People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) who are successfully treated for trauma likely need additional interventions addressing persistent drinking patterns, according to a new study.
New study findings in mice suggest that repeated binge drinking increases the motivation to consume alcohol to excess. In humans, the pattern of drinking (as well as quantity consumed) can be an important indicator of future drink problems; in adolescents, for example, a binge-drinking pattern can predict development of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Studies using laboratory animals that have been selectively bred to drink alcohol (ethanol) in large amounts can provide valuable insights on problematic drinking patterns, using experimental approaches that would be impossible or unethical to apply in humans. Indeed, many important findings on responses to alcohol have been gained from animal studies, conducted to strict welfare guidelines. The latest study, reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, examined two behaviors in mice that reflect their motivation to experience alcohol’s rewarding effects on the brain.