Researchers study risk factors for teen alcohol abuse

Much research has been done on when people begin to drink. However, little work has investigated the time period between a person’s first drink and the first time he or she got drunk. The research findings were published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The study authors found that high school students who drank at a young age and experienced their “first drunk” early on were more likely to segue quickly to binge drinking and teen alcohol abuse.

The effects of drinking progression

Lead author and Oberlin College professor Meghan Morean noted the importance of these two factors in adolescence.

“The current study extends this research in two important ways. First, this work demonstrates that starting to use alcohol at an early age and quickly progressing to drinking to intoxication jointly are related to teen alcohol abuse and binge drinking. Second, this research focused on high school students.”

These two factors also play a large role in prevention efforts.

“If age of any use is the primary risk factor, our efforts should be primarily focused on preventing initiation of any use,” said ASU associate professor William Corbin. “If, however, age of first intoxication – or delay from first use to first intoxication – is a unique risk factor above and beyond age of first use, prevention efforts should also target those who have already begun drinking in an effort to prevent the transition to heavy drinking.”

The researchers surveyed 295 high school drinkers with an average age of 16 about their drinking habits in February 2010. The survey questions asked when participants had their first drink, the first time they got drunk and how often they binge drank.

The findings indicated that adolescents who had their first drink earlier on were more likely to become heavy drinkers than teens who began drinking later. The researchers noted that if teenagers had their first drink at 14 and their first intoxication within the year, they would drink more heavily than teens who waited to get drunk later on.

A first for the age group

The researchers stated that though these conclusions have already been drawn in college students, they have not been explored for high schoolers. They believe asking students about their drinking habits recently is a more accurate measurement method than asking college students to remember their first time.

The findings revealed that the first drink had greater long-term effects than the first intoxication. However, the study authors noted that there should be prevention efforts for both. The researchers noted the importance of prevention efforts, since approximately 80 percent of high schoolers begin drinking alcohol by their senior year. In 2011, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 25 percent of youths between 12 and 20 drink alcohol.

Parents’ influence on Teen Alcohol Abuse

The group believes a “two-part strategy” is needed to tackle the issue, including parental involvement. They believe parents should attempt to delay their children from drinking as long as possible. However, if teens have already had their first drink, the researchers suggest parents urge their teens to wait for their first time getting drunk. That delay may help prevent a worse situation later on.

They believe parents having a mature conversation with their children on the dangers of drinking and alcohol abuse can help adolescents make more informed decisions later on. The researchers also noted that parents who monitor their children can prevent early alcohol use and that taking quick action if they learn their children are abusing alcohol can help delay binge drinking.

“This study highlights the fact that heavy drinking is quite prevalent among high school students,” said Morean. “To help address the prevalence of heavy drinking during high school, we would suggest that new alcohol prevention and intervention efforts targeting high school students be developed with the goal of delaying drinking onset and onset of heavy drinking among those at increased risk.”

How can teens avoid drug addiction and what steps should parents take?

The use of illegal drugs is a growing problem among the youth, often leading to drug addiction. Even worse, there is a growing number of teenagers and young people abusing prescription medication. There are simple and effective ways for teens to resist drugs and avoid falling into drug addiction.

School’s Role in Preventing Drug Use

Students may not realize it, but their schools have strategic plans to discourage youth from using drugs, and worse case, having a drug addiction. Extracurricular programs are implemented with the purpose of giving students an outlet for having fun and socializing with peers. Sports teams are designed to keep members busy after school with practice sessions and competitive games. Students who are not athletic can still find plenty of interesting activities to do by joining various academic related clubs. These days, there are plenty of multimedia clubs that are perfect for anyone interested in digital technology to further explore their interest and skills.

The bottom line is that schools offer plenty of opportunities for individuals to stay busy in a positive way and ultimately avoid the use of drugs. Instead of hanging out in the streets, students are encouraged to have fun with their fellow classmates, educators and other academic staff. Drug use could also disqualify student athletes from joining teams. Surely, there are major incentives for students to stay away from drugs in order to continue participating in their school’s teams and clubs.

