Racial discrimination linked to drinking through mental health in Black college students

A new study from Arizona State University and Virginia Commonwealth University examined the pathways that contribute to and protect against alcohol use problems in Black American college students. Racial discrimination led to depressive symptoms and to problem alcohol consumption. Positive feelings about being a Black American were associated with a weaker link between discrimination, mental health and alcohol use. The study was published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Distance from hospital impacts cancer diagnosis, survival in young adults

Adolescents and young adults living in rural versus metropolitan U.S. counties and those living farther from the hospital where they were diagnosed are more likely to be detected at a later cancer stage, when it is generally less treatable and have lower survival rates compared with those living in metropolitan counties and closer to the reporting hospital, finds a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Young Adults’ Alcohol Use and Cannabis Use Rise and Fall Together Rather than Substituting for Each Other

Young adults’ use of cannabis and alcohol tends to rise and fall together, rather than one substance substituting for the other, according to a new study. Understanding the relationship between cannabis use and alcohol use is critical for informing policy and public health strategies. Legalizing recreational cannabis use has raised the possibility that cannabis may substitute for risky drinking or other substance use, potentially with less severe public health consequences.

Does cannabis affect brain development in young people with ADHD? Too soon to tell, reports Harvard Review of Psychiatry

At least so far, the currently limited research base does not establish that cannabis has additional adverse effects on brain development or functioning in adolescents or young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), concludes a review in the July/August issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Preventive interventions can improve mental health outcomes in children, teens and young adults

Offering interventions to young people in the general community can prevent the emergence of certain mental health disorders, according to the first comprehensive systematic review to address this question. The results appear in the May/June issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry, which is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Most young people eager for COVID-19 vaccine, poll shows

As older teens and young adults become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination across the country, and younger teens await their turn, new survey data suggest a strong readiness that has grown since fall. But just as with older generations, a shrinking but still sizable minority of people age 14 to 24 say they’re not willing to get vaccinated, or that their decision will depend on safety.

Dual health-risk behaviors in young adults: Problem drinking and maladaptive eating both linked to the brain’s reward pathway and impulsivity

Risky drinking often co-occurs with maladaptive eating in young adults, according to a study reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. While previous research had suggested a link between heavy alcohol use and obesity-related factors in college students, the latest study aimed to identify specific profiles of problematic drinking, food addiction, and obesity within a more diverse sample of community-dwelling young people. The researchers also explored shared theoretical risk factors for heavy drinking and overeating, and how these differ across the profiles. Calorie-dense food and alcohol both require little effort to obtain and consume, and each generates immediate and potent experiences of reward in the brain. According to ‘reinforcer pathology’ theory, people who place a high value (‘demand’) on unhealthy items, and who also favor small immediate rewards (such as food and alcohol) over larger delayed rewards (such as health), are at highest risk for overconsumption

People who Use Alcohol and Cannabis Together May Reduce Risks by Choosing Certain Products and Combinations

Young adults who combine alcohol and cannabis use experience fewer negative consequences when they stick with a single type of drink versus consuming multiple types of alcohol, according to a new study. In addition, by avoiding cannabis concentrate they may steady or lower their overall consumption. The findings suggest that for those who choose to sustain their levels of alcohol and cannabis use, judicious choice of products may reduce the risks.

More Young Adults Are Thinking About Suicide and Death, National Survey Finds

More than one-third of young adults in the United States report having thoughts of death and suicide, while nearly half show at least moderate symptoms of depression, according to a nationwide survey led by researchers from Rutgers University–New Brunswick, Harvard Medical School, Northeastern, Harvard and Northwestern universities.

Re-Train Your Brain: Online intervention tackles co-occurring alcohol misuse and social anxiety in young adults

Clinical testing of an online cognitive training intervention for co-occurring alcohol misuse and social anxiety will soon be underway, following successful evaluation of a demo program in young adults. In a study reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, researchers assessed the demo’s acceptability and ease-of-use among service providers and target users in Sydney, Australia, with the feedback used to develop and refine the full program.

