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Alcohol Affects the Brain's Resting-State Network in Social Drinkers

Alcohol Affects the Brain's Resting-State Network in Social Drinkers

the synapses all over the brain. Evidence suggests that enhanced GABAergic transmission leads to increased large-scale brain connectivity. Our hypothesis is that acute alcohol intake would increase the functional connectivity of the human brain resting-state network (RSN). To test our hypothesis, electroencephalographic (EEG) measurements were recorded from healthy social drinkers at rest, during eyes-open and eyes-closed sessions, after administering to them an alcoholic beverage or placebo respectively. Salivary alcohol and cortisol served to measure the inebriation and stress levels. By calculating Magnitude Square Coherence (MSC) on standardized Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (sLORETA) solutions, we formed cortical networks over several frequency bands, which were then analyzed in the context of functional connectivity and graph theory. MSC was increased (p,0.05, corrected with False Discovery Rate, FDR corrected) in alpha, beta (eyes- open) and theta bands (eyes-closed) following acute alcohol intake. Graph parameters were accordingly altered in these bands quantifying the effect of alcohol on the structure of brain networks; global efficiency and density were higher and path length was lower during alcohol (vs. placebo, p,0.05). Salivary alcohol concentration was positively correlated with the density of the network in beta band. The degree of specific nodes was elevated following alcohol (vs. placebo). Our findings support the hypothesis that short-term inebriation considerably increases large-scale connectivity in the RSN. The increased baseline functional connectivity can -at least partially- be attributed to the alcohol-induced disruption of the delicate balance between inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission in favor of inhibitory influences. Thus, it is suggested that short-term inebriation is associated, as expected, to increased GABA transmission and functional connectivity, while long-term alcohol consumption may be linked to exactly the opposite effect.

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Brief Exposure to Pictures Depicting Poor
Environments Leads to Increased Consumption of
Beer in Adult Social Drinkers

Brief Exposure to Pictures Depicting Poor Environments Leads to Increased Consumption of Beer in Adult Social Drinkers

While participants in Experiment 1 drank on average 12.2 units of alcohol per week, in close agreement with other studies using similar samples of social drinkers in the UK (e.g., Harrison & McCann, 2014), it should be noted that participants in Experiment 2 had much lower self-reported weekly alcohol intakes. This is not surprising as, although alcohol use is considered problematic in the Caribbean region, the majority of Caribbean islands report lower alcohol use levels compared to global average scores (Shield, Monteiro, Roerecke, Smith, & Rehm, 2015). Taken together, the results from Experiments 1 and 2 show that the poverty priming effect was present in both social drinkers and for participants who drank relatively little alcohol in their daily life. Future studies should explore whether the poverty priming effect is present, or indeed increased, in drinkers with a higher rate of alcohol consumption.

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Acute alcohol effects on facial expressions of emotions in social drinkers: a systematic review

Acute alcohol effects on facial expressions of emotions in social drinkers: a systematic review

Overall, alcohol exerts effects on facial expressions of emotions in social drinkers. These effects are not generally disinhibiting, but vary depending on the valence of emotion and on social interaction. In moderate- and high-level social interaction, alcohol mostly influences facial expressions in a socially desirable way, thus underscoring the view of alcohol as social lubricant. Important research gaps to be closed by future studies are the investigation of alcohol effects on the facial expressions of sadness and pain, as well as the consideration of potential moderating variables (eg, alco- hol expectancy). Future research should also investigate if socially desirable alcohol effects on facial expressions trigger increased drinking and thus might influence the development of problematic drinking behavior in social drinkers.

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Characteristics of social drinkers with and without a hangover after heavy alcohol consumption

Characteristics of social drinkers with and without a hangover after heavy alcohol consumption

related to reduced cognitive functioning, the majority of these drinkers also scored relatively high on more disabling symp- toms such as headache, nausea, and stomach pain. Correspond- ing to these hangover symptoms are mood changes, illustrated by significantly increased scores on POMS scales of depression and anger–hostility, in addition to the reduced vigor–activ- ity and increased fatigue scores which were also seen in the hangover-immune group. The observed effects in the hangover group were in line with those reported in the previous research

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The RT-18: a new screening tool to assess young adult risk-taking behavior

