Increase in pleasurable effects of alcohol over time can predict alcohol use disorder

A new study out of the University of Chicago Medicine following young adult drinkers for 10 years has found that individuals who reported the highest sensitivity to alcohol’s pleasurable and rewarding effects at the start of the trial were more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder (AUD) over the course of the study.

University of Chicago Medical Center. “Increase in pleasurable effects of alcohol over time can predict alcohol use disorder: New research challenges existing dogma that higher tolerance for stimulating and rewarding effects of alcohol leads to addiction.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/01/210105084649.htm (accessed January 7, 2021).

Journal Reference: Andrea King, Ashley Vena, Deborah S. Hasin, Harriet deWit, Sean J. O’Connor, Dingcai Cao. Subjective Responses to Alcohol in the Development and Maintenance of Alcohol Use Disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2021; appi.ajp.2020.2 DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20030247

Uh oh.

The Other Pandemic

Even under the best circumstances, however, addiction is a disease prone to relapse. An estimated 40-60% of people who misuse drugs will return to using them at some point during recovery—and it’s this time that leaves them most vulnerable to overdose, since their tolerance has dropped, often dramatically, during their period of abstinence.

The US covid pandemic has a sinister shadow—drug overdoses — BMJ 2020; 371 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4751 (Published 17 December 2020)

I Thought I Told You To Put That Phone Down!

Compared with participants who used less than 120 minutes per day of social media, for example, young adults who used more than 300 minutes per day were 2.8 times as likely to become depressed within six months.The study, which will be published online Dec. 10 and is scheduled for the February 2021 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, is the first large, national study to show a link between social media use and depression over time.

University of Arkansas. “Increased social media use linked to developing depression.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201210074722.htm (accessed December 13, 2020).

Journal Reference

  1. Brian A. Primack, Ariel Shensa, Jaime E. Sidani, César G. Escobar-Viera, Michael J. Fine. Temporal Associations Between Social Media Use and Depression. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2020.09.014

A few more posts for your reading pleasure.

OD Deaths Involving Cocaine On The Rise

The rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine was stable between 2009 and 2013, then nearly tripled from 1.6 per 100,000 in 2013 to 4.5 in 2018.

NCHS Data Brief No. 384, October 2020 — https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db384.htm

Memo to all of my friends in the mortality risk business:

With so much attention being paid to Covid-19 it’s easy to forget people die from other causes. Don’t forget this.

Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020

MentalHealthCOVID19_IMAGE_14Aug20_1200x675-medium

The survey results are in line with recent data from Mental Health America, which indicate dramatic increases in depression, anxiety, and suicidality since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Citation: Czeisler MÉ , Lane RI, Petrosky E, et al. Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1049–1057. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6932a1external icon.

 

 

English Pub Installs an Electric Fence to Maintain Social Distancing — VinePair

Restaurant and bar owners worldwide are rapidly innovating to accommodate social distancing requirements in their establishments. One pub landlord has a crafty solution, and it’s positively … electric. Johnny McFadden, landlord of The Star Inn in Cornwall, England, installed an electric fence in his pub to maintain a safe distance between pub goers and his…

via English Pub Installs an Electric Fence to Maintain Social Distancing — VinePair

Not The Onion.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Watch Your Quarantini Intake

Nielsen reports alcohol sales in stores were up 54% in late March compared to that time last year, while online sales were up nearly 500% in late April. According to a Morning Consult poll of 2,200 U.S. adults conducted in early April, 16% of all adults said they were drinking more during the pandemic, with higher rates among younger adults: One in 4 Millennials and nearly 1 in 5 Gen Xers said they had upped their alcohol intake.

COVID-19 pandemic brings new concerns about excessive drinking

Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to the American Heart Association News. See full terms of use.

I stumbled upon the same AHA news article in several other websites.  The entire article was reprinted in its entirety and just one website provided attribution to the source.  The copyright notice and proper attribution is included above.

More Drugs Please

 

According to Ginger, an organization that provides mental health services to companies, compared to January and February of this year, prescriptions for psychotropics, most of which were antidepressants, were up 86% for the months of March and April.

The stress of unemployment, social isolation and health concerns are all cited by Americans who say the lock down is having a serious impact on their mental health.

Pharmacy group Express Scripts also revealed that prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications were up 34.1% between mid-February and mid-March, while prescriptions for antidepressants increased 18.6%.

Link to the source article.

Wow.

Alcohol Abuse and Covid-19

The binging population is of particular concern. “This is a huge problem, driven by people in their 30s and 40s,” Saab told Medscape Medical News. “It’s fascinating; with each subsequent generation, risk behavior increases. Nobody seems to know why that is. Different parenting, different life stressors, social media? Things have changed.”

In the 25- to 34-year age group, death from liver cirrhosis increased 10.5% from 2009 to 2016, according to data from the ACCELERATE-AH consortium, which is looking at alcohol use by patients before and after liver transplantation, as reported by Medscape Medical News.

Alcohol Abuse Agitated by COVID-19 Stirring Liver Concerns

Read the entire article at the link above.

 

Alcohol Delivery Sales Surge Amidst Social Distancing — VinePair

Americans are spending more time than ever at home right now, with trips outdoors limited to only the absolutely necessary. While alcohol businesses, including wine and liquor stores, wineries, breweries, and distilleries, have been deemed “essential” in states where work restrictions are in effect, U.S. drinkers are increasingly making their alcohol purchases online. Over the…

via Alcohol Delivery Sales Surge Amidst Social Distancing — VinePair

Triple. Digit. Growth.

As an EM doc said in a prior post Coronavirus made simple by your friendly neighborhood emergency physician when you fall don’t go to the ER.