TIME Alcohol

Buzz Kill: Three Daily Alcoholic Drinks May Boost Stroke Risk

More than two drinks per day was defined by the study's authors as "heavy" drinking

You may want to keep that third beer of the night stashed in your fridge.

People in their 50s and 60s who down more than two alcoholic beverages daily have a 34 percent higher risk of stroke compared to lighter drinkers — and are more apt to suffer a stroke five years earlier in life regardless of their genetics or their other health habits, asserts a study released Thursday.

In fact, sipping beyond a two-drink maximum each day may boost a middle-aged person’s stroke risk more than even traditional health dangers like high blood pressure and diabetes, say researchers who base their findings on tracking more than 11,000 Swedish twins for roughly half their lives.

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME universities

Dartmouth Bans Hard Alcohol on Campus For All

Dartmouth Advanced Placement
Students walk across the Dartmouth College campus green in Hanover, N.H., on March 12, 2012. The school is banning hard alcohol on campus. Jim Cole—AP

Fraternities need to reform or disband, says Dartmouth president

Dartmouth College plans to ban all hard alcohol on campus following a series of high-profile reports of sexual assaults at universities around the U.S.

Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon said on Thursday that all students, regardless of age, would be banned from consuming and possessing hard alcohol on campus, while warning the college’s fraternities that they would need to reform or disband.

(MORE: Dartmouth’s President on Sexual Assault Prevention and Bystander Intervention)

Several schools have taken similar steps to reform their alcohol policies since a Rolling Stone articlewas published about an alleged rape at a University of Virginia fraternity. While that story has since been discredited, Brown University announced this month that it would ban alcohol at its fraternities, Swarthmore College has banned hard alcohol from events on campus, and U-Va. has banned mixed drinks and punches at its fraternity parties.

(MORE: The Sexual Assault Crisis on American Campuses)

TIME Diet/Nutrition

Why You Might Not Want To Mix Alcohol and Energy Drinks

370699 02: A shot of vodka is poured into a "Red Bull" energy drink in this 1999 photo taken in Los Angeles, CA. The mixed drink keep club goers buzzed but wide awake while partying. They''re calling this beverage "ecstasy in a can." (Photo by Evan Kafka/Liaison)
Evan Kafka—Getty Images

Combining the two seems to make you want to drink more and mask signs of inebriation

For years, research has suggested that mixing alcohol and heavily-caffeinated energy drinks could have negative health effects. Combining the two seems to make you want to drink more and mask signs of inebriation.

The combo’s potential negative consequences aren’t just a personal risk, but a public health one, suggests a new paper in the journal Advances in Nutrition.

“When people mix energy drinks with alcohol, people drink more than they would if they had just consumed alcohol, which is associated with a cascade of problems,” says paper author Cecile Marczinski, associate professor of psychology at Northern Kentucky University.

The increased likelihood of engaging in risky behavior, particularly drunk driving, is chief among the public health concerns, Marczinski says. The caffeine rush in energy drinks makes a drinker look and feel more balanced and coordinated than their drinking would suggest, leading some drinkers to believe they’re not actually drunk. In one study Marczinski cited, people who combined energy drinks and alcohol were four times more likely to think they could drive home than their counterparts who drank alcohol alone. The effects of the energy drink may also make it less obvious to police officers that a driver is drunk, making the officer less likely to breathalyze.

Other public health concerns that stem from mixing alcohol and energy drinks include adolescent brain damage, more emergency department visits and increased hospitalizations, the review says.

Even though the widespread popularization of energy drinks is a relatively new phenomenon, some jurisdictions have worked to address the growing public health issues, Marczinski says. Some parts of Australia ban the sale of energy drinks in bars after midnight. “You can have really dramatic solutions or minor steps in the right direction,” she says.

University of Connecticut Health Center researcher Steven Meredith, who has studied the health effects of the mixed drinks but was not involved in the review, says that more research is needed to fully understand how energy drinks and alcohol interact with the body together. Still, taking a more active approach to public policy makes sense, he says, given the reported risks.

“If you’re in public policy and health care, it’s better to be safe than sorry,” he says.

TIME Research

Here’s What Alcohol Advertising Does To Kids

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Booze ads reach kids far younger than the legal drinking age

Alcohol advertising that reaches children and young adults helps lead them to drink for the first time—or, if they’re experienced underage drinkers, to drink more, according to a study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

“It’s very strong evidence that underage drinkers are not only exposed to the television advertising, but they also assimilate the messages,” says James D. Sargent, MD, study author and professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. “That process moves them forward in their drinking behavior.”

The study found that young people were only slightly less likely than their older counterparts to have seen an alcohol ad. While 26% of young adults between the ages of 21 and 23 had seen a given alcohol advertisement, 23% of 15 to 17 year olds said they’d seen the same one. Researchers also found that young people who could accurately identify alcoholic products and who said they liked the ads were more likely to try drinking or to drink more.

