Drunkorexia: New Trend Sweeping College Campuses

Parents beware!  Drinking on an empty stomach in order to become drunk faster has become popular on college campuses, research by Dr. Rinker from the University of Houston shows.  The students may refrain from eating entirely, vomit their meal, or use laxatives, in order to speed up the effects of alcohol.  The practice is popular with both sexes and those who engage in heavy drinking on an empty stomach believe that this practice is normal.  Heavier, problematic drinking and more alcohol-related consequences are associated with “drunkorexia”.

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Halloween is Not Just About Candy Any More!

Halloween is a popular social event for college students. Even students who do not ordinarily drink excessively might view Halloween as an opportunity to engage in high-risk drinking. Click here to read more from The Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems.

Mixing Alcohol and Marijuana

As marijuana becomes legal for recreational use in more states, it is likely more people will use it with alcohol. What do we know about combining these substances? What are the physiological effects and is there a safe level of use for both products used simultaneously? Will combining substances increase social harm? There has been little thought or public discussion about this issue. Moreover, little research exists that could form the basis for public education and policies designed to prevent harms.

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The Real Deal About Fake IDs

By Lainey Loudon, News Writer, The Minaret Online, University of Tampa

According to a recent article in The Minaret Online, some University of Tampa students believe that owning a fake ID is worth the risk of getting in trouble with the University or the law.  A concerning quote from an anonymous student:

“I’ve never been arrested for it and I don’t think they take it serious enough to arrest you,” said the source. “I’m just young and trying to have a good time and I’m not going to let the thought of getting in trouble stop me. There are a lot more important things cops should worry about than kids trying to get drunk.”

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When should you talk to your kids about alcohol? Before they turn 10, doctors say

By Brady Dennis, The Washington Post

Having the "booze talk" with kids before they take their first sip of alcohol is crucial, according to a report released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

That moment comes earlier than adults might expect, the group said, meaning pediatricians and parents alike should warn children by age 9 about the dangers associated with drinking.

Go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/08/31/when-should-you-talk-to-your-kids-about-alcohol-before-they-turn-10-doctors-say/?tid=sm_fb to read The Washington Post story.

Youthful binge drinking changes the brain - for the worse - into adulthood

The adult brain that was awash in alcohol during its formative years looks different and acts differently than an adult brain that skipped the youthful binge drinking, says a new study conducted on rats.

All grown up, the brain exposed to periodic alcoholic benders during adolescence and young adulthood shows persistent abnormalities in the structure and function of the hippocampus, the region most closely associated with learning and memory. The specific changes seen in adult rats who were regularly plied with alcohol during the brain's development generally result in memory problems and neuropsychiatric impairments such as attention and judgment problems and ability to learn new skills.

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Binge, heavy drinking up in Maryland, study shows

By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun

Binge drinking in Maryland is on the rise, driven in large part by women whose rate jumped 34.7 percent from 2005 to 2012, according to new estimates published online Thursday in the Journal of Public Health.

Overall the increase was about 20.8 percent in Maryland for such drinking. That compares with a rise of 8.9 percent nationally, according to the study by researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Binge drinking is considered four drinks for women and five for men in a short period of time and has been linked to increased risk of injury and alcohol poisoning.

Montgomery County experienced the fastest rise in binge drinking in the time frame, and Queen Anne's had the highest level of binge drinkers in 2012 with nearly a quarter of residents, the study found.

Heavy drinking is also on the rise in Maryland, increasing 25.7 percent, compared with 17.2 percent nationally. Heavy drinking is considered one drink for men and two drinks for women a day over 30 days and is associated with increased risk for heart disease, cancer and other long-term maladies.

In 2012, just over half of all Americans drank any amount of alcohol, a rate that hasn't changed much in recent years. But just over 8 percent are now considered heavy drinkers and 18.3 percent were binge drinkers, numbers about the same in Maryland.

Sobriety tests in all new cars might prevent most drunk driving deaths

Installing devices in new cars to prevent drunk drivers from starting the engine could prevent 85 percent of alcohol-related deaths on U.S. roads, saving tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars from injury-related costs, according to a new analysis.

Over 15 years, as older cars without a so-called alcohol ignition interlock come off the roads, sobriety-screening systems in new vehicles could avert more than 59,000 crash fatalities, more than 1.25 million non-fatal injuries and over $340 billion in injury-related costs, the study in the American Journal of Public Health concludes.

