Heavy Drinkers

8 Percent of Men, 3 Percent of Women are Heavy Drinkers, Study Finds

A new study finds 8 percent of men and 3 percent of women are heavy drinkers, according to government guidelines. On any given day, 18 percent of men and 11 percent of women drink more alcohol than advised by federal dietary guidelines, Reuters reports.

The recommended limit is two drinks per day for men and one for women, the article notes. The study found 8 percent of men had five or more drinks, and 3 percent of women had four or more.

“And in fact, most adults don’t drink at all on any given day. But the fact remains that it is a significant public health problem that many people do drink in excess,” Patricia Guenther, the lead study author and a nutritionist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, told Reuters.

Among males, the largest percentage of heavy drinkers was found in the 31-to-50-year-old age group. Among women, the heaviest drinkers were ages 51 to 70. “People need to be aware that there are people of all ages who drink to excess,” Guenther said.

The researchers studied data from about 5,400 adults over age 21. They found 64 percent of men and 79 percent of women did not drink any alcohol the day they were surveyed. They reported their findings in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

See more at: Heavy Drinkers

By Join Together Staff

Time to Develop Alcoholism

How Long Does It Take Alcohol Dependence To Develop?

  • How long fpr alcoholism to develop About 1 in 7 adults who have had alcohol dependence, commonly known as alcoholism, developed it less than a year after having their first drink, according to a nationwide survey of U.S. adults aged 18 or older.
  • About a quarter of people who have had alcohol dependence developed it less than 2 years after their first drink,
  • about a third in less than 3 years, and
  • about half in less than 5 years.

In the United States, most people have had their first drink by the time they leave high school. This fact, combined with the relatively rapid onset of dependence in many drinkers, helps to explain why alcohol dependence is found most commonly in young adults. About 1 in 9 people aged 18–24 have alcohol dependence, more than twice the proportion of any other age group.

The survey also shows that alcohol dependence occurs only rarely among drinkers who always stay within the following limits:

  • for men, no more than 4 drinks on any single day and 14 per week;
  • for women, no more than 3 drinks on any day and 7 per week.
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Mommy’s Gone to Treatment

Mommy’s Gone to Treatment

Addiction is a devastating and all-embracing disease. Family members are often as profoundly affected by the illness as the person who suffers from it. Imagine what a child must think watching a parent descend deep into addiction, changing from a loving and nurturing mother into a hostile, screaming stranger.

But there is hope for addicts and their families. This book is about Janey, a young girl whose mother has entered a center for addiction treatment.

Written in easy-to-understand language with brightly colored illustrations, Mommy’s Gone to Treatment addresses issues children often face when an addicted parent seeks help.

Included is a parent’s guide with important talking points on easing a child’s apprehension when someone they love confronts their illness.

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Order today >> Mommy’s Gone to Treatment

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Women’s Psoriasis and Regular Beer

psoriasis very bad case Drinking Regular Beer May Increase Psoriasis Risk in Women

Research Summary

Women who drink five or more regular beers a week could nearly double their risk for psoriasis, the Boston Globe reported Aug. 16.

Researchers examined data on drinking habits from 1991–2005 among more than 1000 women with psoriasis participating in the Nurses Health Study, a group of approximately 83,000 nurses from 15 states. Participants who drank full-calorie beer were more likely to have the skin disorder than those who drank other alcoholic beverages — including light beer — and those who drank no alcohol.

Researchers led by co-author Abrar A. Qureshi of Brigham and Women’s Hospital said that barley, a distinct property of full-calorie beer, might account for the association. Barley, which is used in the fermentation process, contains gluten. Previous research has linked psoriasis with gluten sensitivity.

"Lower intake of nonlight beer and intake of other types of alcoholic beverages do not appear to influence the risk of developing psoriasis," state the authors in the conclusion. "Women with a high risk of psoriasis may consider avoiding higher intake of nonlight beer."

The study is published online in the Archives of Dermatology.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common, poorly understood condition that affects the skin and sometimes the nails.

The symptoms are red, inflamed skin, covered by scales which flake easily. Affected areas can appear all over the body and can be very itchy, but it is mostly concentrated on the arms (elbows), legs (knees) and trunk, and occasionally can effect the face and scalp. Fingernails and toenails can also be affected with typical symptoms being ridges down the nails, white color pits, yellowish spots and thickness to the nails edge.