Based on the findings, Sargent says that alcohol manufacturers should self-regulate more to limit the number of children they reach. The tobacco industry, which has volunteered not to buy television ads or billboards, could serve as model for alcohol manufacturers, he says.

“Alcohol is responsible for deaths of people during adolescence and during young adulthood,” says Sargent. “It seems to me that the industry should be at least as restrictive as the tobacco industry.”

“The spirits industry is committed to responsible advertising directed to adults and adheres to a rigorous advertising and marketing code,” said Lisa Hawkins, vice president of Public affairs at the Distilled Spirits Council, in a statement. The Distilled Spirits Council is a trade association that represents alcoholic beverage companies.
TIME medicine

This is What Alcohol Does to Your Sleep

It’s a favored way to end a hectic day, but a drink before bed can disrupt your sleep

Having a drink before bedtime might make you fall asleep a little faster. But the sleep you get after imbibing may not be so restful, finds a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Building upon earlier research, Christian Nicholas and his colleagues at the University of Melbourne found that alcohol just before sleep can lead to poorer quality slumber.

While most people know from experience that having a drink before hitting the sack can help you feel drowsy, Nicholas and his team were interested in learning how the brain physiologically reacts to the alcohol while you’re sleeping. They had 24 (presumably eager) young adults ages 18 to 21 to spend several nights at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences Sleep Laboratory. On one of the nights, they would be given a nightcap (orange juice and vodka) and on another night, they’d only get a placebo (orange juice with a straw dipped in vodka). They were allowed to go to bed at their normal time, but their heads were dotted with electrodes to measure their sleeping brainwave patterns on an electroencephalogram (EEG).

MORE The More Hours You Work, the More You Drink, Study Says

Not surprisingly, on the nights they drank alcohol, people showed more slow wave sleep patterns, and more so-called delta activity—a process linked to the restorative aspects of deeper sleep, when memories are firmed up, the brain’s detritus is cleared out and hard-working neurons get some much-needed replenishment.

But that wasn’t the only thing going on in their brains. At the same time, alpha wave patterns were also heightened, which doesn’t happen during normal sleep. Alpha activity tends to occur when the brain is awake but quietly resting, in metabolic break mode. Having both delta and alpha activity together therefore leads to disrupted sleep, since the alpha functions tend to offset any restorative efforts the brain neurons are trying to squeeze in.

MORE Alcohol Poisoning Kills 6 Americans a Day

In fact, such dual activity patterns are typically seen among people with chronic pain conditions and in lab-based studies where people are intentionally given electric shocks while they slept. “People tend to feel that alcohol helps them fall asleep a little quicker, and therefore people associated that with helping them sleep,” says Nicholas. “But when you actually go and look at what is happening while they sleep, the quality of that sleep isn’t good.”

In previous studies, such warring alpha-delta brain patterns during sleep have been linked to daytime drowsiness, waking up not feeling rested, and symptoms like headaches and irritability. Whether similar outcomes occur among people who drink before bed isn’t clear yet, says co-author Julia Chan, but it’s reasonable to think that they might. “When you see alpha activity alongside delta activity during sleep, it suggests there might be some kind of wakefulness influence that could compete with the restorative nature of delta sleep,” she says.

This doesn’t mean that you should avoid alcohol at night all the time; occasionally indulging in a nightcap probably won’t disrupt your sleep too much. But, “if somebody is doing this night after night after night, the effects can be cumulative, not only for alcohol use but on sleep disruption as well,” says Nicholas.

Read next: School Should Start Later So Teens Can Sleep, Doctors Urge

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Laws

24/7 Bars in Nebraska? A New Bill Would Allow It

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No more last calls in the Cornhusker State, if bill passes

A Nebraska state senator introduced legislation Thursday that would allow bars in the state to stay open all night.

State and local laws generally require Nebraska’s bars to stop serving alcohol at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, state law requires bars to close at 1 a.m., but local governments can extend those hours to 2 a.m. through a supermajority vote.

But Sen. Tyson Larson, who introduced the bill, wants to change all that. The state senator told the Journal Star that getting rid of last call would prevent bars from “dumping too many people in the street all at once” while saying the move aligned with the “concept of free market.”

If the bill passes, Nebraska would join Louisiana and Nevada, two states that don’t require bars to have last call.

