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Study Looks at Impact of Privatization on Drinking Patterns in Washington State

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Senior Scientist William C. Kerr (PI)'s project tracks implementation of regulations, revenues and prices and uses state-representative cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys of Washington drinkers and residents to evaluate changes in drinking, purchasing, problems, attitudes and experiences following privatization. The longitudinal survey follows drinkers who consume spirits to assess individual changes in purchasing practices and consumption behaviors.  Kerr hopes that analyses will … [Read more...]

Drinking Norms in the US

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As a practitioner, one way to assess your clients' drinking habits is to have them compare their current consumption level to how much the rest of the nation is drinking.  ARG Senior Scientist, Thomas K. Greenfield and Scientist, Yu Ye, took data from the 2010 National Alcohol Survey (NAS) consisting of 7,969 individuals residing in 50 states and Washington DC, and looked at the number of drinks both women and men said they consumed per week on average in the previous 12 months. Ask your … [Read more...]

Rapid Alcohol Problems Screen (RAPS) Can Help Clinicians Assess Patients

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The Rapid Alcohol Problems Screen (RAPS) is a five-item instrument designed  by  Senior Scientist, Cheryl Cherpitel, to maximize sensitivity while maintaining good specificity.  Derived from other screens, and with no weighting, adding or scoring of responses, the RAPS provides a quick way for clinicians to determine who may have a drinking problem. This infographic provides some background information on its development, testing and the research involved.  The test itself is available as … [Read more...]

Is a Drink a Day Good for You?

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There's been a lot of talk recently - both in the news and social media - that for people between the ages of 40 and 50 years old, having one drink a day is good for you. This buzz started with a commentary by Professor Rubin, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, who suggested that "physicians should counsel lifelong non-drinkers at about 40 to 50 years of age to relax and take a drink a day." However, ARG Senior Scientists Thomas K. Greenfield and William … [Read more...]

Study Looks at How Living at the US-Mexico Border Affects Drinking Behavior

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For many of us our experience of the US-Mexico border is one of seemingly endless custom lines, traffic noise and congestion, and the long wait for an agent to review our documents.  That's because most of us are just passing through, on our way to beaches in the south and back to our homes in the north. But what about the people who live on either side - how does the border that divides two countries, and all too often families as well, impact the people and communities that live within its … [Read more...]

How big is your drink?

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Most people know that drink sizes differ depending on where you purchase your drink and that they're not very consistent, in particular when you compare with how much you pour when at home.  Since the size of drink determines how much alcohol you're consuming, knowing the amount of alcohol in a "standard drink", or what the British call a "unit of alcohol", as well as how to pour that amount of your usual beverage, is critical when trying to stay healthy and making sure you're not exceeding the … [Read more...]

How does your drinking measure up?

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One way to look at your drinking habits is to compare your own consumption level to how much the rest of the nation is drinking.  ARG Senior Scientist, Thomas K. Greenfield and Scientist, Yu Ye, took data from the 2010 National Alcohol Survey (NAS) consisting of 7,969 individuals residing in 50 states and Washington DC, and looked at the number of drinks both women and men said they consumed per week on average during the last 12 months. Take a minute to add up how much you usually drink in a … [Read more...]

What is Recovery?

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The term ‘recovery’ is widely used in the research literature.  Recovery is a goal of alcohol treatment, and recovery-oriented systems of care are being developed to support that goal.  Alcoholics who no longer drink and are trying to pursue an improved way of living/being say that they are ‘in recovery.’  Yet for all its use, and seeming centrality, there is no agreed upon definition of the term within the alcohol literature.  Lacking a definition, recovery usually is equated with abstinence or … [Read more...]

NIAAA and NIDA Fund New Projects

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This past fall several key projects were funded through the National Institutes on Alcohol and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).  First up, William C. Kerr’s study that looks at the inter-relationship between life-course drinking patterns and health conditions.  A four-year project, Kerr and colleagues will examine the effects of alcohol use over a lifetime, including social and economic hardships and racial and ethnic differences in factors that may contribute … [Read more...]

How much can you safely drink before driving?

drinkinganddriving

Press Release Some racial/ethnic groups overestimate the number of drinks they can have before driving  January 20, 2015. Black and Hispanic drinkers are more likely to overestimate how much they can safely drink two hours before driving, a new and innovative study examining impairment limits found.  The study, to be published on line ahead of print in the American Journal of Public Health, determined that, on average and controlling for other factors such as weight, education and drinking … [Read more...]