Vets Walking Pets: Strolls with Shelter Dogs May Reduce PTSD Symptoms in Military Veterans

About 6 to 8 million dogs end up in shelters in the U.S. each year. Researchers worked with two no-kill shelters on a study examining the effects of walking with a shelter dog on psychological and physiological stress indicators in military veterans. Results confirm the importance of the human-animal bond and provide evidence that walking with a shelter dog may affect psychological and physiological stress indicators in veterans – with particular potential benefits for those with an increase in PTSD symptom severity.

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Students Who Up Their Cannabis Use Face Increased Risk of Alcohol Problems

Cannabis use can worsen some consequences of alcohol use among young adult drinkers over time, according to a new study which tracked the frequency of cannabis use and negative drinking outcomes among college students over three years. More than one in five young drinkers use cannabis, often (but not always) at the same time as drinking alcohol. This is a concern because the effects of cannabis might combine with those of alcohol to increase negative outcomes of drinking, such as impaired driving or developing an alcohol use disorder Although previous research has suggested a link between cannabis use and alcohol consequences, there have been few long-term evaluations of the impact of fluctuations in cannabis use on alcohol consequences over time. The latest study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, was conducted by researchers in Toronto, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York.

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Severity and symptoms: Study links alcohol use disorder to other psychiatric conditions

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is more common among people who have another, co-occuring psychiatric condition (e.g., depression or ADHD), and vice versa. These links are well established, and are based on meeting diagnostic criteria for one or other disorder. However, investigating associations based on strict ‘yes/no’ diagnoses does not account for people who may have a range of psychiatric symptoms and yet do not meet the threshold for a diagnosis of any single disorder.

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Starting drinking young predicts hospital admission for acute intoxication

In studies, younger age at first alcohol use has been associated with later alcohol problems in adult life, including heavy drinking and alcohol use disorder. That is the reason why around the world, as in the Netherlands, a key aim of alcohol policy is to postpone the age at first alcohol use. In a report published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, researchers from the Netherlands have investigated whether age of drinking onset is a risk factor for alcohol intoxication among adolescents aged under 18 years.

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