UK Researchers Say It’s Pre-Bar Warm Up Drinking That Gets Us in Trouble

People who drink more alcohol get drunker. And the drunker people get – the more problems they tend to experience.

That’s what Liverpool University researchers found anyway, after studying a group of young people in Northwest England, and evaluating what factors seemed to influence problematic behaviors.
 
Groundbreaking social science research…
 
OK, actually, although their root conclusions are pretty banal, the study was important in that it helped to reveal the influence on binge drinking of an often overlooked phenomenon – the warm up.
 

Warming Up

Warming up (the act of drinking at someone’s home prior to hitting the clubs – often to save money) tends to get people into trouble.

The researchers found that people who warmed up prior to a night on the town were 250% more likely to have been in a drunken fight in the last year and 400% more likely to consume more than 20 units of alcohol on a regular evening out.
 
Warmer uppers were also more likely to experience sexual assault, pass out and lose the ability to walk through extreme drunkenness.
 
Research now shows that drinking before going out drinking is not necessarily a good idea! The researchers say that when governments look at curbing alcohol related problems, they may want to target "pre-drinking" behavior, as an effective way to reduce the societal harms of binge drinking.
 
And if YOU are going out this weekend, and aren’t looking to get into a fight or get "legless" – skip the warm-up and (feels very odd to be writing this) head straight to the bar.
 
Read the study in the January 2008 edition of the journal Addiction

 

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People who drink more alcohol get drunker. And the drunker people get – the more problems they tend to experience.

That’s what Liverpool University researchers found anyway, after studying a group of young people in Northwest England, and evaluating what factors seemed to influence problematic behaviors.
 
Groundbreaking social science research…
 
OK, actually, although their root conclusions are pretty banal, the study was important in that it helped to reveal the influence on binge drinking of an often overlooked phenomenon – the warm up.
 

Warming Up

Warming up (the act of drinking at someone’s home prior to hitting the clubs – often to save money) tends to get people into trouble.

The researchers found that people who warmed up prior to a night on the town were 250% more likely to have been in a drunken fight in the last year and 400% more likely to consume more than 20 units of alcohol on a regular evening out.
 
Warmer uppers were also more likely to experience sexual assault, pass out and lose the ability to walk through extreme drunkenness.
 
Research now shows that drinking before going out drinking is not necessarily a good idea! The researchers say that when governments look at curbing alcohol related problems, they may want to target "pre-drinking" behavior, as an effective way to reduce the societal harms of binge drinking.
 
And if YOU are going out this weekend, and aren’t looking to get into a fight or get "legless" – skip the warm-up and (feels very odd to be writing this) head straight to the bar.
 
Read the study in the January 2008 edition of the journal Addiction

 

In The War on Drugs – Are We Trying to Kill Drug Users?

Prison is not a particularly safe place to live. For newly freed inmates however, the streets are even more dangerous.

Australian researchers examined the mortality rate of newly released prisoners, looking at the risk of death during the first two weeks after release. They call it carnage. Newly released men are 29 times more likely that the general population to die during that first 2 weeks – women are 69 times more likely to die – 69 times more likely.

What’s killing them?

Drug overdoses mostly. It seems as though prison isn’t doing much to break long dormant opiate habits, and the newly released addicted are soon back to their old ways – minus any real tolerance for the drugs. They are shooting heroin, and what used to be a manageable dose is now a fatal dose, and that’s the end of that story. We think that a death sentence for non violent drug crimes is unreasonable – but what we give, when we sentence heroin addicts to prison – is pretty close to capital punishment anyway.

Read more about it in the February 2008 edition of the journal, "Addiction".

Prison is not a particularly safe place to live. For newly freed inmates however, the streets are even more dangerous.

Australian researchers examined the mortality rate of newly released prisoners, looking at the risk of death during the first two weeks after release. They call it carnage. Newly released men are 29 times more likely that the general population to die during that first 2 weeks – women are 69 times more likely to die – 69 times more likely.

What’s killing them?

Drug overdoses mostly. It seems as though prison isn’t doing much to break long dormant opiate habits, and the newly released addicted are soon back to their old ways – minus any real tolerance for the drugs. They are shooting heroin, and what used to be a manageable dose is now a fatal dose, and that’s the end of that story. We think that a death sentence for non violent drug crimes is unreasonable – but what we give, when we sentence heroin addicts to prison – is pretty close to capital punishment anyway.

Read more about it in the February 2008 edition of the journal, "Addiction".

