Los Angeles emergency rooms are reporting a growing number of teenagers coming in drunk after drinking cheap liquid hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizers, which contain over 60% ethyl alcohol and can make a 120-proof liquid, are becoming an increasingly popular route for getting drunk. According to the Los Angeles Times, six teens have been reportedly taken to emergency rooms in the San Fernando Valley and treated for alcohol poisoning after drinking the hand sanitizers. In some cases, salt was used to separate the alcohol, so that it could be drunk straight, like a shot. Learning how to distill the sanitizer is not so difficult if you know how to look things up online. Public health officials in the San Fernando Valley have described these cases as possibly a signal of a dangerous trend.
Researchers from Norway and the United Kingdom have developed a new instrument to measure work addiction: The Bergen Work Addiction Scale. The new instrument is based on core elements of addiction that are recognised as diagnostic criteria for several addictions. Some people seem to be driven to work excessively and compulsively. These are denoted as work addicts - or workaholics. In the wake of globalisation, new technology and blurred boundaries between work and private life, we are witnessing an increase in work addiction, Doctor Cecilie Schou Andreassen from the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Bergen (UiB) says. Andreassen leads the team that has developed the new instrument, which is the first of its kind worldwide. With her background as a clinical psychologist specialist and her work as a consultant for the private sector, she is familiar with the real-life implications of work addiction.
Minors who were familiar with television alcohol advertisements were more likely to have tried alcoholic beverages and binge drink than those who could not recall seeing such ads, according to a study to be presented Sunday, April 29, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston. "Underage drinking remains an important health risk in the U.S., " said lead author Susanne E. Tanski, MD, MPH, FAAP, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. "In this study, we have shown a link between recognition of nationally televised alcohol advertisements and underage drinking initiation and heavier use patterns." Previous research by Dr. Tanski and her colleagues showed an association between seeing smoking and drinking in movies and adolescents engaging in these risky behaviors.
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found clinical evidence that the drug gabapentin, currently on the market to treat neuropathic pain and epilepsy, helps people to quit smoking marijuana (cannabis). Unlike traditional addiction treatments, gabapentin targets stress systems in the brain that are activated by drug withdrawal. In a 12-week trial of 50 treatment-seeking cannabis users, those who took gabapentin used less cannabis, experienced fewer withdrawal symptoms such as sleeplessness, and scored higher on tests of attention, impulse-control, and other cognitive skills, compared to patients who received a placebo. If these results are confirmed by ongoing larger trials, gabapentin could become the first FDA-approved pharmaceutical treatment for cannabis dependence.
Alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use among young people is a public health concern in the UK. The short and long term risks to health are well known and range from accidental injuries, violence, sexual ill-health and increased rates of chronic conditions and premature death. A range of policies have been directed at reducing substance use among English children. Despite this, the number of children taking substances remains substantial. In 2009, it was reported that 180, 000 children aged 11 to 15 years old in England smoked tobacco regularly, 540, 000 had consumed alcohol in the previous week, and 250, 000 had taken drugs in the previous month. A new study, published in the Journal of Public Health, explores the relationship between substance use, subjective wellbeing and socioeconomic status in 10-15 year olds attending schools in two local authorities in the North West of England.