Substance use can affect your judgment, vision, and coordination. In fact, parts of the brain responsible for these functions are among the first negatively impacted by alcohol and other drug use. Because of this, people who use these substances are more likely to get hurt than people who don’t.
- 1 How can alcohol cause injury?
- 2 Are alcohol and drug abuse risk factors related to intentional injuries?
- 3 Why is alcohol a risk factor for violence?
- 4 How much does alcohol increase risk?
- 5 What is misuse of drugs and alcohol?
- 5.1 What is a personal risk factor for drug abuse?
- 5.2 Are alcohol and drug use risk factors related to intentional injuries True or false?
- 5.3 Is substance abuse a risk factor for violence?
- 6 Where does alcohol cause inflammation?
- 7 Why does alcohol cause swelling?
How can alcohol cause injury?
Injuries At Home Due To Alcohol – A surprising number of injuries in the home involve alcohol (often revealed by the coroner’s report). Between 22% and 30% of nonfatal injuries in the home involve alcohol. Of those injuries, 10% involve a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.
Does alcohol increase the risk of injury?
Alcohol increases the risk of accidents – The more you drink, the more likely you are to have an accident.5,6 Heavy drinking (between 5 and 7 units of alcohol over three-to-six hours) more than doubles your risk of being injured – it can increase the risk up to five-fold.7 Drinking heavily and often puts you at a high risk of injury over the course of your life.8 And because everybody reacts differently to alcohol, there isn’t any ‘safe’ cut-off point for the amount of alcohol which can minimise the risk.9
What are the risks of using alcohol and other drugs for an individual?
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Home Student Life Health and Safety Student Health and Counseling Health Library Alcohol and Other Drugs Health and Behavioral Risks of Alcohol and Drug Use The negative physical and mental effects of the use of alcohol and other drugs are well documented.
- Use of these drugs may cause: blackouts, poisoning, overdose and death; physical and psychological dependence; damage to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and liver; inability to learn and remember information; and psychological problems including depression, psychosis, and severe anxiety.
- Risks associated with specific drugs are described later in this section.
Impaired judgment and coordination resulting from the use of alcohol and other drugs are associated with acquaintance assault and rape; DUI/DWI arrests; hazing; falls, drowning and other injuries; contracting sexually-transmitted infections including AIDS; and unwanted or unplanned sexual experiences and pregnancy.
The substance abuse of family members and friends may also be of concern to individuals. Patterns of risk-taking behavior and dependency not only interfere in the lives of the abusers, but can also have a negative impact on the affected students’ academic work, emotional wellbeing and adjustment to college life.
ALCOHOL – Alcohol abuse is a progressive disorder in which physical dependency can develop. Even low doses of alcohol impair brain function, judgment, alertness, coordination and reflexes. Very high doses cause suppression of respiration and death. Chronic alcohol abuse can produce dementia, sexual impotence, cirrhosis of the liver, and heart disease; and sudden withdrawal can produce severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and life-threatening convulsions.
hangovers academic problems-missed classes, getting behind in school work arguing with friends engaging in unwanted and/or unprotected sexual activity weight gain-the “Freshman 15” isn’t all due to campus dining! getting injured / assaulted / sexually assaulted damaging property or having your property damaged requiring treatment for alcohol poisoning trouble on campus or with police being insulted or humiliated having your study or sleep interrupted developing tolerance, dependence or addiction death from alcohol poisoning or alcohol-related injury
All of these things have happened to W&L students. Neuroscience research shows that alcohol impairs the formation of new memories and learning, especially in the developing brain-and as college-aged students, your brains are still developing. Alcohol use can cause both short term and long-term problems for those who choose to use it.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant whose effects depend on how much you drink. These effects may range from loss of inhibition with only one drink to making someone “stumbling drunk” to acute alcohol poisoning with loss of consciousness and difficulty breathing. Acute alcohol poisoning usually occurs in situations of rapid alcohol intake such as shots, funneling, keg stands and drinking games.
Even after someone passes out their BAC (blood alcohol concentration) can continue to rise from the alcohol still in their stomach. Medical attention is critical to prevent serious injury or death. Women are affected by alcohol to a greater degree than men.
- They become more impaired than men when drinking the same amount of alcohol due to their higher percentage of body fat-alcohol is water soluble, so there is a greater concentration of alcohol in a woman’s bloodstream after drinking.
- Because women tend to be smaller than men, alcohol is less diluted upon reaching the brain than in larger individuals.
Women also become intoxicated more easily 1-3 days before their menstrual periods. Finally, women absorb more alcohol into their bloodstreams because they lack the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase in their stomach, which in men breaks down some alcohol before it is absorbed.
Alcohol is addictive and regular use can lead to dependence and addiction/alcoholism, even in college-age students. People with a family history of substance abuse are 4 – 10 x more likely than the general population to develop substance abuse and addiction in their lifetime, and tend to do so at an earlier age.
People who begin drinking before age 15 are 5x more likely to develop substance abuse issues in their lifetime, as well. Some warning signs of dependence are: more frequent use; needing more and more to get the same effect (tolerance); spending time thinking about and planning for alcohol use; spending more money than you have on it; missing class or failing to finish assignments because of alcohol use; continuing to drink despite repeated negative consequences; making new friends who drink a lot and neglecting old friends who don’t; finding it’s hard to be happy without regular alcohol use, etc.
