Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Alcohol News - 47/2014

The Guardian (UK) - Young people increasingly alcohol abstainers or risky drinkers, drug survey finds
National drug survey finds smoking on the decline and methamphetamine use stable, but people in remote areas much more likely to use drugs.
Zee News - Empty liquor bottles can reveal alcohol use
Can counting the empty liquor bottles in dustbins gauge drinking habits of people? Yes, say researchers, adding that this is an inexpensive, unobtrusive and relatively easy method. (UK) - The lethal Polish booze that's 95% alcohol available to teenagers on internet
Online shopping giant Amazon has halted sales of the 95%-alcohol vodka that killed a girl at her 18th birthday party. (EU) - Alcohol must be 'top public health priority'
Raising awareness and developing a common evidence base are crucial to reducing alcohol-related harm, write Gauden Galea and Lars Møller.
The West Australian (Australia) - Worry over teen alcohol harm
Alcohol-fuelled violence, drink-driving and damage to developing brains are the biggest fears of West Australians when it comes to young people drinking.
ITAR-TASS (Russia) - Alcohol to blame for half of suicides in Russia — analysts
Russia is among the top ten countries with the highest suicide rates with one in two cases related to alcoholism, professor of the Serbsky Institute’s laboratory of ecological and social problems says. (Romania) - Study: One in ten young Romanians drink alcohol several times a week
One in ten young Romanians drink alcohol several times a week, while 44% don’t consume alcohol at all, according to a study published on the Romanian Ministry of Youth’s website. Almost 20% of respondents say they drink alcohol once every few months, 13% – few times a month, 8% – once a month and 7% – once a week.
Medical Daily - Long-Term Effects Of Alcohol Impair Brain's Pathways That Underlie Impulse Control
The idea alcohol has negative effects on the brain isn’t anything new. Previous studies, however, have only measured these effects through behavior and post-mortem studies — not scans of the actual brain.
Scottish Daily Record (Scotland) - Young people's alcohol awareness campaign team up to raise cash for vulnerable kids
CAT COCHRANE explains how the groups Whose Round and Best Bar None have combined to raise cash for vulnerable children across Scotland throughout the festive period.
USA TODAY (USA) - Study: Heavy drinkers are rarely alcoholics
A new study by the CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finds that 1 in 3 American adults meet the definition of heavy drinking—for men, having five or more drinks in one sitting or 15 or more in a week; for women, having four or more drinks in one sitting or eight or more in a week.
Scotsman - Drinkers snubbing ‘unrealistic’ alcohol limits
DRINKERS are disregarding alcohol guidelines because they say the limits are too removed from their own lifestyle.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

FASD News - 46/2014

Medical Xpress - Study reveals much higher prevalence of fetal alcohol exposure
Nearly five percent of U.S. children may be affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, according to a new study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The number is significant given
that previous estimates put the occurrence of these disorders at around one percent. - Partnership offers tools to help parents keep babies safe
Safe Babies is a program offered by the Jefferson County Community Partnership to help parents of newborns provide a safer life for their child. It offers classes to parents on sudden infant death syndrome, shaken baby syndrome, prenatal drug exposure and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) - Should drinking alcohol when pregnant be illegal?
Lawyers for a seven-year-old child with foetal alcohol syndrome, argue the child should receive compensation from the government-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority as this child has been the victim of a crime. In this case the mother is alleged to have drunk heavily during pregnancy, despite warnings that this might harm her unborn child. For compensation to be awarded, the court must agree that the mother's actions were criminal.
Argus Leader‎ - Fetal alcohol syndrome affects many children
Dr. Gene Hoyme, a clinical geneticist and president of Sanford Research, talks about fetal alcohol syndrome in children, and what research shows about who is affected.
Western News (Canada) - Study confirms dangers of fetal alcohol exposure
It represents the biggest single cause of developmental disabilities among newborns in Canada and the United States – exceeding $14 billion in health-care costs annually. And while the prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) remains a high priority, Western researchers are convinced an alcohol culture will make it tougher to get the message out – no matter how much proof scientists provide.

