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Women Lead Upswing in U.S. Binge Drinking

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Binge drinking is on the rise among Americans, especially among women, with rates doubling among childless females in their early 30s, a new study finds.

"Mommy drinking" is also up, say researchers.

"Although heavy drinking has either decreased or stabilized for most groups, binge drinking is still common and is becoming even m...

Life Expectancy Shrinks for America's Working-Age Adults

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despair, as evidenced in rising rates of drug abuse and suicide, may be eroding the average life expectancy of Americans, a new study finds.

Deaths among working-age adults, especially, have been increasing in the United States for decades, particularly in economically struggling parts of the nation such as the "Rust Belt" and Appalachia, the...

Gunshot Survivors May Struggle With Emotional Aftermath for Years

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Even years after a gunshot wound heals, shooting survivors may be at greater risk of alcohol abuse, drug abuse and unemployment, new research finds.

The study of more than 180 gunshot victims also found that nearly half appeared to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) years after the incident.

"The effects of gunshot injurie...

What Kind of Drinking Can Trigger A-Fib?

FRIDAY, Oct. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Frequent drinking is more likely than binge drinking to increase your risk of the most common heart rhythm disorder, a new study finds.

Atrial fibrillation (a-fib) increases the risk of stroke by fivefold. Symptoms include racing or irregular pulse, palpitations, shortness of breath, tiredness, chest pain and dizziness.

For the new ...

Booze Taxes Don't Make Up for Societal Costs of Excess Drinking: Study

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol taxes do little to reduce the burden on American taxpayers for the harmful impacts of heavy drinking, a new study finds.

The cost of harm caused by excessive drinking in the United States is just over $2 per drink, with about 80 cents of that shouldered by government. But state and federal alcohol taxes bring in an average of about...

Jumps in Pot Use, Depression and Drinking Threaten Gains Against Smoking

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pot. Alcohol. Depression.

This trio of factors is on the increase in former smokers and ups the risk of relapse, undermining decades of gains made in the effort to help Americans kick the habit, a new study suggests.

"Because previous research has demonstrated that these factors put former smokers at greater risk of relapsing with...

Why ADHD Might Raise the Risk of Early Death

TUESDAY, Aug. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Swedish researchers think they have honed in on why people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to die prematurely.

Accidental injuries, suicide and substance abuse all play a part, and psychiatric problems fuel these factors, a new study from the Karolinska Institute suggests.

To arrive at that concl...

Many Young Americans Regret Online Posts Made While High

TUESDAY, Aug. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In a new study, more than a third of young people surveyed said they'd posted on social media while under the influence of drugs, while more than half had called someone or sent a text.

But in the cold light of day, one in five said they regretted a social media post made while high, the study found. About a third of those who called or tex...

It's Not Just College Kids: Many Seniors Are Binge Drinking, Too

WEDNESDAY, July 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Binge drinking is often associated with young adults, but according to a new study, more than 10% of people over 65 do it, too.

Among seniors, binges are most common in men and those who use cannabis, researchers found. Experts said the trend is troubling, because older people should actually be cutting back on alcohol.

"Many...

Why Do Some People Drink Until They Black Out? Twitter Offers Clues

FRIDAY, July 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Blackout drinking is never a wise idea, but new research pinpoints why people sometimes imbibe to the point where they pass out.

Celebrations and coping with stress are the top reasons for blackout drinking, the study found.

Drinking too much too fast can cause a blackout, where a person remains conscious but later can't remember wha...

Too Much Smartphone Time May Invite Host of Health Woes

TUESDAY, July 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- With most people never far from their cellphones, new research on college students finds that "problematic" use is tied to a variety of mental health problems, as well as lower grades and more sexual partners.

The study, which surveyed more than 3,400 students in the United States, also found that alcohol misuse was markedly higher in those w...

Alcoholism Harms 53 Million Americans Who Don't Have a Drinking Problem

TUESDAY, July 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People who drink alcohol don't only put themselves at risk, they're also endangering family and friends.

A new study finds the effects of "secondhand" alcohol harms are widespread, with nearly 1 in 5 Americans -- 53 million people -- reporting having been harmed by someone else's drinking during the past year.

Those harms include threa...

Marijuana Use by U.S. Teens Has Jumped 10-fold Since 1990s

THURSDAY, June 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As society relaxes its rules around marijuana, U.S. teens seem to be responding by using the drug in much bigger numbers than a generation ago, new research shows.

