In my article in The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/06/AR2010080602660.html), I provided empirical data that questioned the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Not surprisingly, the response of some who are vested in the advocacy of AA and other 12-step programs continues to be mostly anecdotal.
Fortunately, science has moved on from the days when a person can simply express an opinion without solid data. The recent article by Catherine Cosgrove of the Heritage Home Foundation (http://rushprnews.com/2010/10/06/do-12-step-drug-and-alcohol-rehabs-work) fails to acknowledge that more than 95% of my research funding comes from the National Institutes of Health.
Indeed, the last time my group did a study for Pharma was 2008, and I have not been the main investigator on a Pharma study for almost 5 years. Nevertheless, consultation by experts for industry is critical to the development of new medicines. I do not advocate for one medicine over another. My goal is to promulgate new knowledge about alcohol dependence that is commensurate with modern medicine to all, dispel myths, and show the way toward evidence-based treatment.
Bankole A. Johnson, DSc, MD, PhD
Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences
University of Virginia