Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'alcoholism'

So Far from the Zenith

February 6th, 2013 · No Comments

It is tough not to be saddened by the unraveling of English soccer hero Paul Gascoigne, who is currently drying out at an American rehabilitation facility after a very long, very public battle with a virulent strain of alcoholism. Like so many celebrities who we adore for their bad behavior, Gazza became trapped in a […]

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Boiling a Frog in Reverse

May 31st, 2012 · 2 Comments

I have previously written about Mongolia’s struggles with endemic alcoholism, which the political establishment has tried to address by leading by example. But as this editorial makes clear, the problem is only getting worse, with over 55 percent of the nation’s population admitting to excessive alcohol intake. Aside from raising taxes to exorbitant levels, then, […]

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The Teetotaler of Ulaanbaatar

January 11th, 2012 · 1 Comment

It’s a little hard for Americans to wrap their heads around alcoholism’s social toll in places like Mongolia, where the perpetually inebriated constitute a significant percentage of the potential workforce (and also commit the majority of crimes). So it will be interesting to see whether the government’s lead-by-example campaign makes any sort of impact on […]

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Charlie Don’t Surrender

March 1st, 2011 · 9 Comments

Over the past day or so, I’ve once again been flooded with mail regarding my Alcoholics Anonymous opus from last July’s Wired. The reason, of course, is Charlie Sheen’s recent decision to come out hard against the organization, which he accuses of being (and I paraphrase) a fraudulent mind-control cult with an abysmal success rate. […]

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Us on the Wireless

July 1st, 2010 · 1 Comment

Audio above of our morning appearance on The Takeaway. The other guest was a 14-year member of AA from Kentucky—many thanks to her for coming on. And apologies for a couple of malapropisms strewn throughout—we hadn’t yet gotten our requisite caffeine dose, and the gentle strains of Winnie the Pooh emanating from Microkhan Jr.’s room […]

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From the AA Mailbag II

July 1st, 2010 · No Comments

As a counterweight to the critique offered in the post below, I offer one of the more intriguing pro-AA responses I’ve received this week. It comes from a longtime AA member who offers an unusually harsh take on the organization’s history: I’m 28 years sober…My master’s thesis looked at the influence of James and Jung […]

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From the AA Mailbag

July 1st, 2010 · 2 Comments

As noted in the post below, I’ve been absolutely deluged with e-mail responses to the Alcoholics Anonymous piece. I’ve been doing my best to read each and every one, and to respond when appropriate. Apologies to those who don’t receive replies—I’ve only got one brain and two hands. Though the vast majority of the feedback […]

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Quick and Clean

June 29th, 2010 · 9 Comments

What little we know about the efficacy of the 12 Steps, the system at the heart of Alcoholics Anonymous, comes from a lengthy study called Project MATCH. As I mention in my Wired piece, Project MATCH confirmed that the Steps perform as well as other therapies when applied in a clinical setting—though, as critics like […]

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Not-So-Deadly Nightshade

June 25th, 2010 · 11 Comments

One of the most controversial aspects of AA’s history is the role that psychedelics may have played in Bill Wilson’s creative process. As I discuss in the Wired piece, when Wilson experienced his spiritual epiphany in December 1934, he did so at a New York City drying-out facility. Part of his treatment there consisted of […]

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The Bottle

June 24th, 2010 · 23 Comments

Regular readers know that I’ve been spending the better part of 2010 working on a Wired piece about addiction. Well, the feature is finally live, and now the full truth can be revealed—the article’s central narrative is about the history and science (or lack thereof) of Alcoholics Anonymous, which just celebrated its 75th anniversary. Here’s […]

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Nothing Like the First Time

February 25th, 2010 · 1 Comment

In researching our forthcoming Wired piece on drug and alcohol abuse, we’ve found ourselves keenly interested in the tales that addicts tell about their first inebriatory experiences. One common thread we’ve found is a sense that the first drink or dose provided something that the person had always been searching for—the intoxicant made them whole, […]

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Winged AA

August 26th, 2009 · No Comments

Is it possible to ever tire of zootherapy research? We reckon not, and this study (PDF) from the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine supports our thesis rather strongly. The paper looks at the use of animals as medicine in a rural corner of Northeast Brazil. Our favorite listed remedy involves the Gray-breasted martin, known to […]

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