Resisting Peer Pressure

A major factor that contributes to drug use among teenagers is peer pressure. Young people tend to hang out with the “wrong” crowds and develop bad habits that include substance abuse. Teens might feel a heavy pressure to fit in a particular social group and using drugs and engaging in other inappropriate or unlawful behavior. A great way to resist peer pressure is to simply find friends who have a good influence to hang out with. This concept goes back to joining academic clubs and sports teams that have a zero tolerance for any drug use. Students are encouraged to bond with others who share similar personal interests. Teens should feel at ease when they’re with a group of people who share the same positive interests, while being in the care of academic staff, such as coaches, and removing the need to try drugs to impress others, thus, falling victim to drug addiction.

Interference By Parents

A healthy household should have a zero tolerance policy for any illegal substances. For preventive measures, parents can implement the strategies that schools use: to provide entertaining and time-consuming activities that their children enjoy and can grow from. Time that parents and children spend together is invaluable. In addition, after teaching their children about the dangers or drug use and drug addiction, parents can enforce strict rules and regulations that discourage their children from using drugs. In the event that parents find out their children are using drugs, do-it-yourself drug test kits could be used to test teenagers for the presence of any illicit substances including Marijuana, Cocaine, Crack, Methamphetamine and more. A positive drug test can result in the children receiving consequences such as the loss of allowances or groundings. Additionally, if a positive drug test is obtained, parents can threaten to send their child to a rehabilitation center for the treatment of drug addiction, knowing full well that this is only helping their loved one.

Parents could also take a logical approach towards discouraging their children from using drugs, which usually leads to drug addiction. For instance, it’s possible to discuss all of the repercussions associated with illegal substances. Dreams of finishing college and finding a great paying job could be shattered by the usage of drugs. Teens should also be educated about the criminal consequences of doing drugs. Scare tactics have been used to make sure that teens understand some of the jail terms given out to drug dealers, addicts and other users.

How does teen drug rehab get best results?

What You Need To Know About Teen Drug Rehab

If you have become aware that your teen is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you may be weighing several options to help your teen through recovery. Some parents will view a problem with drugs or alcohol as a behavioral problem, and they may attempt to invoke punishment and revoke privileges. Others may make a hard and fast stand about which friends the teen can spend time with, and these parents may regularly search the child’s room. Each parent may respond differently when faced with this type of situation, but the fact remains that your child is in need of professional help; a teen drug rehabilitation program gets the best results.

A Physical Addiction

Many people are aware that some types of drugs are easy to become addicted to, but they often do not realize that alcohol is also a very addictive substance. An addiction can change the body as well as the mind, and medical assistance or psychological support is often needed in order to overcome a serious addiction. In addition, when the body is not provided with the alcohol or drugs that it has become dependent upon, it will often experience unpleasant and even dangerous side effects. Professional assistance provided in a drug rehab program to help an individual through the detoxification stage is necessary.

Emotional Support

Studies have shown that individuals who receive ample support at home during the recovery phase often enjoy the best results for a life free of drugs and alcohol. When you punish your teen and invade his or her privacy, an environment of distrust is created. The teen may feel as though you do not support him or her. As a team, you and the counselors at the drug rehab center can build a supportive environment that shows the teen that you are fully supportive of him or her; it gives the teen a healthy environment to overcome the addiction and to recover. It will also foster the best overall results for the long run.

Removing the Teen From the Environment

Teens turn to drugs and alcohol for a number of reasons. They may feel social pressure from their circle of friends. It may be that they enjoy the release they feel when they consume alcohol or use drugs. Teens may feel stressed from certain situations at home or at school. When you remove your teen from their stressful environment and instead, place the teen in a supportive environment where he or she will not be exposed to situations that cause anxiety, the teen may be able to see through his or her own eyes how the addiction developed. Keep in mind that in order to enjoy a long-term recovery, the teen must be able to identify why he or she is resorting to drugs or alcohol. Through rehab, the teen can become more self-aware and can learn more about how to cope with these situations in a more positive way. He or she must also be able to have strategies to cope with those situations once back in a normal life routine, out of a drug rehab setting.

Teen drug rehab is not the only option available for you and your teen, but you can see that it offers benefits that are not present with other options that you may be considering. The fact is that alcohol and drugs can be highly addictive, difficult to overcome, and punishment and extra parental monitoring are not the most sufficient methods to helping a teen end addiction. Teen drug rehab is designed to provide those with an addiction the medical and psychological support services they need in order to detoxify their bodies and to substitute drug use with acceptable replacement behaviors. Drug rehab provides the affected teens with the best opportunity for a long life free of drug and alcohol addiction.

