Alcohol Abuse

Two Teenage Deaths Traced To Alcohol Abuse

Just this week, alcohol-related cases led to two separate teen fatalities:

  • teen alcohol abuseA teenager from Ottawa, Canada was stabbed to death after figuring in a post-prom night brawl. According to a news item, 18-year-old Brandon Volpi died from fatal stab wounds after helping a friend who was in a fight with fellow students. Reports said that the teenagers involved in the incident were drunk before they arrived at the scene of the crime, outside the Les Suites Hotel. Ottawa authorities are now looking for the male suspect who stabbed Volpi to his death.
  • A head-on vehicular collision in Delaware claimed the life of 18-year-old Zachary Rogers. The victim’s Pontiac Sunfire crashed against a Ford Escort driven by Estanislao Lopez-Berduo, 27, who also died due to the accident. A news report revealed that Delaware law enforcement personnel are currently looking into the angle that Lopez-Berduo was drunk driving when the crash occurred.

These recent cases are just two of the many reported incidents linked to alcohol abuse.

No Comments

Divorce or Alcohol Abuse of Parents Linked To More Suicide Attempts in Children

Based on a recent study on individuals whose parents are engaged in alcohol abuse, 85 percent are most likely to commit suicide than those who grew up in families that do not overuse alcohol. Meanwhile, another study reveals that suicide attempts for those individuals whose parents were separated increased by 14 percent.

child depressionSurprisingly the number of suicide attempts for children whose parents are divorced and involved in alcohol abuse did not increase.

According to Dr. Dana Alonzo, study lead author from Columbia University, they found out that those people whose parents were alcoholic or divorced are keener to commit suicide than those individuals who belong to good families.

Based on the study of 43,093 individuals aged 18 years old and above, a total of 13,753 participants disclosed that they are experiencing acute depression and 1,073 of them even tried to commit suicide. According to a news release, researchers also found out that of those who attempted suicide 25 percent belongs to broken families, while 46 percent are siblings of one or both parents who are alcoholic.

In the case of those who experienced both drunkenness and divorce, expert says the reason why there is lesser suicide attempts might be due to low exposure of hostility inside their home as both parents have divorced “or” it could be that the children with an alcoholic parent already accepted the fact that their parents will soon split up due to conflict and alcoholism.

Participants of this research were assessed based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) wherein they were asked to answer criteria for their depression.

No Comments

Anti-Alcohol Council Marks April As Alcohol Awareness Month

Did you know that April is National Alcohol Awareness Month?  This activity is sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).  It aims to increase knowledge and understanding on the effects of alcoholism and related health issues.

ncadd alcohol awareness monthEach year, NCADD chooses a specific theme for its drive.  This 2014, the topic is on underage drinking.  The organization has established policies and programs aimed towards the safety of drinkers, such as coordinating with cab companies to provide discounted rates for the drunk passengers.

Alcohol is a drug commonly abused by almost any age.  However, what is alarming is the increasing rate of alcoholism in young teens and even children who, out of curiosity, experiment with alcohol at a very early age.  Those who started drinking early tend to develop a dependence on the substance.

Alcohol is a drug of choice among the youth.  It is becoming a gateway to greater addiction like marijuana and cocaine and other vices like having casual sex and getting failing grades.

Statistics show a decrease in the percentage of underage drinking.  Chris Thorne, The Beer Institute’s vice president for communications said in a news release, “Judging by the statistics, today’s kids are listening.  But we will remain diligent in working with educators, parents, retailers and law enforcement to eliminate underage drinking.”

Thorne added that research showed that parents have the power to change the decision of their teenagers to engage in drinking.  Brewers nationwide along with government institutions and non-government organizations will support parents in any alcohol intervention program and drive to control alcohol abuse by teens.

[ Image source ]

No Comments

Effective Alcohol Intervention For Teens Should Involve Personalized Touch

A team of researchers focused on helping college students stop unhealthy alcohol consumption has just discovered one of the best ways to intervene: a personal touch.

alcohol abuseResearchers led by Lori Scott-Sheldon of The Miriam’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine reveal the importance of early intervention by screening freshmen on the first weeks of school. With a wide spectrum of teenagers entering college, many different patterns and motivations for drinking came up. This became the basis of the group’s recommendation to use a tailor-fit approach to each and every case of alcoholism.

Published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, the study reviewed the effectiveness of several programs of alcohol intervention for teens spread across the U.S. for the past decade. While the intervention techniques were unique to each other, most of the more effective ones tend to share a commonality, and that is a “personalized feedback report” as reported in UPI. The college freshman identified with a drinking problem must realize the repercussions of continuing the habit: financial drain, health risks, or flying past legal blood alcohol limits.

Scott-Sheldon also observed that combining two or more techniques to intervene any case of teenage alcohol abuse is the best method.

No Comments

Study: Alcohol Intake Leads To Significant Vision Impairment

They say too much alcohol in the body leads to an impaired vision and sense of direction. It wasn’t until a recent study that the degree of impairment was measured.

visual impairmentA team of researchers from the Western University and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry in Canada revealed that their study confirmed up to 30% impairment in vision as a result of drinking alcohol beyond the legal limit. In Canada and majority of states in the U.S., the limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08%.

Results of the study were significant: participants who had BAC levels near the limit observed a 30% reduction in contrast between the squares and the dark circles. In other words, people who engage in drunk driving might have difficulty telling the difference between light and darkness. “This is obviously important when you are driving at twilight, when objects are more difficult to see and more difficult to discriminate, even without alcohol,” study co-author Brian Timney said in a news release.

Timney and Kevin Johnston, proponents of the study, used a rather simple and safe approach to determine the visual malfunction: the Hermann Grid. The illusion, as described by Johnston, is “a grid of black squares on a white background. You see ghost-like dark spots at the intersections of the grid, but they are not actually there. It’s the way our visual system processes contrast or brightness differences that creates the illusion.” Here is how the Hermann Grid looks like:

grid

Respondents were asked to drink alcoholic beverages until just below the legal BAC limit, then look at the grid for observations on the invisible dark circles between the black squares.

No Comments

Psychiatric Patients Have Higher Rates Of Alcoholism, Smoking And Drug Use

A recent study has linked psychological disorders to a higher risk of engaging in vices.

brains scansResearchers from the University of Southern California and St. Louis’ Washington University School of Medicine jointly looked into the susceptibility of people diagnosed with psychotic disorders to a number of addictive activities such as drinking, smoking, and use of drugs.

Study co-author Dr. Sarah M. Hartz of Washington University said that contrary to popular belief, people suffering from severe mental disorders do not die because of suicide or drug overdose. “They die from heart disease and cancer, problems caused by chronic alcohol and tobacco use,” said Dr. Hartz in a news interview.

The study, published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal, monitored more than 9,000 patients with psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The cases were then compared with people without diagnosed brain disorders, and performed an assessment as to the degree of use of alcohol, drugs and nicotine.

Results showed the following findings:

  • Thirty percent of people with mental disorders were engaging in binge drinking, as compared to only 8 percent for normal-minded patients.
  • In terms of smoking, 33 percent of the people without psychotic issues were identified as smokers. In stark contrast, the figure for mental patients shot up to above 75 percent.
  • Marijuana use was also higher in psychiatric patients, registering 50% of the study population. Meanwhile, only 12 percent of the people without mental disorders used marijuana.

 

To top it off, Dr. Hartz added that “these patients tend to pass away much younger, with estimates ranging from 12 to 25 years earlier than individuals in the general population.”

No Comments