call International , included 1,000 current or recent students who studied abroad in college. Half of the students who drank alcohol said they drank more while studying abroad, Bloomberg Business reports. The survey found 11 percent said that while abroad, they were more likely to black out while drinking. In addition, 29 percent of those surveyed said they had used drugs while studying abroad, and 11 percent said they tried a drug for the first time. “Students may feel invincible, but there are many real dangers when they venture out on their own,” On Call International ’s Chief Security Officer, Jim Hutton, said in a news release. “In unfamiliar situations, risky behaviors like drinking, drug use...
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Some E-Cigarettes Contain Enough Alcohol to Affect Motor Skills

Some E-Cigarettes Contain Enough Alcohol to Affect Motor Skills
Some types of e-cigarettes contain enough alcohol to affect motor skills, a new study concludes. E-cigarettes deliver nicotine by vaporizing liquids, which may contain alcohol and other chemicals. Yale University researchers tested people who used two commercially available e-cigarettes with either high or low amounts of alcohol. Neither group said they felt differently after they inhaled the vapor. But those who used e-cigarettes with high alcohol levels performed more poorly on psychomotor tests. In some cases, they had detectable levels of alcohol in their urine. “They didn’t actually know they were under the influence of alcohol,” lead researcher Dr. Mehmet Sofuoglu told CNBC. “It still influenced their performance.” About three-quarters of the commercial e-cigarette liquids tested contained less than 1 percent alcohol. Some e-cigarette users create their own liquids with high alcohol content, the researchers note in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence . Almost nothing is known about the...
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The Opioid Epidemic’s Toll on Pregnant Women and Their Babies

The Opioid Epidemic’s Toll on Pregnant Women and Their Babies
The risk for overdose from opioid painkillers and heroin among women, including pregnant women, has skyrocketed, which means a growing number of babies are born dependent on opioids. In a special report, PBS NewsHour Weekend Special correspondent Alison Stewart reported on the challenges for pregnant women struggling with addiction. The full interview is available online by clicking here. Miss Stewart interviewed several women, healthcare providers, and a reknowned researcher on the opioid epidemic overtaking the USA and its toll on pregnant women and their babies The risk for overdose from opioid painkillers and heroin among women, including pregnant women, has skyrocketed, which means a growing number of babies are born dependent on opioids. In her report, Miss Stewart noted that each year between 2008 and 2012, on average, more than one-quarter of reproductive age women with private insurance — and more than one-third of those enrolled in Medicaid — filled...
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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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Over 400 Diseases May Co-Occur in People With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Over 400 Diseases May Co-Occur in People With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Researchers have identified more than 400 diseases that can co-occur in people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The findings reinforce that alcohol can affect any organ or system in the developing fetus, the researchers note. “We’ve systematically identified numerous disease conditions co-occurring with FASD, which underscores the fact that it isn’t safe to drink any amount or type of alcohol at any stage of pregnancy, despite the conflicting messages the public may hear,” lead researcher Dr. Lana Popova of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto noted in a news release. FASD is a term that describes the range of disabilities that can occur in people as a result of alcohol exposure before birth, according to News-Medical.net. Symptoms and their severity can vary, based on how much and when the mother consumed alcohol. Other factors are also involved, including the mother’s stress levels, nutrition and environmental influences,...
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Teens Likely to Use Alcohol Before Trying Marijuana or Tobacco

Teens Likely to Use Alcohol Before Trying Marijuana or Tobacco
Teens are likely to try alcohol before they try either tobacco or marijuana, a new study concludes. The findings come from a study of 2,835 U.S. high school seniors, The Washington Post reports. The researchers from Texas A&M University and the University of Florida examined data from the Monitoring the Future study, an annual survey of teen substance use. The researchers found that teens were less likely to start using marijuana first, compared with alcohol and tobacco. “Alcohol was the most widely used substance among respondents, initiated earliest, and also the first substance most commonly used in the progression of substance use,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of School Health. Teens who started drinking alcohol in sixth grade reported significantly greater lifetime illicit substance use, and more frequent illicit substance use, compared with teens who started drinking in ninth grade or later. Teens who had their first drink in...
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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week - Update

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week - Update
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) is an annual, week-long observance that brings together teens and scientific experts to shatter persistent myths about substance use and addiction. New toolkits provide event holders with resources to tailor activities to the specific drugs that most affect their communities. Additionally, a general NDAFW toolkit in Spanish is now available. This year’s observance will be held January 25-31, 2016. Events can be sponsored by a variety of organizations, including schools, community groups, sports clubs, and hospitals. Toolkit resources can be combined with the IQ Challenge quiz, which contains questions about different kinds of drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have launched new online toolkits designed for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week event holders interested in focusing on specific drugs. The toolkits highlight information to specific drugs or audiences, including: Alcohol...
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Spotlight on Alcohol Use and Older Adults

Spotlight on Alcohol Use and Older Adults
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that adults of any age can have problems with alcohol. In general, older adults don't drink as much as younger people, but they can still have trouble with drinking. As people get older, their bodies change. They can develop health problems or chronic diseases. They may take more medications than they used to. All of these changes can make alcohol use a problem for older adults A recent article in the Palm Beach Post noted that older Americans are collectively becoming one of the nation’s biggest abuse problems, and this is according to several recent studies. This population is even outpacing binge-drinking college kids whose drinking habits have long been a documented concern. According to a 2014 study in the peer-reviewed specialty journal, Addiction , there are an estimated 2.8 million older adults in the United States meet the criteria for alcohol abuse....
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University Of Washington Study Finds No Easy Answers in Study of Legal Marijuana's Impact on Alcohol Use

University Of Washington Study Finds No Easy Answers in Study of Legal Marijuana's Impact on Alcohol Use
Does legal marijuana tempt pot users to consume more alcohol -- or are they likely to opt for cannabis instead of chardonnay? A University of Washington team of researchers sought to address those questions in the context of evolving marijuana policies in the United States. Their findings, published online Dec. 21 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research , highlight the difficulties of gauging the impact of a formerly illicit drug as it moves into the mainstream Recreational marijuana use is now legal in four states and medical marijuana in 23 states. Research on legalization policies has focused largely on how they impact marijuana access and use. But the UW team wanted to know how legalization affects the use of alcohol, by far the nation's most popular drug. The majority of adults in the U.S. imbibe to varying degrees, and alcohol abuse is the third leading preventable cause of...
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Facing Addiction and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are proud to announce the merger of our organizations – creating a national leader in turning the tide on the addiction epidemic.
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