Breaking News
November 17, 2018 - Sexuality education before age 18 may reduce risk of sexual assault in college
November 17, 2018 - Lab Innovations 2018 confirmed as a major hit with visitors, exhibitors and speakers
November 17, 2018 - Largest parasitic worm genetic study hatches novel treatment possibilities
November 17, 2018 - People with rare cancers can benefit from genomic profiling, shows research
November 17, 2018 - NIH awards over $1.8 million to husband-and-wife doctors to test new breast cancer approach
November 17, 2018 - Four-in-one antibody used to fight flu shows promise in mice
November 17, 2018 - New approach allows pathogens to be starved by blocking important enzymes
November 17, 2018 - Higher body mass index could cause depression even without health problems
November 17, 2018 - Protein which plays role in sensing cell damage serves as new target to treat pulmonary hypertension
November 17, 2018 - FDA Approves Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) in Combination with Chemotherapy for Adults with Previously Untreated Systemic Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma or Other CD30-Expressing Peripheral T-Cell Lymphomas
November 17, 2018 - ID specialist input improves outcomes for outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy
November 17, 2018 - UT Southwestern scientists selected to receive 2019 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards
November 17, 2018 - New clinical algorithm to help individuals manage type 2 diabetes when fasting during Ramadan
November 17, 2018 - Researchers identify LZTR1 as evolutionarily conserved component of RAS pathway
November 17, 2018 - Heart Disease Leading Cause of Death in Low-Income Counties
November 17, 2018 - Estrogen Levels Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 17, 2018 - Research reveals link between immunity, diabetes
November 17, 2018 - Research shows how to achieve improved smoking cessation outcomes within California’s Medicaid population
November 17, 2018 - New study finds less understanding and implementation of patient engagement
November 17, 2018 - New shoe insole technology could help diabetic ulcers heal better while walking
November 17, 2018 - New method to extend cell division and immortalization of avian-derived cells
November 17, 2018 - Australian Academy of Science urges parents to vaccinate children against meningococcal disease
November 17, 2018 - Hot water treatment may help improve inflammation and metabolism in sedentary people
November 17, 2018 - Researchers produce 3D chemical maps of small biological samples
November 17, 2018 - Must Blood Pressure Rise Wth Age? Remote Tribes Hold Clues
November 17, 2018 - Noonan Syndrome
November 17, 2018 - Interventions to delay and prevent type 2 diabetes are underused, researchers say
November 17, 2018 - Hackathon prize winner seeks to remotely monitor patient skin conditions
November 17, 2018 - Research team identifies Ashkenazi Jewish founder mutation for Leigh syndrome
November 17, 2018 - Gene editing could be used to halt kidney disease in patients with Joubert syndrome
November 17, 2018 - Study uncovers link between gut disruption and aging
November 17, 2018 - Teens more likely to pick up smoking after exposure from friends and family
November 17, 2018 - Nicoya designate the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine as the OpenSPR Centre of Excellence
November 17, 2018 - new horizon in dental, oral and craniofacial research
November 17, 2018 - How does poor air quality affect your health?
November 17, 2018 - New device can regulate children’s blood glucose more like natural pancreas
November 17, 2018 - Game-Changers in Western Blotting and Protein Analysis
November 17, 2018 - FDA announces new actions to limit sale of e-cigarettes to youth
November 17, 2018 - Warmer winter temperatures related to higher crime rates
November 17, 2018 - MCO places increasing emphasis on helping people find and access healthy food
November 17, 2018 - Group of students aim to improve malaria diagnosis using old smartphones
November 17, 2018 - Transplantation of feces may protect preterm children from deadly bowel disease
November 17, 2018 - Researchers explore whether low-gluten diets can be recommended for people without allergies
November 17, 2018 - New and better marker for assessing patients after cardiac arrest
November 17, 2018 - For 7-year-old with failing bone marrow, a life-saving transplant | News Center
November 17, 2018 - New first-line treatment for peripheral T-cell lymphoma approved by FDA
November 17, 2018 - Artificial intelligence could be valuable tool to help young victims disclose traumatic testimony
November 17, 2018 - Breakthrough in the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome
November 16, 2018 - FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the Treatment of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) Who Have Been Previously Treated with Sorafenib
November 16, 2018 - Eagle Books | Native Diabetes Wellness Program
November 16, 2018 - Patients with common heart failure more likely to have lethal heart rhythms
November 16, 2018 - How AI could help veterinarians code their notes | News Center
November 16, 2018 - Bias-based bullying does more harm to students than generalized bullying
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find first direct evidence that cerebellum plays role in cognitive functions
November 16, 2018 - Non-coding genetic variant plays key role in endothelial function and disease incidence
November 16, 2018 - EMA recommends first all-oral treatment to tackle deadly sleeping sickness
November 16, 2018 - Drug used to treat dizziness may slow down growth of triple-negative breast cancer
November 16, 2018 - AHA: Icosapent Ethyl Cuts CV Risk From Elevated Triglycerides
November 16, 2018 - ‘Orphan’ RNAs make cancer deadlier, but potentially easier to diagnose
November 16, 2018 - Air Cube touches down at hospital | News Center
November 16, 2018 - CRISPR-based tool shown to enhance cell-based immunotherapy
November 16, 2018 - Mechanisms that govern HIV latency differ in the gut and blood, finds study
November 16, 2018 - Researchers unravel mystery of NPM1 protein in acute myeloid leukemia
November 16, 2018 - High school students less likely to select milk, fruit for lunch when fruit juice is available
November 16, 2018 - Football coaches with great emotional competence are more successful
November 16, 2018 - Researchers awarded $10 million grant to address root causes of asthma in Puerto Rico
November 16, 2018 - Personalized scheduling of radiotherapy using genetic data could reduce side effects
November 16, 2018 - American Cancer Society study links social isolation to higher mortality risk
November 16, 2018 - Health Tip: Manage Morning Sickness
November 16, 2018 - Long term exposure to road traffic noise linked with greater obesity risk
November 16, 2018 - Infant gut microbes altered by mother’s obesity may increase risk for future disease
November 16, 2018 - Immunotherapy combination and chemotherapy show encouraging results in Phase II acute myeloid leukemia study
November 16, 2018 - ACC Latin America Conference brings experts to discuss latest cardiovascular science
November 16, 2018 - Pooled analysis of Intersect ENT’s steroid releasing implants in patients after frontal sinus surgery to be published
November 16, 2018 - Expectations about pain intensity can become self-fulfilling prophecies
November 16, 2018 - NIH awards $3.4 million to UC researchers to study gastrointestinal lymphatic system
November 16, 2018 - Highlighting Advances in Bioengineering and Analytical Technologies with eBooks
November 16, 2018 - Scientist Dr David Taylor of MR Solutions is a finalist in the BMW i UK Tech Founder Awards
November 16, 2018 - Earlier treatment could help reverse autistic-like behavior in tuberous sclerosis
November 16, 2018 - Sucking your baby’s pacifier could improve their health
Research on student alcohol use can offer clues about interventions to reduce blackouts

