NOT by the Book: Dr. Raymond F. Anton
Alcohol: “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly”
The vast majority of Americans drink alcohol. For many it provides social enjoyment in the spirit of conviviality. In fact, drinking in moderation has positive health benefits, and might prolong life. However, drinking above moderate levels can have significant health and social consequences. Most people do not know what safe drinking limits are or how to define a standard drink. For an unfortunate few (5% of the population) alcohol use is uncontrollable and leads to significant harm – leading to both health and social consequences. Individuals with Alcohol Use Disorders cost our society $225 Billion a year in health costs, property damage, loss of productivity, and family disruption. Up to 50% of American families have a close member with an alcohol use disorder. Dr. Anton will talk about “the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of alcohol use”. He will draw from the Arts and some from the Literature to illustrate these effects. Most importantly, he would like to educate the audience about the range of drinking, reduce stigma for those affected by Alcohol Use Disorder, and explain how the new brain science of addiction has advanced knowledge of how alcohol affects the brain and, in some cases, makes it dependent on its use. A sub-theme of his talk is the cup of knowledge about alcohol half empty or half full.
Dr. Raymond Anton, an Addiction Psychiatrist, Psychopharmacologist, and Neuroscientist, is a Distinguished University Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. He is the Scientific Director of an NIH/NIAAA funded Alcohol Research Center, (The Charleston Alcohol Research Center), and the Director of the Clinical Neurobiology Laboratory in the Institute of Psychiatry. Dr. Anton is a Past – President of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA), is currently Secretary of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ISBRA), and Vice-Chair of the Board of ABMRF-The Foundation for Alcohol Research. He is an elected Fellow to the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Anton served as the Chair of the large NIAAA funded COMBINE Study and is currently serving as Chair of the ACTIVE workgroup, a consortium of academics, government agencies and the pharmaceutical industry whose task it is to define the best methods for clinical trials for alcohol use disorders. Dr. Anton has published over 270 articles and book chapters and currently holds a Senior Scientist Career Development and Mentoring Award from NIAAA and has active funding for incorporating brain imaging and genetics into clinical alcohol trials. He also helped pioneer the clinical utility of the CDT blood test for the detection and monitoring of heavy alcohol use.
In February 2013, he was awarded the Thurmond Wellness Endowed Chair at the Medical University of South Carolina, and in 2014, he was named a Distinguished Life Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association.