Archive for the ‘college drinking’ Category

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.

Google Lightens its Restrictions on Alcohol Advertising

December 18, 2010

Google Cleared2Drive alcohol beer champagne wine  liqueur Inside Adwords blog Dan Friedman minor consumption of alcohol youth teens young adults parent drive drunk or impaired Cleared2Drive.comCleared2Drive is so very sorry to hear that Google has lightened its restrictions on the search engine marketing of alcohol products, revising their AdWords advertising policy for the first time in nearly two years.

As reported by Web Pro News, in 2008 Google allowed PPC ads promoting beer, champagne and wine products to run in its sponsored search results for the first time. Several months later it updated the policy once more to allow the promotion of spirit and liqueur brands, though direct retail promotions were still restricted – effectively, hard alcohol advertisers were limited to promoting websites with information about their brand, their products or related goods.

Now Google has relaxed their policy even further. Writing on the Inside Adwords blog, Dan Friedman of Google has announced that advertisers will now be able to use AdWords to “promote websites that sell hard alcohol online, direct users to retailers where their products are sold, or feature sales promotion.” “We’re constantly evaluating our advertising policies to ensure that they continue to be effective, and we made the decision to change our policy on alcohol to help more advertisers use AdWords for the promotion of their products,” he said.

There are several criteria for hard alcohol advertising on AdWords, which advertisers must comply with or face censure from the company:

  • Adverts must not be targeted at minors; not imply that consumption of alcohol can improve sexual, social or professional standing;
  • Not imply that drinking alcohol is relaxing or therapeutic;
  • Not imply that excessive consumption of alcohol is a positive activity;
  • Not contain sexual content;
  • Not include endorsements from any icons/people appealing to minors, including cartoon characters and athletes;
  • Feature a landing page with both an age verification gate and statements about responsible drinking.

While all this criteria setting makes for a good attempt at restricting youth, we all know that anything like this on the internet is going to make alcohol more appealing to our teens and young adults.  Every parent needs to be aware of Google’s change in policy and take precautionary measures to make sure their child doesn’t drive drunk or impaired.  For more information about how to take a pro-active measure to protect your child against impaired driving got to Cleared2Drive.com.

How Family Dinners Can Curb Teen Substance Abuse

December 11, 2010

How Family Dinners Can Curb Teen Substance Abuse Cleared2DriveIf you want to keep your children away from alcohol, drugs and tobacco as long as possible, you might want to consider having frequent family dinners together. The more often you sit down together for a meal each week the less likely your children will become involved in substance abuse at a critical early age.

Research shows that teens who have infrequent family dinners are more than twice as likely to say they will do drugs in the future.

The latest edition of the study, “The Importance of Family Dinners VI,” from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, has once again shown that frequent – five to seven per week – family dinners can make a big difference in kids’ attitude about alcohol and other drugs.

This goes along with other research that shows that the better the relationship between parents and their children, the less likely the children will begin drinking and drugging early in life.

Talk to Your Children

In the latest CASA study, the researchers found that compared to teens who have frequent family dinners, those who have infrequent – less than three a week – family dinners are:

  • Twice as likely to have used tobacco
  • Almost twice as likely to have used alcohol
  • One and half times likelier to have used marijuana

The key for parents is not just eating together, but talking with their children about what is going on in their lives. The study found that teens who do not talk with their parents are twice as likely to have used tobacco and one and a half times likelier to have used marijuana.

Friends Who Use Drugs

The study also found that teens who have fewer than three family dinners per week are:

  • More than one and a half times likelier to have friends who drink regularly and use marijuana
  • One and half times likelier to have friends who abuse prescription drugs (to get high)
  • One and a quarter times more likely to have friends who use illegal drugs like acid, ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.

On the other hand, teens who have frequent family dinners are less likely to report having friends who use substances.

Ask About Their Lives and Listen

“The message for parents couldn’t be any clearer … it is more important than ever to sit down to dinner and engage your children in conversation about their lives, their friends, school – just talk. Ask questions and really listen to their answers,” said CASA’s Kathleen Ferrigno. “The magic that happens over family dinners isn’t the food on the table, but the communication and conversations around it. Of course there is no iron-clad guarantee that your kids will grow up drug free, but knowledge is power and the more you know the better the odds are that you will raise a healthy kid.”

