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For a small minority of personnel, military service can have a negative impact on their mental health. Yet no studies have assessed how the mental health of UK veterans (who served during the recent operations in Afghanistan or Iraq) compares to non-veterans, to determine if they are at a disadvantage. We examine the prevalence of mental disorders and alcohol misuse in UK veterans compared to non-veterans.
Veteran data were taken from the third phase of the King's Centre for Military Health Research cohort study (n = 2917). These data were compared with data on non-veterans taken from two large general population surveys: 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (n = 5871) and wave 6 of the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS, n = 22 760).
We found that, overall, UK veterans who served at the time of recent military operations were more likely to report a significantly higher prevalence of common mental disorders (CMD) (23% v. 16%), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (8% v. 5%) and alcohol misuse (11% v. 6%) than non-veterans. Stratifying by gender showed that the negative impact of being a veteran on mental health and alcohol misuse was restricted to male veterans. Being ill or disabled was associated with a higher prevalence of CMD and PTSD for both veterans and non-veterans.
Whilst the same sociodemographic groups within the veteran and non-veteran populations seemed to have an increased risk of mental health problems (e.g. those who were unemployed), male veterans, in particular, appear to be at a distinct disadvantage compared to those who have never served.
This chapter discusses the relevance of addiction to the law in the United States. Current law pertains almost solely to substance addictions, as there is no legal status pertaining to most behavioral addictions. Particular emphasis is placed on the law’s impact on the provision of care and research of addiction. The conflicting legal concerns for confidentiality of treatment and research, on the one hand, and apprehension of addicts who break the law, on the other hand, are examined.
Older people now currently drink alcohol more frequently than previous generations, indicating a need to understand how this influences health and wellbeing in older adults. However, knowledge and awareness of the changing role alcohol plays in the lives of older people is not necessarily widely understood by allied health professionals in acute hospital contexts. In turn, conversations about drinking alcohol in later life may not be routinely addressed as part of practice, limiting an older person's choice to make informed decisions about their drinking. This paper qualitatively examines when occupational therapists (N = 17) in an acute hospital setting will initiate a conversation with older people (65+ years) about their drinking, guided by a theoretical lens that encompasses both person-centredness and collective occupation. Adopting a qualitative methodology, this study illustrates a typology of reasoning describing how, and in what circumstances, therapists ask older people about their alcohol use. Three themes were generated that provide further insight into the typology, these being ‘hesitancy in practice’, ‘failure to link life transitions to alcohol use’ and ‘challenges of focusing on healthfulness’. These findings provide a potentially useful tool for therapists, services and organisations to self-assess their approach to asking older people about alcohol use; a necessary element of professional health-care practice as social trends in alcohol use continue to increase.
The purpose of this study was to update our understandings of older adults’ experiences and perceptions of alcohol use. Taking a community-based research approach, three Knowledge Café workshops hosted 66 older adults and service providers in Vancouver, BC. Thematic analysis identified three overarching categories: (a) reasons older adults use alcohol, including out of habit, social expectations, or to self-medicate; (b) personal experiences of alcohol use, including reduced consumption over time as a result of the cost of alcohol, the physical effects, and increased knowledge about the effects of alcohol; and (c) older adults’ perceptions of alcohol use outcomes, including positive outcomes from drinking in moderation and negative outcomes that can worsen one’s health, lead to tolerance, and harm others. Developing and promoting healthy drinking behaviours in later life is needed as the general population continues to age.
Substance misuse worsens the prognosis for people suffering psychosis and places them at risk of being denied appropriate mental health service interventions. To increase the chances of its success, the plan of management for patients with coexisting psychosis and substance misuse should be based on a valid formulation of their problems, which in turn is dependent on the clinician having (a) a thorough understanding of the bidirectional and changing ways that substance use and mental illness symptoms can interact, (b) an awareness of their own biased implicit assumptions about causality in explaining these interactions and (c) a framework for assessment and formulation. This article addresses these three areas with reference to the evidence base and to clinical experience in a way that guides mental health clinicians in the assessment of patients with coexisting psychosis and substance misuse.