The RT-18: a new screening tool to assess young adult risk-taking behavior

Abstract: Risk-taking behavior is a major determinant of health and plays a central role in various diseases. Therefore, a brief questionnaire was developed to assess risk taking among young adults with known different levels of risk-taking behavior (social drinkers and recre- ational drug users). In Study 1, N = 522 university students completed the RT-18 risk taking questionnaire. N = 100 students were retested after 2 to 4 weeks and performed the Cambridge Gambling Task (CGT). Mean RT-18 score was 7.69 and Cronbach’s alpha was 0.886. The test- retest reliability was r = 0.94. Significant correlation was found between the RT-18 score and CGT scores of risk taking, bet proportion, and risk adjustment. In Study 2, N = 7834 young adult social drinkers, and recreational drug users, mean RT-18 score was 9.34 and Cronbach’s alpha was 0.80. Factor analysis showed that the RT-18 comprises two factors assessing level of risk-taking behavior and risk assessment. Men scored significantly higher than women on the RT-18. Recreational drug users had significantly higher scores when compared to social drinkers. In Study 3 of N = 1000 students, construct validity was confirmed by showing that the RT-18 outcome correlates significantly with scores on the Stimulating-Instrumental Risk Inventory. In conclusion, the RT-18 is a valid and reliable screening tool to differentiate levels of risk-taking behavior. This short scale is quick and practical to administer, imposing minimal demands on participants. The RT-18 is able to differentiate risk taking and risk assessment which can help target appropriate intervention strategies.

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Attentional capture by alcohol-related stimuli may be activated involuntarily by top-down search goals

Attentional capture by alcohol-related stimuli may be activated involuntarily by top-down search goals

In the current investigation, we aim to establish whether the extent to which social drinkers adopt a top- down goal for alcohol can determine whether or not they exhibit an attentional bias toward completely task-irrelevant alcohol distractors. To test this, we adapted the RSVP paradigm used by Folk et al. (2002) to include alcohol images. Specifically, we instructed participants to search a stream of rapidly presented everyday objects for either alcohol, or a category of non-alcoholic stimuli, in different blocks. We presented alcohol and non-alcoholic distractor images in completely task-irrelevant parafoveal locations, which participants were instructed to ignore. Note that within this paradigm, it is not only possible to completely ignore the distractors, but attending to the distractors would result in the complete failure to detect the subsequent target. Therefore, participants are strongly motivated to avoid any voluntary allocation of attention to the alcohol distractors.

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The effect of colour and size on attentional bias to alcohol-related pictures

The effect of colour and size on attentional bias to alcohol-related pictures

paired neutral cue (i.e., when the neutral image was 25% larger), but that when the neutral image was in colour, alcohol-related attentional bias was eliminated. This represents a novel finding about the interplay between higher-level substance-related features and low-level stimulus properties on the allocation of attention during a substance-related visual probe task. As such, the current results indicate that certain low-level features (i.e., colour), can attract attention sufficiently to counteract the influence of the higher- level attentional bias towards the substance-related cue. Colour is widely used by advertisers to attract attention towards their products (Meyers-Levy & Peracchio, 1995), so further investigation is warranted into how low-level features of alcohol-related product packaging may modulate substance- related attentional bias. It must be noted, however, that the diminished alcohol-related attentional bias in the colour condition was observed in a sample of social drinkers; further research would need to establish whether a similar attenuation exists in heavier drinkers.

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The impact of alexithymia on desire for alcohol during a social stress test

The impact of alexithymia on desire for alcohol during a social stress test

The current study sought to examine the relationship between alexithymia and desire for alcohol among social drinkers in relation to an acute social stressor. The results show that when faced with a social stressor, alexithymic individuals demonstrate a significantly higher desire to consume alcohol than their non alexithymic counterparts. In addition, all three of the alexithymia sub-components were associated with desire for alcohol. This finding suggests that alcohol may be seen as a means of eliminating the uncomfortable state of stress being experienced by alexithymic individuals while undertaking a socially stressful activity. Anticipation of a stressful experience has been shown to significantly increase physiological stress in alexithymic participants compared to non-alexithymic participants (de Timary et al., 2008). The results of the current study adds to this body of research by revealing that

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Gender as Predictor of Subjective Well-Being and Happiness in Adult Peoples With Respect To Nature of Drinking.

Gender as Predictor of Subjective Well-Being and Happiness in Adult Peoples With Respect To Nature of Drinking.