Get help from the Student Health Center or Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital. Seeking medical attention for alcohol related problems will not result in notification of parents or the University administration except in emergency situations. These are Safe Havens and will not result in judicial sanctions for intoxication. The nurse on duty at the Student Health Center can give you advice 24/7 (540-458-8401). Stay with the person or call a RA or another individual to stay with the person-never leave an intoxicated friend alone. Turn person on their side and do not give them coffee, ibuprofen, aspirin, or put them in a shower. If the person is not vomiting, give them water to drink. HOW TO SPOT DANGER-if they have passed out, don’t leave them alone. If they are taking fewer than 8 breaths per minute or if there is more than 10 seconds between breaths they are in danger of respiratory failure. Their skin may be pale and ashen in color and clammy to the touch. The base of the fingernails and the lips may look bluish because the person is not getting enough oxygen. If you can’t rouse the person with a pinch or a shake the situation is serious. If you see someone drinking straight out of a liquor bottle or playing drinking games the person should be watched closely because the effects can come on quickly. GET HELP!
ALCOHOL ENERGY DRINKS and fortified MALT BEVERAGES are of particular concern because of the higher alcohol content when compared to beer (9% to 12% vs.5%). In November 2010, the FDA and FTC took action saying that caffeine is not a safe additive in alcoholic beverages.
New products have been marketed such as alco-pops, supersized malt beverage cans, and alcohol energy drinks containing guarana and ginseng. Mixing alcohol with energy drinks such as Red Bull are just as dangerous. Studies show that people who consume these beverages have a higher BAC and a higher rate of injury and other negative consequences than people who drink alcoholic beverages without stimulants.
The bottom line is that these drinks are not safe and often lead to higher rates and levels of intoxication. The sweet taste covers the taste of alcohol, giving the false impression one can drink more without the intoxicating effects. BE CAREFUL, or better yet, avoid them.
Use of illegal drugs and misuse of prescription drugs can have social, academic, psychological, physical, financial and legal consequences. Combining drugs and/or using them with alcohol can be extremely dangerous. Information below references specific drugs or drug categories, but is not intended as a comprehensive listing of drugs and their associated health risks.
MARIJUANA – The concentration of THC in marijuana varies greatly, ranging from 1% to 9%. THC is a fat soluble substance and can remain in the lungs, liver, reproductive organs and brain tissue for up to 3 weeks. Smoking or ingesting marijuana can relax a person and elevate his/her mood.
- This can be followed by drowsiness and sedation.
- Other effects include heightened sensory awareness, euphoria, altered perceptions and feeling hungry (“the munchies”).
- High concentrations of THC may produce a more hallucinogenic response.
- The effects of marijuana may vary based on: expectations of the user; social setting; prior experience of the user; genetic vulnerability of the user (marijuana use may aggravate underlying mental health issues); method of use (inhaled or ingested).
Discomforts associated with smoking marijuana include dry mouth, dry eyes, increased heart rate, and visible signs of intoxication such as bloodshot eyes and puffy eyelids. Other problems include impaired memory and ability to learn; difficulty thinking and problem solving; anxiety attacks or feelings of paranoia; impaired muscle coordination and judgment; increased susceptibility to infections; dangerous impairment of driving skills.
Combining marijuana and other drugs, including alcohol and prescription drugs, can cause unwanted reactions and/or increase the impact of both substances. Marijuana has addictive properties and about 10-14% of users will become dependent. Tolerance to marijuana develops rapidly. Physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms from marijuana include irritability, restlessness, insomnia, nausea and intense dreams.
Warning signs of dependence are: more frequent use; needing more and more to get the same effect; spending time thinking about using marijuana; spending more money than you have on it; missing class or failing to finish assignments because of marijuana; making new friends who do it and neglecting old friends who don’t; finding it’s hard to be happy without it.
- SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA, BATH SALTS, K2, SPICE, LAZY CAKES, HERBAL INCENSE – These are various psychoactive herbal and chemical products that mimic the effects of marijuana or other drugs.
- Since these products are largely created by individual sellers, it’s anyone’s guess what ingredients are the mix.
- That’s why side effects, including heart palpitations, high blood pressure, hallucinations, seizures and breathing problems, are difficult to predict.
The toxicity of active ingredients-not to mention the unknown ingredients in these products-is not well studied. In addition to the variable composition, these synthetic compounds are expensive, harsh on your lungs to smoke, may interact with other prescription or over the counter drugs in unpredictable and dangerous ways, do not mix well with alcohol, and often produce a very short “high” lasting no more than 30 minutes.
- HALLUCINOGENS – This category includes phencyclidine (PCP or “angel dust”), ecstasy and other amphetamine variants which have mind-altering effects.
- Perception and cognition are impaired and muscular coordination decreases.
- Speech is blocked and incoherent.
- Chronic users of PCP may have memory problems and speech difficulties lasting 6 months to a year after prolonged daily use.
Depression, anxiety, and violent behavior also occur. High psychological dependence on the drug may result in taking large doses of PCP. Large doses produce convulsions, comas, and heart and lung failure. Lysergic acid dyethylamine (L.S.D. or “acid”), mescaline and psilocybin (mushrooms) cause illusions, hallucinations and altered perception of time and space.
- Physical effects include dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, decreased appetite, insomnia and tremors.
- Psychological reactions include panic, confusion, paranoia, anxiety and loss of control.
- Flashbacks, or delayed effects, can occur even after use has ceased.
COCAINE – Cocaine prompts the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure and movement, and inhibits the reabsorption of it, over stimulating the brain. Users report feelings of euphoria, hyper-stimulation, confidence, and alertness.