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Some drunken drivers keep returning to the road despite repeat offenses

Jeff Rossen and Charlie McLravy, TODAY

It was early one Saturday morning nearly four years ago when a drunk driver changed Ellie Phipps' life forever.

It was 6:30 in the morning and the Grand Junction, Colorado, woman was driving to the gym when John Wesley Plotner, a drunk driver with half a dozen prior DUIs, slammed into her from behind at 45 mph, never hitting the brakes.

Phipps' spine was shattered. She underwent numerous operations, including an open-heart spinal surgery that she nearly didn't survive. "I died three times, actually," she said. "Luckily, they were able to revive me each time."

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France, Where Children Sip Wine, Wants to End Binge Drinking

When the French school semester started in September, most college students had no lack of drinking opportunities. As is common in other countries, French freshmen are usually encouraged to drink heavily in initiation ceremonies. But soon the excessive drinking could face a sudden end. According to a French draft health bill, inciting binge drinking could be punishable with up to a year in jail or a hefty fine.

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Phelps' Arrest Can Open Door to Conversations with Teens

It was a decade ago that Michael Phelps visited several local high schools to warn students against underage drinking in the aftermath of his first drunken-driving charge. Now the most decorated Olympian ever faces drunken-driving charges again, is entering a treatment program and won't participate in the next world championship.

His arrest can serve as an opening for parents to talk to their tweens and teens about the dangers of abusing alcohol.

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Alcohol is still the deadliest drug in the United States, and it’s not even close

Which intoxicating substance is associated with the most lethal violence? Devotees of the Wire might presume that cocaine or maybe heroin would top the list, especially if you asked the worst causes of violence in poor, minority communities.

The correct answer, by far, is alcohol. It’s involved in more homicides than pretty much every other substance, combined. Alcohol’s relative importance has grown over the last fifteen years, as aging populations of cocaine users account for a declining proportion of violent crime. Here in Chicago, positive cocaine screens in the Cook County Jail are down by about half when compared with ten or twenty years ago. The same is true in many other cities.

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Can Breathalyzer phone apps tell you whether you're legally drunk?

More and more people are buying portable devices to test blood alcohol level. They're small enough to fit in your pocket, and affordable, costing as little as $50. And they're easy to use: Just plug them into your smartphone and blow to see your blood alcohol content on the spot.

The companies say these apps will help you make smart decisions. But police say they can be unreliable, and, in some cases, could lead to drunken driving.

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Curbing binge drinking: A collaborative of Maryland schools is working to end alcohol abuse among college students

Excessive drinking among college students is a public health problem that is larger than just the colleges and universities. It is a problem for our entire state. The more than 270,000 students attending college in Maryland comprise a large and critical segment of our future workforce. This is why I was proud to work with the leadership and staff of the Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems this legislative session to ban the sale of extreme-strength "grain" alcohol.

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Mixing energy drinks and alcohol can 'prime' you for a binge

There's more evidence that mixing alcohol and energy drinks like Red Bull, Rock Star and Monster is a bad idea. A new study finds it can boost the risk of binge drinking.

Australian researchers found people had a greater urge to keep drinking after downing a beverage containing both alcohol and an energy drink, compared to alcohol alone, according to the report published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Among High School Seniors, Driving After Marijuana Use Surpasses Drunk Driving

Nearly 1 in 6 high school seniors who responded to a 2011 survey reported that, within the past 2 weeks, they had driven a motor vehicle after using an illicit drug or drinking heavily. Nearly 1 in 4 said they had recently ridden in a car with such a driver. Altogether 28 percent had put themselves at risk, within that short time frame, by being in a vehicle whose driver had been using marijuana or another illicit drug, or had drunk 5 or more alcoholic drinks. These rates had all risen nearly 20 percent in only 4 years, due almost entirely to an increase in driving after smoking marijuana.

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Hidden cameras reveal adults buying alcohol for underage 'teens'

Spring break is coming up, and that means underage kids looking to score alcohol.

Underage drinking can turn tragic. Each year, 4,700 people under the age of 21 die from causes related to drinking, from alcohol poisoning to drunk driving accidents. And authorities say it's often an adult supplying the booze.

To test that assertion, TODAY set up an experiment on a Friday afternoon in suburban New Jersey, wiring a liquor store with a hidden camera and hiring two actors, both over 21, to pose as underage teens.

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