Binge Drinkers Forget Worst Aspects of Being Drunk

Beer bottle neck uid 1180101 Binge drinkers tend to forget the negative aspects of getting drunk and focus on the pleasant memories, which may help explain why they continue to drink despite instances where they get sick, black out, or have other problems.

The Independent reported that Theodora Duka, a researcher from Sussex University, said that studies show that alcohol affects memory selectively, and that many binge drinkers don’t remember the worst aspects of their drinking experiences.

“The effects of alcohol on mood are known contributors to its use and abuse. It is less known how its effects on memory and inhibitory control add to alcohol being and addictive drug,” said Duka. “Material acquired in an intoxicated state is less effectively retrieved in a sober state. Thus people who abuse alcohol forget the consequences of intoxication during periods of abstinence.”

Studies show that memory degrades significantly as alcohol builds up in the body. Experts say that relatively little is known about the impact of alcohol on memory, but believe that it could be one of the most important aspects of addiction.

“The effect of alcohol to weaken control processes intuitively appears to be the most important contributor to the development of alcohol addiction, since alcohol addiction is perceived to be an inability to control drinking,” Duka said. “Alcohol facilitates memories for emotional events experienced before intoxication — mostly positive — and impairs memories for emotional events experienced after intoxication — often negative — biasing memory to positive effects of alcohol, and support [for] further drinking.”

From; Join Together Online

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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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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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Under 21 Alcohol Restrictions Sought

Angry teenager London, UK, Officials Ask Retailers Not to Sell Alcohol to Customers Under Age 21

Facing an epidemic of youth binge drinking, the mayor of London and other officials are backing a call for supermarkets and other “off-license” alcohol retailers to refrain from selling beer, wine and liquor to customers under age 21.

The Daily Mail reported July 17 that the voluntary program was developed by officials in London’s Borough of Croydon and endorsed by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

A pilot program in the town of Armadale in Scotland, where alcohol sales to teens were banned on weekends, cut the rate of assaults and vandalism. In Croydon, bars and clubs have also voluntarily stopped selling to customers under age 21. The legal drinking age in Great Britain is generally 18, although youths younger than that can legally drink in some settings.

“I do think that we have got a huge problem with binge drinking, underage drinking and general abuse of alcohol in this city, and I certainly think that this idea is a very interesting one,” said Johnson. “Where we have got particular problems in particular areas, off-licences and supermarkets should stop the sale of alcohol to the under-21s.”

However, Frank Sodeen of the group Alcohol Concern warned that, “There is a risk that this would alienate people, and it is also difficult to see how it would work unless every shop agreed to take part. Otherwise 20-year-olds will find it pretty easy to find the places where they can still buy alcohol.”

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Alcohol Addiction

Woman drinking glass of red wine in bar alcoholic? Where does one draw the line between being a social drinker and having an alcohol addiction?

For many people, the lines aren’t always so clear, especially when everyone around them seems to be binge drinking, drinking on a daily basis or glamorizing alcohol use.

Social drinking can easily progress into a psychological, or even physical, dependence over time, as it becomes habitually ingrained in our behavioral patterns.

Suddenly, we drink to be more interesting, drink to make others more interesting, drink for courage in social settings, drink to give ourselves a boost of energy, or drink to cover up negative feelings like pain, depression or anxiety.

Prior to an addiction to alcohol, there is generally a prolonged time period when the social drinker finds that he or she is drinking more frequently, experiencing more adverse effects and is slightly losing control.

Alcohol abusers start showing signs like drinking and driving, participating in dangerous activities while under the influence, continuing to drink even when problems with friends or family happen as a result of alcohol consumption and getting into physical fights. Drinking alcohol begins to interfere with not only social relations, but also obligations at work and school, and in some cases, drinking may even land an individual in legal trouble. These are early warning signs that alcohol use is crossing over into alcohol abuse.

The next stage is alcohol addiction, or as it is sometimes called, alcoholism or alcohol dependency.

Now the drinker loses all control and the physiological/psychological effects of alcohol surface. Drinkers find that they’re consuming more than they originally intended to, find that they can’t stop or cut back drinking, and find that they need to drink more to get drunk. They may have trouble sleeping, have shaky hands, sweating, nauseousness, nervousness or the feeling of bugs crawling all over them. They likely drink or take medication to avoid hangovers and continue drinking alcohol to cover up sadness, anger or anxiety. The binge drinking bouts become progressively longer and the individual often loses interest in all other hobbies in favor of drinking.

Full story at Cool Kids Stuff

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Causes and Risks for Binge Drinking by Women

Binge drinking woman Women’s childhood and adult adverse experiences, mental health, and binge drinking: The California Women’s Health Survey.

Researchers surveyed nearly 7,000 women in California during 2003-4 and found that 9.3% were involved in binge drinking.

The reasons given for alcohol abuse in this manner were;

Poor physical health, and poorer mental health, including;

  • symptoms of PTSD,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • feeling overwhelmed by stress

Adverse experiences in adulthood, including;

  • intimate partner violence,
  • having been physically or sexually assaulted, or
  • having experienced the death of someone close

In childhood, including;

  • living with someone abusing substances or mentally ill, or
  • with a mother victimized by violence, or
  • having been physically or sexually assaulted

The study concluded that identifying characteristics of women who engage in binge drinking is a key step in prevention and intervention efforts.

Binge drinking programs should consider comprehensive approaches that address women’s mental health symptoms as well as circumstances in the childhood home.

Women’s childhood and adult adverse experiences, mental health, and binge drinking: The California Women’s Health Survey. Christine Timko, Anne Sutkowi, Joanne Pavao and Rachel Kimerling. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 2008, 3:1.

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23 Top Posts at Alcohol Self-help News

top posts at Alcohol self-help

Binge Drinking to a Bad Life

binge drinking The Risks of Teen Binge Drinking

The aim of this study was to determine outcomes in adult life of binge drinking in adolescence in a national British study over thirty years from 1970.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 11,622 subjects participated at age 16 years and 11,261 subjects participated at age 30 years.

MEASUREMENTS:

At the age of 16 years, data on binge drinking (defined as two or more episodes of drinking four or more drinks in a row in the previous 2 weeks) and frequency of habitual drinking in the previous year were collected. Thirty-year outcomes recorded were alcohol dependence/abuse (CAGE questionnaire), regular weekly alcohol consumption (number of units), illicit drug use, psychological morbidity and educational, vocational and social history.

FINDINGS:

In 1970, 17.7% of participants reported binge drinking in the previous 2 weeks at the age of 16 years.

Adolescent binge drinking predicted an increased risk in adulthood of;

  • adult alcohol dependence 1.6 times average
  • excessive regular consumption 1.7 times
  • illicit drug use 1.4 times
  • psychiatric morbidity 1.4 times average
  • homelessness 1.6 times average
  • convictions 1.9 times average
  • school exclusion 3.9 times average
  • lack of qualifications 1.3 times average
  • accidents 1.4 times average and
  • lower adult social class, after adjustment for adolescent socioeconomic status and adolescent baseline status of the outcome under study.

These findings included both adolescent binge drinking and habitual frequent drinking as main effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

Adolescent binge drinking is a risk behaviour associated with significant later adversity and social exclusion.

These associations appear to be distinct from those associated with habitual frequent alcohol use.

Binge drinking may contribute to the development of health and social inequalities during the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

Research report; J Epidemiol Community Health. 2007 Oct;61(10):902-7. Adult outcomes of binge drinking in adolescence: findings from a UK national birth cohort. Viner RM, Taylor B.

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