Posts Tagged ‘binge drinking’

Drinking After 40: Why Hangovers Hit Harder

Depressed Forty Year Old Man Drinking AloneThe Reasons Moderate Alcohol Consumption Gets More Complicated in Middle Age

Source: WSJ
Andrea Petersen
Nov. 18, 2013

When you’re in your 40s, it’s pretty common to need reading glasses. You might need smaller wine glasses, too.

That’s because alcohol hits people harder in their 40s and 50s than it did during their 20s and 30s. The reasons for this include changes in body composition to brain sensitivity and liver functioning. Lifestyle factors are at play, too. And since people tend to take more medications-both prescription and over-the-counter-as they age, there are more chances for uncomfortable and even dangerous booze-drug mixing.

“All of the effects of alcohol are sort of amplified with age,” says David W. Oslin, a professor of psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “Withdrawal is a little bit more complicated. Hangovers are a little bit more complicated.”

Part of the issue is that people in their 40s and older simply tend not to drink as much or as often as those in their 20s and 30s, which lowers tolerance. “You’re becoming more work-oriented, more family-oriented,” says Robert Pandina, director of the Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers University.

So when you do drink “you might have a more sensitive response to alcohol because you’ve lowered your exposure to alcohol over all.”

Some people swear that only certain types of alcohol-red wine, tequila-are a problem. Generally, doctors say there’s little science indicating that some drinks make people drunker or lead to more miserable hangovers. It is true, however, that people at any age can develop sensitivities to sulfites and tannins in wine, which can cause headaches and an upset stomach, Dr. Pandina says. And the carbonation in sparkling wines or even in mixed drinks like whiskey and Coke “seems to increase how rapidly alcohol is absorbed,” says Reid Blackwelder, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a practicing family doctor in Kingsport, Tenn.

About 52% of people age 45 to 64 are “regular” drinkers, meaning they had at least 12 drinks in the previous year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2011 National Health Interview Survey.

Body composition starts to change as early as the 30s. As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass, while fat content increases. Alcohol isn’t distributed in fat. People also have less total body water as they get older. So if several people have the same amount to drink, those with more fat and less muscle and body water will have more alcohol circulating in their bloodstream. (This is also partly why women of any age tend to feel alcohol’s effects more than men.)

“A lot of older people are borderline dehydrated. They have less body water just from the natural effects of aging,” Dr. Blackwelder says. It helps to drink water and have a full stomach when knocking one back.

The majority of alcohol is metabolized by the liver, which changes when people hit their 50s. (A small amount is metabolized in the stomach and mouth.) The liver gets bigger as people get older, but the organ becomes less efficient. Blood flow decreases, as do the number of hepatocytes, the liver’s functional cells, says Gary Murray, acting director of the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health.

Certain enzyme levels dip, too, including one type of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, which breaks down alcohol. Women of all ages tend to have lower levels of this enzyme in the stomach. But between the ages of 50 and 60, men see their levels slide, too. All these changes mean “you have a prolonged exposure to alcohol and possibly a little bit bigger buzz,” when you drink, Dr. Murray says. There’s also some evidence that hormonal changes around menopause can increase women’s sensitivity to alcohol. Healthy young people tend to metabolize about one drink per hour, Dr. Murray says.

Stephanie Draeken used to enjoy a glass or two of wine several nights a week. “I have four kids. I need my wine,” says the stay-at-home mother in Austin, Texas. But since turning 40 nearly two years ago, Ms. Draeken says if she has even one glass of wine now she’ll “wake up in the middle of the night with a horrible headache and the next day is like a college-style hangover without the college-style fun,” she says.

She tried switching to higher-priced wine, then stuck with white wine. She tried champagne. “It didn’t matter,” she says. She says she now rarely drinks wine and limits herself to an occasional vodka and soda.

Alcohol-drug interactions can become more of a problem, too, since older people are more likely to take medications. Alcohol and many medications are metabolized by the same enzymes in the liver, which can enhance the effects of alcohol or the medications. Heartburn drugs like Zantac interfere with the metabolism of alcohol, thus raising blood-alcohol levels.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) poses another problem because, combined with alcohol, it can damage the liver.

Mixing alcohol with blood thinners like Coumadin can be particularly dangerous, causing bleeding. “People on Coumadin shouldn’t really drink at all,” says Dr. Oslin. And taking alcohol with some pain medications and benzodiazepines (antianxiety drugs) can make you “more prone to sedation, more prone to cardiovascular risk and more prone to overdose,” Dr. Oslin says.

