The information in this book is based on insights into alcoholism provided by current science and research. Below are some of the research papers detailing the science behind the main themes of the content.

Definition, descriptions and symptoms

The American Medical Association

  • Morse RM, Flavin DK. The Definition of Alcoholism. JAMA. 1992;268(8):1012–1014. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490080086030

The American Psychiatric Association

  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: See “Substance-related disorders”, sub-section “Alcohol use disorder”

The World Health Organisation

  • ICD-10 Classifications of Mental and Behavioural Disorder: Clinical Descriptions and Diagnostic Guidelines. Geneva. World Health Organisation. 1992. See Section F10. – “Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol”

The risks and damage attributable to alcohol

  • GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators. Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet. 2018 Sep 22;392(10152):1015-1035. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31310-2.
  • Global status report on alcohol and health 2018. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO
  • Shield, Kevin D et al. Chronic diseases and conditions related to alcohol use. Alcohol research : current reviews vol. 35,2 (2014): 155-73
  • Rehm, J., and Shield, K. Alcohol and mortality: Global alcohol-attributable deaths from cancer, liver cirrhosis, and injury in 2010. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews 35(2):174–183, 2013. PMID: 24881325

The dopamine reward and aversion system

  • Schultz, Wolfram. Neuronal Reward and Decision Signals: From Theories to Data. Physiological reviews vol. 95,3 (2015): 853-951
  • Fischer, Adrian G and Markus Ullsperger. An Update on the Role of Serotonin and its Interplay with Dopamine for Reward. Frontiers in human neuroscience vol. 11 484. 11 Oct. 2017, doi:10.3389/fnhum.2017.00484
  • Hailan Hu; Reward and Aversion, Annual Review of Neuroscience 2016 39:1, 297-324

Neurotransmitters (Dopamine, Serotonin, GABA glutamate) and alcoholism

  • Clapp P, Bhave SV, Hoffman PL. How adaptation of the brain to alcohol leads to dependence: a pharmacological perspective. Alcohol Res Health. 2008;31(4):310-39. Review. PubMed PMID: 20729980; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2923844
  • Banerjee, Niladri. Neurotransmitters in alcoholism: A review of neurobiological and genetic studies. Indian journal of human genetics vol. 20,1 (2014): 20-31
  • Chastain G. Alcohol, neurotransmitter systems, and behavior. J Gen Psychol 2006 Oct;133(4):329-35. Review. PubMed PMID: 17128954
  • Clapp, Peter et al. How adaptation of the brain to alcohol leads to dependence: a pharmacological perspective; Alcohol research & health : the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism vol. 31,4 (2008): 310-39
  • Volkow ND, Wiers CE, Shokri-Kojori E, Tomasi D, Wang GJ, Baler R; Neurochemical and metabolic effects of acute and chronic alcohol in the human brain: Studies with positron emission tomography; Neuropharmacology. 2017 Aug 1;122:175-188
  • Cloninger CR. Neurogenetic adaptive mechanisms in alcoholism. Science. 1987 Apr 24;236(4800):410-6. PubMed PMID: 2882604
  • Gerald A. Deehan, Christopher P. Knight, R. Aaron Waeiss, Eric A. Engleman, Jamie E. Toalston, William J. McBride, Sheketha R. Hauser, Zachary A. Rodd; Peripheral Administration of Ethanol Results in a Correlated Increase in Dopamine and Serotonin Within the Posterior Ventral Tegmental Area, Alcohol and Alcoholism, Volume 51, Issue 5, 1 September 2016, Pages 535–540
  • Fernando Valenzuela, C. (1997). Alcohol and Neurotransmitter Interactions. Alcohol Health Res World. 2. 144-148

Reduced recognition of adverse effects

  • Cacciaglia R, Nees F, Pohlack ST, Ruttorf M, Winkelmann T, Witt SH, Nieratschker V, Rietschel M, Flor H. A risk variant for alcoholism in the NMDA receptor affects amygdala activity during fear conditioning in humans. Biol Psychol. 2013 Sep;94(1):74-81. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2013.05.006.
  • Finn PR, Mazas CA, Justus AN, Steinmetz J. Early-onset alcoholism with conduct disorder: go/no go learning deficits, working memory capacity, and personality. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2002 Feb;26(2):186-206. PubMed PMID: 11964558.
  • Trick, Leanne et al. Impaired fear recognition and attentional set-shifting is associated with brain structural changes in alcoholic patients: Addiction biology vol. 19,6 (2014): 1041-54.

