A new study of thousands of Americans finds people with a history of drinking problems have more than twice the risk of memory problems later in life, compared with those who have never been heavy drinkers.
The researchers asked participants four questions: Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? Have people ever annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? Have you ever felt guilty about drinking? And have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning? These questions come from a widely used screening questionnaire for alcoholism, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Participants were born between 1931 and 1941. They answered the questions about alcohol use when they were first interviewed, when they were in their 50s and 60s. They were considered to have a drinking problem if they answered yes to at least two of the four questions. They had follow-up memory tests every other year from 1996 to 2010, the article notes.
Full story of drinking history and memory problems at drugfree.org
A new study finds mixing energy drinks with alcohol increases the urge to drink. People who consume the mixture may drink more alcohol than they planned, according to the researchers.
“Obviously these findings are not going to deter young people from drinking if they want to get drunk, but they need to be mindful that they may be unwittingly putting themselves at a greater risk of accidents and injuries because they end up drinking more than they had intended,” lead author Rebecca McKetin told Reuters.
The study included 75 participants ages 18 to 30. They were assigned to drink either vodka mixed with soda water or vodka mixed with an energy drink. Both groups also had fruit juice in their drinks. Participants did not know which drink they were receiving.
Full story of energy drinks and alcohol at drugfree.org
Receiving text messages about binge drinking after visiting the emergency room can help young adults reduce their hazardous alcohol consumption by more than 50 percent, a new study suggests.
The study included 765 young adults seen in the emergency room, who had a history of hazardous drinking. The study participants were divided into thirds. One third received text messages for 12 weeks that prompted them to respond to questions about their drinking. They received texts in return that offered feedback on their answers, News-Medical reports. Another third received text messages asking about their drinking, but received no feedback. The remaining third received no text messages.
Full story of text messaging and binge drinking at drugfree.org
The top alcohol brands consumed by underage drinkers are the same ones most heavily advertised in magazines read by those under age 21, a new study finds. The researchers say their findings suggest alcohol ads can encourage young people to drink, HealthDay reports.
The study also indicates the alcohol industry’s voluntary advertising standards are insufficient, the researchers add. “All of the ads in our study were in complete compliance with the industry’s self-regulatory guidelines,” lead researcher Craig Ross, of Virtual Media Resources in Natick, Massachusetts, said in a journal news release.
The guidelines suggest that alcohol ads should be restricted to magazines with less than 30 percent of readers who are younger than 21. Ross called for stricter standards, including limiting ads to magazines where fewer than 15 percent of readers are under 21.
Full story of underage alcohol branding advertised in magazines at drugfree.org
Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas is among the schools that will start to sell beer and wine at football games this fall, in an effort to increase revenue, according to USA Today.
The school sold beer during basketball season this past year, netting six figures over the course of 12 games, the article notes.
With school athletic departments looking at multimillion-dollar obligations in new player benefits, more schools may look at alcohol sales as a way of increasing revenue. “It seems like it’s going that way, and I think you’ll see more doing it,” said Virginia Tech Athletics Director Whit Babcock. “But it’s a cultural issue at a place of higher education where there’s a tradition (of not selling it). I don’t know that it will be one of the top things on my agenda. But as more people do it … I’ll definitely be watching.”
Full story of college beer sells at stadiums at drugfree.org