Exploring Alcohol and Alcoholism

For many, beer, wine, and spirits conjure up thoughts of social gatherings and tipsy fun. But alcohol, a depressant, is also associated with damaging behavior and the emotional pain and physical ruin of addiction. Experts debate the benefits and risks of drinking and passionately argue over whether moderation or abstinence is the best option for alcoholics.

Recent posts on Alcoholism

You Can’t Go Home Again

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on November 20, 2017 in A Swim in Denial
“Home for the holidays” promises “all the comforts of home,” but also brings the sorrows of home. Why do we do it? Is it a homing instinct? An addiction? Just unfinished business?

Shame as a Barrier to Addiction Treatment

The largest barrier to alcoholics getting treatment is shame. This is ironic because getting help and getting sober should be an action that alcoholics feel proud of.

Casablanca at 75

By Dean Olsher LCAT, MT-BC, MS on November 03, 2017 in A Sound Mind
The film has important lessons for our time––about love, betrayal, the fight against fascism, and the necessity of music.

Humans and Wine: A Seven Thousand Year Love Affair

By Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. on November 01, 2017 in Beastly Behavior
There's more to wine than bouquets and finishes. Wine may be the badge of civilization and it is an excellent summary of science.

Beware the Masks of Addiction

If we sacrifice our truth for the sake of the mask’s persona, then the illusion of the mask begins to drive our perception, choices, and relationships.

Is There an Epidemic of Despair in the Rural Heartland?

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on October 26, 2017 in Talking About Men
New research shows a sharp increase in premature death rates among rural less educated whites; mainly due to suicide, overdose, and substance abuse. What are the underlying causes?

6 Things an Addict Will Never Tell You

By Amy Dresner on October 25, 2017 in Coming Clean
Want to know what active addicts aren't telling you? Here are 6 things they're probably lying about.

How to Solve the Problem of Campus Rape

Telling college women to stop drinking won’t help.

7 Ways Creativity Supports Addiction Recovery

Creativity can play an important role in recovery.

Gambling Sports Advertising

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on October 19, 2017 in In Excess
Sports gambling advertising is now commonplace, but there is little research on it. Two studies examine junk food, gender and alcohol in gambling ads.

When Someone You Love Becomes an Addict

With addiction, love isn't enough. Here's how to get help.

When Your Spouse Is Addicted

How do you cope if your spouse is struggling with addiction? Learn how to be honest, but not enabling.

Self-Soothing Skills Learned in Childhood

Here are some curious childhood stress relievers that will help you identify your own. Your early habits are pathways in your brain that you can build onto today.

When You Love or Hate An Addict You Can Recover, Too

"Talking to a loved one before it's too late could make such a difference and prevent decades of unnecessary malevolence toward a person who cannot help himself."
Benjamin Stone/Flickr

Put Down That Beer and Pick Up Your Phone

By Ross E O'Hara, Ph.D. on October 10, 2017 in Nudging Ahead
Colleges have tried a million ways to reduce students' binge drinking. Could behavioral science offer another approach?

Acetyl-l-carnitine: Important for Mental Health

Are you curious about the role of acetyl-l-carnitine in mental health care? This amino acid has beneficial effects on depressed mood, cognitive impairment, and dementia.

What Makes a Good Addiction Treatment Program?

"How do I know if an addiction treatment program actually works?" Get beyond the advertising and go right to the science.

Don't Let a Loved One Steal Your Joy

By Fran Simone Ph.D. on October 03, 2017 in A Family Affair
Is your loved one stealing your joy? Here are some ways to get it back.

How Parents Can Warn Their College Kids About Sexual Assault

By Seth Meyers Psy.D. on September 30, 2017 in Insight Is 20/20
Parents can play an instrumental role in trying to reduce the risks of sexual assault with their children if they routinely discuss the issue and remind them how it happens.

How Losing a Parent Can Impact Your Mental Health

Complicated grief often results in attempts to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

3 Funny Things about Beer and Sex

By Madeleine A Fugère Ph.D. on September 26, 2017 in Dating and Mating
Learn more about the intriguing connections among beer, attraction, sex, and more...

B Vitamins Play Important Roles in Mental Health Care

Are you curious about the role of vitamin supplementation in mental health? B vitamins may help reduce symptoms of alcohol abuse, depressed mood, cognitive impairment and dementia.
Photo by Shutterstock. Used by permission.

Warning: You or Your Spouse May Be Addicted to Criticism

Can people be addicted to criticism in the same way they can be addicted to alcohol?

They Won't Stop Because They Can't Stop: Part 2

“It was like watching a movie, one where you know something bad is about to happen to the main character, and you hope that somehow he escapes danger." James B.

Can Too Much Information Increase the Risk of Drunk Driving?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on September 12, 2017 in Media Spotlight
How effective are public service announcements in persuading people not to drive when they are impaired? The results of a new study may surprise you.

Social Anxiety and Alcohol Use: A Complex Relationship

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on September 06, 2017 in Shyness Is Nice
Using alcohol to self-medicate social anxiety can backfire.

Vitamin B12, Thiamin, and Niacin in Mental Health Care

Curious about the roles of vitamin B12, thiamin, and niacin in healthy brain functioning?

Remembering Barbara Cook

By Susan Hooper on August 30, 2017 in Detours and Tangents
Legendary singer Barbara Cook, who died in August at 89, overcame crippling mid-career alcoholism and depression. Her 2016 memoir "Then & Now" is a moving reflection on her life.

Addiction and the Brain

By Fran Simone Ph.D. on August 26, 2017 in A Family Affair
Learning about addiction and the brain can help loved ones.
Ryan McGuire/Gratisography

Stripping Bare (Annie-1)

By Elizabeth Young on August 25, 2017 in Adaptations
"I loved the eyes on me," she said at last, quietly.