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Stress Main Factor Driving Teens to Abuse Drugs, Alcohol

American teenagers cite stress as the leading reason they might get drunk or high, a new report reveals.

That only underscores the need for better adolescent mental health care, according to the research team behind the study.

Better "access to treatment and support for mental health concerns and stress could reduce some of the reported motivations for substance use," concluded inve...

High School Kids Who Use Weed, Alcohol Face Higher Risks for Suicidal Thoughts

High school students who smoke, drink or use weed are more likely to be emotionally troubled and have suicidal thoughts, a new study finds.

Teens who turn to nicotine, alcohol or marijuana are more likely to think about suicide, feel depressed or anxious, have psychotic episodes and exhibit inattention or hyperactivity, researchers report Jan. 29 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Alcohol-Linked Fatty Liver Disease More Fatal for Women

Fatty liver disease can cause liver damage and can be one health effect of long-term heavy drinking.

Now, research shows that the illness can prove even more deadly for women who drink than for men.

Also called steatotic liver disease, the condition involves the steady accumulation of excess fat in the body's major blood-cleansing organ.

An impaired liver can have a major do...

AA Programs Turn Lives Around, But Most Members Are White: Study

Alcoholics Anonymous is a key means by which millions of Americans deal with drinking problems.

However, white Americans are much more likely to engage in the trusted “12-step” program than Black of Hispanic drinkers, a new study finds.

Black and Hispanic alcoholics are about 40% less likely to have ever attended an AA meeting, compared to white drinkers, according to analysis o...

U.S. Has Seen Steady Rise in Role of Alcohol, Drugs in Heart Deaths

Heart disease deaths linked with alcohol or drug use have been steadily increasing in the United States, a new study has found.

Deaths from heart disease in which substance use was cited as contributor rose an average of 4% per year between 1999 and 2019, researchers report.

Further, the death rate accelerated in recent years, rising more than 6% from 2012 to 2019, according to find...

What's Your Bedtime Routine? Survey Finds Americans' Favorites

A hot shower, a glass of wine, a good book and sex are a few of Americans' favorite ways to unwind at bedtime, a new survey shows.

"What defines a comfortable night's sleep varies from person to person, but developing a consistent sleep routine that removes distraction is a big first step in building a habit of good sleep health," said Dr. ...

Your New Year's Eve Safety Checklist

Millions of revelers hit the road after New Year's Eve celebrations and the inevitability of impaired drivers make the holiday one of the nation's deadliest.

High blood-alcohol levels are a factor in more than 50% of crashes on New Year's Day, the American Safety Council warns. Law enforcement officers will be on alert, with checkpoints and roadblocks in many places to check drivers for s...

Ease Up on Drinking to Cut Your Risk for 'Holiday Heart'

Rum-laced eggnog, mulled wine, or a hot toddy all sound good around the holidays, but too much imbibing can increase your risk of “holiday heart syndrome,” doctors warn.

Holiday heart syndrome is the unofficial name for a notable increase in patients seeking treatment in ERs for heart rhythm problems caused by too much booze around December, said

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 22, 2023
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  • Men Who Want to Be Dads Should Take a Break From Alcohol

    Much has been made of the effects a pregnant woman's drinking could have on the health of her unborn child.

    But alcohol consumption by men also increases the risk of birth defects in newborns -- and a new study shows that guys who want to avoid this will have to cut out the booze as much as three months before they try to conceive.

    Semen from men who regularly consume alcohol has be...

    For Kids, Superbowl & Drinking Can Mean Tougher Discipline From Parents

    Parents who imbibe while watching the Super Bowl are more likely to use aggressive discipline on their children than those who abstain during the football game, a new study reports.

    What's interesting is that moms made up more than 90% of the parents in the study, noted lead researcher Bridget Freisthler, a professor of social ...

    Climate Change's Hotter Days Could Bring More Alcohol, Drug Crises

    Sweltering temperatures appear to fuel drug-related hospital visits, a problem that could be worsening with climate change, a new study suggests.

    “We saw that during periods of higher temperatures, there was a corresponding increase in hospital visits related to alcohol and substance use, which also brings attention to some less obvious potential consequences of climate change,” said ...

    Talking to a Loved One Battling Substance Abuse: Staying Positive Is Key

    A conversation with a family member or loved one struggling with addiction can be the catalyst for getting help.

    But it's important to choose your words carefully when discussing possible addiction to controlled substances with your loved one, said Dr. Aleksandra Zgierska, a profess...

    Heavy Drinking Tied to Dangerous Buildup of Fat Around Heart, Liver

    Before pouring another drink, consider this sobering new research: Heavy drinkers can develop fat around the heart, leading to heart failure and other cardiac problems.

