Reducing the number of bars, restaurants, liquor stores and other locations where alcohol is sold in a community may help reduce domestic violence, a new study suggests.
The findings come from research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which reviewed 16 previous studies that examined the link between alcohol sales in communities and rates of domestic violence. The investigators evaluated many factors, including the number of hours and days alcohol was sold, alcohol pricing and taxes, and the number of locations where alcohol was sold.
Only the number of alcohol sales outlets was consistently associated with rates of domestic violence, HealthDay reports. Most of the studies found a link between a greater number of locations where alcohol was sold and higher rates of domestic violence. The link held even when factors such as local poverty and unemployment rates were taken into account.
Full story of alcohol sales and domestic violence at drugfree.org
Brain scans may be able to detect changes in the brain in preteens that predict future alcohol abuse, a new study suggests.
The study included 135 preteen and teenage boys and girls who were an average of 12.6 years old, and who had not yet tried alcohol. They underwent MRI scans to evaluate their brain connections, Medical Daily reports. The scans focused on the brain’s executive control network (ECN), which includes the areas that process emotion, impulsivity and self-control.
Participants’ parents filled out a questionnaire about their children’s behavior, such as irritability, anger and sadness. The questionnaire is predictive of future alcohol misuse. The researchers compared the answers with the preteens’ MRI results.
Full story of brain changes and teen alcohol abuse at drugfree.org
As many as 5 percent of children may have some type of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), caused by alcohol exposure before birth, a new study suggests.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, found between 2.4 percent and 4.8 percent of children have FASD, HealthDay reports. “Knowing not to drink during pregnancy and not doing so are two different things,” particularly before a woman finds out she is pregnant, said lead researcher Philip May.
Full story of alcohol exposure to children before birth at drugfree.org
The risks of heavy consumption of energy drinks among young people could soon become a significant public health problem, according to a new report. Adverse health effects from consuming energy drinks with alcohol are a special concern, Time reports.
“The consumption of high amounts of caffeine contained within energy drinks reduces drowsiness without diminishing the effects of alcohol resulting in a state of ‘wide-awake- drunkenness,’ keeping the individual awake longer with the opportunity to continue drinking,” the authors wrote in Frontiers in Public Health.
The researchers say consuming high levels of caffeine very quickly may lead to “caffeine intoxication,” which can cause nausea, high blood pressure and heart palpitations.
Full story of energy drinks as a public health problem at drugfree.org
Teenagers who experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are at increased risk of using marijuana, drinking alcohol and smoking, a new study finds. They are also at risk of getting poor grades, HealthDay reports.
The researchers defined a TBI as a blow to the head that resulted in the teen being knocked out for at least five minutes, or spending at least one night in the hospital due to symptoms associated with the injury.
“This is a wake-up call. Concussions are brain injuries, and we need parents and physicians to become more vigilant,” said lead author Gabriela Ilie of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. “Our brains define who we are, and a lot of our behaviors and thoughts and emotions depend on our brain circuitry operating properly.”
Full story of teens with TBI and alcohol at drugfree.org