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Volume 110: November 19, 2012

Youth who 'pre-party' more likely to have unprotected sex


November 12, 2012 They call it "pre-drinking," "pre-partying" or "pre-funking," and it usually involves chugging cheap alcoholic drinks before heading out to a bar, club or sporting event. While addiction experts estimate that 65 percent to 75 percent of college-age youths engage in such boozy behavior, a Swiss study concludes that such "pre-loaded" evenings are far more likely to end in blackouts, unprotected sex, unplanned drug use or injury. "Pre-drinking is a pernicious drinking pattern," said coauthor Florian Labhart, a researcher at Addiction Info Switzerland, in Lausanne. "Excessive consumption and adverse consequences are not simply related to the type of people who pre-drink, but rather to the practice of pre-drinking itself." The study, to be published in an upcoming issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, examined the drinking habits of more than 250 Swiss students. For five weeks, the test subjects were surveyed via Internet and cellphone text messages. Each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, the students were questioned hourly about how many drinks they had just consumed. Researchers found that when students drank prior to going to a bar or club, they drank more than they would otherwise. On average, pre-drinking students consumed seven drinks, and students who drank only at a bar or event consumed just over four drinks. This increased drinking was associated with a greater likelihood of blackouts, hangovers, absences from work or school or alcohol poisoning. Pre-drinkers were also found to engage more often in unintended drug use, unsafe sex, drunken driving or violent behavior. The study found that while students who drank only at a bar or club stood an 18 percent chance of experiencing negative consequences, students who drank beforehand stood a 24 percent chance of seeing their evening end in mishap. To read more, click this link: http://www.omaha.com/article/20121112/LIVEWELL16/121119888/1161 Source: Livewell Nebraska

United Kingdom: Man dies after drinking "fake" vodka


November 12, 2012 An inquest has heard that a man from Worthing has died from methanol poisoning. A man died after drinking what is thought to have been fake alcohol Adam Bohm, 49, was found dead in his flat and the inquest into his death heard that three bottles of vodka were found in his home. The bottles are believed to be counterfeit and the source of the methanol. Drinkers have been warned that counterfeit alcohol can be a serious risk to their health and to stay away from any alcohol they suspect of being counterfeit. A spokesman for NHS Sussex said: "Fake alcohol is normally produced using cheap types of alcohol which can seriously put your health at risk. Often this can include cleaning fluids, nail polish remover and automobile screen wash, as well as methanol which is used in antifreeze and some fuels. "Drinking alcohol containing these types of chemicals can cause sickness and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness. "It can also lead to kidney or liver problems, coma or permanent blindness, and even death." To read more, click this link: http://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2012/11/man-dies-after-drinking-fake-vodka/ Source: The Spirit Business

City Council: Novato should be an 'alcopop free zone'


November 13, 2012 The Novato City Council Tuesday night joined Marin County supervisors and San Rafael's City Council in endorsing an effort to make the region an "alcopop free zone" by passing a resolution urging retailers to eschew

sales of flavored malt and related alcoholic beverages that appeal to youth. The council voted unanimously in favor of the move after more than 15 teens and adults spoke in its favor to the crowd of about 60 people at the meeting. Representatives of the Novato Youth Center, the Novato Youth Partnership, the Healthy Marin Partnership and Healthy Novato, among others, urged council members to vote yes. "I felt good that they agreed with us," said Alexis Simon, an 18-year-old student at Nova Independent Study High School and a Novato resident. "I have a younger sibling and it will be safer for her to socialize without being pressured by Novato kids to drink along." "We're happy to see you here participating in the democratic process," Mayor Denise Athas told the young people who filed to the front of the packed room, one after another, to urge the council members to pass the resolution. Compliance with the resolution is voluntary, though several Novato businesses have already indicated willingness to cooperate, according to Don Carney, a spokesman for the Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth. "Alcopop sells for $1.45 per container," Megan Paddack, a San Marin High School senior, told the councilmembers. "It is dangerous to our community." Alcopops include a variety of ready-to-go alcoholic drinks, such as Smirnoff Ice, Skyy Blue, Stolichnaya Citrona, Bacardi Silver, Captain Morgan Gold, Mike's Hard Lemonade, Blast, Tilt, Four Loko and Jeremiah Weed Spiked Cola. The beverages are often brightly packaged and sweetly flavored like soda pop, and are sometimes super-sized and super-charged with alcohol, with one can the alcoholic equivalent of four beers. More than 10 million American youth under the age of 21 drink alcohol, and over a million of them are binge drinkers, according to the American Medical Association. "A majority of teens 17-18 years old (51 percent) and many teens 14-16 years old (35 percent) have tried alcopops, compared to less than a quarter of adults (24 percent)," the association reported. "Alcopops are a predatory product. Combined with driving or drugs, they can permanently impact not only the lives of the people who consume them but those of others as well. We need to attack this problem at the source by getting this product off the shelves and out of our young peoples' lives," said Hart Fogel, a freshman at San Francisco University High School and a Mill Valley resident. To read more, click this link: http://www.marinij.com/novato/ci_21991379/city-council-novato-should-be-analcopop-free Source: Marin Independent Journal

Impulsive college women at risk of drinking problems: Study


November 8, 2012 Female college students who act impulsively when they're distressed are at increased risk of developing a drinking problem, a new study suggests. Alcohol dependence puts college women at danger for a number of negative consequences, including poorer school performance and increased risk of sexual assault, accidental injury and even death, according to the researchers. The study included 319 women (235 drinkers and 84 nondrinkers) in their first semester at a large university in the southeastern United States. The participants' drinking behavior, alcohol dependence symptoms and impulsive behavior traits were assessed by the researchers, and the students were followed for three months. Negative urgency (a trait in which a person tends to act rashly when having negative emotions) and lack of deliberation (a trait in which a person acts without thinking) both predicted increases in alcohol dependence symptoms in the college students, the study authors found. The largest increase in alcohol dependence symptoms was seen in women who had high negative urgency and said they wanted to drink to change their emotions (either to enhance positive feelings or get rid of negative feelings), according to study corresponding author Monika Kardacz Stojek, a graduate student in the department of psychology at the University of Georgia, and colleagues. To read more click this link: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/11/08/impulsive-collegewomen-at-risk-of-drinking-problems-study Source: US News and World Report Visit our website: Project RAD www.ProjectRAD.com