Alcohol Treatment and Rehab

Attitudes To Alcohol Must Change

Dec 23 2008 - 9:48am

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has called for a change in attitudes towards alcohol by both the public and the drinks industry, especially in the lead up to Christmas and New Year.

Speaking after the publication of statistics which show a slight drop in the number of people in Northern Ireland binge drinking since 2005, the minister said that the statistics also show that we still have a long way to go.

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Northern Ireland Reports Adult Drinking Patterns

Dec 23 2008 - 9:42am

A research report providing results from a survey of adult drinking in Northern Ireland has been published today.

The survey, conducted on behalf of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, examines the amount people drink, when, where and what they drink and who they drink with.

It also examines how drinking behaviours vary across different sections of the public, the proportion of people who binge drink, problem drinking, and perceptions of drinking.

Key Findings

The key findings relating to the Adult Drinking Patterns Survey in Northern Ireland 2008 are:

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Safe drinking? Try iBreath Alcohol Breathalyzer

Dec 21 2008 - 5:26pm

A breathalyzer for your ipod touch or iphone is now available as iBreath Alcohol Breathalyzer. Just breathe into this nifty attachment and you can find out if you are safe to drive after a night of alcohol. Since women metabolize alcohol at different rates than men, sometimes after as few as two drinks the blood levels may be over the legal driving limit. No more guessing with the ibreath. For $80, this is a great Christmas gift.

Light Drinking During Pregnancy Is Not Beneficial

Dec 19 2008 - 11:25am

A national alcohol research group is concerned that the media's misinterpretation of a recent British research study could encourage pregnant women to be more at ease with temperate alcohol consumption.

Some media reports erroneously stated that the study by The University College London researchers revealed that light drinking by pregnant women could be beneficial to their babies. Other articles said light drinking during pregnancy would not affect the behavior or mental acuity of babies born to drinking mothers.

Younger Alcoholic Men At Risk For Osteoporosis

Dec 8 2008 - 9:53am

Low bone mass, or osteoporosis, is a known consequence of alcoholism, especially in older alcoholics. However, a new study shows that younger male alcoholics are also at increased risk for osteoporosis. People with osteoporosis, no matter what the cause, are at an increased risk for fractures and poor fracture healing.

"Our study indicates malnutrition, little exercise, social withdrawal or little exposure to sunlight can contribute to osteoporosis in young alcohol-dependent patients," said lead investigator Peter Malik, M.D., of the Medical University at Innsbruck, Austria.

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Mayo Clinic Seeks New Therapies For Alcoholic Hepatitis

Dec 1 2008 - 11:27pm

A new study from Mayo Clinic finds the use of the drug therapy etanercept ineffective in treating alcoholic hepatitis, an acute inflammation of the liver caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. The results of the study are published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

Alcoholic hepatitis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Severe alcohol-related liver disease carries a poor prognosis. Several research studies have worked to find a successful treatment for alcoholic hepatitis, but no consensus has been reached on the most effective treatment regimen.

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Five Million People Participate In Self-Help Groups Each Year

Nov 29 2008 - 11:52am

New data indicate that 2.3 million people who participate in self-help groups for alcohol or illicit drug use currently abstain from use of these substances. Based on a nationwide survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the report offers other data highlighting the use and benefits of these groups.

Among the report’s notable findings:

• An annual average of 5 million persons aged 12 or older attended a self-help group in the past year because of their use of alcohol or illicit drugs

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Examining Relationship Between Suicide, Substance Abuse

Nov 29 2008 - 11:51am

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a new white paper focusing on the current state of knowledge about the interrelationship between substance abuse and suicide.

Entitled “Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention: Evidence & Implications,” the document stresses substance abuse as a risk-factor for suicide and suicide attempts and the importance of continued learning about this connection to help prevent suicidal behavior.

