Washington Post: States rushed to loosen alcohol laws in the pandemic. Heavy drinking went up, some studies say.

Washington Post: States rushed to loosen alcohol laws in the pandemic. Heavy drinking went up, some studies say.. “The new rules include cocktails-to-go laws, which allow consumers to pick up mixed cocktails, beer or wine at their local pub or restaurant, and direct-to-consumer laws that allow grocery stores or liquor stores — and sometimes distillers, brewers or winemakers — to deliver alcoholic beverages directly to people’s homes…. But critics say expansion has come at the same time alcohol sales soared and drinking spiked. Studies have found higher rates of binge drinking and alcoholism, and some state coroners have reported a sharp increase in alcohol-related deaths during the pandemic.”

Americans Are Drinking More During The Pandemic. Here’s How To Cut Back (NPR)

NPR: Americans Are Drinking More During The Pandemic. Here’s How To Cut Back. “When the pandemic began spreading across the U.S. in March, stores, restaurants and schools closed down. But liquor stores in many parts of the U.S. were deemed essential and stayed open. Alcohol sales have ticked up during the pandemic, so maybe it’s a good time to ask yourself: Are you drinking more than you’d like to be?”

Stony Brook Statesman: SBU researchers use social media to study unhealthy drinking habits

Stony Brook Statesman: SBU researchers use social media to study unhealthy drinking habits. “The study, in collaboration with professors from the University of Pennsylvania, is led by H. Andrew Schwartz, assistant professor of computer science at Stony Brook University. Schwartz’s team is trying to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) program that can scan social media data and use the recorded information to understand the users’ habits in order to predict their future behavior. In this case, the team is focusing on the ability to understand how mood and environment lead to unhealthy drinking behavior. Such behavior is defined as 14 drinks in a single week for a man, or seven drinks for a woman.”

Ireland Will Set Up New Online Database for Banned Drivers

Ireland will set up a new online database of banned drivers. “A list of all Irish motorists banned from driving by the courts is to be up and running by the end of the year. The details of the database were revealed by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) chief Moya Murdock and it will include those put off the road for drink driving or dangerous driving but not those banned for accumulating 12 penalty points.”

Using Social Media to Predict Student Problems With Alcohol

Social media appears to help when predicting student problems with alcohol. “‘The strongest predictor of both drinking alcohol and posting about it on SNSs was espousing an alcohol identity – meaning that the individuals considered drinking a part of who they are,’ [Charee] Thompson says. ‘And those two behaviors were associated with alcohol problems – such as missing school or work, or getting into fights – because of drinking.’ In fact, the researchers found that posting about alcohol use on social media was actually a stronger predictor of alcohol problems than alcohol use was. In other words, having a drink was less strongly correlated with alcohol problems than posting about alcohol use was – though clearly students with alcohol problems were drinking alcohol.”