What the Brett Kavanaugh allegations reveal about alcohol and sexual assault

Alcohol is at play in roughly half of sexual assault cases, according to a report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the United States. Sometimes it’s consumed by the victim and other times by the perpetrator.

In some cases, a person’s wish to sexually assault another person actually triggers alcohol use, the Institute’s report says. Per the U.S. government website on date rape drugs, alcohol is “the drug most commonly used to help commit sexual assault.”

The commonalities among male sexual assault perpetrators had a lot to do with their views on women, the report goes on. The assailants were mostly men who were lower in empathy, and more likely to endorse statements like “no means yes,” “women enjoy forced sex” and “all’s fair in love and war.”

 

The men were also more likely to be hostile to women. That hostility is explored in a 2011 study in the journal of Psychology and Addictive Behaviors. In tracking hundreds of newly-wed couples during the first four years of marriage, that study found that heavy alcohol consumption only made a person predisposed to hostility more aggressive. Someone low in hostility could drink alcohol without showing signs of alcohol-related aggression. Those findings were consistent with previous studies.

And yet, Decter says, there’s a long history of intoxication being used in courts to create reasonable doubt.

Section 33.1 of the Canadian Criminal Code actually prevents people from using self-induced intoxication as a defence. However, that hasn’t stopped lower court judges from using a victim’s drunkenness as a reason for acquittal.

In 2017, a Nova Scotia judge made headlines nationally after acquitting a Halifax taxi driver of sexually assaulting a passenger, writing in his ruling, “Clearly, a drunk can consent.”

More recently, an Ontario Superior Court Justice ruled in August that Cameron McCaw, a Toronto man due to stand trial for sexual assault, would be allowed to argue the defence of extreme intoxication.

“Section 33.1’s objective … is not sufficiently pressing and substantial to justify the great damage it does to fair trial interests,” Nancy Spies’ wrote before affirming that it was “of no force and effect in Ontario.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/4487944/alcohol-and-sexual-assault/?utm_medium=Twitter&utm_source=%40globalnews

 

Areas with more alcohol vendors have higher hospital admission rates

Areas with a high density of alcohol outlets have higher drink-related hospital admission rates, a new study from the University of Sheffield has found.

 

The study, conducted by researchers from the University’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), revealed that the places in England with the most pubs, bars and nightclubs had a 13 percent higher admission rate for acute conditions caused by alcohol such as drunkenness and vomiting.

These areas also had a 22 percent higher hospital admission rate for chronic conditions caused by alcohol – such as liver disease, compared with places with the lowest density of alcohol vendors.

The research, funded by Alcohol Research UK, analysed both on-trade outlets—where alcohol can be bought and consumed on the premises such as pubs, clubs and restaurants—as well as off-trade outlets—where alcohol is purchased to drink elsewhere, like supermarkets and .

The study, which is the largest of its kind worldwide, examined data on more than one million admissions wholly attributable to alcohol over 12 years. It included all 32,482 census areas in England.

The results also showed:

  • Places with the highest density of restaurants licenced to sell alcohol had nine percent higher admission rates for acute conditions and nine percent higher admission rates for chronic conditions caused by alcohol.
  • Areas with the highest density of other on-trade outlets (such as hotels, casinos and sports clubs) had 12 percent higher admission rates for acute conditions and 19 percent higher admission rates for chronic conditions caused by alcohol, compared with areas with the lowest density of other on-trade outlets.
  • Places with the highest density of convenience stores had 10 percent higher admission rates for acute conditions and seven percent higher admission rates for  compared with areas with the lowest density of convenience stores.

Ravi Maheswaran, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Sheffield, said: “The strongest link was between pubs, bars and nightclubs and admissions for alcoholic liver disease.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-08-areas-alcohol-vendors-higher-hospital.html

 

Upscale Atlanta Restaurant Throws Out Black Guests After Random Drunk Woman Sits In Their Reserved Seating

https://twitter.com/_kodilichukwu/status/1027889922936655873?s=21

 

the original video on twitter

 

What was supposed to be a celebratory birthday dinner turned sour for a group of friends after they say a drunken woman sat down in their reserved seating and refused to leave. They were the ones booted from the restaurant, however.

