In the U.S., laws in all local and state jurisdictions set a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent as the legal threshold for intoxication. However, in May 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced its intent to pursue a lower intoxication threshold BAC of 0.05 percent. In a study review published in June 2014 in the journal Addiction, researchers from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation assessed the risks of operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of 0.05 percent and sought to determine if the use of this BAC as the legal standard for intoxication would reduce the general public’s exposure to alcohol-related harm.
In today’s society, teenagers of all ages are regularly exposed to media messages that directly or indirectly promote cigarettes and alcohol. In turn, exposure to such a barrage of messages can potentially lead to the early onset of smoking or alcohol use. According to the results of a study published in December 2013 in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, researchers can accurately track the amount of exposure that a teenager has to alcohol- and smoking-related media. The method used for this tracking is called ecological momentary assessment (EMA).
Cigarettes, hookah and marijuana use is common among college students. Smoking tobacco can significantly increase the risk of lung diseases including cancer. Marijuana use is associated with other types of substance use. As a result, smoking hookah, tobacco and marijuana are all public health concerns. The use of such products is often initiated during college, making campus populations a common target for education and prevention measures.
Personalized feedback intervention is an educational technique that uses a person’s own responses to improve understanding of the health risks involved with certain dangerous behaviors. Public health officials and doctors have begun using various forms of this technique to educate substance users about the risks involved with substance abuse.
Many parents fear their children will let their curiosity about alcohol and drugs grow into a full-blown habit that wrecks their lives. Children who are between 10 and 12 are most often at a stage in their lives where they don’t really have an opinion about drugs, alcohol or even cigarettes. Mental health experts believe this is the most important time to shape their opinions about substance abuse.
Studies on the school and state level show that the way to curb drinking isn’t just a matter of writing and posting a set of rules. What really appears to matter is how much those rules will be enforced.
The last week of October was National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. Major news outlets ran stories about college efforts to push back against the trend of increasing underage drinking. One college, Trinity College, received particular attention for its Night Watch program.
Years of research has shown that underage drinking on college campuses has gotten worse, with more students drinking and more alcohol being consumed. Binge drinking (having four or more consecutive drinks) is rampant on university campuses, and a recent study finds that Maryland scholars are tipping back more than their counterparts everywhere else in the country.
When college students drink there is a tendency to consume unhealthy amounts, otherwise known as binge drinking. This behavior increases risks of injury, involvement in assaults or motor vehicle crashes and blood toxicity, as well as sexually transmitted disease and unplanned pregnancy. A recent study evaluated the policies and programs that college campuses implement in order to reduce drinking among students.
With social media and text messaging, teens have more ability than ever to broadcast information to wider audiences. These types of communication may be used to spread information about a good cause such as a charity event or a school function, or can promote poor choices, such as which stores are willing to sell to minors.