New Study Provides Free Alcohol Treatment


For over 20 years Senior Scientist Douglas Polcin, EdD, has been studying addiction and treatment options, including recovery housing. His latest project, one that focuses on outpatient treatment for women with alcohol problems, is designed to assess the efficacy of intensive motivational interviewing (IMI). Over the next two years, the study will recruit 220 adult women, each randomized to one of two treatment types with services provided by licensed therapists and practitioners at New Leaf … [Read more...]

ARG Scientists Head to Munich


Senior Scientists, Thomas K. Greenfield and Cheryl J. Cherpitel, along with Associate Scientist Lauren M. Kaplan, are heading to Munich to attend the 41st annual Epidemiology Symposium of the Kettil Bruun Society.   The symposium runs from June 1-5 and features researchers from across the globe presenting their latest work. Prior to the symposium on May 31, Tom chairs the Gender, Alcohol and Culture: An International Study (GENACIS) session along with co-chairing a joint meeting of GENACIS … [Read more...]

Environmental Effects on AUD


Scientist Katherine Karriker-Jaffe received a subaward for a project that seeks to clarify how environmental adversity at the individual, family and community level and genetic risk jointly contribute to the development of alcohol use disorders (AUD). Kate will be working with Multiple PIs Kenneth Kendler from Virginia Commonwealth University and Kristina Sundquist of Lund University in Sweden. While the study will use Swedish data, the findings will be highly relevant to the US and other … [Read more...]

ARG in the News


A recent study from the University of Washington that found a significant increase in heavy drinking and binge drinking rates in particular areas of the US created quite a buzz in the press.  One of the areas that saw such a rise was in our very own backyard - Santa Clara County - where binge drinking rates increased as much as 36 percent among women.  Wanting to know the reasons for such an increase, the media asked ARG scientists to provide their rationale and response to the study … [Read more...]

New Recovery Study Funded


Associate Scientist, Amy Mericle, recently received NIDA funding (R21 DA 039027) for a project that focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) adults who face unique health disparities. Within this community, men who have sex with men (MSM) are at increased risk for substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and other adverse health conditions. Addiction recovery residences are a promising mechanism to enhance outcomes among individuals who abuse substances, but the experiences of … [Read more...]

Men’s Hazardous Drinking Risks


A new study found that men who have sex with men (MSM)—defined as gay and bisexually identified men as well as heterosexually identified men who had same-sex partners--reported equal or lower levels of hazardous drinking than exclusively heterosexual men. This finding dispels the popular assumption that men who have sex with men are more likely to consume alcohol above recommended amounts. The study results also suggest that the protective effect is enhanced for some racial/ethnic groups. Black … [Read more...]

Cannabis & Alcohol Shouldn’t Be Mixed


Even though cannabis is the most commonly used drug by people who drink alcohol, no study has looked at the implications of drinking and smoking cannabis at the same time.  ARG Associate Scientist Meenakshi Sabina Subbaraman and Senior Scientist William C. Kerr have done just that  - to investigate how combining the two substances affects adult drinkers compared to people who use both separately.  Their findings show that simultaneous users had double the odds of drunk driving, social … [Read more...]

Is a Drink a Day Good for You?


  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. … [Read more...]

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


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 much can you safely drink before driving?


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 history, self-reported impairment thresholds (number of standard drinks one could drink in 2 hours before driving without being … [Read more...]