Tag Archives: alcoholism

Study Shows That Gabapentin (Neurontin) Is A Safe, Effective Treatment For Alcohol Abuse

Nov. 4, 2013 — The generic drug gabapentin, which is already widely prescribed for epilepsy and some kinds of pain, appears to be safe and effective in the treatment of alcohol dependence. The finding comes from a 150-patient randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind clinical trial conducted by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).

“Gabapentin’s effect on drinking outcomes is at least as large or greater than those of existing FDA-approved treatments,” said Barbara J. Mason, Pearson Family Professor and co-director of the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research at TSRI, who led the new research. “Plus it’s the only medication shown to improve sleep and mood in people who are quitting or reducing their drinking, and it’s already widely used in primary care — that’s an appealing combination.”

The new research was published by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine on November 4, 2013.

Read more here…


What’s Good For Walgreen’s…

During America’s dry age, the federal alcohol ban carved out an exemption for medicinal use, and doctors nationwide suddenly discovered they could bolster their incomes by writing liquor prescriptions. Pharmacies, which filled those prescriptions, and were one of the few places whiskey could be bought legally, raked it in. Through the 1920s, the number of Walgreens stores soared from 20 to nearly 400.  Read more at the NYT

Grace This Way

Sarah Ellis has decided to combine her acting skills with 12-step work, and has produced a series of videos that illustrate the steps of recovery. I think they’re extremely worthwhile. I’ll let Sarah explain in this letter.

Dear readers,

Sarah Ellis Photo

My name is Sarah and I’m an alcoholic. I’ve been sober for over five years. I’m passionate about many things, but especially about acting and recovery. I decided to combine these two loves by creating and starring in a Web series entitled Grace This Way. I play a woman named Grace who achieves sobriety by working a twelve step program. Each episode represents a step in recovery. There are a total of 9 episodes because I felt led to combine steps four and five into one episode; the same for six and seven & eight and nine.

It is my hope that people struggling with addiction will see Grace’s story, become aware that they are not alone and that there is a solution that works. I also want to introduce non-alcoholics and non-addicts to the twelve steps of recovery. Even if someone isn’t struggling with an addiction there is still a certain amount of dysfunction that creeps into relationships. Part of that dysfunction is a product of being human, but it’s my personal belief that, as humans, we have a responsibility to evolve during each lifetime. The twelve steps encourage this change to happen. I hope you watch the series and that it will provide some inspiration as you trudge “the road to happy destiny.”

Peace, love and freedom from the bondage of self to all of you!

Best wishes,

Sarah Ellis

For more information about Sarah, please visit her website at: www.sarahellisactress.com

Some Comments About Alcohol Use

People use alcohol for only one reason, to alter their brain chemistry so that they feel “better” than they did previously. Therefore, without exception, a person who is “under the influence” is suffering from chemically induced abnormal brain function, and is unable accurately to judge her own behavior.  That is why so many people swear that they drive better, dance better, think better when high.

The people around them, of course, know the truth of the matter. This truth has been borne out in literally hundreds of experiments all over the world. ( You, of course, are an exception.) The physiology of intoxication and addiction is well-known here at the beginning of the 21st Century. We know that the brain and other organs undergo changes when subjected to the frequent presence of alcohol. We know that eventually semi-permanent and some permanent changes occur which cause the victim to be convinced absolutely that s/he cannot exist without the drug. This conviction is on the sub-cortical level, based on information interpreted by the primitive portion of the brain. It is not a conscious thought, and is not amenable to reason or education. Only when the person’s life is in such chaos that it presents a greater challenge than living without booze does the individual become capable of considering change, (the “rock bottom” we hear about.)

It is probably impossible for a person who has not himself been subject to such compulsion to understand it other than in a shallow, intellectual way. It is something that one either believes, because it makes sense and describes an observed reality, or that is disbelieved for whatever reasons — many of which may bear looking at.

We need to be careful, when we make statements about alcoholics, addicts, and addiction, that we are speaking from empirical knowledge. Addiction has touched virtually every person in the country in one way or another. We all have an emotional stake in the concept. If we are to discern effective ways of dealing with these problems, we need to insure — to the extent possible — that we are viewing the subject accurately, rather than “through a glass, darkly.”

Here is a link to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse FAQ page, for a real eye-opener regarding the impact of these problems on society in the US.
Fact Sheet