Alcohol

RECENT POSTS

How Much Alcohol Causes a Hangover?

(ckelly/Flickr)

(ckelly/Flickr)

Medically, the condition is called “veisalgia” — from the Norwegian kveis or “uneasiness following debauchery,” and the Greek algia, otherwise known as “pain.”

But you probably just call it a hangover.

The helpful PR coordinators at the American College of Physicians resent information about a review, published back in 2000, titled simply The Alcohol Hangover. “More than 4700 articles have been written about alcohol intoxication (from 1965 to 1999), but only 108 have addressed alcohol hangover,” the researchers, all at UC San Francisco at the time, wrote.

But you don’t care about how much research has been done, you want to know how many drinks cause a hangover?

Let’s get to it: Continue reading

Stanford Kissing Event: Fun for the Evening, But Now Students Have Stomach Flu

Where the kissing event happens, just not during the day. (rolfkleef/Flickr)

Where the kissing event happens, just not during the day. (rolfkleef/Flickr)

I’ve lived in the Bay Area for more than 20 years, but somehow missed this tradition at Stanford: Full Moon on the Quad.

As the New York Times reported Friday it’s “an event unique in American education: an orgy of interclass kissing reluctantly but officially sanctioned by the university.”

How you respond to this might depend on your age.

My initial reaction was “ewwww!”  But a (younger) colleague asked, “Is it horrible to confess to you: I’d probably join in?!?!”

The event was held last week, on Oct. 22. With thousands of students milling around waiting, the Times described what happened next:

Finally, a male senior saunters over to a group of the youngest-looking women and asks: “Hey! You freshmen? Can I kiss you?” Continue reading

Binge Drinking on Rise in American Women

(Getty Images)

The Centers for Disease Control defines binge drinking in women as 4 or more drinks during one occasion. (Getty Images)

Over on Facebook, the group Moms Who Need Wine has more than 660,000 likes. While most of the posts there seem pretty darn cheerful, they point to a darker reality. Alcohol abuse in women is on the rise. And a specific problem for them is binge drinking, as the Centers for Disease Control reported earlier this year.

In the report, the CDC found that 1 in 8 women over age 18 — that’s 14 million women — binge drink about three times a month. Binge drinking is defined as four or more alcoholic beverages in a two to three hour period. One in 5 high school girls binge drink.

Dr. Bob Brewer who leads the Alcohol Program at the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention framed the public health costs of alcohol consumption for a KQED Forum audience recently. It’s the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., with an estimated 80,000 deaths and 2.3 million years of life lost every year linked to excess drinking, he said.

But within that excess drinking, it’s the binge drinking that is really taking a toll. “We know that binge drinking is by far the most common pattern of excessive drinking in the United States,” he said, responsible for half of those 80,000 deaths. Continue reading