The study looked at 1991-2017 U.S. federal health data on more than 200,000 high school students. It found that the number who said they'd used pot at least once over the past mon...

Rates of Drug-, Alcohol-Linked Death Triple After Weight-Loss Surgery

THURSDAY, June 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new study offers some sobering news about weight-loss surgery.

People who undergo a gastric bypass procedure called Roux-en-Y are three times more likely than those in the general population to die of drug- or alcohol-related causes, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh.

The reason isn't clear, but laboratory ...

Drug ODs, Suicides Soaring Among Millennials: Report

THURSDAY, June 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- So-called "deaths of despair" are skyrocketing among millennials, with thousands of 18- to 34-year-olds losing their lives to drugs, alcohol and suicide each year, a new report says.

During the past decade, drug-related deaths among that age group increased by 108%, alcohol-induced deaths by 69%, and suicides by 35%, according to t...

Opioid Misuse, Binge Drinking Often Go Hand in Hand

TUESDAY, June 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Of the more than 4 million Americans who misuse prescription opioids, more than half also binge drink, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Put another way, people who binge drink are two times more likely to misuse opioids than non-drinkers, the agency reveals in a new study.

"We are losing far too man...

Financial Disaster May Prompt Self-Destructive Behavior

FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If England's 2008 financial crisis was any indication, self-harm often follows economic ruin.

Researchers examined self-poisoning (which largely means drug overdoses) and self-injury events in three British cities and found that one-quarter of all self-harm emergency department visits were made by men and women aged 40 to 59.

Risk of...

Less Pain, More Car Crashes: Legalized Marijuana a Mixed Bag

THURSDAY, May 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If Colorado is any indication, the legalization of marijuana does not come without health hazards.

New research shows that while it led to a decline in hospitalizations for chronic pain, there were increases in traffic crashes, alcohol abuse and drug overdoses in the state. However, there was no significant increase in overall hospital admiss...

More Than 600,000 Opioid Abusers Raising Kids in U.S.

TUESDAY, May 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- They might be too young to abuse opioids themselves, but America's kids are suffering nonetheless because of their drug-dependent parents.

New research shows more than 600,000 American parents with kids under 18 are addicted to opioids.

That amounts to almost 1% of parents of minors, most of whom aren't getting treated, the study...

Drinking and Your Health: A Reality Check

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The Mediterranean diet consistently tops the list of food plans that convey health benefits, and one reason many people like it is that it allows moderate amounts of red wine. But there's no definitive proof that wine or any form of alcohol should be on everyone's menu.

And an analysis of many observational studies done on drinking and publis...

'Exposure Therapy' May Work Best for PTSD Plus Drinking Problems

FRIDAY, April 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) combined with a drinking problem, the type of psychotherapy prescribed can make a difference in recovery rates, a new study finds.

So-called prolonged exposure therapy is more effective than coping skills therapy in helping these patients, according to researchers at the VA San Diego Hea...

1 in 9 U.S. Women Drink During Pregnancy, and Numbers Are Rising

THURSDAY, April 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Even though the harms to babies are well known, one in nine pregnant women in the United States drinks alcohol, new research shows.

In one-third of those cases, frequent binge drinking is also often involved.

What's more, the rate of drinking during pregnancy is actually on the rise, with a slight uptick in the rate over the past ...

Many 'Gen Xers'  Desolate as They Navigate Adulthood: Study

MONDAY, April 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despair runs rampant through Generation X as these Americans struggle through middle age, a new study reports.

So-called indicators of despair -- depression, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse -- are rising among those in their late 30s and early 40s, and it's occurring across-the-board, researchers say.

"These are getting worse as peo...

Do American Adults Drink Too Much? Study Says Yes

WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged Americans are hitting the sauce too hard and too often, a new poll shows.

It found that 33% of adults aged 35 to 44 who have at least one drink in a typical week agreed with one or more statements that would prompt an addiction specialist to consider treatment, according to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

...

Even a Drink a Day Might Raise Your Blood Pressure

THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Prior studies have suggested that a little drinking might help the heart. But rigorous new research suggests the opposite, finding that even a drink or two per day is tied to rising blood pressure.

"I think this will be a turning point for clinical practice, as well as for future research, education and public health policy regarding alcohol...

U.S. Deaths From Suicide, Substance Abuse Reach Record High

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicide in the United States hit an all-time high in 2017 -- more than 150,000 in all.

That number was more than double 1999 levels, according to a chilling new analysis of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by the Trust for America's Health and Well Being Trust, two health policy organizations...

How Heavy Drinking Might Boost Your Appetite for Alcohol

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Binge and heavy drinking may trigger DNA changes that make your booze cravings worse, a new study says.

"We found that people who drink heavily may be changing their DNA in a way that makes them crave alcohol even more," said senior study author Dipak Sarkar. He directs the endocrine program in the School of Environmental and Biological Scienc...

For Preventing Hangover, Wine First or Beer First?

THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In drinking lore, it's said that having beer before wine, instead of the other way around, can help prevent a hangover. Well, it's not true, a new study finds.

You'll suffer the next day if you drink too much, regardless of how you sequence your drinks, according to researchers at Witten/Herdecke University in Germany and the University of Ca...

Teens' Odds for Suicide May Triple While in Jail: Study

THURSDAY, Jan. 24 , 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Young people jailed in adult prisons, often while awaiting trial or sentencing, are at high risk for suicide, and the prison system is doing little to stop it, a new study warns.

Suicide accounts for roughly 1 death in 5 among American children and young adults. But suicide rates for young people behind bars were two to three times that rat...

As You Age, Alcohol May Be Harder to Handle

FRIDAY, Jan. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Seniors may be more vulnerable to alcoholism, a psychologist warns.

"As we age, it takes longer for the body to break down alcohol. It stays in the system longer. Tolerance also decreases. Excessive drinking can compromise your immune system and can lead to some forms of cancer," said Brad Lander, an addiction medicine specialist at Ohio State ...

Will Cutting Out Booze for 'Dry January' Help Your Health?

THURSDAY, Jan. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- "Dry January" is the self-improvement meme of the moment, with people around the world pledging to take a break from alcohol this month.

"Basically, it's a New Year's resolution," said Dr. Scott Krakower, assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital, in Glen Oaks, N.Y. "You've been drinking during the holidays, and the idea ...

Could a Little Drinking Help Those With Heart Failure?

FRIDAY, Dec. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that an occasional drink won't harm, and might even help seniors with heart failure.

Heart failure patients who drank in moderation -- a drink a day for women, two for men -- had an average survival that was a year longer than nondrinkers, the researchers found.

"My patients who are newly diagnosed with heart fai...

Binge Drinkers' Social Media Posts Can Haunt Them

FRIDAY, Dec. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The hangover is bad enough. But for binge-drinking young people, embarrassing social media posts can be another headache.

College students often show signs of social media "addiction" and can suffer significant consequences, according to the authors of a new study.

"During these times when young students are feeling disinhibited by ...

Parents, Think Before You Drink This Holiday

MONDAY, Dec. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- One in 4 American parents who drink over the holidays don't think about whether they'll be able to take care of their children the day after, a new survey shows.

"Most parents planning to drink alcoholic beverages on a night out arrange for a designated driver and child care for the event itself," said survey co-dir...

Cost of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: $23,000 Annually Per Case

TUESDAY, Dec. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- About 630,000 babies worldwide are born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) each year. They'll need care averaging $23,000 annually, new research suggests.

These children face a range of lifelong problems caused by alcohol exposure during pregnancy, according to the research review.

"People with FASD often require lifelong an...

Fewer Pregnant U.S. Women Smoke or Drink, But More Are Using Pot

MONDAY, Nov. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Over the past two decades, the percentage of U.S. women who say they've smoked or drank during a pregnancy has fallen, but the percentage who say they've used marijuana has nearly doubled, a new report finds.

Between 2002 and 2016, the percentage of pregnant women ages 18 to 44 who said they used pot rose from 2.85 percent to nearly 5 percent, ...

Firsthand 9/11 Exposure Fueling Alcohol- and Drug-Related Deaths: Study

MONDAY, Oct. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People directly exposed to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks appear at increased risk of drug- and alcohol-related death, a new study finds.

"Following a major disaster, alcohol- and drug-related mortality may be increased," said Dr. Jim Cone and colleagues of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

For the ...

Genes May Control How Tough It Is to Stop Drinking

TUESDAY, Sept. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- When they give up booze, some alcoholics have more severe withdrawal symptoms than others. This discrepancy may come down to genetics, researchers say.

The Yale University team hopes its findings ultimately lead to treatments that ease the discomfort of "detox."

Heavy drinkers can develop shakes, nausea, headaches, anxiety and chan...

1 in 6 Americans Over 40 Has Been Knocked Unconscious: Study

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Brain injury research typically focuses on football players and military veterans, but a new study suggests head injuries are far more widespread than estimated.

About 1 in every 6 U.S. adults -- roughly 23 million people aged 40 or older -- have been knocked out by a head injury, researchers report.

"Those numbers are huge," sai...

Smoking, Drinking a Double Whammy for Teens' Arteries: Study

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who drink or smoke already have stiffening arteries, and the risk is highest for those who are both heavy smokers and heavy drinkers, a new study reports.

Arterial stiffening is a sign of blood vessel damage that increases the chances for heart attack and stroke later in life. The good news is that teens can reverse this damage if the...

Alcohol Helps Kill 2.8 Million People Globally Each Year

THURSDAY, Aug. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol contributes to 2.8 million deaths a year worldwide, and there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, researchers say.

The new analysis of hundreds of studies conducted between 1990 and 2016 found that one in three people worldwide (2.4 billion people) drink alcohol, and that 6.8 percent of men and 2.2 pe...

For Pennies a Drink, Higher Taxes Would Help Counter Alcohol's Toll: Study

THURSDAY, Aug. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- As a tool to reduce the public health toll of drinking, higher taxes on alcohol get the most bang for the buck, a new study finds.

Worldwide, more than 4 percent of diseases and 5 percent of deaths are directly linked with alcohol, previous research suggests.

In this study, researchers looked at data from 16 countries to find out w...

U.S. Deaths From Liver Disease Rising Rapidly

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The Great Recession continues to take a grim toll: Since 2009, a growing number of Americans have died from liver disease and liver cancer.

The increase among 25- to 34-year-olds is especially troubling because the deaths are due to cirrhosis, a disease caused by excessive drinking, the authors of a new study said. The researchers suspect t...

Tab for Young Binge Drinkers May Be Heart Trouble Later

WEDNESDAY, June 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People who party hard in their 20s could wind up paying for it later with a higher risk of heart disease, a new study suggests.

Young adults who binge drink are more likely to have heart risk factors such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and higher blood sugar levels, researchers found.

"They are engaging in a b...

Native American Teens at Higher Risk for Substance Abuse

FRIDAY, June 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Native American teens are at greater risk of alcohol and drug abuse than other American teens, a new study finds.

Still, "we do not want these data to be used to stigmatize American Indian kids," said study author Randall Swaim, director of Colorado State University's Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research.

For the study, Swaim an...

How Much Drinking Is Healthy -- or Not?

TUESDAY, June 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People who have a few drinks a week tend to live a bit longer than teetotalers do -- but even moderate drinking may raise the risk of certain cancers, a large, new study finds.

The research is the latest to look at the question: What level of drinking might be "healthy"?

It's a complicated issue to study, and that's led to some conf...

Binge Drinking: A Hazard for Teen Bones?

THURSDAY, June 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teen girls who regularly toss back four or five alcoholic drinks may be setting themselves up for a lifetime of lower bone density, new research suggests.

The study of college women included some who reported regularly binge drinking during high school and in the first year of college. That means downing four or more alcoholic drinks in a t...

Tough State Drunk Driving Laws Save Lives

TUESDAY, May 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- States that get tough on drunk driving see drops in alcohol-related car crash deaths, new research shows.

About 30 percent of deaths in car crashes occur when one or more drivers has a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher -- the legal definition of driving while impaired in the United States, the investigators explained. An additional...

'Low-Alcohol' Booze Labels May Backfire

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Marketing "light" beer and wine could backfire, increasing the total amount that someone drinks, a new British study warns.

"Labeling lower strength alcohol may sound like a good idea if it encourages people to switch drinks, but our study suggests it may paradoxically encourage people to drink more," senior author Theresa Marteau, of the Unive...

Alcohol, Tobacco Cause More Health Harm Than Illegal Drugs

FRIDAY, May 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- It's smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol -- and not taking illegal drugs -- that pose the greatest risks to people's health, a new international study contends.

Researchers found that alcohol and tobacco use combined cost more than a quarter of a billion disability-adjusted life-years worldwide, while illegal drugs only accounted for tens of m...