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Alcoholics Anonymous: A Blessing For The Addicted

Alcohol consumption has been linked with violence and increased homicide rates. However as the membership of Alcoholics Anonymous // has increased, there has been a decrease in the number of homicides. In males who consume beer and spirits, AA membership has brought done the violence as well as homicide, a new study finds.

Results are published in the October issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

"It is important to try to understand the factors that could reduce alcohol's adverse effects," said Robert E. Mann, senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and associate professor of public health sciences at the University of Toronto. "We know that economic and legal measures such as taxation policies, increased drinking ages, and lowered legal limits for driving can exert powerful effects on alcohol problem rates. We also know that individual participation in AA and alcohol treatment can have very beneficial effects. We wanted to see if these beneficial effects are observable at population levels, that is, if numerous people are positively influenced." Mann is also the study's corresponding author.

According to the World Health Organization, said Mark Asbridge, assistant professor and chair of graduate studies in the department of community health and epidemiology at Dalhousie University, "alcohol is a leading [contributor to the] global burden of disease, and homicide is just one of a number of negative consequences of its consumption. Given this link, any policies or intervention that reduce or remove alcohol consumption are bound to offer some beneficial reduction in aggregate violent incidents – in this case, mortality."

Researchers used Statistics Canada data to gather Ontario-specific information on per capita total alcohol consumption – breaking out consumption of beer, spirits and wine separately – as well as deaths due to homicide for individuals aged 15 years and older for
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