Research on student alcohol use can offer clues about interventions to reduce blackouts

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

College students who drink alcohol don’t typically intend to drink to the point that they “black out,” and they also don’t fully grasp what specific drinking behaviors present the greatest risk of blackouts, a new series of studies finds.

Prior research has found that between 30 and 50 percent of young adults who drink regularly report that they have experienced alcohol-related memory impairment in the past year, whether full “blackouts,” where they can’t remember anything for some period of time, or “brownouts” — episodes of on-and-off memory loss, where memories may be recovered with reminders.

“We don’t yet know what long-term effects having a blackout or repeated blackouts has on the brain,” said Kate Carey, a professor with the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown’s School of Public Health. “We do know that having alcohol-related memory impairment is associated with other negative consequences.”

Those consequences can range from hangovers or missed classes to fights, overdoses, mental health problems or sexual assault. Given the seriousness of those risks, Carey and her colleagues conducted a series of focus groups to better understand college students’ knowledge of what causes blackouts, understanding of the distinctions between blackouts and brownouts, and perspectives on the consequences of both. Their findings were published in three recent papers.

“Studies like these, addressing attitudes toward blackout drinking as well as what students know and do not know about blackouts, give us clues about how we might intervene to reduce this high-risk outcome,” said Jennifer Merrill, an assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown who was involved in the studies. “This work helps us to identify where there is room to correct any misconceptions students have about the causes and consequences of blackouts.”