Meth Addiction – Saving Kids by Saving Moms

In Utah, 58% percent of women who sought out drug treatment had children living with them at home.

Women of childbearing age are the biggest users of meth, and they don’t fit in well with our stereotypical perception of the typical meth addict. Moms are on meth, and unless we reduce the scale of this meth epidemic, the repercussions in a generation to come, when these meth-mom raised kids grow up, will be tragic.

Getting mothers into treatment saves everyone money. The cost to jail a meth using woman in Utah is $25 700 and if that woman has kids that need to be placed into foster care, the cost increases by $33 000, per year, per child.

In contrast, the cost to treat a meth using mom is $3500 per year, and in most cases, kids can safely remain in the home with their moms. Treatment beats incarceration hands down. It benefits society, it helps women beat terrible addictions, and it saves kids from an institutional upbringing.

Getting a meth using women into treatment is always the right thing to do.

Wondering if a woman you know is struggling with meth?

Be concerned if you witness symptoms of meth abuse, such as:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Irritability
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Mood changes (includes hostility, abusive behavior, depression)
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Poor judgment

Or take the warning signs quiz on meth addiction, at End Meth Now

In Utah, 58% percent of women who sought out drug treatment had children living with them at home.

Women of childbearing age are the biggest users of meth, and they don’t fit in well with our stereotypical perception of the typical meth addict. Moms are on meth, and unless we reduce the scale of this meth epidemic, the repercussions in a generation to come, when these meth-mom raised kids grow up, will be tragic.

Getting mothers into treatment saves everyone money. The cost to jail a meth using woman in Utah is $25 700 and if that woman has kids that need to be placed into foster care, the cost increases by $33 000, per year, per child.

In contrast, the cost to treat a meth using mom is $3500 per year, and in most cases, kids can safely remain in the home with their moms. Treatment beats incarceration hands down. It benefits society, it helps women beat terrible addictions, and it saves kids from an institutional upbringing.

Getting a meth using women into treatment is always the right thing to do.

Wondering if a woman you know is struggling with meth?

Be concerned if you witness symptoms of meth abuse, such as:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Irritability
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Mood changes (includes hostility, abusive behavior, depression)
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Poor judgment

Or take the warning signs quiz on meth addiction, at End Meth Now

Can Heavy Drinking Turn You Gay?

A lot of people do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do while drunk – and more than a few marriages have ended over the indiscretions of a drunken spouse. There is something magically horrible in alcohol, which makes us feel increased sexual desire, while losing the ordinary good sense to just go home at the end of the night.

But if you’re wondering why alcohol makes you so weak – take some solace from the humble fruit fly – alcohol intoxication can actually turn him gay.

It’s true, researchers have known that acute alcohol intoxication decreases sexual inhibition in fruit flies, but it turns out that when given repeated doses of alcohol, over a matter of days (designed to replicate the experience of alcohol abuse or alcoholism) male fruit flies, who are normally quite macho, will seek out other males for copulation.

The researchers say that fruit flies are a fairly accurate model for the neurobiological effects of alcohol on mammals, like humans, and research using them can help to explain human alcohol affected sexual behavior.

A lot of people do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do while drunk – and more than a few marriages have ended over the indiscretions of a drunken spouse. There is something magically horrible in alcohol, which makes us feel increased sexual desire, while losing the ordinary good sense to just go home at the end of the night.

But if you’re wondering why alcohol makes you so weak – take some solace from the humble fruit fly – alcohol intoxication can actually turn him gay.

It’s true, researchers have known that acute alcohol intoxication decreases sexual inhibition in fruit flies, but it turns out that when given repeated doses of alcohol, over a matter of days (designed to replicate the experience of alcohol abuse or alcoholism) male fruit flies, who are normally quite macho, will seek out other males for copulation.

The researchers say that fruit flies are a fairly accurate model for the neurobiological effects of alcohol on mammals, like humans, and research using them can help to explain human alcohol affected sexual behavior.

Commit a Crime – Win Free Drug Treatment!

Yay Drug Courts! It’s hard to find anyone these days with much of anything bad to say about drug courts. These alternative sentencing vehicles are saving tax payers a huge amount of money, they are freeing up space in overcrowded jails, they are helping people in need beat terrible addictions, reuniting families and the recidivism rates for drug court graduates are far lower than for offenders processed through the traditional court system. Yay! Seriously, they work, and they save everyone money, and it’s great news that drug courts are now in operation in all 50 states, with a total of 2000 in operation or in the works. But They have created a rather strange set of circumstances.

