Alcoholism: Neurobiology

Resources & References

An Online Course:
The Neurobiology of Alcoholism



Harm Reduction/Controlled Drinking Organizations for Clients

HAMS: Harm Reduction for Alcohol (Harm Reduction, Abstinence and Moderation Support)
A peer led, no-charge support and informational group for those who want to change their drinking habits for the better. Articles, on-line support and chat groups, and harm reduction information.

Although there are only about 20 moderation management groups meeting in the United States, the website also provides listings of Internet support groups and listservs, as well as additional resources to help practice controlled drinking.

Offers online and in-person support groups, as well as other resources and materials.

Runs groups around the country and offers information for women alcoholics only.

Self-described as an organization for those who wish to abstain but are uncomfortable with the higher power orientation of AA, offers material, a newsletter, a list of in-person meetings, and online support groups.

12-Step and Abstinence Organizations for Clients



Organizations providing information and links to treatment and support groups

A service of the National Institutes of Health and the United States National Library of Medicine offers the latest news and links to articles, as well as consumer information.

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc
Offers information and links to local support and informational groups.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Offers constantly updated information on research, treatment and other information.

An online magazine from the National Institute in Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which is updated three times a year offering a variety of information on alcohol, alcoholism, trends, statistics, and a variety of other information, for both consumers and therapists.

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Motivational Interviewing is an extremely useful technique for harm reduction OR abstention therapy, and it is relatively easy to learn because it incorporates many elements of good, basic therapy. Additional information on Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. You will find explanations, a complete library and references, and training materials and schedules.

Connors, Gerard J.; Walitzer, Kimberly S.; Prince, Mark A.; Kubiak, Audrey (2017) Secondary prevention of alcohol problems in rural areas using a bibliotherapy-based approach. Journal of Rural Mental Health Vol 41 (2) , 162-173.


Incidence of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol Facts and Statistics from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (2017)

Jauhar, S and Smith, ID. 2009. Alcohol-related brain damage: Not a silent epidemic. The British Journal of Psychiatry: The Journal of Mental Science, 194(3): 287-288.

Lau-Barraco, Cathy; Braitman, Abby L.; Linden-Carmichael, Ashley N.; & Stamates, Amy L. (2016). Differences in weekday versus weekend drinking among nonstudent emerging adults. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, Vol 24(2), 100-109

Moody, Lara N.,Satterwhite, Emily,Bickel, Warren K. (2017). Substance use in rural Central Appalachia: Current status and treatment considerations. Journal of Rural Mental Health, Vol 41(2), 123-135

Rehm J, Mathers C, Popova S, Thavorncharoensap M, Teerawattananon Y, Patra J. Global burden of disease and injury and economic cost attributable to alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders. Lancet. 2009;373:2223-2233.


Alcohol and Cognitive Impairments—also see Alcohol and the Elderly

Bickel, Warren K.; Moody, Lara N.; Eddy, Celia R.; & Franck, Christopher T. (2017). Neurocognitive dysfunction in addiction: Testing hypotheses of diffuse versus selective phenotypic dysfunction with a classification-based approach. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology Vol 25(4), 322-332

Cox, W. Miles; Fadardi, Javad S.; Hosier, Steven G.; & Pothos, Emmanuel M. (2015). Differential effects and temporal course of attentional and motivational training on excessive drinking. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology Vol 23(6), 445-454

Hill, Shirley (2018). Familial Risk for Alcohol Dependence and Brain Morphology: The Role of Cortical Thickness Across the Lifespan, Alcoholism Clinical & Experimental Research, 30 March 2018

Holzhauer, Cathryn Glanton; Wemm, Stephanie; & Wulfert, Edelgard (2017). Distress tolerance and physiological reactivity to stress predict women’s problematic alcohol use. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology Vol 25(3), 156-165

Marczinski, Cecile A. (2017). How actions taken (or not) under alcohol influence inhibitory control and perceived impairment. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, Vol 25(3), 166-174

Neafsey, EJ and Collins, MA. 2011. Moderate alcohol consumption and cognitive risk. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 7: 465-484.

Rourke, SB & Grant, I (2009) In Neuropsychological assessment of neuropsychiatric and neuromedical disorders, Edited by: Grant, I and Adams, KM. 398-454. New York: Oxford University Press. 596-608.

Tabakoff, B, Melchior, C, Urwyler, S, Hoffman, PL. Alterations in neurotransmitter function during the development of ethanol tolerance and dependence. Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl 286: 153-60.

Treloar, H., & Miranda, R., Jr. (2017). Craving and acute effects of alcohol in youths’ daily lives: Associations with alcohol use disorder severity. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 25(4), 303-313.

Alcohol and the Elderly

Anstey, KJ, Mack, HA and Cherbuin, N. 2009. Alcohol consumption as a risk factor for dementia and cognitive decline: Meta-analysis of prospective studies. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 17(7)

Blow, Frederick (2014). New Findings in Alcohol and Comorbid Mental Health Disorders in Older Adults, American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 22 (9), 851-853 DOI:

DeWitt, Marie & Shorter, Daryl (2017). Alcohol, Cannabis, Opiates, Cocaine Use and the Aging Brain, American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25 (3), S29-30

Gupta, S and Warner, J. 2008. Alcohol-related dementia: A 21st-century silent epidemic?. The British Journal of Psychiatry: The Journal of Mental Science, 193(5): 351-353.

