Tag Archives: alcohol

Concerns Mounting Over Powdered Alcohol

powdered-alcoholMinimizing underage drinking is a priority in the United States. This is why many are concerned over the recent approval of Palcohol (powdered alcohol), all it takes is a little bit of water and you have an alcoholic beverage. Lawmakers across the country have made efforts to ban Palcohol before it hits the shelves and gets into the wrong hands.

The producer of Palcohol, Mark Phillips, claims that his product is no more dangerous than traditional alcohol, The New York Times reports. While in essence the product will have the same effect on the human body as liquid alcohol, the reality is that Palcohol will be attractive to underage drinkers for its ability to be concealed.

Phillips says that the idea for powdered alcohol came from his love for hiking, and the hassle of having to carry bottles uphill, according to the article. The product may be practical, but not everyone is on board, six states have already banned the powdered alcohol and Senator Charles Schumer of New York introduced a bill last month that would ban the product nationwide.

“I am in total disbelief that our federal government has approved such an obviously dangerous product, and so, Congress must take matters into its own hands and make powdered alcohol illegal,” said Schumer in a statement. “Underage alcohol abuse is a growing epidemic with tragic consequences and powdered alcohol could exacerbate this.”

Other concerns include the risk of people snorting the product for a quicker fix, but Phillips claims that snorting Palcohol would not be a fun experience.

“It would take you an hour of pain to ingest the equivalent of one drink,” Phillips said in an interview. “It really burns.”

However, in 2012, on the company’s website Phillips wrote that you could sprinkle powdered alcohol on guacamole, “although snorting it would get you drunk quickly and was probably not a good idea.” Now, Palcohol’s website says that snorting would be impractical and unpleasant.

The Best Approach to Combating Binge Drinking

binge-drinkingIn England, just as the United States, binge drinking is a major problem among young adults. The act of drinking as much as you can, as fast as you can, can lead to a number of problems and even result in addiction. Combating the practice of binge drinking has proven difficult, with research indicating that campaigns against binge drinking have bore little fruit.

A new research conducted by Royal Holloway, University of London, in conjunction with three other UK universities, has found that official messages about binge drinking are unlikely to work and are often dismissed as irrelevant by young drinkers, Science Daily reports. The findings may be due to the consumption of large quantities of alcohol being part of their sub-cultural social identity, a group driven by the need to subvert rules and norms.

“The insight that heavy drinking can be part of a rule-breaking sub-culture may seem obvious, yet huge sums have been spent in the past on Government anti-drinking advertising campaigns that simply fuel the sense that sensible drinking is boring and conformist, while binge drinking is subversive fun,” said Professor Chris Hackley, from the School of Management at Royal Holloway.

“Government messages that say ‘drink sensibly’ ignore the ways many young people actually enjoy drinking. This research also has implications for other areas of Government health policy, where compulsive and excessive consumption can sometimes be fuelled by a need to defy and subvert official rules.”

What’s more, the research showed that high-price tagged ad campaigns may actually have an adverse effect on people most at risk of drinking to excess, according to the report. In the United Kingdom, alcohol related injuries and deaths cost the National Health Service £3.5 billion a year. Clearly, with the price of excessive alcohol consumption being as high as it is, the need for more effective methods is apparent.

The researchers contend that a more targeted and practical approach to alcohol intervention may be more effective than multi-million pound anti-drinking campaigns.

The findings were published in the Journal of Business Research.

NPY: Not Only a Treatment for Alcohol Abuse – but a Marker

binge-drinking-NPYThe practice of “binge drinking” is a common occurrence among young adults, especially with young men. Drinking as much alcohol as you can, as fast as you can, may be appealing to those trying to catch up with their peers; however, binge drinking can be extremely dangerous – leading to a number of health problems – as well as dependence and addiction.

As a result, researchers have long sought ways to curb binge drinking behaviors using science. At the University of North Carolina (UNC), a team of researchers used “a series of genetic and pharmacological approaches” to identify a protein in the brain called neuropeptide Y (NPY), which suppressed binge drinking behavior in a mouse model, Medical News Today reports.

