Monday July 23, 2018

Teens Drinking Regularly face Worse Alcohol Problems Than Adults

Discouraging or delaying alcohol use in adolescence is likely to have substantial benefits in adulthood in terms of preventing harmful drinking behaviours which adversely affect health and well-being

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Alcohol Addiction
The researchers looked at the drinking patterns of 9,000 adolescents in Australia and New Zealand. Pixabay
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Teens aged under 17 who drink alcohol weekly are three times more likely to binge drink and be dependent on alcohol as adults compared with their peers who don’t drink, an Australian-led research said on Wednesday.

“The study further debunks the myth that teen experimentation with alcohol promotes responsible drinking, instead it sets a young person up for later-life drinking problem,” Xinhua news agency quoted Professor George Patton from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute as saying.

Alcohol
Teens consuming alcohol at a party. Pixabay

The researchers looked at the drinking patterns of 9,000 adolescents in Australia and New Zealand.

The findings suggest that delaying drinking alcohol would have “significant public health benefits” as well as showing that public health messages “need to focus as much on frequency of drinking as the amount consumed”, said lead author Edmund Silins.

Also Read: What Causes Alcohol Addiction?

“Discouraging or delaying alcohol use in adolescence is likely to have substantial benefits in adulthood in terms of preventing harmful drinking behaviours which adversely affect health and well-being,” he added. (IANS)

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What Causes Alcohol Addiction?

The team analysed GAT-3 levels in brain tissue from deceased humans who had documented alcohol addiction

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What Causes Alcohol Addiction?
What Causes Alcohol Addiction? (IANS)

Molecular mechanisms including lower levels of a protein in the brain may be the reason why addicts choose alcohol over an alternative reward, finds a study that may help improve treatment for alcohol dependence.

The study suggested that the level of a transporter protein GAT-3, situated in the amygdala region of the brain — responsible for emotional reactions — was lower among the alcohol addicts.

“We have to understand that a core feature of addiction is that you know it is going to harm you, potentially even kill you, and nevertheless something has gone wrong with the motivational control and you keep doing it,” said Markus Heilig from the Linkoping University in Sweden.

In the study, published in the journal Science, the team used a mouse model to measure the expression of hundreds of genes in five areas of the brain.

What Causes Alcohol Addiction?
Alcoholic beverages. Pixabay

The team investigated the role of reduced GAT-3 levels in rats that initially preferred sweetened water over alcohol. After the reduction, they were again presented with the choice between alcohol and sugar.

They found that 15 per cent of the outbred rats chose alcohol over a high-value reward.

Also Read: US Cancels A Planned Alcohol Study Over Trust Issues

“Decreasing the expression of the transporter had a striking effect on the behaviour of these rats. Animals that had preferred the sweet taste over alcohol reversed their preference and started choosing alcohol,” said lead investigator Eric Augier.

Further, the team analysed GAT-3 levels in brain tissue from deceased humans who had documented alcohol addiction. They found lower levels of the protein in them than in the control individuals. (IANS)

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