Video of the incident made its rounds on social media over the weekend, going viral.

Kodili Okechukwu detailed the bizarre encounter in a Facebook post late Friday night. She said she and her friends were enjoying a birthday dinner at Overdrive Lounge inside Solis Two Porsche Drive hotel in Atlanta when a random lady came and sat at their table. After kindly explaining their table was reserved, Okechukwu said the woman refused to leave.

https://atlantablackstar.com/2018/08/13/upscale-atlanta-restaurant-throws-out-black-guests-after-random-drunk-woman-sits-in-their-reserved-seating/

 

Social cost is too high to pay for ‘buck a beer’

By STUART HICKOXOpinion

Wed., Aug. 8, 2018

It’s the smell that woke me up and saved me — an acrid and artificial searing. My shoe, too close to the wood stove, was smoking, about to burst into flames, with my foot in it. I knew then that I had to quit drinking.

I had gone alone to my cabin in the woods of P.E.I., a simple place I’d built 20 years earlier on a 10-acre clear-cut. As a painful introvert, the cabinandlandwerea safe space to reconnect with my estranged father and then be a dad myself.

That is, until I nearly died there, passed out in what almost became a tiny cabin tinderbox. What hurts me still, five sober years later, is that I came so close to depriving my sons of a father and destroying the special shared space where we had bonded.

Second chances come with responsibility. So that’s why I must speak out about Premier Doug Ford’s boneheaded “Buck-a-Beer” plan. Frankly, it’s B.S.

No one chooses to be addicted to alcohol. It’s a slow-moving choking weed that often germinates innocuously with after-work wine, growing to an uncontrollable daily impulse. Addiction is increasingly seen as a response to the mental anguish of emotional trauma. In my case, I used wine to hide from the lingering pain of sexual abuse I experienced as a child.

But this isn’t about me. It’s about us. Ford said Ontario would act “smartly and responsibly” while lowering beer prices. It’s insulting, particularly to people in recovery, when he says that he “trusts Ontarians to know when they’ve had one too many.”

There’s nothing smart or responsible about “Buck a Beer.” Here are some facts:

 

  • The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health notes a direct connection between alcohol consumption and increased traffic accidents, heart and liver disease, violence, suicide and child abuse.

 

 

  • The Canadian Public Health Association reports that alcohol costs the Canadian economy $7 billion in lost productivity, $3 billion in health and social services costs, and $3 billion forpolicing.

 

And how do you measure the cost of lives lost and families destroyed?

 

Alcohol has its place. I’m not suggesting prohibition. But it’s ironic that Ontario’s artisanal brewers (who arguably produce the best beers), are least able to afford “buck a beer” because their production costs are higher than those of large brands.

So, small business in Ontario will also suffer unless overall consumption rises. And with greater consumption comes higher social and health care costs.

In short, the premier’s insistence that “buck a beer” will result in no additional cost to taxpayers is either stunning ignorance or a flat-out lie. Either way, he needs to be held accountable.

Instead of glorifying the $24 two-four, our leaders should be promoting recovery, responsible consumption and healthy lifestyle choices.

So, if you’re feeling uneasy today, take note: That bad smell is our feet on fire. It’s time to wake up and take a clear-minded stand against policies that threaten our communities, our economy, and our kids.

Stuart Hickox is a community-based social marketing specialist living in recovery in Ottawa.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2018/08/08/social-cost-is-too-high-to-pay-for-buck-a-beer.html

10 REASONS ALCOHOL IS ACTUALLY POISON

https://addictionunscripted.com/10-reasons-alcohol-is-actually-poison/

Let’s face it, alcohol is glamorized in the media, in social settings, and in our everyday lives. Wherever you turn there are ads for alcohol, offers to get drinks or go to happy hours, and gifts of wine and liquor bottles. We hardly ever read about the dangers of alcohol unless it’s for the D.A.R.E. program, or trying to get kids to “just say no.” Articles that do bring up the dangers of alcohol consumption are often followed by jazzy headlines that read “a glass of wine a day is the same as one hour at the gym,” or “drinking alcohol prevents heart disease.” People are always looking for a way to justify drinking alcohol. I’m here to tell you, it’s worse than we thought. Here are 10 reasons why alcohol is actually poison.

