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Grapevine : October 2011
Good times outweigh the bad Studies show that some people continue drinking heavily because of the per- ceived positive e ects---despite experi- encing negative consequences. A recent University of Washington survey assessed how often partici- pants had experienced different nega- tive consequences of drinking, such as blackouts, fights, hangovers, missed classes and work---as well as positive effects of drinking, including better joke-telling abilities, improved sexual encounters and more energy to stay up late partying. According to participants, boosts of courage, chattiness and other social benefits outweigh the harms, which they generally did not consider as strong deterrents. "It's as though they think the good effects of drinking keep getting better and more likely to happen again," said Diane Logan, lead author of the study. Source: Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, May 2011 Alcoholism At Large What causes blackouts? Researchers have identi- fied the brain cells involved in blackouts and now say that exposure to large amounts of alcohol does not necessarily kill brain cells as once thought. According to neuro- scientists at Washington University School of Medi- cine in St. Louis, alcohol triggers receptors in the brain to behave in seem- ingly contradictory ways. " at's what actually blocks the neural signals that create memories," says senior investigator Charles F. Zorumski, M.D. "Alcohol isn't damag- ing the cells in any way that we can detect. You haven't passed out. You still process information. But you're not forming new memories." Source: Journal of Neuroscience, July 2011 Researchers say that exposure to large amounts of alcohol does not necessarily kill brain cells as once thought. e purpose of these pages is to o er 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 a liation. AA does not conduct or participate in research, nor does it hold any opinion on research conducted by others. aagrapevine.org 61