alcohol use disorders

National data says substance abuse is on the decline. These charts tell a different story.

In a country as large as the United States, national averages can quickly lose all meaning. Deaths from alcohol use disorders, for example, have dropped nationally by 8.1 percent since 1980. But in some counties, deaths have doubled in that same timeframe. The question of why isn’t an easy one…

Neurotransmitter may play a role in alcohol relapse, addiction

A study led by Indiana University on neurochemical changes associated with alcohol addiction found that the neurotransmitter glutamate plays a role in some alcohol cravings. Alcohol dependence and alcohol use disorders occur in about 30 percent of all Americans, taking a severe toll on people’s lives, as well as on…

Parental provision of alcohol to teenagers does not reduce risks, compared to no supply, Australian study finds

There is no evidence to support the practice of parents providing alcohol to their teenagers to protect them from alcohol-related risks during early adolescence, according to a prospective cohort study in Australia published in The Lancet Public Health journal. The six year study of 1927 teenagers aged 12 to 18 and their…

How do people decide: Should I go, stay, drink?

Many studies of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) use tasks that involve monetary rewards or losses to examine individual decision-making vis-à-vis alcohol and other substance use. Yet drinking typically occurs in specific social and incentive contexts that do not involve economic decision-making. This study examined decisions about attending, and drinking in,…

The blink of an eye may predict risk for alcohol problems

The startle response, often recorded as an eye-blink reflex, is a defensive measure believed to reflect emotional processing. Patients with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) show abnormal startle-reflex responses to alcohol-related stimuli. This study examined startle-reflex responses to various visual stimuli among heavy drinkers, and assessed whether certain patterns predict the…