One-Off Extreme Drinking May Cause Structural Brain Atrophy in Young Adults

A new study suggests that a single episode of extreme drinking in young adults may be linked to almost immediate structural brain atrophy. Adolescence and emerging adulthood are known to represent critical stages for brain development, involving heightened vulnerability to the toxic effects of drinking. Chronic alcohol use among young adults is associated with structural brain abnormalities, especially in the corpus callosum, which transfers information between brain hemispheres — a key function in learning and memory. Preclinical research in rodents suggests that a single drinking episode might result in brain atrophy. However, it was unclear whether and how a single episode of extreme drinking in young adults could affect brain structure. The study, published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, assessed participants before and after a single episode of extreme drinking — consuming more than four to five alcohol-containing beverages in a single episode — scanning the br

One size does not fit all for young-adult binge-drinkers: Research reveals high-risk clusters that may inform future trajectories and treatment interventions

Young adults who binge drink can be categorized within distinct subgroups based on substance use and mental health symptoms, according to research reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Binge drinking in young people is very common and linked to adverse outcomes including academic underachievement, risky behaviors, alcohol poisoning, other substance use, and harm to the brain. While some ‘age out’ of binge-drinking in their mid-to-late 20s, others continue with harmful patterns of alcohol use. Previous research has shown that other substance use and mental health indicators vary widely among binge-drinking youth, and could help explain the differences in trajectories. It is also important to understand young people’s motivation for drinking alcohol to inform why some people naturally reduce and others persist or worsen. In the new study, researchers sought to identify distinct patterns of drinking, drug use, and mental health symptoms among young binge drinkers, an

Study Affirms That Educational Intervention Before ‘First Sex’ Can Protect Sexual Health Of Black Males And Prevent Unwanted Pregnancies

A new Johns Hopkins Medicine study adds to evidence that the earlier parents, educators and health care workers have age-appropriate and frank discussions about safe sex, the better will be their — and their partners’ — long-term sexual health and development. Specifically, the research concludes, these early interventions can lead to fewer unintended pregnancies.

Who Could Benefit From Exercise and Behavioral Treatment?

Aerobic exercise clearly benefits young adults with major depression, and a Rutgers-led study suggests it may be possible to predict those who would benefit from behavioral therapy with exercise. Unique to this precision medicine study, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, is an assessment of cognitive control and reward-related brain activity, two facets of brain function that are impaired in people with depression. Like previous studies, this one showed that aerobic exercise helps young adults with major depression.

Which Comes First: The Heavy Drinking Young Adult or the Alcohol-Saturated Social Culture?

Heavy-drinking peer groups increase young adults’ desire to drink, according to a study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Investigators used behavioral economic theory — the science of how people make choices — to assess motivations for consuming alcohol among a diverse sample of young adult drinkers. Young adults’ motivation to drink alcohol, as well as their likelihood of misusing it, is associated with how it is consumed within their social networks. But it is not well understood how these factors influence each other, and how those effects may vary depending on sex, race, and education level. For example, does the culture of heavy drinking in US colleges drive the high demand for alcohol there, or is alcohol demand high among young adults generally?

New study shows majority of patients do not believe e-cigarettes and vapes impact bone fracture healing

The use of e-cigarettes, vapes and mods have increased as smokers liken these alternatives as healthier and not having the same side effects of traditional cigarettes. Because e-cigarettes are readily available over the internet, unlike the sale of cigarettes, it perpetuates the notion that these are a safer alternative. A new study, “The New Era of Nicotine: Better for Patients?” released as part of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) Virtual Education Experience found that smokers and non-smokers believe the use of e-cigarettes and other smoking alternatives have less of an impairment on bone fracture healing than smoking traditional cigarettes, when in fact the nicotine found in both cigarettes and e-cigarettes can impede the healing process.

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.

COVID-19 just a problem for elderly people, right? Think again.

According to the CDC, based on the preliminary report on outcomes for patients in the U.S., when examining the age range of cases, the largest group with confirmed cases was ages 20-44 years old (29%). Among those hospitalized, adults ages 65-84 years old comprised over a third of patients, but young people were not immune; 1 in 5 of those needing hospitalization were between the ages of 20 and 44 years old. The CDC also reports that in cases with known outcomes, 20% of the deaths occurred in those ages 20-64 years old.