When does a teen’s experimentation become addiction? The Signs of Addiction

For many people, their teenage years are filled with rebellion and experimentation. Sometimes it can be difficult to draw the line between experimenting and a more serious problem. Here are some signs that your teen may be developing an addiction to tobacco, alcohol, or drugs.

Physical Signs of Addiction

Since addiction is a physical process, there are a number of physical signs of addiction. Bloodshot eyes or extremely large or small pupils are signs that there may be drugs active in your teen’s system. Frequent nosebleeds, often resulting from a snorted drug, can also be a sign of frequent use.

Sudden weight loss or gain and significant changes in sleep, either too much or too little, are further signs of addiction. Wearing long sleeves and pants even in warm weather may be a sign of hiding track marks from needle injections.

Usage Habits

Certain patterns of drug use can indicate an addiction. Tolerance, the need of more and more of the substance to get the same feeling, is a strong sign of addiction. From the outside, this might look like the user taking increasing amounts or them switching to a more direct delivery, like snorting or injecting.

Withdrawal symptoms, when your teen can’t get the substance, are sure signs of addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can include irritability, mood swings, frustration, trouble focusing, constipation, diarrhea, shaking or trembling, seizures, sweating, depression, anxiety, or flat emotions. Different substances will cause different withdrawal symptoms.

Continuing to use even when the substance is causing problems, like trouble in school, relationship difficulties, health problems, or legal trouble, are more signs of addiction. Your teen may begin to take bigger risks, like getting drunk or high in public or driving under the influence.

Using substances to cope with problems is another sign of addiction. If your teen wants a drink at a party, that may be experimentation. If your teen needs a drink because it was a rough day, there may be an addiction.

Failed attempts to quit are another sign of addiction. They suggest that the teen knows the substance use is not healthy, tried to stop and was unable to.

Behavioral Changes

Addiction can have a significant effect on behavior. Struggling in school with falling grades, unexplained absences or behavior problems can be further signs of addiction. Spending less time with friends and family, avoiding hobbies or extracurricular activities they used to enjoy and getting into fights and arguments more often may also indicate a problem.

If your teen is acting secretive, has recently completely changed his or her group of friends and has begun asking for money more often or stealing things from the home to sell, there may be an issue with drugs.

Sudden mood swings, depression, apathy, lack of motivation, aggression, inability to sleep, sleeping all day, hyperactivity, difficulty focusing and paranoia are all symptoms of drug or alcohol use and abuse as well.

Mental Signs of Addiction

If your teen is willing to talk about substance use, ask how he or she thinks about the substance. A feeling of being out of control or helpless to stop, thinking about the substance often throughout the day, an inability to stop or cut down usage or using when he or she specifically planned not to are all signs of addiction.

Talk to your teens about the symptoms and signs of addiction so that they can recognize them in themselves if the need ever comes. If you are worried that your teen may have an addiction, talk to him or her about the problem and seek professional help. Addiction is a serious problem that is difficult to overcome without the support of friends, family and health and behavioral professionals. If your teen is struggling with addiction all our teen addiction hotline today 800.447.9081!

Substance Abuse Aftercare That Works for Teenagers

It’s a sad fact that many parents across America are faced with their worst fear when they learn that their teenage child has developed a dependency to drugs or alcohol. Addiction doesn’t discriminate and teenagers from all walks of life may fall victim to harmful substances. Fortunately, help is available to your teenager if this occurs. Once you’ve gotten them through a good rehabilitation program, you will want to turn your attention to finding good substance abuse aftercare programs designed specifically for teenagers that will keep them on the right track to achieving a healthy and sober lifestyle.

Substance Abuse Aftercare Aimed at Teenagers

Once your teenager has successfully completed their rehabilitation program, it is essential that they be enrolled in one of the best aftercare programs that will reinforce all of the steps they learned in rehab and continue to be sober. The rehabilitation center that helps your teenager will, likely, be able to refer you to suitable aftercare programs that you can choose from. This may be an inpatient or outpatient program that will provide one-on-one counseling sessions, group therapy with other people their age, behavioral therapy, mental and emotional support, educational support and arrangements for them to attend local meetings specifically for teenagers after they return home from rehab.

Special Considerations for Teenagers

Unlike those in adult substance abuse aftercare programs, your teenager’s brain and body are still developing and can be more adversely affected by substance abuse. Because of this, a teenager entering aftercare will have special attention paid to their physical, mental and emotional development. If it is determined that they are deficient in any of these areas, then a treatment program will be designed for them to catch up to where they should be respective to their particular age.