David Boulding - Fetal Alcohol and the Law - Part 1
These two short animated films, about 10 minutes each, are for those who want a quick yet thorough introduction to Fetal Alcohol and the Law. We made these films because the topic of fetal alcohol goes to the heart of the difficulties in law, medicine, education, social services, and how we spend, or do not spend, our tax dollars.
Fetal Alcohol and the Law - Part 2
These two short animated films, about 10 minutes each, are for those who want a quick yet thorough introduction to Fetal Alcohol and the Law.
CBC - FASD classrooms in the northwest could be used as a model across Canada
The Keewatin Patricia school board has set up special FASD classrooms in Kenora, Dryden and Sioux Lookout.
YourAlberta - Strengthening Parent-Child Attachment Relationship in Children and Parents
Dr. Sonya Vellet and Mary Berube provide practical suggestions about what parents can do to strengthen relationships with FASD affected children and, thereby, give them the best start in life.
The Arc of the United States - FASD Prevention Series: Effects of FASD
FASD Prevention Series: What is Risky Drinking?
UMN Psychiatry - Neurodevelopmental Disorder associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - Prenatal risk factors and postnatal central nervous system function
Risk factors prior to birth can be subdivided according to timing, duration, dosage of exposure, and their mode of action; these variables determine which tissues/organs in the offspring are affected and to what extent.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence - Maternal risk factors for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in a province in Italy
Underreporting of prenatal alcohol use has been demonstrated among Italian and other Mediterranean antenatal samples, and it was suspected in this sample. Nevertheless, several significant maternal risk factors for FASD have been identified.
European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - Identifying maternal risk factors associated with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: a systematic review
To identify the demographic, psychological, and social maternal risk factors associated with the development of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). A bibliographic search was conducted in PubMed, SciELO, Lilacs, Web of Knowledge, and PsycINFO.