    This so-called pericardial fat is associated with increased risk of heart disease.

    Researchers also linked heavy drinking to excess fat deposits around the liver and kidneys, which can result in diseases of the...

    Teen Drinking Much More Likely If Parents Binge Drink, Study Finds

    Parents who drink too much, too often, may be influencing their teens to do the same, a new study finds.

    "Adolescents whose parents binge drink had a four times greater chance of drinking alcohol themselves compared to adolescents whose parents did not binge drink, and so this study provides more evidence that binge drinking is not only harmful to the person drinking alcohol but also to o...

    Los estadounidenses de mediana edad usan marihuana y se dan atracones de bebida a niveles récord

    Los atracones de bebida y el consumo de marihuana han alcanzado niveles históricamente altos entre los adultos de EE. UU. de 35 a 50 años, anunciaron el jueves los Institutos Nacionales de la Salud (NIH) de EE. UU.

    Entre estos adultos de mediana edad, las drogas favoritas son la marihuana, los alucinógenos y el alcohol, y casi un 30 por ciento admitieron que se habían dado un atracón...

    Middle-Aged Americans Are Using Marijuana, Binge-Drinking at Record Levels

    Binge-drinking and marijuana use have reached historically high levels among U.S. adults aged 35 to 50, the U.S. National Institutes of Health announced Thursday.

    For these middle-aged adults, the drugs of choice are marijuana, hallucinogens and alcohol, with nearly 30% admitting to binge-drinking in 2022.

    Binge drinking for this group reached the highest level eve...

    In Monkey Trial, Gene Therapy Shows Promise in Curbing Severe Problem Drinking

    For people with severe alcohol use disorder, a new gene therapy trial could lead to an effective treatment that would involve chemically rebalancing the area of the brain associated with addiction.

    “With alcohol alone, there's generally more than 100,000 deaths [in the United States] per year,” said

  • Sarah D. Collins HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 14, 2023
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  • Drinking, Often Heavy, Is Common Among Cancer Survivors

    Many Americans diagnosed with cancer continue to drink alcohol regularly — sometimes heavily and sometimes during treatment, a new study shows.

    The study, of over 15,000 U.S. cancer survivors, found that 78% were current drinkers. And of them, significant percentages said they binged or engaged in other "risky" drinking. The same patterns were seen even among people undergoing cancer tr...

    Regular Drinking Can Raise Blood Pressure in the Otherwise Healthy

    Whether knocking back a little alcohol or a lot, daily drinking is tied to higher blood pressure, a new research review warns.

    Compared with not drinking, just one alcoholic drink a drink a day is associated with higher blood pressure over time, even in people who previously had normal blood pressure levels, according to researchers who analyzed the results of seven prior studies.

    Alcohol Kills Men More Often, but Women's Death Rates Are Catching Up

    Women are catching up to men when it comes to dying from alcohol abuse, a new study finds.

    Although men are nearly three times more likely to die from alcohol abuse than women, such deaths among women are rising at a faster rate. Between 2018 and 2020, alcohol-related deaths rose 12.5% among men, but jumped nearly 15% among women.

    "It's really concerning," said lead researcher

    Bipolar Disorder Ups Early Death Risk by Sixfold

    People who have bipolar disorder may have a higher risk of dying early, according to new research.

    Finnish investigators say this is due to a combination of external causes -- such as suicide, accidents and violence -- and physical health issues, with alcohol a big contributor.

    Targeting interventions to substance abuse will likely reduce premature deaths owing to both external and...

    Home Delivery of Alcohol Expanded During Pandemic, With Permanent Effects on Health

    During the COVID-19 pandemic home liquor delivery soared in the United States, as did binge drinking along with it, a new study finds.

    "'Home delivery' refers to when restaurants, bars or retailers use their own employees or a third-party delivery system such as DoorDash or Uber Eats to deliver alcohol to consumers' homes," said researcher

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 28, 2023
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  • Binge Drinking in Middle Age: Has 'Wine Mom' Culture Gone Too Far?

    It's an image you see everywhere on social media and television: Groups of 30-something women, glistening glasses of chardonnay or cabernet in their hands as they let loose with their friends.

    But a new study digs into the downside of "booze bonding" — these women are 60% more likely to engage in excessive drinking than their peers were some 25 years earlier.

    The investigators al...

    Legalizing Marijuana Tied to More Binge Drinking in Folks Over 30

    A growing number of states are legalizing marijuana for recreational use, and it may be leading to an unexpected side effect among millennials and Gen Xers: binge drinking.

    Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks at a time for men or four or more drinks for women, according to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

    “Recreational cannabis laws can hav...

