Teens With Severe Alcohol and Drug Problems Often Lack Concern for Others: Study

Teens with severe drug and alcohol problems often have a low regard for others, a new study suggests. They have higher rates of driving under the influence and having unprotected sex with a history of sexually transmitted disease, The Huffington Post reports.

These teens are also less likely to volunteer their time helping others, the researchers report in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse. Helping others has been shown to help adult alcoholics stay sober, the article notes.

“Alcoholics have been described as a ‘tornado running through the lives of others,’” said lead author Maria Pagano, PhD, an associate professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland. “Results from this study suggest that alcoholics lack awareness of others and how their actions impact others, rather than being sociopaths or intending to harm others.”

Full story of teens with alcohol and drug problems at drugfree.org

Survey Suggests Medical Students May be at Risk for Alcohol Abuse

A new survey finds medical students have double the rate of alcohol abuse or dependence, compared with surgeons, U.S. physicians or the general public, HealthDay reports. The researchers cite burnout and school debts as possible factors.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic contacted 12,500 medical students. Of the one-third who responded, approximately 1,400 said they experienced clinical alcohol abuse or dependence. That translates to about one-third of respondents, compared with 16 percent of peers who are not medical school students.

The findings appear in the journal Academic Medicine.

“Our findings clearly show there is reason for concern,” study senior author Dr. Liselotte Dyrbye said in a news release. “We recommend institutions pursue a multifaceted solution to address related issues with burnout, the cost of medical education and alcohol abuse.”

Full story of medical students and alcohol abuse at drugfree.org

New Tool Helps Colleges Select Best Alcohol Prevention Programs for Their Needs

A new online tool introduced this school year is helping colleges compare and choose interventions to address harmful and underage student drinking. CollegeAIM—the College Alcohol Intervention Matrix—helps administrators find programs that are effective and fit into their budget, says Jason Kilmer, PhD of the University of Washington, who helped to develop the resource.

CollegeAIM is the product of a multi-year collaboration with 16 college alcohol researchers with a range of expertise who developed and reviewed decades of scientific literature, and presents comprehensive and complicated information in a quick and convenient way through two accessible and easy-to-use matrices. It is also available in print form.

Dr. Kilmer spoke about CollegeAIM, developed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), at the recent Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) 26th National Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C.

Full story of CollegeAIM program at drgufree.org

Binge Drinking May Increase Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke in the Following Week

A new study suggests having six to nine drinks in one day nearly doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke over the following week.

Just having one drink was found to increase the risk of cardiovascular problems over the next 24 hours, according to Reuters. However, having two to four alcoholic drinks may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke over the following week, the study found.

“There appears to be a transiently higher risk of heart attack and strokes in the hours after drinking an alcoholic beverage but within a day after drinking, only heavy alcohol intake seems to pose a higher cardiovascular risk,” lead researcher Elizabeth Mostofsky, Sc.D. of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said in a news release.

Full story of binge drinking at stroke risk at drugfree.org

Ignition Interlock Systems Have Stopped 1.77 Million Attempts at Drunk Driving: Report

Ignition interlock systems in cars have prevented 1.77 million attempts at drunk driving since 1999, according to a new report by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The report, released Wednesday, is based on data from the 11 major manufacturers of ignition interlock systems, the Associated Press reports.

Ignition interlock devices are wired into vehicles. A person convicted of drunk driving must blow into the device to determine their blood alcohol concentration. The device has a preset level for blood alcohol concentration. If a person blows into it when they are over the set limit, the vehicle will not start.

The report found ignition interlocks have prevented 1.77 million attempts by a driver to drive with an illegal blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, which is legally considered drunk driving in all states.

Full story of ignition interlock systems and drunk driving at drugfree.org