Jose Luis Vazquez Martinez

The ODP Early-Stage Investigator Award recognizes early-stage career scientists who have already made significant contributions to prevention. The 2017 winners, Dr. Justin Brown and Dr. Katherine Keyes, gave presentations at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Dr.

Jose Luis Vazquez Martinez

Harmful use of alcohol causes:

Nightlife and Alcohol Consumption among Youths: The Botellón Phenomenon in Spain


In this article, we approach the botellón phenomenon as a widespread nightlife activity among Spanish youths. Botellón consists of youths meeting up, primarily on weekend nights, in open-air public spaces to talk and consume the alcoholic beverages that they have prepared. The objective of this study was to analyze the motives, attitudes, and consequences related to the practice of botellón during the leisure time of youth. A qualitative methodology has been used and speeches from 80 young people aged 14 years to 24 years have been analyzed in Seville (Southern Spain). These participants were arranged in 10 focus groups selected by stratified sampling from different public and semiprivate secondary schools and one public university. The results demonstrate that youths indicate that their primary motive for preferentially engaging in botellón is to come together and interact, not only with their group of friends but also with other peers. Regarding the societal perceptions of alcohol consumption, they stated that high social tolerance exists. Regarding social consequences, they believed that the legal measures taken to restrict alcohol consumption on the streets are not yielding successful results. In conclusion, we understand that a change in youth lifestyles has occurred over recent decades; hence, we believe that the solution to alcohol abuse is through the establishment of preventive educational programs that are applied from the earliest levels of educational instruction and supported through work within the family.

Alcohol Consumption Behaviours in the Immediate Aftermath of Earthquakes: Time Series Study


Objectives: Earthquakes are a distressing natural phenomenon that can disrupt normal health-related behaviours. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in alcohol consumption behaviours in the immediate aftermath of mild to moderate earthquakes.

Setting: This retrospective cohort study was conducted at a large academic hospital in Tokyo, Japan from April 2004 to March 2017.

Participants: We included all adult patients presenting with acute alcohol intoxication in the emergency room.

Primary and secondary outcome measures: Our outcome was the number of such patients per 24 hours period comparing days with and without earthquake activity. We mainly focused on mild to moderate earthquakes (Shindo scale of less than 3). We conducted a simple generalised autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity (GARCH) analysis, followed by a multivariate GARCH, including year-fixed effects and secular changes in alcohol taxation. Subanalyses were conducted by gender and age group.

Results: During the study period, 706 earthquakes were observed with a median Shindo scale of 2 (IQR: 1). During this period, 6395 patients were admitted with acute ethanol intoxication; the mean age was 42.6 (SD: 16.9) years and 4592 (71.8%) patients were male. In univariate analyses, the occurrence of daytime earthquakes was marginally inversely related to the number of acutely intoxicated patients (β coefficient: −0.19, 95% CI −0.40 to 0.01). This finding remained similar in multivariate analyses after adjustment for covariates. In analyses stratified by gender, the inverse association between daytime earthquakes and alcohol intoxication was only observed among men (p<0.03 for males and p=0.99 for females). In subanalyses by age, older people were less likely to be admitted to the hospital due to acute alcohol intoxication on days with daytime earthquakes (p=0.11), but this was not the case for younger people (p=0.36).

Conclusion: On days when a mild to moderate daytime earthquake occurred, the number of patients with acute alcohol intoxication was lower compared with days without earthquakes. Even milder forms of potentially catastrophic events appear to influence social behaviour; mild to moderate earthquake activity is associated with the avoidance of excessive alcohol consumption.

Alcohol Use by Adolescents in Ghana

Harmful alcohol consumption during adolescence poses a major public health issue as it affects several aspects of young peoples’ health and wellbeing.

A recent study, published in the Journal of Mental Health and Prevention, has examined the prevalence of problem alcohol use and risk factors associated with initiation of alcohol use in a sample (N = 1984) of school-aged adolescents in Ghana. The researchers examined the association between alcohol use behaviour and factors such as age, gender, suicidal thoughts, loneliness a, d interpersonal issues.

Results from the study found that: 

  • The prevalence of alcohol problems was 6.8%, lifetime drunkenness was 11.1%, current alcohol use 12.6%.
  • 16% of the participants reported feelings of anxiety and 18.4% reported feeling lonely.
  • In terms of suicidal behaviour, 18.2% of the participants described suicidal ideation, 22.5% reported a suicidal plan, and 22.2% of reported a suicide attempt
  • About 43.8%, 37.5% and 28.2% of the participants reported to have been bullied, physically attacked and involved in a physical fight on once or more occasions respectively.
  • No association was found with gender and alcohol use and age was associated with only current alcohol use but not with alcohol problem and drunkenness (reports of current alcohol use increased with age). 

Overall the study found mental health-related factors and psychosocial problems increased the risk of alcohol use among school going adolescents in Ghana. The findings of this study should be used to guide interventions that could target high school students who may be at risk for alcohol use and abuse.

Inspire Freedom Campaign - IOGT International

The Inspire Freedom Campaign – Together for women and girls – every 25th is IOGT International’s flagship community campaign to promote the rights of girls and women and to end gender-based violence, by preventing alcohol violence.

The campaign hopes to inspire freedom through local actions which are carried out as part of the global movement of IOGT International – from Reykjavik to New Delhi, to Nairobi, Mexico City and Bangkok.

IOGT International have created a Comunity Action Guide to Inspire Freedom which provides a clockwork of activities – different actions that drive and support each other like cogwheels. It offers all participants opportunities to combine them as they see fit.

