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Cherpitel C.J.,Alcohol Research Group
Alcohol Research: Current Reviews | Year: 2013

Hospital emergency departments (EDs) see many patients with alcohol-related injuries and therefore frequently are used to assess the relationship between alcohol consumption and injury risk. These studies typically use either case-control or case-crossover designs. Case-control studies, which compare injured ED patients with either medical ED patients or the general population, found an increased risk of injury after alcohol consumption, but differences between the case and control subjects partly may account for this effect. Case-crossover designs, which avoid this potential confounding factor by using the injured patients as their own control subjects, also found elevated rates of injury risk after alcohol consumption. However, the degree to which risk is increased can vary depending on the study design used. Other factors influencing injury risk include concurrent use of other drugs and drinking patterns. Additional studies have evaluated cross-country variation in injury risk as well as the risk by type (i.e., intentional vs. unintentional) and cause of the injury. Finally, ED studies have helped determine the alcohol-attributable fraction of injuries, the causal attribution of injuries to drinking, and the impact of others' drinking. Although these studies have some limitations, they have provided valuable insight into the association between drinking and injury risk.

Kerr W.C.,Alcohol Research Group | Stockwell T.,University of Victoria
Drug and Alcohol Review | Year: 2012

Introduction and Aims. For consumers to follow drinking guidelines and limit their risk of negative consequences they need to track their ethanol consumption. This paper reviews published research on the ability of consumers to utilise information about the alcohol content of beverages when expressed in different forms, for example in standard drinks or units versus percentage alcohol content. Design and Methods. A review of the literature on standard drink definitions and consumer understanding of these, actual drink pouring, use of standard drinks in guidelines and consumer understanding and use of these. Results. Standard drink definitions vary across countries and typically contain less alcohol than actual drinks. Drinkers have difficulty defining and pouring standard drinks with over-pouring being the norm such that intake volume is typically underestimated. Drinkers have difficulty using percentage alcohol by volume and pour size information in calculating intake but can effectively utilise standard drink labelling to track intake. Discussion and Conclusions. Standard drink labelling is an effective but little used strategy for enabling drinkers to track their alcohol intake and potentially conform to safe or low-risk drinking guidelines.[Kerr WC, Stockwell T. Understanding standard drinks and drinking guidelines. Drug Alcohol Rev 2012;31:200-205]. © 2011 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.

Zemore S.E.,Alcohol Research Group
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment | Year: 2012

Research has not consistently supported an association between stage of change and substance abuse treatment retention. This study examined whether social desirability response bias could help explain why. Participants (N = 200) recruited from an outpatient program completed the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale (URICA), Treatment Readiness Tool (TREAT), Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, and other measures. Number of treatment groups attended was collected from program records. In bivariate analyses, neither the URICA nor the TREAT was related to attendance. However, higher social desirability was strongly associated with lower URICA (but not TREAT) total scores, and in a multivariate path model, a moderately strong association emerged between higher URICA scores and greater treatment attendance when accounting for social desirability. Higher social desirability was also an independent predictor of greater treatment attendance and was strongly associated with lower Addiction Severity Index alcohol, drug, and psychiatric severity. Results underline a critical problem in measuring motivation and problem severity that has been largely neglected. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Vernon M.L.,Alcohol Research Group
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment | Year: 2010

This review summarizes the literature on computer-based drinking assessment and intervention programs evaluated using members of the general public. The primary aim was to summarize the demand, usage, and effectiveness of these services. A systematic search of the literature identified seven online drinking assessments and eight computerized interventions that were evaluated using members of the general public. Internet assessment users tend to be in their early 30s, are more often male, tend to be at risk for or are experiencing alcohol-related problems, more fully explore assessment sites, and are more likely to enroll in interventions linked to these sites when their drinking problem is more severe. Although dropout from computer-based interventions is often very high and treatment models vary widely, program completers appear to show improvements. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Subbaraman M.S.,Alcohol Research Group
Alcohol and Alcoholism | Year: 2014

Aims: Substituting cannabis for alcohol may reduce drinking and related problems among alcohol-dependent individuals. Some even recommend prescribing medical cannabis to individuals attempting to reduce drinking. The primary aim of this review is to assess whether cannabis satisfies the seven previously published criteria for substitute medications for alcohol [e.g. 'reduces alcoholrelated harms'; 'is safer in overdose than alcohol'; 'should offer significant health economic benefits'; see Chick and Nutt ((2012) Substitution therapy for alcoholism: time for a reappraisal? J Psychopharmacol 26:205-12)]. Methods: Literature review. Results: All criteria appear either satisfied or partially satisfied, though studies relying on medical cannabis patients may be limited by selection bias and/or retrospective designs. Individual-level factors, such as severity of alcohol problems, may also moderate substitution. Conclusions: There is no clear pattern of outcomes related to cannabis substitution. Most importantly, the recommendation to prescribe alcohol-dependent individuals cannabis to help reduce drinking is premature. Future studies should use longitudinal data to better understand the consequences of cannabis substitution. ©The Author 2014. Medical Council on Alcohol and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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