Start the New Year off on a healthy note. Dr. George Koob, Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) discusses possible signs to an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and if taking part in “Dry January” (not drinking any alcohol during the month) can be a healthy step. He also talks about the newest treatment options now available, including medication and behavioral treatments by health providers and the role of mutual support groups.
Dr. George F. Koob, Director of NIAAA at the National Institutes of Health, is an internationally-recognized expert on alcohol and the neurobiology of alcohol and drug addiction. Dr. Koob began his career investigating the neurobiology of emotion, particularly how the brain processes reward and stress. He subsequently applied basic research on emotions, including on the anatomical and neurochemical underpinnings of emotional function, to alcohol and drug addiction, significantly broadening knowledge of the adaptations within reward and stress neurocircuits that lead to addiction. This work has advanced our understanding of the physiological effects of alcohol and other substance use and why some people transition from use to misuse to addiction, while others do not. Dr. Koob oversees a wide range of alcohol-related research, including genetics, neuroscience, epidemiology, prevention, and treatment. He is the author of more than 650 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and the co-author of The Neurobiology of Addiction, a comprehensive review of the most critical neurobiology of addiction research conducted over the past 50 years.