Archive for the ‘alcoholism’ Category

Marines Corps Working to Curb Excessive Drinking

January 27, 2011
barracks cocktail liquor Afghanistan alcohol heavy drinking alcohol-dependent Marines into treatment Corps alcohol abuse dependence alcoholism armed forces Pentagon’s Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center and the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents arrested driving under the influence injuries killed binge drinking beer Camp Pendleton’s Consolidated Substance Abuse Counseling Center substance abuse treatment alcohol poisoning

23 year Lance Cpl. Sean Conley drank himself to death

 

The booze was flowing Halloween night in the Camp Pendleton barracks, but the party ended early for one young Marine overcome by potent cocktail “bombs” made of liquor and caffeinated energy drinks. Lance Cpl. Sean Conley, a 23-year-old helicopter mechanic, had been helped to his room by friends after he started feeling ill, his father said. But the Marine was later found on a bench on the barracks veranda, unconscious.  Results of toxicology tests revealed that Conley drank himself to death that night.

His family back in Green, Ohio, had been worried about the Marine’s impending deployment to Afghanistan. “The fighting going on, that was the biggest concern for us — that he would get his foot blown off,” his father Steven Conley said.  “We prayed for him a lot,” but when it came to his safety and welfare, “we never thought of alcohol,” Conley said.

Despite efforts in recent years to redefine a long-standing culture of heavy drinking and to force alcohol-dependent Marines into treatment, the Corps continues to struggle with alcohol abuse in its ranks. In the first half of 2010 and most of the three previous years, the Marine Corps had the highest rate of new cases of alcohol dependence or chronic alcoholism among all branches of the armed forces, according to a report by the Pentagon’s Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center and the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Last year, nine Marines died in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents, including seven who were at the wheel and two who were passengers, the Marine Corps reported.  One of the latest accidents this year claimed Lance Cpl. Andrew T. Tjhung, a 19-year-old Camp Pendleton Marine riding passenger with another Marine who was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The last two fiscal years saw the highest numbers of alcohol-related injuries among Marines since 2005 — 114 incidents in 2010 and 118 in 2009, according to the Naval Safety Center. The good news is that the number of Marines killed or totally disabled in alcohol-related vehicular accidents peaked in 2007 at 22 and declined into the low teens in recent years, even as the size of the Corps swelled by 22,000 Marines.

Conley was a member of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing’s Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469. The air wing’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. Thomas Conant said through a spokesman that he views every alcohol-related incident as preventable.  The air wing uses a mentoring program and incentives to help units reduce alcohol-related incidents, as well as disciplinary actions against those who break the rules.

Even as binge drinking has become more prevalent among civilian youth, the Corps has tried to temper its long history of alcohol-soaked revelry. The days when commanders kept beer on ice for Marines to imbibe after long marches are over.  John Veneziano, a retired Marine and director of Camp Pendleton’s Consolidated Substance Abuse Counseling Center, said the staff saw about 2,100 clients last year for alcohol and substance abuse screenings, including about 36 a week who entered treatment.  That is a couple hundred more than their annual average before the war era began in 2001.

When the Corps flew the Conley family to San Diego County this winter, the helicopter mechanic’s buddies wanted to toast his passing with beers at a restaurant. Steven Conley raised his brew in the memory of his son. But he shook his head in disgust when he heard about the party that was to follow.“My son just died from alcohol poisoning, and they’re having a party afterwards to go out and get drunk?” he said. “That’s when it hit me. … They don’t even see it.”

And he is SO right.  They don’t see it which is why family members should insist that a Cleared2Drive unit be installed in their vehicle.

Drunk Delta Airline Pilot Gets 6 Month Sentence for Attempting to Pilot International Flight While Drunk

January 26, 2011

pilot drunk Heathrow plane jailed security officers alcohol alcoholic under the influence beers blood Cleared2Drive Cleared4Flight

Should we be at all surprised at the Delta Airline pilot who turned up so drunk at Heathrow Airport that he didn’t know where he was supposed to fly his transatlantic passenger plane has been jailed for only six months.  Guess the time has come for Cleared2Drive to launch Cleared4Flight.

George La Perle was stopped by security officers because he was reeking of alcohol, Isleworth Crown Court was told.  Given that he has now admitted to being an alcoholic we are left to wonder just how many times has he flown hundreds of passenger while under the influence.