1. ETHANOL ALCOHOL IS USED IN GASOLINE AND YOUR DRINKS

You read that right. Ethanol alcohol, the kind of alcohol that is used in pharmaceuticals, toiletries, and the fuel you put into your car, is the same type of alcohol that is in your martinis and your favorite beer. The anesthetic called ether is also made from ethanol. Another kind of alcohol, known as methanol, derived from similar chemical compounds as ethanol, is used as a solvent, as a raw material for producing formaldehyde, as well as antifreeze and for cleaning metals. Yuck!

2. ALCOHOL IS THE DIRECT CAUSE OF 7 FORMS OF CANCER

At the end of last year a study revealed that alcohol is the direct cause of 7 forms of cancer, not one, but 7. Health experts actually called for a warning label on alcohol products because the study, published in the journal Addiction, found that alcohol was the direct cause of liver, breast, oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon, and rectum cancer. Although the highest risk was seen in the heaviest drinkers, a considerable burden was still found in low to moderate alcohol consumption. The authors of the study concluded that there is no safe amount of alcohol to drink in reference to cancer.

3. 88,000 PEOPLE DIE ANNUALLY FROM ALCOHOL-RELATED CAUSES

This statistic is shocking and should alarm anyone who reads it. It means that alcohol is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States. I mean, if orange juice was the fourth leading preventable cause of death in this country do you think there would be a movement to stop drinking? To not make fancy drinks with it? To make it look uncool? To not give it as a gift? You’re damn right there would be.

4. IT’S CALLED ALCOHOL POISONING FOR A REASON

Yes, alcohol is so toxic it can literally poison you. When your blood alcohol level is high enough, it is considered poisonous. This is because the liver is only made to process a limited amount of alcohol, one unit every hour. If you drink too much too fast your BAC can spike. One patient dies each week in the U.S. from alcohol poisoning. You can be at risk for alcohol poisoning even if you don’t binge drinking as it can even happen accidentally.

5. NO AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL IS SAFE WHILE PREGNANT

I’ve heard and seen pregnant women say that a glass of wine early on in their pregnancy won’t hurt. I’ve read articles about pregnant women being pressured to drink. The American Academy of Pediatrics, along with many other health organizations, have repeatedly said that prenatal exposure to alcohol is dangerous. In fact, as of 2015, it is the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities in children. A recent study found an increased risk of infant growth retardation even when a pregnant woman’s consumption was limited to one alcoholic drink per day. Some women believe drinking during the first trimester is harmless, but compared to no drinking, drinking during the first trimester results in 12 times the odds of giving birth to a child with FASDs.

6. ALCOHOL KILLS CELLS

This is why alcohol is used to clean stuff, to preserve food and to sterilize skin and needs. The toxicity of alcohol becomes greater when it is ready to be cleared from the body because it has to be metabolized to a substance called acetaldehyde. This substance is even more toxic than alcohol. The irony is, any food or drink contaminated with the amount of acetaldehyde that a unit of alcohol produces would be banned and outlawed immediately as having an unacceptable health risk.

7. DRINKING CAN LEAD TO ADDICTION

Although not everyone who drinks alcohol becomes addicted, there is a risk and the negative effects can be detrimental. In the current drinking climate, it’s difficult to understand when drinking becomes alcohol misuse or an alcohol use disorder. According to the NIAAA, as of 2015 15.1 million adults in the U.S. aged 18 or older have an alcohol use disorder. It can be argued that other substances that are prescribed or taken daily can also cause an addiction, pain pills, food, etc. However, alcohol is unique in that we know it’s a drug and we glamorize it anyway.

8. DRINKING IN EXCESS ON ONE OCCASION CAN TAKE A TOLL ON YOUR HEALTH

We often hear drinking only one can’t hurt us, but it can. Alcohol can interfere with the brain’s communication pathways and can affect how the brain looks and works. Drinking a large amount over a long time or too much on one occasion can damage the heart including issues such as cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, stroke, and high blood pressure. Heavy drinking over time can lead to even more adverse health consequences.

