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Archive for the ‘alcohol abuse’ Category

Alcohol Policy In The EU – State Of Play March 2015

April 22, 2015 Comments off

Alcohol Policy In The EU – State Of Play March 2015
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The 2006 EU Alcohol Strategy officially came to an end in December 2012. A report published in December 2012 evaluated the impact of this strategy and concluded that it was still very relevant and had brought about positive added value in terms of addressing alcohol-related harm.

Although the European Commission intended to present a new European Action Plan to reduce alcohol related harm for the period 2014-2017 , no new proposal has as yet been introduced. The Commission nevertheless proposed a new EU action plan on youth drinking and also included alcohol-harm preventive measures in its 2014-2020 Health Programme. Furthermore the Commission also undertook a study to examine the different practices related to labelling of alcoholic beverages.

Recently, the Latvian Presidency 2015 promised in its programme, as part of its health priorities , to “follow the work of the Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action, and is in the process of developing a scoping paper on the vision of future actions to be taken in the area of an alcohol policy in the EU”.

By means of resolutions and questions, the European Parliament has repeatedly put pressure on the Commission to present a new European Action Plan since alcohol related harm is still a major public health concern across the EU.

Long working hours and alcohol use: systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies and unpublished individual participant data

April 13, 2015 Comments off

Long working hours and alcohol use: systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies and unpublished individual participant data
Source: British Medical Journal

Objective
To quantify the association between long working hours and alcohol use.

Design
Systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies and unpublished individual participant data.

Data sources
A systematic search of PubMed and Embase databases in April 2014 for published studies, supplemented with manual searches. Unpublished individual participant data were obtained from 27 additional studies.

Review methods
The search strategy was designed to retrieve cross sectional and prospective studies of the association between long working hours and alcohol use. Summary estimates were obtained with random effects meta-analysis. Sources of heterogeneity were examined with meta-regression.

Results
Cross sectional analysis was based on 61 studies representing 333 693 participants from 14 countries. Prospective analysis was based on 20 studies representing 100 602 participants from nine countries. The pooled maximum adjusted odds ratio for the association between long working hours and alcohol use was 1.11 (95% confidence interval 1.05 to 1.18) in the cross sectional analysis of published and unpublished data. Odds ratio of new onset risky alcohol use was 1.12 (1.04 to 1.20) in the analysis of prospective published and unpublished data. In the 18 studies with individual participant data it was possible to assess the European Union Working Time Directive, which recommends an upper limit of 48 hours a week. Odds ratios of new onset risky alcohol use for those working 49-54 hours and ≥55 hours a week were 1.13 (1.02 to 1.26; adjusted difference in incidence 0.8 percentage points) and 1.12 (1.01 to 1.25; adjusted difference in incidence 0.7 percentage points), respectively, compared with working standard 35-40 hours (incidence of new onset risky alcohol use 6.2%). There was no difference in these associations between men and women or by age or socioeconomic groups, geographical regions, sample type (population based v occupational cohort), prevalence of risky alcohol use in the cohort, or sample attrition rate.

Conclusions
Individuals whose working hours exceed standard recommendations are more likely to increase their alcohol use to levels that pose a health risk.

An Examination of Risky Drinking Behaviors and Motivations for Alcohol Use in a College Sample

March 30, 2015 Comments off

An Examination of Risky Drinking Behaviors and Motivations for Alcohol Use in a College Sample
Source: Journal of American College Health

Objective:
The current study examined (1) drinking motives as a mediator of risky drinking behaviors (ie, pregaming and drinking games) and alcohol-related problems and (2) whether gender moderates the association between risky drinking behaviors and negative consequences. Participants: Participants (N = 368; 68% female) were drinkers aged 18 to 25. Data were collected from September to November 2010 and January to May 2011.

Methods:
Participants completed measures regarding typical pregaming and drinking game alcohol consumption, drinking motives, and alcohol-related consequences.

Results:
Social, coping, and enhancement motives partially explained relationships, with enhancement motives explaining the most variance for pregaming (31%) and drinking games (44%). Relationships between risky drinking and consequences were not moderated by gender.

Conclusions:
Drinking to enhance positive affect may be the most salient motivation for drinking related to pregaming and drinking games for college drinkers. Findings have implications for interventions tailored to students engaging in various heavy drinking practices.

