“Alcoholism research surprisingly has come a long way” – says opinion article in Austin Statesman Newspaper

Breakthroughs in genetics, neurobiology and neuropharmacology have led scientists to know that some people who drink harmfully may develop a full-blown disease, leaving them unable to stop drinking without help. Many people drink too much to get high, to celebrate, or to overcome anxiety or depression and never have any long-term negative effects. However, 10 to 15 percent of people who use alcohol develop the disease of alcohol dependence. Continue reading

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Austin downtown crimes are down, says APD, but “drinking culture” and over-serving alcohol still a concern

January 15, 2015 -KVUE-TV AUSTIN — As downtown grows and events only get bigger, police are working to stay ahead of the trend … “Austin downtown is growing, our events are growing. South by Southwest is bigger than it’s ever … Continue reading

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35 student alcohol-related deaths may be more accurate; not 1800 as most politicans and media report says article

The “Fact Checker” at the Washington Post Newspaper on Jaunary 15, 2015 explored  statistic that often alarms the parents of college students – that 1,800 college students die every year from “alcohol-related causes.”   According to reporter Glenn Kessler, “the statistic … Continue reading

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Austin downtown bar on the top of police DWI list may lose alcohol license after TABC investigation

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – A criminal investigation launched into an incident involving an Austin bar prompted the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to launch its own investigation that could put the establishment’s liquor license in jeopardy. The TABC tells KXAN it started … Continue reading

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It’s not the teens and college kids dying from binge drinking – it’s white, middle-class males – 6 die daily on average, CDC report says

Interesting that teens and college students are NOT where most death occur – instead it’s middle-aged, white men. With 2,200 deaths annually, “… this study reveals that alcohol poisoning deaths are a bigger problem than previously thought,” a new CDC … Continue reading

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“Apparently intoxicated” 12-year-old girl sexually assaulted by Austin man after he offers car ride

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A 26-year-old Austin man is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl who police found intoxicated in his vehicle following a traffic stop in Austin. According to a report by KVUE-TV, the man offered a ride to the girl and then sexually assaulted her. “The officer said the victim was ‘apparently intoxicated,’ and she had been vomiting in the vehicle, according to the affidavit. The victim then told the officer that Felder performed a sexual act on.” Continue reading

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Conversations about underage drinking should start in middle school – We agree! Here are some helpful suggestions.

Did you know that teens who start drinking alcohol while in middle school are more likely to develop problems that may last into their adult life. Almost 20% of 14-year-olds say they’ve been drunk at least once, according to a U.S. Surgeon General report, and 25 percent of 8th graders have reported being drunk, according to the Monitoring the Future Survey. Another recent study, by RAND Health, found that three-quarters of 7th graders had consumed alcohol. Continue reading

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December and Summer months are when teens are most likely to start substance abuse for first time, study says

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Did you know that first-time use of most substances peaks during the summer months of June and July, then again in December. In other words, teens are probably at home with more free time and perhaps less supervision. But this should also be the perfect time to talk to you youth about substance abuse.

On an average day in June, July, or December, more than 11,000 youths used alcohol for the first time; in other months, the daily average ranged from about 5,000 to 8,000 new users per day. On an average day in June or July, more than 4,800 youths used marijuana for the first time, whereas the daily average ranged from about 3,000 to 4,000 in other months Continue reading

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Multiple Lawsuits Filed Over Fatalities and Injuries in 2014 SXSW Crash in Downtown Austin

sxsw-fatal-crashDec. 22, 2014 — The first wave of victim lawsuits since four people died at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin accusing organizers of safety lapses after a driver smashed through a barricade and into a crowd of concertgoers.

Rashad Charjuan Owens has been charged with capital murder charges after the crash.   The crash killed four people  and left two dozen people injured.   Among several wrongful deaths lawsuits was one by the family of Steven Craenmehr.  His widow and mother allege that SXSW organizers skimped on traffic safeguards during event.   Authorities say Owens drove his vehicle through a barricade after an officer on a drunken-driving patrol tried stopping the car in Austin’s  entertainment district. Owen’s blood alcohol level was .114, above Texas’ legal driving limit of .08, according to police.

In September, a SXSW safety report ordered by city leaders found that alcohol consumption and overcrowded venues had left Austin facing a “critical point where public safety could be compromised” if changes are not made.

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Survey finds pot use leveling off, other drugs and binge drinking down among US teens

drinkbuddiesThe government’s annual survey of drug and alcohol use reports nearly 1 in 5 high school seniors report binge drinking, defined as five or more drinks in a row in the previous two weeks. That’s an improvement from 1 in 4 five years ago.  The National Institutes of Health study finds 6.5 % of 8th-graders say they used marijuana in the past month.  17% of 10th-graders and 21% of high school seniors say they used marijuana in the past month. Still  6% of seniors reported daily use.  The survey finds fewer teens are trying synthetic marijuana.  About 6% said they had used fake pot,  down from 8% last year and 11% in 2012.   The survey also shows abuse of prescription painkillers is dropping. Six percent of high school seniors reported using the narcotics without medical supervision in the past year.