The present study aspired to investigate whether Gender is a predictor of Subjective Well-being and Happiness in Adult peoples with respect to nature of drinking. It was hypothesized that Gender will be significant predictor of Subjective Well-being and Happiness in adult people with respect to Nature of drinking. A purposive sample of 120 human participants (age range 25-45 years) with balanced number of males and females was selected for the present study. Out of these 120 Human Participants, 40 of them were Alcohol Addicts (20 Males and 20 Females), 40 of them were Social Drinkers (20 Males and 20 Females) and the remaining 40 of them were exclusively Teetotalers (20 Males and 20 Females). The Alcohol Addicts and Social Drinkers were traced from various hotels, bars, pubs and counseling centers in Sri Ganganagar and Jaipur district of Rajasthan State. Subjective Well- benig was measured by Mental Health Inventory (Jagdish and Srivastava A.K. 1983) and Happiness measured by Happiness Scale (Argyle and Hills, 2002). Multiple Regression Analysis was computed through SPSS 17. It was empirically proved that Gender was a significant negative predictor of Well- being and Happiness in Adults. It was also empirically proved that Nature of Drinking was a significant negative predictor of Well-being but a significant positive predictor of Happiness in Adults.

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Exploring personality and motivational characteristics of student pre-drinkers

Exploring personality and motivational characteristics of student pre-drinkers

Pre-drinking and legal drinking age. Thomas (2007) suggested that the problem of pre-drinking in the U.S. could be solved by lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 or 19. By doing this, college students who pre-drink because they cannot purchase alcohol in bars would no longer feel the need to do so. This may be supported by previous research samples with mean ages between 18 and 20 (Borsari et al., 2007; LaBrie & Pederson, 2008; Wei, Barnett & Clark, 2010). However, it is thought that students of all ages engage in this behaviour, regardless of legal drinking age. For example, LaBrie, Hummer, Kenney, Lac, and Pederson (2011) conducted a study with student drinkers, in which 37% of the sample was above 21 years of age. While they did not report a mean age or the prevalence rates for pre-drinking, they did report numbers of participants who had experienced a blackout on a pre-drinking night, at least once in the thirty days prior to the study. Calculations of data reported by LaBrie and colleagues (2011) indicate that the rate of blacking out was virtually identical for the two age groups; 24% of student drinkers 21 years and older, and 25% of under-age student drinkers reported blacking out on a night when they engaged in pre-drinking. Moreover, Pederson and others (2009) noted that participants over the legal drinking age, and those who are not yet of the legal drinking age did not differ in pre-drinking frequency or quantity of alcohol consumed during pre-drinking.

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Diagnostic sensitivity of carbohydrate deficient transferrin in heavy drinkers

Diagnostic sensitivity of carbohydrate deficient transferrin in heavy drinkers

We previously investigated the diagnostic utility of %CDT in patients with liver disease, and found that heavy drinkers with a BMI in the overweight or obese range had significantly lower %CDT values than lean heavy drinkers [14]. The current study extends these findings by confirm- ing the results in a larger group of subjects with confirmed heavy alcohol consumption and by showing that the effect of BMI is independent of other clinical variables. Inter- estingly 2 subjects had markedly elevated %CDT values (9.68% and 12.55%) despite overweight/obesity, in the setting of moderately decreased renal function (eGFR 30–59). Currently little is known regarding the process and elimination kinetics of CDT from the circulation and thus the mechanisms responsible for this effect are unclear, but may relate to altered elimination in the pres- ence of renal failure [28]. Chronic kidney disease does not appear to cause an increase in the baseline levels of CDT in subjects without hazardous drinking [29]. Simi- larly, non-enzymatic glycation of transferrin, a process that may occur in uremia [28] and diabetic subjects [30] does not appear to interfere with HPLC-based CDT measure- ment [31].

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Implicit priming of conflicting motivational states in heavy drinkers

Implicit priming of conflicting motivational states in heavy drinkers

Breiner, Stritzke and Lang (1999) put forward the ambivalence model of craving, which proposes that whether or not a person consumes alcohol depends on the balance between motivation to use and motivation to abstain. This model proposes that an individual may fall into one of four categories at a given point in time depending on a variety of factors. To elaborate, those with low motivation to both avoid and approach alcohol are likely to fall within the ‘indifferent’ quadrant of the model. Light drinkers might fall into this category. In contrast, people with high motivation to approach alcohol and low motivation to avoid it, are likely to fall within the ‘heavy drinker’ quadrant of the model. Individuals in this group may approach alcohol as they associate it with being relaxed and having a good time. There is research evidence to suggest that this group are quicker to approach rather than avoid alcohol-related cues (Schoenmakers, Wiers & Field, 2008) and this has been shown to correlate with actual drug use (Field, Kiernan, Eastwood & Child, 2008). People with the reverse of this pattern (i.e. high motivation to avoid and low motivation to approach alcohol) may perceive the negative effects of alcohol, for example, calorific content or suffering from a hangover, more strongly than the other groups and are likely to be non-drinkers. Factors which may increase motivation to avoid alcohol have been heavily researched and findings suggest that detrimental effects to the health of heavy alcohol users; both physical (Rolfe, Dalton & Orford, 2005) and emotional (Yeh, Che & Wu, 2009), and alcohol impacting adversely on relationships (Jethwa, 2009), are the most common. Finally, the model suggests a fourth quadrant for those who are said to be ambivalent, that is, highly motivated to both approach and avoid alcohol. There is evidence to suggest that alcohol-