- Cocaine’s pleasurable effects begin to wear off quickly leading to withdrawal symptoms including irritability, anxiety, restlessness, physical pain, insomnia, depression, paranoia, or aggression.
- Cocaine is extremely addictive and is considered one of the most powerful reinforcing drugs.
- Cocaine raises blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration increasing the risk of respiratory arrest, stroke, seizures, heart attacks, and death.
STIMULANTS – Amphetamines and other stimulants include ecstasy and “meth,” as well as prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin. The physical effects produced are elevated heart and respiratory rates, increased blood pressure, insomnia, and loss of appetite.
Sweating, headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, and anxiety may also result from use. High dosage can cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of motor skills and even physical collapse. Long-term use of higher doses can produce amphetamine psychosis which includes hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.
Prescription stimulant drugs, dubbed “academic steroids,” are used by some college students in an attempt to enhance their academic performance. These drugs are often prescribed to treat ADD/ADHD, and should be used only as prescribed and with ongoing medical supervision.
It is against federal law to use these medications without an authorized prescription from a physician. Students who share or sell their prescription drugs are abusing a medical privilege, breaking the law, and face severe penalties if caught. DEPRESSANTS – Barbiturates and benzodiazepines are two of the most commonly prescribed groups of depressant drugs.
Barbiturates include Phenobarbital, Seconal and Amytal; benzodiazepines include Ativan, Dalmane, Librium, Xanax, Valium, Halcion and Restoril. These drugs are used for medical purposes to relieve anxiety and to induce sleep. Physical and psychological dependence can occur if the drugs are used for longer periods of time or at higher doses than prescribed.
Benzodiazepine use can cause slurred speech, disorientation, and lack of coordination. If taken with alcohol, use can lead to coma and possible death. NARCOTICS – Narcotics include heroin, methadone, morphine, codeine, OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl and opium. Dextromethorphan in cough syrup is closely related.
After an initial feeling of euphoria, narcotic use causes drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. Effects of overdose include slow and shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma and possible death. Physical and psychological dependence is high, and withdrawal symptoms include watery eyes, runny nose, loss of appetite, irritability, tremors, panic, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, nausea, chills, and sweating.
RESULTS – Table1 shows demographic and substance use characteristics for those with intentional injuries (n=36) compared to those with unintentional injuries (n=400). Compared to patients with unintentional injury, those reporting intentional injuries were significantly more likely to be male, to report alcohol use alone (30.6% vs 17.8%), and to report combined alcohol and other drug use (27.8 % vs.3.3%), but no difference was found for drug use alone.
- Table 2 shows ORs and 95% CIs for substance use prior to injury for patients with an intentional vs.
- Those with an unintentional injury, controlling for age and gender.
- Both alcohol use alone, and alcohol used with other drugs were significantly predictive of an intentional injury.
- Injured patients reporting alcohol use alone were close to 4 times more likely to have a violence-related injury than those reporting no substance use, and those reporting alcohol combined with other drug(s) were almost 18 times more likely to be admitted for a violence-related injury.
When compared to the alcohol only group (not shown), those reporting both alcohol and drug use were close to 5 times more likely (OR=4.76; CI= 3.73–17.75) to be admitted with an intentional injury (Wald statistic=8.6, p=0.003). Drug use alone was not found to be predictive of intentionality.
It is possible that the larger association seen in Table 2 between intentional injury and alcohol in combination with other drugs compared to alcohol alone (or to drug use alone), may be because patients who used both substances consumed more alcohol (or more drugs) than those reporting only alcohol use (or only drug use).
The mean number of drinks reported for the alcohol only group compared to the alcohol in combination group, and the mean number of drug categories reported for the drug only group compared to the combination group can be seen in Table 3, Overall, those reporting both alcohol and drug use prior to injury reported a significantly larger number of drinks during the six-hour period (mean of 15.7) compared to those reporting alcohol use alone (mean of 5.0).
- The difference was significant (at p=.06) for unintentional injuries, but not for intentional injuries (although in the same direction), likely due to the small number of those with intentional injuries.
- The opposite trend was found for drug use, however, with those reporting drug use alone reporting use in more drug categories than those reporting drug use in combination with alcohol, although this difference was not significant.
Estimated blood alcohol content (BAC) was also compared between those reporting alcohol alone and those reporting alcohol in combination with other drug use, with similar results to that found for self-reported consumption (not shown). Overall, mean BAC was lower for those reporting only alcohol use (.04 mg%) compared to those reporting alcohol in combination with other drugs (.10 mg%; p=.03), but the difference was not significant by intentionality, mostly like due to small numbers (.039 mg% vs.
The Nursing Process – Many patients with substance abuse problems receive acute care for conditions related to substance use. Substance abuse often does not exist alone and it has numerous interrelated concepts. Drug abuse can harm organ systems and continued use can cause specific health problems like liver damage or lung cancer.
- Injuries may also result from substance abuse causing motor vehicle accidents, physical altercations, and more.
- Management of substance abuse disorders will depend on various factors such as the specific substance abused, demographics, and the patient’s overall health.
- Proper assessment is vital to determine the severity of the condition, enabling the healthcare team to tailor a treatment regimen accordingly.
Detoxification may be indicated along with psychosocial therapies and long-term follow-up management through continued medical supervision and support groups. Nurses provide support and care to patients suffering from substance abuse problems by treating physical symptoms, offering resources, and managing psychosocial distress.
Does alcohol cause inflammation in injuries?
