A study finds a possible explanation why men are twice as likely as women to become alcoholics.
Dopamine has multiple functions in the brain, but is important in this context because of its pleasurable effects when it is released by rewarding experiences, such as sex or drugs…Despite similar consumptions of alcohol, the men had greater dopamine release than women.
A.A., then and now: After 75 Years, We Don’t Know How It Works. David Brooks weighs in here.
In a culture that thinks of itself as individualistic, A.A. relies on fellowship. The general idea is that people aren’t really captains of their own ship. Successful members become deeply intertwined with one another — learning, sharing, suffering and mentoring one another. Individual repair is a social effort.
Also on this site, a list of 12-step programs in L.A. Whether you’re aiming at recovery or not, if you’ve never been to a 12-step meeting, they’re well worth checking out. (Make sure it’s an open meeting–outsiders welcome.)
A piece of Bill W’s story that didn’t make the Big Book, reported by the New York Times:
Were Bill Wilson’s spiritual awakening and influential sobriety the products of a belladonna hallucination shortly after his discussions with his friend Ebby Thacher? Could they have been incited by his alcohol withdrawal symptoms? Or did something else happen to him that science cannot explain?
A study shows couples therapy edging out individual therapy for women working to recover from alcoholism:
A new research effort assessed the benefit of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for alcohol-dependent women. The innovative research design also investigated if CBT was more effective if delivered as couples therapy rather than individual therapy [and found] that both treatment methods worked well, but women treated in couples therapy maintained their gains a bit better than those in individual therapy.