People with certain medical conditions should also be cautious with alcohol, doctors say. Long-term alcohol use can raise blood pressure. And alcohol tends to irritate the stomach.

Barring health problems and medication interactions, doctors generally become concerned when people drink more than a moderate amount of alcohol. That is defined as up to two drinks per day for men and up to one drink per day for women, according to the latest federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (A standard drink is about 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor, according to the CDC.)

In fact, there’s some evidence that a moderate amount of alcohol can have health benefits. Studies have linked moderate alcohol consumption with a reduced risk of cardiovascular problems and death overall. Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risks of liver disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer and dementia, beyond the obvious accidents and injuries.

Particularly beginning in the 50s and 60s, the brain is more sensitive to alcohol. Booze basically enhances normal age-related cognitive decline. Neurons lose speed. Specifically, the insulating myelin sheaths around the axons of neurons-the parts responsible for transmitting information to other neurons-get smaller. As people age, “neurons are not as efficient. So you impair them with a little bit of alcohol, they are that much more inefficient,” says Dr. Oslin. “Somebody who goes to a cocktail party at 65 can have one or two drinks and be really impaired.”

Older people are also more affected by alcohol’s impact on sleep, a fact that can turn a mild hangover into a must-stay-in-bed-all-day affair. “Alcohol in all ages wrecks our REM sleep,” says Alison A. Moore, professor of medicine and psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Older adults are more likely to have poor sleep. [Alcohol] can make sleep even more fragmented.”

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Serving Alcohol Monthly Newsletter – September 2013


Serving Alcohol Monthly Newsletter

September 2013

 If you are serving alcohol, we are serving you. If you are selling, serving, or managing, this website is a place for you to learn, to share and to teach alongside others in the profession. Our goal is to help employees form opinions that will save lives and make serving and consuming alcohol safer for all.

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Here Come the Freshmen!

There’s a hint of change in the air, a breeze pushing heat and humidity aside in favor of cooler, crisp fall days. Autumn has come to college towns. Parents and students begin their treks to university campuses across the nation. While boxes are being lugged in and unpacked, every parent also has a nagging worry about leaving their child behind to navigate a new environment, new challenges and new friends.

It’s also a time when bars and restaurants in college towns must brace for the onslaught of under-aged clientele armed with new found freedom and ready to test the boundaries and policies they have in place. When high school graduates hit college campuses they are more easily swayed by peer pressure than ever before. For many this is their first significant time away from home—and they are leaving behind the structure and behavioral expectations it represents. In an effort to “fit in” or simply form new friendships, many will seek approval by engaging in illegal under-aged drinking. Social situations presented by dormitories, Greek houses or off-campus housing complexes are often the catalyst for these dangerous choices.

Historically, teenagers often possess the desire to be viewed as an adult with this level of independence, and drinking with their peers is the easiest way to accomplish this goal. But what are the dangers surrounding their experimentation?


The path to “acceptance” is risky:

* Teenagers have smaller bodies with less water volume that cannot process alcohol well—they become intoxicated quickly

*Teens consume 5 drinks at one time on average leading to acute intoxication

*Psychological vulnerability and immaturity makes intoxication more intense and possibly addicting

*Due to lack of experience and not understanding personal tolerance levels, teens are more likely to become ill or to lose consciousness, or even die. Choking on vomit after losing consciousness may cause brain damage or death.

*Teens tend to overestimate their physical skills, capability of driving, and decision making while drinking. The altered state of intoxication also leads to engaging in Illegal activities.

*25% of all alcohol produced is consumed by under aged drinkers

*Alcohol companies have created product lines that are sweet-tasting and marketed as “trendy” to underage drinkers.

*Inexperienced drinking combined with inexperienced driving is more dangerous, and even deadly

*One in four vehicle accidents involving teenaged drivers is alcohol-related

*Because bar entry as a minor is difficult, so teens may chose to drink in uncontrolled environments and private venues that promote high volume or “binge drinking” because they are no limits imposed by social hosts

*Sexual assault of under aged drinkers is more prevalent due to inexperience and extreme impairment. Minors under the influence may not perceive dangers and be unable to protect themselves from harm.

Night Car Accident Rollover

The inescapable fact is that life is fragile, and inexperience and experimentation can lead to tragedy and life-altering consequences. Your goal as a bar owner, manager or staff member to keep this kind of impairment from being accomplished at your establishment! The following strategies should help you keep your customers safe and eliminate risk for your business.

Let’s begin with the basics to curb under aged drinking, starting at the front door. Who and what are you looking for as potential bar patrons line up outside your business?