Joint and Muscle Conditions – Joints and muscles are affected by inflammation. Firstly, alcohol’s dehydrating effect can create less lubrication between the joints which can lead to persisting joint inflammation and pain. Alcohol is also high in purines, a substance that gets broken down into uric acid.
Why is alcohol a risk factor for violence?
Alcohol, Violence, and Aggression – Alcohol Alert No.38-1997 Alcohol, Violence, and Aggression S cientists and nonscientists alike have long recognized a two-way association between alcohol consumption and violent or aggressive behavior (1). Not only may alcohol consumption promote aggressiveness, but victimization may lead to excessive alcohol consumption.
- Violence may be defined as behavior that intentionally inflicts, or attempts to inflict, physical harm.
- Violence falls within the broader category of aggression, which also includes behaviors that are threatening, hostile, or damaging in a nonphysical way (2).
- This Alcohol Alert explores the association between alcohol consumption, violence, and aggression and the role of the brain in regulating these behaviors.
Understanding the nature of these associations is essential to breaking the cycle of alcohol misuse and violence. Extent of the Alcohol-Violence Association Based on published studies, Roizen (3) summarized the percentages of violent offenders who were drinking at the time of the offense as follows: up to 86 percent of homicide offenders, 37 percent of assault offenders, 60 percent of sexual offenders, up to 57 percent of men and 27 percent of women involved in marital violence, and 13 percent of child abusers.
These figures are the upper limits of a wide range of estimates. In a community-based study, Pernanen (4) found that 42 percent of violent crimes reported to the police involved alcohol, although 51 percent of the victims interviewed believed that their assailants had been drinking. Alcohol-Violence Relationships Several models have been proposed to explain the complex relationships between violence or aggression and alcohol consumption.
To avoid exposing human or animal subjects to potentially serious injury, research results discussed below are largely based on experiments on nonphysical aggression. Other studies involving humans are based on epidemiological surveys or data obtained from archival or official sources.
Alcohol Misuse Preceding Violence Direct Effects of Alcohol. Alcohol may encourage aggression or violence by disrupting normal brain function. According to the disinhibition hypothesis, for example, alcohol weakens brain mechanisms that normally restrain impulsive behaviors, including inappropriate aggression (5).
By impairing information processing, alcohol can also lead a person to misjudge social cues, thereby overreacting to a perceived threat (6). Simultaneously, a narrowing of attention may lead to an inaccurate assessment of the future risks of acting on an immediate violent impulse (7).
Many researchers have explored the relationship of alcohol to aggression using variations of an experimental approach developed more than 35 years ago (8,9). In a typical example, a subject administers electric shocks or other painful stimuli to an unseen “opponent,” ostensibly as part of a competitive task involving learning and reaction time.
Unknown to the subject, the reactions of the nonexistent opponent are simulated by a computer. Subjects perform both while sober and after consuming alcohol. In many studies, subjects exhibited increased aggressiveness (e.g., by administering stronger shocks) in proportion to increasing alcohol consumption (10).
These findings suggest that alcohol may facilitate aggressive behavior. However, subjects rarely increased their aggression unless they felt threatened or provoked. Moreover, neither intoxicated nor sober participants administered painful stimuli when nonaggressive means of communication (e.g., a signal lamp) were also available (5,9).
These results are consistent with the real-world observation that intoxication alone does not cause violence (4). The following subsections explore some mechanisms whereby alcohol’s direct effects may interact with other factors to influence the expression of aggression.
Social and Cultural Expectancies, Alcohol consumption may promote aggression because people expect it to (5). For example, research using real and mock alcoholic beverages shows that people who believe they have consumed alcohol begin to act more aggressively, regardless of which beverage they actually consumed (10).
Alcohol-related expectancies that promote male aggressiveness, combined with the widespread perception of intoxicated women as sexually receptive and less able to defend themselves, could account for the association between drinking and date rape (11).
In addition, a person who intends to engage in a violent act may drink to bolster his or her courage or in hopes of evading punishment or censure (12,13). The motive of drinking to avoid censure is encouraged by the popular view of intoxication as a “time-out,” during which one is not subject to the same rules of conduct as when sober (14,15).
Violence Preceding Alcohol Misuse Childhood Victimization. A history of childhood sexual abuse (16) or neglect (17) is more likely among women with alcohol problems than among women without alcohol problems. Widom and colleagues (17) found no relationship between childhood victimization and subsequent alcohol misuse in men.
Even children who only witness family violence may learn to imitate the roles of aggressors or victims, setting the stage for alcohol abuse and violence to persist over generations (18). Finally, obstetric complications that damage the nervous system at birth, combined with subsequent parental neglect such as might occur in an alcoholic family, may predispose one to violence, crime, and other behavioral problems by age 18 (19,20).
Violent Lifestyles. Violence may precede alcohol misuse in offenders as well as victims. For example, violent people may be more likely than nonviolent people to select or encounter social situations and subcultures that encourage heavy drinking (21). In summary, violence may contribute to alcohol consumption, which in turn may perpetuate violence.
Common Causes for Alcohol Misuse and Violence In many cases, abuse of alcohol and a propensity to violence may stem from a common cause (22). This cause may be a temperamental trait, such as a risk-seeking personality, or a social environment (e.g., delinquent peers or lack of parental supervision) that encourages or contributes to deviant behavior (21).
Another example of a common cause relates to the frequent co-occurrence of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and early-onset (i.e., type II) alcoholism (23). ASPD is a psychiatric disorder characterized by a disregard for the rights of others, often manifested as a violent or criminal lifestyle.
