The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently halted the study looking into the health benefits of moderate drinking after reports emerged that its employees sought funding from the alcohol industry. On May 17, 2018, NIH Director Francis Collins said that the proposed study was suspended, citing the need to investigate the source of funding. “This particular study was set up in such a way that the funding was largely coming from the beverage industry, and there is evidence that NIH employees assisted in receiving those funds for this study in a way that would violate our usual policies,” Collins said at a Senate hearing.
Expressing concern over the reputation of his agency, Collins said that he didn’t want to put his team in a situation that could raise questions. He even said that the NIH was evaluating if the study should be continued or not. The decision comes after a recent New York Times report, which claimed that NIH employees inappropriately sought donations of nearly $67 million from five liquor and beer companies to fund the $100-million study.
The NYT also alleged that during the meetings between NIH officials and alcohol industry representatives, the scientists suggested the research could portray moderate drinking in a positive light. Although lead investigator of the study Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said that he played an educational role during the meetings between the two sides, critics argued that the presentations compromised the objectivity of the research and violated federal funding rules.
According to experts, the proposed study was supposed to be a game changer that could transform the American society. The NIH insisted on an intensive clinical trial that could provide all the medical evidence required to support a daily alcoholic beverage for better health and well-being. The alcohol industry allegedly wants to use the study to boost their sales. In fact, reports suggest that industry officials have admitted that the trial was intended to justify as well as promote moderate drinking in a society that has already placed alcohol on a pedestal.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), alcohol is the most commonly used recreational drug in the U.S., with 17.6 million Americans suffering from addiction to the substance. Besides, several million more are engaged in risky drinking patterns. In such a situation, seeking timely alcohol addiction help is the only way forward.
Leading an alcohol-free life
Experts believe there is a very fine line of demarcation between beneficial and harmful drinking, which is too easy to cross. Getting rid of alcohol dependence is never easy. In order to ensure a complete recovery from alcohol addiction, it is important to undergo detoxification in order to purge the body of all the toxins accumulated due to excessive drinking. A detox expert can help someone struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD) get the best-suited therapy.
Sovereign Health of California understands the plight of someone unable to break free from the stronghold of compulsive alcohol-seeking urges despite being aware of its adverse consequences. If you or a loved one is struggling to overcome alcoholism, call our 24/7 helpline or get in touch with our online representative. Our state-of-the-art rehab centers for alcohol abuse spread across California are known for their effective alcohol addiction treatment programs, which have helped many individuals regain control of their lives.