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Dynamic modeling of problem drinkers undergoing behavioral treatment

Dynamic modeling of problem drinkers undergoing behavioral treatment

Mathematical modeling is one approach to understanding social behavior. The book [18], contains several examples of the use of mathematics to model human development, such as using a predator- prey model to understand human cerebral development and modeling adult clapping as a coupled oscillator. Oscillator models have also been used to model other human behaviors and emotions: Chow et al. [9] use a damped oscillator model to explain emotion regulation; Bisconti et al. [5] use an oscillator model to describe the emotional state of widows; Montpetit et al. [12] model negative affect and stress using coupled damped linear oscillator models; and Boker and Laurenceau [6] use undamped linear oscillators to model the intimacy between husbands’ and wives’. In the context of drinking, Sanchez et al. [20] model drinking on the population level using the classic Susceptible- Infected-Recovered (SIR) epidemic model in order to understand mechanisms that cause people to move from a non-drinking population to a drinking population. Recently, there has been a shift from modeling on the inter-individual or population level to the intra-individual scale [7, 11]. Banks et al. [3] use a novel dynamical systems modeling approach to understand behavior change within problem drinkers. The authors use a “top-down” approach, where they start modeling several factors or variables for individual patients and then simplify the models by focusing on only a few variables using clinical data. This initial modeling effort emphasized the difficulty of this problem, particularly due to the lack of previous work considering inter- and intra- personal factors relating to behavior change in individual patients.

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The relationship of serum alanine aminotransferase normal-range levels to arterial stiffness and metabolic syndrome in non-drinkers and drinkers: a Chinese community-based analysis

The relationship of serum alanine aminotransferase normal-range levels to arterial stiffness and metabolic syndrome in non-drinkers and drinkers: a Chinese community-based analysis

and drinkers, the current analysis revealed that preva- lence of Mets increased with an elevation in serum ALT levels. In both preclinical population and clinical pa- tients, insulin resistance is an essential condition for the accumulation of liver fat and plays a key role in the de- velopment of Mets [14, 15]. Giving the relationship be- tween Mets and serum ALT levels suggested by the current analysis, an elevation in serum ALT levels should receive more attention in clinical practice, as a factor not only reflecting change of liver fat, but also re- lating to insulin resistance [1].

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Implicit priming of conflicting motivational orientations in heavy drinkers

Implicit priming of conflicting motivational orientations in heavy drinkers

Finally, we note some interesting secondary findings from our study. Participants were slower to avoid alco- hol pictures rather than control pictures on the modified SRC task, but latencies to approach alcohol and control pictures did not differ. This has important implications for our understanding of the psychological mechanisms that underlie performance on this and similar measures of automatic approach tendencies, particularly whether any biases reflects strong approach associations or weak avoidance associations, or both (cf. Field et al. 2008; Ostafin et al. 2003). Regarding attentional bias, we found that all participants tended to shift their attention away from alcohol pictures that were presented for 50 ms, but no attentional bias was present when pictures were presented for 500 ms. Neither of these findings were anticipated on the basis of previous studies, which have shown attentional bias for alcohol pictures presented for 500 ms but no bias for pictures presented for very brief durations in non-dependent heavy drinkers (Field and Cox 2008). However, the previous discussion about the imposition of a response window rendering the re- action time measure of attentional bias invalid should be considered here. Alternatively, participants may have attempted to avoid looking at alcohol cues given that most were tested at a time of day (during the daytime) and loca- tion (at their place of work) where drinking alcohol was not permitted or socially acceptable. Future studies of this type should be more mindful of the importance that broad contextual factors may play in the expression of automatic cognitive processing biases. Finally, the observed positive correlation between scores on the AUDIT and attentional bias for alcohol cues at 500 ms are consistent with pre- vious findings demonstrating that attentional bias for alcohol cues is associated with heavy drinking (Field and Cox 2008).