The complete report, “The Importance of Family Dinners VI,” is available online.

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.

How Your Parenting Style Can Prevent Teen Binge Drinking

December 9, 2010
cleared2drive mother yelling at teenager how to stop drunk driving how to stop binge drinking Researchers at Brigham Young University

What Parenting Sytle Do You Use?

If you are the parent of teenagers and you are concerned about them developing an alcohol problem, your parenting style may have more influence that you think. As promised, Cleared2Drive is dedicating this week to helping parents of teenagers.  As such, we uncovered a study of almost 5,000 adolescents has found that different styles of parenting produce significantly different results when it comes to heavy drinking by teens.

Parents may have little influence over whether their teens tried alcohol, but they can have a huge influence on whether or not they binge drink, the researchers found.

Researchers at Brigham Young University asked 4,983 adolescents between age 12 and 19 about their drinking habits and their relationship with their parents. As a result, the researchers identified four parenting styles:

  • Authoritative Parents – Rank high in discipline and monitoring (accountability) and high in support and warmth.
  • Authoritarian Parents – Rank high in control, but low in warmth and support.
  • Indulgent Parents – Rank high in warmth and support, but low in accountability.
  • Neglectful Parents – Rank low in support, warmth, and accountability.

The researchers, Stephen Bahr and John Hoffmann, describes accountability as parents “knowing where they spend their time and with whom” and describe support and warmth as parents who have a loving relationship with their teens.

Teen Less Likely to Binge Drink

It comes as no surprise that teens whose parents scored high on both accountability and warmth were less likely to binge drink:

  • Teens of authoritative parents were less likely to drink heavily compared with all the other parenting styles.
  • Teens with indulgent parents, who scored low on accountability but high on warmth, were nearly triple the risk of binge drinking.
  • Teens with strict parents, who scored high on accountability but low on warmth, were twice as likely to drinking heavily.

For the purpose of the study, heavy drinking was defined as having five or more drinks in a row during a relatively short period of time.

The researchers found that none of the parenting styles had significant differences in terms of their teens trying alcohol, but did influence the more risky binge drinking.

“The adolescent period is kind of a transitional period and parents sometimes have a hard time navigating that,” Bahr said in a news release. “Although peers are very important, it’s not true that parents have no influence.” The bottom line for parents is if you want to have a positive influence on your teen’s decisions regarding substance abuse, it takes work – having both accountability and support in your relationship with your adolescents.

The worse thing you can do is be neglectful in your parenting, the researchers concluded.

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

How a Good Relationship With Parents Can Prevent Teen Drinking Problems

December 8, 2010

How a good relationship with your teenager can prevent them from abusing alcohol and drugs Cleared2DriveAs evidence continues to mount that parents have a significant influence on whether their children develop substance abuse problems Cleared2Drive is committed to helping parents develop methods for keeping their children from using alcohol and drugs.  The most important thing you as a parent can do is develop a relationship with your teenagers in which they feel like they can discuss their problems with you and feel that you respect their feelings.  Doing this will increase the chances you can prevent them from developing alcohol problems.

A new study found that teens with a “strong relationship” with their parents have less risk of developing drinking problems.

A lot of research has shown that the age at which children begin drinking alcohol is a factor in whether or not the eventually develop alcohol abuse disorders and related problems, such as antisocial behaviors and school or work problems.

Lower Risk of Drinking Problems

A study of 364 teens by the Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems examined the relationship between early drinking age and the teenager’s relationship with their parents. The teens were questioned three times over a two-year period.

The lead researcher, Dr. Emmanuel Kuntsche, found that teens that reported an early drinking age during the first survey tended to be heavier drinkers during the second survey and were a greater risk for alcohol-related problems by the third time they were surveyed.

Those findings confirm earlier research. But Kuntsche also found that the only group that had a lower risk of drinking problems by the third survey were teens who reported both a later drinking age and a strong relationship with their parents.