Education is another special consideration for teenagers attending aftercare programs. If your teenager is in an inpatient treatment program, then they will be tutored each day to keep them up-to-date with their studies, so that they can expect to return to their normal pace at school upon completing rehab. An outpatient program will help you arrange for alternative schooling, if it is determined that it is detrimental to your teenager’s recovery to return to the same school setting.

Because teenagers are at a crucial time in their life when they are developing their own identities within their social setting, it is taken into special consideration in teen aftercare programs. Unfortunately, many teenagers become substance abusers because the people that they consider friends pressured them into using the drugs. It’s important that they learn that those people aren’t the best choice for friends; the aftercare programs should teach them better ways to realize their own identity and how to obtain healthy new relationships with their peers.

How Parents Can Help

Even though the relationship between teenagers and parents can often be strained, you must remember that your role, as a parent, is extremely important if your child is to truly succeed in recovery. Give your teenager unconditional love, at this time more than ever, and make sure that they understand that you believe in them and their ability to stay clean. Parents may also help by introducing new friends to their teenager through church or clubs the teenager may enjoy. Keep no alcohol in the home, keep all prescription drugs locked away safely and even consider moving to a different neighborhood to give your teenager a fresh start.

While it won’t be an easy road to travel, your teenager can return to the wonderful person you know he/she was before the addiction occurred. You can once again see your happy child with a bright future, but it will take a lot of hard work on the part of both the teenager and parents. Support them through the drug rehab treatment as well as while they take part in aftercare programs, this is the best thing you can do for them. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you think your teenager may be in trouble. Getting a good hold on the problem as early as possible will make success a much more accessible goal and your teenager can get back to living the wonderful life he or she was meant to have.

Teens and Marijuana Use

Marijuana use is prevalent among many young people in today’s society because of its easy accessibility, affordability, and low addictive qualities. Marijuana is often labeled the “gateway drug” because it serves as a transition to more dangerous and lethal drugs. Despite its very low risk for harm or danger, parents should talk to their teens about the negative effects of marijuana and always be aware of the warning signs.

So, how do you know that your child is involved with marijuana? Well, there are several signs to look for. After someone comes down from the “high”, he or she can become very sluggish and lethargic, making simple tasks like getting out of bed in the morning daunting. Another warning sign is that marijuana users may exhibit slow reaction time or slurred speech even days after doing the drug. The most obvious sign, of course, is the smell. Marijuana emits a very distinct odor when smoked. Keep in mind, however, that marijuana can also be ingested through brownies and candy that contain the drug.

Communication is Key

If you suspect that your child is under the influence of marijuana, then the best thing to do is to confront him or her as soon as possible. Even if you don’t suspect drug use, it’s still a good idea to have the talk so that you can be proactive instead of reactive. Approach the situation in a way that is assertive. Don’t be pushy or aggressive; this will cause your teen to become defensive or hostile. Assertive communication opens up the lines of communication without placing blame on others.

Knowing the best time and place to talk to your teen about marijuana is the key to having an open and honest discussion about drugs. A good time to talk is after dinner and after homework is completed. A good place to have the discussion is the living room; it is conducive to talking, and it’s spacious enough that the entire family can gather.

Avoid lecturing your teen about drug use. Instead, encourage your teen to ask questions about marijuana. Ask your teen about his or her goals in life. Tell him or her about how marijuana negatively affects the body, academic performance, memory, motivation, and the mind. Inform your loved one about how marijuana slows cognitive performance and destroys brain cells, potentially causing brain damage if done repeatedly. Whatever angle you choose to approach this topic, do so in a way that lets your teen know that you have his or her best interest in mind and that you care.

Marijuana, although not as potent as heroine or cocaine, can have a significant impact on every aspect of an adolescent’s life. Adolescence is hard enough without complicating it with drugs. It can rob your teen of experiencing true joy and success in life. If you’ve exhausted all other options and you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, there is help out there. The first step to helping your teen break the addiction and carve a better life is to contact your local drug rehab facility.

What do you do if you have a heroin addiction?

