National Institutes for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Director Calls for Innovative Treatment
Addiction specialist George Koob serves as the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), an agency that is part of the National Institutes of Health and has a budget of around $500 million. The San Diego Union-Tribune writes:
Having spent his professional life understanding the underpinnings of addiction, including alcohol abuse, Koob said he had been surprised to learn how little Americans know about alcohol’s effects.[...]
“I think what the public doesn't realize is what a problem alcohol can be. I mean, $250 billion a year in cost, 90,000 people a year die from alcohol use disorder,” he said, a number that includes indirect deaths such as those from drunken driving.
As with any disease, he said, the earlier alcohol abuse is treated, the better the results.
“My dream is that in my lifetime the medical system will understand if they treat addiction they're going to save tons of money and medical costs,” he said.