    Can Heavy Drinkers Really 'Hold their Liquor'? Study Shows Maybe Not

    Heavy drinkers might think they can “hold their liquor” better, but science doesn't back them up.

    A new University of Chicago study found that people with alcohol use disorder were still impaired after heavy drinking, even if they thought they had greater tolerance.

    Although they may be able to tolerate a certain amount of alcohol better than light or moderate drinkers, the real...

    Heavy Drinking Could Raise Your Risk for Frailty: Study

    Drinking heavily while younger puts you at risk for muscle loss and frailty later in life, new research suggests.

    These findings are another reason to cut back on the booze, according to the research team from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the United Kingdom.

    “Losing muscle as we age leads to problems with weakness and frailty in later life,” said professor

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 25, 2023
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  • Vaping Could Up Teens' Odds for Marijuana Use, Binge Drinking

    Teens who use electronic cigarettes are significantly more likely than non-vapers to binge-drink and use cannabis, new research finds.

    Surveys of teens ages 13 to 18 revealed that vapers were 20 times more likely to use marijuana than teens who used no nicotine products. And those who vaped in the previous month were six times more likely to have had multiple binge-drinking episodes ...

    Exercise Could Be an Antidote to Addiction, Data Suggests

    Exercise might help people who are battling addiction stay on the straight and narrow, a new research review finds.

    Investigators who analyzed 43 studies from around the world found a link between physical activity and reduced substance use among people in treatment for alcohol and drug abuse.

    The idea for the study review “came to me when I was working as a kinesiologist in ...

    Million-Person Study Finds Genes Common to Many Addiction Disorders

    Breakthrough research shows genetic markers for substance abuse and could lead to more effective ways to prevent and treat drug and alcohol use disorders.

    These findings could help people who face addiction to varied substances, including those who have more than one addiction at a time.

    The findings al...

    From a Lock of Hair, Beethoven's Genome Gives Clues to Health, Family

    Genetic analysis of Ludwig van Beethoven's hair has provided new clues into the cause of the great composer's death in 1827 — as well as evidence of a family scandal.

    The analysis revealed that Beethoven suffered from a hepatitis B infection that could have contributed to his death from liver disease.

    Researchers found DNA evidence of hepatitis B virus in a lock of hair taken from...

    Alcohol Might Speed Alzheimer's Progress in Brain, Animal Study Suggests

    Even modest drinking can speed up the loss of brain cells and formation of the plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, research in mice shows.

    These plaques are an accumulation of toxic proteins.

    “These findings suggest alcohol might accelerate the pathological cascade of Alzheimer's disease in its early stages,” said study co-author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 22, 2023
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  • In New Documentary, Michael J. Fox Describes Hiding Parkinson's, Struggles With Alcohol

    Actor Michael J. Fox details his experiences with Parkinson's disease, including turning to alcohol and pills in an attempt to cope, in a new documentary.

    Fox, 61, has had the degenerative brain disorder since 1991, but didn't disclose it publicly until 1998.

    The star — best known for the “Back to the Future” movies — said he was an alcoholic in the early days and also too...

    Could Weight-Loss Surgery in Teens Raise Risks for Alcohol Abuse?

    For teens who are obese, weight-loss surgery can be life-changing — but not always in a good way.

    A new study finds a troubling downside to weight-loss surgery among 13- to 19-year-olds: They're at increased risk of alcohol use disorders. And their risk stays higher for up to eight years after their surgery.

    “We have to be honest about both the risks and benefits of these proced...

    How a 'Dry January' Could Help Your Health

    Having a “dry January,” or giving up alcohol for the first month of the year, is a trend.

    And it's not a bad idea, according to a drug and alcohol rehab counselor with Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

    Not consuming alcohol can have many health benefits, said Alan Berki, ...

    Even in Advanced Liver Disease, It's Never Too Late to Quit Alcohol

    Quitting alcohol can help reduce complications of liver cirrhosis, even in patients who have advanced disease. It can also help them live longer, new research shows.

    "Our results clearly show that all patients with alcohol-related liver cirrhosis who maintain sustained abstinence from alcohol not only suffer complications of liver cirrhosis significantly less frequently, but also live co...

    Odds for Early Death Rise After Severe Injury Linked to Alcohol

    Before you toast the holiday season with too much alcohol, here's a sobering thought.

    Folks who get injured severely enough while intoxicated to require hospital treatment are five times more likely to die in the coming year, according to new research published in Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs<...

    Few Americans Understand Alcohol's Impact on Cancer Risk: Survey

    Alcohol increases the risk of cancer, but some Americans think it does the opposite, a new study shows.

    Researchers set out to understand people's awareness of the links between alcohol and cancer, finding that many would benefit from further education on the issue.