(READ NEXT: The History of Poisoned Alcohol Includes an Unlikely Culprit: the U.S. Government)

TIME Food & Drink

Toast Portlandia’s 5th Season With This Weird Oregon Vodka

Rogue Ales teamed up with Portland’s iconic Voodoo Doughnut

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Vodka Rogue

When the producers of IFC’s Portlandia went looking for a beer partner for seasons 1 and 2, it’s clear why they chose Oregon’s Rogue Ales. The Fred Armisen-Carrie Brownstein series, which began not-so-gently skewering hipster culture in Portland four years ago, is, shall we say, idiosyncratic. And Rogue, based in Newport, is equally eccentric. So with the launch of Portlandia’s fifth season on Jan. 8, we thought it was only fitting to find out what Rogue has been up to lately. Also, they sent us a bottle of seriously strange vodka, which piqued our interest.

Rogue Ales and sister Rogue Spirits have been collaborating with local purveyors to create one-of-a-kind beverages in an initiative they call “A Collision of Crazies.” In the case of the vodka, they teamed up with Portland’s iconic Voodoo Doughnut, whose pink boxes are a common sight among tourists (and locals) who willingly wait in line for up to 30 minutes to buy some of the planet’s oddest doughnut creations. And when a doughnut company—especially one that sells branded bikini underwear and 3D glasses in its online merch store—is partly responsible for creating a vodka, you can be assured it is not a drink you will have tasted before. The result: Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Vodka. (See below for a sampling of no-nonsense reviews from some of my colleagues.) Retailing for around $40 a bottle, the vodka is available at retail outlets in 40 states or by contacting Rogue via its website.

This is not the first time Rogue has partnered with Voodoo Doughnut; they’ve also collaborated on a series of popular beers, including Chocolate, Banana & Peanut Butter Ale, a nifty time-saver for those who like to get tipsy while eating dessert.

Another new release from the ale side of the aisle is One Brew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in support of the University of Oregon’s Ken Kesey Collection. Kesey, of course, is the Oregon author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest who notoriously led the Merry Pranksters in the LSD-fueled Acid Tests of the 1960s—which prompted me to wonder what in the heck Rogue was putting in that beer. Turns out the brew is rich, frothy, toasty, and strong, but I’m pretty sure there is nothing illicit in the ingredients. It’s available online at $13 for a .75-liter bottle.

Other local partners who have had the courage to link arms with Rogue include the Oregon National Guard, the Oregon Zoo, Portland International Airport, and even Keiko, the orca of “Free Willy” fame.

So if you’re looking for refreshments for Portlandia’s fifth season, you might consider raising a glass of bacon maple vodka and offering a toast with the now infamous phrase, “Put a bird on it!”

Amateur But Heartfelt Reviews of Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Vodka

“Smells sweet and burning. It might be better if it’s chilled. It’s got a creamy after-taste.”

“I have to go to a board meeting tonight. I really shouldn’t be smelling like bacon maple vodka.”

“It reminds me of a maple-rum hot toddy.”

“Hey, it tastes better than it smells!”

This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

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TIME Food & Drink

Want a Bud Light Delivery? There’s an App For That

Cans of Anheuser-Busch Bud Light brand beer sits in a warehouse in Peoria, Ill.
Cans of Anheuser-Busch Bud Light brand beer sits in a warehouse in Peoria, Ill. Bloomberg—Getty Images

Anheuser-Busch will deliver cold ones at the touch of a button — in the Washington D.C. area, at least

Anheuser-Busch has a special delivery planned: with the touch of a button, Bud Light beer lovers can get an order delivered straight to their home.

The at-home beer delivery service is launching in the Washington, D.C., area today. The app is initially available for Android powered smartphones, with iOS coming soon, the beer company said on Thursday. Consumers can order between one to 100 cases of beer and get it delivered in under an hour, Anheuser-Busch has promised.

The app “is about the easy of delivery and getting the product to our consumers so they can continue the fun that they are having,” said Allison Gabrys, a product developer at digital development agency AKQA, which is working with Anheuser-Busch on the initiative.

Gabrys said that when they developed the concept, it was designed for a number of occasions and purposes. Deliveries could be perfect when hanging with friends for a spontaneous game-day football viewing party or to avoid having to lug up cases of beer to that third-floor walkup apartment.

There’s no price to download the app, though Anheuser-Busch says there is a “nominal delivery fee.” Meanwhile, Americans looking for a beer delivery will need to prove they are of legal drinking age. Distribution is being handled by startup Klink, which fulfills orders through local retailers within the delivery zone of the app. Anheuser-Busch says it eventually plans to bring this service to all of the states that will allow them to run this distribution channel.

The beer delivery space is getting attention from some of the nation’s biggest beer brands after several startups have launched their own efforts to tackle the market.

MillerCoors recently launched a pilot program with startup Drizly that would deliver Miller Lite to private homes in less than an hour. That initiative was meant to court the football-loving crowd, although the delivery service is also fairly limited in scope. For now, MillerCoors is only delivering its beer to Boston, New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C., in a promotion that ends on Feb. 1 (or even earlier if deliveries reach 20,000).