Dopamine and alcoholism

  • Ma, Hui and Gang Zhu. The dopamine system and alcohol dependence. Shanghai archives of psychiatry vol. 26,2 (2014): 61-8
  • Bustamante, Diego et al; Ethanol induces stronger dopamine release in nucleus accumbens (shell) of alcohol-preferring (bibulous) than in alcohol-avoiding (abstainer) rats; European journal of pharmacology vol. 591,1-3 (2008): 153-8
  • Volkow ND, Tomasi D, Wang GJ, Telang F, Fowler JS, Logan J, Maynard LJ, Wong CT. Predominance of D2 receptors in mediating dopamine’s effects in brain metabolism: effects of alcoholism. J Neurosci. 2013 Mar 6;33(10):4527-35. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5261-12.2013
  • Hirth N, Meinhardt MW, Noori HR, Salgado H, Torres-Ramirez O, Uhrig S, Broccoli L, Vengeliene V, Roßmanith M, Perreau-Lenz S, Köhr G, Sommer WH, Spanagel R, Hansson AC. Convergent evidence from alcohol-dependent humans and rats for a hyperdopaminergic state in protracted abstinence. Proc Natl Acad Sci US A. 2016 Mar 15;113(11):3024-9
  • Hansson AC, Gründer G, Hirth N, Noori HR, Spanagel R, Sommer WH; Dopamine and opioid systems adaptation in alcoholism revisited: Convergent evidence from positron emission tomography and postmortem studies; Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2018 Sep 19. pii: S0149-7634(18)30110-6

Serotonin and alcoholism

  • Nishikawa M, Diksic M, Sakai Y, Kumano H, Charney D, Palacios-Boix J, Negrete J, Gill K. Alterations in brain serotonin synthesis in male alcoholics measured using positron emission tomography. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2009 Feb;33(2):233-9
  • Underwood, Mark D et al. Serotonin receptors and suicide, major depression, alcohol use disorder and reported early life adversity. Translational psychiatry vol. 8,1 279. 14 Dec. 2018, doi:10.1038/s41398-018-0309-1
  • Christopher J. Morgan, Abdulla A.-B. Badawy; Alcohol-induced euphoria: exclusion of serotonin, Alcohol and Alcoholism, Volume 36, Issue 1, 1 January 2001, Pages 22–25
  • Sari, Youssef et al. Role of the serotonergic system in alcohol dependence: from animal models to clinics. Progress in molecular biology and translational science vol. 98 (2011): 401-43

GABA and alcoholism

  • Enoch, Mary-Anne. The role of GABA(A) receptors in the development of alcoholism. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior vol. 90,1 (2008): 95-104
  • Olsen, Richard W and Jing Liang. Role of GABAA receptors in alcohol use disorders suggested by chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) rodent model. Molecular brain vol. 10, 1 45. 20 Sep. 2017, doi:10.1186/s13041-017-0325-8

Glutamate and alcoholism

  • Alasmari F, Goodwani S, McCullumsmith RE, Sari Y; Role of glutamatergic system and mesocorticolimbic circuits in alcohol dependence; Prog Neurobiol. 2018 Dec;171:32-49
  • Gonzales, Rueben A., and Jason N. Jaworski. Alcohol and glutamate. Alcohol Health & Research World, Spring 1997, p. 120+

Cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine and alcoholism

  • Lovallo, William R. Cortisol secretion patterns in addiction and addiction risk. International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology vol. 59,3 (2006): 195-202
  • Badrick, Ellena et al. The relationship between alcohol consumption and cortisol secretion in an aging cohort. Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism vol. 93,3 (2007): 750-7
  • Stein, Michael D and Peter D Friedmann. Disturbed sleep and its relationship to alcohol use. Substance abuse vol. 26,1 (2005): 1-13