Gość Bielsko-Żywiecki (Poland) - Walczymy z legendą "lampki wina"
Kiedy ponad dwustu uczestników konferencji słucha prelekcji w absolutnej ciszy i zasypuje wykładowców gradem pytań, temat musi być niebagatelny...
Solinger Bote (Germany) - Solingen: Fachtagung zur Fetalen Alkoholspektrum- störung
Solingen/ Am Dienstag, 18. November findet in Solingen ein Fachtag über die Fetale Alkoholspektrumstörung (FASD) statt.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Alcohol News - 46/2014 - Snorting alcohol is dangerous trend among young adults
A new way to get drunk has local police departments and health agencies concerned. Young adults are now snorting small shots of alcohol, primarily gin. It is the latest fad in the world of intoxication and it is dangerous.
U.S. News & World Report (USA) - Alcohol Taxes May Give Boost to Public Health, Economy
Some may believe that raising taxes on alcohol products will cost jobs in the service sector, but a new study suggests that's made up for by job creation elsewhere.
Medical Xpress - When it comes to teen alcohol use, close friends have more influence than peers
A recent study by an Indiana University researcher has found that adolescents' alcohol use is influenced by their close friends' use, regardless of how much alcohol they think their general peers consume.
Medical News Today - Moderate alcohol benefits: only for 15% of population
Alcoholic consumption (ethanol intake) at "moderate" level, up to 1 drink a day for women (corresponding to 14 g or 0.6 ounces of ethanol) and 2 drinks a day for men is associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease.
New Hampshire Public Radio (USA) - Drug, Alcohol Abuse Drag Down N.H. Economy By $1.8 Billion
Drug and alcohol abuse put a $1.84 billion strain on the New Hampshire economy in 2012, according to a new study. That figure was almost three percent of the state’s GDP in that same year.
Medical Xpress - Chronic alcohol intake can damage white matter pathways across the entire brain
Chronic misuse of alcohol results in measurable damage to the brain. Chronic drinking may be particularly damaging to the integrity of frontal white matter tracts, which can interfere with cognitive and inhibitory control that, in turn, is important to achieve and maintain abstinence.
The Citizen (South Africa) - Alcohol causing erectile dysfunction in SA men
Almost half of South African men could be at risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) because of excessive drinking, according to a survey released on Wednesday.
The Guardian (UK) - Tories plan sobriety bracelet punishment for alcohol-related crimes
People who are convicted of criminal damage or common assault committed under the influence of alcohol could be forced to wear a “sobriety bracelet” for four months, as an alternative to going to prison.
To Your Health - Alcohol Consumption Strongly Linked to Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in females and the third most common cancer in males worldwide. (UK) - Hidden toll of drinking among retired professional women
Doctors have voiced alarm over a hidden toll of alcoholism among elderly middle class women, partly fuelled by the growth of online shopping delivery services.
ABC Online (Australia) - New laws target supply of alcohol to under-age drinkers in Western Australia
People who supply alcohol to under-age drinkers in Western Australia without their parents permission could face hefty fines if legislation being drafted is passed.
Evening Standard - 'Vodka ice cream for children’: Government accused of helping alcohol companies sell booze products to children
The Government is facing accusations that it is helping drinks companies sell alcoholic products to children.
Autoblog (EU) - European lobby group calls for end of alcohol sponsorship in F1
According to the letter published by the European Alcohol Policy Alliance, drunk driving accounted for 6,500 deaths (or 25 percent of road deaths) across Europe in 2010. Based on those numbers, and drawing a direct (if rather tenuous) correlation between drunk driving and alcohol sponsorship in motor racing, the organization known as Eurocare is calling on the FIA to ban liquor companies from sponsoring F1 teams and events.
VOX - Nutrition labels for alcohol, explained
Virtually everything you can buy at a grocery store comes with a nutrition label. Except one thing — alcoholic beverages. Why is alcohol exempt? The short answer is that, mainly as a legacy of Prohibition, alcoholic beverages aren't regulated by the FDA, but a different federal agency called the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) — and this agency doesn't require nutritional labeling.
Herald Scotland (Scotland) - Signs at Border to warn of new drink-drive limit
ELECTRONIC road signs near the Border with England are to be used to alert motorists entering Scotland to the forthcoming change in the drink-drive limit.
Otago Daily Times (New Zealand) - Earlier closing equals less harm: police
When people leave bars there will be trouble in the streets, but if they leave them earlier the trouble is likely to be less, Dunedin police say.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Alcohol News - 45/2014 (Finland) - Closer watch on alcohol imports
Over the past four months, Finnish customs officers have questioned over 3000 passengers and scrutinized imports of 37,000 litres of drink brought in from Estonia. The crucial question is whether the alcohol is intended for personal use or not. Almost all travelers seem to have taken the rules to heart.
The Telegraph - FIA President Jean Todt under fire for failure to ban alcohol sponsorship in Formula One
Jean Todt, the FIA President, has come under fire for failing to ban alcohol sponsorship in Formula One, as pressure to ban alcohol advertising in sport at a European level grows. (Australia) - Young Australian women are most dependent on alcohol
THEY’RE out at clubs late at night, drinking to excess and paying for it the next day. Young, cashed-up professional women are the most “high risk” or dependent on alcohol, new research claims.
Lifehacker - This Infographic Shows How Alcohol Contributes to Weight Gain
We already know that drinking alcohol adds calories and affects our metabolism, but the extent that alcohol contributes to weight gain is pretty sobering.
Manchester Evening News (UK) - Call for drink-drive limit to be slashed to ZERO as police launch Christmas blitz
In Greater Manchester, which has the worst record in the country for under-18 drink-driving - police say they are already sending a clear message that the only truly safe limit is to abstain.
BMC Medicine - Why does society accept a higher risk for alcohol than for other voluntary or involuntary risks?
Societies tend to accept much higher risks for voluntary behaviours, those based on individual decisions (for example, to smoke, to consume alcohol, or to ski), than for involuntary exposure such as exposure to risks in soil, drinking water or air. In high-income societies, an acceptable risk to those voluntarily engaging in a risky behaviour seems to be about one death in 1,000 on a lifetime basis.
New Zealand Doctor Online (New Zealand) - Enough is enough: drunks in EDs being violent and harming others
In the largest survey of alcohol harm in emergency departments undertaken in Australasia, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) has demonstrated that alcohol harm is having a devastating effect on patients and clinicians in Australia and New Zealand.
New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) - 92% of emergency staff abused by drunks, poll finds
Pushing, punching, spitting and biting are all behaviours emergency department staff have to deal with when treating drunk patients, a new survey has found - and a startling nine out of every 10 staff have been subjected to the abuse.
BBC News (Estonia) - Estonia: Council plans Tallinn booze ban
Stag-night organisers may have to drop the Estonian capital Tallinn from their weekend itinerary, as the city council plans to introduce a major clampdown on public drinking.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Why does society accept a higher risk for alcohol than for other voluntary or involuntary risks?

