Washington D.C.: When the urge to booze hits you, turn to God, suggests a new study.
After working with longstanding members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the New York University researchers found that a craving for alcohol could be tempered by the power of prayer.
According to them, prayer stimulates the parts of the brain that are responsible for attention and emotion. The participants, who were first shown a series of images considered to induce alcohol cravings, reported less desire to drink after they recited a prayer.
Senior author Marc Galanter, Director of the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse at the university, said the experience of going to AA had left some people with an "innate ability" to use prayer to minimise the effect of alcohol triggers.
Craving is diminished in long-term AA members compared to patients who have stopped drinking for some period of time but are more vulnerable to relapse, he added.
"Our current findings open up a new field of inquiry into physiologic changes that may accompany spiritual awakening and perspective changes in AA members and others," said Dr Galanter.
The study appears in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse....