Alcohol and marijuana are two widely consumed substances known for their ability to alter consciousness and lower users’ emotional and behavioral inhibitions. One potential consequence of these emotional and behavioral changes is participation in unsafe sex. In a study published in the Journal of Sex Research, researchers from three U.S. institutions examined the specific ways in which alcohol and marijuana use can change the willingness of college-age women to use condoms when engaged in sex with familiar and unfamiliar partners.
Alcohol screening tools are testing procedures used to help doctors identify people likely to have problems with alcohol consumption. A number of these tools are in common use in the U.S. and other countries, including the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and a short four-question test known by the abbreviation T-ACE. In a study published in 2014 in The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, a Canadian research team assessed the usefulness of the T-ACE screening tool for pregnant women, not just as an evaluation of risky drinking practices, but also as a means of identifying women with mental health problems and inadequate support networks during pregnancy.
College kids worry about passing tests, post-graduation careers and they probably spend a good deal of time thinking about fellow students of the opposite sex. Recent reports say that a troubling number of college students are also worrying about how much they weigh and how they look, and those worries translate into disordered eating.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health as many as one quarter of all university students are dealing with an eating disorder. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) conducted a 2013 study which revealed that the problem of disordered eating on university campuses is only getting worse.
People who develop alcohol-related problems often experience drinking urges that increase their odds of consuming even more alcohol. Addiction specialists view the presence of strong, recurring drinking urges as one of the primary indicators of the onset of alcoholism. In a study published in July 2014 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, a team of Australian researchers assessed the impact that simultaneous consumption of alcohol and energy drinks has on the drinking urges of young adults. These researchers concluded that the urge to drink more alcohol increases in young adults who consume this combination of beverages.
People who use recreational drugs also often participate in the dangerous form of alcohol consumption called binge drinking. However, researchers only partly understand the reasons this overlapping substance abuse occurs. In a study published in July 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review, a team of Australian researchers explored the role that drug intoxication plays in increasing the likelihood that a young adult substance user will also take part in binge drinking. These researchers concluded that some forms of drug intoxication (but not others) are linked with alcohol binging.
In the U.S., college students have an unusually high drinking rate, as well as an unusually high level of involvement in at-risk behaviors that increase the odds for alcohol-related harm. Some alcohol consumers come to self-identify themselves as “drinkers.” In a study published in July 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health sought to identify the impact that the establishment of such a drinking identity has on the underlying motivations of college students who consume enough alcohol to qualify as heavy drinkers.
With the government softening its stance against marijuana and recent state legislation to ease access, there is renewed interest in what the long-term impact of increased marijuana use might have on cigarette smoking. Even while many Americans express a greater openness to use of marijuana, the nation’s tolerance for tobacco use has been declining. Yet, a new National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) study shows that making marijuana more available is likely to increase the number of cigarette smokers.
The factors that separate a social drinker from an alcoholic can be mysterious. This is particularly observable in a segment of the population often identified with heavy drinking: college students.
Behavior, good or bad, is contagious. In other words, we all tend to mimic the actions of our immediate social group. And it may be easier to imitate bad behavior than good. Yet, people don’t want to think that they are as moved by someone else’s choices as they actually are. A new study reveals the powerful subconscious pull to adapt to our surroundings.
Most people who use the Internet experience no harm from this activity; however, some individuals develop patterns of web usage that bear a substantial resemblance to the harmful patterns of behavior found in people affected by substance addiction. According to the results of a study presented in December 2013 by researchers from three U.S. institutions, some college students develop symptoms that indicate the presence of an Internet addiction. These results were obtained with the help of a survey called the Internet-Related Problem Scale (IRPS).