Focus on focus groups

Each of the three studies was based on analyzing transcripts from a series of eight single-gender focus groups of college students who had reported a blackout in the prior six months. The focus groups included a total of 50 students, 28 women and 22 men, from four-year colleges and universities in the Providence, Rhode Island, area.

In the first paper, the researchers report that students were aware that drinking hard liquor, drinking large quantities of alcohol and drinking quickly increased the risk of blackouts. However, Carey said, many students didn’t understand that biological factors — things like biological sex and genetics — play a role in the risk of blackouts, or that mixing alcohol use with other drugs could increase risk as well.

“The kind of drinking that results in alcohol-related memory impairment is common, but it’s also not typically done with the intent of blacking out,” Carey said. “And those who regularly drink and report blackout experiences don’t have a full understanding of what causes them. The interesting thing is that regardless of how much you drink, there are ways to drink so that you don’t black out.”

Specifically, drinking in smaller quantities or pacing drinks across a longer period of time can prevent the rapid rise in blood alcohol concentration that is known to cause blackouts, she said.

The focus groups also provided other insights into how best to draw college students’ attention to the consequences of blackouts.

The second paper analyzed perspectives from students who were asked: “What is a person’s typical reaction when he/ she blacks out?” and “Overall, what makes a blackout a negative, neutral or positive experience?”

Generally, students described blackouts negatively, using terms such as “embarrassing,” “annoying” and “scary.” But some described the experience as exciting.

“You’re a little nervous cuz [sic] you definitely could have done something really stupid, but you don’t know and it’s kind of like a little bit of fear, but at the same time, you’re kind of excited that you did something awesome,” a 19-year-old male participant said of blackouts.

The researchers found that social factors — whether a student’s friends thought blackouts were common or acceptable and who they were with during the blackout period — influenced their perspective. The severity of the memory loss, and learning whether they did anything embarrassing during the blackout, also affected their opinions, Carey said.

In the third study, the researchers found that college students used the phrase “blackout drinking” hyperbolically to describe drinking very heavily, yet without the intent to lose memories. On the other hand, “a blackout” more precisely meant an episode with periods of as much as an hour of complete memory loss. The students called shorter periods of missing memory or fuzzy memories “brownouts,” Carey said.

While the free-form conversations gave the researchers new insights into nuances of the blackout experience and the language students use, the focus groups were not designed to provide quantitative data on how common blackouts and brownouts were. For that reason, the research team also conducted an online survey of 350 full-time college students from across the U.S. who reported lost memory after drinking in the past year.

The survey found that students experienced brownouts more frequently than blackouts. Specifically, 49 percent of those surveyed had experienced both blackouts and brownouts in the past month, 32 percent had experienced only brownouts, 5 percent experienced only blackouts, and 14 percent hadn’t experienced any alcohol-related memory impairment in the past month.

The surveyed students also voiced less concern about brownout experiences compared to blackouts.

“We found that brownouts were indicators to the students that they were drinking in a manner that could lead to a blackout someday,” Carey said. “But they were discounting the earlier signs of memory loss, suggesting that they weren’t serving as red flags or even as a yellow light.”

Education and interventions

General education on the consequences of heavy alcohol use hasn’t been shown to be effective for anyone, including college students, Carey said, but personalized feedback can reduce the riskiest kinds of drinking.

She hopes to use insights from these studies to develop additional education modules for alcohol prevention programs that specifically address the risks of the high-volume, fast-paced drinking that is likely to lead to blackouts. Particularly, that behaviors like “pregaming” — drinking before attending a larger event or activity where alcohol will be available — participating in drinking games and “chugging” increase the risk of blackout.

The role that biological factors play in the risk of blackout is another area that needs to be addressed with better education, she said.

Walking students through their blackout experiences to reframe them as risky rather than inconsequential and sharing statistics that illustrate that blackouts aren’t actually the norm among peers are other targeted ways to reduce behaviors that lead to blackouts, Carey said.

“We hope that focusing in on this one particular consequence of a certain style of drinking will provide lots of opportunities for interventions,” she said.

Source:

https://news.brown.edu/articles/2018/11/blackouts

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles