Does smoking impact alcohol abuse treatment?

People who smoke are less likely to continue with alcohol treatment programs than non-smokers, according to findings by the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA). The findings of the RIA study, published in journal Substance Use and Misuse, showed that non-smokers gained better treatment outcomes than smokers who were also addicted to alcohol. Read more

Beware, alcohol is playing havoc with your skin

Acne is the most common skin disease in the United States affecting 85% of teenagers and 40-50 million people in the United States, according to American Academy of Dermatology.  While there is very little evidence to directly link alcohol with acne, some studies say that the effects of alcohol on hormone levels may be a major factor in acne development. Alcohol dehydrates the skin both internally and externally, thus accelerating the ageing process. The depletion of anti-oxidants makes the skin prone to darkening (hyperpigmentation), dark circles, coarse texture, and development of wrinkles. A prolonged use of alcohol causes detrimental effects on the skin which are far graver and chronic. Read more

College drinking dangers: The 21st birthday binge

A college student’s 21st birthday is a major milestone representing a step further into adulthood, but for many students this day can turn into a disaster. When people turn 21, they gain the legal right to purchase alcohol in the United States and many students take advantage of this right by going on an alcohol binge. A growing trend on campus life is the drinking game “21 for 21,” in which the birthday celebrant attempts to drink 21 alcoholic beverages in one sitting. Binge drinking on this scale can be extremely hazardous for a person’s health, especially those with little to no experience drinking alcohol. Before young people go out drinking on their 21st birthday, they should be aware of the risks. Read more

Study reveals how alcoholism causes muscle weakness

Chronic drinking can have terrible effects on a person’s health. Many consequences of alcoholism are well known, such as liver and cardiovascular damage. However, one recent study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) has discovered that excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the body’s ability to repair its own muscles, causing muscle weakness and degeneration over time. These findings shed new light on the harm that alcoholism can inflict as well as provide information for the development of new treatments.

Read more

Consequences of underage drinking: Drunk driving

Underage drinking is a national health concern and can have a wide range of consequences for teens that could affect the rest of their lives. Unquestionably the most dangerous risk involved in teen drinking is drunk driving. Car crashes are the number-one killer of teens in the United States and teens are more than three times more likely to die in an alcohol-related car crash than older adults (Only the Strong Survive, “Teen Driving Crash and Fatality Stats”). Read more

Alcoholism is on the rise in America

Alcoholism is one of the most common substance disorders in the United States, with nearly one-third of the population experiencing a drinking disorder at some point in their lives. A new study by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has found that the number of people with drinking problems has risen dramatically over a period of ten years. These findings reveal troubling new insights into the epidemic of alcohol abuse throughout the nation. Read more

A single episode of binge drinking can cause health defects

Binge drinking is a session of heavy alcohol consumption with the intention of getting drunk. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines it as consuming enough alcohol over the course of two hours to raise the drinker’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08g/dL. The health problems caused by chronic binge drinking have long been known to doctors, but a recent study conducted by the NIAAA has shown that even a single instance of binge drinking can damage a person’s health. This research sheds new light onto the dangers of alcohol consumption. Read more

New medications being studied for alcoholism

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has begun clinical trials on gabapentin enacarbil, a medication it believes will help curb moderate to severe alcoholism. Gabapentin is already approved by the government to treat restless leg syndrome as well as pain associated with shingles. It is hoped that the drug’s uses can be expanded to provide an additional avenue of recovery for people suffering from alcohol use disorder. Read more

The effects of alcohol on an unborn child

The arrival of a new baby can be one of the happiest experiences in a mother’s life, but that joy can turn to tragedy if the mother has been drinking. Alcohol in a pregnant mother’s bloodstream can have serious health consequences for the fetus that can last for the rest of the child’s life. This is known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). It is vitally important for pregnant women to understand the risks before they consider taking a single sip of alcohol. Read more

Getting Schooled – How alcohol hurts education

School can be an exciting and interesting time for many students. Drinking alcohol can provide a fun outlet during parties and kickbacks. That said, mixing the two activities spells disaster for those getting schooled by both demanding curriculums and busy social schedules. Learning how alcohol impacts a young person’s mental and physical health is critical for using this substance in moderation while still excelling in academics.

Dr. Ginny Schwartz, former coordinator of academic support at St. Lawrence University, cautions college students about drinking excessively at night and then heading to class the day.

“Heavy drinking by students can lead to positive blood alcohol levels the next day, affecting whether or not they even get up for class and, if they do, the quality of how information is processed and ultimately stored,” Dr. Schwartz notes on the university’s academic support webpage.

Hangovers can lead to irritability and anxiety as well, according to Dr. Schwartz.

High school students are also affected by alcohol consumption. A study by Ana Balsa, a research professor from the Center for Applied Research on Poverty, Family and Education in Uruguay, found a noticeable impact on the GPA of high school males compared to their chronically sober classmates. Females, while they did not have the same GPA discrepancy, still face difficulties in academic settings. Balsa and her cohorts found the self-reporting of these grades led to bias, as the females inflated their grades in reporting while the males deflated their own.

They used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and GPAs taken from official school records and self-reporting to find their results.

Balsa is far from the only researcher to take a notice of this subject.  The Center for Disease Control has broken down the grades of students who have or had used alcohol to various degrees. Those with D’s or F’s comprised the demographic most likely to have ever drank, currently drink or even binge drink. The most striking discrepancy presented between those who drank for the first time before the age of 13 and those who have not. D’s and F’s occurred for 41 percent of those young drinking cases, while only 14 percent of high achieving students did the same.

Taking those drinking habits into the college scene and beyond has led to violent and deadly consequences. The Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) has found drug and alcohol abuse to be the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 24. Almost just as alarming is 95 percent of all violence on college campuses relates to alcohol in some way.

The FIT staff theorize drinking in college is a byproduct of peer pressure, escapism and desires to feel more socially open with others. While alcohol can be great in small doses as a “social lubricant,” some drinkers can struggle to stop when appropriate or use the alcohol as crutch instead of developing social skills in a healthy, lasting way.

These goals likely shouldn’t obscure the ultimate goal of college: education and preparing for the rest of a life in love and learning. If drinking every day, feeling guilty and intense defensiveness when confronted with the alcohol use sound like familiar parts of life, it is likely the goals of education, social life and other pursuits are falling to the wayside. At this point, it is time to seek help for this potentially deadly problem.

Having difficulty balancing alcohol with other parts of life is one of the signs of alcohol addiction. Dealing with this monstrous disease can be difficult to do alone. This is why the Texas Alcohol Addiction Helpline is a great resource for people striving to enter recovery. Call us at 855-982-2401 today to find an addiction treatment specialist ready to help.