Recovering from addiction during a time of uncertainty and social distancing

Because the very nature of recovery support involves face-to-face interaction, whether in support group meetings or dispensing medication, it is at odds with the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis, creating barriers to receiving support and maintaining recovery.

Cutting down on alcohol helps if you have atrial fibrillation

There is good evidence that the more you drink, the more likely you are to develop atrial fibrillation. A study found that people with afib who were willing to abstain from alcohol were less likely to have a recurrence.

Lifestyle changes to lower heart disease risk

Unhealthy lifestyle choices may be responsible for half of all premature deaths, but choosing healthier behaviors, such as working to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and getting more exercise, can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Beer before wine? Wine before beer?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Ever wonder whether order matters if you switch between drinking wine and beer? Well, researchers asked this question. The answer may surprise you (or not).

Going public with sobriety

Substance use disorders like alcoholism and drug addiction are stigmatized in our society, so why would someone—not just anyone, but a doctor— go public with his struggle?

Alcohol and headaches

Do you sometimes get a headache after drinking red wine or mixed drinks? It’s a common belief that red wine is more likely to give you a headache than other types of alcohol, but there is very little evidence to support this.

Does addiction last a lifetime?

In the study of addiction and recovery, the question of whether a person who has an addiction to any substance must avoid all other potentially addictive substances has yet to be definitively answered. Alongside it, some argue that those in recovery may simply substitute one addiction for another.

Alcohol and your health: Is none better than a little?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

As researchers continue attempting to determine whether there is an amount of alcohol consumption that offers some health benefits, or whether that amount is none, the results of recent studies indicate that the answers are complicated, and subject to different interpretations.

Sorting out the health effects of alcohol

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

There is evidence that there are beneficial effects of alcohol in moderate amounts, but an analysis of drinkers found that the current guidelines in the US might be associated with a slightly shorter life expectancy for some people.

Alcohol and heart health

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Moderate alcohol consumption can have a beneficial effect on heart health, but the “moderate” part is the key. One drink a day is recommended as the safest amount that offers a heart-health benefit.