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Raise the Price, Lower the Deaths

Heaviest drinkers reduce consumption when prices rise.

When booze became more expensive in British Columbia, a 32% drop in wholly attributable alcohol-related deaths occurred. These deaths included alcohol poisoning, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, and alcoholic gastritis. During the 8 years of the study, the average minimum price of spirits and beer increased by 10%. This was an ecological study that averaged the data over all individuals.

PositiveTip: Total abstinence is still the best way to prevent alcohol-related deaths.

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Don't Mix Sleds with Alcohol and Poor Light

Beware of alcohol and low light when sledding.

Physicians in the U.K. have reported in a letter to the British Medical Journal an increase in sledding injuries following recent snow falls. The damages varied from minor fractures to serious injuries. It was their observation that many of these were caused by mixing poor light and drinking alcohol.

PositiveTip: Enjoy winter's gift of snow. Sled safely without alcohol and in good light!

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Binge Drinking: a Serious Problem in Young Women

Each year in the U.S. 23,000 young women die because of binge drinking.

In 2011, one in five high-school girls and one in eight adult women aged 18-34 years participate in binge drinking more than 3 times per month. This study did not include women living on collage campuses or military bases. Binge drinking is a major risk factor for many social and health problems in women including sexually transmitted diseases, unintended and alcohol-exposed  pregnancy, and breast cancer. 

PositiveTip: Read Binge Drinking and inform yourself on the dangers and what can be done.

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October: National Breast Cancer Awareness

The best advice is not to drink. At all.

Based on a wealth of evidence, the American Institute of Cancer Research is warning that any level of alcohol consumption raises women's risk of breast cancer. In fact, one in ten breast cancers could be prevented by not drinking. Learn more by visiting AICR's online section on this issue.

Here are four PositiveTips to lower the risk of breast cancer:

  1. Don't drink any alcohol.
  2. Move more--at least 30 minutes daily.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight.
  4. Breastfeed your babies.

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Age of First Alcohol Use Leads to More Problems Later

Drinking and getting drunk at an early age associated with big problems when college seniors.

A longitudinal study of incoming college freshmen revealed a startling association between younger drinking age and heavy drinking. The earlier in life the students started drinking, the more problems they had in school and work, blackouts, vomiting and other problems by their senior year (P<0.001). The younger the onset of drinking the higher the risk of alcohol-related problems later, including binge drinking.

PositiveTip: Avoid alcohol at any age to prevent the negative impact of drinking.

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Despite Risks, Pregnant Women Still Drink

Drinking during pregnancy still a problem.

Despite the risks of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, many women of childbearing age continue to drink. Researchers at the U.S. Centers of Disease Control found that 7.6% of pregnant women surveyed imbibed at least one drink within 30 days of the survey, and 1.4% had engaged in binge drinking within the same period. Almost 14,000 pregnant women were included in this study. Pregnant women 35-44 years old had the higest prevalence of drinking and binge drinking, and the lowest rates were in those 18-24 years old.

PositiveTip: No amount of alcohol is considered safe for pregnant women!

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Is It Really Safe for Mothers to Drink?

Danish study suggests that small amounts of alcohol might be safe, then cautions otherwise.

A series of articles by Danish researchers found that when 1600 children at age 5 were tested for intelligence, attention, and executive function, there were no significant differences between children whose mothers had ingested small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy and those who had not. However, the authors still recommended that women should not drink alcohol during pregnancy, as no safe level has been established.

PositiveTip: Pregnant or planning to be? Stay away from all alcoholic drinks.

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Lifestyle and Cancer Risk

A large portion of cancers are preventable by healthier lifestyle choices.

According to British researchers, almost 40% of cancers are due to avoidable life choices. Tobacco causes 23% of cancer cases in men and 15.6% in women. The next largest cause of cancer in men is a diet lacking in fresh fruit and vegetables, and for women, it is being overweight. The use of alcohol is also a significant cause of cancer. 

PositiveTip: To a large extent, your lifestyle choices determine your risk of cancer.

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Parental Influence in Teen Drinking

Teens of authoritative parents who model healthy alcohol behavior drink less.

An authorative parenting style that includes restricting the availability of alcohol at home can decrease the risk that adolescents will start drinking. This risk is even lower when parents are firm in this matter and model non-drinking behavior to their teens. These findings come from a longitudinal study of more than 6500 U.S. adolescents.

PositiveTip: Authorative parenting (firm, but not harsh) protects teens from starting down the road to alcohol abuse.

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Predictors of Teen Drinking

Authoritative parenting and alcohol restriction decreases onset of teen drinking.

The most powerful predictors of teen drinking onset are high peer alcohol use (odds ratio, 2.9) followed by high movie alcohol exposure (2.1). Movie exposure also increased the odds of a transition to binge drinking.  These findings came after researchers controlled for demographic variables. They lend support to the age-old concept that we become what we observe (2 Corinthians 3:18).

PositiveTip: What safe-guards protect your teens from the pernicious influence of alcohol use?