State laws designed to prevent dangerous drinking behaviors do not appear to have that effect, according to a study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Alcohol exclusion laws allow insurance companies to deny payment for injuries caused by alcohol consumption and were adopted more than seventy years ago to prevent problem drinking and related insurance costs. But a rigorous analysis of drinking behaviors found no evidence that repealing these laws increases alcohol consumption or binge drinking. Previous reports have found these laws to be a barrier to screening and treatment for alcohol issues, resulting in billions of dollars in added healthcare costs.
Young children’s exposure to their mothers’ and fathers’ drinking influences their perceptions of who consumes alcohol, with “vast implications” for their own future use, a new study suggests. The study, in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, provides compelling evidence of intergenerational transmission of drinking behaviors to children, including gender-based perceptions — the first time these effects have been demonstrated in children aged 4–8. Children’s exposure to the use of alcohol around them is known to shape their perceptions of “typical” alcohol consumption (norms). Those perceptions influence drinking initiation, usually as adolescents, and alcohol consumption over time. Recent research has shown that how much parents drink in general is less relevant in this regard than their alcohol use in the presence of children. For the new study, investigators explored how exposure to mothers’ and fathers’ drinking influences young children’s perceptions of alcohol-related n