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Grapevine : March 2011
Stigma deters the seeking of treatment Despite the existence of e ective pro- grams for treating alcohol dependen- cies and disorders, less than a quarter of people who are diagnosed actually seek treatment. In a 2010 study re- searchers report that people diagnosed with alcoholism were more than 60 percent less likely to seek treatment if they believed they would be stigmatized once their status is known. Alcoholism At Large New insight found on male alcoholism e fact that men are twice as likely as women to develop alcoholism is common knowledge. Until now, the underlying biol- ogy contributing to this di erence in vulnerability has remained unclear. Based on a 2010 study, researchers from Columbia and Yale universities believe do- pamine is the key factor influencing this gender di erence. e scientists studied male and female college-aged social drink- ers in a laboratory test of alcohol consumption. A er consuming an alcoholic or nonalcoholic drink, each participant underwent a special- ized positron emission tomography (PET) scan, an imaging technique that can measure the amount of alcohol-in- duced dopamine release. Despite similar consump- tions of alcohol, the men had greater dopamine release than women. ese findings indicate that the ability of alcohol to stimulate dopamine release may play an important and complex role in its rewarding ef- fects and abuse liability in humans. Source: Biological Psychiatry, October 15, 2010 Men had greater dopamine release than women. IMAGE FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSE ONLY 60 March 2011