Alcohol and memory

  • White, A. M. (2003). What Happened? Alcohol, Memory Blackouts, and the Brain. Alcohol Research & Health, 27(2), 186-196
  • Petruccelli, Feyder, Ledru, Jaques, Anderson, Kaun; Alcohol Activates Scabrous-Notch to Influence Associated Memories; Neuron. 2018 Dec 5;100(5):1209-1223.e4

Distress and addiction

  • Newman EL, Leonard MZ, Arena DT, de Almeida RMM, Miczek KA; Social defeat stress and escalation of cocaine and alcohol consumption: Focus on CRF; Neurobiol Stress. 2018 Sep 19;9:151-165
  • Sinha, Rajita. Chronic stress, drug use, and vulnerability to addiction Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences vol. 1141 (2008): 105-30
  • George DT, Nutt DJ, Dwyer BA, Linnoila M. Alcoholism and panic disorder: is the comorbidity more than coincidence? Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1990 Feb;81(2):97-107. Review. PubMed PMID: 2183544


  • Heinz, Andreas & Loeber, Sabine & Georgi, Alexander & Wrase, Jana & Hermann, Derik & Rey, Eibe-R & Wellek, Stefan & Mann, Karl. (2003). REWARD CRAVING AND WITHDRAWAL RELIEF CRAVING: ASSESSMENT OF DIFFERENT MOTIVATIONAL PATHWAYS TO ALCOHOL INTAKE. Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire). 38. 35-9. 10.1093/alcalc/agg005
  • Grüsser SM, Mörsen CP, Flor H. Alcohol craving in problem and occasional alcohol drinkers. Alcohol Alcohol. 2006 Jul-Aug;41(4):421-5. Epub 2006 Apr 24. PubMed PMID: 16636008
  • Johnson, Brian. Addiction and will. Frontiers in human neuroscience vol. 7 545. 11 Sep. 2013, doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00545

Psychological impacts of alcoholism

  • M Wierońska, Joanna & Stachowicz, K & Nowak, Gabriel & Pilc, Andrzej. (2011). The Loss of Glutamate-GABA Harmony in Anxiety Disorders. INTECH Open Access Publisher, 2011. ISBN 9533075929 & 9789533075921
  • Goleman, Daniel. 1995. Emotional intelligence: why it can matter more than IQ. New York: Bantam Books.
  • Boschloo, L., Vogelzangs, N., Van den Brink, W., Smit, J., Veltman, D., Beekman, A., & Penninx, B. (2012). Alcohol use disorders and the course of depressive and anxiety disorders. British Journal of Psychiatry, 200(6), 476-484. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.111.097550
  • Tollefson GD. Anxiety and alcoholism: a serotonin link. Br J Psychiatry Suppl. 1991 Sep;(12):34-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 1840761
  • Thorberg FA, Lyvers M. Attachment, fear of intimacy and differentiation of self among clients in substance disorder treatment facilities. Addict Behav. 2006 Apr;31(4):732-7. Epub 2005 Jun 20. PubMed PMID: 15970395
  • Głogowska, Karolina & Wyrzykowska, Ewa & Mickiewicz, Kinga. (2014). Attachment relationships among people addicted to alcohol. Alcoholism & Drug Addiction. 27. 145-161
  • Charles Kornreich, Pierre Philippot, Marie-Line Foisy, Sylvie Blairy, Emmanuel Raynaud, Bernard Dan, Ursula Hess, Xavier Noël, Isy Pelc, Paul Verbanck; Impaired emotional facial expression recognition is associated with interpersonal problems in alcoholism, Alcohol and Alcoholism, Volume 37, Issue 4, 1 July 2002, Pages 394–400
  • Sadava, S. W., & Thompson, M. M. (1986). Loneliness, social drinking, and vulnerability to alcohol problems. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science / Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 18(2), 133-139
  • Winokur, G. (1983). Alcoholism and depression. Substance & Alcohol Actions/Misuse, 4(2-3), 111-119.
  • Brière, Frédéric N et al. Comorbidity between major depression and alcohol use disorder from adolescence to adulthood. Comprehensive psychiatry vol. 55,3 (2013): 526-33
  • Waska R. Addictions and the quest to control the object. Am J Psychoanal. 2006 Mar;66(1):43-62. PubMed PMID: 16544198
  • Kendall RE. Alcohol and suicide. Subst Alcohol Actions Misuse. 1983;4(2-3):121-7. PubMed PMID: 6648755

