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Alcohol Misuse and Kidney Injury: Epidemiological Evidence and Potential Mechanisms

Chronic alcohol consumption is a well-known risk factor for tissue injury. The link between alcohol use disorder (AUD) and kidney injury is intriguing but controversial, and the molecular mechanisms by which alcohol may damage the kidneys are poorly understood. Epidemiological studies attempting to link AUD and kidney disease are, to date, inconclusive, and there is little experimental evidence...

Recovery From AUD - From the Editors

In recent decades, the term “recovery” as it pertains to alcohol use disorder (AUD) and drug use disorders has taken on increasing cultural and scientific significance in the United States and around the world. Its growing prominence as a culturally recognized and, importantly, positively valenced organizing concept has occurred in large part in direct response to help counter the pervasive and...

Alcohol, Opioids, and Pain - From the Editors

Opioids and alcohol are both effective analgesics under certain pain conditions. However, although the analgesic or pain-relieving properties of opioids are well known, information about the use of alcohol and its potential for misuse in the context of pain management has begun to emerge more recently. Alcohol doses required to alleviate pain are commensurate with binge drinking,1 defined as...

Women and Alcohol - From the Editors

Recent epidemiological research has identified alarming trends in drinking patterns of girls and women in the United States. In recent years, the amount and frequency of alcohol use are increasing in White and Hispanic girls and young women in contrast to decreasing patterns of heavy alcohol use in boys and young men.1,2 Similarly, current and binge alcohol use is rising among older women,3,4 resu...

Alcohol Use Disorder: The Role of Medication in Recovery

Introduction

It is estimated that nearly 14.6 million Americans currently meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD)1 included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5),2 and approximately 88,000 die from alcohol-related causes in the United States each year.3 An older term, “alcohol dependence,” is equivalent to the DSM-5 criteria for...

Alcohol Use Disorder and Depressive Disorders

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and depressive disorders are among the most prevalent psychiatric disorders and co-occur more often than expected by chance. The aim of this review is to characterize the prevalence, course, and treatment of co-occurring AUD and depressive disorders. Studies have indicated that the co-occurrence of AUD and depressive disorders is associated with greater severity and...

Gender Differences in the Epidemiology of Alcohol Use and Related Harms in the United States

Over the past century, differences in alcohol use and related harms between males and females in the United States have diminished considerably. In general, males still consume more alcohol and experience and cause more alcohol-related injuries and deaths than females do, but the gaps are narrowing. Among adolescents and emerging adults, gaps in drinking have narrowed primarily because alcohol use...

Measuring the Burden - Alcohol’s Evolving Impact

This issue of Alcohol Research: Current Reviews examines the public health impact of alcohol consumption beyond the role of alcohol use disorders alone (Room et al. 2005)—that is, it looks at the burden of disease. Determining impact hinges on accurate and consistent “measurements.” As demonstrated in the articles in this issue, impact typically is estimated based on three elements (Rehm et al...

Biology, Genetics, and Environment: Underlying Factors Influencing Alcohol Metabolism

Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that drinking patterns and the prevalence of alcohol-related adverse consequences, including alcohol use disorder (AUD), differ substantially among racial/ethnic groups in the United States. For example, analyses comparing drinking patterns and their consequences among Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics found the following: Whites have the highest...