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      Surveying Alcohol Outlet Density in Four Neighborhoods of Beirut Lebanon: Implications for Future Research and National Policy

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          Underage drinking among youth in Lebanon is increasing. Regulating availability is one of the best buy policies recommended by the World Health Organization. To quantitatively document the current status of alcohol availability to youth in Lebanon, we used GPS technology to survey alcohol outlet density in four highly populated neighborhoods in Beirut, Lebanon, and to estimate their proximity to educational institutions. The density of alcohol outlets ranged from 18.30 to 80.95 per km 2 (average of 39.6 alcohol outlets/km 2). The highest number of total alcohol outlets was in the “Hamra & Jamiaa” area, which includes one of the largest private universities in the country. Thirteen out of 109 (12%) alcohol outlets (on and off-premise) were located less 100 m away from educational institutions, in violation of the current licensing law. None of the off-premise and the majority (94%) of on-premise alcohol outlets displayed the “no sale for <18” sign. Findings were indicative of an environment conducive to increased access and availability of alcohol among youth in Lebanon probably attributed to the prevailing weak alcohol policies and their enforcement. Systematic collection and reporting of alcohol outlet densities is critical to understand the alcogenic environment and guide local harm reduction policies.

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          Age at first alcohol use: a risk factor for the development of alcohol disorders.

          This study aimed to describe the natural course of DSM-III-R alcohol disorders as a function of age at first alcohol use and to investigate the influence of early use as a risk factor for progression to the development of alcohol disorders, exclusive of the effect of confounding influences. Data were obtained from a community sample (N=5,856) of lifetime drinkers participating in the 1990-1991 Mental Health Supplement of the Ontario Health Survey. Survival analyses revealed a rapid progression to alcohol-related harm among those who reported having their first drink at ages 11-14. After 10 years, 13.5% of the subjects who began to drink at ages 11 and 12 met the criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse, and 15.9% had a diagnosis of dependence. Rates for subjects who began to drink at ages 13 and 14 were 13.7% and 9.0%, respectively. In contrast, rates for those who started drinking at ages 19 and older were 2.0% and 1.0%. Unexpectedly, a delay in progression to harm was observed for the youngest drinkers (ages 10 and under). Hazard regression analyses revealed a nonlinear effect of age at first alcohol use, marked by an elevated risk of developing disorders among subjects first using alcohol at ages 11-14. First use of alcohol at ages 11-14 greatly heightens the risk of progression to the development of alcohol disorders and therefore is a reasonable target for intervention strategies that seek to delay first use as a means of averting problems later in life.
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            Age at drinking onset and alcohol dependence: age at onset, duration, and severity.

            To examine whether starting to drink at an early age is associated with developing alcohol dependence at a younger age and chronic relapsing dependence, controlling for respondent demographics, smoking and illicit drug use, childhood antisocial behavior and depression, and family alcoholism history. Cross-sectional survey. Nationwide face-to-face survey with a multistage probability sample. A total of 43,093 adults were surveyed in 2001-2002. Based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria, lifetime alcohol dependence, dependence within 10 years of starting drinking, multiple episodes, an alcohol dependence episode in the past year, episodes exceeding 1 year, and meeting 6 or 7 dependence criteria. Relative to respondents who began drinking at 21 years or older, those who began drinking before age 14 years were more likely to experience alcohol dependence ever and within 10 years of first drinking (adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals [CIs], 1.78 [1.51-2.11] and 1.69 [1.38-2.07], respectively). They also more often experienced past-year dependence and multiple dependence episodes (adjusted odds ratios, 1.93 [95% CI, 1.40-2.64] and 3.09 [95% CI, 2.19-4.35], respectively). Among alcohol-dependent persons, the odds were 2.62 (95% CI, 1.79-3.84) for having at least 1 episode exceeding 1 year and 2.89 (95% CI, 1.97-4.23) for meeting 6 or 7 dependence diagnostic criteria. There is a need to screen and counsel adolescents about alcohol use and to implement policies and programs that delay alcohol consumption.
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              Age at onset of alcohol use and its association with DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence: results from the national longitudinal alcohol epidemiologic survey


                Author and article information

                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                14 September 2018
                September 2018
                : 15
                : 9
                [1 ]Department of Health Promotion and Community Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon; rn06@ 123456aub.edu.lb (R.N.); rema-afifi@ 123456uiowa.edu (R.A.)
                [2 ]Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon; sa228@ 123456aub.edu.lb
                [3 ]Department of Geology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon; jtn04@ 123456mail.aub.edu
                [4 ]Department of Agriculture, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon; ac22@ 123456aub.edu.lb
                [5 ]Department of Health Management and Policy, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon; ny05@ 123456aub.edu.lb
                [6 ]Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: lg01@ 123456aub.edu.lb ; Tel.: +961-1-350-000 (ext. 4643)
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).



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