Impacts of the Minimum Legal Drinking Age Legislation on in-Patient Morbidity in Canada, 1997-2007: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach.

Impacts of the minimum legal drinking age legislation on in-patient morbidity in Canada, 1997-2007: a regression-discontinuity approach.

Addiction. 2013 May 17;
Callaghan RC, Sanches M, Gatley JM

AIMS: To provide novel, population-based estimates of the influence of minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) legislation on target in-patient hospital events in Canada. DESIGN: Regression-discontinuity analyses on rates of Canadian in-patient admissions. SETTING: All in-patient hospitalizations in Canada (except Québec) between 1 April 1997 and 31 March 2007. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals aged 15-22 years admitted to hospital. MEASUREMENTS: International Classification of Diseases-9/10 codes for alcohol-use disorders/poisoning, injury, suicide, assault and motor vehicle accidents were considered as target morbidity conditions. FINDINGS: Compared with the baseline hospitalization rate just prior to the MLDA, admissions at the MLDA rose significantly (P???0.001) for alcohol-use disorders/poisoning for males (17.3%) and females (21.1%), as well as for suicide events for the combined sample (9.6%, P?=?0.029). Among males, there was a significant 4.4% increase (P?=?0.001) in a broad class of injuries, including a 9.2% jump (P?=?0.020) in admissions for motor vehicle accidents compared with the baseline hospitalization rate just prior to the MLDA. CONCLUSION: Removal of minimum legal drinking age restrictions is associated with significant population-level increases in hospital admissions among young adults in Canada for alcohol-use disorders/poisoning, as well as for other serious injuries, especially among males. Current international minimum legal drinking age policy discussions should account for the impact of the minimum legal drinking age on severe morbidity outcomes. HubMed – addiction


Acute and chronic nicotine effects on behaviour and brain activation during intertemporal decision making.

Addict Biol. 2013 May 16;
Kobiella A, Ripke S, Kroemer NB, Vollmert C, Vollstädt-Klein S, Ulshöfer DE, Smolka MN

Previous studies demonstrated higher discount rates for delayed rewards in smokers than non-smokers. We performed this study to determine whether those differences in intertemporal choice are due to pharmacological effects of nicotine and to track related brain regions. Thirty-three non-smokers and 27 nicotine-dependent smokers underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing an intertemporal choice task consisting of 40 sets of monetary reward options that varied by delay to delivery. Smokers were investigated in a state of nicotine satiation. Non-smokers were investigated twice, receiving nicotine (2?mg) and placebo gums in a double-blinded, randomized cross-over design. Smokers displayed steeper temporal discounting than non-smokers. Those behavioural differences were reflected in the brain response during the decision between two alternative money/time pairs: smokers showed less activation in parietal and occipital areas (e.g. precuneus) than non-smokers under placebo. A single dose of nicotine in non-smokers led to a similar effect on brain activation but did not impact behaviour. Processing of the reward magnitude of money/time pairs differed between smokers and non-smokers: smokers showed decreased reactivity of the ventral striatum. Moreover, there was an acute nicotine effect in non-smokers on processing of the reward magnitude: nicotine increased the correlation of blood oxygen level-dependent response and mean amount in the left hippocampus, amygdala and anterior insula. We conclude that cross-sectional differences between smokers and non-smokers are only, in part, due to the acute pharmacological effects of nicotine. Longitudinal studies are needed to investigate pre-drug group characteristics as well as consequences of smoking on discounting behaviour and its neural correlates. HubMed – addiction


Acute Use of Alcohol and Methods of Suicide in a US National Sample.

Am J Public Health. 2013 May 16;
Conner KR, Huguet N, Caetano R, Giesbrecht N, McFarland BH, Nolte KB, Kaplan MS

Objectives. We explored age, gender, and racial/ethnic differences with alcohol use and firearms, hanging or asphyxiation, and poisoning methods of suicide. Methods. We analyzed data for 37?993 suicide decedents aged 18 years and older from the 2005-2010 National Violent Death Reporting System database. Multinomial logistic regressions examined associations of method with alcohol use defined by blood alcohol content. Two-way interactions tested the effects of age, gender, and race/ethnicity on the associations between alcohol use and method of suicide. Results. Alcohol was present among decedents who used the 3 leading methods of suicide: firearm (35.0%), hanging (36.8%), and poisoning (32.7%). Two-way interaction tests suggested that in young and middle adulthood, individuals were more likely to drink alcohol when they used a firearm or hanging (compared with poisoning), but in older adulthood, the reverse was true, with alcohol use more likely with poisoning. Interaction tests also suggested that Asians and Pacific Islanders were most likely to use alcohol in poisonings and that Blacks were least likely to use alcohol in hangings. Conclusions. The results suggested that alcohol use before suicide was influenced by several factors, including age, race/ethnicity, and suicide method. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print May 16, 2013: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301352). HubMed – addiction