He told them he had just had a few beers the previous evening and that he was scheduled to fly to New York. His destination was in fact Detroit. The 49-year-old was found to have four and a half times the legal amount of alcohol for pilots in his blood. He also exceeded the less strict limits for driving a car.

First Officer Le Perle, of Delta Airlines, who has 20 years flying experience, was due to be one of three pilots in the cockpit of the Boeing 767, with 240 passengers on board, the court was told.

Heidi Stonecliffe, prosecuting, said security staff stopped La Perle at around 8.30am on November 1 last year. There could have been ‘potentially disastrous consequences’, she added.  He pleaded guilty to performing an aviation function with excess alcohol.   Defense counsel Neil Fitzgibbon said La Perle felt deep remorse.   Geez, I should hope so!

Jailing him on Friday, Judge Phillip Matthews said: ‘You knew that you were about to co-pilot a Boeing 767 across the Atlantic with all that entails, yet you had consumed alcohol which, at the time that you arrived at Heathrow Airport, was showing that you were four times over the prescribed aviation limit. ‘The consequences for the passengers on that plane, if you had piloted for any stage of that journey, which was a distinct possibility bearing in mind that is what you were employed to do, were potentially catastrophic.’

Cleared2Drive takes their hats off to the students athletes at the U of Virginia in their fight against on campus substance abuse

January 24, 2011

Susan Bruce director of UVA's Gordy Center for Alcohol and Substance Education college substance abuse binge drinking alcoholism student athletes Apple Conference University of Virginia Cleared2DriveStudent athletes at the University of Virginia are fighting drug and alcohol abuse on grounds and in the locker room.

More than 250 college players and coaches from across the country stepped off the field this weekend to figure out how to prevent substance abuse in their teams and universities.

Leaders of the Apple Conference say the number one substance problem in college is alcohol.

They say while stats show those who put on a uniform are less likely to pick up a bottle, those athletes who do, tend to binge drink more than average.

Susan Bruce, the director of UVA’s Gordy Center for Alcohol and Substance Education explained, “If you want to have change on your campus and in your department, you have to have student athletes involved and you have to have enough people to really make a difference.”

Cleared2Drive provides  peace of mind to students, parents and faculty as it prevents anyone from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.   Let’s keep us all safe from DUI accidents/injuries/fatalities.

As Addiction Increases So Does The Need For Cleared2Drive Systems

January 4, 2011

addicted MADD National Highway Transportation Safety Administration NHTSA alcoholism drug addiction Substance abuse addicts adolescences tweens Addiction Anti-Social Behavior prescription  painkillers Oxycontin Vicodin doctor dentist cocktail binge drinking death alcohol accidental poisoning death abusing treatment relapse Cleared2Drive peace of mind drive under the influence drugs sobriety preventing DWI arrest lawsuit fatal DUI accident Anti DUINowadays, the amount of people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol has increased astronomically.  Every group from MADD to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that as fact.   We also can’t deny that alcoholism and drug addiction has gotten into every level of society.  Substance abuse doesn’t discriminate against any ages, ethnics, beliefs, nations, and even professions. Today addicts are no longer found just on the streets, but also in every profession and at every level within a household including mothers, fathers and children of all ages all the down to adolescences and tweens.

Addiction is an Anti-Social Behavior

Sometimes, it can start very innocently, as with a prescription for painkillers like Oxycontin or Vicodin from a doctor or dentist or one cocktail just to unwind.  Next thing you know it has turned into an abnormal situation with the individual exhibiting drug seeking behavior or binge drinking, which can lead to decreased responding ability and social problems such as stealing, health problems, missing work or school, and even causing death. Despite alcohol and drugs’ initial euphoria effects, drug abuse does nothing good in anyone’s life since drugs will keep the person from his or her family, friends, and destroy his or her life or even lead to accidental poisoning death.

One way to prevent addiction is by not letting other users to seduce you, because once you get in, it is going to be a very long journey to get out. However, if someone you love is already abusing drugs or alcohol and you feel helpless to stop them or if they have been in treatment and suffered a relapse, Cleared2Drive can help.

