NIH to investigate ‘nexus’ between health officials and alcohol companies - Sovereign Health Group
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03-22-18 Category: Alcohol

NIH to investigate ‘nexus’ between health officials and alcohol companies

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is all set to investigate whether authorities flouted any federal policy while soliciting donations during their meetings with alcohol companies to finalize a study on the positive outcomes of moderate drinking. On March 20, 2018, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins expressed concern over the recent meetings between scientists and executives from the alcohol industry about raising funds for the above mentioned study.

Collins also plans to coordinate with external experts who constitute a standing advisory committee to review the scheme and methodology of the decade-old government trial, which is currently underway. Scientists feel the proposed study might show moderate drinking in a favorable way as NIH officials insisted on the funding.

“I believe the scientific goals of the Moderate Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health Trial are worth pursuing,” said Collins. However, he said that several mechanisms have been put in place to guarantee the integrity of the study. The NIH policy clearly outlines that employees are prohibited from soliciting donations in cash or kind or any other resources. A 2016 memorandum of understanding (MoU) made it clear that health officials are not supposed to engage in any kind of direct communication with donors or disclose the name of the study team members to the donors.

Several previous studies suggested that moderate drinkers led longer lives and were less likely to suffer from any heart disease, compared to those who never drank at all. But the new study is expected to be the first extensive and long-term randomized clinical research to examine the current hypothesis that drinking in moderation can prevent heart attacks, cognitive decline and Type 2 diabetes. Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, is expected to lead the study.

More and more studies on booze are being conducted as alcohol addiction is quite common in the U.S. Distinguishing between social and problematic drinking may require the person to disclose information about the drinking patterns and the outcome of alcohol on his or her life. This is very important because alcohol addiction has less to do with the quantity of booze consumption and more with the impact on one’s life.

Leading an alcohol-free life

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), alcohol is the most commonly used recreational drug in the U.S. with 17.6 million Americans battling alcohol use disorder (AUD) and several million more engage in risky drinking patterns. Also, alcohol abuse is responsible for nearly 6 percent of cancer-related deaths in the country. Excessive consumption of alcohol is known to cause liver, breast, colon, esophagus and larynx cancers. Alcohol abuse not only affects one’s physical and emotional well-being, but it also spills over to their friends and family members, as well as the society at large. Keeping this in mind, it is essential to investigate the root causes that induce urges to drink and the healthier alternatives to manage them effectively.

While helping people to combat alcoholism, there is no one standard solution for every individual with a drinking problem. What may work for one person may not be a good solution for another. Just like any other substance use disorder, alcoholism demands customized professional counseling and treatment. Sovereign Health of California understands the plight of someone who is unable to break free from the stronghold of compulsive alcohol-seeking urges despite knowing about its adverse consequences. If you or a loved one is struggling to overcome alcoholism, get in touch with our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representative. Our state-of-the-art alcohol rehab centers spread across California are known for their effective treatment for alcohol abuse.

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