ARG scientists and their work have appeared in hundreds of articles and interviewed for both radio and television. With expertise that extends across the spectrum of alcohol use and disorders, our staff can provide information on specific topics as well as provide general facts that are relevant to the public.
Explore the resources on this page for the latest press releases, current media coverage, recent news and research findings.
Our communications specialist can connect reporters with top researchers. To request an interview with an expert, contact:
Diane E. Schmidt
T: (510) 898-5819
Recent Press Releases
February 28, 2018
More Paths to Successful Sobriety than Just Alcoholics Anonymous, Says New Study
People with an alcohol use disorder who participated in alternative mutual help groups had abstinence outcomes equivalent to those who participated in traditional 12-step groups at the same level. This is the first longitudinal, comparative study of 12-step groups and their alternatives, including Women for Sobriety (WFS), LifeRing Secular Recovery (LifeRing), and SMART Recovery (SMART).
February 22, 2018
Children in Poorer Neighborhoods are at a Greater Risk of Developing Alcohol Use Disorders as Young Adults
In studying emerging adults who lived in deprived neighborhoods when they were children, a new study found indirect pathways that mediated the risk for developing alcohol use disorders (AUD). Such pathways included success in school during adolescence, and being engaged in higher education, gainful employment or military service when they were older.
February 21, 2018
Low rates of drinking may protect overweight women from developing diabetes while heavy drinking increases risk for all women
Women who were overweight and abstained from lifetime drinking were three times more likely to develop diabetes compared with normal weight women who consumed seven or less alcohol drinks per week (low-volume). No evidence of reduced risk was found for normal weight or obese women or for men. The study also found that women with a recent history of heavy occasion drinking once a week or more had a 55% increased risk of diabetes onset.
February 1, 2018
Problem drinkers with friends who drink and who live in poor neighborhoods are more likely to relapse after treatment
The number of people in your social network who drink increases the risk of relapse following treatment and this risk is even greater if you live in a disadvantaged neighborhood, even after adjusting for demographic and other risk factors associated with problem drinking.
January 12, 2018
Infrequent Drinkers are not Immune from Injuries
Even one intoxication event can increase the risk of injury, a new study from the Alcohol Research Group, a project of the Public Health institute, found. Injury risk peaked at one hour of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 or higher and remained at about the same level for more frequent heavy drinkers.
October 31, 2017
Heavy Drinking Patterns Among Young Adults have Changed Over Time with Some Women Drinking More
According to a new study from the Alcohol Research Group (ARG), a program of the Public Health Institute, when comparing heavy drinking trajectories between two cohorts, trajectories for Hispanics and Whites of both sexes have changed over time. However, Hispanic and White women in the younger cohort saw the greatest increase in heavy drinking compared to other groups.
September 12, 2017
Marijuana Use Has Increased Sharply Across the US, but Not Because of Legalization
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 in Poor Neighborhoods Get Medication Less Often (PDF)
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
Harms to Children from Someone Else’s Drinking is higher than Previously Reported (PDF)
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. By comparison, previous studies in the U.S. have found general child maltreatment rates to be approximately 1 to 2 percent. The results are published today in the Journal of Pediatrics.
January 10, 2017
People in Alcohol Treatment Programs Who Use Cannabis Have Fewer Sober Days (PDF)
According to a new study from the Alcohol Research Group (ARG), a program of the Public Health Institute, 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. Findings showed that one day of cannabis use reduced the number of abstinence days by four to five. However, this relationship was present only for mid-level cannabis users. Low-level and high-level cannabis users did not differ from non-users.
December 8, 2016
Study finds people drink more after cancer diagnosis than before (PDF)
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. When racial and ethnic group-specific effects were evaluated, this increased heavy drinking was found to occur among women and Whites, while no increase was found among Blacks or Hispanics. Study results also suggest that hypertension and having a serious injury did not affect post diagnosis heavy drinking. However, when assessing people diagnosed with heart problems or diabetes, analyses revealed that these individuals actually cut back on their heavy drinking.
November 14, 2016
Poverty may have a greater effect on suicide rates than unemployment or foreclosures (PDF)
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. The study analyzed data over a six year period from 2005 to 2011 that includes the major U.S. economic downturn occurring from 2007 to 2009.
September 9, 2016
Support for Marijuana Legalization Grew in Washington State Since Vote Passed (PDF)
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.
June 14, 2016
Discrimination Associated with Heavy Drinking (PDF)
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
Privatization’s Effect on Neighboring States (PDF)
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.
March 22, 2016
2008-2009 recession-related job loss may have led to psychological distress and increased alcohol related problems (PDF)
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
National study finds that where you live affects why and how much you drink (PDF)
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. See the full press release.
February 24, 2016
The National Alcohol Research Center Receives another 5 Years of Funding (PDF)
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. Read more (PDF)
June 23, 2015
Liquor privatization in Washington State results in higher prices and availability for consumers
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. Read more (PDF).
Go to a full list of press releases.
ARG in the News
The Huffington Post: The Health Reason You Might Want to Enjoy Pot and Wine Separately
People who use alcohol and marijuana together may be at greater risk for alcohol-related problems, such as drunken driving and poorer health, than those who use only alcohol, a new study from biostatistician Meenakshi Sabina Subbaraman finds.
KGO 810 News: Binge Drinking in the San Francisco Bay Area
Senior Scientist William Kerr commented on a recent study that found increased rates of binge drinking in the Bay Area. He highlights reasons why the increase among women in particular.
The Daily Mail: People who use marijuana and alcohol together ‘more likely to drive inebriated’
Associate Scientist Meenakshi Sabina Subbaraman‘s new study found that people who smoke cannabis while consuming alcohol are twice as likely to drink-drive. They are also twice as likely to suffer social consequences and harm themselves.
The Science of Us/New York Magazine: Why Alcoholics Anonymous Works
“Dr. Lee Ann Kaskutas, a senior scientist at the Alcohol Research Group who has conducted 12-step facilitation studies, explained that while these programs take on different forms, they’re generally oriented toward preparing participants for the…culture and philosophy of 12-step programs like AA.”
The Washington Post: Having just one drink doubles your risk of getting injured
“A person who has consumed 3 drinks in the past six hours is about 4.6 times as likely to end up in the E.R. as someone who hasn’t drunk at all. Even a single drink roughly doubles your odds of going to the hospital.”
The Atlantic Monthly: Life with Legal Weed
“Meenakshi Subbaraman has found that cannabis satisfies six of the seven previously published criteria for substitute medications for alcohol.
Vox: The public health case for legalizing pot: it could replace alcohol
“In a recent review of the scientific literature, researcher Meenakshi Subbaraman, of the Alcohol Research Group at the Public Health Institute, found that marijuana can act as a substitute for alcohol for some people.”
KQED Forum: Panel discussion on alcohol and cancer risks
A new study finds that even moderate alcohol consumption can increase the risk of cancer-related death.