September 12, 2017. A new study shows a sharp increase in marijuana use in the U.S. since 2005. Marijuana use among women has almost doubled, from 5.5% in 1984 to 10.6% in 2015. Men’s use declined from the 1980s to 2000 but has since increased to 14.7%, matching earlier rates. However, the research suggests that these increases in use were not specifically associated with medicinal or recreational marijuana legalization.
April 12, 2017. People with alcohol use disorders (AUD) who live in poorer neighborhoods in Sweden were less likely to pick up prescriptions to help treat their disease than those living in areas that are more affluent, a new study from the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute found. The study was published online today in the journal Addiction.
February 15, 2017. According to a new national study from the Alcohol Research Group (ARG), a program of the Public Health Institute, 7.4 percent of surveyed respondents reported that children in their care experienced harm as a result of someone else’s drinking.
January 10, 2017. According to a new study, people who used cannabis while undergoing treatment for an alcohol use disorder (AUD) had significantly fewer days of alcohol abstinence at the end of treatment compared with non-cannabis users.
December 8, 2016. Cancer survivors were more likely to report heavy drinking and more frequent heavy drinking occasions compared to others at the same ages with similar drinking histories.
November 14, 2016. County-level suicide rates in the U.S. had a strong positive relationship with county poverty rates, while no relationships were found between county measures of unemployment or foreclosures when poverty rates were controlled.
September 9, 2016. If the vote for marijuana legalization in Washington State were to be held again, Initiative 502 (I-502) would potentially have a stronger majority than it did in November 2012, according to a new study from the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute, published today in Contemporary Drug Problems. See the full press release.
June 14, 2016. Discrimination is associated with heavy drinking, drinking-related problems, and greater risk of alcohol use disorders according to new research from the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute, published online in Social Science & Medicine. See the full press release.
June 9, 2016. An increase in cross-border traffic by Washington State residents to Idaho and Oregon following Washington’s privatization of liquor stores resulted in significant revenue for the two bordering states according to a new study from the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute, published online this week in the journal Addiction. See the full press release.
2008-2009 recession-related job loss may have led to psychological distress and increased alcohol related problems (PDF)
March 22, 2016. A new study from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health finds individuals who lost their jobs during the 2008-2009 economic recession reported increased drunkenness and reported more alcohol use disorders. This was especially true for African Americans compared to Whites. See the full press release.
February 26, 2016. The socioeconomic makeup of a neighborhood may have a greater influence on people than previously thought, a new national study of alcohol drinkers published in Prevention Science suggests.
Study results showed men who live in affluent neighborhoods held attitudes more favorable to drinking and were more likely to drink heavily and to experience consequences related to alcohol use, such as family problems or getting into fights, than residents of other neighborhoods. The study also found a similar effect on attitudes favorable to drinking for non-White men living in lower income neighborhoods that also resulted in heavier drinking and more alcohol-related problems. However, results showed a protective effect for non-White men living in immigrant neighborhoods; they were less favorable to drinking and therefore experienced fewer alcohol-related problems.
February 24, 2016. The Alcohol Research Group (ARG), a program of the Public Health Institute, is pleased to announce it has received a $7.3M grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to support the continuation of its National Alcohol Research Center. The funds will be dispersed over a five year period beginning 2016 through to 2020. See the full press release.
June 23, 2015. Results of a recent study that looked at the effects of privatization of the sale and distribution of liquor in Washington State found spirit prices increased significantly, while prices in the bordering states of Idaho and Oregon only showed small increases. Averaging across all of the stores selected, Washington liquor prices rose by an average of 15.5% for the 750ml size and by 4.7% for the 1.75L size. However, price changes varied greatly by store type with no increases found for liquor superstores such as Total Wine and More or wholesale stores such as Costco.
The largest price increases were seen at independent liquor stores, most of which bought their licenses at auction. Increased prices were also found at grocery stores and drug stores. Findings of smaller price increases for the 1.75L size and wide differences between store types were surprising and indicate that individuals face different alcoholic beverage prices, even for the same brands, depending on where they live and shop. See the full press release.
