alcohol abuse

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Experts Chip Away at Mystery of van Gogh's Breakdowns

They say the Dutch artist was plagued by short psychotic episodes

(Newser) - It's long been known Vincent van Gogh had issues: He sliced off his ear during an 1888 breakdown, which was followed by his apparent suicide in 1890. Now a group of experts has concluded the Dutch artist was plagued by short psychotic episodes during his last 18 months of... More »

Scientists Flick Switch, Boozy Rats Stop Drinking

Study suggests alcoholism can be conquered in the brain

(Newser) - Rats can hit the bottle too hard, just like humans—and a new study suggests the rodents' alcohol dependence may be reversible, Live Science reports. "We can completely reverse alcohol dependence by targeting a network of neurons," says lead scientist Olivier George in a statement on the study,... More »

Chevy Chase Checks Into Rehab

Rep says it's time for recovery 'tuneup'

(Newser) - Chevy Chase has checked into a rehab facility in Minnesota for treatment for an alcohol problem. Chase's publicist said Monday that Chase is at Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center for what she calls a "tuneup" in his recovery, the AP reports. Chase has had struggles with substances during his... More »

What Marriage Can Do to Your Drinking Habits

Marriage lowers risk of alcoholism, study says

(Newser) - While some people complain their spouse drives them to drink, scientists now say the opposite is true. A study published Monday in the American Journal of Psychiatry finds a powerful link between marriage and a reduced risk of developing problems with alcohol. "With this study, we were trying to... More »

Alcohol Nearly Killed Her; Now Her Story Is Going Viral

Hanna Lottritz shares her experience with binge drinking

(Newser) - Hanna Lottritz, then 20, went to a Nevada music festival with friends on July 25 and ended up in a 24-hour coma, having nearly died due to acute alcohol intoxication. Almost six months later, the University of Nevada, Reno, journalism student's essay about the experience has gone viral, USA ... More »

We're Getting Better at Drinking Ourselves to Death

Rate of alcohol-induced deaths hits record high

(Newser) - Last year, nearly 31,000 Americans died as a result of drinking too much—a 37% increase from 2002. And those deaths are just the ones from causes like alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis, the Washington Post reports. If deaths from drunk driving and accidents or homicides involving alcohol were included,... More »

Blind Teacher Out of Job for 'Using Listerine'

Steven Sloan is described as devastated

(Newser) - A well-known blind gym teacher has lost his job over what he says was Listerine and an innocent joke—but others aren't seeing it the same way, the New York Post reports. Steven Sloan, who taught at PS 102 in New York City, was accused by the city Department... More »

Hangovers Cost US Employers $77B a Year

And $249B to the US economy overall: CDC

(Newser) - A splitting headache is exactly what too much drinking is causing America—both in the people who imbibe and in the US economy. A CDC study says that US employers lost $77 billion in 2010 thanks to workers' impaired productivity due to excessive alcohol abuse—a number that jumps to... More »

History's Most High-Functioning Alcoholics

"A man does not exist until he is drunk." Who said that?

(Newser) - There are high-functioning alcoholics—then there are alcoholics who rule empires, write great novels, and become movie stars. Ozy lists "History's 10 Most Accomplished Drunks," with a few of their choice quotes:
  • The Queen Mother: Queen Elizabeth II's mom, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes Lyon, kept up
... More »

'Precursor to Misery:' Aussie Pol Wants Vegemite Crackdown

Minister says Vegemite is being used to make moonshine in some communities

(Newser) - In news that may prompt reanalysis of Men at Work lyrics , an Australian politician is trying to crack down on Vegemite, which the Washington Post calls "the beloved breakfast spread with an aftertaste of sadness." Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion wants to restrict access to Vegemite because aboriginal... More »

33M Americans Have a Drinking Problem

Survey looks at new definition of 'alcohol use disorder'

(Newser) - Alcohol problems affect almost 33 million adults and most have never sought treatment, according to a government survey that suggests rates have increased in recent years. The study is the first national estimate based on a new term, "alcohol use disorder," in a widely used psychiatric handbook (DSM-5)... More »

Powdered Alcohol Has US Senator 'in Total Disbelief'

... as inventor Mark Phillips decries 'nanny state'

(Newser) - People may well love Palcohol, and that's exactly what some lawmakers are worried about. Introduced in 2012 and approved for sale by the feds last month, the powdered-alcohol product is running into strong opposition despite pleas from its inventor, the New York Times reports. Six states have already banned... More »

Science Better for Alcoholics Than Faith-Based AA

Gabrielle Glaser says some alcohol abusers can even learn to drink in moderation

(Newser) - Trying to beat addiction through a faith-based 12-step program—Alcoholics Anonymous being the best known of the bunch—typically means you can never take a sip of alcohol again. But Gabrielle Glaser writes for the Atlantic that AA was founded 80 years ago , "when knowledge of the brain was... More »

If Kids Must Experiment, Pot Is Better Than Booze: Doc

Pediatrician weighs in on alcohol vs. marijuana debate

(Newser) - You'd probably prefer your kids use neither pot nor booze. But if they're going to experiment with one or the other as they get older, pediatrician Aaron E. Carroll weighs in today in the New York Times and says you should vote for pot. Sure, marijuana is illegal,... More »

Britain's Heavy Drinkers Offered Anti-Booze Pill

Nalmefene approved as means of reducing alcohol consumption

(Newser) - Those Brits who want to cut down on their alcohol intake—and can spare about $5 a day—now have access to a pill to reduce their craving . UK officials have approved the drug nalmefene for use along with counseling to help reduce alcohol dependency, the International Business Times reports.... More »

Study: Heavy Drinkers Are Rarely Alcoholics

Only 1 in 10 excessive drinkers meets the definition of alcoholism

(Newser) - Frequently drinking too much booze does not mean you're an alcoholic. In fact, it means that only rarely. A new study by the CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finds that 1 in 3 American adults meet the definition of heavy drinking—for men, having... More »

Booze, Banned and Often Toxic, Is Killing in Pakistan

Bad liquor kills at least 27 during Eid celebrations

(Newser) - For many of us, knocking back a drink or four while hanging around with family during holidays is pretty customary. In Pakistan, which has been dry since 1977, it's not only illegal, it's proving quite deadly. As the Washington Post reports, 21 people in Karachi died in a... More »

46 Treated for Booze at Keith Urban Show

Boston performance was 'nutso,' singer says

(Newser) - A Keith Urban concert near Boston last night resulted in a lot more reckless behavior than police expected. Some 46 people received medical treatment and 22 were hospitalized, mostly for alcohol-related illnesses, Reuters reports. "Last evening's Keith Urban concert was not anticipated to present with the volume of... More »

Heavy Drinking Kills 1 in 10 US Adults

CDC says excessive boozing is way too common

(Newser) - One out of every 10 deaths among working-age adults can be blamed on booze, the CDC reports. Researchers behind a new study in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease came up with the stat after crunching the numbers on deaths of people ages 20 to 64 from 2006 through 2010. The... More »

Chronic Drunk Driver Killed by Drunk Driver

Haitham Gamal was on bicycle, getting his life straight

(Newser) - Haitham Gamal "was on the road to recovery" after three drunk-driving convictions, says his lawyer. Unfortunately, he was also on the road—on his bike, as per a California-mandated license suspension—when a 19-year-old driver who was allegedly drunk and speeding hit and killed the 38-year-old Gamal. "He... More »

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