One of Cleared2Drive’s primary goals is to provide abusers’ loved ones with peace of mind.  With a Cleared2Drive System on their vehicle you will know your loved one will no longer be able to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  While Cleared2Drive can’t force your loved one in sobriety (just as nothing else can) the loss of their freedom to drive can be the catalyst that makes them realize help is necessary.  It can also serve as a “red flag” if you are concerned that your loved one who has already been in treatment could relapse.  For example:  If all of sudden they can no longer start their vehicle, this could be an indicator that they have relapsed.

Help Yourself and Protect Your Loved One

By installing a Cleared2Drive System on your loved one’s vehicle, they will no longer be in danger of starting their vehicle while under the influence thereby preventing you from spending thousands because of a DWI arrest or worse yet, becoming involved in a lawsuit because your loved one has caused a fatal DUI accident.  There is hope, and it is called Cleared2Drive.

We can be reached at Cleared2Drive.com or 1-877-Anti DUI.

When Does Moderate Drinking Turn Into A Problem?

December 28, 2010

Moderate Drinking Problem Health consumption Psychologist Will Corbin binge drinking alcohol abuse Arizona State University scientific laboratory cocktails bar alcohol problems problem drinkers Harvard epidemiologist Eric Rimm alcoholic Drink and Drive Cleared2Drive stop drinking and driving vehicle peace of mind impaired

 

Ever wonder when you reach for that third, or fourth, or fifth drink if maybe you’re pushing it? Well, you’re not alone.

How Much Is Too Much?

Health experts consider two drinks per day as a safe amount of consumption for men, and one drink per day as safe for women. Psychologist Will Corbin defines risky drinking as binge drinking, more than five drinks for a man and more than four drinks for a woman over a two-hour period.

Corbin says some people can probably drink within the range of safe drinking and binge drinking without getting into too much trouble. But others may be at higher risk for alcohol abuse if they get up to two, three, even four drinks per day.

At Arizona State University, Corbin is studying this gray zone of drinking to try to figure out who’s at risk for problems and who’s not. He does his research in a bar lab. It’s a scientific laboratory dressed up to simulate a bar environment, complete with dark floors, black ceilings, chandeliers, a flat-screen TV and rows of bottles behind the bar.

Who’s At Risk?

Volunteers come to the bar for one night only, fill out a questionnaire, and then they’re served three cocktails over a 30-minute period. Everyone is served the same drink of vodka mixed with 7-Up, cranberry juice and lime.

One of the questions Corbin wants to answer by observing and questioning these drinkers is whether their expectations about alcohol affect how much they actually drink. For example, for some people, just coming in to the bar lab affects their behavior before they’ve even had a thing to drink, says Corbin. “And people can observe that in the real world, too,” Corbin says. “If you go with a group of friends into a bar, before they’ve finished the first drink, often times they’re acting more social and talking more loudly.”

Once his research volunteers have consumed their three drinks, Corbin asks them how they’re feeling. Are they invigorated, for example? Do they feel excited or happy? Or do they feel a little depressed, dizzy, sleepy, and maybe even a bit sick? What Corbin is finding is that people who feel stimulated by alcohol are more likely to keep drinking if given the chance.

Other researchers are looking at known risk factors for alcohol problems, like family history and an impulsive personality. And eventually, researchers hope to have a full picture of what turns “moderate” drinkers into “problem” drinkers. Harvard epidemiologist Eric Rimm says, for example, that if you’re a child of a mother or father who’s an alcoholic, then maybe the healthiest amount of alcohol is zero.

Always Remember to Never Drink and Drive

What Cleared2Drive is finding is that people don’t know when it is safe to drive after they have had a drink or two or three or four.  For family members that don’t seem to be able to stop drinking and driving, there is help.  A Cleared2Drive system on your loved one’s vehicle will provide you with peace of mind knowing that never again will they be able to start their vehicle when they are impaired.

Wyoming is Unfortunately Losing their Battle Against Drunk Driving

December 19, 2010

intoxicated MADD Cleared2Drive dangers drunk driving drugged driving impaired driving Good2Gofatalities involving alcoholWyoming’s crash data suggests that drinking and driving contributes to more deaths and injuries on the road in the Cowboy State than safety advocates or any of the rest of us would like.  Of the 116 fatal crashes that happened in Wyoming in 2009, 55 people died because alcohol was a factor.  Of 3,361 injury crashes, 697 people were hurt because of alcohol.

