Alcohol-related brain damage

Brain damage Alcohol-related brain damage warning

International experts are warning that one in five New Zealanders faces alcohol-related brain damage from our heavy drinking culture.

It is estimated 800,000 New Zealanders binge drink regularly placing them at high risk of alcohol related brain damage.

Chief executive of Australian based organisation, Alcohol Related Brain Injury Australian Services ( ARBIAS ), Sonia Burton says it is critical that New Zealanders wake up to the issue.

“It’s almost like boxing, you know, it’s like taking a blow to the brain every time you binge drink,” she says.

For young people the statistics are even worse – with 50% of those under 25 binge drinking regularly.

“That’s half your future generation that is placing themselves at risk of alcohol related brain damage,” she says.

“We are growing a real problem for ourselves,” she says.

Full story at New Zealand TV

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Adults Give Booze To Youth

Shot glass of liquor uid 1344160 40 Percent of Young Drinkers Say Adults Supplied the Booze

About half of U.S. youths under age 21 have consumed alcohol, and of these 40 percent said that they got their drinks for free from an adult during the past month, a new survey finds.

The Associated Press reported June 26 that federal researchers surveyed teens between 2002 and 2006 and found that about one in four got their alcohol from an unrelated adult, about 6 percent got alcohol from a parent or guardian, and about 8 percent received their drinks from another adult family member. About 4 percent of those surveyed said they took alcohol from their own home.

”In far too many instances parents directly enable their children’s underage drinking — in essence encouraging them to risk their health and well-being,” said acting Surgeon General Steven K. Galson. ”Proper parental guidance alone may not be the complete solution to this devastating public-health problem — but it is a critical part.”

The survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also found that about 20 percent of underage drinkers ages 12-20 had engaged in binge drinking during the past month. About half of those surveyed said they drank in someone else’s home, while 30 percent said they were in their own home and 9.4 percent said they had their last drink in a restaurant, bar or club.

Girls were somewhat more likely to drink at a younger age than boys, but this was reversed as they got older.

From Join Together Online

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England cricketers to get drink, drug and gambling counselling

english cricket England’s best cricketers, including the likes of Andrew Flintoff, are to be offered counselling to combat potential drink, drug and gambling addiction.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has decided that its international stars should all enrol on a course to protect them from such temptations.

It has been convinced by the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) to put them on its Addictive Behaviour Programme.

The programme will help the top cricketers to “self-manage your own problem(s) and be able to focus on the challenges of playing cricket at the highest level”.

Although cricket has traditionally been above the sort of disreputable behaviour that has dogged other sports, concern has been raised in recent years at the antics of some members of the England team.

Full story at English Cricketers and Drinking

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Alcohol Orientation 101 at U. of Virginia

Grapes and Wine 76 University Will Welcome New Students with Alcohol Lessons; Yes, alcohol lessons!

New students arriving at the University of Virginia this summer have the option to participate in the university’s first-ever orientation session devoted specifically to alcohol abuse, the Daily Progress in Charlottesville reported July 20.

In addition to the orientation seminar, students will be asked to go online in the weeks before classes start in late August to complete an hour-long course focusing on facts about binge drinking, alcohol poisoning and sexual assault. “Every year we hear about students across the country dying from alcohol poisoning,” said Susan Bruce, director of the university’s Center for Alcohol and Substance Education. “We don’t want that to happen here.”

University officials say their efforts are focusing largely on correcting student misconceptions about the level of drinking taking place on campus. The orientation session is entitled “UVa Students: Is Everybody Drinking?”, and it already has demonstrated that students tend to overestimate drinking prevalence among peers.

Each of a group of 15 students who attended a recent session held in conjunction with fall class registration believed the school had an equal mix of heavy drinkers and non-drinkers. Yet student surveys on campus have shown that 75 percent of first-year students either drink only modest amounts of alcohol or none at all.

The orientation session also makes reference to other risky behaviors, including sex and smoking. Bruce said that 81 percent of students reported no recent smoking, and for the others the university will introduce a campaign to appeal to students’ financial interests. The campaign’s posters read, “What’s the difference between a smoker and a non-smoker? $1,766” (the annual estimated cost of cigarettes in the local community).

“We find that the monetary perspective resonates with college kids,” Bruce said.

From Join Together Online

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France to Crack Down on Underage Binge Drinking

Binge drinking by youth PARIS: France will ban the sale of alcohol to minors and drinking in public near schools as part of a broad crackdown on binge drinking among youths, the health minister said in an interview published on Sunday.

Roselyne Bachelot said that a recent study showed an over all decline in alcohol consumption among youths but the frequency of drunkenness was increasing.

“Almost half of youths said they had had five glasses of alcohol on a single night on at least one occasion in the previous 30 days, which is the definition of binge drinking,” she said in an interview with Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

She said she was working on a new bill that would also ban promotions known as “open bar” which allow customers to drink as much as they want to for a fixed price.

“We are also going to ban open bars … which are a classic at student parties and which encourage binge drinking,” Bachelot said.

Full story at Alcohol, France

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Quitting drinking, with help from friends

Woman alcoholic drinking glass of red wine in bar New Delhi: Alcoholics who want to quit drinking have only place where they can meet with like-minded people: Alcoholics Anonymous.