This chapter explores social morality on the home front focusing on the commentary about the public behaviour of soldiers’ wives, anxiety about a supposed increase in incidences of female drunkenness, and concern about prostitution and the spread of venereal disease. It tracks the number of wartime arrests of women for drunkenness and child neglect. The chapter argues that the hostility to separation women transcended the nationalist movement, and that while there were many incidences of soldiers’ wives arrested for drunken behaviour, the rhetoric exaggerated the reality with total convictions for drunkenness declining in wartime Ireland after the first year of the war. The chapter further explores concern with sexual immorality in wartime, focusing on venereal disease and illegitimate births. It also examines the women’s patrols established to limit the public interaction between working-class women and the soldiers. The chapter concludes that the public behaviour of working-class women in Ireland altered little as a consequence of the war, but there was nevertheless greater censure of problems evident before 1914. While the separation allowances brought women greater control over their domestic spaces, the surveillance of state and society confined women to narrowly defined codes of behaviour.
Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with poorer cognitive function in older adults. Although understudied in middle-aged adults, the relationship between alcohol and cognition may also be influenced by genetics such as the apolipoprotein (ApoE) ε4 allele, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. We examined the relationship between alcohol consumption, ApoE genotype, and cognition in middle-aged adults and hypothesized that light and/or moderate drinkers (≤2 drinks per day) would show better cognitive performance than heavy drinkers or non-drinkers. Additionally, we hypothesized that the association between alcohol use and cognitive function would differ by ApoE genotype (ε4+ vs. ε4−).
Participants were 1266 men from the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (VETSA; M age = 56; range 51–60) who completed a neuropsychological battery assessing seven cognitive abilities: general cognitive ability (GCA), episodic memory, processing speed, executive function, abstract reasoning, verbal fluency, and visuospatial ability. Alcohol consumption was categorized into five groups: never, former, light, moderate, and heavy.
In fully adjusted models, there was no significant main effect of alcohol consumption on cognitive functions. However, there was a significant interaction between alcohol consumption and ApoE ε4 status for GCA and episodic memory, such that the relationship of alcohol consumption and cognition was stronger in ε4 carriers. The ε4+ heavy drinking subgroup had the poorest GCA and episodic memory.
Presence of the ε4 allele may increase vulnerability to the deleterious effects of heavy alcohol consumption. Beneficial effects of light or moderate alcohol consumption were not observed.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is associated with cognitive deficits but little is known to what degree this is caused by genetically influenced traits, i.e. endophenotypes, present before the onset of the disorder. The aim of the current study was to investigate to what degree family history (FH) of AUD is associated with cognitive functions.
Case-control cross-sectional study at an outpatient addiction research clinic. Treatment-seeking AUD patients (n = 106) were compared to healthy controls (HC; n = 90), matched for age and sex. The HC group was further subdivided into AUD FH positive (FH+; n = 47) or negative (FH−; n = 39) based on the Family Tree Questionnaire. Participants underwent psychiatric and substance use assessments, completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale and performed a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests assessing response inhibition, decision making, attention, working memory, and emotional recognition.
Compared to HC, AUD patients exhibited elevated self-rated impulsivity (p < 0.001; d = 0.62), as well as significantly poorer response inhibition (p = 0.001; d = 0.51), attention (p = 0.021; d = 0.38) and information gathering in decision making (p = 0.073; d = 0.34). Similar to AUD patients, FH+ individuals exhibited elevated self-rated impulsivity (p = 0.096; d = 0.46), and in addition significantly worse future planning capacity (p < 0.001; d = 0.76) and prolonged emotional recognition response time (p = 0.010; d = 0.60) compared to FH−, while no other significant differences were found between FH+ and FH−.
Elevated impulsivity, poor performance in future planning and emotional processing speed may be potential cognitive endophenotypes in AUD. These cognitive domains represent putative targets for prevention strategies and treatment of AUD.
Depression is a highly prevalent and heterogeneous disorder. This study aims to determine whether depression with atypical features shows different heritability and different degree of overlap with polygenic risk for psychiatric and immuno-metabolic traits than other depression subgroups.
Data included 30 069 European ancestry individuals from the UK Biobank who met criteria for lifetime major depression. Participants reporting both weight gain and hypersomnia were classified as ↑WS depression (N = 1854) and the others as non-↑WS depression (N = 28 215). Cases with non-↑WS depression were further classified as ↓WS depression (i.e. weight loss and insomnia; N = 10 142). Polygenic risk scores (PRS) for 22 traits were generated using genome-wide summary statistics (Bonferroni corrected p = 2.1 × 10−4). Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based heritability of depression subgroups was estimated.