Between 2005 and 2007, alcohol contributed to an average of 33% of the state’s highway fatalities, according to Wyoming’s 2009 Report on Traffic Crashes, released earlier this month. In 2008, that went up to 50%, and in 2009 it was 41%. While an odd year can really skew the numbers in a sparsely populated state like Wyoming, the five-year average for percentage of fatalities involving alcohol is 38.  According to Dee West Peterson, State Coordinator for Highway Safety at the Wyoming Department of Transportation which puts out the above report, “We’re not winning this battle”.

Too often, people think they can make it home safely when they are intoxicated, said Debbie Taylor, a MADD volunteer in Casper.”I do believe it is a cultural change that needs to take place,” she said and all of us at Cleared2Drive couldn’t agree more.  As we have stated many times, we have been educating people of the dangers of drunk driving for close to 30 years now and unfortunately many have not gotten the message.  It is going to take much more than education and the possibility of some sort of punishment to eradicate drunk driving or drugged driving or  impaired driving or whatever you want to call it in Wyoming or any other state.

NTSB wants to make Hard-Core Drunk Drivers a High PriorityT

December 15, 2010

Laura Dean-Mooney national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving MADD ignition interlocks impaired driving breathalyzer Sarah Longwell American Beverage Institute moderate social drinking DUI offenders sobriety checkpoints Cleared2Drive’s Impairment Detection Technology impaired drivingUSA Today reports The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) wants states to make drivers caught with high blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) or repeat drunk driving offenses a high priority.  Excuse me for asking, but why is the NTSB waiting until December 2009 to make this a priority?

NTSB reports that 70% of the drunk-driving accidents last year were caused by these  so-called “hard-core” drunk drivers. The term, “hard-core drunk drivers” is defined as individuals who have a second DUI offense within 10 years of their first, or who are found to have at least 0.15 percent alcohol content in their blood.

Jake Nelson, AAA’s Director of Traffic Safety says, “Hard-core drunk drivers are, in many ways, resistant to the countermeasures we’ve applied since the early ’80s”. Back in the early 1980s when Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded, drunk driving accounted for 50% of road fatalities, where in 2009 it accounted for 32%, when 10,839 people were killed.  In my estimation given the amount of education we have done in the US over the past 30 years, this number is still extremely high.

“You’re seeing harsher and harsher statutes being enacted in various states across the country,” said Joanne Michaels, who directs the National Traffic Law Center. She said that district attorneys are charging drunken drivers in fatal crashes as severely as possible which don’t you think they should have been doing all along?  Didn’t most of us Americans come to the conclusion years ago that drunk driving is no accident and is 100% preventable?

Laura Dean-Mooney, national president of MADD, said, “We believe that anyone who drives drunk is a potential threat to kill or injure people” and wants federal lawmakers to require that all first-time DUI offenders get ignition interlocks. Okay, this is good, but until we start approaching this with a pro-active solution, impaired driving is not going to stop.  MADD is also is asking that Congress allocate $60 million to create and test improved ignition interlock devices to be put in all vehicles which is only going to work if you develop the right technology.  Asking people to put a tricked out breathalyzer, or a breathalyzer called something else in a lame attempt to disguise it, in their vehicle is just not going to fly.  The breathalyzer has a stigma that is just NOT going to go away – see December 14th blog.

Sarah Longwell of The American Beverage Institute said that MADD’s plans go far beyond just hard-core drunk drivers. “Rather than focusing on the hard-core population, there has been this move to target moderate social drinking,” she said. She favored graduated sanctions for offenders and mobile patrols for DUI offenders instead of sobriety checkpoints.

Honestly, until we as a society utilize technology designed specifically to recognize impairment like Cleared2Drive’s Impairment Detection Technology, drunk or impaired driving is not going away and we will continue to bury our loved ones.

Alcoholism stigma keeps more than 60% of Americans from seeking treatment

December 14, 2010

stigma alcoholism drinking problems Dr. Katherine Keyes of Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) alcohol use disorder alcohol abuse treatment psychiatric disorders drive under the influence ignition interlock devices breathalyzers New research indicates that due to the stigma of alcoholism, more than 60% of Americans with drinking problems do not seek the help they so desperately need, UPI reported Dec. 5.

