ALCOHOL ALERTS

Descriptions and some full text versions of NIAAA publications such as Alcohol Alerts bulletin, The Ninth Special Report to Congress on Alcohol and Health, National Plan for Alcohol Health Services Research, Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the U. S., the quarterly scientific journal Alcohol Health & Research World, Surveillance Reports, Research Monographs, Alcohol Treatment Assessment Instruments, Project MATCH manuals, Pamphlets/Brochures, and many Other Publications.
Alcohol Alert address: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/journals-and-reports

"Alcohol and transportation safety," ALCOHOL ALERT (April, 2001), 52. ("(112 studies) Research has shown that even low blood alcohol concentration (BAC) impairs driving skills and increases crash risk. New information about BAC and impairment has led to policy changes, which have contributed to declines in alcohol-related crashes and fatalities. This Alcohol Alert examines some aspects of alcohol-induced impairment and reviews selected strategies designed to reduce alcohol-related crashes and repeat drinking-and-driving offenses. In the United States, the BAC limit for driving a car in many states is .010 percent. The United States, in fact, is the only industrialized nation to have a BAC limit this high. A large body of creditable research over many years has clearly shown that impairment of tasks necessary for safe driving begins at levels as low as 0.05 percent. At the 0.08 percent BAC level, currently under consideration in many States, individuals are significantly impaired and at risk for causing harm to themselves and others. To date, 27 States have lowered the legal BAC limit of 0.08 percent. In many of the States that sill maintain the higher 0.10 percent BAC, debates about lowering it often have had little to do with scientific soundness--focusing, instead, on arguments that lower BAC limits infringe on the public's right to drink socially. This argument has no merit; a 160-pound man generally will have reached only a BAC of approximately 0.04 percent 1 hour after consuming two 12-ounce beers or two other drinks on an empty stomach. Until these debates consider the actual, rather than the perceived, results of lowered BACs, we all run the risk of being injured or killed in automobile crashes due to drivers who are significantly--but not legally--impaired.
Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa52.htm

"Alcohol metabolism, " ALCOHOL ALERT (1997), 35 PH 371. (Explains how alcohol is metabolized by the body and factors affecting this metabolism such as food, gender, medications, body weight, and so on.) Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa35.htm

"Alcohol metabolism: an update", ALCOHOL ALERT (July, 2007), 72.
"Research shows that alcohol use and alcohol-related problems are influenced by individual variations in alcohol metabolism, or the way in which alcohol is broken down and eliminated by the body. Alcohol metabolism is controlled by genetic factors, such as variations in the enzymes that break down alcohol; and environmental factors, such as the amount of alcohol an individual consumes and his or her overall nutrition. Differences in alcohol metabolism may put some people at greater risk for alcohol problems, whereas others may be at least somewhat protected from alcohol's harmful effects.

"This Alcohol Alert describes the basic process involved in the breakdown of alcohol, including how toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism may lead to problems such as alcoholic liver disease, cancer, and pancreatitis. This Alert also describes populations who may be at particular risk for problems resulting from alcohol metabolism as well as people who may be genetically "protected" from these adverse effects. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA72/AA72.htm

"Alcohol-related impairment," ALCOHOL ALERT (1994), 25 PH 351. (Alcohol consumption is associated with a wide range of accidens and injuries resulting for the impaired performance of complex mental and motor functions. The relationship between alcohol and motor vehicle crashes is well known; alcohol also has been implicated in many railroad, boating and aircraft accidents. The subtlety and complexity of the skills required to operate these vehicles make them susceptible to impairment by low does of alcohol. The Alcohol Alert examines the ways in which alcohol impairs complex mental and motor functions and discusses approaches to impairment testing. The discussion in limited to acute impairment that results from an episode of intoxication, rather than the chronic impairment that may develop after years of heavy drinking.")
Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa25.htm

"Alcohol's damaging effects on the brain," ALCOHOL ALERT (2004), 63. This Alcohol Alert reviews some common disorders associated with alcohol-related brain damage and the people at greatest risk for impairment. It looks at traditional as well as emerging therapies for the treatment and prevention of alcohol-related disorders and includes a briefly at the high-tech tools that are helping scientists to better understand the effects of alcohol on the brain.
Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa63/aa63.htm

"Alcohol, violence, and aggression," ALCOHOL ALERT. 38, (October, 1997). Scientists and nonscientists alike have long recognized a two-way association between alcohol consumption and violent or aggressive behavior(1). Not only may alcohol consumption promote aggressiveness, but victimization may lead to excessive alcohol consumption. Violence may be defined as behavior that intentionally inflicts, or attempts to inflict physical harm. Violence falls within the broader category of aggression, which also includes behaviors that re threatening, hostile, or damaging in a nonphysical way (2). This ALCOHOL ALERT explores the association between alcohol consumption, violence, and aggression and the role of the brain in regulating behaviors. Understanding the nature of these associations is essential to breaking the cycle of alcohol misuse and violence.
Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa38.htm

"Alcoholic liver disease," ALCOHOL ALERT (January, 2005), 64 This issue of Alcohol Alert examines the diagnosis and treatment of alcoholic liver disease (ALD), a serious and potentially fatal consequence of drinking alcohol. Another disorder, hepatitis C, also featured here, often is found in patients with ALD. Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa64/aa64.htm

"Cognitive impairment and recovery from alcoholism," ALCOHOL ALERT (July 2001), 53. "Alcohol use over a period of time, even at low levels of drinking, can produce varying degrees of cognitive damage, a problem that is of particular concern because alcohol is so widespread. Thus, the brain's self-repairing ability may help defer or reduce alcohol-induced cognitive problems among a large portion of the population. Second, the brain's ability to rewire itself may have implications in terms of adolescent drinking. Recent evidence suggests that the adolescent brain, which is still forming important cellular connections, is more vulnerable than the adult brain to alcohol-induced damage. The brain's ability to rewire important neurological systems might help mitigate a lifetime of cognitive difficulties resulting from chronic drinking during adolescence, but we do no yet know if this is true.")
Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa53.htm

