Alcohol is a poison that devours the mind and body slowly and steadily. For thousands of years, and even today, alcohol continues to be an essential element of culture and upbringing whether in America or any other part of the globe. However, its hazardous effects are still unknown to many. Every year, millions of people succumb to the ill effects arising due to prolonged use or over indulgence. The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health presented startling figures in 2015 disclosing that 86.4 percent Americans, aged 18 years and above, had consumed alcohol at some point in their lives while more than half of the adult population admitted to drinking in the past month. Unfortunately, nearly 623,000 adolescents aged between 12–17 had alcohol use disorder (AUD). Continue reading
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The tendency to consume excess alcohol at one go is common among adolescents. Binge drinking, a practice prevalent among the youth, is as harmful as frequent or regular drinking. While drinking in any amount or at any rate is deemed inappropriate owing to its addictive and hazardous effects, a group of researchers from the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine has collected evidence and collated their findings regarding the impact of recurrent binge drinking habits in their study titled “Adolescent binge-pattern alcohol exposure alters genome-wide DNA methylation patterns in the hypothalamus of alcohol-naïve male offspring.” Continue reading
Feelings of constant stress, anxiety and fear of the unknown can make living difficult. In many instances, such people adopt drinking habits as a coping mechanism to deal with daily stress and incessant worry. Observations of prior studies though indicate stress as a potential risk factor for future alcohol abuse, not much is understood about the brain chemistry responsible for association between stress and drinking habits. Continue reading
The fact that excessive drinking can result in hazardous effects and untimely death is already known. Despite constant warnings by physicians and health care agencies about the harmful impact of excessive alcohol consumption, drinking is still a necessity in social gatherings and cultural events. Prior studies have indicated how apart from causing cirrhosis of the liver, drinking alcohol may also result in aggravating the risk of certain kinds of cancers. Continue reading
Drinking culture though pervasive across most communities in the United States is now a major cause of concern as more and more Americans are succumbing to alcohol use disorders. Drinking habits are not limited to any particular age, gender or race but are most prevalent among youth. Underage drinking has become a major public health concern today. Continue reading
Any celebration or holiday seems incomplete without alcohol, however, it can also be a cause of concern for many. When taken in excess, alcohol, which is considered a quick and easy way to get into the spirit of the occasion, can lead to intoxication and get people in trouble. As per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), in 2014, 87.6 percent people in the United States aged 18 and above reported drinking alcohol at least at some point in their life. The agency said that in the same year, 16.3 million people (aged 18 and above), suffered from an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Alcohol is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. and nearly 88,000 people succumb to alcohol-related causes in a year, says the NIAAA. Continue reading
Alcohol is by far the most popular drug of choice in the United States. Every year, millions of Americans succumb to alcohol-related problems, such as traffic fatalities, fatal falls, fire-related deaths, etc., making alcohol the biggest risk factor for disability and death in the country. Most people resort to drinking in order to deal with hardships such as breakup, stress at work, family conflicts or financial problems, but, by the time they realize that their drinking habit can be detrimental to their health and relationships, it is too late. What they do not understand is the fact that alcohol is not a solution to problems; it is, in fact, a problem in itself. Continue reading
The laws governing drug abuse by pregnant women, or women who have just given birth, vary across the United States. There has been no consensus among legislators regarding this subject, since the 1980s, when it was first acknowledged as a public health issue. Every year, many pregnant women and new mothers face allegations of child abuse and dire consequences if they or their infants test positive for banned substances. In several states, women have to give up custody of their children or go to jail, even in cases where drugs were consumed under prescription. Continue reading
Patrick J. Kennedy, the youngest child of late Senator Ted Kennedy, is leading a political movement aimed at challenging the way people view and talk about mental health and addiction in the United States. According to Kennedy, mental disorders and substance abuse are medical issues and not moral flaws and should be treated with the same urgency as cancer and heart diseases. Continue reading
Fetal exposure to alcohol during pregnancy can account for devastatingly adverse effects on the development of the baby. However, data pertaining to the effect of alcohol and breastfeeding is scarce and controversial.
Keeping this in mind, researchers from the department of clinical chemistry and pharmacology, Odense University Hospital, Denmark, reviewed 41 different publications. The exhaustive review was published in the journal Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology. Here is a quick look at its findings. Continue reading