Binge drinking accelerates alcohol use disorder, but stable daily drinking may be just as risky in the long-term

Prior research suggests that binge drinking may increase people’s risk of developing alcohol use disorders (AUDs), especially adolescents and young adults. It is unclear whether different drinking patterns — for example, intermittent versus regular drinking -have a different impact on the compulsive drinking that characterizes people with AUDs. This study used rats to examine whether chronic intermittent alcohol access facilitates a transition to compulsive-like drinking.

Researchers gave rats access to either intermittent (binge) or continuous (stable) alcohol for five months, followed by chronic exposure to alcohol vapors. They then measured the rats’ escalation of alcohol intake and compulsive-like responses to alcohol.

Full story of binge drinking and alcohol use disorder at Science Daily

Binge Drinking May Increase Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke in the Following Week

A new study suggests having six to nine drinks in one day nearly doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke over the following week.

Just having one drink was found to increase the risk of cardiovascular problems over the next 24 hours, according to Reuters. However, having two to four alcoholic drinks may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke over the following week, the study found.

“There appears to be a transiently higher risk of heart attack and strokes in the hours after drinking an alcoholic beverage but within a day after drinking, only heavy alcohol intake seems to pose a higher cardiovascular risk,” lead researcher Elizabeth Mostofsky, Sc.D. of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said in a news release.

Full story of binge drinking at stroke risk at drugfree.org

College Tries New Ways to Reduce Binge Drinking

Colleges are looking for new ways to reduce binge drinking, as part of initiatives to reduce campus sexual assaults, NPR reports.

Frostburg State University in Maryland and city police agreed in 2012 to joint jurisdiction. This allows campus police to patrol off campus, looking for house parties. The university helps to pay overtime costs for state, county, city and campus police near the school. “We know there’s going to be underage drinking,” said Frostburg State University police officer Derrick Pirolozzi. “We can’t card everybody. But we want to make sure everybody does it the right way and safe way.” The aim is to prevent bad behavior before it starts.

“The thing that’s so striking to me is that many universities perceive [binge drinking] as an intractable problem and that there’s nothing they can do,” Jonathan Gibralter, president of Frostburg State University, told NPR. When he became president in 2006, the party scene was “out of control,” he said.

Full story of colleges to reduce binge drinking at drugfree.org

Text Messages Can Help Reduce Young Adults’ Binge Drinking

Receiving text messages about binge drinking after visiting the emergency room can help young adults reduce their hazardous alcohol consumption by more than 50 percent, a new study suggests.

The study included 765 young adults seen in the emergency room, who had a history of hazardous drinking. The study participants were divided into thirds. One third received text messages for 12 weeks that prompted them to respond to questions about their drinking. They received texts in return that offered feedback on their answers, News-Medical reports. Another third received text messages asking about their drinking, but received no feedback. The remaining third received no text messages.

Full story of text messaging and binge drinking at drugfree.org

Stimulating Brain Cells Stops Binge Drinking, Animal Study Finds

Researchers at the University at Buffalo have found a way to change alcohol drinking behavior in rodents, using the emerging technique of optogenetics, which uses light to stimulate neurons.

Their work could lead to powerful new ways to treat alcoholism, other addictions, and neurological and mental illnesses; it also helps explain the underlying neurochemical basis of drug addiction.

The findings, published in November inFrontiers in Neuroscience, are the first to demonstrate a causal relationship between the release of dopamine in the brain and drinking behaviors of animals. Research like this, which makes it possible to map the neuronal circuits responsible for specific behaviors, is a major focus of President Obama’s Brain Research for Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative, known as BRAIN.

In the experiments, rats were trained to drink alcohol in a way that mimics human binge-drinking behavior.

Full story of brain cells and binge drinking at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education