  • If you are poor, addicted to drugs and alcohol and really want some help to get better – but are not a criminal – you are out of luck.
  • If you are poor, addicted to drugs or alcohol, don’t care if you get help or not, and commit crimes – then you get free drug treatment.

It’s an absurdity, and I have spoken with a few people over the last months who find themselves in this frustrating predicament. It seems to them, that the only way they are going to be able to get drug treatment, is by being arrested for a crime. Not ideal Drug courts aren’t going away, nor should they. They work better than the traditional court system, they are more humane and they treat the root cause of such a lot of the criminal behavior in this country today. But why should we wait to provide funding for people only after they commit crimes? Why not give them a leg up before it gets to that stage? Let’s keep the drug courts, but expand the programming so that anyone in need can have access to the same sorts of treatment programs. Maybe that will cut down on the eventual need for courts and drug courts alike, while saving a great deal of tax-payer money on everything from law-enforcement to welfare to health care. Besides, it’s the right thing to do – and it’s only fair.

Yay Drug Courts! It’s hard to find anyone these days with much of anything bad to say about drug courts. These alternative sentencing vehicles are saving tax payers a huge amount of money, they are freeing up space in overcrowded jails, they are helping people in need beat terrible addictions, reuniting families and the recidivism rates for drug court graduates are far lower than for offenders processed through the traditional court system. Yay! Seriously, they work, and they save everyone money, and it’s great news that drug courts are now in operation in all 50 states, with a total of 2000 in operation or in the works. But They have created a rather strange set of circumstances.

  • If you are poor, addicted to drugs and alcohol and really want some help to get better – but are not a criminal – you are out of luck.
  • If you are poor, addicted to drugs or alcohol, don’t care if you get help or not, and commit crimes – then you get free drug treatment.

It’s an absurdity, and I have spoken with a few people over the last months who find themselves in this frustrating predicament. It seems to them, that the only way they are going to be able to get drug treatment, is by being arrested for a crime. Not ideal Drug courts aren’t going away, nor should they. They work better than the traditional court system, they are more humane and they treat the root cause of such a lot of the criminal behavior in this country today. But why should we wait to provide funding for people only after they commit crimes? Why not give them a leg up before it gets to that stage? Let’s keep the drug courts, but expand the programming so that anyone in need can have access to the same sorts of treatment programs. Maybe that will cut down on the eventual need for courts and drug courts alike, while saving a great deal of tax-payer money on everything from law-enforcement to welfare to health care. Besides, it’s the right thing to do – and it’s only fair.

Which Drug is Most Addictive? A List Ranking the Addictive Properties of Commonly Abused Drugs

Surfed across this today, and thought I would pass it along. It is a list ranking the addictive properties of various drugs. Drugs are ranked based on "how easy is it to get addicted?" and on "how tough is it to quit?"

These two questions were given to a community of addiction experts, who ranked each drug on a variety of measures. The scores below reflect the ranking scores offered by these addiction experts. The numbers are only relative opinions, and are based only on the experience and expertise of experts in the field. In other words – these are just opinion scores, but interesting none the less.

The Addiction Scores of Illicit or Abused Drugs

  • 100 – Nicotine
  • 99 – Ice, Glass (Methamphetamine smoked)
  • 98 – Crack
  • 93 – Crystal Meth (Methamphetamine injected)
  • 85 – Valium (Diazepam)
  • 83 – Quaalude (Methaqualone)
  • 82 – Seconal (Secobarbital)
  • 81 – Alcohol
  • 80 – Heroin
  • 78 – Crank (Amphetamine taken nasally)
  • 72 – Cocaine
  • 68 – Caffeine
  • 57 – PCP (Phencyclidine)
  • 21 – Marijuana
  • 20 – Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • 18 – Psilocybin Mushrooms
  • 18 – LSD
  • 18 – Mescaline

Research was conducted by John Hastings, and the full text article can be found at "In Health" journal.

Surfed across this today, and thought I would pass it along. It is a list ranking the addictive properties of various drugs. Drugs are ranked based on "how easy is it to get addicted?" and on "how tough is it to quit?"

These two questions were given to a community of addiction experts, who ranked each drug on a variety of measures. The scores below reflect the ranking scores offered by these addiction experts. The numbers are only relative opinions, and are based only on the experience and expertise of experts in the field. In other words – these are just opinion scores, but interesting none the less.