    “All types of alcoholic beverages, including wine, increase cancer risk,” said senior study author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 2, 2022
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  • Drinking Rates Crept Up in U.S. States Once Weed Was Made Legal

    Could unfettered access to marijuana fuel a rise in drinking rates?

    Yes, report researchers who found alcohol consumption increased at times and in places where marijuana was made legal for certain groups.

    The increase in drinking was mostly driven by young adults and men, according to University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health policy scientists.

    "Recreational cannabis l...

    Alcohol-Linked Deaths Soared During Pandemic, CDC Says

    Deaths caused by alcohol skyrocketed in the United States between 2019 and 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, according to a just-published government report.

    The alcohol-induced death rate jumped 26% during that period, claiming more than 49,000 lives, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported...

    Alcohol to Blame for 1 in 5 Young Adult Deaths in U.S.

    For anyone who thinks alcoholism isn't a deadly disease, a new government report shows alcohol abuse caused nearly 13% of deaths in American adults under 65 between 2015 and 2019.

    The statistics were even more grim among younger U.S. adults: In people aged 20 to 49, alcohol abuse was the cause of 20% of deaths.

    "States and communities can prevent these premature deaths using eviden...

    Magic Mushroom Hallucinogen May Treat Problem Drinking

    Jon Kostas, a lifelong resident of New York City, started bar-hopping at age 13. At the height of his alcoholism, he was consuming as many as 30 drinks a night.

    Desperate for a way out, Kostas, 32, turned to a new therapy: psilocybin -- the psychedelic compound found in so-cal...

    Veterans Often Reluctant to Admit Struggles With Sleep, Addictions

    A new study of U.S. military veterans reveals they are more comfortable getting help for physical ills than for mental health issues.

    "The majority of participants indicated they would be willing to seek treatment for both physical and mental health problems. However, they reported significantly greater willingness to seek treatment for physical than mental health conditions," said princi...

    8/8 -- Could Quit-Smoking Meds Help You Quit Drinking, Too?

    Pills, patches, gums, nasal sprays and lozenges used to help smokers kick the habit can also help heavy drinkers cut back on alcohol, a new study suggests.

    The finding follows several months spent working with 400 smokers with HIV who were also heavy drinkers.

    Researchers...

    Lonely Childhoods Make Adult Drinking Problems More Likely

    Having friends in childhood may help keep you clean and sober as a young adult, new research suggests.

    Researchers from Arizona State University (ASU) interviewed more than 300 college students who participated in assessments that focused on childhood loneliness, stress levels and drinking behaviors. The results determined there was a link between feelings of loneliness in their pre-adole...

    Drinking Alone in Youth a Big Sign for Future Problems

    Drinking by yourself may have lifelong consequences, especially if the habit begins early in life, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that drinking alone during adolescence and young adulthood greatly increases risk for alcohol use disorder later on and the risk for women is especially worrisome.

    Alcohol abuse causes more than 3 million deaths a year worldwide.

    "Most youn...

    What Drives Doctors to Take Their Own Lives

    Doctor burnout and suicide are a growing concern, a new study finds.

    "We often overlook the physical health of our health care workers, but poor health can lead to difficulty performing tasks at work, which then leads to job stress and mental health issues," said corresponding author Dr. Kristen Kim, a resident in psychiatry at UC San Diego Health.

    About 1 in 15 doctors experience s...

    U.S. Death Rate From Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis Triples Over Two Decades

    Americans may have a collective drinking problem, made worse by the obesity epidemic, new research suggests. The new study found that deaths from alcoholic cirrhosis have more than tripled in 20 years.

    In 1999, alcoholic cirrhosis -- an advanced form of alcohol-related...

    Weekend Binge Drinking: Not as Harmless as You Think

    Many may consider an episode of binge drinking -- defined as 5 or more drinks on one occasion --- as just being harmless fun. But a new study suggests that even moderate drinkers who indulge in binge drinking can suffer lasting consequences.

    Researchers found that among people who typically drank at moderate levels, those who sometimes binged were at increased risk of alcohol-related prob...

    Smoking Rates Drop for Americans Battling Depression, Substance Abuse

    Folks who struggle with depression and substance use disorders often tend to be smokers, but a new study finds that smoking rates among these vulnerable Americans have fallen significantly.

    "This study shows us that at a population-level,...

    AI May Help Spot Relapse Risk in Alcoholics

    Artificial intelligence (AI) may be able to identify alcoholics at risk of relapsing after treatment, researchers say.

    Patients often return to heavy drinking during and after treatment, and may require multiple tries before they can achieve long-term abstinence from

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 19, 2022
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