Dr. Katherine Keyes of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health led a team of investigators who looked at National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) responses from more than 6,300 participants who met criteria for an alcohol use disorder. According to their findings, problem drinkers who perceived a stigma associated with alcohol abuse, which accounted for a full 2/3 of the participants, were less likely to seek treatment than those who did not.   This was especially true among men, racial and ethnic minorities, and participants with lower income and education.

“Given that alcohol use disorders are one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in the United States, the empirical documentation of stigma as a barrier to treatment is an important public health finding,” said Keyes.  Their recommendation is that stigma reduction should be integrated into public health efforts to promote alcohol treatment.  And while that is all well and good, that could literally take a lifetime and in the meantime . . .

In the meantime, all those Americans with drinking problems continue with their problems and most likely will drive under the influence.

This is “empirical documentation of stigma” also applies to ignition interlock devices, better known as breathalyzers, which is why they will never be accepted by the general public no matter what label The Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) slaps on them.  In our society we believe that in order for someone to have a breathalyzer in their vehicle they must have gotten a DUI arrest or DWI arrest which translates into “you are a bad person.”  Americans are asking the federal government’s to spend $60 million dollars to develop the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) system, but in my humble opinion, the general public is never going to accept the type of technology they are currently working on  as they already see it as nothing more than a fancy, dressed up term for breathalyzer.

We have worked very hard to keep our Cleare2Drive System from getting just such a reputation because our Impairment Detection Technology (IDT) is NOT a breathalyzer – never has been, never will be.  Our IDT is the newest in safety technology just like airbags were a few years ago.  Unlike breathalyzers our system is so discreet that even a passenger in your front seat won’t notice that you are doing anything out of the ordinary to start your vehicle as the sequence necessary to start the vehicle is typically completed in less than 10 seconds.

Granted our clients are typically NOT the person with the substance abuse problem, most of the time it is a member of their family, and in talking to enough of them we know that they would never consider installing a breathalyzer on the vehicle voluntarily just because of  the “empirical stigma”.  With the Cleared2Drive system no one is stigmatized or embarrassed by having to blow into a tube.  We purposefully designed the Cleared2Drive System to detect impairment but do it in a manner that reinforces good behavior, protects everyone on the road, all without ever subjecting the driver to embarrassment or humiliation.

How Taking Your Teen to Church can Prevent Underage Drinking

December 10, 2010

genetic tendency alcoholism teen family history drinking problems study University of Colorado Columbia University

If you are the parents of teens or children about to become teens, Cleared2Drive wants you to know that there is something that you can do that will greatly reduce their chances of becoming involved in alcohol and drugs: take them to church.  No, that’s not a faith-based opinion, there is actual research that shows that teens who are involved in religious or spiritual activities are less likely to do drugs or drink alcohol.

You may think that is a no-brainer, that teens who are religious are less likely to drink and drug compared to those who are not involved in religion, but what may surprise you is just how much difference it makes.

Teens involved in religious activities are half as likely to have substance abuse problems, according to several research studies.

Religion Deters Drug Use in Teens

A recent of 4,983 adolescents and their relationship with their parents found that those who were involved in religious activities were significantly less likely to become involved with substance abuse or have friends who are involved.

That same BYU research team conducted an earlier study in 2008 that found that religious involvement makes teens half as likely to use marijuana, a significant finding because marijuana is by far the most popular illegal drug among teens.

Overcoming Genetic Predisposition for Alcoholism

There is also research that shows that involvement in spiritual pursuits can even overcome a genetic tendency for alcoholism in teens who have a family history of drinking problems. A study conducted at the University of Colorado at Boulder of 1,432 twin pairs who had family histories of alcohol abuse revealed that genetic influence could be overcome.

The researchers found that “religiosity” exerted a strong enough influence over the behavior of adolescents to override their genetic predisposition for alcoholism. On the other hand, those twins who were nonreligious were much more influenced by genetic factors for problem alcohol use.

Teens Are Half as Likely to Drink

A study in 2000 at Columbia University found that teens who have an active spiritual life are half as likely to become alcoholics or drug addicts or even try illegal drugs than those who have no religious beliefs or training.

The Columbia study of 676 adolescents aged 15 to 19 found that teens with a higher degree of personal devotion, personal conservatism, and institutional conservatism were less likely to engage in alcohol consumption and less likely to engage in marijuana or cocaine use.