- Type II alcoholism is characterized by high heritability from father to son; early onset of alcoholism (often during adolescence); and antisocial, sometimes violent, behavioral traits (24).
- Type II alcoholics and persons with ASPD overlap in their tendency to violence and excessive alcohol consumption and may share a genetic basis (23).
Spurious Associations Spurious associations between alcohol consumption and violence may arise by chance or coincidence, with no direct or common cause. For example, drinking is a common social activity for many adult Americans, especially those most likely to commit violent acts.
- Therefore, drinking and violence may occur together by chance (5).
- In addition, violent criminals who drink heavily are more likely than less intoxicated offenders to be caught and consequently are overrepresented in samples of convicts or arrestees (7).
- Spurious associations may sometimes be difficult to distinguish from common-cause associations.
Physiology of Violence Although individual behavior is shaped in part by the environment, it is also influenced by biological factors (e.g., hormones) and ultimately planned and directed by the brain. Individual differences in brain chemistry may explain the observation that excessive alcohol consumption may consistently promote aggression in some persons, but not in others (25).
The following subsections highlight some areas of intensive study. Serotonin Serotonin, a chemical messenger in the brain, is thought to function as a behavioral inhibitor. Thus, decreased serotonin activity is associated with increased impulsivity and aggressiveness (26) as well as with early-onset alcoholism among men (27).
Researchers have developed an animal model that simulates many of the characteristics of alcoholism in humans. Rhesus macaque monkeys sometimes consume alcohol in sufficient quantities to become intoxicated. Macaques with low serotonin activity consume alcohol at elevated rates (25); these monkeys also demonstrate impaired impulse control, resulting in excessive and inappropriate aggression (25,27).
- This behavior and brain chemistry closely resemble that of type II alcoholics.
- Interestingly, among both macaques and humans, parental neglect leads to early-onset aggression and excessive alcohol consumption in the offspring, again correlated with decreased serotonin activity (27).
- Although data are inconclusive, the alcohol-violence link may be mediated by chemical messengers in addition to serotonin, such as dopamine and norepinephrine (28).
There is also considerable overlap among nerve cell pathways in the brain that regulate aspects of aggression (29), sexual behavior, and alcohol consumption (30). These observations suggest a biological basis for the frequent co-occurrence of alcohol intoxication and sexual violence.
Testosterone The steroid hormone testosterone is responsible for the development of male primary and secondary sexual characteristics. High testosterone concentrations in criminals have been associated with violence, suspiciousness, and hostility (31,32). In animal experiments, alcohol administration increased aggressive behavior in socially dominant squirrel monkeys, who already exhibited high levels of aggression and testosterone (33).
Alcohol did not, however, increase aggression in subordinate monkeys, which exhibited low levels of aggression and testosterone (6). These findings may shed some light on the life cycle of violence in humans. In humans, violence occurs largely among adolescent and young adult males, who tend to have high levels of testosterone compared with the general population.
Young men who exhibit antisocial behaviors often “burn out” with age, becoming less aggressive when they reach their forties (34). By that age, testosterone concentrations are decreasing, while serotonin concentrations are increasing, both factors that tend to restrain violent behavior (35). Conclusion No one model can account for all individuals or types of violence.
Alcohol apparently may increase the risk of violent behavior only for certain individuals or subpopulations and only under some situations and social/cultural influences (4,36). Although much remains to be learned, research suggests that some violent behavior may be amenable to treatment and some may be preventable.
One study found decreased levels of marital violence in couples who completed behavioral marital therapy for alcoholism and remained sober during followup (37). Results of another study (7) suggest that a 10-percent increase in the beer tax could reduce murder by 0.3 percent, rape by 1.32 percent, and robbery by 0.9 percent.
Although these results are modest, they indicate a direction for future research. In addition, preliminary experiments have identified medications that have the potential to reduce violent behavior. Such medications include certain anticonvulsants (e.g., carbamazepine) (38); mood stabilizers (e.g., lithium) (39); and antidepressants, especially those that increase serotonin activity (e.g., fluoxetine) (40,41).
However, these studies either did not differentiate alcoholic from nonalcoholic subjects or excluded alcoholics from participation. Alcohol, Violence, and Aggression-A Commentary by NIAAA Director Enoch Gordis, M.D. B oth alcohol use and violence are common in our society, and there are many associations between the two.
Understanding the nature of these associations, including the environmental and biological antecedents of each and the ways in which they may be related, is essential to developing effective strategies to prevent alcohol-related violence as well as other social problems, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and childhood abuse and neglect.
- Because no area of science stands apart from another, understanding more about alcohol-related violence also will shed light on violence in general and produce information that may be useful to reducing it.
- Science has made progress on elucidating the environmental and biological antecedents of alcohol abuse and alcoholism; less progress has been made toward understanding the causes of violence.
Understanding the biology of violence will help us to clearly define the role of the environment in increasing the risk for violence and increase our understanding of who is at risk for violent behavior. This understanding also will help us to develop effective interventions-both social and medical where intended-to help those whose violence has caused trouble for themselves and others.
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In: Galanter, M., ed. Recent Developments in Alcoholism. Vol.13. New York: Plenum Press, 1997. pp.7-40. (4)Pernanen, K. Alcohol in Human Violence. New York: Guilford Press, 1991. (5)Gustafson, R. Alcohol and aggression. J Offender Rehabil 21(3/4):41-80, 1994. (6)Miczek, K.A., et al.