9. ALCOHOL CAUSES ORGANS IN THE BODY TO PRODUCE TOXIC SUBSTANCES

Alcohol actually causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that impedes proper digestion. Moreover, I already mentioned how the alcohol we metabolize also converts into a toxic substance, acetaldehyde.

10. YOUR BODY SEES ALCOHOL AS A POISON

When alcohol enters your body, your body sees it as a poison and it automatically reacts by attempting to fight back. To sober you up, the body produces an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase. The body goes after alcohol once it passes through the stomach lining into the liver. That’s where it changes into acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is thought to be the cause of nasty hangovers.

As you can see, any way you slice it alcohol is poison. Its effects are far-reaching and devastating. Personally, I believe it’s time to stop acting like drinking is the normal thing to do and treat is like what it really is: poison.

Yes, there’s an opioid crisis. But alcohol kills more people

It’s hard to read the word opioid these days and not see the word crisis nearby.

The number of deaths related to the painkillers in provinces like Alberta, B.C. and Ontario have prompted both provincial and national attention.

While Launette Rieb welcomes the step, she says when it comes to drugs in Canada, alcohol is the big killer.

Rieb, a family physician who works in addiction and community medicine, says statistics from B.C. alone last year show alcohol related deaths were more than double the number of deaths related to all opiates and other drugs combined.

 

Overall, alcohol is still a bigger problem in Canada both in terms of hospitalizations, health risks and deaths than opiates and other drugs combined– Launette Rieb

As for why opioid related deaths prompt immediate government action and alcohol related deaths do not, Rieb says one of the biggest problems is that alcohol has become normalized.

“It’s part and parcel of the social fabric in Canadian life,” says Rieb, adding that when that happens it’s harder for people to see the harms as easily.

Rieb says a contributing problem is the notion that moderate drinking can have a beneficial effect. She cites a recent study that concluded “low-volume alcohol consumption has no net mortality benefit compared with lifetime abstention or occasional drinking.”

And journalists could do more to help get that message across.

Rieb advocates for media, who often showcase wine or beer products, to make a better effort to remind people of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/the180/the-myth-of-the-golden-age-alcohol-kills-and-why-paralympic-inspiration-videos-are-cringe-y-1.3699676/yes-there-s-an-opioid-crisis-but-alcohol-kills-more-people-1.3699700

 

Alcohol-related liver disease deaths among millennials increased 10% each year since recession, according to study

Alcohol-related liver disease deaths increased among millennials in America more than any other age group in the years following the 2008 recession, a new study has found.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System analysed hundreds of thousands of death certificates to track the rise in alcohol-related diseases between 2009 and 2016. The researchers focused on deaths caused by cirrhosis, a late-stage scarring of liver that is the end result of most chronic liver diseases.

In the seven years directly following the recession, the researchers found, people aged 25 to 34 years saw a 10.5 per cent annual increase in deaths related to cirrhosis – even as mortality rates due to other causes decreased. The increase was the largest of any age group, and was driven entirely by alcohol-related liver disease, according to the researchers.

The recession had a marked effect on so-called millennials, a group loosely defined as those born after 1980. Employment rates fell for young adults more than any other age group during the economic downturn, and student loan debt soared. In 2012, 36 per cent of millennials aged 18 to 31 were still living with their parents, according to the Pew Research Centre.

The researchers, however, weren’t quite ready to tie these economic setbacks to the increase in alcohol-related diseases.

“We suspect that there is a connection between increased alcohol use and unemployment associated with the global financial crisis. But more research is needed,” said Dr Elliot Tapper, a researcher on the study and professor at the University of Michigan Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

The researchers also examined late-stage liver disease deaths over a broader range of dates, from 1999 to 2016. They found that the cirrhosis-related mortality rate increased in all but one state in that period, with alcohol playing a major role.

Annual deaths from cirrhosis increased by 65 per cent in the US over that time period, while annual deaths from hepatocellular carcinoma – a kind of liver cancer often associated with cirrhosis – doubled to 11,073.

