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alcohol

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Parents Should Stop Giving Teens Alcohol

Parental provision of alcohol to teenagers is a risk for harmful behaviors.

When teens get alcohol from their parents they are more likely to engage in risky drinking practices. This was found in a large study of Australian adolescents ages 13-18.  Surprisingly, 15% of teens received alcohol from their parents when they were 13, versus 57% when 18. Compared with teens with no alcohol supply, parental supply increased the risk of binge-drinking, alcohol-related harms and alcohol use disorder more than two times.

PositiveTip:  Parents should not supply their teens with alcohol--neither should anyone else.

PositiveTip for

Parents Should Stop Giving Teens Alcohol

Parental provision of alcohol to teenagers is a risk for risky behaviors.

When teens get alcohol from their parents they are more likely to engage in risky drinking practices. This was found in a large study of Australian adolescents ages 13-18.  Surprisingly, 15% of teens received alcohol from their parents when they were 13, versus 57% when 18. When compared with teens with no alcohol supply, parental supply increased the risk of binge-drinking, alcohol-related harms and alcohol use disorder more than two times.

PositiveTip:  Parents should not supply their teens with alcohol--neither should anyone else.

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Teen Brain Development Hampered by Alcohol

Keeping kegs out of dormitories makes a lot of sense.

Researchers studying teenagers for two years found significant negative brain changes is both heavy and moderate drinkers. The more alcohol consumed the worse the outcomes. After controlling for confounders, slower increases in gray matter and accelerated decreases in gray matter were observed.

PositiveTip: Drinking alcohol is harmful to adolescent brains--and brains of all ages!

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Small Amounts of Alcohol Lead to Brain Damage

Drinking habits many consider normal have adverse consequences for health.

Researchers studied 530 U.K. non-alcohol dependent adults whose alcohol consumption and cognitive performance was repeatedly assessed for over 30 years. Brain imaging was performed at the most recent visit. After adjustment for potential confounders, even moderate alcohol use (up to 21 drinks per week) was associated with a 3x greater risk of having hippocampal atrophy than abstainers. Very light drinking (1-6 drinks per week) gave no protection relative to not drinking.

PositiveTip: Abstinence from all alcohol appears to be the best policy for long-term brain health.

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Small Amounts of Alcohol Increase Risk of Breast Cancer

AICR estimates that one-third of breast cancers in the U.S. could be prevented!

Consuming just one glass of wine (or other alcoholic drink) a day increases the risk of breast cancer, the most common global cause of cancer in women! Excess body fat also increases the risk. Regular physical activity and breastfeeding decrease the risk. 

PositiveTip: Click on this link to view an intriguing infographic on how you, a loved one or friend, can lower the risk of breast cancer.

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Alcohol and Marijuana Affect College Grades

Use of alcohol and marijuana does impact academic performance.

The two most commonly used substances on college campuses are alcohol and marijuana. Researchers followed freshmen from two collages for two years, tracking academic performance and monthly use of alcohol and cannabis. The lowest users of both substances maintained the highest GPAs, and had the lowest depression scores when compared to those with moderate to high alcohol but no marijuana use or moderate to high users of both. Grades improved with lower substance abuse!

PositiveTip: Going for the gold academically? Stay away from alcohol and marijuana.

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Preventing "Holiday Heart Syndrome"

Habitual moderate drinking and binge drinking predisposes people to atrial fibrillation.

Holiday revelers be warned: it is well known that heavy drinking, even in the occasional binge, leads to atrial fibrillation (AF). Now in a sobering review, Australian scientists report even though small amounts of alcohol are considered by many to be cardioprotective, these benefits do not extend to AF.

PositiveTip: This holiday season stay safe and healthy by avoiding all alcoholic drinks.

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Women Reaching Equality with Men in Drinking

Women closing gap with men in alcohol use and related harms.

Researchers have found women have all but caught up with men in their alcohol drinking habits. During earlier decades men were far more likely to drink so much that it affected their health than women. That gap has closed. Women around the world are now nearly as likely as men to drink excessively and suffer harm from it.

PositiveTip: Choosing to live alcohol-free assures freedom from the health and social downsides of drinking.

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Absent Parents Influence Alcohol & Tobacco Use

One absent parent early in life results in greater risk for unhealthy behaviors by 11.

A large U.K. study found when there is an absent parent by age 7, the kids risks of smoking and alcohol consumption prior to their teenage years increased by 2.86 and 1.46, respectively. Earlier initiation of these risky behaviors may impact the risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease later in life, as well as dependence issues.

PositiveTip: Children who experience parental absence need support and care from significant others to prevent smoking and alcohol initiation.

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New U. K. Alcohol Guidelines

Stricter U. K. alcohol guidelines reflect current scientific evidence.

Following a review of scientific evidence the U.K. Chief Medical Officers issued new guidelines on the use of alcohol. Clear evidence shows even the consumption of 1 drink per day is linked with increased risk of several cancers and recognizes the claimed protective benefits for heart disease is weaker than first thought. They state there is no safe level for pregnant women, and warns against binge drinking. (Supporting evidence papers are available here.)

PositiveTip: Avoiding all alcohol consumption is still good advice for limiting risks.