Current Issues

New Alcohol Recommendations from the CDC

The following is copied by permission from an article in the MICAP/RECAP Newsletter, published by the Michigan Council on Alcohol Problems (MICAP) and was written by Vernon Smith, PhD, and a member of the MICAP Board

The biggest news in decades about recommendations for alcohol use came from the CDC in August 2020. In an 835-page report, the CDC indicated that it is making significant changes to its recommendations on alcohol use, and the recommendation is clear: consume less alcohol.

Regarding alcohol consumption, the [“2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans”] report makes two major changes to previous guidance. Until this year, the Dietary Guidelines recommended no more than “moderate” alcohol intake, defined as no more than one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men. The new report will change that recommendation to no more than one drink per day, eliminating the distinction between men and women. Equally significant, the new Guidelines will omit any mention of potential benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. Past reports have alluded to potential benefits. However, recent scientific findings have repeatedly pointed to the role of alcohol in a range of health issues, especially cancer and liver disease, and these risks are now seen as outweighing any small potential protective heart benefits of moderate alcohol use.

The evidence suggests there is no “safe limit,” and the risk of adverse health effects increases with each drink.

Click here for a pdf copy of the rest of the article printed in the MICAP/RECAP Newsletter.

Governor Ivey Issues Statement Regarding the Study Group on Gambling Policy Report

MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey on Friday issued the following statement: 

“Earlier this year, I established the Study Group on Gambling Policy to thoroughly review and gather all the facts surrounding the seemingly endless debate on gambling in Alabama. They were tasked with providing detailed information to allow public officials and the people of our state to make the most informed decision possible, should we decide to pursue legislation to deal with this issue. 

“I offer my sincerest thanks to Mayor Todd Strange and the members of the Study Group for their diligent work, especially for adapting when COVID-19 interrupted in-person meetings.  

“After initial discussions with them regarding their report, I believe their research will be pivotal as gambling policies are being considered, debated and potentially voted on. As my team and I pour over the findings, I encourage the Legislature and the people of Alabama to do the same. The potential to act on gambling is an opportunity that cannot be accomplished solely by a governor or solely by the Legislature. It is incumbent on us to work together to provide the citizens of Alabama their opportunity to determine the future of gambling in Alabama. 

“I continue to maintain the final say on gambling belongs to the people of our great state, and if and when I have a recommendation regarding a specific course of action, I will do so in full transparency to the people of Alabama, working hand-in-hand with the Alabama Legislature.” ### Click here for a copy of the Study Group on Gambling Report  Members of the Study Group on Gambling:

  • Todd Strange (Chair)
  • R. “Rey” Almodóvar
  • Dr. Deborah Barnhart  
  • Walter Bell  
  • Dr. Regina Benjamin 
  • Young Boozer  
  • Sheriff Sam Cochran 
  • Elizabeth “Liz” Huntley  
  • Carl Jamison 
  • Justice James “Jim” Main 
  • Phillip “Phil” Rawls 
  • Bishop B. Mike Watson

 Press Contact

Gina Maiola, Press Secretary

Office of Governor Kay Ivey

gina.maiola@governor.alabama.gov

Think ya know, is marijuana safer than alcohol?

Is marijuana really safer than alcohol? Parents Opposed to Pot tackles this common misconception with provoking facts.

With the proliferation of ads for CBD products across the U.S., it is important to know what a Colorado psychiatrist has to say about such products. Joseph C. Godfrey, Executive Director, ALCAP

Think ya know, is marijuana safer than alcohol?

Is marijuana really safer than alcohol? Parents Opposed to Pot tackles this common misconception with provoking facts.

With the proliferation of ads for CBD products across the U.S., it is important to know what a Colorado psychiatrist has to say about such products. Joseph C. Godfrey, Executive Director, ALCAP

Drug legalization ‘all about money’

Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

THE HEAD OF AN ORGANIZATION THAT BELIEVES THE PROBLEMS RELATING TO ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS ARE IN DIRECT PROPORTION TO CONSUMPTION IS SPEAKING OUT AGAINST THE FEDERAL EFFORT TO DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA.

Dr. Joe Godfrey, president of the American Council on Addiction and Alcohol Problems (ACAAP)), says the House bill is all about money.