When people take heroin, it is because they want to cover the emotional pain from a trauma. When a person has lost something or someone that fills them with a sense of grief, they use the pleasure of heroin to mask their emotional pain. Moreover, the pressure of a difficult situation because of heroin addiction may not be as intense as the emotional pain. Thus, insufficient income or no friends or poor health does not seem as much as a problem as the emotional pain. These difficult and uncomfortable circumstances may not be a significant motivation for change. Ironically, even overdosing and coming close to death may not be a sufficient deterrent.

Motivation for Rehab

Usually, an addicted person will only know that they need help when they encounter a major problem. For instance, they may get arrested, they may lose their job, or they may get evicted from their house. It is at this point that they should ask for help from loved ones. If they are unable to get a loved one to help, they should seek a hotline for heroin addiction. These hotlines are staffed by well-trained people who listen carefully and are able to make appropriate recommendations. However, it is important to act quickly as there is only a small window of opportunity to ask for help because the drug cravings can be overwhelming and a person will rapidly go into denial that they have a problem.

Sometimes, too, it is not the actual problem that forces someone to ask for help or try to help themselves by seeking a heroin addiction hotline or support group. Sometimes, the fear of loss may be enough to precipitate change. A person may be motivated to change when they encounter the threat of legal charges that may lead to time in jail, the threat of losing a spouse or children, or the threat of getting fired from a job and being left penniless and homeless.

When helping someone with an addiction, the worst thing one can do is to actually solve the problem for them. If for example, you get a good lawyer to remove the legal problem, then they will simply lose all interest in getting help for their addiction. An addict will only seek help when they are pushed outside their comfort zone and the pain of their circumstances is even stronger than the emotional pain they are covering up with heroin. Usually, an addict feels that they are doing okay if they have enough money, food and shelter. They also feel okay if they are not facing any legal or employment threats or if they associate with other people who condone their use of heroine.


Unfortunately, few addicts try to help themselves or even ask for help. Many addicts are in such denial that they push their addiction to the point of overdose and death. For this reason, it may be necessary for others to intervene.

It is important that an intervention be well thought-out. It is much more than simply having a discussion with the addicted person.

When deciding on an intervention, it’s important to have a formal meeting with the addicted person and to have trained professionals at the meeting because they are able to override the addicted person’s denial, manipulative behavior, or acting out. It is also necessary to have the presence of family and friends whom the addicted person respects. Everyone should be in agreement to achieve the same goal. When interventions fail, it is often because those doing the intervention disagree among themselves. For this reason, it’s important not to include people who are angry or willing to blame the addicted person at the meeting. Finally, once a person agrees to get help, there should be an immediate follow-up, which includes arranged transportation to the rehab center.

Get Help As Soon As Possible

If you or a loved one have a problem with heroin, it’s important not to delay. You can get immediate help by calling us today.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction on Teens and Young Adults

Teens and young adults are in the process of discovering who they are. This important process allows teens and young adults to make the often difficult transition from child to a fully functional adult with a completed education, stable housing and fulfilling job. During this time, the teen may face all kinds of challenges and temptations. Many teens and young adults will face all kind obstacles on their way to becoming an adult. One of the most common of such obstacles is alcohol and drug addiction on teens and young Adults. Drug use and abuse is highly common in this age group. It is important for someone who is a teen or young adult to get help for their drug use as soon as possible.

Recognition of the Problem

The first step for any teen or young adult is the recognition that they have a problem. Doing so will allow them to admit they have a problem and ultimately get help for it. If you are a teen or young adult and you think you have a problem with such substance abuse, you will need to figure out if you have a problem.

In many instances, teens are prescribed medications to help with problems. These medications may be used to treat mental conditions such as ADHD or similar conditions that may it hard for someone to concentrate on their schoolwork. These are commonly prescribed and widely used drugs. Unfortunately, the use of such drugs may be addictive. A teen or young adult who is taking them may develop a problem with too much of the medication. They may have issues as a result that make them dependent on the use of such drugs to get through the day or confront a problem such as the need to do well on a test.

Another way that teens may have a problem with drugs is with the use of drugs that are available in their local community. In many regions of the country, the teen will find that it is easy to get ahold of common street drugs. They may succumb to such temptation and become addicted.

Seek Professional Help

In all such instances, it is important to get help. A teen or young adult should first turn to a trusted authority figure and speak to them. This may be a parent, a teacher, a guidance counselor or even a slightly older sibling. The important thing is to find someone who will listen to your concerns and work to help you.

