A National Directory of Drug Treatment Centers and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Therapists and Specialists. A free, simple directory providing assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, dependency and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.
Call 800-580-9104 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

For recovering alcoholics, social, emotional impairments continue even after drinking stops

With their drinking problems behind them, studies show recovered alcoholics may still face social disorders or deficits.

According to ABC News, a recent Boston-based study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs compared the brain function of a group of former alcoholics with the brain function of people who have never been alcoholics. The differences were staggering.

In conducting the study, researchers showed the two focus groups pictures of people expressing different emotions. The brain scans then monitored the groups’ respective responses to those emotion-laden photos.

The group that consisted of people with no history of alcohol abuse showed strong responses to the positive and negative emotions in the photos. The former alcoholics, however, showed much weaker responses in their brain scans, indicating that alcoholism may lead to difficulty in identifying emotional facial cues.

The difference between this study and others is that this one seeks to determine which part of the brain is actually changed by addictive use of alcohol, as opposed to how alcoholics’ behaviors change.

“Even though we have known for quite some time … that abstinent chronic alcoholics have cognitive problems, only behavioral studies have been done to show they have deficits in emotional functioning,” said Ksenija Marinkovic of University of California, San Diego.

Though the damage is likely irreversible, this information will enhance the development of alcoholism treatment.

“I think it puts some insight into why people who are alcoholics have these behavioral problems,” said Emory University’s Dr. Wendy Wright. “If you don’t understand where someone’s coming from and what type of challenges they’re having, it’s a lot more difficult to teach them how to cope.”

Still, there is the chicken-or-the-egg dilemma of which came first: the emotional disconnect or the alcohol?

“I think that the changes that were found on the imaging studies in this study would probably be more indicative of damage that was built up over time as opposed to something people were born with,” Dr. Wright suggested. She noted, however, that the size of the focus groups, 15 people in each, made it impossible to determine that definitively, saying, “It would take a lot more patients to confirm that for sure.”

Former alcoholic or not, one other variable in the study was gender, as women from both groups showed slightly heightened responses when compared to men in the groups.

“It seems to us that gender is a very important factor that interacts with personal history of alcoholism,” Marinovic said. “This can’t necessarily be generalized across both genders.”

source:  NY Daily News

More Treatment & Detox Articles

Concern over teenage alcohol abuse

A campaign group has called for more research into the way alcohol can affect teenagers’ health. Alcohol Concern said it was worried that a rise in teenage drinking would lead to more people suffering alcohol-related illnesses at younger ages. The organisation called for further study as it emerged that a 22-year-old man was dying in….

Continue reading

Aggressive ecstasy, crystal meth bill gets new legs in Parliament

A private member’s bill re-introduced in the House of Commons on Monday would allow law enforcement officers to arrest those who procure ingredients with the intent of manufacturing ecstasy or methamphetamine. The proposed legislation, Bill C-475, An Act to Amend the Controlled and Substances Act, was originally tabled by Peace River MP Chris Warkentin in….

Continue reading

Researchers alarmed by binge drinking on campus

An alarming number of 21-year-olds are participating in a dangerous practice of consuming 21 alcoholic beverages to celebrate reaching legal drinking age, according to a new report by researchers at the University of Missouri. More than a third of men and a quarter of women surveyed at the university who drank alcohol the day they….

Continue reading

Is 18 too young to drink a beer?

Is 18 too young to drink a beer? A group of college and university presidents and administrators have called for a public debate to rethink the legal drinking age in the United States. Some of them openly support lowering the age to 18 from 21; others are truly looking for help in dealing with a….

Continue reading

Are Christian Treatment Centers Effective?

Christian treatment centers have a high success rate at not only helping people come clean from their addictions but also helping them stay clean once a person leaves the treatment center. One of the main reasons why Christian based treatment centers are effective is because many people who join become firm believers in Jesus Christ….

Continue reading