Genetics and inheritability

  • Whitlock, F., Price, J., & Weston, M. (1978). Inheritance of Alcoholism. British Journal of Psychiatry, 133(3), 286-286. doi:10.1192/bjp.133.3.286
  • Edenberg, Howard J and Tatiana Foroud. “Genetics and alcoholism” Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology vol. 10,8 (2013): 487-94
  • Saraswat, Smriti. (2016). Genetic Predisposition to Alcoholism. Journal of Public Health and Allied Sciences. Volume I. 5
  • Foley PF, Loh EW, Innes DJ, Williams SM, Tannenberg AE, Harper CG, Dodd PR. Association studies of neurotransmitter gene polymorphisms in alcoholic Caucasians. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Oct;1025:39-46. PubMed PMID: 15542698

Susceptibility to alcoholism

  • Slutske WS, Heath AC, Madden PA, Bucholz KK, Statham DJ, Martin NG. Personality and the genetic risk for alcohol dependence. J Abnorm Psychol. 2002 Feb;111(1):124-33. PubMed PMID: 11871377
  • Littlefield AK, Stevens AK, Sher KJ. Impulsivity and Alcohol Involvement: Multiple, Distinct Constructs and Processes. Curr Addict Rep. 2014 Mar;1(1):33-40. doi: 10.1007/s40429-013-0004-5
  • Al Birţ, M & Şandor, V & Vaida, Aura & Birţ, M.E.. (2008). Alexithymia, a risk factor in alcohol addiction? A brief research report on Romanian population. Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies. 8. 217-225.

Addiction Transference

  • DiFranza JR, Guerrera MP. Alcoholism and smoking. J Stud Alcohol. 1990 Mar;51(2):130-5

Dopamine, Serotonin, and Norepinephrine at and after withdrawal

  • Patkar AA, Gopalakrishnan R, Naik PC, Murray HW, Vergare MJ, Marsden CA. Changes in plasma noradrenaline and serotonin levels and craving during alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol. 2003 May-Jun;38(3):224-31. PubMed PMID: 12711656
  • Hirth, Natalie & Meinhardt, Marcus & Noori, Hamid & Salgado, Humberto & Torres-Ramirez, Oswaldo & Uhrig, Stefanie & Broccoli, Laura & Vengeliene, Valentina & Roßmanith, Martin & Perreau, Stéphanie & Köhr, Georg & Sommer, Wolfgang & Spanagel, Rainer & Hansson, Anita. (2016). Convergent evidence from alcohol-dependent humans and rats for a hyperdopaminergic state in protracted abstinence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113. 10.1073/pnas.1506012113
  • Laine TP, Ahonen A, Torniainen P, Heikkilä J, Pyhtinen J, Räsänen P, Niemelä O, Hillbom M. Dopamine transporters increase in human brain after alcohol withdrawal. Mol Psychiatry. 1999 Mar;4(2):189-91, 104-5. PubMed PMID: 10208452
If you are trying to help someone with a drinking problem or if you are trying to stop drinking yourself then you are most welcome to read Lying Minds here or download a free copy of the eBook on the button below. The download will begin immediately; no form, no questions, no sign-up; just the book.

Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: Alcohol and the Reward System

Chapter Three: How Alcohol Affects us

Chapter Four: Alcohol-Tolerance

Chapter Five: The Psychological Burden of Addiction

Chapter Six: Denial

Chapter Seven: Who Becomes an Alcoholic?

Chapter Eight: Withdrawal

Chapter Nine: After Withdrawal

Chapter Ten: The Following Months

Chapter Eleven: If we Drink Again

Chapter Twelve: The Last Words

Bibliography: Additional Reading

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