2015 County Health Rankings Key Findings Report

March 30, 2015 Comments off

2015 County Health Rankings Key Findings Report
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The County Health Rankings are an easy-to-use snapshot of the health of nearly every county in the nation. The Rankings make it clear that good health includes many factors beyond medical care, including education, jobs, smoking, access to healthy foods and parks, and more. Now in its sixth year, the Rankings use factors that communities have the ability to do something about.

Key Findings

  • For 60 percent of the nation’s counties, rates of premature death (death before age 75) have declined, some dramatically; for 40 percent no progress has been made.
  • One out of four children in the United States lives in poverty; rates of poverty are more than twice as high in the unhealthiest counties in each state compared to the healthiest ones.
  • Unemployment rates are 1.5 times higher in the least healthy counties in each state compared to the healthiest ones.
  • The healthiest counties have higher college attendance rates, fewer preventable hospital stays, and better access to exercise opportunities. The least healthy counties have more smokers, more teen births, and more alcohol-related car accidents.

Powdered Alcohol 2015 Legislation

March 13, 2015 Comments off

Powdered Alcohol 2015 Legislation
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Alcoholic beverages may soon be available in powdered form or in capsules.

In April 2014, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved labels for a product called Palcohol that can be added to water to make an alcoholic beverage.

The makers of Palcohol, who are seeking federal approval to market it, say their freeze-dried vodka, rum, “powderitas” and other drinks will appeal to backpackers and others who want a lightweight, more portable form of liquor. Within two weeks of approving the labels, the TTB issued a statement that the label approvals were issued in error. In March 2015, the TTB approved the revised labels for Palcohol, allowing the product to be sold legally in the United States, unless otherwise prohibited.

Prosecuting Alcohol-Fueled Sexual Assault (2007)

February 16, 2015 Comments off

Prosecuting Alcohol-Fueled Sexual Assault (PDF)
Source: National District Attorneys Association

Despite the prevalence of alcohol-facilitated sexual assault (AFSA), a n umber of barriers to successful prosecution exist. First, the use of alcohol in American society is quite common. Jurors may question whether the offender actually committed rape or just had consensual, albeit drunken, sex with the victim. Second, jurors may view a voluntarily intoxicated victim with skepticism or dislike, and may assume that she put herself in danger with her behavior. Research has demonstrated that individuals tend to view women who drink or get drunk as more sexual- ly available, and more likely to engage in sexual acts than women who abstain from alcohol. Third, AFSA cases are complicated by the physical manifestations of alcohol. “Alcohol decreases inhibitions, impairs percep- tion, and may cause amnesia and/or loss of consciousness, especially if used in conjunction with other drugs.” Victims may not be able to clear- ly perceive and/or remember the details of the assault.

This monograph discusses the prosecution of AFSA with a specific focus on AFSA when the victim is voluntarily intoxicated. It begins with a basic overview of toxicology. Next, it suggests a three-step process for prosecuting AFSA cases: (1) making the charging decision; (2) analyzing credibility and corroboration; and (3) trying the case. Finally, the monograph provides techniques for overcoming common defenses.

Drunk driving declines, while drug use behind the wheel rises

February 9, 2015 Comments off

Drunk driving declines, while drug use behind the wheel rises
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The nation’s decades-long campaign to combat drunk driving continues to make our roads safer, but use of marijuana and prescription drugs is increasingly prominent on the highways, creating new safety questions, according to a pair of ground-breaking studies released today by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

One study, the latest version of NHTSA’s Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, found that the number of drivers with alcohol in their system has declined by nearly one-third since 2007, and by more than three-quarters since the first Roadside Survey in 1973. But that same survey found a large increase in the number of drivers using marijuana or other illegal drugs. In the 2014 survey, nearly one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safety.

A second survey, the largest of its kind ever conducted, assessed whether marijuana use by drivers is associated with greater risk of crashes. The survey found that marijuana users are more likely to be involved in accidents, but that the increased risk may be due in part because marijuana users are more likely to be in groups at higher risk of crashes. In particular, marijuana users are more likely to be young men – a group already at high risk.

This was the most precisely controlled study of its kind yet conducted, but it measured the risk associated with marijuana at the levels found among drivers in a large community. Other studies using driving simulators and test tracks have found that marijuana at sufficient dosage levels will affect driver risk.

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