The Doctor’s Opinion on Alcoholism

The Doctor’s Opinion on Alcoholism

(Presentation date November 15, 2011)

Course Description

Research continues to shed light on the neurobiology of alcohol/other drug addiction. Modern research supports much of what was intuitively and experientially believed by the medical specialists who supported A.A. in its earliest days. Doctor William D. Silkworth, a highly respected neurologist and alcoholism specialist who in the 1930’s served as the medical director of Charles B. Towns Hospital in New York City, described alcoholism as “an obsession of the mind that condemns one to drink and an allergy of the body that condemns one to die.” This program will describe the view of alcoholism that Dr. Silkworth presented in the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous and relate this view to the modern neurobiology of addictive illness. The program also discusses common misconceptions about alcoholism, and the solution for alcoholism described by Alcoholics Anonymous.


The goals of this program are to provide participants with an understanding of the relationship between Dr. Silkworth’s description of alcoholism as presented in the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous and modern research on the neurobiology of additive illness, and a basic understanding of the actions suggested by Alcoholics Anonymous as a solution for alcoholism.


After completing this program participants will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. State Dr. Silkworth’s explanation of alcoholism as a twofold disease affecting mind and body.
  2. Describe two or more ways in which Dr. Silkworth’s theories relate to the modern neurobiology of addictive illness.
  3. State three or more actions suggested by Alcoholics Anonymous for achieving sobriety.

About the Presenter

This course material was developed and is presented by Dr. Herbert L. Malinoff, MD, FACP, FASAM.

malinoff_bgDr. Malinoff is a specialist in chronic pain and addictive illness. He is the Medical Director of Pain Recovery Solutions, PC; and an attending physician at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Dr. Malinoff is a clinical faculty member of the University of Michigan Medical Center in the Department of Anesthesiology, and a consultant to Michigan Pain Specialists in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is also a past President of the Michigan Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Malinoff received his M.D. degree from the University of Michigan Medical School.

Number of CE Hours Offered

1.5 CEH, approved by MCBAP and NAADAC. A passing grade of 80% on the final exam is required for CE hours to be awarded.

Course Content