Dealing with risk is a critical, complex and not always fully consistent endeavour in modern high-income societies [1],[2]. This contribution will examine the way the risks associated with alcohol are handled, restricting our examinations to mortality and health risks. We first introduce the classic separation between involuntary and voluntary risks [3]. Voluntary risk is associated with activities in which individuals participate by choice, and where they use their own value system and experience to determine if the risk of a voluntary activity is acceptable to them. Examples are to smoke, to consume alcohol or to ski. Involuntary risks are associated with activities, conditions or events to which individuals might be exposed without their consent. Examples of involuntary risks include the risks of natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, and so on), or technology-related risks such as bad air quality or contaminated water. As Starr showed in his seminal paper [3], societies tend to accept much higher risks for voluntary behaviours than for involuntary exposure. The latter risks are often dealt with by special agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency in the US or the European Environment Agency in Europe.
Read further from HERE

Sunday, November 9, 2014

FASD News - 44/2014

NEWS and ARTICLES (USA) - Foetal alcohol syndrome in US higher than suspected
Although drinking during pregnancy has long been considered taboo, new research suggests that at least 1 in 20 U.S. children may have health or behavioural problems related to pre-birth alcohol exposure.
SBS (Australia) - Indigenous Elders call for caution over FASD
Indigenous welfare groups and Elders have urged the federal government not to stigmatise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as part of moves to combat Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
The Australian (Australia) - Void in data as fetal alcohol babies in crisis
FETAL Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are at “crisis levels in many indigenous communities”, according to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, who will use a new report to argue for tougher welfare rules to take control of the disorder.
BBC News - 'Stronger warnings needed' over pregnant women drinking
Campaigners and doctors are calling for stronger warnings about drinking during pregnancy, ahead of a legal test case on foetal alcohol syndrome.
Sydney Morning Herald - Bottle babies: the devastation of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders
No one's sure how many Australians are affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, but the consequences for those who are can be devastating.
Stroud News and Journal - Judges hear pregnancy 'crime' case
The Court of Appeal has reserved its judgment on whether a pregnant woman committed "a crime of violence" against her child when she drank a "grossly excessive" amount of alcohol while pregnant.
Growing Your Baby (USA) - Study ‘1 in 20 U.S. Children May Have Health or Behavioral Problems Related to Alcohol Exposure Before Birth’
Is it safe to drink while you’re pregnant? Studies that have been released over the past couple years have made the answer to this question a little blurry. Some say yes, others absolutely no – and in between you get the ones that say a glass of wine is fine…
The Stir (UK) - Child Sues Mom for Drinking While She Was Pregnant
Can a fetus sue? That's the question a London court will have to decide after a 7-year-old child's guardians have decided to sue the child's mother for allegedly drinking heavily during her pregnancy.

UNSW - Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders - Strategies to address information gaps
Health-care providers and policy makers need accurate and timely data in a useable format to monitor and prevent FASD. There is widespread concern about the lack of information on FASD and the impact this has on health-care planners and providers in managing the problem in a timely and effective way.

Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs - Productivity losses because of morbidity attributable to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Canada: a demographic approach
About 0.03% of the Canadian workforce experiences a loss of productivity because of FASD-attributable morbidity, which translates to aggregate losses ranging from $418 million Canadian dollars (CND) to $1.08 billion CND annually.
Birth Defects Research Part C: Embryo Today: Reviews - Neural crest development in fetal alcohol syndrome
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a leading cause of neurodevelopmental disability. Some affected individuals possess distinctive craniofacial deficits, but many more lack overt facial changes. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying these deficits would inform their diagnostic utility.
Pediatrics - Prevalence and characteristics of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Total dysmorphology scores differentiate significantly fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and partial FAS (PFAS) from one another and from unexposed controls. Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) is not as clearly differentiated from controls.
Endocrinology - Fetal Alcohol Exposure Disrupts Metabolic Signaling in Hypothalamic Proopiomelanocortin Neurons via a Circadian Mechanism in Male Mice
Early-life ethanol feeding (ELAF) alters the metabolic function of proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-producing neurons and the circadian expression of clock regulatory genes in the hypothalamus. We investigated whether the circadian mechanisms control the action of ELAF on metabolic signaling genes in POMC neurons.
Prenatal Diagnosis - Dose-response and time-response analysis of total fatty acid ethyl esters in meconium as a biomarker of prenatal alcohol exposure
Little is known on how the dose and timing of exposure co-influence the cumulative concentration of fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) in meconium. The objective of the study was to assess the cumulative concentration of FAEEs in meconium as a biomarker of light, moderate, or heavy prenatal alcohol exposure occurring at either first, second, or third trimesters of pregnancy.
European Journal of Neuroscience - Prenatal alcohol exposure and adolescent stress - unmasking persistent attentional deficits in rats
Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) can produce a myriad of deficits. Unfortunately, affected individuals may also be exposed to the stress of an adverse home environment, contributing to deficits of attentional processes that are the hallmark of optimal executive function.