The Addiction Scores of Illicit or Abused Drugs

  • 100 – Nicotine
  • 99 – Ice, Glass (Methamphetamine smoked)
  • 98 – Crack
  • 93 – Crystal Meth (Methamphetamine injected)
  • 85 – Valium (Diazepam)
  • 83 – Quaalude (Methaqualone)
  • 82 – Seconal (Secobarbital)
  • 81 – Alcohol
  • 80 – Heroin
  • 78 – Crank (Amphetamine taken nasally)
  • 72 – Cocaine
  • 68 – Caffeine
  • 57 – PCP (Phencyclidine)
  • 21 – Marijuana
  • 20 – Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • 18 – Psilocybin Mushrooms
  • 18 – LSD
  • 18 – Mescaline

Research was conducted by John Hastings, and the full text article can be found at "In Health" journal.

Wet Brain. Why Do We Add Vitamins to Bread, But Not Beer?

Nobody walks away from years of heavy drinking unscathed, it always takes its toll; but for some heavy drinkers, a multi decade party ends in tragedy, with Wernickes-Korsakoffs Syndrome…wet brain.

Wet Brain

Wet brain is a tragic and often fatal syndrome of brain damage caused by years of vitamin B1 deficiency. Most people get all the vitamin B1 they need through a normal diet. Alcoholics, who may eat poorly or have damaged and ill functioning gastro intestinal systems, often do not. And the syndrome is pretty sad, with symptoms of confusion, language deficits, an ill ability to concentrate and social withdrawal just a few of many – and it can and does kill tens of thousands of Americans each year.

A simple vitamin deficiency!

So anyway, I was talking with my mom about wet brain, and she asked me why they didn’t just fortify beer with vitamin B1. And I had no idea. Why didn’t they? There must be some reason though right? It just seems too obvious a solution to such tragedy.

So anyway, a quick peek online confirmed a couple of things. Firstly, that my mom is a pretty smart cookie, and secondly that the AMA has been recommending just such a fortification, and studies have shown that it would work. An Australian study, where researchers actually did fortify beer showed that alcoholics drinking this B1 beer showed cognitive improvements, couldn’t taste the difference, and that the vitamins could be added to beer for about 20 cents per 6000 bottles!

Currently, brewers cannot legally add vitamins to beer, and some have argued that by offering vitamin enriched alcohol, some people might assume that drinking was less dangerous than it is. But hey, legislation is changeable, especially when it makes sense – when it saves lives, and I don’t think adding vitamin fortification to the small print on a case of beer is gonna’ be convincing anyone to drink more than they do now.

But there has got to be something else, right? I mean it can’t be this easy can it…

So for now, if you drink too much, make sure you take a B12 supplement, it could save your life – and maybe one day, one day soon, that just won’t be necessary, and you’ll get all you need in a few "well balanced" beers a day.

Nobody walks away from years of heavy drinking unscathed, it always takes its toll; but for some heavy drinkers, a multi decade party ends in tragedy, with Wernickes-Korsakoffs Syndrome…wet brain.

Wet Brain

Wet brain is a tragic and often fatal syndrome of brain damage caused by years of vitamin B1 deficiency. Most people get all the vitamin B1 they need through a normal diet. Alcoholics, who may eat poorly or have damaged and ill functioning gastro intestinal systems, often do not. And the syndrome is pretty sad, with symptoms of confusion, language deficits, an ill ability to concentrate and social withdrawal just a few of many – and it can and does kill tens of thousands of Americans each year.

A simple vitamin deficiency!

So anyway, I was talking with my mom about wet brain, and she asked me why they didn’t just fortify beer with vitamin B1. And I had no idea. Why didn’t they? There must be some reason though right? It just seems too obvious a solution to such tragedy.

So anyway, a quick peek online confirmed a couple of things. Firstly, that my mom is a pretty smart cookie, and secondly that the AMA has been recommending just such a fortification, and studies have shown that it would work. An Australian study, where researchers actually did fortify beer showed that alcoholics drinking this B1 beer showed cognitive improvements, couldn’t taste the difference, and that the vitamins could be added to beer for about 20 cents per 6000 bottles!

Currently, brewers cannot legally add vitamins to beer, and some have argued that by offering vitamin enriched alcohol, some people might assume that drinking was less dangerous than it is. But hey, legislation is changeable, especially when it makes sense – when it saves lives, and I don’t think adding vitamin fortification to the small print on a case of beer is gonna’ be convincing anyone to drink more than they do now.

But there has got to be something else, right? I mean it can’t be this easy can it…

So for now, if you drink too much, make sure you take a B12 supplement, it could save your life – and maybe one day, one day soon, that just won’t be necessary, and you’ll get all you need in a few "well balanced" beers a day.