Alcohol Abuse More Likely in U.S.-Born Asian Americans Than in Those Born Abroad

Problematic drinking is more likely among Asian Americans born in the United States compared with those born abroad, a review of studies finds. Overall, the prevalence of alcohol abuse among Asian Americans ages 18 to 25 increased fivefold between 1991 and 2002.

Studies of drinking patterns tend to lump all Asian Americans together, the review’s lead author, Derek Iwamoto of the University of Maryland, College Park, told NBC News. “The population tends to be overlooked given the model minority stereotype,” he said. “A lot of times larger national studies aggregate Asian Americans all together, meaning that they aggregate first, second, and third generations … it really pulls the averages down for Asian Americans.”

Alcohol abuse prevalence among young adult Asian Americans rose from .74 percent in 1991 to 3.89 percent in 2002, Iwamoto reported in Alcohol Research Current Reviews.

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Teen Girls Start Drinking Before Their Male Peers

A new study finds teenage girls start drinking before their male peers, even though most strategies to reduce underage drinking are aimed at boys.

Researchers at Michigan State University analyzed data of about 390,000 teens and young adults, ages 12 to 24, who took part in government surveys on drug use and health. They found in the middle teenage years, girls are more likely than boys to start drinking. After age 19, males drink more than females, HealthDay reports.

“This new evidence from the United States shows that the so-called ‘gender gap’ in risk of becoming a drinker has narrowed to the point of there being no gap at all,” the researchers wrote in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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