↑WS depression had a higher polygenic risk for BMI [OR = 1.20 (1.15–1.26), p = 2.37 × 10−14] and C-reactive protein [OR = 1.11 (1.06–1.17), p = 8.86 × 10−06] v. non-↑WS depression and ↓WS depression. Leptin PRS was close to the significance threshold (p = 2.99 × 10−04), but the effect disappeared when considering GWAS summary statistics of leptin adjusted for BMI. PRS for daily alcohol use was inversely associated with ↑WS depression [OR = 0.88 (0.83–0.93), p = 1.04 × 10−05] v. non-↑WS depression. SNP-based heritability was not significantly different between ↑WS depression and ↓WS depression (14.3% and 12.2%, respectively).
↑WS depression shows evidence of distinct genetic predisposition to immune-metabolic traits and alcohol consumption. These genetic signals suggest that biological targets including immune-cardio-metabolic pathways may be relevant to therapies in individuals with ↑WS depression.
Many studies demonstrate that marriage protects against risky alcohol use and moderates genetic influences on alcohol outcomes; however, previous work has not considered these effects from a developmental perspective or in high-risk individuals. These represent important gaps, as it cannot be assumed that marriage has uniform effects across development or in high-risk samples. We took a longitudinal developmental approach to examine whether marital status was associated with heavy episodic drinking (HED), and whether marital status moderated polygenic influences on HED. Our sample included 937 individuals (53.25% female) from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism who reported their HED and marital status biennially between the ages of 21 and 25. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were derived from a genome-wide association study of alcohol consumption. Marital status was not associated with HED; however, we observed pathogenic gene-by-environment effects that changed across young adulthood. Among those who married young (age 21), individuals with higher PRS reported more HED; however, these effects decayed over time. The same pattern was found in supplementary analyses using parental history of alcohol use disorder as the index of genetic liability. Our findings indicate that early marriage may exacerbate risk for those with higher polygenic load.
To our knowledge no previous studies have been conducted at the local authority level assessing relationships between alcohol-related hospital admission, specialist alcohol treatment provision and socioeconomic deprivation since the UK government passed the Health and Social Care Act in 2012. Our results, using publicly available national data-sets, suggest that the local authority areas in England most in need of adequately funded specialist alcohol treatment, because of high prevalence of alcohol dependence and deprivation, are not receiving targeted increased funding, and that the national rise in alcohol-related hospital admissions may be fuelled by local authority funding cuts to specialist alcohol treatment.
Alcohol and other substance use problems are common, and the efficacy of current prevention and intervention programs is limited. Genetics may contribute to differential effectiveness of psychosocial prevention and intervention programs. This paper reviews gene-by-intervention (G×I) studies of alcohol and other substance use, and implications for integrating genetics into prevention science. Systematic review yielded 17 studies for inclusion. Most studies focused on youth substance prevention, alcohol was the most common outcome, and measures of genotype were heterogeneous. All studies reported at least one significant G×I interaction. We discuss these findings in the context of the history and current state of genetics, and provide recommendations for future G×I research. These include the integration of genome-wide polygenic scores into prevention studies, broad outcome measurement, recruitment of underrepresented populations, testing mediators of G×I effects, and addressing ethical implications. Integrating genetic research into prevention science, and training researchers to work fluidly across these fields, will enhance our ability to determine the best intervention for each individual across development. With growing public interest in obtaining personalized genetic information, we anticipate that the integration of genetics and prevention science will become increasingly important as we move into the era of precision medicine.
Alcohol withdrawal should not be taken lightly. It can be lethal through its physiological consequences, direct injury or noncompliance. When dealing with alcohol dependence, new prescribers must ‘think of drink’ (ask about alcohol consumption), and plan for prevention. This chapter provides a schema for the drug management of delirium tremens and prevention of Wernicke–Korsakoff’s syndrome.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is common and associated with increased risk of suicide.
To examine healthcare utilisation prior to suicide in persons with AUD in a large population-based cohort, which may reveal opportunities for prevention.
A national cohort study was conducted of 6 947 191 adults in Sweden in 2002, including 256 647 (3.7%) with AUD, with follow-up for suicide through 2015. A nested case–control design examined healthcare utilisation among people with AUD who died by suicide and 10:1 age- and gender-matched controls.