Khan, Asif & Wedes, Samuel (2014). Alcohol-Induced Neurocognitive Disorder in Elderly Presenting as Mania? A Case Report, American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 24 (3), S129-130 DOI:

Peters, R, Peters, J, Warner, J, Beckett, N and Bulpitt, C. 2008. Alcohol, dementia and cognitive decline in the elderly: A systematic review. Age and Ageing, 37(5): 505-512.

Rao, R., & Draper, B. (2018). Addressing alcohol-related dementia should involve better detection, not watchful waiting. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 212(2), 67-68. doi:10.1192/bjp.2017.14

Vetreno, RP, Hall, JM and Savage, LM. (2011). Alcohol-related amnesia and dementia: Animal models have revealed the contributions of different etiological factors on neuropathology, neurochemical dysfunction and cognitive impairment. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 96(4)

Craving and Alcohol

Bottlender M, Soyka M. Impact of craving on alcohol relapse during, and 12 months following, outpatient treatment. Alcohol Alcohol. 2004;39:357-361.

Hartwell,Emily, Ray, Lara (2017). Craving as a DSM-5 Symptom of Alcohol Use Disorder in Non-Treatment Seekers, Alcohol and Alcoholism,

Helstrom, Amy, Blow, Frederick, (2016). Reductions in Alcohol Craving Following Naltrexone Treatment for Heavy Drinking, Alcohol and Alcoholism, Volume 51, Issue 5, 1 September 2016, Pages 562–566,

Skinner MD, Aubin HJ. Craving’s place in addiction theory: contributions of the major models. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2010;34:606-623. 61

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Research on Medications for Alcohol-Related Cognitive Impairments & Alcoholism

Addolorato G, Leggio L, Ferrulli A, et al. Effectiveness and safety of baclofen for maintenance of alcohol abstinence in alcohol-dependent patients with liver cirrhosis: randomised, double-blind controlled study. Lancet. 2007;370:1915-1922.

Addolorato G, Leggio L, Ferrulli A, et al. Dose response effect of baclofen in reducing daily alcohol intake in alcohol dependence: secondary analysis of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Alcohol Alcohol. 2011;46(3):312-317.

Addolorato G, Leggio L, Abenavoli L, et al. Baclofen in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome: a comparative study vs diazepam. Am J Med. 2006;119:276 e13-e18.

Agabio R, Marras P, Addolorato G, Carpiniello B, Gessa GL. Baclofen suppresses alcohol intake and craving for alcohol in a schizophrenic alcohol-dependent patient: a case report. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2007;27:319-320.

Arias C, Mlewski EC, Molina JC, Spear NE. Naloxone and baclofen attenuate ethanol’s locomotor-activating effects in preweanling Sprague-Dawley rats. Behav Neurosci. 2009;123:172-180.

de Beaurepaire R. Baclofen for the treatment of alcoholism. PSN Psychiatr Sci Hum Neurosci. 2011;9:1-6.

Bold, Krysten W.; Fucito, Lisa M.; Corbin, William R.; DeMartini, Kelly S.; Leeman, Robert F.; Kranzler, Henry R.; & O’Malley, Stephanie S. (2016). Daily relations among affect, urge, targeted naltrexone, and alcohol use in young adults. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology Vol 24(5), 367-375

Bucknam W. Suppression of symptoms of alcohol dependence and craving using high-dose baclofen. Alcohol Alcohol. 2007;42:158-160.

Barth KS, Malcolm RJ. Disulfiram: an old therapeutic with newapplications. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2010;9:5-12.

Cheon, Y, Park, J, Joe, K and Kim, D. 2008. The effect of 12-week open-label memantine treatment on cognitive function improvement in patients with alcohol-related dementia. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology/Official Scientific Journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP), 11(7): 971-983.

Chitty, K., Dobbins, T., Dawson, A., Isbister, G., & Buckley, N. (2017). Relationship between prescribed psychotropic medications and co-ingested alcohol in intentional self-poisonings. British Journal of Psychiatry, 210(3), 203-208. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.115.172213

Garbutt JC. The state of pharmacotherapy for the treatment of alcohol dependence. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2009;36:S15-S23

Garbutt JC, Kampov-Polevoy AB, Gallop R, Kalka- Juhl L, Flannery BA. Efficacy and safety of baclofen for alcohol dependence: a randomized, double-blind, placebocontrolled trial. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2010;34:1849-1857.

Gueorguieva R, Wu R, Donovan D, et al. Baseline trajectories of drinking moderate acamprosate and naltrexone effects in the COMBINE study. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2011;35(3):523-531.

Haass-Koffler CK, Goodyear, K, Zywiak, W, (2017). Comparing and Combining Topiramate and Aripiprazole on Alcohol-Related Outcomes in a Human Laboratory Study, Alcohol and Alcoholism,

Junqueira-Ayres, Décio D.; Asth, Laila; Ayres, Adriana S. F. S. J.; Lobão-Soares, (2017). Topiramate reduces basal anxiety and relieves ethanol withdrawal-induced anxious behaviors in male rats. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology Vol 25(2), 105-113

Liu J, Wang L. Baclofen for alcohol withdrawal. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(1):CD008502.

Rolland B, Deheul S, Danel T, Bordet R, Cottencin O. A system of prescriptions without drug approval: example of baclofen. Therapie. 2010;65:511-518.

Soufia M, Plaze M, Gueguen B, Demigneux G, Olie JP, Gaillard R. Behavioral disinhibition with baclofen. J Clin Psychopharmacol.2010;30:759-760.

Soyka M, Rosner S. Emerging drugs to treat alcoholism. Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2010;15:695-711.

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