Kathleen's Doctoral Dissertation

A dietary intervention was applied to a group of 29 second offense drunk drivers in an open seven-month trial. The dietary protocol was designed to modulate the biochemical imbalances associated with alcoholism, including carbohydrate sensitivity and serotonin, b-endorphin and dopamine functioning. Carbohydrate sensitivity exaggerates the opioid impact of sugar, which blunts the effects of alcohol withdrawal but continues to activate cravings for alcohol. All subjects (24 male, 5 female) met the DSM IV criteria for alcohol dependence and had a mean MAST score of 23.2. Subjects attended a four-month outpatient intervention including weekly group and individual counseling. Data on alcohol consumption was collected retrospectively for the one week interval at the time of the DUI arrest and corrected using known arrest report assessment of BAC levels. The results were significant at the <.0001 level for alcohol consumption and compliance with the protocol. The mean ehtanol consumption prior to arrest was 14.2 SEC per day. Compliance with a ten-point dietary protocol was 0.54 at the start of treatment. Twenty-six subjects completed the study. The mean ethanol consumption at the completion of treatment was 1.40 SEC per day and persisted three months later at 1.63 SEC per day. Dietary compliance at the end of treatment was 5.421 persisting at 5.23 three months later. A second examination compared the subjects to a sample of 20 multiple offenders meeting eligibility criteria but choosing not to enter the program. Recidivism was significantly reduced in the group receiving the nutritional intervention. Controls had four times the number of new charges, five times as many bench warrants and eight times as many probations violations as those drunk drivers graduating from the program. These promising but preliminary data, combined with the magnitude of the problem of multiple offense drunk driving, warrant expanded controlled assessment of addictive nutrition in DUI intervention and alcoholism treatment.

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