Tag Archives: alcohol

Alcohol study coverage lacked necessary journalistic scrutiny, context

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

When JAMA Psychiatry published a study about alcohol use disorder prevalence a few weeks ago, the findings predictably led to a flood of stories about an apparently rapidly growing alcoholism public health crisis in the United States.

The study claimed a nearly 50 percent increase in alcohol use disorder prevalence since a decade earlier, a staggering increase by any measure. Continue reading

Murthy to release first surgeon general report on substance abuse, addiction and health #AHCJ16

Judith Graham

About Judith Graham

Judith Graham (@judith_graham), is a freelance journalist based in Denver and former topic leader on aging for AHCJ. She haswritten for the New York Times, Kaiser Health News, the Washington Post, the Journal of the American Medical Association, STAT News, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications.

Photo/Deborah Crowe/AHCJVivek Murthy, M.D., spoke at Health Journalism 2016

Photo: Deborah Crowe/AHCJVivek Murthy, M.D., spoke at Health Journalism 2016.

Everywhere he travels, Vivek Murthy, M.D., surgeon general of the United States, hears a similar plea from families.

Do something about the drugs ruining our communities and our families. Help us fight the opioid epidemic.

On Saturday, at the awards luncheon attended by hundreds of AHCJ members at Health Journalism 2016, Murthy promised to respond by mobilizing the medical community and issuing the first surgeon general’s report on substance abuse, addiction and health later this year. Continue reading

Using editorials, letters to help make sense of contradictory data

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a bombshell alcohol recommendation to women on Feb. 2 that led to an explosion of responses. I was among those who commented on the fray, and I primarily addressed how the evidence itself about alcohol and pregnancy was obscured by the resulting backlash.

I also mentioned that I had previously interpreted the evidence differently over several years of covering periodic studies about light drinking and pregnancy. I didn’t go into a great deal of detail, however, on how I made that switch, and I thought that process might be instructive for other health journalists covering such controversial issues in which the science can be confusing. Writing about risk, in particular, can be incredibly thorny. Continue reading

New data reveal trend in binge drinking #ahcj15

Jocelyn Wiener

About Jocelyn Wiener

Jocelyn Wiener is an award-winning independent journalist based in Oakland, Calif. Her work has been published by the The Sacramento Bee, the Center for Health Reporting, Christian Science Monitor, Kaiser Health News, KQED, Pacific Standard, Stanford Magazine and in newspapers around the country.

Pia Christensen/AHCJAli Mokdad of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington discusses new data on alcohol use in the United States.

Pia Christensen/AHCJAli Mokdad of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington discusses new data on alcohol use in the United States.

Binge drinking and heavy drinking in the United States increased significantly in recent years, particularly among women, according to a new study presented today by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

While the overall rate of drinking remained constant between 2005 and 2012, heavy drinking increased 17.2 percent and binge drinking increased 8.9 percent during that time.

Heavy drinking was defined as averaging more than one drink per day during the past month (for women) or two drinks (for men). Binge drinking was defined as having four or more drinks at one occasion in the past month (for women) and five or more (for men). Continue reading