Young Men With Drinking Problem Have More Health Issues Later in Life

Young men with alcohol dependence are more likely to have health problems later in life, compared with their peers who do not drink, a new study suggests.

Researchers found young adult men with alcohol dependence had an average of three medical conditions when they reached their 60s, compared with two medical conditions for those who did not drink. The study analyzed Vietnam-era veterans, according to HealthDay.

Full story of men with drinking problem and long term health at drugfree.org

Commentary: The Most Under-Recognized Public Health Crisis

We lose nearly 130 people a day to drug overdoses. It is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, and the loss is felt most acutely by the families left behind. By doing a better job of helping families and their addicted children, we can most effectively reduce these deaths and the accompanying pain and suffering.

Nothing tears apart the fabric of a family quite like having a child who’s struggling with drugs or alcohol. In my experience, parents of these kids are usually overwhelmed by feelings of guilt, shame and fear. Will their child be alive the next morning? When they most need a comprehensive evaluation of their child’s condition and evidence-based treatment options as “standards of care” to consider, they instead find conventional wisdom from well-meaning friends and recommendations from under-trained healthcare professionals. In an age when most people use the Internet to access health information for their family, there is very little reliable science-based information available online, a far cry from the abundant resources for all other adolescent and young adult health issues and disorders.

Full story of under-recognized public health crisis at drugfree.org 

Public Health Officials Urge Doctors to Consider Medications to Treat Alcohol Addiction

Public health officials are urging doctors to consider prescribing medications to treat alcohol addiction, NPR reports. The drugs can be used alongside or in place of peer-support programs.

“We want people to understand we think AA is wonderful, but there are other options,” said George Koob, Director of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. He says there are two drugs on the market for patients with alcohol cravings, naltrexone and acamprosate. “They’re very safe medications, and they’ve shown efficacy,” he said.

Full story of doctors to treat alcohol addiction at drugfree.org

Lack of Sleep May Increase Risk of Drug and Alcohol Use in Male Teens

A new study suggests a lack of adequate sleep may increase the risk of drug and alcohol use in male teens. The study of 186 boys found duration and quality of sleep at age 11 were associated with early substance use throughout adolescence.

“If we just look at age 16, the group of kids getting the most sleep… only about half of them had tried alcohol,” lead researcher Brant Hasler told CBS Pittsburgh. “If we look at the group of kids getting the least sleep, nearly three quarters of them had tried.”

Full story of male teens lack of sleep and substance abuse at drugfree.org

Study Links Teens’ Exposure to Alcohol Ads and How Much of Those Brands They Drink

A new study finds a link between teens’ exposure to alcohol ads and how much of those brands they drink.

Researchers at Boston University studied more than 1,000 13- to 20-year-olds who said they had consumed alcohol in the past month. Underage drinkers who didn’t see any alcohol ads drank about 14 drinks per month, compared with 33 drinks for those who had seen an average amount of alcohol ads, CNN reports.

Full story of teen’s exposure to alcohol ads and drinking at drugfree.org