Grafschafter Nachrichten (Germany) - Wie Alkohol bei Schwangeren das Kind schädigt
Jährlich werden in Deutschland 4000 bis 5000 Kinder geboren, die geistig und körperlich geschädigt sind, weil die Mütter während der Schwangerschaft Alkohol getrunken haben. Die Kinder leiden am Fetalen Alkoholsyndrom. Hierzu gab es einen Infoabend. (Italy) - BERE ALCOL IN GRAVIDANZA: UNA CAMPAGNA CI RICORDA CHE È UNA PERICOLOSISSIMA ABITUDINE
Bere e fumare in gravidanza sono due comportamenti molto dannosi per la salute del feto; sembrerà banale, sembrerà una cosa ovvia, ma secondo alcune statistiche ancora oggi, ogni anno, 1 bambino su 100 negli States e 1 su 200 in Europa nasce affetto dalla FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders), un termine che racchiude una serie di disturbi e malattie, sia mentali che comportamentali, derivanti dal consumo materno di alcol durante la gestazione.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Alcohol News - 44/2014 (UK) - One in four young people in Briton never drink alcohol
According to a new report, one in four 16-30 year olds in England do not drink alcohol at all. They said they prefer to use the internet than go out drinking.
Times of India - Alcohol more injurious to women than men
Woman who find alcohol hard to resist even after three standard drinks are more likely to suffer from injury when compared with men, shows new research that includes patients from India.
Daily Mail (UK) - Over-60s drink twice as often as teens: Older people more likely to have alcohol in the evening whereas younger generation only drink at weekends
The over-60s drink twice as often as adults in their teens and twenties, a survey has found. They are inclined to enjoy a gin and tonic or few glasses of wine of an evening whereas younger generations just drink at weekends.
Business Standard (Singapore) - Singapore plans to restrict public consumption of alcohol
Singapore plans to restrict public consumption of alcohol and reduce hours for its retail sales from early next year, apparently following up on the country's worst riots in four decades in Little India precinct last year after the death of an Indian national.
BBC News - 'Stronger warnings needed' over pregnant women drinking
Campaigners and doctors are calling for stronger warnings about drinking during pregnancy, ahead of a legal test case on foetal alcohol syndrome.
BBC News - Alcohol calorie content: Labels needed, say doctors
Alcohol should have a calorie content label in order to reduce obesity, according to public health doctors.
The Canberra Times (Australia) - How many calories are in a glass of wine?
Leading surgeons are lobbying to get weight loss surgery made available through the public health system. In the Medical Journal of Australia yesterday, surgeons Michael Edye and Michael Talbot claim it's the best treatment option for some.
The Independent (UK) - ‘Urgent action’ needed to halt alcohol abuse in armed forces
Dangerous levels of alcohol consumption are “the norm” in the armed forces and the link between drinking and higher rates of violence among veterans must be investigated, MPs have warned.
BBC News (India) - India's Kerala High Court upholds alcohol ban
The Kerala High Court has upheld the state government's decision to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol to tackle the state's drink problem.
Poughkeepsie Journal (USA) - Study: Fetal alcohol disorder may be on the rise
Although drinking during pregnancy has long been considered taboo, new research suggests that as many as one in 20 U.S. children may have health or behavioral problems related to alcohol exposure before birth.
Medical Daily - How Alcohol Abuse Changes Physical Appearance Over 20-Year Span, With Help From Online Tool
We all know excess drinking can bring on plenty of damaging health issues, such as liver disease and mental health problems, but it can also take a toll on your physical appearance.
Read more and original study at (UK) - Rising numbers seek NHS help for alcohol problems
Rising numbers of people are receiving NHS treatment for alcohol problems, new figures show.
Medical News Today - Teen binge drinking linked to long-term brain changes
Binge drinking - defined as men consuming five or more drinks and women drinking four or more drinks in 2 hours - is a serious problem in the US.
New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) - Lower alcohol limit for drivers one month away
With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change. (Croatia) - Croatia tops European alcoholism black list
Alcohol remains the biggest social problem in Croatia, putting the country, with about 200,000 alcoholics and 12.8 litres of pure alcohol drunk per capita, at the top of the rankings in Europe, and alcoholism is closely followed by addiction to narcotics and gambling.