In 86.7 million person-years of follow-up, 15 662 (0.2%) persons died by suicide, including 2601 (1.0%) with AUD. Unadjusted and adjusted relative risks for suicide associated with AUD were 8.15 (95% CI 7.86–8.46) and 2.22 (95% CI 2.11–2.34). Of the people with AUD who died by suicide, 39.7% and 75.6% had a healthcare encounter <2 weeks or <3 months before the index date respectively, compared with 6.3% and 25.4% of controls (adjusted prevalence ratio (PR) and difference (PD), <2 weeks: PR = 3.86, 95% CI 3.50–4.25, PD = 26.4, 95% CI 24.2–28.6; <3 months: PR = 2.03, 95% CI 1.94–2.12, PD = 34.9, 95% CI 32.6–37.1). AUD accounted for more healthcare encounters within 2 weeks of suicide among men than women (P = 0.01). Of last encounters, 48.1% were in primary care and 28.9% were in specialty out-patient clinics, mostly for non-psychiatric diagnoses.
Suicide among persons with AUD is often shortly preceded by healthcare encounters in primary care or specialty out-patient clinics. Encounters in these settings are important opportunities to identify active suicidality and intervene accordingly in patients with AUD.
We examined the likelihood of breast-feeding mothers consuming alcohol according to several socio-demographic factors.
We carried out secondary data analyses using participant information obtained from a cross-sectional survey designed to capture the dietary habits of UK infants aged 4–18 months.
Data concerning breast-feeding mothers’ social and domestic circumstances and alcohol consumption were drawn from the 2011 Diet and Nutrition Survey of Infants and Young Children.
Complete data from 2683 breast-feeding mothers were included, and further analyses were carried out on those who continued to drink alcohol (n 227).
Logistic regression enabled the identification of social factors associated with breast-feeding and continued alcohol consumption among mothers. Several social factors were found to influence the likelihood of breast-feeding mothers drinking alcohol. For example, older mothers, mothers with partners who drank alcohol, those with higher educational attainment and household income and those who consumed alcohol whilst pregnant were more likely to continue to drink alcohol. Mothers’ breast-feeding infants older than 12 months were less likely to drink alcohol than those feeding infants aged 4–6 months.
Evidence suggests that social circumstances influence the likelihood of alcohol use among mothers who are breast-feeding. Greater understanding of mothers’ decision making with respect to the continuation or discontinuation of alcohol use whilst breast-feeding, according to the social context in which they live, is warranted.
The burden of disease attributable to alcohol and other drug (AOD) use in young people is considerable. Prevention can be effective, yet few programs have demonstrated replicable effects. This study aimed to replicate research behind Climate Schools: Alcohol and Cannabis course among a large cohort of adolescents.
Seventy-one secondary schools across three States participated in a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Year 8 students received either the web-based Climate Schools: Alcohol and Cannabis course (Climate, n = 3236), or health education as usual (Control, n = 3150). Outcomes were measured via self-report and reported here for baseline, 6- and 12-months for alcohol and cannabis knowledge, alcohol, cannabis use and alcohol-related harms.
Compared to Controls, students in the Climate group showed greater increases in alcohol- [standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.51, p < 0.001] and cannabis-related knowledge (SMD 0.49, p < 0.001), less increases in the odds of drinking a full standard drink[(odds ratio (OR) 0.62, p = 0.014], and heavy episodic drinking (OR 0.49, p = 0.022). There was no evidence for differences in change over time in the odds of cannabis use (OR 0.57, p = 0.22) or alcohol harms (OR 0.73, p = 0.17).
The current study provides support for the effectiveness of the web-based Climate Schools: Alcohol and Cannabis course in increasing knowledge and reducing the uptake of alcohol. It represents one of the first trials of a web-based AOD prevention program to replicate alcohol effects in a large and diverse sample of students. Future research and/or adaptation of the program may be warranted with respect to prevention of cannabis use and alcohol harms.
Alcohol use disorders can be conceptualised as a learned pattern of maladaptive alcohol-consumption behaviours. The memories encoding these behaviours centrally contribute to long-term excessive alcohol consumption and are therefore an important therapeutic target. The transient period of memory instability sparked during memory reconsolidation offers a therapeutic window to directly rewrite these memories using targeted behavioural interventions. However, clinically-relevant demonstrations of the efficacy of this approach are few. We examined key retrieval parameters for destabilising naturalistic drinking memories and the ability of subsequent counterconditioning to effect long-term reductions in drinking.
