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Grapevine : June 2011
AA increases spirituality A new study shows that attending AA meetings may increase spirituality, which can lead to an improved rate of recovery. Researchers at the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital found that as attendance at AA meetings increases, so do the spiritual beliefs of participants—even those individuals who had a low interest in spirituality at the beginning of the study. “Many people will be surprised that alcoholic patients with little or no in- terest in spirituality attended AA and seemed to change even more than did those who had a pre-existing, strong sense of spirituality,” said Keith Hum- phreys, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University. Source: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, March 2011 Alcoholism At Large Alcoholism and obesity linked Researchers at Wash- ington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that a risk for alcoholism also may put individuals at risk for obesity. They also noted that the association between a family history of alcoholism and obesity risk has become more pronounced in recent years. “Much of what we eat nowadays contains more calories than the food we ate in the 1970s and 1980s, but it also contains the sorts of calories—particularly a combination of sugar, salt and fat—that appeal to what are commonly called the reward centers in the brain,” says first author Richard A. Grucza, Ph.D. an assistant profes- sor of psychiatry. “Alcohol and drugs affect those same parts of the brain, and our thinking was that because the same brain structures are being stim- ulated, overconsumption of those foods might be greater in people with a predisposition to addic- tion.” Source: Archives of General Psychiatry, December 2010 Looking to feed reward centers in our brains? The purpose of these pages is to offer information that may further read- ers’ understanding of the medical, legal and social aspects of alcoholism; the severity and international scope of the illness; and the worldwide ef- forts being made to combat it. Publication here does not imply endorse- ment or affiliation. AA does not conduct or participate in research, nor does it hold any opinion on research conducted by others. aagrapevine.org 61 GRAPE_61.indd 61 4/29/11 5:37 PM