"A developmental perspective on underage alcohol use," ALCOHOL ALERT (July, 2009), 78. Dramatic developmental changes unfold as individuals mature from birth to childhood, from childhood to adolescence, and from adolescence to early adulthood. These include psychological changes--such as physical growth, brain development, and puberty--as well as psychological and social changes--such as an evolving sense of self, forming more mature relationships with friends, and transitioning from middle school to high school

Developmental changes factor into underage drinking. For example, as a high school student transitions to college, he or she may experience greater freedom and autonomy, creating more opportunities to use alcohol. Underage drinking also can influence development, potentially affecting the course of a person's life. For example, alcohol use can interfere with school performance and/or negatively affect peer relationships.

This "Alcohol Alert" examines the complex relationship between underage drinking and developmental factors influencing drinking, the social and physical consequences of alcohol use, and how various developmental stages can be specifically targeted to design more effective measures for treating underage drinking. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA78/AA78.htm

"Economic perspectives in alcoholism research," ALCOHOL ALERT (January, 2001), 51. (Economic analysis is used to estimate the costs of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. More than 70% of the estimated costs of alcohol abuse for 1998 were attributed to lost productivity ($134.2 billion), including losses from alcohol-related illness (($87.6 billion), premature death ($36.5 billion), and crime ($10.1 billion). The remaining estimated costs included health care expenditures ($26.3 billion, or 14.3 percent of the total), such as the costs of treating alcohol abuse and dependence ($7.5 billion); as well as property and administrative cots of alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes ($15.3 billion, or 8.5 percent); and criminal justice system costs of alcohol-related problems. Based on 1992 data, researchers estimate 45 % of costs was borne by alcohol abusers and their families, 20% by the Federal Government, 18% by State and local government, 10 % by private insurance companies, and 6% by the victims of alcohol-related crashes. Higher taxes on alcoholic beverages have been linked to lower traffic fatality rates.)
Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa51.htm

Measuring the burden of alcohol, ALCOHOL ALERT, 87. An overview of alcohol's effect on life through out the world on health and the economy and its effect on different subpopulations, such as children and adolescents, college students, ethnic groups, and women. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa87/aa87.htm

"Moderate drinking" ALCOHOL ALERT, NIAAA, 16, April, 1992. "Moderate drinking is difficult to define because it means different things to different people. The term is often confused with "social drinking," which refers to drinking patterns that are accepted by the society in which they occur. However,social drinking is not necessarily free of problems. Moderate drinking may be defined as drinking that does not generally cause problems, either for the drinker or for society. Since there are clearly both benefits and risks associated with lower levels of drinking, this Alcohol Alert will explore potentially positive and adverse effects of "moderate" drinking."
Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa16.htm

Neuroscience Research and Therapeutic Targets, Alcohol Alerts 61, April, 2004. "This Alcohol Alert provides a brief overview of what research is revealing about how alcohol affects the brain and how the resulting changes contribute to alcohol dependence. Also addressed is what research is showing about the effect of stressful life experiences on the brain and how they may contribute to risk of alcohol dependence and relapse to drinking. Beyond understanding how alcohol affects the brain, the hoped&endash;for outcome of this work is the identification of neurologic targets for potential medications. Some of the medications in clinical use or testing that have come out of this work are reviewed below."
Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa61.htm

Underage Drinking: A Major Public Health Challenge, Alcohol Alert 59 April, 2003.
"The immediate and long-term risks associated with adolescent alcohol use underscore the need for effective prevention and treatment programs. Studies have revealed genetic, biologic, developmental, and environmental influences on underage drinking.

Scientists have found that variability is a crucial aspect of alcohol problems across all age groups and this is a key consideration in alcohol research. There is a three&endash; to fourfold between&endash;individual variation in the rate of absorption, distribution, and elimination of alcohol (pharmacokinetics) and a two&endash; to threefold between&endash;individual variation in the sensitivity of the brain to the effects of a given concentration of alcohol (pharmacodynamics). Understanding the underlying causes of this variability, both genetic and non genetic, should provide insights into underage drinking and binge&endash;drinking patterns.

Through prevention and intervention strategies directed at the individual, family, school, and community, we aim to provide knowledge and change belief systems and social norms to reinforce the message that underage alcohol use is unacceptable. We also aim to enhance young peoples' self-esteem, self&endash;motivation, and identity formation to enable them to take responsibility for their own health by making informed, deliberate, and healthy choices regarding alcohol use.

Various intervention tools have brought about positive behavioral change with regard to underage drinking. Further studies will follow cohorts of young people from childhood through the college years, at different locations and in different settings, to determine whether these interventions are enduring and broadly applicable. Finding lasting solutions to such an entrenched problem will not be easy, but we are confident that diligent research efforts will meet this urgent challenge."
Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa59.htm

"Underage drinking why do adolescents drink, what are the risks, and how can underage drinking be prevented?," ALCOHOL ALERT , 67, January 2006. Alcohol is the drug of choice among youth. Many young people are experiencing the consequences of drinking too much, at too early an age. As a result, underage drinking is a leading public health problem in this country.
Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA67/AA67.htm

"Young adult drinking", ALCOHOL ALERT, 68, April, 2006.
Some of the most important new data to emerge on young adult drinking were collected through a recent nationwide survey, the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). According to these data, in 2001&endash;2002 about 70 percent of young adults in the United States, or about 19 million people, consumed alcohol in the year preceding the survey. Address: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa68/aa68.htm

updated 12/06/16