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The importance of authenticity for student non drinkers: An interpretative phenomenological analysis

The importance of authenticity for student non drinkers: An interpretative phenomenological analysis

encouraging young people to drink ‘moderately’, according to government recommended levels, despite evidence that this information can prompt misinterpretation (e.g., Furtwængler and de Visser, 2012). Successfully ‘calibrating’ a moderate drinker mind-set seems likely to be a more challenging task than can be acknowledged. Our data hints at how non-drinking might be communicated to students as more feasible and favourable adopted social behaviour than they might otherwise imagine, holding relevance to all university students exposed to opportunities and pressure to drink socially. Issues relating to authenticity, choice and agency acquired visibility to our participants following the decision not to drink alcohol, rather than being of unique relevance to non-drinkers as an isolated social category. It seems possible that these more nuanced downsides to alcohol consumption – e.g., over-dependence on its effects as a social catalyst; producing an ‘unreal’ or inauthentic experience of the self or other people – might be capitalized on in health promotional strategies aimed at university students. Conclusions

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Electronic communication based interventions for hazardous young drinkers : a systematic review

Electronic communication based interventions for hazardous young drinkers : a systematic review

One study (Ridout et al., 2014) delivered an alcohol intervention through an SNS, providing social norms feedback through the website’s private messaging facility, 1 week following a screening questionnaire. Statements included the comparison of participants’ perceptions of classmates’ use and approval of alcohol use, with actual descriptive and social norms calculated from their classmates’ survey questionnaire responses. In order to demonstrate their level of understanding of these statements, participants were required to complete an online form detailing their interpretation of the figures they received regarding their own and their classmates’ alcohol use and approval of heavy drinking. The research team addressed any errors in the participants’ responses with immediate follow-up through a second private message.

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Factors associated with reductions in alcohol use between high school and college: an analysis of data from the College Alcohol Study

Factors associated with reductions in alcohol use between high school and college: an analysis of data from the College Alcohol Study

Consistent with the previous literature, we find that the social environment matters a great deal for drinking behavior. The variable with the largest effect on maintaining or increas- ing drinking levels from high school was having the attitude that it is important or very important to participate in parties during college. Also significant were membership in a Greek organization, believing that participating in fraternity and sorority life was important or very important, having five or more good friends, living in a coed dorm, and spending more time in social activities. These results were robust to the inclusion or exclusion of additional control variables.

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Increased brain uptake and oxidation of acetate in heavy drinkers

Increased brain uptake and oxidation of acetate in heavy drinkers

In brain, glucose is the major supply of mitochondrial energy oxidation; however, acetate can also be used as an alternative energy source, and it is almost exclusively used by astrocytes (25). Heavy alcohol drinking has been reported to lead to hypoglycemia (26). Previously, studies on acetate metabolism of patients with diabetes who had previous recurrent hypoglycemia and healthy rats that underwent 3 days of antecedent recurrent hypoglycemia showed increased brain acetate transport and oxidation (27, 28). Although acetate metabolism has been characterized in situations other than drinking, links between acetate metabolism and alco- hol consumption are not clear. Recent data show that alcohol decreases brain glucose utilization (29–31) and increases acetate uptake (30). These findings lead to our hypothesis: upon chronic heavy alcohol intake, brain can use more acetate as a source of energy. The ethanol-based elevation of blood acetate persists for up to 24 hours (32), so heavy drinkers are exposed to high levels of acetate for long periods of times, and dependent drinkers likely

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Drinking alcohol is associated with variation in the human oral microbiome in a large study of American adults

Drinking alcohol is associated with variation in the human oral microbiome in a large study of American adults

Comprehensive demographic and lifestyle information was collected by baseline and follow-up questionnaires in the PLCO and CPS II Nutrition cohorts. Detailed in- formation on alcohol consumption over the past year, including frequency of consumption, serving size, and type of alcoholic beverages consumed (wine, beer, and liquor), was ascertained via questionnaires that were most close in time to oral wash sample collection for both cohorts. The 137-item Food Frequency Question- naire (FFQ) and Diet History Questionnaire (DHQ) were used in PLCO and CPS II Nutrition cohorts, respectively [32, 33]. According to the drinking level definition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 [34], we defined moderate drinkers as > 0 but ≤ 1 drinks per day, on average, for women, and > 0 but ≤ 2 drinks per day, on average, for men. Women and men who had greater than one or two drinks per day, respectively, were con- sidered heavy drinkers. This definition considers the gender differences in blood concentration of ethanol after drinking [35], which is equal to salivary ethanol for up to 5 h after consumption [36]. Drinkers exclusively consuming wine, beer, or liquor were defined as wine drinkers, beer drinkers, and liquor drinkers, respectively.

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