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NIAAA Research Monograph No.24. NIH Pub. No.93-3496. Rockville, MD: NIAAA, 1993. pp.193-212. (8)Buss, A.H. The Psychology of Aggression. New York: Wiley, 1961. (9)Gustafson, R. What do experimental paradigms tell us about alcohol-related aggressive responding? J Stud Alcohol 11(suppl):20-29, 1993.
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NIAAA Research Monograph No.24. NIH Pub. No.93-3496. Rockville, MD: NIAAA, 1993. pp.121-148. (12)Collins, J.J. Alcohol and interpersonal violence: Less than meets the eye. In: Wolfgang, M.E., eds. Pathways to Criminal Violence, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1989.
- Pp.49-67. (13)Fagan, J.
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- Drunk or sober? Learned conformity to a behavioral standard.
J Stud Alcohol 58(5):495-501, 1997. (16)Miller, B.A. Investigating links between childhood victimization and alcohol problems. In: Martin, S.E., ed. Alcohol and Interpersonal Violence. NIAAA Research Monograph No.24. NIH Pub. No.93-3496. Rockville, MD: NIAAA, 1993.
Pp.315-323. (17)Widom, C.S., et al. Alcohol abuse in abused and neglected children followed-up: Are they at increased risk? J Stud Alcohol 56(2):207-217, 1995. (18)Brookoff, D., et al. Characteristics of participants in domestic violence: Assessment at the scene of domestic assault. JAMA 277(17):1369-1373, 1997.
(19)Raine, A., et al. Birth complications combined with early maternal rejection at age 1 year predispose to violent crime at age 18 years. Arch Gen Psychiatry 51(12):984-988, 1994. (20)Raine, A., et al. High rates of violence, crime, academic problems, and behavioral problems in males with both early neuromotor deficits and unstable family environments.
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- All material contained in the Alcohol Alert is in the public domain and may be used or reproduced without permission from NIAAA.
- Citation of the source is appreciated.
- Copies of the Alcohol Alert are available free of charge from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Publications Distribution Center, Attn.: Alcohol Alert, P.O.
Box 10686, Rockville, MD 20849-0686.U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Public Health Service * National Institutes of Health Updated: October 2000 : Alcohol, Violence, and Aggression – Alcohol Alert No.38-1997
How much does alcohol increase risk?
Did you know? – Drinking alcohol raises your risk of developing head and neck, breast, colorectal, esophageal, liver, stomach and pancreatic cancers. Smoking and drinking together – and the number of drinks you have – also increases your risk of developing cancer.
Tobacco and alcohol together are worse for you than either on its own. Drinking about 3.5 drinks a day doubles or even triples your risk of developing cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus. Drinking about 3.5 drinks a day increases your risk of developing colorectal cancer and breast cancer by 1.5 times.
The less alcohol you drink, the lower your cancer risk. Limit alcohol. To reduce your cancer risk, it’s best not to drink alcohol. Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health outlines the health risks of alcohol and can help you make an informed decision on whether you drink and how much.
What is a risk factor for alcohol?
Known Specific Risk Factors –
Consuming more than 15 drinks per week for men or 12 drinks per week for women. Binge drinking (consuming more than 5 or more drinks in a 2-hour period for men or 4 or more drinks in a 2-hour period for women). Having a biological family member with alcoholism or drug addiction. Having a mental health condition such as bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety, Experiencing peer pressure to drink, especially as a young adult, Having low self-esteem or self-worth. Experiencing high levels of stress. Residing in a family or culture where alcohol use is common and accepted.
When do drugs cause side effects?
Side effects happen when a treatment causes a problem because it does more than treat the target issue. The impact can range from minor to severe and life-threatening. A side effect can, theoretically, be positive. For example, laser treatment for cataracts sometimes improves a person’s eyesight.
An adverse effect, or adverse event, means an unwanted side effect. The treatment may be a medication, surgical procedure, or other kind of intervention, including complementary and alternative therapies. Adverse effects can vary for each patient, depending on their general health, the state of their disease, age, weight, and gender.
They can be mild, moderate, or severe. Share on Pinterest Always check the potential adverse effects on the label of any medications. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) define an adverse effect as “an unexpected medical problem that happens during treatment with a drug or other therapy.” Unwanted effects can result from a physician’s advice and from medications or treatments, including complementary and alternative therapies.
They can lead to complications. Reports from clinical trials describe adverse events (AEs) and serious adverse events (SAEs). SAEs include death, birth defects, complications that require hospitalization, or permanent damage. Any medication can have an adverse effect, whether a prescription drug, an over-the-counter (OTC) drug, an alternative, herbal or complementary therapy, or a vitamin supplement.
For a medication to get approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or a similar body in another country, the drug manufacturer has to list all its known adverse effects. Adverse effects must be reported, investigated in human clinical trials, and included in the patient information leaflet (PIL).
not taking a medication that a doctor has prescribeddiscontinuing an exercise to strengthen a limb because the activity resulted in pain
Adverse effects of medications are most likely to happen when a person first uses the drug, when they stop using it, or when the dosage changes.
What is misuse of drugs and alcohol?
Understanding alcohol and substance misuse – Substance misuse is defined as the repeated use of a psychoactive substance for purposes other than those for which they are meant to be used or using them in excessive amounts. Substance-use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home. Peter Hendricks, Ph.D. (Photography: Lexi Coon) Moderate drinking, as defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, is no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men, translating to seven or fewer drinks per week for women and 14 or fewer drinks per week for men.