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Illicit Alcohol Use Is Extensive Internationally

Nov 19 2008 - 10:08am

The consumption of illicit or noncommercial alcohol is widespread in many countries worldwide and contributes significantly to the global burden of disease, according to a new report released today by the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP). The report focuses on the use of noncommercial alcohol, defined as traditional beverages produced for home consumption or limited local trade and counterfeit or unregistered products, in three regions: sub-Saharan Africa, southern Asia, and central and eastern Europe.

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Addressing Unhealthy Relationship With Alcohol

Nov 18 2008 - 3:27am

The cost of alcohol must be increased, alcohol-related television advertisements should be banned before 9.00pm and there needs to be a rigorous enforcement of the licensing law.

Those were key actions identified by the Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey, if Northern Ireland is to begin to seriously address its relationship with alcohol.

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Tacklin Hidden Harm In Northern Ireland

Nov 18 2008 - 3:21am

Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey today launched a new Regional Action Plan that seeks to provide help and support to children with substance misusing parents or carers.

Launching the document, the Minister said: "When we discuss alcohol or drug misuse, the focus is often on the individual directly affected. However, substance misuse also has an impact on those connected to the misuser – it has an impact on their family, on their friends, on their community, and on our society as a whole.

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Failing Economy, Alcohol Create Dangerous Holidays

Nov 15 2008 - 12:21am

With the deadliest holiday weekend of the year just around the corner and millions of Americans facing economic hardships, criminal courts across the country are gearing up for what could be record rates of alcohol abuse and crime this holiday season. Among the options that several thousand courts nationwide are using to tackle the issue: Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) programs that monitor offenders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure compliance with court-ordered sobriety.

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Fast Track Helps With Severe Alcohol Problems

Nov 10 2008 - 12:07am

Twenty of the areas worst hit by alcohol misuse are to receive support as part of a new programme which will help the local health service better identify and intervene with those at risk, Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo announced today.

Speaking at the National Alcohol Conference in Nottingham, Ms Primarolo announced a new, wide-reaching Alcohol Improvement Programme to accelerate progress on reducing alcohol-related harm.

The new programme, backed by £6 million will:

* establish regional alcohol managers to push forward alcohol treatment and advice at a local level;

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Combination Medication, Extended Treatment Reduce Teen Opiate Addiction Relapses

Nov 5 2008 - 12:23pm

For the growing number of teens addicted to opiates (i.e. heroin or prescription pain-relief drugs), short-term detoxification and/or psychosocial treatment programs are commonly recommended, despite high relapse rates and limited success. Researchers have found a more effective treatment method that targets the physiological aspects of opioid addiction, which may reduce the toll drug abuse takes on individuals, families, and communities.

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Screening, Early Intervention Program Reduces Illicit Drug Use

Nov 5 2008 - 5:46am

Report found a 67.7 percent reduction in illicit drug use over a six month period among people receiving these services.

The Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program can reduce illicit drug use among patients seeking medical care in a wide variety of health care settings such as hospitals, physician offices, and community clinics, a study finds.

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Parents comfortable with alcohol screening in pediatricians' offices

Nov 3 2008 - 9:53am

New study finds parents open to alcohol screening and intervention.

Parents are surprisingly receptive to being screened for alcohol problems during a visit to their child's pediatrician, including those who have alcohol problems. And if they need help, many parents would look to their pediatrician for a referral, according to a new study in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics.

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Ireland Reports Drug Use Stats

Oct 28 2008 - 12:54am

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety today published a Statistical Bulletin presenting key findings from the second Drug Prevalence Survey. The bulletin, 'Drug Prevalence Survey: Cocaine Results' was published jointly with the National Advisory Committee on Drugs in Ireland. It relates to a survey carried out jointly in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland between October 2006 and May 2007.

Key Findings:

The key findings relating to cocaine prevalence in Northern Ireland in 2006/07 are:

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Gene Mutation In Worms Key To Alcohol Tolerance

Oct 28 2008 - 12:52am
Gene Mutation In Worms Key To Alcohol Tolerance

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a genetic mutation in worms could further understanding of alcoholism in humans.

