National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
The NIAAA is particularly interested in mind-body interactions as they may impact the prevalence and incidence of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, as they may be disrupted by alcohol use, and as they may play a critical role in recovery from alcoholism. Mind-body interactions of importance include spirituality, motivation, and craving, as well as the effects of stress, alienation, or stigmatization. For example, the role of spirituality in achieving and maintaining sobriety is widely acknowledged, but well-designed research is needed to determine the underlying mechanisms. Such studies may lead to new strategies to improve alcoholism treatment or enhance relapse prevention. We need to understand how mind-body interactions may influence the risk for harmful drinking or contribute to protective factors. Mind-body interactions may also influence progress through stages of change, help-seeking behavior, or readiness for cognitive/behavioral therapy. It is anticipated that such knowledge could be incorporated into more effective means of preventing and treating alcohol disorders among adolescents as well as adult populations. In addition, the NIAAA is committed to reducing alcohol-related health disparities in vulnerable populations. The mind--body interaction may enhance understanding of how reactions to stress, stigma, racism, and discrimination may influence the incidence of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.