- A standard drink is a 12-ounce beer, 8-ounces of malt liquor, a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor.
- Alcohol consumption is the second-leading risk factor for premature death in the United States after cigarette smoking, accounting for 2.3% of all deaths among women and 6.7% of deaths among men.
Among those ages 15-49 years, alcohol use is the No.1 risk factor for premature death. Leading causes of death include tuberculosis, respiratory infections, cancer, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, unintentional injuries, self-harm and interpersonal violence.
Though some research suggests that low levels of alcohol consumption might have protective effects on ischemic heart disease, these protective effects are offset by the risks associated with cancer. Binge drinking, which is especially problematic, is four drinks in two hours for women and five drinks in two hours for men.
One in six U.S. adults engage in binge drinking monthly. “Alcohol leads to impulsive decisions and can be addictive,” Hendricks said. “Even though it’s legal for those 21 years of age and older, everyone should be aware of the dangers of drinking alcohol.
- Of course, adults over the age of 21 are free to make their own decisions, but my recommendation for anyone wanting to achieve optimal health is to abstain from alcohol consumption altogether.
- Even very moderate alcohol consumption is, in fact, unhealthy, and yes, this applies even to wine.
- If you’re interested in the antioxidants thought to be in wine, try eating vegetables instead.
And if you enjoy the feeling of relaxation that comes with alcohol use, try exercise, meditation or just listening to your favorite music.” Substance misuse can begin even after the very first time someone uses a drug. When some drugs are taken, they can cause surges of neurotransmitters much greater than the smaller bursts naturally produced in association with healthy rewards like eating, hearing or playing music, or social interaction.
What are the 3 main risk factors of drug use?
Risk Factors for High-Risk Substance Use Family history of substance use. Favorable parental attitudes towards the behavior. Poor parental monitoring.
What is a personal risk factor for drug abuse?
Variable risk factors include income level, peer group, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and employment status. Individual-level risk factors may include a person’s genetic predisposition to addiction or exposure to alcohol prenatally.
TRUE. Drug use, particularly of certain types of drugs such as stimulants or hallucinogens, can also impair judgment and increase aggression, leading to an increased risk of intentional injuries. Therefore, the statement is TRUE. Alcohol and drug use are risk factors related to intentional injuries.
Is substance abuse a risk factor for violence?
Risk Factors and Causes – Substance abuse is the largest precipitator of violence in adults and adolescents, but there are other factors that impact an individual’s behavior and contribute to a person’s aggressive tendencies. Risk factors tend to exist in a cluster rather than isolation. Thus risk factors for aggressive behaviors may stem from a combination of factors, including: 8,9,10
- Age, Younger people tend to have higher rates of aggression.
- Co-occurring mental health problems, Individuals exhibiting current symptoms of depression tend to act aggressively.
- Polysubstance use,
- Gender. Males tend to exhibit more aggressive tendencies than women.
- A family history of drug or alcohol abuse.
- Adverse childhood experiences. Violent youths tend to have violent parents.
- Genetic predisposition. A study attributes the cause of aggression to genetic predisposition.
- Antisocial attitudes and beliefs. Research indicates that adolescents with antisocial or delinquent peers may be dishonest, break rules, or be hostile toward others.
- Location. Children who grow up in disadvantaged neighborhoods plagued with violence, drug use, and crime are at an increased risk of becoming violent.
What is drug injury?
What Is a Drug Injury? – A drug injury occurs when a person is injured or killed by a prescription or over-the-counter medication. This may lead to a lawsuit. Both sustained injuries and death may be brought on by a reaction, a mixture of multiple drugs, or a side effect.
Does alcohol cause cell injury?
Acetaldehyde and acetate, produced from the oxidative metabolism of alcohol, contribute to cell and tissue damage in various ways. Acetaldehyde has the capacity to bind to proteins such as enzymes, microsomal proteins, and microtubules.
Where does alcohol cause inflammation?
Alcohol’s Effect on Immunity and Inflammation – Alcohol can induce intestinal inflammation through a cascade of mechanisms that subsequently lead to inflammation and organ dysfunction throughout the body, in particular in the liver and brain. One mechanism is by increasing bacterial loads and the permeability of the intestinal wall (see figure ) allowing bacteria to leak through, leading to local and systemic effects by affecting mucosal immunity and via endotoxin release, respectively.
Alcohol also affects mucosal immunity by suppressing one of the intestine’s main lines of defense against bacteria, Paneth cells that secrete antibacterial compounds. Suppressed Paneth cells secrete fewer antibacterial compounds, which can allow additional intestinal bacteria overgrowth and allow their byproducts (i.e., endotoxins) entrance through the intestinal barrier.
The bacteria, via endotoxins, trigger an inflammatory response by the intestine’s immune system, causing a release of proinflammatory cytokines. The endotoxins and cytokines can then enter the liver, directly interacting with hepatocytes and with liver immune cells, causing local cytokine release that leads to fibrosis and causes additional inflammation.
Why does alcohol cause swelling?
The Link Between Swollen Feet and Alcohol can be a bothersome and annoying symptom for one to experience in their feet. Not only can it feel uncomfortable, but the swelling can also make it more difficult to walk and put weight on the feet. It is important for you to be aware of the different causes of swollen feet because, while this condition can be somewhat inconsequential in some cases, it can also point to serious underlying health complications in others.
- One of the often overlooked causes of swollen feet is related to the consumption of alcohol.
