Alcoholics Can Help Reverse Bone Loss by Exercising and Quitting Drinking

Alcoholics Can Reverse Bone Loss With ExerciseAlcoholics can help reverse bone loss that results from their addiction by quitting drinking and engaging in exercise, a new study suggests.

Excessive consumption of alcohol disrupts the process of bone renewal, called remodeling, according to HealthDay. This can lead to osteoporosis. The study found that stopping drinking for just eight weeks can help reduce this disruption.

The study included 53 men being treated for alcoholism, who underwent bone density tests, and had blood drawn at the beginning of the study and two months later. They also answered questions about their physical activity. The researchers found that although bone mineral density is reduced in alcoholic men, the negative effect of alcohol on bone formation can be reduced in as little as eight weeks.

Full story of reverse bone loss at DrugFree.org

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Adapting 12-Step Programs For Teenagers

12 Step Program For TeensTwelve-step programs can be extremely helpful for teens who are struggling with addiction or who are on the road to becoming addicted, but they are more useful if they are adapted to the particular needs of adolescents, according to an expert on teenage addiction.

“These programs were developed for adults, and teenagers are not little adults—they are in a totally different developmental stage,” says Steven Jaffe, MD, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Emory University, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta.

Dr. Jaffe, who has spent the past 25 years working to modify 12-step programs to make them developmentally meaningful for teenagers, spoke about his work at the recent American Society of Addiction Medicine conference. “These programs are free, they’re everywhere, they provide big brothers and sisters as sponsors, and they offer recovering friends,” he notes. “That’s really important, because if teens go back to their friends who use drugs or alcohol, they will start using again, too.”

Full story of 12 step teen programs at DrugFree.org

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Feelings of Immaturity Accompany Alcohol Misuse Into Adulthood

Red wineTipping back one too many cocktails during an individual’s early 20s doesn’t correlate to a personal sense of immaturity; however if this habit doesn’t stop as they reach age 30, young adults can feel psychologically underdeveloped, according to a University of Missouri study. Helping young adults acknowledge their mental impulse to "sober up" as they mature can improve substance abuse intervention programs.

"When a heavy drinking 30-year-old comes in for therapy and says he doesn’t feel like an adult, we can present this study and suggest that cutting back on alcohol could help him feel more mature," said lead researcher Rachel Winograd, a doctoral student in psychology at MU.

"People in their early 20s who accept their own heavy drinking and experience alcohol-related consequences may not realize that these behaviors can be associated with identity issues later on," said Winograd. "We can apply this research to nip the problem in the bud and help young adults become aware that their alcohol use behaviors may conflict with their long-term goals."

Full story of adult alcohol misuse at Science Daily

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Commentary: The Crucial Role of Alcohol Awareness Month

April is Alcohol Awarenesss MonthFor 25 years, April has been recognized as Alcohol Awareness Month. So how does this campaign continue to be of value after all of these years?

Alcohol misuse and abuse still have a tremendous impact on our country today. As prom and graduation season are beginning to unfold, April is also a key month in which to highlight the dangers of underage drinking, as well as increase public awareness and understanding about alcohol.

Consider these facts:

• In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes – one every 51 minutes (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2012).

• Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for America’s young people, more than tobacco or illicit drugs, and underage alcohol use alone costs the nation an estimated $62 billion annually (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., 2012).

Full story of alcohol awareness month at DrugFree.org

New Technology Aims to Prevent Drunk Driving

Technology Prevents Drunk DrivingCars and trucks one day may have built-in blood alcohol detectors,The Wall Street Journal reports. Research on the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) is progressing more quickly than expected, and could be available within eight to 10 years, experts say.

The technology could be built into a vehicle’s dashboard or controls. It would check a driver’s blood alcohol level, and would not start if the level were above the legal limit. Researchers developing the system are working with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The next goal would be to develop a commercially produced vehicle that could drive a drunk owner home, the article notes.

About one-third of drivers killed in car crashes have blood alcohol levels of 0.08 or higher, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Full story of drunk driving preventative at drugfree.org