In most instances, talking out one’s problems with drugs or alcohol will lead to help from the person you have spoken to directly. The person will notify the appropriate authorities that a person they know or care for has an issue with substance abuse. At that point, you can expect action to be taken. Sometimes, they may have an immediate effect on your life. Your caregiver may realize that you need help as soon as possible and work to get you that help within a short period of time.

In most instances, you can expect that the person will help you seek formal help. This will consist of outpatient or inpatient treatment at a rehab center specializing in such help. Many rehab centers have specially trained units and staffers who work directly with alcohol and drug addiction of teens and young adults. Their aim is to provide help for members of this population. The treatment will often consist of a combination of working on behavior patterns and the use of medications to help overcome the underlying addiction. If you have any further questions, contact a local rehab center directly.

New Tool to Screen Teens for Substance Abuse

Addiction and substance abuse are on the rise in teens. A new electronic screening tool may be able to detect risk and addiction of substance abuse in adolescents, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers hope to use the tool as part of routine medical care for teen patients.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that in 2013, 4 percent of 8th graders, 13 percent of 10th graders and 26 percent of 12th graders stated they had gotten drunk in the past month. Marijuana use remains high among adolescents, with 7 percent of 8th graders, 18 percent of 10th graders and 23 percent of 12th graders using marijuana in the past month before the study. Other illicit drug use remains low.

Lead study author Sharon Levy, M.D., M.P.H., of Boston Children’s Hospital, conducted the study. The researchers believe this tool will help intervene before an abuse becomes an addiction and help prevent drug overdoses. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes it is imperative to screen adolescents for drug use during a regular check-up.

Risk categorizing

This is not the first screening tool of its kind to test for substance abuse and addiction. However, none have used the tool to categorize adolescents on their level of risk for addiction and abuse to help discover the best method of intervention. The researchers created four categories to segregate the preteens and teens into non-tobacco substance abuse, substance abuse disorders, severe substance abuse disorders and tobacco dependence.

The participants ranged in age from 12 to 17. Each patient was planning on receiving regular medical care at one of two outpatient pediatric centers or a substance abuse treatment center at a pediatric hospital. The patients were evaluated using the screening tool from June 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013. The screening consisted of asking a question on using eight different types of drugs in the past year. If patients stated that they had used one or more of the drugs, more questions ensued. The researchers then had participants complete the Composite International Diagnostic Interview – Substance Abuse Module, a standard structured interview for detecting substance abuse. Depending on the answers, the researchers used the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to diagnose if needed.

The results

The researchers invited 340 patients to enter the study, and 216 did. The findings revealed that 58 percent of patients did not use substances in the past year, and 23 percent reported using substances but did not meet the criteria for a substance abuse disorder. Ten percent of patients met the criteria for mild substance abuse disorder and 19 percent met the criteria for severe substance abuse.

The researchers concluded that the substance abuse frequency screening questions was a good method for detecting risk of substance abuse and addiction and intervening if needed.

ER Text Message Reduces Teen Binge Drinking

Technology is everywhere, so why not use it to help skirt addiction? A study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine revealed that teens reduced their binge drinking habits after visiting the emergency room and engaging in a question-and-answer session on the topic.

People who tested positively in the ER for binge drinking reduced their drinking by 50 percent after receiving a dose of mobile medicine.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine reported that more than 50,000 people between the ages of 18 and 24 displayed habits of binge drinking. Of that number, more than one-third reported a dependence on alcohol.

The study used 765 patients in that age bracket with a history of binge drinking. Over 12 weeks, one-third of the patients received a text message asking them to submit questions related to drinking. The patients would then have their questions answered by ER staff. The answers subtly suggested ways to reduce drinking or ways to reflect on the patient’s choice to reduce his or her drinking or not. Another one-third of the patients did not receive any text messages. The last third received text messages, but did not get feedback.

Those who received texts and submitted questions for feedback reduced the number of binge drinking days by 51 percent, and 31 percent reduced the number of drinking days overall. Patients who received only text messages or no correspondence increased the number of days they binge drank.

Alcohol is the fourth leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.

Researchers stated that despite the news surrounding opiates and prescription drugs, alcohol still remains potent among all people. Alcohol is the fourth leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported in 2012 that 24 percent of people over 18 engaged in binge drinking in the past month of being surveyed. Binge drinking is considered five or more drinks during one occasion.

The researchers hope that their methods of intervention can help reduce binge drinking numbers significantly across the nation.