An interview with Dr. George Koob, Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, (NIAAA). Dr. Koob talks about research on alcohol use disorders, including alcohol abuse and alcoholism, and their impact as it relates to the drinker’s family members and friends.
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My son-in-law has a severe alcohol problem. He recently left or was let go from his job after 20 years. My daughter is distraught and does not feel that she knows this person anymore. He has driven drunk with his children in the car. I am watching this person throw everything away and feel helpless. Your podcast has helped me to try to understand. I encouraged him to attend an AA meeting and went with him for support. The honesty of those attending and the way they accepted responsibility for their actions was humbling. I don’t think they realise just… Read more »
I live with a physically sober alcoholic, yet experience the “war-zone” more often than I would like to admit. He is also a recovering addict. I met him in sobriety as I was following a suggestion to sit in open A.A. meetings in order for me to better understand my alcoholic father. Needless to say, I did everything but go sit at meetings to try to understand alcoholism as a disease. You see, my disease may be less evident due to the one symptom of ingesting alcohol, but my disease is just as cunning and baffling! I “found” a new… Read more »
I was in a great marriage for over seven years and then my husband was in a car wreck and became addicted to pills. I put up with it for a few years and he became mean and hurtful. He never hit me or the kids, but I was always making excuses for him. I left him on Valentines Day six years ago, took the kids and what I needed to my parents and stayed there. I gave him an ultimatum, either get in AA and get a sponsor or we were done. He fought me at first, but through… Read more »
I also relate to the comment that living with an alcoholic is like living in a war zone. I no longer live with active alcoholism, and yet I still have dreams at night in which I am screaming at the alcoholic, berating him for everything I think he did wrong. It reminds me of people’s descriptions of their experience with “shell shock”–years later. I cannot get these dreams to stop. My best way of coping with them has been to share them with my Al-Anon Sponsor.
I definitely relate to the statement that living with an active drinker is like living in a war zone. That is exactly what I experienced and, of course, I want to protect my children. What Dr. Koob does not mention is that living with a sober or abstaining drinker who may or may not be attending A.A. can also be a disaster. Getting the drinker to treatment is not the end of the problem. It is only one step in the solution and cleanup from the disaster. My husband and I are not living “happily ever after.” Both myself and… Read more »
This is an excellent question and answer session with Dr. Koob. I am both a health provider and an Al-Anon member of 3 years. Hearing Dr. Koob’s analogy that living with an alcoholic/misuser of alcohol is like living in a war zone was extremely helpful. That describes the situation with my ex-husband (the alcoholic) perfectly– it was a minefield of troubles, stress and fear. Also the explanation of alcoholism as a brain disorder/disease makes it easier for me to wrap my head around it. I will share the news with my Al-Anon groups that these podcasts are available. Thank you!