Click here to view the facts and get involved and raise awareness within your community!

A Rapid Systematic Review of What We Know about Alcohol Use Disorders and Brief Interventions in the Criminal Justice System

– The purpose of this paper is to review the evidence of alcohol use disorders within the different stages of the criminal justice system in the UK. Furthermore it reviewed the worldwide evidence of alcohol brief interventions in the various stages of the criminal justice system.
– A rapid systematic review of publications was conducted from the year 2000 to 2014 regarding the prevalence of alcohol use disorders in the various stages of the criminal justice system. The second part of the work was a rapid review of effectiveness studies of interventions for alcohol brief interventions. Studies were included if they had a comparison group. Worldwide evidence was included that consisted of up to three hours of face-to-face brief intervention either in one session or numerous sessions.
– This review found that 64-88 per cent of adults in the police custody setting; 95 per cent in the magistrate court setting; 53-69 per cent in the probation setting and 5,913-863 per cent in the prison system and 64 per cent of young people in the criminal justice system in the UK scored positive for an alcohol use disorder. There is very little evidence of effectiveness of brief interventions in the various stages of the criminal justice system mainly due to the lack of follow-up data.
Social implications
– Brief alcohol interventions have a large and robust evidence base for reducing alcohol use in risky drinkers, particularly in primary care settings. However, there is little evidence of effect upon drinking levels in criminal justice settings. Whilst the approach shows promise with some effects being shown on alcohol-related harm as well as with young people in the USA, more robust research is needed to ascertain effectiveness of alcohol brief interventions in this setting.
– This paper provides evidence of alcohol use disorders in the different stages of the criminal justice system in the UK using a validated tool as well as reviewing the worldwide evidence for short ( < three hours) alcohol brief intervention in this setting.

Neighbourhood Density of Alcohol Outlets and Genetic and Environmental Influences on Alcohol Problems

Gene-environment interactions occur when different surroundings make it more or less likely for a particular trait or disorder to develop.

The concept of ‘alcogenic’ environments describes features, such as alcohol outlet density or marketing, which influence patterns of alcohol consumption.

A recent study, which analysed longitudinal data of 18–26-year-olds, has examined the link between genetic variation in alcohol problems and the number of alcohol outlets in a community.

The results from the study found that:

  • There was evidence to suggest that the extent of genetic and environmental influences on alcohol problems varied with the density of alcohol outlets in the community.
  • The heritability of alcohol problems for those residing in a neighbourhood with more than 10 on-premises outlets was 78% compared with 11% for those in a community with no on-premises outlets.

Overall the results suggest that in environments with fewer alcohol outlets and availability the genetic predisposition to develop problems is dampened. However, in environments where there is greater availability of alcohol the genetic predisposition is heightened.

The researchers suggest that people who are genetically predisposed to develop alcohol problems may be especially sensitive to the influence of alcohol outlet density in their community. This has potential implications for the design of prevention interventions.

Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Social Media Calendar

Canadian alcohol intake increases during holidays, parties and vacations.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addictions has created a calendar of social media graphics to remind young people that if they’re planning to drink, moderation can help reduce harms from alcohol.

Seize the day- Spring break graphic
Jose Luis Vazquez Martinez

Source: Shield KD, Monteiro M, Roerecke M, Smith B, Rehm J. Alcohol consumption and burden of disease in the Americas in 2012: implications for alcohol policy. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2015;38(6):442–9.


Jose Luis Vazquez Martinez

La Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS) publicó este reporte, el cual fue preparado por Maristela G.

Jose Luis Vazquez Martinez

Alcohol Policy Scoring

Assessing the level of implementation of the WHO Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol in the Region of the Americas.


[FOREWORD]. Monitoring progress is a key component whenever planning and committing to implement health strategies, as it can help guide needed improvements and identify and respond to gaps in the public health response. Thus, in any given society, it becomes a mechanism for accountability to governments and other stakeholders involved. This report describes the construction of a series of composite indicators developed for evaluating the level of implementation of the ten policy areas of the WHO Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol adopted in 2010 at the World Health Assembly (WHA)—and furthermore adopted in 2011 by all Member States in the Region of the Americas (hereafter referred to as “the Region” or simply “the Americas”) through the Regional plan of action of the Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).

[PREFACIO]. El seguimiento del progreso es un componente clave de la planificación y del compromiso de poner en práctica estrategias de salud, ya que puede ayudar a orientar las mejoras necesarias y detectar y responder a las brechas presentes en la respuesta de salud pública, convirtiéndose así en un mecanismo de rendición de cuentas para los gobiernos y otros interesados directos de cualquier sociedad. En el presente informe se describe la elaboración de una serie de indicadores compuestos para evaluar el nivel de ejecución de las diez áreas de política de la Estrategia mundial para reducir el uso nocivo del alcohol de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), adoptada en el 2010 por la Asamblea Mundial de la Salud (AMS), y posteriormente en el 2011 por todos los Estados Miembros de la Organización Panamericana de la Salud, Oficina Regional de la Organización Mundial de la Salud para la Región de las Américas (OPS/OMS) con la aprobación del Plan de acción regional.

Youth, Drugs and Alcohol- Social Science Approaches

Event Date

Among many young Europeans, alcohol and drugs are the preferred means of altering consciousness. These substances are used as part of various social activities either on weekends in bars, nightclubs, or music festivals or on weekdays. This course examines both alcohol and drug use that are perceived as problematic and unproblematic by young people themselves and it discusses how alcohol and drug-related problems and risks are perceived and addressed from various social science perspectives.