Hazardous/harmful beer-drinking volunteers (N = 120) were factorially randomised to retrieve (RET) or not retrieve (No RET) alcohol reward memories with (PE) or without (No PE) alcohol reward prediction error. All participants subsequently underwent disgust-based counterconditioning of drinking cues. Acute responses to alcohol were assessed pre- and post-manipulation and drinking levels were assessed up to 9 months.
Greater long-term reductions in drinking were found when counterconditioning was conducted following retrieval (with and without PE), despite a lack of short-term group differences in motivational responding to acute alcohol. Large variability in acute levels of learning during counterconditioning was noted. ‘Responsiveness’ to counterconditioning predicted subsequent responses to acute alcohol in RET + PE only, consistent with reconsolidation-update mechanisms.
The longevity of behavioural interventions designed to reduce problematic drinking levels may be enhanced by leveraging reconsolidation-update mechanisms to rewrite maladaptive memory. However, inter-individual variability in levels of corrective learning is likely to determine the efficacy of reconsolidation-updating interventions and should be considered when designing and assessing interventions.
The aim of this study is to assess prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in students of Keyano College 18 months after a wildfire and to determine the predictors of likely MDD, GAD, and PTSD in the respondents.
A quantitative cross-sectional survey was used to collect data through self-administered, paper-based questionnaires to determine likely MDD, GAD, and PTSD using the PHQ 9, GAD-7, and the PTSD Checklist for DSM 5, Part 3, respectively. Data were analyzed with SPSS version 20 (IBM Corp, Armonk, NY) using univariate analysis with chi-square tests.
Eighteen months after the wildfire, the 1-month prevalence rates for MDD, GAD, and PTSD among the college students were 23.4%, 18.7%, and 11.0%, respectively. There were statistically significant associations between multiple sociodemographic variables and the likelihood respondents presented with MDD, GAD, and PTSD 18 months after the wildfire. There were also associations between the likely MDD, GAD, and PTSD and abuse/dependence on alcohol and substances in respondents at 18 months.
Our study has established prevalence rates for MDD, GAD, and PTDS among college students 18 months after the Fort McMurray wildfires. Further studies are needed to explore the impact of college-based mental health interventions on the long-term mental health effects of the wildfires.
Membranes with special wettability have attracted increasing interest for oil/water separation. Herein, the cellulose-based nanofibrous membrane was fabricated in an aqueous system by an electrospinning technique. The membrane was then modified successively through coating polydopamine and polyethyleneimine on the surface, which endowed the membrane with superhydrophilic and underwater superoleophobic character. The composition and morphology of the resultant membrane were characterized by attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectra, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and field-emission scanning electron microscope, respectively. Surfactant-stabilized oil-in-water emulsions were used to evaluate the separation performance of the membrane at different pH values. It was found that the membrane displayed the excellent antifouling property and separation performance for all different emulsions, with separation efficiency above 99.1% due to the development of a hydration layer underwater on the membrane surface. The reusability study indicated that the modification coating was stable enough to effectively separate emulsions after recycling at least 20 times. The developed nanofibrous membrane, as well as the corresponding modification strategy, enriched the application of membranes with special wettability in the field of oil spills and oily wastewater treatments.
Prior research has shown that sipping of alcohol begins to emerge during childhood and is potentially etiologically significant for later substance use problems. Using a large, community sample of 9- and 10-year-olds (N = 11,872; 53% female), we examined individual differences in precocious alcohol use in the form of alcohol sipping. We focused explicitly on features that are robust and well-demonstrated correlates of, and antecedents to, alcohol excess and related problems later in the lifespan, including youth- and parent-reported externalizing traits (i.e., impulsivity, behavioral inhibition and activation) and psychopathology. Seventeen percent of the sample reported sipping alcohol outside of a religiously sanctioned activity by age 9 or 10. Several aspects of psychopathology and personality emerged as small but reliable correlates of sipping. Nonreligious sipping was related to youth-reported impulsigenic traits, aspects of behavioral activation, prodromal psychotic-like symptoms, and mood disorder diagnoses, as well as parent-reported externalizing disorder diagnoses. Religious sipping was unexpectedly associated with certain aspects of impulsivity. Together, our findings point to the potential importance of impulsivity and other transdiagnostic indicators of psychopathology (e.g., emotion dysregulation, novelty seeking) in the earliest forms of drinking behavior.