Posts Tagged teen alcohol abuse

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: 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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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.

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Teen Substance Abuse Linked To Early Maturity

Children cannot wait to become grownups, and parents usually find this adorable. Now, a brand new survey suggests that moms and dads should be concerned about the rapid development of their kids into teenagers because this can lead to substance abuse.

teen addictionAccording to a study by a team of researcher from Austin’s University of Texas links early puberty to a higher risk of deveoplng substance abuse. Team lead Jessica Cance, who works at the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, cites how puberty can result not only to physical body changes but also the teen’s social and psychological health. “Our research has shown that pubertal development is a combination of biological, psychological and social processes that all likely interact to influence risk-taking behavior like substance use,” Cance shared in a news item.

The survey involved 6,500 teenagers between the ages of 11 and 17, monitored their puberty development based on physical changes, and assessed their susceptibility to abuse of cocaine, alcohol and drugs. Results of the study showed that those who enter puberty at an earlier stage in their life are more prone to engage in drug abuse.

Cance relates this to the individual’s biological development and links it to his or her perceived social maturity. She said the first student in class to experience biological maturity “prompts or exacerbates existing psychological and social aspects… that can, in turn, lead to substance use and other risky behaviors early in life.”

Earlier studies showed that society and marketing agencies lure teens into drug and alcohol use because these are “cool”. This breakthrough revelation from Cance’s team shows that the perceived feeling of maturity in children makes them more likely to drug abuse.

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CDC Finds Addiction to Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco as the Most Common Issues Among Teens

Teenagers struggle with so many issues, but the most common of which is addiction to banned substances.

substance abuseThe May 2013 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) showed that drugs, alcohol and tobacco abuse and dependence affect 1.7 million U.S. adolescents aged 12-17 years, two-thirds of this population had reported illicit drug use disorder in 2011.

Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), CDC found that alcohol use and abuse were highest among teens living in the West. During 2010 and 2011, more than 28 percent of adolescents aged 12-17 reported using alcohol during the past year.

Meanwhile, nearly 700,000 12 to 17-year-olds are addicted to tobaaco. Ruth Perou, PhD, CDC’s Child Development Studies Team Leader, told NBC News that this addiction doesn’t pertain to casual user or experimentation, but serious addiction.

“You are looking at something that is debilitating and really impairs their ability to function day to day,” Perou explains.

Aside from alcohol and tobacco products, the most commonly abused substances were marijuana, cocaine, heroin, inhalants, and prescription drugs.

Perou said CDC is working to help come up with more approaches that work in treatment all substance abuse and mental health disorders that are  killing the potentials of today’s youth. She invites parents and teachers to check CDC’s available information which can help in spotting risky behaviors in kids and teens.

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Drinkers Who Mix Alcohol and Diet Soda at Higher Risk of Getting Intoxicated Faster

A new research by a Northern Kentucky University professor found that people who mix alcohol and diet soft drinks are more likely to get drunk faster, The Northerner reports.

soda and alcohol combinationCecile Marczinski, an assistant professor in the university’s department of psychological science, conducted lab-based experiment on 8 male and 8 female social drinking students with an average age of 23. Before the study, all participating students  were asked to answer extensive demographic and medical questionnaires, and required to  “fast two hours, abstain from any form of caffeine eight hours, and abstain from alcohol for 24 hours.”

During one visit at the lab, the students drank vodka with diet soda. At another time, they drank vodka mixed with a regular soft drink. The student consumed their drinks within ten minutes.

According to Marczinski, the group that consumed a combination of vodka and diet soda had nearly 20 percent higher risk of getting inebriated faster.

“You get an 18 percent higher BrAC [breath alcohol level] when you mix alcohol with diet drinks,” Marczinski said. “The presence of food can be so important that reductions in peak BrAC have been reported to be as much as 20 – 57 percent when food is present in the stomach as compared with when alcohol is consumed alone.”

Marczinski hopes that her findings would help improve alcohol intervention programs.

“I am trying to provide information to consumers, so they can enjoy these products without causing themselves harm,” Marczinski added.

Marczinski’s research will be published in the Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research journal.

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