An Internet drinking game called “Neknomination” reportedly led to the death of two young men in Britain this week, according to ABC News. In the game, a person quickly drinks a concoction of alcohol, sometimes mixed with other ingredients, then nominates two other people to do something even more outrageous. The results are posted online.
The drinks can include ingredients such as protein powder or even engine oil. Some participants have performed back flips and other athletic feats while drunk, or have been drinking while driving. The game started in Australia, and has become popular in Britain. This week, Canadian newspapers have begun to report the game is catching on there.
Full story on internet drinking game at drugfree.org
A new study links alcohol consumption with an increased risk of skin cancer, BBC News reports. The ethanol in alcohol is converted to a compound called acetaldehyde in the body, which may make the skin more sensitive to harmful ultraviolet rays.
Researchers examined 16 studies, involving thousands of participants. They found having at least one alcoholic drink daily increased the risk of skin cancer by one-fifth. The more a person drank, the greater their risk. People who had the equivalent of a few strong beers were up to 55 percent more likely to develop the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma, compared with people who didn’t drink or who only drank occasionally.
The researchers said in addition to causing changes in the body that can lead to increased risk of skin cancer, alcohol can also impair a person’s judgment, leading them to spend longer in the sun or to forego sun protection.
Full story of alcohol and skin cancer at drugfree.org
A program that provides college freshmen with personalized feedback on their drinking patterns can be effective in reducing their drinking, a new study suggests.
Researchers from Brown University reviewed studies of 62 programs designed to reducing drinking among college freshmen, which included more than 24,000 freshmen from around the country.
They concluded colleges should screen all freshmen within their first few weeks of school for alcohol risk, and offer interventions for those who said they drink, UPI reports. The program that provided the broadest benefits gave students a personalized feedback report, which included information such as how students’ own drinking compared with that of their peers, the costs of alcohol consumed, number of calories consumed, and blood alcohol levels. Students who had this information significantly reduced how much and how often they drank, the study found.
Full story of college drinking reduction at drugfree.org
In the wake of Justin Bieber recent DUI arrest, reports are now surfacing that the 19-year-old pop star may have been under the influence of marijuana, beer and prescription drugs, and that he could have been given the prescription medicine by his mother.
Our hope is that parents, who are in a position to prevent medicine abuse before it starts, will take this news and reflect on their own examples, while using Justin’s story as a teachable moment to start an honest conversation with their kids about medicine abuse. Small steps – like monitoring and safeguarding the medicine in your home, educating yourself about the issue and talking to your kids early and often about the dangers of medicine abuse – can make a huge difference.
Full story of communicating with your kids about drugs at drugfree.org
Researchers are making progress in the search for medicines to treat addiction, according to The Wall Street Journal. They are learning more about how heavy drug and alcohol use affects the brain.
A study published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine found the drug gabapentin, used to treat epilepsy and some types of pain, can help people with alcoholism quit drinking.
The 12-week study of 150 alcohol-dependent participants found gabapentin decreased the number of days people drank heavily, and at least tripled the percentage of people who were able to stop drinking altogether, compared with those receiving a placebo. The drug also reduced alcohol craving and improved mood and sleep quality.
“There’s been a huge amount of progress understanding what drives alcoholism and makes it difficult to stop,” lead researcher Barbara Mason of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, told the newspaper.
Full story of medicines for addiction treatment at DrugFree.org
Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education