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Alcohol Issues Insights

A pair of federally-mandated reports, one from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and one from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), plus a pair of national surveys of drinking in the US, put a bright spotlight on underage drinking just as the back-to-school season began. While the FTC report basically praised the industry

Publishing Info

  • Year 2003
  • Volume 20
  • Issue # 9
Beer Institute president Jeff Becker responded negatively to the NAS recommendation: "We’ve always been opposed to linking alcohol with illicit drugs," Becker told Join Together Online (JTO), a news service sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "Alcohol is a legal product and it would be inappropriate to link them in any substantive way." Becker noted too that a merger might lessen federal focus on important research into alcohol problems and shift it to drugs. Similarly, Distilled Spirits Council president Peter Cressy said a merger could "seriously undermine the unique research contributions" of NIDA and NIAAA. While 100 mil Americans responsibly consume alcohol beverages, Cressy noted, "it is illegal to manufacture, use, sell and purchase illicit drugs and there is no known safe use of tobacco…. Any common questions can be addressed by collaboration." Interestingly, the ex-director of NIAAA, Dr. Enoch Gordis, agrees with Becker and Cressy. "The attention to alcohol would be downplayed," Gordis told JTO. He also pointed to alcohol’s unique characteristics as a substance that is both a drug and a food, alcohol’s individual physiological effects and its legal status, which to Gordis means "the control of its noxious social effects are in a very different manner…than…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2003
  • Volume 20
  • Issue # 8
"The data do suggest that current drinkers have a reduced [risk] for invasive ovarian cancer, especially women who consume at least two drinks daily. This reduction

Publishing Info

  • Year 2003
  • Volume 20
  • Issue # 7
While many advocates continue to use the phrase to describe 5+ drinks per occasion for males, 4+ for females, yet another study of student drinking found those levels did not provide an accurate measure of intoxication. In this study (based on actual BAC levels), 29% of students found to have BAC levels below .08 "would be classified as heavy episodic [binge] drinkers," using the 4+/5+ drink levels. In fact, "only 51.5% of students" who reported drinking 5+ drinks had a BAC greater than or equal to .08. About 1/3 of the students who met the 5+/4+ standard had a BAC level "greater than or equal to" .10. That means 2/3 of those who binged had BACs below .10. The authors wrote: the 5+/4+ measure lacked specificity, had poor predictive value and yielded a high rate of false positives

Publishing Info

  • Year 2003
  • Volume 20
  • Issue # 6
Each of 4 large national surveys documents recent reductions in underage drinking.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2003
  • Volume 20
  • Issue # 4
While annual Monitoring the Future surveys show remarkable long-term declines in drinking prevalence among junior and senior high school students, the same surveys show some slight increases in drinking among young adults age 19-28, at least over the last decade. At the same time, attitudes about moderate and heavy drinking show some modest changes among this segment of the population. Just below 69% of 19-28 year olds drank monthly in 2008, according to MTF. That's up 2 points from 66.9% in 1998, though still 5 points below the 75% of 19-28 yr olds who drank monthly in the late 80s. Daily drinking among this age group increased from 4% to 5.3% over the last decade, though again that's down from 6.1% 20 years ago. Compare these trends to monthly drinking among 18 yr-olds, which dropped from 63.9% in 1988 to 52% in 98 then 43% in 2008. Similarly, daily drinking among 18 yr-olds declined from 4.2% to 3.9% to 2.8%. What about older adults? MTF data on those 30+ doesn't go as far back as the teen data, but monthly drinking among 35 yr-olds increased from 62.9% in 98 to 65% in 08; among 40 yr-olds the rate increased from…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2010
  • Volume 27
  • Issue # 3
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