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Can’t Remember What Happened at the Party; Blackouts After Binge Drinking All Too Common in Teens

A new study found that alcohol-related blackouts in some teens increased as they aged from 15 to 19. Teens are one of the groups most prone to binge drinking — a practice that can lead to alcohol-related blackouts. About 60 percent of people with a BAC greater than 0.3 g/dl experience a blackout, but shorter blackouts where bits of time and memory are lost can happen to people with a BAC of less than or equal to 0.06 g/dl. Thirty percent of the teens who drank reported an alcohol-related blackout at age 15, and 74 percent reported them at age 19. Continue reading

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Heavy alcohol consumption in adolescence can impair brain durability, animal study suggests

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Heavy drinking during adolescence may lead to structural damages in the brain and memory deficits persist in adulthood, according to the disturbing results of a study done on animals. The study found that even as adults, rats that had daily access … Continue reading

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MADD’s Gutierrez: Texas lawmakers hold the key to safer streets by requiring ignition interlocks on 1st time DWIs

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MADD calls on lawmakers to tie in the use of interlocks for first-time offenders with license reinstatement and also to allow DWI offenders to use an interlock right after conviction. Currently, repeat offenders must wait one year before starting their interlock period. Research shows that 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunken drivers continue to drive on a suspended license. That means former DWI offenders will keep getting back on the road and cause more crashes and fatalities. Continue reading

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New CDC report finds that 1 in 3 drink excessively, but they don’t necessarily have an alcohol addiction

The researchers found the prevalence of alcohol dependence was 10.2 percent among excessive drinkers, 10.5 percent among binge drinkers and 1.3 percent for non-binge drinkers. Excessive drinking, binge drinking, and alcohol dependence were most common among men and those aged 18 to 24. Binge drinking was most common among higher income individuals — $75,000 or more per household — but alcohol dependence was more common among people with household income of less than $25,000. Continue reading

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An alcohol tax increases might create up to 35,000 jobs in Texas, says Univ. of Illinois study

November 18, 2014 — (HealthDay News) —  A new study suggests that’s that raising taxes on alcohol products will increase job creation.  “Money not spent on alcohol, coupled with the newly raised tax revenues, will be spent on other goods … Continue reading

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The growing problem of K2 in Texas; 25 ill in Austin Downtown this week

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Austin had the most recent breakout of K2 cases this week, Travis County shows 2.4 percent of the reports across the state.  Paramedics with Austin-Travis County EMS said Tuesday, November 18, 2014  that 25 people have had adverse reactions to … Continue reading

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Student’s “Fake IDs” a problem for downtown Austin bars say police

Both the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Austin Police Department say that the use of fake identification by minors is rising in popularity. Students at The University of Texas at Austin claim to mainly use their cards to either purchase alcohol or gain entry into downtown clubs on Sixth Street,” says a November 12, 2014 article published in The Horn newspaper on the UT Campus. Continue reading

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Fake IDs Could Spell Major Trouble

“It’s no secret that many students use fake IDs to obtain alcohol or gain entrance to Sixth Street clubs, but the risk might not be worth the reward.,” reports THE HORN on November 12, 2014. “For most students, college is … Continue reading

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Bar Attendance, Location, Density Supports Heavy Drinking by Young Adults Along US-Mexico Border

New research shows that higher levels of drinking among US-Mexico border young adults are linked to their patterns of bar attendance, but not to how they think about drinking.  Regulating the number, location, and density of bars with community-level campaigns … Continue reading

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Underage Drinking and high alcohol consumption on Halloween adds more Austin police to downtown streets

DrunkPumpkin

Don’t be a drunk pumpkin

Oct. 28, 2014 — With plenty of Halloween events in Austin this weekend party-goers will seen increased patrol by local police.  APD will triple officers downtown looking for underage drinking and drunk drivers.    Underage drinking is a concern for Gloria Souhami, director of the Travis County Attorney’s Underage Drinking Taskforce.   She adds that if a minor drinks alcohol they are breaking the law and so are the adults who supply the alcohol. 

“Anytime you have huge numbers and alcohol consumption you have the potential for bad incidents to happen and we’re trying to get out in front of that,” APD Commander Troy Officer told MyFox News.   “If you’re irresponsible the boogie man with the badge will take you to jail,” said Officer.  The F1 race at Circuit of Americas will also be in town this weekend.

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