Until now, illicit drug use has not been common in older people. However, it is likely to become more common as generations that use drugs more frequently reach an older age. New research published in the journal Age and Ageing has found that the lifetime use of cannabis, amphetamine, cocaine and LSD in 50-64 year olds has significantly increased since 1993 and is much higher than lifetime use in adults aged over 65. The study also found that drug use in inner London was higher than the overall UK average. The study, entitled 'Prevalences of illicit drug use in people aged 50 years and over from two surveys', analysed data on illicit drug use from two household surveys*. The most recent national survey included 2, 009 people aged 65 and 1, 827 people aged 55-65. The inner London survey included 284 and 176 people in these respective age groups Cannabis was the most frequent drug used.
To curb employees' on-the-job substance use and intoxication, bosses need to do more than just be around their employees all day, according to a new study from the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA). "It's only when employees think their supervisor knows how to detect substance use -- and is willing to do something about it -- that employees' drinking and drug use on the job decreases, " explains Michael Frone, PhD, senior research scientist at RIA and research associate professor of psychology. "Contact with a supervisor, no matter how often, is not a strong enough deterrent for some employees, our research finds." Frone's study included 2, 429 participants, ranging in age from 18-65, employed in the civilian labor force and from households located in the 48 contiguous states.
Sexually deprived male fruit flies exhibit a pattern of behavior that seems ripped from the pages of a sad-sack Raymond Carver story: when female fruit flies reject their sexual advances, the males are driven to excessive alcohol consumption, drinking far more than comparable, sexually satisfied male flies. Now a group of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has discovered that a tiny molecule in the fly's brain called neuropeptide F governs this behavior as the levels of the molecule change in their brains, the flies' behavior changes as well. The new work may help shed light on the brain mechanisms that make social interaction rewarding for animals and those that underlie human addiction. A similar human molecule, called neuropeptide Y, may likewise connect social triggers to behaviors like excessive drinking and drug abuse.
Many observational cohort studies have shown that moderate alcohol use is associated with better cognitive function. However, since such studies are vulnerable to residual confounding by other lifestyle and physiologic factors, the authors conducted a Mendelian randomization study, using aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) genotype (AA, GA, or GG) as an instrumental variable in 2-stage least squares analysis. Cognitive function was assessed from delayed 10-word recall score (n = 4, 707) and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score (n = 2, 284) among men from the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study (2003-2008). The authors had previously reported an association between reported alcohol intake and cognitive function from a larger group of subjects from the same study finding that women reporting occasional alcohol intake and men reporting occasional or moderate intake had better scores related to cognitive function than did abstainers.
The UK government is to commission a review of the current guidelines on alcohol consumption. The move is part of the government's alcohol strategy aimed at curbing excessive drinking and in response to a recent parliamentary committee report on alcohol guidelines. Dame Sally Davies, principal medical adviser to the government will lead the review, which will examine the current drinking guidelines and the evidence base, the Department of Health announced on Monday. The current drinking guidelines, which were last reviewed in 1995, state that women should regularly drink no more than two to three units of alcohol a day, and men no more than three to four. Regularly means on most days, or every day. Two to three units of alcohol is roughly the amount of alcohol in a standard 175 ml glass of wine (ABV 13%).