State laws can help curb binge drinking - 8 News NOW

State laws can help curb binge drinking

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com © iStockphoto.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Strong state alcohol control policies make a difference in efforts to help prevent binge drinking, a new study finds.

Binge drinking -- generally defined as having more than four to five alcoholic drinks in a two-hour period -- is responsible for more than half of the 80,000 alcohol-related deaths in the United States each year.

"If alcohol policies were a newly discovered gene, pill or vaccine, we'd be investing billions of dollars to bring them to market," study senior author Dr. Tim Naimi, an associate professor of medicine at Boston University Schools of Medicine and attending physician at Boston Medical Center (BMC), said in a BMC news release.

Naimi and his colleagues gave scores to states based on their implementation of 29 alcohol control policies. States with higher policy scores were one-fourth as likely as those with lower scores to have binge drinking rates in the top 25 percent of states.

This was true even after the researchers accounted for a variety of factors associated with alcohol consumption, such as age, sex, race, income, geographic region, urban-rural differences, and levels of police and alcohol enforcement personnel.

Alcohol policy scores varied by as much as threefold between states, the investigators found. And nearly half of the states had less than 50 percent of the maximum score in any particular year from 2000 to 2010. In addition, the study authors noted, binge drinking rates were 33 percent higher in states in the bottom quarter than those in the top quarter of policy scores.

The study is published in the current issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"Unfortunately, most states have not taken advantage of these policies to help drinkers consume responsibly, and to protect innocent citizens from the devastating secondhand effects and economic costs from excessive drinking," Naimi said.

"The bottom line is that this study adds an important dimension to a large body of research demonstrating that alcohol policies matter -- and matter a great deal -- for reducing and preventing the fundamental building block of alcohol-related problems," he concluded.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about binge drinking.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • Paula's Health NotesLas Vegas Health NewsMore>>

  • Nevada near top in uninsured residents

    Nevada near top in uninsured residents

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 4:53 PM EDT2014-09-16 20:53:01 GMT
    Nevada had the nation's second highest percentage of residents without health insurance in 2013, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.More>>
    Nevada had the nation's second highest percentage of residents without health insurance in 2013, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.More>>
  • Stopping schizophrenia before birth

    Stopping schizophrenia before birth

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 2:55 PM EDT2014-09-16 18:55:19 GMT
    Scientists have long called it a “brain booster.” Choline is a nutrient found in animal cells, like meat and fish, that is essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, but researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness.More>>
    Scientists have long called it a “brain booster.” Choline is a nutrient found in animal cells, like meat and fish, that is essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, but researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness.More>>
  • Hope for metastatic prostate cancer

    Hope for metastatic prostate cancer

    Friday, September 12 2014 4:50 PM EDT2014-09-12 20:50:15 GMT
    After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. When caught early, it can often be cured. But when it spreads, most patients will die within five years. Now a new treatment approach could lengthen their survival and become a first line treatment.More>>
    After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. When caught early, it can often be cured. But when it spreads, most patients will die within five years. Now a new treatment approach could lengthen their survival and become a first line treatment.More>>
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.