Study finds that men who have sex with men (MSM) have an equal or lower risk of hazardous drinking than heterosexual men
April 20, 2015. A new study published today in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 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 MSM, for instance, reported a lower likelihood of binge drinking or heavy weekly drinking compared to both heterosexual Black and White men. Latino MSM, however, were more likely to report heavy weekly drinking than their heterosexual Latino peers but had similar risks of binge drinking and heavy daily drinking. See the full press release.
April 14. 2015. Cannabis is the most commonly used drug among adults who drink, besides tobacco, yet no study has directly compared those who use cannabis and alcohol simultaneously, or at the exact same time, versus those who use both separately and on a regular basis. A new study looks at the relationship between marijuana and alcohol use, finding that simultaneous users had double the odds of drunk driving, social consequences, and harms to self.
Results will be published in the May 2015 online-only issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.
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 history, self-reported impairment thresholds (number of standard drinks one could drink in 2 hours before driving without being impaired) were 30% higher for Black drinkers and 26% higher for Hispanic drinkers than for White drinking drivers. Further, 28% of Black drinkers and 31% of Hispanic drinkers reported 5 or more drinks can be consumed in two hours without their becoming too impaired to get behind the wheel compared to 12% of White drinkers. Read more (PDF).
International study finds acute alcohol consumption causes higher risk of injury for woman than men.
October 20, 2014. A new study of emergency department patients in 18 countries led by ARG Senior Scientist, Cheryl Cherpitel, made available online by the scientific journal Addiction, shows that the risk of injury caused by acute alcohol consumption is higher for women compared with men. While the risk of injury is similar for both men and women up to three ‘standard’ drinks (containing 16 ml or 12.8 g of pure ethanol), the risk then increases more rapidly for women, becoming twice the risk to men around 15 drinks and three times the risk to men around 30 drinks. In this study the drinks were reportedly consumed within six hours prior to injury. Read more (PDF).
Study finds that alcohol-programming outreach is important to women of color.
July 17, 2014. There has been very little research conducted on racial and ethnic disparities in the utilization of alcohol services and little known about whether such disparities also carry across genders. Sarah E. Zemore, a senior scientist at the Alcohol Research Group and the corresponding author of the study that assessed the combined impact of race/ethnicity and gender on alcohol services utilization, found lower service utilization among Latinos and Blacks, versus Whites, and women, versus men. Such lower utilization rates reveal the difficulty that ethnic minorities and non-English speakers have in accessing treatment services with female Black and Latina drinkers at a greater disadvantage. Read more.
How Much Alcohol Is in Your Drink? Stronger Beers and Wines Make It Harder to Tell.
October 15, 2013. Consumers often don’t know how much alcohol they are actually drinking, according to “The Blurring of Alcohol Categories,” a new report from the Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group (ARG) published by the National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association. Many new beer and wine products have increased alcohol content—blurring what were once clear lines between the alcohol content of beer, wine and spirits. Read more.
With problem drinking, where you live may matter.
October 9, 2012. Some people living in disadvantaged neighborhoods may be at increased risk of problem drinking—though much may depend on race and gender, according to a new study by Katherine Karriker-Jaffe, PhD. Read more.
Public Health Institute to Test New Treatment for Methamphetamine Addiction in Contra Costa County, California.
January 20, 2010. Methamphetamine use is rapidly increasing and reaching epidemic proportions in certain parts of the country such as the western United States. The addiction afflicts more than 400,000 people in the country and costs society more than $20 billion every year. To test how well a new treatment approach that uses Motivation Enhancement Therapy helps people quit using methamphetamine, researchers at the Alcohol Research Group (of the Public Health Institute) study more than 200 people who are or have recently been dependent on methamphetamine at an alcohol and drug treatment center in Lafayette, California. Read more.