Dr. Nicole Labor practices addiction medicine at Summa Healthcare in Akron, Ohio. This is the old St. Thomas Hospital where Sister Ignatia opened the first alcoholic ward in the United States, and who with Dr. Bob Smith treated and cared for hundreds of suffering alcoholics.
I first learned about Dr. Labor several months ago when a visitor to AA Beyond Belief recommended that we link to a video of a lecture she gave at Kent State on the topic of the neurobiology of addiction. I watched the video and found the presentation so compelling that I watched it several more times, and shared it with friends on Facebook.
I think that understanding the science of addiction and why it’s a disease is essential. It was certainly important enough to include in the “Doctor’s Opinion” in the Big Book.
So, if it was helpful for the alcoholic of 1939 to understand the nature of alcoholism as presented by a doctor who treated alcoholics at that time; then it equally important for alcoholics living in the 21st Century to receive information from a doctor who treats alcoholics today.
I would recommend that you take the time to watch the video of Dr. Labor’s talk at Kent State for a more comprehensive presentation on the topic of addiction than what we were able to cover during this podcast. Additionally, you should listen to the podcast at Cover2 Resources to learn more about Dr. Labor’s own personal journey and experience as an addict in recovery.
In our podcast, Dr. Labor provides a brief explanation of the neurobiology of addiction and the effectiveness of 12 Step programs to treat addiction. Dr. Labor believes the 12 Steps are effective in treating addiction because they help us exercise and develop that part of our brain that is damaged by addiction.
It was an honor to have Dr. Labor as a guest on our podcast, and I thank her for her kindness and for being so generous with her time.
Kent State Talk: Recovery Rocks: https://video.kent.edu/media/Recovery+Rocks/1_oo3mlemg
Cover2 Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/cover2resources/ep-45-treating-addiction-as-a-neurological-disease-dr-nicole-labor-summa-healthcare