“It’s being pushed by the marijuana industry, people who stand to make billions of dollars from people that get addicted to their drug,” Dr. Godfrey continues.

He further acknowledges the argument that marijuana is not addictive as “bogus.”

“State governments and the federal government see it as a tax revenue source, but they’re all ignoring the social costs,” Dr. Godfrey submits. “They don’t count the cost of broken homes and families and destroyed lives [or] lost time at work. The marijuana industry is ignoring all of that.”

He believes the same could be said for the expansion of alcohol sales.

“With marijuana, if you’re under the influence, you’re not going to be very productive at work, and so that is a cost to society when employees are going to be less efficient and less cognizant of what they’re doing,” the ACAAP president explains.

But members of the Democrat-controlled House, including a few Republicans, see things differently. They voted last Friday to pass HR 3884, which aims to decriminalize and tax marijuana at the federal level. Supporters of the measure say it also takes steps to address racial disparities in enforcement of federal drug laws.

Therein lies another problem, says Dr. Godfrey.

“They’re making it a civil rights issue, [saying] that this is hurting minorities and so forth, but they’re ignoring that minorities will be hurt the most by legalizations,” he asserts.””You won’t find pot shops in upscale neighborhoods. You’re going to find the pot shops opened in low-income neighborhoods, and they’re going to be targeting minorities and low-income people of all races.”

Dr. Godfrey adds that there have been dramatic increases of young people using high-potency marijuana products at the same time as rising rates of marijuana-impaired driving in states where marijuana is now legal.

“That kind of leads to my last point,” Dr. Godfrey tells One News Now. “What they’re doing is setting the table for legalizing all drugs.”

He uses Oregon as one example, where voters have approved a ballot measure that decriminalizes possession of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone, and other drugs.

HR 3884, the bill approved last week in the U.S. House, is now at the Senate.

https://onenewsnow.com/culture/2020/12/08/drug-legalization-all-about-money

What are the risks of underage drinking?

Partnership to End Addiciton / www.drugfree.org

A young person’s brain is not fully developed until they reach their mid- to late 20s, and any drinking while the brain is still developing can be problematic. Regardless of age, alcohol lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment and coordination. It can also increase the incidence of aggressive or violent acts.

Consuming large quantities in a short period of time — or binge drinking, which is defined as having 4-5 drinks on one occasion and is common among young people — can cause alcohol poisoning and even death.

More than 16 million Americans misuse or are addicted to alcohol, which is a substance that is legal, widely available and normalized in our society. Prolonged, heavy use of alcohol can lead to addiction (known as alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism), liver and heart disease, and other health consequences such as a weakened immune system and increased risk of developing certain cancers.

Click here to visit the Partnership to End Addiction website for more information.

What are the risks of underage drinking?

Partnership to End Addiciton / www.drugfree.org

A young person’s brain is not fully developed until they reach their mid- to late 20s, and any drinking while the brain is still developing can be problematic. Regardless of age, alcohol lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment and coordination. It can also increase the incidence of aggressive or violent acts.

Consuming large quantities in a short period of time — or binge drinking, which is defined as having 4-5 drinks on one occasion and is common among young people — can cause alcohol poisoning and even death.

More than 16 million Americans misuse or are addicted to alcohol, which is a substance that is legal, widely available and normalized in our society. Prolonged, heavy use of alcohol can lead to addiction (known as alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism), liver and heart disease, and other health consequences such as a weakened immune system and increased risk of developing certain cancers.

Click here to visit the Partnership to End Addiction website for more information.

Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost From Excessive Alcohol Use — United States, 2011–2015

What is already known about this topic?

Excessive drinking is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States and is associated with numerous health and social problems.

What is added by this report?

During 2011–2015, excessive drinking was responsible for an average of 93,296 deaths (255 per day) and 2.7 million years of potential life lost (29 years lost per death, on average) in the United States each year.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Widespread implementation of prevention strategies, including those recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force (e.g., increasing alcohol taxes and regulating the number and concentration of places that sell alcohol) could help reduce deaths and years of potential life lost from excessive drinking.

Click here for a printable copy of this report.

Citation: Esser MB, Sherk A, Liu Y, et al. Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost From Excessive Alcohol Use — United States, 2011–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:981–987. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6930a1

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