From Join Together

Mind-altering medications can cause birth defects

pregnant woman holding stomach Between 1998 and 2007, mind-altering medications were associated with 429 adverse drug reactions in Danish children under the age of 17. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Studies have published an article in the open access journal BMC Research Notes concluding that more than half of the 429 cases were serious and several involved birth defects, such as birth deformities and severe withdrawal syndromes.

Professors Lise Aagaard and Ebbe Holme Hansen from the University of Copenhagen studied all 4,500 paediatric adverse drug reaction reports submitted during the study period to find those which were linked to mind-altering medications. The two researchers found that 42% of adverse reactions were reported for psycho-stimulants, such as Ritalin, which treats attention deficit disorder (ADD), followed by 31% for antidepressants, such as Prozac, and 24% for antipsychotics, such as Haldol.

"A range of serious side effects such as

  • birth deformities,
  • low birth weight,
  • premature birth, and
  • development of neonatal withdrawal syndrome

were reported in children under two years of age, most likely because of the mother’s intake of mind-altering medication during pregnancy," says Associate Professor Lisa Aagaard.

Use of antidepressants is increasing

The researchers believe that these tendencies should serve as a warning to pregnant women, doctors and health care personnel.

"Mind-altering medication should not be prescribed in ordinary circumstances, because this type of medication has a long half-life. If people take their medicine as prescribed it will be a constantly high dosage, and it could take weeks for one single tablet to exit the body’s system. Three out of four pregnancies are planned, and therefore society must take responsibility for informing women about the serious risks of transferring side effects to their unborn child," says Aagaard.

There is a clear indication that use of antidepressants is increasing in Denmark, as well as in many other countries, and the tendency is the same when it comes to pregnant women.

"We are constantly reminded about the dangers of alcohol use and smoking during pregnancy, but there is no information offered to women with regards to use of mind-altering medication. There is simply not enough knowledge available in this area," concludes Aagaard, suggesting that greater control should be required when prescribing mind-altering medications to pregnant women.

From EurekAlert

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Little eyes, little ears

Little eyes, little ears; how violence against a mother shapes children as they grow

Children are changed by growing up with violence and abuse at home

Bad sights, sounds and experiences take many forms. A hit or slap is obvious to see. Abusive words and interactions cause invisible bruises.

Change can be sudden or change can be gradual

Violence at home can take the form of one or more traumatic incidents triggering sudden change. Or changes can occur slowly in reaction to the daily dynamics of abusive relationships, shaping a child incrementally as he or she grows.

Change can be visible or change can be inside

Some changes show in a child’s behaviour, such as crying, aggression, or disrespect to women. Violence in the home also changes how children think and feel – about themselves, their families and life in general.

Children are not passive witnesses to noise, tension and violence at home

Little eyes and little ears don’t miss much, soaking in sights and sounds. Child "witnesses" of violence and abuse are overwhelmed by intense feelings and concentrate hard on their own thoughts. They may feel confused and scared and blame themselves.

As they watch or listen, they guess what caused the "fight," imagine what might happen next, and anticipate potential consequences.

Change can be bad and change can be good

By understanding a child’s view, we can nurture positive changes: correct distorted ideas, encourage helpful coping, build good interpersonal skills, and foster management of intense emotions. And we can support mothers as they help their children heal and thrive.

A child who lives with violence is

forever changed, but not forever

"damaged." There’s a lot we can

do to make tomorrow better.

This resource draws together, in one place, information from the best and latest research for professionals and volunteers who help women and children.

Topics addressed include what children might feel, think and do during violent incidents against their mothers, roles they might adopt before, during or after incidents, strategies of coping and survival, and how violence may be experienced by children of different ages, from infancy to adolescence.

The purpose is to examine how violence against a mother can shape a child. By learning how each child as an individual was shaped by experiences in his or her home – and considering important contextual features of family life – we can devise ways to help.