At an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting in Delhi, people will tell you that they have been “sober” for six months, or six years and even 16 years but it would take is just one drink to set them back on a path to disaster.

Alcoholics Anonymous gives the courage and willpower not to drink again, they say. “One alcoholic talking to another—that’s what works. That’s what happened in 1935 when our two co-founders met. When one alcoholic talks to another, he stays sober. The guy who’s ripe and ready will come and stay with AA,” says one member.

There are around 2 million AA members worldwide but the numbers in India are shockingly low. AA has been in the country for 26 years but it has just 5,000 to 8,000 thousand members in the country, most of them men.

There is a reason for that: alcoholism is largely under-detected in urban India and rarely even acknowledged as a disease.

AA doesn’t recruit members but provides support and survival strategies to people who walk in and want to quit drinking. “AA taught me to start loving myself and taking care of myself. Their programmes help me become aware of my own problems,” says a member.

Unfortunately, not everyone is ready for help. “I have seen lots of people die even after coming to AA, as they were not able to do what it takes to stop drinking. I know somebody who died two weeks ago,” says a recovering alcoholic.

Full story at IBN Live, India

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What Are You Drinking?

People toasting with red wine How much alcohol? Few Drinkers Understand Alcohol Serving Units, Limits

British researchers say that drinkers often fail to understand how many units of alcohol are contained in the drinks they consume and don’t know the government’s daily recommended consumption limits, the BBC reported.

The U.K. Department of Health surveyed 1,429 drinkers and found that more than a third of those questioned did not know that the government recommends capping daily alcohol consumption at 2-3 units per day for women and 3-4 units daily for men.

Moreover, three-quarters of drinkers failed to realize that a large glass of wine contains three units of alcohol (most thought it contained two units).

“Glass sizes have grown larger and the strength of many wines and beers has increased, so it’s no wonder some of us have lost track of our alcohol consumption,” said Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo.

Researchers also found that 58 percent of drinkers did not realize that a double gin and tonic contained two units of alcohol, and that 35 percent did not know that a pint of beer contains more than two units of alcohol (a pint of some strong lagers actually equates to three units of alcohol).

The British government has launched a public-information campaign called Know Your Limits to try to educate drinkers about the alcohol contained in typical drinks as well as recommended daily limits. “We aim to give people the facts about how many units are in different drinks in a nonjudgmental way,” said Primarolo. “Then they can then make their own assessments about how much they want to drink in the future.”

From Join Together Online

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Death by Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks

Brown beer bottle beside glasses of beer uid 1180099 Florida Teen Dies After Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks

A 10th-grade student from Wellington, Fla., died after reportedly drinking alcohol and energy drinks at a party, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

Ashley Ramnauth, 16, went to a party with friends and was dropped off at home afterwards; later, a friend found her unconscious. Her parents and the friend administered CPR and called 911, but Ramnauth was pronounced dead at a local hospital less than two hours later.

Ashley “apparently made a bad decision to consume energy drinks and alcohol in combination,” according to a statement from her family, who added that the student “did not have a lot of experience with alcohol and did not have a known problem with alcohol.”

“She was a straight-A student and very determined,” said Jesse Dallsingh, 16, of Lake Worth, Fla., a friend of Ramnauth’s. “She wasn’t the kind to drink.”

A toxicology report is being conducted to determine what substances were in Ramnauth’s body at the time of her death.

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More Alcohol Shops means More Crime

Crime and alcohol shops Crime Rises with Alcohol Outlet Density

A new Australian study concludes that violence rose in Melbourne communities as the density of alcohol outlets increased, Medical News Today reported.

“The study found that, across Melbourne, the three types of outlets examined — hotel pubs, bars, and packaged bottle shops — all had positive relationships to assault rates,” said study author Michael Livingston of the Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre.

“In other words, increasing the density of these outlets in a suburb leads to increasing rates of violence in that suburb.

When these relationships were explored for specific types of suburbs, it was found that hotels and bars were the biggest drivers of violence in inner-city areas and packaged liquor outlets were more important in suburban areas.”

Every new hotel pub or on-premises liquor license issued in inner-city communities equated to an extra two nighttime assaults each year, the study found. ”

The results of this study don’t really point to particular communities being more at risk than others,” Livingston said. “Instead they suggest that different types of outlets are problematic in different areas.”

Livingston’s study focused on the period 1996 to 2005. “The literature shows that suburbs with more alcohol outlets experience more violence, but only a handful of papers have explored what happens within a suburb as outlet density changes,” he said.

The research will be published in the June 2008 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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Stress Relief Drinking

Men drink for stress relief Men More Likely to Drink for Stress Relief

Depressed men are more likely than women to crave alcohol and develop alcohol-related disorder, according to researchers at Yale University.

CBC News reported May 12 that the study of 54 healthy adult drinkers studied responses to stressful events such as relationship problems and job loss.

“Men’s tendency to crave alcohol when upset may be a learned behavior or may be related to known gender differences in reward pathways in the brain,” said researcher Tara Chaplin. “And this tendency may contribute to risk for alcohol-use disorders.”

The research study was published online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

From Join Together Online

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