 

The increase in mortality rates hit whites, Native Americans and Hispanic Americans the hardest. Only one group – Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders – saw a decrease in mortality rates over the time period examined. Southern states like Kentucky, Alabama, and Arkansas were especially hard-hit.

The pattern is especially heartbreaking, the researchers said, because alcohol-related liver disease is entirely preventable. Previous studies have shown higher alcohol costs are linked to decreased alcohol-related deaths. The researchers suggested solutions like raising taxes on alcohol or setting minimum prices for drinks to reduce mortality rates.

“The rapid rise in liver deaths underscores gaps in care and opportunities for prevention,” said Dr Neehar Parikh, the co-author of the study and liver specialist at Michigan Medicine.

“Each alcohol-related death means decades of lost life, broken families and lost economic productivity,” Mr Tapper added

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/alcohol-deaths-liver-disease-us-cirrhosis-recession-millennials-a8453306.html

Alcohol’s health risks are far easier to prove than its benefits

Is moderate drinking good for your health?

In the past two decades, the idea that moderate drinking may actually confer health benefits has taken hold, backed up by some preliminary evidence. This led to the often-mentioned notion in the popular press that a glass of red wine a day reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

 

There was one major flaw in many of the studies used to back up the claim that a glass of red wine is good for health. They compared moderate drinkers to non-drinkers—rather than comparing lighter to heavier drinkers. There is a phenomenon called the “sick quitter paradox,” however, that could affect study findings. “Sick quitter” means that non-drinkers tend to be less healthy than low-level drinkers, and that many people choose to not drink for health reasons. Therefore, some non-drinkers may be less healthy than moderate drinkers for reasons unrelated to alcohol. The question as to whether moderate drinking is beneficial remains open. The National Institutes of Health recently sought to initiate a large randomized control trial, the gold standard for understanding causal relationships, to look into the benefits of moderate drinking.

This trial was designed to pick up the heart benefits of consuming one drink a day, but it was not designed to be able to detect the negative consequences of moderate alcohol use, such as increases in breast cancer. Many in the alcohol research community wondered what the recommendations from this study would be, since there are so many well-established problems with drinking even at moderate levelsthat likely outweigh any potential benefits.

The study was recently canceled for a number of reasons, including inappropriate engagement between staff at the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) with both the study researchers and industry partners and the subsequent removal of funding from the alcohol industry. The now canceled study on the benefits of moderate drinking reminds us that it is important to remember all the physical and social consequences of alcohol consumption.

 

https://www.popsci.com/alcohols-health-benefits-risks

Why alcohol makes people violent, solved by scientists

The mystery of why alcohol makes people violent has finally been solved.

Scientists recruited 50 young men and asked them to consume either vodka or placebo drinks which were alcohol free.

They found that after just two drinks activity diminished in the prefrontal cortex of the brain - an area which is involved in tempering a person’s level of aggression.

Although experts had suspected for some time that the prefrontal cortex was involved, it is the first time it has been seen happening.

Dr Thomas Denson of the University of New South Wales in Australia, said: “Although there was an overall dampening effect of alcohol on the prefrontal cortex, even at a low dose of alcohol we observed a significant positive relationship between dorsomedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity and alcohol-related aggression.

“These regions may support different behaviors, such as peace versus aggression, depending on whether a person is sober or intoxicated.”

To find out the real-time effects of alcohol on the brain, scientists used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans that measure blood flow and show which areas are most active.

Participants were given alcohol or placebo then asked to complete a provoking task while lying in the scanner to gauge their levels of aggression.

Being provoked was found to have no influence on participants’ neural responses.

However, when behaving aggressively, there was a dip in activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brains of those who had consumed alcoholic drinks.

This dampening effect was also seen in the areas of the brain that are involved reward. Also, heightened activity was noted in the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with people’s memory.

“We encourage future, larger-scale investigations into the neural underpinnings of alcohol-related aggression with stronger doses and clinical samples,” added Dr Denson.

“Doing so could eventually substantially reduce alcohol-related harm.”

The research was published in the journal Cognitive, Affective & Behavioural Neuroscience.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/02/12/alcohol-makes-people-violent-solved-scientists/