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heh, this reminds me of a friend, who every time he went on holiday, would religiously pack his 'how to give up smoking' tapes and books right next to his tobacco stash in his suitcase.

so if you're about to go out drinking with your buddies, and if you take the drug, you're going to get a subdued endorphin rush, whether it's from the booze or the company, entertainment etc.?

semi-numb to pleasure, basically?

excuse me if i have missed something, but aren't the only kind of alkies this might work with are the type who unplug the phone, shut the door and get sozzled in lugubrious oblivion, and yet are mature enough to know that they don't want this to be a pattern, so take the drug first too. i guess it will take a drug like this to see how many with this advanced stage of the 'disorder' show up to try it.

this drug sounds like a biochemical feedback machine, a 'lite' aversion therapy, it will be interesting to see how many lives this affects, and if there are long term side effects which are not revealed by the trials.

maybe a simpler way might be biofeedback training, without the chemical in the middle.

thanks for being the resident neurochemistry fan, sven, (and AT)!

there are plenty of teetotallers who already feel like a bishop at an orgy when they go out at a company bender, likewise the designated driver.

what fascinates me is how the drug regulates the drinking back to 'appropriate', ie after a couple of glasses of wine, all of a sudden the next glass doesn't appeal.

perhaps i misunderstood!

anything that helps with the hell that is alcoholism is worth trying.

the discussion about hardware and software modding each other was interesting. kc's point about the myths being the software rung a bell.

taking the analogy further, i suspect one day we will look at many cultural patrimonies as forms of malware installed on the citizen's hard drive before they are of an age to have their own password privileges.

which they then spend their adult lives trying to uninstall, or write macros to limit damage, and using up a lot of energy doing so. personally i feel many people use alcohol to absolve themselves of responsibility, as in 'i did that, really?' musta been the booze, hehe, and everyone hehe's right along because they feel an equal need to 'get out of their heads' too sometimes, so it becomes socially reinforced.

till we address those reasons for wanting to get hammered, removing the alcohol still leaves, as Frank infers also, a whole void to fill with different, less self-destructive activities.

like bungee jumping fr'example, lol.

people are bored, they'll do pretty much anything to change channel, get out of the rut. i have recently heard of the second acquaintance who has taken up hangliding, parasailing. the least likely people i would have ever imagined to fall for (!) something that darwinian, but they are head over heels, ouch, it's the holy grail.

nature has funny ways of thinning out the population, i guess. if they designed a unit that self-ignited spectacularly on its way down, there'd be some salivating consumers rapt in wide-eyed joy lining up to try it.

whatcha gonna do?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jan 3rd, 2011 at 02:52:25 PM EST
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There are 2 basic ways to treat Learned Behaviour Disorders: remove all the stimulii that trigger the behaviour (for a time), or prevent reinforcement of the behaviour.

In the case of alcohol, the stimulii are hard to remove because we have learned to drink so many different drinks in so many different places at different times of the day, in different company. It is a very complex behaviour.

But theoretically, if you had only ever drunk one cider a day at 6pm, alone in a red room, wearing a monkey suit, then the unavailability of those stimulii would, over time, erase the behaviour.

Being unable to remove the stimulii, the answer to alcoholism is to prevent reinforcement with, for instance, opioid blockers. For most of us, alcohol is a learned behaviour but not a disorder. It becomes a disorder when it becomes a dominant behaviour that is personally destructive. Before this point, other treatments can be beneficial (except punishment), while alternative behaviours should be encouraged before they are suppressed by the increasingly dominant behaviour of finding and drinking alcohol.

So I agree with Frank that counselling - encouraging and facilitating alternate behaviours - does work. The old behaviours, like an old romance, can sometimes be revived. But beyond a certain point, when the drinking behaviour has become dominant - to the exclusion of all else - the only intervention is the biochemical prevention of reinforcement.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Jan 3rd, 2011 at 05:33:24 PM EST
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