MillerCoors has for now lucked out on the regional bets that it has placed. The New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks are both still in the playoffs, with conference championship games set for this weekend (the teams aren’t playing each other).

“It is a great opportunity to bring e-commerce and delivery together,” said Dilini Fernando, digital marketing manager at MillerCoors. “A customer tweeted ‘Miller Time is near more than 60 minutes away’ — to be a part of that moment of purchase and to tell our story is really exciting.”

At-home delivery of beer, wine and spirits has courted attention from a handful of startups, including Drizly, Thirstie, BrewDrop, and Minibar. All of those offerings have limited reach for now. BrewDrop, for example, is only in the Austin region while Thirstie operates in just five cities.

Government regulation prevents broader adoption across all states. Seventeen U.S. states, as well as jurisdictions in four other states, have adopted forms of control over the distribution of alcoholic beverages. Those states and jurisdictions control the sale of distilled spirits, and in some cases wine, through government agencies at the wholesale level. 13 of those also control retail sales for the sale of alcoholic beverages at liquor stores, grocery stores and other retail locations.

Gabrys concedes control states are a challenge, although she added that regulation for any new startup or business venture varies from state to state, and so the at-home beer delivery service will strive to be as national as possible, despite some potential limitations. Deliveries will need to occur whenever beer can be legally sold on the retail level within the states.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Mental Health/Psychology

The More Hours You Work, the More You Drink, Study Says

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People across the socioeconomic spectrum use alcohol to unwind

People who work more than 48 hours a week are more likely to drink at dangerous levels than their counterparts who work fewer hours, according to new research. The link between alcohol misuse and long work hours suggests that employers have a role to play in stemming alcohol abuse, according to the study in the BMJ.

The study, which reviewed data from more than 300,000 participants, defined risky drinking as the consumption of more than 14 drinks per week for women and 21 drinks for men.

“If people are [engaging in] risky drinking, they don’t sleep well, they’re not as socially engaged,” says Cassandra Okechukwu, an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health who wrote an editorial to accompany the study. “It’s really important for work places to pay attention to the productivity of their workers and work environment.”

MORE Alcohol Kills 1 Person Every 10 Seconds, Report Says

The study found the connection between long hours and increased alcohol consumption to be consistent across socioeconomic groups, so a fast food worker who works 60 hours at two jobs is just as likely to consume more alcohol as a banker who works the same hours. People across the spectrum use alcohol to unwind, says Okechukwu.

While the study identifies public health issues associated with working long hours, it offers little policy guidance on how to solve the problem. In Europe, the European Union Working Time Directive encourages employers to limit their workers’ weeks to 48 hours on the job, but many people still work longer. Enacting labor laws would be even more difficult in the United States, where few policies regulate working hours.

“I don’t want to make policy recommendations,” Okechukwu says. “In the U.S., we’re not even there yet.”

TIME India

Deadly Bootleg Liquor Kills at Least 17 in Northern India

INDIA-FOOD-SAFETY-POISONING
An alcohol-poisoning patient receives treatment at the King George Medical College Hospital in Lucknow, India, on Jan. 12, 2015. AFP/Getty Images

Deaths from drinking illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the country's impoverished residents often cannot afford to imbibe licensed liquor

(LUCKNOW, India) — A bad batch of bootleg liquor killed at least 17 people and sent 122 others to the hospital in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, officials said Tuesday.

Most of the victims were among more than 200 people who had gathered to watch a cricket match Sunday evening in a village on the outskirts of the state capital, Lucknow, government official Anil Garg said.

While officials said 17 people died, unconfirmed reports early Tuesday put the death toll at 22. Doctors said 14 of those hospitalized were in serious condition and relying on artificial ventilation, while some had lost their eyesight.

Police arrested the shop owner who sold the 200-milliliter pouches of the homemade alcohol for about 30 cents each. A raid of the shop uncovered large containers of chemicals, which have been sent to a laboratory for testing, district official R.K. Pandey said.

“The symptoms gave a clear indication that these patients were served methyl alcohol,” which despite being toxic is sometimes mixed with ethyl alcohol to make a brew cheaper, said Dr. Kausar Usman, head of the trauma center at Lucknow’s King George’s Medical College.

Deaths from drinking illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the poor cannot afford licensed liquor.

Villager Rajesh Kumar, whose two older brothers became ill after drinking the unlicensed liquor on Monday, said the shop in Datli village was well known for selling inexpensive liquor, and that many men came from surrounding villages just to buy the brew.

The state’s highest elected official, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, suspended six police officers suspected of taking bribes to ignore complaints against the shop and its alcohol and announced that a “drive will be launched against those involved in the illicit liquor trade.”

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