“Specifically, we found that NPY acted in a part of the brain known as the extended amygdala (or bed nucleus of the stria terminalis) that we know is linked to both stress and reward,” explained study lead author Thomas L. Kash, PhD, assistant professor in the departments of pharmacology and psychology and a member of UNC’s Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. This antidrinking effect was due to increasing inhibition (the brakes) on a specific population of cells that produce a ‘pro-drinking’ molecule called corticotropin releasing factor (CRF).”

“When we then mimicked the actions of NPY using engineered proteins, we were also able to suppress binge alcohol drinking in mice,” notes Kash.

What’s interesting, in the study the researchers found that the “antidrinking” NPY system may be susceptible to alteration by long-term drinking in multiple species. The researchers’ findings suggest that NPY may not only be a treatment for alcohol abuse – but a marker.

“The identification of where in the brain and how NPY blunts binge drinking, and the observation that the NPY system is compromised during early binge drinking prior to the transition to dependence, are novel and important observations,” study co-author Todd E. Thiele, PhD, professor of psychology at UNC and a member of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies.

The findings were published in Nature Neuroscience.

Daily Drinking and the Risk of Cirrhosis

daily-drinkingThe over consumption of alcohol can be detrimental to the human body, having an adverse affect on number of organs. Prolonged and excessive use can ultimately result in the loss of life. One of the most common ailments associated with alcohol use is cirrhosis of the liver, the result of advanced liver disease. New research has found that alcohol drinking patterns significantly influence the risk of cirrhosis and that daily drinking increases the risk, Science Daily reports.

“For the first time, our study points to a risk difference between drinking daily and drinking five or six days a week in the general male population, since earlier studies were conducted on alcohol misusers and patients referred for liver disease and compared daily drinking to ‘binge pattern’ or ‘episodic’ drinking,” observed lead investigator Gro Askgaard, MD, of the Department of Hepatology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, and the National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark. “Since the details of alcohol induced liver injury are unknown, we can only speculate that the reason may be that daily alcohol exposure worsens liver damage or inhibits liver regeneration.”

In Europe, where more alcohol is consumed than anywhere in the world, approximately 170,000 people die from alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver every year, according to the article. Researchers set out to analyze the patterns of drinking associated with alcoholic cirrhosis.

Hazard ratios (HRs) for alcoholic cirrhosis were determined by looking at drinking frequency, lifetime alcohol amount, and beverage type among nearly 56,000 participants between 50 and 64 years of age. Of the participants, 257 men developed alcoholic cirrhosis; the researchers found that daily drinking and recent alcohol consumption is the strongest predictor of alcoholic cirrhosis.

“Earlier studies regarding lifetime alcohol consumption and risk of alcoholic cirrhosis reached opposite conclusions, for instance, whether a previous high level of alcohol amount predicted future risk, even after having cut down,” commented Dr. Askgaard. “From a clinical point of view, this is relevant in order to execute evidence-based counselling, and from a public health perspective, it may guide health interventions for the general population.”

“This is a timely contribution about one of the most important, if not the most important risk factor for liver cirrhosis globally, because our overall knowledge about drinking patterns and liver cirrhosis is sparse and in part contradictory,” said noted expert Jürgen Rehm, PhD, Director of the Social and Epidemiological Research Department of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto. “The work of Askgaard and colleagues not only increases our knowledge, but also raises questions for future research. The question of binge drinking patterns and mortality is far from solved, and there may be genetic differences or other covariates not yet discovered, which play a role and could explain the different empirical findings.”

The study, “Alcohol drinking pattern and risk of alcoholic liver cirrhosis: A prospective cohort study,” was published in the Journal of Hepatology.

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
...
PACE Recovery Center is an essential business. Click for more information about PACE's COVID-19 protocols and telehealth, teletherapy, and residential treatment options during COVID-19.
close