18 episodes

The Alcohol Problem Podcast aims to explore the nature of problem drinking with Dr James Morris and a range of guests

The Alcohol 'Problem' Podcast James Morris

    • Science
    • 4.6 • 28 Ratings

The Alcohol Problem Podcast aims to explore the nature of problem drinking with Dr James Morris and a range of guests

    In conversation with Millie Gooch

    In conversation with Millie Gooch

    In this episode we talk to Millie Gooch, founder of Sober Girl Society. Millie talks about her journey to sobriety and how this led her to setting up alcohol free spaces and events for the sober curious. We discuss the current role of sobriety and possible reasons behind recent growth in sobriety movements, mindful drinking and other alcohol-free communities. 

    As a journalist, Millie has written for a range of publications and has been featured everywhere from ELLE and Stylist to the BBC and British Vogue. Her debut book, The Sober Girl Society Handbook, was released in January 2021 and in 2022, she received the Media Award from the Research Society on Alcohol for her contributions in helping disseminate empirical research on alcohol and creating a safe space for people to explore alcohol-free living. She is an ambassador for Alcohol Change UK
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    • 37 min
    In conversation with Joe Heeney

    In conversation with Joe Heeney

    In this episode we talk to Joe Heeney about his life and experience of alcohol problems and recovery.

    Joe is a former CEO of Resolve, a drug and alcohol treatment service based in Hertfordshire, which he founded in 2008 after experiencing his own drug and alcohol issues. Joe worked for 14 years in the Fire Brigade at a time when heavy drinking was normalised. Joe is now retired and lives in the Peak District with his wife. He now enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family and friends.
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    • 41 min
    Evaluating the Huberman Lab alcohol episode

    Evaluating the Huberman Lab alcohol episode

    In this episode Dr James Morris evaluates the Huberman Lab's alcohol episode, particularly addressing why the language and terms used around alcohol problems are important. For instance, whilst the Huberman Lab's episode provides a detailed description of the ways alcohol can affect the brain, body and health, in using alcoholism terminology it overlooks a number of important issues. Notably, alcoholism is a non-scientific concept and embedded with stigma and myths about alcohol problems and their causes. Dr Morris therefore discusses why, except when people self-identify as 'alcoholics' (for instance as per Alcoholics Anonymous), scientists and the general public at large should avoid using alcoholism terminology, and instead consider terms like alcohol problems, alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder.

    You can view this podcast on Youtube here.

    You can read more about the issues around how alcohol problems are understood in one of my articles here or one of my publications in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
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    • 29 min
    Alcoholics Anonymous: what is it, how does it work?

    Alcoholics Anonymous: what is it, how does it work?

    In this episode we explore what Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is and how it works.

    First we talk to Dr Hannah Glassman, a qualitative researcher and psychologist who has published multiple studies on experiences of people in AA. Next we talk to Prof John F Kelly who has conducted extensive research into how recovery and AA groups work.

    We examine a range of issues including the history of AA, expectations and traditions typically found in AA, who AA may or may not be suitable for, how AA may help those it does, and why it is not for everyone who experiences alcohol problems.

    Dr Hannah Glassman's publications on experiences of AA can be found here.
    Prof John F Kelly's publications on addiction and recovery can  be found here.

    A Cochrane review into the effectiveness of AA can be found here.

    References mentioned in the show include:
    Overlapping Mechanisms of Recovery between Professional Psychotherapies and Alcoholics Anonymous; Marcovitz et al. (2020) Denial in addiction; Hannah Pickard (2016)Reconstructing ‘the Alcoholic’: Recovering from Alcohol Addiction and the Stigma this Entails; Hill & Leeming (2014) 

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    • 57 min
    Dry January & temporary abstinence: is it worth it? With Prof. Matt Field

    Dry January & temporary abstinence: is it worth it? With Prof. Matt Field

    In this episode we talk to Prof. Matt Field about the evidence behind Dry January and temporary abstinence. We discuss what is known about the possible health and other benefits for drinkers from  temporarily abstaining from alcohol.  This includes who temporary abstinence may or may not be suitable for and implications for understanding drinking and alcohol addiction or dependence.

    Professor Matt Field is a Professor of Psychology specialising in addiction at the University of Sheffield. He has published extensively on a range of addiction related topics including evaluations of Dry January, and is involved in ongoing research on the subject. 
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    • 34 min
    Drinking behaviour, risks and causes with Professor Tony Moss

    Drinking behaviour, risks and causes with Professor Tony Moss

    In this episode Professor Tony Moss talks about key drivers of drinking behaviour and alcohol-related risks, problems and causes. This covers how alcohol use can develop into addiction, and the complex nature of associated problems and the range of psychological, social and sometime biological factors involved.

    Prof Tony Moss is a  Professor of Addictive Behaviour Science in the Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research at London South Bank University. He has conducted a range of research related to the psychology of alcohol use and drinking behaviours. Prof Moss set up a 'pub lab' to improve validity of alcohol experiments and has appeared on multiple TV shows exploring the subject. He has recently co-edited a book on Evaluating the Brain Disease Model of Addiction and can be found on Twitter @tonymossuk


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    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

Nicola Cherry ,

Food for thought

So refreshing to find increasing challenge out there to the religious dogma of AA. Not criticising anyone who finds that the abstinence model works for them but the reality is that there are millions of drinkers out there who ought to cut down but will never give up; healthy, nuanced, grown-up discussion and reflection about mindful drinking and moderation is much needed and most welcome.

Stephen xyz ,

Worth your time over a glass or two (or otherwise)

Given the strength of our society’s relationship with alcohol it’s well worth pausing to think about the trade offs. This discussion was informative and accessible. The host is engaging and clearly an expert in the field.

Vinesy68 ,

A fascinating and interesting listen!

Excellent and essential listening for people working in the field and those pursuing ways to think about their drinking. Give it a listen. Non judgemental and open discussions about our relationship to alcohol

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