 There are physical characteristics that will give away an under aged guest:

*Facial blemishes, acne, lack of a mature beard, lack of eye wrinkles, an under-developed body, a high-pitched voice are tell-tale signs to note.


 Behaviors and mannerisms can be a red flag as well:

*Giggling, loud or argumentative chatter

* Nervous, skittish, childish, immature behavior

*Awkward and uncoordinated movements

*False bravado—cocky, trying too hard to be “cool”

*Lack of eye contact combined with evasive and guarded exchanges with staff


 Dress and other fashion statements:


*Dressing in overly trendy clothing, jewelry, shoes, etc.

*Excessive make-up and hair treatments

*Wearing sunglasses

*Clothing or hats with school logos, class rings


 Look at their companions:

*The group may look very “young” overall

*There may be one or two in the group who are of age that they hope will serve to validate them and help them gain access to the bar. If they make it in watch mixed age tables carefully as adults who are allowing minors to drink are subject to criminal liability and arrest.

Now that your eyes are open and you have a good idea of whose ID may require extra examination, fine tune the carding process. Nothing is more important than catching that under aged guest at the door—this is the ultimate key to prevention and protecting your business from risk!


Careful Carding Procedures:

*The first line of defense will be the points of entry to your bar—front, back or side. Security staff should be waiting with a flashlight in hand to check for ID validity or alteration to printed information. Chinese fake IDs have never been harder to detect and easier to acquire, so minors will be accessing them to gain entry to your bar.

*Make sure your entry area is well-lit not only for ID verification, but for getting a long, hard look at each patron’s appearance.  Be sure to check for the expiration date, date of birth, height, weight, and photo. Does the height and weight match the ID description? Does everything match up physically?

*Doormen should always politely ask for a valid ID and explain that it’s “house rules” to card every customer. Always have the guest pull their ID from their wallet for easy inspection and have them pull it from any protective plastic sleeve for scanning by black light.

*Black light technology should be used to carefully scrutinize each and every ID for tri-colored state-issued holographic seals. Chinese fakes don’t have tri-colored holograms and do not react well to black light and may appear very faint.

*Falsified Chinese IDs have an unusually strong reaction to the black light review

*The most common ploy to get into a bar comes in the form of an authentic ID that has been given to the underage patron by a sibling or other family member. Check the photo carefully—ask questions. Quiz the card holder on specific details—details that may be hard to remember if they have already been drinking because the fake ID worked elsewhere! If you’re suspicious, remind patrons that using a falsified ID or being caught under the influence as a minor can be grounds for criminal arrest.

*A state-issued license is easy to read and will clearly identify the name, address, age and physical characteristics of the holder. The back of a valid ID doesn’t have photo copy lines, imperfections or discoloration.

*Look for exclusionary statements such as, “Not a Driver’s License,” “Personal Identification Only,” or State Resident Identification,” etc. No authentic state-issued ID uses these designations.

*When in doubt ask for a backup form of identification—a social security card, passport, birth certificate, health or car insurance card, checkbook, car registration, etc.

*If the ID is questionable—ask conversational questions about the state that “issued” it. Using a friendly tone ask, “Have you lived here/there all your life? What’s the capital of the state? What’s your zip code? Are you a donor?” A valid ID holder should be able to easily answer these questions with little hesitation.


*Post a sign at the entry requesting valid IDs before entry into your bar. This should also speed up the carding process as patrons will have their IDs in hand when they get to the door. In addition to that, post the state laws that license your establishment. Inform patrons that alcohol purchase and consumption by minors have criminal ramifications, and that it is unlawful to misrepresent legal age. Post your right to refuse service to anyone with identification deemed unsatisfactory. Be very careful that the denial of an ID should never be misinterpreted as a form of discrimination regarding race, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation on the part of the employee or the bar ownership.

*Some states place a “red border” around the ID photo of those under the age of 21—don’t overlook that detail on a busy night.

*After reviewing the card for authenticity, thank the patron for their compliance and tell them to “have a good time.” I once worked at a bar where “thank-you” was followed by, “make good decisions!” That always brought a smile! Keep in mind that having these practices in play will go a long way toward eliminating risk for your customers, staff, management and ultimately for bar owners. Your goal should always be to promote fun and social atmosphere, but follow the law and make certain that you have a safe, controlled environment for all.


 Thank you for being a responsible seller or server of alcohol!  – the team at Serving Alcohol Inc


New approach to student alcohol abuse

Source: Metro
October 14, 2012

After studying student alcohol use for more than 15 years, Auburn University professor Christopher J. Correia is encouraging administrators to take the judgmental sting out of their drinking policies.