Healthy Development

The researchers suggest that high-quality parent-child relationships can “trigger a spiral of healthy development during adolescence” that can lead to a lower risk of alcohol problems.

Kuntsche’s study, “The Earlier the More? Differences in the Links Between Age at First Drink and Adolescent Alcohol Use and Related Problems According to Quality of Parent-Child Relationships,” was published in the May 2009 edition of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

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.

How to Keep Teens from Alcohol and Drugs

December 6, 2010

cleared2drive how to keep from teenagers drinking and driving how to stop impaired driving how to stop teenagers from using alcoholFor parents trying to keep their children away from alcohol and drugs during their formative years, there is good news — research shows that parents can have considerable influence on the decisions their teens make regarding substance abuse.

As part of  Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month we at Cleared2Drive are devoting this entire week to providing useful information to parents concerned about what they can do to keep their teenager from using drugs.  The following are the best tips for parents from the latest scientific research into why teens do and do not decide to drink alcohol or do drugs during adolescence.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 45% of teenagers drink alcohol, and of those who drink, 64% admit to binge drinking. Not only is consuming five or more drinks in a row a dangerous practice itself, the CDC found that teen binge drinking is strongly associated with other risky behaviors, such as sexual activity and violence.

Parents Do Have Influence

As a result of the CDC report, New York University Child Study Center developed five tips for parents to use to curb teen binge drinking by maximizing the influence they have over their children’s decision-making.  “Contrary to popular belief, parents remain the greatest influence over their children’s behavior,” said Richard Gallagher, Ph.D., Director of the Parenting Institute and the Thriving Teens Project at the NYU Child Study Center, in a news release. “Though media and peers play a role, parental influence is critical and there are ways parents can maximize that influence to reduce the likelihood that their children will engage in binge drinking.”

Tips for Parents

Dr. Gallagher suggests these five tips to help parents curb teen binge drinking:

  • Clearly state what actions you expect your teen to take when confronted with substance use. Teens who know what their parents expect from them are much less likely to use substances, including alcohol.
  • Talk about the alcohol use that your children observe. Parents need to make it clear how they want their children to handle substances, such as alcohol and tobacco. Children need to have controlled exposure to learn the rules of acceptable use.
  • Help your teen find leisure activities and places for leisure activities that are substance-free. Then, keep track of where, with whom, and what your teen is doing after school and during other free times.
  • Limit the access your children have to substances. Teens use substances that are available. They report that they sneak alcohol from home stocks, take cigarettes from relatives, and obtain marijuana from people that they know well.
  • Inform teens about the honest dangers that are associated with alcohol use and abuse. Although teens are not highly influenced by such information, some discussion of negative consequences has some impact on the decisions they make. Especially emphasize how alcohol clouds one’s judgment and makes one more likely to be harmed in other ways.

According to the CDC, binge drinking is associated with unintentional injuries (such as car crashes, falls and burns), intentional injuries (firearm injuries and sexual assault), alcohol poisoning, sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy, among other health problems.

Sources:
Child Study Center, New York University School of Medicine, NYU Child Study Center Expert Recommends 5 Tips To Help Curb Teenage Binge Drinking . AboutOurKids.org. Accessed January 2007.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Quick Stats: Binge Drinking.” June 2006.

Cleared2Drive can Alert Parents to the Symptoms of Alcoholism

December 4, 2010

disordered thinking black-outs increased irritability treatments intervention Cleared2Drive Good2Go sober medications prevention detoxification addict parents teens peersWhen the body becomes so accustomed to alcohol that the person loses complete control over his will to control his drinking, he/she is known to have developed the condition of alcoholism. It is actually a chronic disease, which causes the body to become dependent on alcohol. One classic sign of alcoholism is that the person keeps on drinking, although he/she knows that it is causing all kinds of problems in his/her life. This problem cannot be dealt without help.

