NIAAA Congressional Briefing

Alcohol, Stress, and the Brain: Implications for Treatment and Recovery

A Congressional Briefing Sponsored by
The Friends of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

In cooperation with

The Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus & the Military Mental Health Caucus

Thursday, May 5, 2016
12:00 – 1:30 PM

(lunch will be available)

Rayburn House Office Building
The Gold Room (Room 2168)

Stress is everywhere and an intimate part of modern life. Some individuals choose to cope with stress by turning to alcohol. Although alcohol may seem to provide temporary relief, drinking too much too often can have the opposite effect. Studies show that excessive drinking causes dysfunction of the brain’s stress systems and makes people more sensitive to stress. These changes play a significant role in the development and perpetuation of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Moreover, alcohol problems frequently co-occur with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that is especially prevalent among our nation’s military personnel, veterans, and victims of violence, including sexual assault. An estimated 30-60 percent of patients seeking treatment for AUD meet criteria for PTSD, and approximately one-third of individuals who have had PTSD have had AUD at some point in their lives. This briefing will explore the link between alcohol and stress and highlight recent research findings with implications


George F. Koob, Ph.D.,

Director, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), NIH, will provide an overview of NIAAA-supported research on alcohol and stress and discuss the common neurocircuitry underlying AUD
and PTSD.

Rajita Sinha, Ph.D.,

Foundations Fund Professor in Psychiatry, Neurobiology and Child Study, Director, Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center, Chief, Psychology Section in Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, will discuss alcohol effects on the brain stress pathways and its impact on managing stress and alcohol craving during treatment and early recovery.

Anthony Doran

Peer Support Specialist, Vets4Warriors, and a veteran of the Afghan campaign, will discuss his PTSD
and alcohol use disorder diagnoses and personal journey through recovery.



Please RSVP Here. Contact Cynthia Malley ( with any further questions.