‘little eyes , little ears’ how violence against a mother shapes children as they grow, by Alison Cunningham & Linda Baker the © 2007 Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System. Available at web site: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/nc-cn

Older Problem Drinkers

elderly man drinking glass Older problem drinkers use more alcohol than do their younger counterparts

Older adults who have alcohol dependence problems drink significantly more than do younger adults who have similar problems, a new study has found.

The findings suggest that older problem drinkers may have developed a greater tolerance for alcohol and need to drink even more than younger abusers to achieve the effects they seek.

Researchers at Ohio State University found that adults over age 60 who have alcohol dependence drink more than 40 alcoholic drinks a week on average, compared to between 25 and 35 drinks a week on average for those in younger age groups with similar problems.

In addition, older people with alcohol dependence have more binge drinking episodes per month than do their younger counterparts.

“A combination of high levels of drinking and the physiological effects of aging are particularly problematic for older adults,” said Linda Ginzer, co-author of the study.

They surveyed a national of more than 43,000 people collected in 2000-01 under the direction of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Research has shown that Americans generally tend to drink less alcohol as they age. But these findings suggest that for certain groups of older adults – those with alcohol dependence – alcohol use actually increases, Ginzer said.

For this study, the researchers used the survey results to classify heavy drinkers by age categories.

Two categories were of particular interest to the researchers. Those in the alcohol abuse category were those who showed mainly social-related problems related to their alcohol use, including legal issues, and engaging in physically hazardous activities such as driving after drinking. Those in the alcohol dependence category showed evidence of physiological problems related to their alcohol use, such as increasing drinking and continued use even after physical or psychological problems were apparent.

While adults over age 60 were less likely than other groups to be in the abuse or dependence categories, those who were in those categories tended to have higher drinking levels than did younger problem drinkers.

For one, older problem drinkers drank more each week than did others. In addition, older people in the dependence category had significantly more alcohol binges each month than did younger people in the same category. Binges were defined as men having five or more drinks in a day, or women having four or more drinks in a day.

Those over age 60 in the alcohol dependence category averaged 19 binges per month, while younger age groups in the same category averaged 13 to 15 monthly binges.

“More often than not, we think of binge drinking as occurring among college students or those in their 20s,” Richardson said.

“But the fact is, binge drinking occurs among older people as well, and it is in fact worse among those who have problems with alcohol. It is something that clinicians and researchers need to consider.”

Overall, binge drinking was greater among all adults who were in the alcohol abuse category than it was among other adults who reported drinking seven or more drinks a week, but did not fall into the problem categories.

“That suggests binge drinking may be a better measure of problem drinking than just the total amount of drinks someone has per week,” Ginzer said.

From a EurekAlert press release.

Too Much Alcohol Impairs Seniors’ Thinking

Too Much Alcohol Impairs Seniors’ Thinking
Effects are more evident in women, researchers say

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) — Elderly people who are heavy drinkers are more likely to suffer memory and cognitive problems than mild-to-moderate drinkers, a new study shows.

via HealthDay.

Alcohol Increases Women’s Risk of Intimate Partner Violence

Alcohol Increases Women’s Risk of Intimate Partner Violence

By Valerie DeBenedette, Contributing Writer

Health Behavior News Service

Alcohol increases the risk of violence in couples — especially violence both to and by the female partner. A new study of couples found that experienced intimate partner violence found 30.2 percent reported alcohol use before or during the event.

via Health Behavior News Service – Research News Archives.

Female Professionals & Heavy Drinking

Two businesswomen uid 1279144 Study: Female Professionals More Likely to Be Problem Drinkers

Research Summary

A new study from Europe finds that highly educated professional women are the heaviest and most frequent female drinkers, Politics Daily reported.

Researchers at the University of Lancaster in England found that heavy drinking among women in the U.K. and Denmark was more prevalent among those with higher household incomes. Women in managerial and professional occupations drank the most frequently and engaged in more binge drinking, researchers said.

Experts said that advertising aimed at women, the "wine culture" that developed in the economic boom of the 2000s, and bans on public smoking that drove more drinking in private all may have contributed to the trend. Prevention messages that have encouraged "civilized" drinking at home, aimed at curbing public partying by young and working-class citizens in the U.K., may have unintentionally reinforced unhealthy drinking habits by more affluent women, researchers added.

The findings were published in the December 2009 issue of the Probation Journal.

From; Join Together Online