Wednesday, March 09, 2016

AA, BOcare, Drugs

The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous - The Atlantic:

Reading through this I find a couple of threads:
  1. BOcare has mandated that all insurance policies include 30 days of treatment for alcohol, so there is more money in the alcohol treatment bucket than ever before. Money as always is "good and bad". True, more people may get treatment -- OTOH, it is likely there will be a bunch of "standards" that may or may not be that helpful to people that need help -- but they will certainly direct money to "the right pockets" as determined by politics. 
  2. Folks like the Atlantic HATE anything that smacks of "higher powers", so AA makes them VERY uncomfortable! 
That said, I can't imagine anything outside of God that can't be improved. It turns out there are a couple of drugs that are approved for treatment of alcohol abuse. 
I researched this article, I wondered what it would be like to try naltrexone, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved for alcohol-abuse treatment in 1994.
Perhaps even worse is the pace of research on drugs to treat alcohol-use disorder. The FDA has approved just three: Antabuse, the drug twhat induces nausea and dizziness when taken with alcohol; acamprosate, which has been shown to be helpful in quelling cravings; and naltrexone. (There is also Vivitrol, the injectable form of naltrexone.)

AA, because of the "anonymous" part can at least seem somewhat secretive, and at least some of the AA people tend to be "anti-substance" -- as in "if you are taking ANY drug, that is "the same" as being addicted to alcohol". Of course, that is an oversimplification -- any relatively loose organization like AA is going to have SOMEBODY that says damned near anything.

I don't draw any conclusions from this. Alcohol is a drug, so it doesn't seem impossible that some drugs might help reduce cravings for it. As a fat guy, I noted with more than a little interest that naltrexone might curb cravings for food.

Personal aside. Apparently a guy that I have known for around a decade committed suicide over the weekend -- not local, not completely sure, friendship had been reduced to FB except for me seeing him on my long motorcycle trip in 2013. Few other things going on -- my Dad's issues being one.

Girl Scout Cookies were brought into the house. I resisted them for a couple of days, but in the presence of nice cold milk mid-afternoon, I succumbed. End damage, a row short of a whole box. I really had no intent of eating that many, it was purely "one more ... oh, there is some milk left ... oh, I need more milk ... and ... repeat".

The snake brain is a scary scary thing -- given the right circumstances I am DEFINITELY powerless against Girl Scout Cookies. I once heard of someone who could eat ONE -- she ought either be killed or put in  control of the universe,  I'm not qualified to state which!

Keep the damned things OUT OF THE HOUSE! ... there but for the grace of God!

Anyway, "addictive behavior" --- food, video games, drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling --- is certainly part of the human condition. The drugs and alcohol are currently at epidemic proportions and killing over 50K people a YEAR.

'via Blog this'

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