The authors of that study concluded that if teens do not find spiritual experiences within a religious setting, they will go “shopping” for them in other endeavors.

Religion Can Help High-Risk Teens

Also, teens who are at high risk for developing substance abuse problems — those who have a family history or who are influenced by social pressures — might be protected from substance dependence or abuse if they engage in spiritual or religious pursuits, research shows.

You may have noticed that the suggestion is to take your children to church, not send them. Of course, becoming involved in religious activities will not prevent all teens from using alcohol or drugs and some of the studies referenced here are limited in their scope, surveying white Christian teens rather than, say, inner-city youth. But there are no studies that say that taking your children to church makes them more likely to get involved with substance abuse.

The key seems to be to become more involved in your children’s lives and be a good example. The BYU study found that parents who are most involved with their children — those who monitor their activities as well as have a warm, loving relationship — are more likely to have children who do not drink heavily.

Become More Involved With Your Teen

But it is important to do both — emphasize accountability and have a warm, loving relationship.

Teens of “strict” parents who rated high on accountability but low on warmth, were twice as likely to binge-drink, the study found. Teens who had “indulgent” parents, who were rated high on warmth, but low on accountability, were three times more likely to binge-drink.

The bottom line for parents is to become more involved in your children’s lives and don’t be afraid of monitoring their friends and activities. And if you want to give them an extra layer of protection from becoming drawn into substance abuse, take them to church.

Sources:

Bahr, S.J., et al. “Parenting Style, Religiosity, Peers, and Adolescent Heavy Drinking.” Journal on Studies of Alcohol and Drugs. July 2010.

Bahr, S.J., et al. “Religiosity, Peers, and Adolescent Drug Use.” Journal of Drug Issues. October 2008.

Button, T.M.M, et al. “The Moderating Effect of Religiosity on the Genetic Variance of Problem Alcohol Use.” Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. June 2010.

Baylor University study gives insights into why teens may consume alcohol to dangerous levels

December 7, 2010

Dr. Doug Matthews research scientist Baylor University College of Arts and Sciences blood-alcohol levels binge drinking adolescence Purkinje neuron alcohol-induced behavioral Cleared2Drive Impairment Detection Technology Good2GoResearchers have known for years that teens are less sensitive than adults to the motor-impairing effects of alcohol, but they do not know exactly what is happening in the brain that causes teens to be less sensitive than adults.  But now, Baylor University neuropsychologists  have found the particular cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the age-dependent effect of alcohol in teens that may cause the reduced motor impairment.

The study reported by the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, is the first to identify a mechanism underlying one of the main behavioral differences between adolescents and adults in their response to alcohol.

“This study is a significant advancement in understanding why adolescents are insensitive to alcohol and provides some insights into why teens might consequently consume alcohol to dangerous levels,” said Dr. Doug Matthews, a research scientist at Baylor, College of Arts and Sciences, who led the study.  “This differential effect is not due to different blood-alcohol levels.  Such reduced sensitivity in teens is troublesome considering that binge and heavy alcohol consumption increases throughout human adolescence and peaks at 21 to 25 years of age.  Therefore understanding the mechanisms that underlie the reduced sensitivity to alcohol during adolescence is critical.”

Specifically, the Baylor researchers found the firing rate of a particular neuron called the cerebellar Purkinje neuron was insensitive to large alcohol doses in adolescent animal models, while the firing rate of those neurons was significantly depressed in adults.  The spontaneous firing rate in adults from Purkinje neurons decreased approximately 20 percent, which researchers said indicates potential motor impairment.  Adolescents, on the other hand, did show a slight motor impairment, however the firing rates from adolescent Purkinje neurons did not dramatically change in response to alcohol, and in fact showed a five percent increase in firing rate.

The Baylor researchers said this alcohol-induced reduction of spontaneous Purkinje neuron firing rates in adults could explain the greater sensitivity to alcohol’s motor impairing effects in adults compared to adolescents.  However, there are likely to be contributions from other systems involved to cause thee different behavioral effects.

This study validates what we at Cleared2Drive have also discovered during the testing of our Impairment Detection Technology (which is based upon a response time to performing a set sequence of tasks) conducted at the University of Akron, we also uncovered that teenagers are able to complete the sequence at a different level than adults.  Consequently, we have developed an algorithm specifically for teenagers and young adults.