In the News

The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous

The Atlantic | April, 2015

(The Atlantic / Atlantic Monthly) Its faith-based 12-step program dominates treatment in the United States. But researchers have debunked central tenets of AA doctrine and found dozens of other treatments more effective. Read More…

Critic Faults Alcoholics Anonymous For Lack Of Evidence

NPR | March 26, 2015

(NPR) Founded by two men in Akron, Ohio, in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous has since spread around the world as a leading community-based method of overcoming alcohol dependence and abuse. Many people swear by the 12-step method, which has become the basis of programs to treat the abuse of drugs, gambling, eating disorders and other compulsive behaviors…. Read More

Is Alcoholics Anonymous Irrational?

BBC | March 23, 2015

(BBC) Alcoholics Anonymous is a standard part of alcohol therapy in America. It was established 80 years ago and it’s famous 12 step philosophy says that in order to be cured an alcoholic must never drink a single drop again… Read More

A Cure for Alcoholism?

The Doctors | 2015

(The Doctors) Todd’s binge drinking has cost him his job and his family. He agrees to try a new medical treatment for alcoholism, a time-released implant that claims to curb alcohol cravings. Find out if the implant has any effect on this father. Plus, what advice does former child star and recovering alcoholic, Jeremy Miller, have for Todd?… Read More

Drinking Habit? Your Doctor Needs to Know, CDC Says

Nightly News | January 07, 2014

(Nightly News) According to a new study, five out of six adults say no health professional has ever brought up the issue of alcohol consumption, despite the fact that drinking too much can cause all kinds of health problems. Read More


On June 27, 2012, Charles P. O’Brien, recipient of FAR grant, was awarded the presigious Jellinek Award.

The citation reads:
The 2012 Jellinek Foundation Award for Alcoholism Research was awarded to Charles P O’Brien of the University of Pennsylvania at the 35th annual meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Francisco.  The Jellinek Foundation based in Toronto, Canada, cited O’Brien’s research on the development of a neuroscience-based treatment for Alcoholism.  Beginning in 1983, O’Brien and colleagues at Penn conducted clinical trials of naltrexone, an opioid receptor antagonist that blocks the alcohol high and reduces alcohol craving.  In numerous controlled trials this medication in combination with counseling has been found to significantly reduce relapse to heavy drinking.  Originally developed by NIDA for the treatment of heroin addiction, naltrexone won FDA approval for use in alcoholism despite the absence of a pharma-initiated development program.  The discovery of the role of endogenous opioids in alcoholism has opened the field to new therapies including another opioid antagonist being used successfully in Europe.