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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...

Genetic and Environmental Determinants of Stress Responding

The development of alcohol dependence is a complex process influenced by both genetic and environmental risk factors (Prescott and Kendler 1999). The relative contributions of genetic and environmental influences fluctuate across development. During adolescence the initiation of alcohol use is strongly influenced by environmental factors (Dick et al. 2007; Heath et al. 1997; Karvonen 1995...

Alcohol Use As a Risk Factor in Infections and Healing: A Clinician's Perspective

Alcohol use and misuse have been part of human society for centuries. Early physicians recognized since the 1800s that alcohol produced not only impairment of the senses but also higher predisposition for tuberculosis. William Osler, the father of scientific medicine, reported in 1905 that patients who misused alcohol had higher predisposition to pneumonia (Osler 2001).

Between 2006 and 2010...

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Mutual Help Group Participation for Substance Use Problems

Introduction

Racial/ethnic minority groups comprise a large proportion of the U.S. population and evidence a substantial need for treatment of substance use disorder (SUD). Analysis of the most recent, reliable data available—the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)1—found that the prevalence of past-year SUD among those age 12 and older was higher among some racial/ethnic...

Cognitive-Affective Transdiagnostic Factors Associated With Vulnerability to Alcohol and Prescription Opioid Use in the Context of Pain

Introduction

Pain is a complex, near-universal phenomenon, which can be conceptualized as a motivational state that engenders goal-directed action.1 Motivational models of substance use highlight the role of expected effects and suggest that individuals become motivated to use substances when such use is perceived as holding greater value than other available objects or events.2,3 A rapidly...

The Impact of Gene–Environment Interaction on Alcohol Use Disorders

This article explores interactions between genetic and environmental effects on alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Two contrasting ideas define what it means to have genes and environment interact. The first approach—the one that this article will focus on—is a statistical perspective. This approach is based on statistical models in which genetic and environmental factors are sometimes measured...

Alcohol and Stress in the Military

Problematic alcohol use within the United States military has been linked to substantial financial and productivity losses. Data from 2006 revealed that excessive alcohol consumption cost the U.S. military $1.12 billion per year (Harwood et al. 2009). Regarding medical expenditures, studies have found that excessive alcohol use by military members results in an annual cost of $425 million...

Functional and Psychiatric Correlates of Comorbid Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are common comorbid conditions that affect large segments of the population. Individuals with comorbid PTSD/AUD face greater clinical and functional stressors than those with diagnoses of either PTSD or AUD alone. The purpose of this article is to review the phenomenology and functional associations of PTSD/AUD and address the...

Drinking Over the Lifespan: Focus on College Ages

Approximately 41 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are enrolled in a postsecondary degree-granting institution (National Center for Education Statistics 2013). As a group, college students, and particularly those at residential colleges (Presley et al. 2002), often drink heavily and experience myriad associated negative consequences. This selective review discusses the special characteristics of...

Social and Cultural Contexts of Alcohol Use: Influences in a Social–Ecological Framework

The alcohol research literature is overwhelmingly focused on risk factors, from the societal level down to the individual. Worldwide, 3.3 million deaths were attributed to alcohol misuse in 2012 (World Health Organization 2014). Excessive alcohol use is the third leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 88,000 deaths per year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2014)...