The overall goal of this project is science education and transfer of information concerning the neurobiology and behavioral neuroscience of alcoholism to nonbiomedically trained treatment providers through the development of video tapes. Over the past two decades there have been significant advances in our understanding of the neurobiological and genetic factors that influence the development of alcoholism. However, little of this information is being efficiently transferred to practitioners in this area. As a result, treatment approaches have not reflected these gains in basic knowledge. Much of this problem appears due to a communication schism between neuroscientists and other alcohol-related researchers and nonbiomedically trained treatment providers which inhibits effective transfer of new information. Our experience in providing science education related to alcohol abuse and the brain, as well as in applying current scientific knowledge to treatment strategies, has led to an understanding of the extent and nature of this communication gap and the needs of therapists. It is clear that 1) it is critical for therapists to have a better understanding of the neurobiological bases of alcoholism; and 2) these individuals are interested in acquiring this information; but 3) this information is seldom made available within appropriate and readily obtainable formats. We propose to use the advantages of video technology for developing science education materials related to the biology of alcoholism. Providing current scientific knowledge to nonbiomedically trained practitioners will result in therapists having a better understanding of drugs, the brain and addiction. Improving information transfer should improve treatment efficacy. The specific Phase I objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of a video tape format towards this educational effort.
Video tapes will provide science education related to alcohol and the brain. The initial target audience will be nonbiomedically trained therapists. The potential exists for broader educational distribution of these materials to the lay public and public broadcasting networks.