Using smartwatch sensors to detect, measure, intervene, and prevent alcohol use in the moment

Prevention, intervention, and treatment measures have historically been used to address alcohol use and abuse. New research has explored the use of a smartwatch application to bridge the gap between prevention and intervention, tracking a person’s drinking habits and providing real-time personalized prompts while they are drinking to potentially help them moderate their consumption. These results will be shared at the 47th annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcohol (RSA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Hazardous Drinking in Young Adults: Personal Characteristics Can Help Identify Effective Interventions

Young adults whose drinking lands them in the emergency room respond differently to different interventions to reduce their hazardous drinking, and those differences may be driven by certain personal characteristics.

Medicaid Expansion Associated with Increased, But Not High Quality, Screening for Alcohol Use

People living in states with expanded Medicaid access were more likely to be screened by their doctor for alcohol use compared to people who lived in states that did not expand Medicaid access, but they did not necessarily receive effective interventions. A study published in Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research found that living in a state with expanded Medicaid access was associated with a higher prevalence of lower-income adults’ receiving some alcohol screening at a recent checkup but not receiving higher quality screening or brief counseling. The authors suggest that expanded Medicaid access may increase screening via increased access to primary care but that policies that target healthcare provider constraints are also needed to increase high-quality, evidence-based screening and counseling around alcohol use.

Where and with Whom College Students Drank during the COVID-19 Pandemic was Associated with Different Types of Consequences

During the COVID-19 pandemic, college students drinking outside the home or at home alone experienced a wider range of drinking consequences compared to those more frequently drinking at home with others, either in-person or virtually, according to a new study. Drinking at home also carried considerable risk. The findings, published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, suggest that intervention and prevention efforts may be more effectively tailored by considering the contexts in which students are drinking.

Teen Alcohol Misuse is a Driver of Poorer Health and Dissatisfaction in Midlife, according to a New Twin Study

Alcohol misuse in adolescence affects physical health and life satisfaction over multiple decades, outcomes that are driven by ongoing alcohol problems, a new study has found. The link between teen drinking and poor health into the 30s held even after accounting for the effects of nature (genes) and nurture (early family environments). Problematic drinking in adolescence is known to be linked to ongoing health and life struggles. Better understanding this process could inform early targeted interventions that may prevent or ameliorate long-term negative consequences. The new study, in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, sought to clarify the pathways — direct or indirect — by which teen drinking has such far-reaching effects. Investigators explored participants’ alcohol misuse in adolescence and early adulthood, and physical health and life satisfaction in their mid-30s. The study sample was restricted to twins, allowing for consideration of shared genetic and environmental f