Past age 65, binge drinking, defined as four or more drinks in one sitting, may have permanent consequences on the human brain, including memory loss and accelerated cognitive decline, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, as reported in Bloomberg News, article here.
Although this study does not contradict previous and oft-reported studies that indicate moderate amounts of alcohol can slow such declines, perhaps those more popular reports should be reevaluated not just because of this excellent New Yorker article on the questionable replicability of scientific research, but because of the potential for favorable bias that researchers on this subject might possess. In other words: Denial aint just a river in Egypt.
I have always said (at least for the past five years) that intoxication, while sometimes excusable and on occasion even charming in youth, becomes less and less attractive as one gets older.
I am constantly frustrated by the compulsion on the part of AA members and groups to apply one single truth to all situations. The current calcification of AA culture into one of narrow Christian recovery dogma alienates and hurts many of exactly those for whom the program is intended. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with “Atlantic” type and “step-nazi” groups, except when they foster a culture that alienates and turns away those who need help. I wish the traditions included a declaration of gentle welcome for all new members and guests, as well as for members seeking help for similar and/or related addictions. I have often seen people make comments out of turn in meetings to clarify to a newcomer that the meeting is for alcoholics only, as described in the following article. It really puzzles me, particularly as the face of addiction has changed so much in the past twenty years. My meeting has a few atheists, a few addicts and even a person who comes each week in support of their partner. We are a strong, supportive group. We let people voice their opinions without responding or cross-talking. There are no prayers .The only requirement for membership is a desire to quit drinking. It works.
Nice article from the Washington Post by Chelsea Carmona: How AA fails to support young addicts