- When an individual drinks alcohol, especially in excessive quantities, this can cause them to retain water inside their bodies.
- This extra water retention can lead people to experience swelling in their feet.
- Swelling in the feet should subside within a couple of days.
If it does not, then it could indicate a more serious problem with another part of the body, such as the kidney or liver. If you are beginning to experience swollen feet as a result of consuming alcohol, you might try elevating the feet to a height above the heart.
This ultimately encourages and promotes blood circulation. To help counteract the swelling caused by alcohol, one might also try to reduce the amount of salt consumption. If you are experiencing swollen feet because of alcohol consumption, you can contact a podiatrist to receive help and learn more about how to treat this condition.
Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact of, Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods.
Phlebitis – A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain. Liver disease – This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen. Heart failure – When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet. Kidney disease – One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen. Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.
Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet.
Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated. If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in, We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.
: The Link Between Swollen Feet and Alcohol
How does alcohol affect physical pain?
A Scripps Research team showed how both alcohol intake and alcohol withdrawal can lead to increased pain and hypersensitivity. April 21, 2023 LA JOLLA, CA— Chronic alcohol consumption may make people more sensitive to pain through two different molecular mechanisms—one driven by alcohol intake and one by alcohol withdrawal.
- That is one new conclusion by scientists at Scripps Research on the complex links between alcohol and pain.
- The research, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology on April 12, 2023, also suggests potential new drug targets for treating alcohol-associated chronic pain and hypersensitivity.
- There is an urgent need to better understand the two-way street between chronic pain and alcohol dependence,” says senior author Marisa Roberto, PhD, the Schimmel Family Chair of Molecular Medicine, and a professor of neuroscience at Scripps Research.
“Pain is both a widespread symptom in patients suffering from alcohol dependence, as well as a reason why people are driven to drink again.” Alcohol use disorder (AUD), which encompasses the conditions commonly called alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence and alcohol addiction, affects 29.5 million people in the U.S.
According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Over time, AUD can trigger the development of numerous chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, liver disease and some cancers. Among the many impacts of long-term alcohol consumption is pain: more than half of people with AUD experience persistent pain of some type.
This includes alcoholic neuropathy, which is nerve damage that causes chronic pain and other symptoms. Studies have also found that AUD is associated with changes in how the brain processes pain signals, as well as changes to how immune system activation occurs.
In turn, this pain can lead to increased alcohol consumption. Moreover, during withdrawal, people with AUD can experience allodynia, in which a harmless stimulus is perceived as painful. Roberto and her colleagues were interested in learning the underlying causes of these different types of alcohol-related pain.
In the new study, they compared three groups of adult mice: animals that were dependent on alcohol (excessive drinkers), animals that had limited access to alcohol and were not considered dependent (moderate drinkers), and those that had never been given alcohol.
- In dependent mice, allodynia developed during alcohol withdrawal, and subsequent alcohol access significantly decreased pain sensitivity.
- Separately, about half of the mice that were not dependent on alcohol also showed signs of increased pain sensitivity during alcohol withdrawal but, unlike the dependent mice, this neuropathy was not reversed by re-exposure to alcohol.
When Roberto’s group then measured levels of inflammatory proteins in the animals, they discovered that while inflammation pathways were elevated in both dependent and non-dependent animals, specific molecules were only increased in dependent mice. This indicates that different molecular mechanisms may drive the two types of pain.
It also suggests which inflammatory proteins may be useful as drug targets to combat alcohol-related pain. “These two types of pain vary greatly, which is why it is important to be able to distinguish between them and develop different ways to treat each type,” says first author Vittoria Borgonetti, PhD, a postdoctoral associate at Scripps Research.
Roberto’s group is continuing studies on how these molecules might be used to diagnose or treat alcohol-related chronic pain conditions. “Our goal is to unveil new potential molecular targets that can be used to distinguish these types of pain and potentially be used in the future for the development of therapies,” says co-senior author Nicoletta Galeotti, PhD, associate professor of preclinical pharmacology at the University of Florence.
In addition to Roberto, authors of the study, “Chronic alcohol induced mechanical allodynia by promoting neuroinflammation: a predictive mice model of alcoholic neuropathy,” include Amanda Roberts, Michal Bajo and Vittoria Borgonetti of Scripps Research; and Nicoletta Galeotti of University of Florence.
This work was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health (The Integrative Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism Consortium AA013498, AA027700, AA021491, AA017447, AA006420, and AA029841), The Schimmel Family Chair, The Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research, and The Scripps Research Institute’s Animal Models Core Facility.
What body part gets damaged by alcohol?
Long-term effects of alcohol misuse – Drinking large amounts of alcohol for many years will take its toll on many of the body’s organs and may cause organ damage. Organs known to be damaged by long-term alcohol misuse include the brain and nervous system, heart, liver and pancreas.
- Heavy drinking can also increase your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, both of which are major risk factors for heart attacks and strokes.
- Long-term alcohol misuse can weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to serious infections.
- It can also weaken your bones, placing you at greater risk of fracturing or breaking them.
There are many long-term health risks associated with alcohol misuse. They include:
high blood pressure stroke pancreatitis liver disease liver cancer mouth cancer head and neck cancer breast cancer bowel cancer depression dementia sexual problems, such as impotence or premature ejaculation infertility damage to the brain, which can lead to problems with thinking and memory
As well as having a significant impact on your health, alcohol misuse can also have long-term social implications. For example, it can lead to:
family break-up and divorce domestic abuse unemploymenthomelessnessfinancial problems