How long have people been consuming and producing alcohol for?
Since BC ppl have been consuming ethanol and alcohol. People have also been producing alcohol for a long time (fermenting grass)
What age group is alcohol consumption relatively common among?
Young people (49% in ages 15-17/18) (83% in ages 17/18-24) (85% from age 25-34)
Where does alcohol rank for all age groups In the top 5 substances used in Canada?
underage drinking in Canada
Youth from grade 7-12, 45% of youths in Canada have consumed alcohol in the past year, they drink less than adults. There is a small decline in this
Post-secondary drinking In Canada Based on a convenience sample collected in 2016 from 43,780 students in post secondary institutions
69.3 of students reported any use of alcohol within the last 30 days preceding the survey (70.2 of females and 68.1 of males)
Risky drinking: 35% reported 5 or more drinks in a sitting (38.8 of males and 33.5% of females)
Not representative of all post-secondary students in Canada
What is The cost of substance abuse in Canada?
Substance use can impact our healthcare and justice system both directly and indirectly. It indirectly affects productivity, It directly sucks resources from our healthcare system, It directly effects the criminal justice system. (total cost 39.8 billion)
Alcohol (463$ per capita) and tobacco (541$ per capita) are more common because they are legal
What was the aim of the study about drug use linked to individual and other harms
Provide better guidance to policy makers in health, policing and social care on the harms that drugs cause
What was the method of the study about drug use linked to individual and other harms
People attending ACMD identified 16 harm criteria
9 relate to the harms that a drug produces in the individual and 7 relate to the harms to other locally and internationally. Rated 20 representative drugs on a 0-100 point scale. Participants as a group scored each drug on each harm criterion in an open discussion. Also assessed the relative importance of the criteria within each cluster and across clusters. Alcohol causes more harm to others in comparison to others, it also causes a lot of harm to individuals
What is the category “physical harm to the individual” made up of?
Drug specific mortality: How lethal is the drug?
Drug related mortality: engaging in a behaviour that is related to the consumption (drinking and driving)
Drug specific damage: a direct consequence of consuming the drug
Drug related damage
What is the category “Psychological harm to the individual Category” made up of?
Dependence, Drug specific impairment of mental functioning: psychosis, Drug related impairment of mental functioning: losing a job
What is the category “social harm to the individual” made up of?
Loss of tangibles, Loss of relationships
What is the category “Physical and psychological harm to others” made up of
What is the category “social” made up of?
International damage (drugs are an international enterprise- smuggling, trafficking)
Economic cost (substance use has a large financial cost on society)
What substance use ranks the highest in Canada?
Alcohol use or dependence ranks the highest amongst substance use disorders in canada (18.1% or a third of our population)
Why do people consume alcohol?
Positive reinforcement (I.e., to get a high), Negative reinforcement (i.e., depression - to forget painful memories or anxiety) Social (i.e., celebrate), Conformity
How do people measure an alcohol problem?
Three subscales in the audit : Hazardous alcohol consumptions (items 1-3), Dependence symptoms (items 4-6), Harmful alcohol use (items 7-10)
What is the relationship between Personality factors, alcohol consumption and drinking motives ?
Personality traits —> alcohol consumption (this happens via drinking motives)
Study about personality factors, drinking motives and alcohol use severity: Method
Study involving university and high school students (N=550). Big 5 personality traits (Neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to new experiences) Five drinking motives, AUDIT
Study about personality factors, drinking motives and alcohol use severity: Results
- Greater conscientiousness was associated with less severe alcohol use via lower enhancement and lower coping-depression motives
- Greater agreeableness was associated with less severe alcohol use via lower enhancement, social, and coping-depression motives
- Greater extraversion was associated with more severe alcohol use via greater social conformity motives
- Greater neuroticism was associated with less (via conformity motive) and more (via coping depression motives) severe alcohol use
- Openness to new experiences was not related to severity of alcohol use via drinking motives
Study about personality factors, drinking motives and alcohol use severity: Limitations
- Cross sectional research design
- Did not statistically control for shared variance between the personality traits
- Did not examine interactive effects of personality on drinking motives and severity of alcohol use
- Did not examine interactive effects of drinking motives on severity of alcohol use
Alcohol and the brain
Inhibitory neurotransmitters (GABA), are active throughout the brain. They control neural activity (i.e., cell firing). When GABA binds to its receptor on a cell, the cell is less likely to fire. In another area of the brain, another neurotransmitter (glutamate) acts as the brain’s general purpose excitatory neurotransmitter
What are the 4 things that happen when alcohol enters the brain?
1) Binds to GABA receptors thus making the inhibitory signal of GABA even stronger
2) Activates opioid receptors that induces release of endorphins 3) The endorphins then bind to receptors on dopaminergic neurons in the reward centers (e.g., NAcc and amygdala) triggering release of DA
4) Alcohol also binds to glutamate receptors thus blocking glutamate from exciting the cell
What is tolerance?
With repeated use, there is a decreased response to alcohol and an increased dose is needed to achieve the original response. GABA, glutamate and DA receptors may become less sensitive to alcohol
It is also possible that neurons remove these receptors from the cell wall leaving fewer receptors for binding
What happens in the transition to alcohol addiction?
alcohol consumption is now driven largely but not exclusively, by negative reinforcement rather than positive. Neural changes resulting from exposure to high alcohol doses. Once neuroadaptation has occurred, abstaining from alcohol produces symptoms of withdrawal
What is neurodegeneration?
Reduction in production of new neurons. Volume of brain areas associated with executive functioning and decision making (PFC). Deficits in PFC impair ability to inhibit impulsive behaviour thereby further contributing to pathological drug seeking behaviour
What is withdrawal?
Physiological changes and Delirium tremens
What people are at risk of acute alcohol intoxication
Younger and older people are at greater risk
What is alcoholic korsakoff syndrome
Chronic memory disorder Severe thiamine deficiency in brain due to alcohol consumption Problems learning new information Inability to remember recent events Long term memory gaps
What are the low risk recommendations for drinking?
Limit setting. Reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than: 10 drinks a week for women, with no more than 2 drinks a day most days, 15 drinks a week for men, with no more than 3 drinks a day most days
Plan non-drinking days every week to avoid developing a habit
When should you abstain from drinking?
-Driving a vehicle or using machinery and tools
-Taking medicine or other drugs that interact with alcohol Doing any kind of dangerous physical activity
-Living with mental or physical health problems
-Living with alcohol dependence
-Pregnant or planning to be pregnant
-Responsible for the safety of others
-Making important decisions
Pregnant or breastfeeding
Safer drinking tips:
Set limits and stick to them
Drink slowly. Have no more than 2 drinks in any 3 hours
For every drink of alcohol, have one non-alcoholic drink
Eat before and while you are drinking
Always consider your age, body weight and that might suggest lower limits