This week Wiley publishing will release Correia’s latest book, which he hopes will become a new policy model for campuses across the country: “College Student Alcohol Abuse: A Guide to Assessment, Intervention and Prevention.”

“The research firmly points out, repeatedly, that the majority of college students either don’t drink at all or drink in a way that most people would consider to be safe and quite moderate,” says Correia. “There are plenty of students with problems, but they don’t all have the same problem. There are short-term problems, perhaps just one particular night, and then there are longer standing problems. We don’t serve students well when we try to treat every problem the same way.”

Correia co-authored “Student Alcohol Abuse” with researchers from the University of Memphis and Brown University, along with input from other prominent drug and alcohol analysts.

“It’s a public health issue,” says Correia. “We need to move away from abstinence-based, restrictive in-patient solutions, and realize there are lots of other treatment models out there — models that are more reality-based than thinking that college students are never going to drink.”

Positive shift
While alcohol abuse remains a problem, Correia says the situation is improving: “If you look at the numbers of students that engage in binge drinking, or at the numbers of deaths, injuries and accidents, it’s hard to be super optimistic. Those numbers have remained fairly stable. However, we are seeing a positive shift: There are more interventions out there that have empirical support. That means administrators can start to have more confidence in their options.”


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Exploring the Drugs-Crime Connection within the Electronic Dance Music and Hip-Hop Nightclub Scenes

Document Title: Exploring the Drugs-Crime Connection within the Electronic Dance Music and Hip-Hop Nightclub Scenes
Author(s): Tammy L. Anderson, Ph.D. ; Philip R. Kavanaugh ; Ronet Bachman ; Lana D. Harrison
Document No.: 219381
Date Received: August 2007
Award Number: 2004-IJ-CX-0040

Exploring the Drug-Crime Connection Report (PDF)

Purpose and Objectives.

The main research objective of project 2004-IJ-CX-0040 was to explore how the cultural ethos, behavioral norms, activities, and individual and group identities (i.e., subcultural phenomena), inherent to the electronic dance music (EDM- trance, house, and techno music) and the hip hop/rap (HH) nightclub scenes in Philadelphia, impacted the relationship between alcohol, drugs, and crime, with additional attention to victimization (i.e., the ADC + V link). These two music scenes provide a major source of leisure activity for many young adults today, yet the subcultures surrounding them are disparate and have been linked to diverse social problems, including alcohol and illegal drug abuse, criminal activity and victimization. This understudied, but increasingly popular social phenomenon has the potential to expand the scope of the drugs/crime debate to settings and populations not previously studied and to increasingly salient issues in contemporary society.

Secondary objectives include elaborating on how the ADC + V relationship varies by two dimensions: the demographic make-up of participants (e.g., race/ethnicity and gender) and their involvement with and commitment to the subcultures surrounding the respective nightclub scenes. This second dimension has the potential to establish a typology or profile of EDM and HH fans, which can be used to advance both an academic understanding of this important youth culture phenomena and produce effective prevention or intervention strategies to circumvent personal and social consequences.

Research Questions.

Main research questions include: 1) What are the patterns and meanings of drug and alcohol use among participants in these settings and what consequences arise from them? 2) What are the patterns of criminal activity among participants and how are they experienced? 3) What are the patterns of victimization among participants and how is it experienced? How does victimization differ from that documented in other settings of criminological interest? 4) What is the nature of the relationship between alcohol, drugs, crime and victimization and how do subcultural phenomena impact it? 5) How do extant theories fare in explaining the ADC + V link among the diverse groups of participants in both nightclub settings?

We begin our report with a discussion of the two music scenes we studied: HH and EDM, giving special attention to the problems and concerns they present to the criminal justice system and other social service agencies. Next, we discuss the methodology we used to address our research questions, including some of the issues we faced while doing the fieldwork and the potential contributions and limitations of it. The major section of the report reviews our substantive findings. We organize them by the research questions listed above. Specifically, we first review the drugs, crime, and victimization patterns we found. The findings synthesize several types of crime information: self-reports of offending and victimization, and reports of having witnessed others committing crime or being victimized at club events from in-depth interviews and field notes from direct observation at club events. Included in our discussion of the alcohol, drugs, crime and victimization patterns are demographic variation where we found it (addressing our project’s secondary objectives). Next, we address questions #4 and #5 about the alcohol, drugs and crime link at nightclub events. Here, we review our findings and offer contributions to extant criminological theories. Recommendations for further research are also discussed. We end the report with policy recommendations for officials, practitioners, and private interests.

 Learn more about Managing Nightclubs, Bars, and other Entertainment Venues where alcoh

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