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The Science of Choice in Addiction. The decision to self-bind is made during calmer moments when addicts are not in withdrawal or experiencing strong desire to use. And addicts have many of these moments; as a rule, they do not spend all their time nodding out or in a frenzy to obtain more drugs. No one would choose the misery that comes with excessive use. “I’ve never come across a single person that was addicted that wanted to be addicted,” says neuroscientist Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and an enthusiastic booster of the brain-driven model of addiction.

It is true, drug users don’t choose to become addicted any more than consumers of high calorie foods choose to become overweight. But addiction and poundage is not what they are choosing: what they seek is momentary gratification or relief—a decision that is rational in the short-term but irrational in the long-term. A typical trajectory goes something like this. Combating social ills on such a grand stage may be a pipe dream. The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous - The Atlantic. J.G. is a lawyer in his early 30s. He’s a fast talker and has the lean, sinewy build of a distance runner.

His choice of profession seems preordained, as he speaks in fully formed paragraphs, his thoughts organized by topic sentences. He’s also a worrier—a big one—who for years used alcohol to soothe his anxiety. J.G. started drinking at 15, when he and a friend experimented in his parents’ liquor cabinet. His drinking increased through college and into law school. By the time he was a practicing defense attorney, J.G. In the spring of 2012, J.G. decided to seek help. J.G. says it was this message—that there were no small missteps, and one drink might as well be 100—that set him on a cycle of bingeing and abstinence.

He felt utterly defeated. Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. J.G.’s despair was only heightened by his seeming lack of options. Nowhere in the field of medicine is treatment less grounded in modern science. I was an n of one, of course. The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous - The Atlantic. Medscape Access. Older Adults With Long Term Alcohol Dependence Lose Neurocognitive Function – Neuroscience News. Summary: A new study reports continued heavy drinking in older people is associated with poor global cognitive and motor functions. Source: Research Society on Alcoholism. Heavy drinking can lead to neurophysiological and cognitive changes ranging from disrupted sleep to more serious neurotoxic effects.

Aging can also contribute to cognitive decline. Several studies on the interaction of current heavy drinking and aging have had varied results. This study sought to elucidate the relations among age, heavy drinking, and neurocognitive function. Researchers had 66 participants (35 women, 31 men), recruited from the Brown University Center for AIDS Research, undergo a comprehensive neurocognitive battery of testing. Current heavy drinkers (n=21) were classified using National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism criteria and structured clinical interviews and, further, were compared to non-drinkers and moderate drinkers (n=45).

About this addiction research article Abstract Background. New Thinking On Women And Alcohol. Well have you already failed at your New Year's resolution? Experts say it could be because you've taken an all-or-nothing approach, but that's particularly controversial when it comes to drinking. Abstinence, admitting powerlessness over alcohol and giving it up has long been the only route for members of AA, but there's growing thinking that there are problem drinkers who can cut back, especially since there are new tools, like medication and online support. And our next guest says women in particular need an alternative to AA because they often already feel powerless. Gabrielle Glaser is author of "Her Best-Kept Secret: Why Women Drink-And How They Can Regain Control. " And she joins us from the NPR studios in New York with a look at women and drinking.

GABRIELLE GLASER: We know that women are far more likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders. YOUNG: Well, and more and more woman are drinking. GLASER: Absolutely. GLASER: Absolutely. GLASER: Right. GLASER: Exactly.