Archive for category Alcohol Abuse

Study: Teens With Head Injury Likely To Abuse Alcohol and Drugs

Be watchful when your children suffer a concussion, because the likelihood of them engaging in drugs and alcohol may have increased.

teen traumatic brain injury drug alcohol useThis finding was discovered by a group of Canadian researchers whose study was based on a nationwide health survey on children from Grades 9 to 12. Results of the study suggested that high school students who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion were up to four times more likely to use illicit drugs such as marijuana and cocaine than those who were spared from any head trauma. The group of students who had TBI also had higher likelihood of alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking.

Study co-author Dr. Michael Cusimano, who works as neurosurgeon in Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital, expressed his astonishment in the findings. “It’s a really toxic combination when you have the two together… And it’s alarming how early this is occurring. This is Grade 9 to Grade 12,” said Cusimano in a news item.

What’s worse is that the drug and alcohol abuse can be aggravating for people who are recovering from TBI. “They can’t participate as well in the rehab, and they don’t recover their original abilities as well as people who have not been using drugs and alcohol,” he stated.

Although only about 5 percent of kids will probably experience getting hit on the head — and majority of them through sports activities — the health effects of a head trauma are devastating, according to study co-lead Dr. Robert Mann of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. “What we found in this research is that these injuries are more common than we would have thought… and that also there does appear to be a cluster with these injuries of problematic behaviour, substance abuse and mental health concerns,” Mann said.

The researchers hope that the study will be a reminder for parents to check on their children who underwent TBI, and ask if they’re using alcohol or drugs.

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Binge Drinking Associated With Brain Malfunction in Teenagers

According to a new study, teenagers may suffer from brain damage during later years when they engage in binge drinking now.

teen alcohol drinkingResearchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst found a link between teen binge drinking and reduction in brain protection. The researchers looked into a substance called myelin, a material that improves electrical impulse transfers across the nervous system. Loss of myelin has been linked to impairment of brain functioning as well as neurodegenerative autoimmune diseases.

The study involved testing laboratory mice that were given access to free-flowing sweetened alcohol during the adolescent stage, with a control group receiving sweetened water only. Results showed that as the test rats grew, the group that drank alcohol were found to have lower myelin levels in the brain’s prefrontal cortex.

Study co-author Dr. Heather Richardson said that the results may confirm previous studies about the effects of teen binge drinking on overall brain processing. “Our study provides novel data demonstrating that alcohol drinking early in adolescence causes lasting myelin deficits in the prefrontal cortex. These findings suggest that alcohol may negatively affect brain development in humans and have long-term consequences on areas of the brain that are important for controlling impulses and making decisions,” Richardson said in a news release.

In addition to this, rats exposed to alcohol were found to have poorer memory. This could translate to memory and learning impairment in people who engage in excessive alcohol consumption.

The study authors are hopeful that their discovery could be used to investigate the importance of myelin in preventing schizophrenia, Tourette syndrome and other psychiatric disorders.

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Study: Exercise Linked To Increased Alcohol Intake

Physical activity has been regarded as one way to ensure a healthy body and lifestyle. However, a recent study revealed that a person who moves around more has a higher tendency to drink more.

exercise alcohol abuseThe study, conducted by Northwestern University proponents led by David E. Conroy, attempted to figure out a trend between physical activity and alcohol consumption. The analysis was done on respondents between the ages of 18 and 89 who were asked to record their level of physical movement and their alcohol behavior over three periods at 21 days each.

Results showed that people had the tendency to do more physical activity on days to the weekend, particularly Thursday to Sunday. It is also on these days that the amount of alcohol consumed was high. “Monday through Wednesday people batten down the hatches and they cut back on alcohol consumption… but once that ‘social weekend’ kicks off on Thursdays, physical activity increases and so does alcohol consumption,” said Conroy in a news item.

The researchers said that the link between exercise and alcohol intake is not a direct cause-and-effect relationship. In fact, they recommend further studies about this link. “We need to figure out how to use physical activity effectively and safely without having the adverse effects of drinking more alcohol,” Conroy added.

The study may confound exercise enthusiasts who find physical activity to be a healthy plan. In fact, exercise is recommended for teenagers to prevent potential drug abuse.

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Celebrate National Recovery Month This September

If you or someone close to you is currently recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, this is the perfect time to make your voices heard and make the public aware of the struggles of recovery.

national recovery month september SAMHSASeptember is celebrated all around the U.S. as the National Recovery Month, which provides an opportune time to highlight the importance of early intervention and preventive measures to rescue people from their addictions. This year marks the 25th time that the campaign is being held, with the advocacy stretching to the awareness of mental disorders as well.

The theme for this year is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out,” which gives recovering addicts the chance to have their voices heard and express their struggles in recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. The campaign hopes to put a positive spin on the issue by emphasizing the significance of a person’s behavior to overall well-being, as well as the benefits of prevention and immediate treatment.

Several organizations are putting their full support on the campaign, including the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

If you want to support the campaign through a monetary donation, you may send them through this page at drugfree.org. You may also find more information about National Recovery Month from the SAMHSA website.

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Study: Effects of Alcohol and Marijuana on High School Seniors

The ongoing quest to pull away teenagers and students from substance abuse has never waned. This new study emphasizes the ill effects of alcohol and marijuana on high school seniors.

high school kidsAccording to researchers from the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research of New York University, teenagers who are about to graduate from high school were engaged in drunk driving cases due to alcohol abuse. “Compared to non-drinkers, frequent drinkers were over 13 times more likely to report that their alcohol use has led to unsafe driving,” said Dr. Joseph Palamar of NYU Langone Medical Center.

Frequent drinking also led to damaged relationships and feelings of regret and emotional instability especially in women.

Meanwhile, marijuana was reported in previous studies to be a better alternative than taking alcohol, but the study revealed that it was no better. “Marijuana users, compared to non-users, were three times more likely to report unsafe driving as a direct result of use,” Dr. Palamar said in a news release. In addition, seniors who engaged in frequent marijuana use were more than 20 times likely to engage in police-related incidents.

The study involved data from close to 7,500 high school seniors who used alcohol and marijuana from 2007 to 2011.

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Study: Teen Alcohol Abuse Mostly Triggered By Aggression

If you think anxiety and depressive tendencies lead teenagers to alcohol use, a new study confirms another factor that triggers alcoholism in teens.

teen alcohol abuseAccording to a study from the University of Finland, aggressive behavior leads teenagers to a greater likelihood of alcohol abuse. The age-old belief that anxious thoughts and depression lead people to drink more seems to not apply in the case of the younger generation. The tendency to drink more as a result of aggression was exhibited more in female teenagers than their male counterparts, according to a news report.

On the part of gender, female teens were also cited to be affected by divorce of parents, which could lead them to become heavy drinkers. Also an aggravating factor is an early menstrual bleeding.

The scope of the study included more than 4,000 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18. Results of the study showed that 60 percent of the respondents admitted to taking alcohol, with more than half of them at 15 years of age.

In relation to U.S. settings, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) cited some of the factors leading to teen alcohol abuse: parental divorce, risk-taking behavior for the sake of peer acceptance, and parents who are likewise alcoholic. An effective alcohol intervention must be done on teens as soon as parents observe the behavior.

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