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Website Warns High School Athletes Dangers of Alcohol

By Jim Halley, USA TODAY

Gabe Gurule was a three-sport athlete at Manzano (Albuquerque), getting recruiting letters for football from Big 12 schools. Matt James of St. Xavier (Cincinnati) was a first-team All-USA offensive lineman, two months shy of graduation and looking forward to playing for Notre Dame.

Gurule is in the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas because of his alcohol use, serving an eight-year, four-month sentence for vehicular homicide. James' life ended this April when he fell from a fifth-floor balcony while on spring break in Panama City, Fla.

Beginning Wednesday, the New Mexico Activities Association is launching a website (lifeofanathlete.com) that includes Gurule's story in an interactive program that plans to educate high school athletes about the dangers of alcohol abuse. It is open to students and officials from other states. READ MORE

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Teen Binge Drinking Now, Thin Bones Later

CHICAGO, July 17 (UPI) -- Teen binge drinking may disrupt genes involved in forming bone, increasing teens' risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures later in life, U.S. researchers say.

Loyola University Health System researchers conducted rat studies examining the effects of binge drinking on bone metabolism and maintenance genes. Rats received injections of alcohol that resulted in blood alcohol levels equivalent to those of binge amounts of alcohol and compared to control rats that received saline.

The researchers found about 300 bone-related genes were disrupted in rats exposed to acute binge drinking and 180 bone-related genes were disrupted in rats exposed to chronic binge drinking. READ MORE

 

Radical and Dangerous: Possible Changes to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol

The alcohol section of the new Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report (PDF) could represent a radical departure from the 2005 Dietary Guidelines1 if its conclusions are reflected in the final Dietary Guideline for alcohol scheduled to come out later this year. The proposed increase in daily drinking guidelines that would be defined as "moderate" drinking, the lack of randomized studies on the health effects of alcohol consumption, and potentially dangerous public health messages are some of the reasons these proposed changes are concerning -- and worth your time to submit comments by July 15.

The current Dietary Guidelines for alcohol provides drinking guidelines outlining the safest way to consume alcohol for the full range of the U.S. population that already drinks alcohol: up to 2 drinks per day for men and up to 1 drink per day for women (2/1 daily consumption guidelines). However, the new Advisory Committee report proposes that 2/1 consumption guidelines be based on average, rather than daily, consumption. Furthermore, the report would explicitly define "moderate" drinking as drinking up to 4 drinks per day for men and 3 drinks for women (4/3 daily consumption guidelines), so long as the average limits are not exceeded. READ MORE

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New K2 drug becoming concern in athletics

The Associated Press • May 2, 2010

The company that does drug testing for the NFL, NCAA and more than 100 U.S. schools is coming up with a way to detect a troubling new synthetic substance that mimics the effects of marijuana and is so far legal in 49 states. The lab-made drug known as K2, King Krypto and Spice, among other names, is well known in Europe and authorities say it's been banned in countries including Germany, Russia, Sweden and England.

It began showing up in the United States only about six months ago, federal authorities say, and Kansas outlawed it in March. A ban at the federal level could take months, if not years.

The NCAA declined to comment on the drug, but the agency it pays to conduct drug testing is already working on a test to detect K2 use after hearing from a number of schools concerned about it.

By this fall, the National Center for Drug Free Sport Inc. hopes to have a test ready to go for college athletes, many of whom may be especially tempted by the drug. Read More

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