Alcoholism Physical Symptoms

The symptoms may vary or get intense as the person steps in the higher stages of alcoholism. One noticeable sign of alcoholism in men and women is a strong feeling which causes or compels the person to drink, even if he/she wishes not to. Also, the addict loses his/her ability to keep a check on the amount of alcohol he/she drinks. The person probably would drink till he/she passes out. Another one of the physical symptoms of alcoholism is the body developing a tolerance to alcohol so that it requires a high amount of it, to feel its effects.

Alcoholism Psychological Symptoms

The psychological symptoms arise when the neurological functions of the person start getting disrupt by the too much intake of alcohol. The symptoms which indicate the malfunctioning of the nervous system include alcohol dementia, short-term memory loss, confusion, disordered thinking, drinking in secret, feeling guilty post drinking, black-outs, losing interest in things which were important once, increased irritability, and feeling a strong urge to have a few pegs soon after getting up.

Treatment of Alcoholism

In most cases, people who are close to the addict help him/her realize about the problem and that he/she requires help. Depending on how grave the problem has become, different treatments for alcoholism are brought into practice. They may consist of counseling, a short period of intervention by an expert or advising a residential inpatient stay, removal of freedoms – like installation of the Cleared2Drive system which will only permit them to drive when completely sober. The treatment plan may consist of detoxification and dealing with the withdrawal symptoms, counseling, medications, coping with psychological problems and preventing complications.

Know that early intervention is the best way to prevent the development of alcoholism, especially in teens. Parents must always be on their toes about the lifestyle that their kids are beginning to lead. Their influence and that of peers and media are some very important elements when it comes to prevent alcoholism. Parents must also watch out for signs and symptoms in their kids which are indicators of alcohol problem. These may include losing interest in studies or hobbies, disturbance in relationships with friends and family, poor performance in studies, mood changes, abnormal behaviors, etc. Installation of a Cleared2Drive system is also a way to raise the red flag.  If all of a sudden your child can no longer start their vehicle, this should alert parents that there some sort of abuse issue with their child.

Parents can keep their kids from getting into alcoholism by setting good examples with their own alcohol use. Having an open discussion with them and making them aware of the repercussion of drinking do provide a great deal of help in preventing alcoholism in teenagers.

How to Prevent College and Underage Binge Drinking

November 30, 2010

The best way to combat the issue of excessive college drinking is to educate college students more about the issues and consequences of drinking. As stated before, many college students will observe others and attempt to model their drinking habits after what they see their peers doing. If student B sees student A drinking excessively, he will more than likely follow the same actions. Student C will follow student B’s lead, student D will follow student C’s lead, and soon a cycle that is difficult to break out of will form.

College Drinking

In “College Drinking:  reforming a social problem”, Dowdall talks about the image of college drinking. He mentions a legendary picture of John Belushi from the 1978 movie Animal House. In that picture Belushi is wearing a sweatshirt that says “College” and holding an empty bottle of Jack Daniels. The picture, as well as the movie, represents underage college drinking as a game. It was after the release of that movie that activities such as “ pre-gaming” (drinking a lot of alcohol over a short period of time prior to going out) and drinking games became more prevalent.

An article in Alcohol Research and Health pointed to several solutions, including peer refusal and family involvement. The magazine pointed that most pressure for young adults to drink comes from peer and family, so positive reinforcements in both areas will only help the situation.

Other research concurs that parental reinforcement will help with the problem. Buffalo News reported that parents need to start teaching their kids about alcohol misuse and abuse at a young age. Alcohol is a legal psychoactive drug that affects parts of the brain, and drinking while the brain is still developing could lead to physiologic and psychological damage. Parents also need to teach teens about “alcohol over dosage,” which include signs such as vomiting, cold and clammy skin, shallow breathing and unresponsiveness.

College students learn by observing. By instilling good values and morals in a young adult before they leave for college, there is a better chance the student will handle alcohol responsibly. But let’s not be blind or hide our head in the sand.  If you even think that your child might be drinking, start drinking, or could succumb to peer influence to drink, then installation of a Cleared2Drive would certainly be wise.

For college students two of the best ways to help prevent excessive drinking are parental involvement and peer guidance.  For parents, installation of a Cleared2Drive System provides the much appreciated Peace of Mind.