In With the Old and Out With the New?

Binge drinking across college campuses in America continues to be a main health concern throughout the country. Until recently the binge drinking standard throughout America was set at 5+ drinks per drinking occasion for men and 4+ drinks per drinking occasion for women. These numbers were highly focused on weighing the risk for negative consequences during a particular night out with the obvious correlation being the more drinks the riskier the behavior and evening may become. One problem with this standard is that it didn’t define what constitutes as a “drinking occasion” based on the important variable of time. I believe that we can all agree that sometimes a night out can last from 10:00 PM to midnight, making the “drinking occasion” a total of two hours long.  And I am also sure that we have all had “drinking occasions” that have lasted from 10:00 PM way into the morning hours of 3:00 AM, making the total drinking time five hours long. As you probably already know there is a huge difference between drinking 5+ drinks in a 2 hour period or time vs. drinking 5+drinking in a 5 hour period of time, hence the problem with the old “binge drinking standard.”

In response to these concerns, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism task force recommended adding a time “qualifier” of 2 hours to the already set binge drinking standard. Why is time such an important variable you may ask? When you drink alcohol your body needs to metabolise it in order to get the alcohol out of your system. The general rate for metabolizing alcohol is 1 drink per 1 hour. This rate may unearth some problems with the time qualifier of 2 hours.

In order to compare the old and new a standard in regards to the estimated frequency of reaching a BAC of 0.08% and the overall experience of negative drinking consequences. The results surprisingly showed that the new binge drinking standard accounted more for reaching a BAC of 0.08% while the old method did significantly better on avoiding negative drinking consequences. Hence the jury still being out on which is the best method. However, which ever method you use be sure to have fun and be safe.

Corbin, W., Zalewski, S., & Leeman, R. (2014, October 23). In with the Old and Out with the New? A Comparison of the Old and New Binge Drinking Standards. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from

A Cure for Alcoholism?

Renaud de Beaurepaire, the author of “The use of very high-d0ses of baclofen for the treatment of alcohol-dependence: a case series,” suggests that Baclofen, particularly high-dose baclofen, may be recently emerging as a treatment for alcohol dependence. Although baclofen may seem to be a wonder drug when it comes to alcoholism, it may have many potentially dangerous side effects and needs further testing at the moment. However, Beaurepaire conducted a study involving the last 100 patients seen at his clinic, including 17 of them whom have taken a very high does. Through the analysis of the patients  medical charts Beaurepaire discovered that even if a patient is on high doses of Baclofen, designed specifically to ease the pain of alcohol dependence, that the road to recovery and treatment is often always a long story and a long fight.

Personally when I think of alcoholism I picture a stereotypical AA meeting as seen on popular television shows where all of the characters respond with a friendly “Hello (insert name here)” and take turns telling each other their deepest trials, tribulations and struggles with addiction. One may be quick to think that this would not be the most helpful of options. Wouldnt it be nice to be able to take a magic pill such as baclofen to ease the burden of addiction? As nice as that sounds even Beaurepaire would admit that there is no magic pill or a cure for alcoholism. The support of family and friends, and the willingness to work together as a doctor and patients is what best helps ease addiction.

Beaurepaire, R. (2014, October 10). The Use of Very High-Doses of Baclofen for the Treatment of Alcohol-Dependence: A Case Series. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from

Inhalants; The True Gateway Drug

Inhalants, also known as the “true gateway drug” are a popular form of drug used amongst young adolescents throughout America. The category of inhalants is reserved for a wide variety of substance including solvents,aerosols,gases and nitrates.  Although it has been known that adolescents often partake in this behavior, it is also true that they are an age group that isn’t often studied or understood. A study conducted by the Department of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California was designed to attempt to try and better understand this age group and the correlation between delinquency and substance abuse throughout the course of a year.

Data was collected from over 7,000 adolescents between the ages of 12-17 over the course of 10 years (2002-2012) via the National Survey of Drug USe and Health (NSDUH). The results of the study helped researchers develop a six-class solution comprised of classes of users characterized by the following: low substance use/low delinquency, high substance use/low delinquency, low substance use/fighting, cigarettes/alcohol/marijuana, high substance use/high delinquency, and cigarettes/alcohol/marijuana/opioids.moderate delinquency. These categories provide insight into the mind of an adolescent and also lay the framework for an early detection system when it comes to the use of illegal substances such as alcohol. It goes without saying that if an adolescent’s’ behavior can be properly monitored and tracked you can seek out and observe warning signs that may help prevent the consumption of illegal substances in the residence hall areas. In conclusion it is important to get to know the adolescence present in your life so that you may be aware of signs present that point to substance abuse.

Nakawaki, B., & Crano, W. (n.d.). Patterns of Substance Use, Delinquency,and Risk Factor Among Adolescent Inhalant Users