The work follows a study carried out by Oregon Health and Science University, which suggested a link between a gene mutation in mice and tolerance to alcohol. Researchers at Liverpool have investigated this in worms, looking specifically at the role the gene plays in communication between cells in the nervous system.

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New Approach To Curb College-Age Binge Drinking

Oct 27 2008 - 8:18am

A team of University of Virginia Health System addiction researchers is leading a first-of-its-kind study testing a medication called ondansetron to treat severe or binge drinking among 18- to 25-year olds, a group at higher risk for developing drinking problems.

The clinical trial, funded by a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), is now being offered to qualifying young adults through the UVA Center for Addiction Research and Education (CARE) in both Charlottesville and Richmond, Va.

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Federal Anti-Drug Ad Campaign Didn't Work

Oct 24 2008 - 3:00am

New research finds that a national campaign's anti-drug TV ads failed to convince young children and teenagers to stay away from marijuana and actually might have encouraged some to try smoking pot.

In their 1999 to 2004 incarnation, the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign's TV ads "either had no effects on kids or possibly had a boomerang effect," said Robert Hornik, lead author of a new study and professor of communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Study Finds Abnormalities In Cerebral Cortex Of Cocaine Addicts

Oct 17 2008 - 6:25am

A brain imaging study carried out at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reveals abnormalities in the cortex – the outer surface of the brain – of cocaine addicts that appear to correlate with dysfunction in areas responsible for attention and for reward-based decision-making. While some of these abnormalities may reflect an inborn vulnerability to drug use, others appear to be the result of long-term cocaine exposure.

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Cabot Coalition Strives For Drug-Free Community

Oct 15 2008 - 7:33am

Anyone arriving in Cabot for the first time might notice the strong and visible anti-drug messages posted throughout the town, including the parks, town offices, and the local school.

As a recipient of federal and state funding aimed at drug prevention for the past 10 years, totaling more than $1 million, Cabot has become a model community for how it addresses youth substance abuse.

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Reducing Harmful Use Of Alcohol

Oct 3 2008 - 2:22am

Each year, more than two million people die from alcohol-related causes. WHO was asked by its Member States in May at the World Health Assembly to develop a global strategy to combat the harmful use of alcohol. All parties with an interest in reducing the harmful use of alcohol are now invited to share their views in a public hearing being organized by WHO. The one-month web-based hearing will run between 3 and 31 October.

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Poll Reveals Public Attitudes On Substance Abuse, Treatment

Oct 2 2008 - 2:48am

Nearly half of American adults report knowing someone in recovery from the use or abuse of alcohol or drugs, according to survey results announced today by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

A large majority of Americans believe that people in recovery from substance addictions can live productive lives and contribute to their community, the report also said.

SAMHSA's announcement came during National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, an annual observance of efforts aimed at helping people with substance abuse problems restore their lives.

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Malt Liquor Beverages Processed Differently Than Other Drinks

Sep 30 2008 - 8:25am

A small new study suggests that people process malt liquor beverages differently than they do other alcoholic beverages. While the liver breaks down all alcohol in the same way, the study examined differences in how quickly the body absorbs alcohol.

The researchers found a significant difference in how quickly the study participants' bodies absorbed malt liquor beverages compared to beverages made of combined ethanol and diet soda with the same alcohol content. Participants absorbed the malt liquor beverage more slowly and it took a longer time to reach a peak breath-alcohol level.

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Alcohol, Drug Addiction Recovery Is Possible

Sep 29 2008 - 6:57am

State health officials are encouraging citizens to get the treatment they need for alcohol and other drug use. With treatment, people can make a full recovery.

"In Wisconsin, 457,000 adolescents and adults are in need of treatment for a substance use disorder," said Department of Health Services Secretary Karen Timberlake. "We need to keep working to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with addiction so that people get the treatment they need."

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