In movie scenes where characters attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, they are often seen drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes.
Now, we know why.
A study, which will appear in the October issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, showed that recovering alcoholics seem to drink more coffee and have a higher rate of smoking than the average American, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Researchers said among 289 members of Alcoholics Anonymous, 88.5 percent regularly drank coffee in large amounts. One-third of those drinkers said they drank more than four cups of coffee a day.
Fifty-seven percent of the group said they smoked cigarettes, which is much higher than the general rate of 27 percent in Nashville, Tenn., where the study was conducted.
Coffee drinkers said they needed that cup of Joe to wake up, while smokers said they relied on the bad habit to deal with their bad moods.
Dr. Peter R. Martin, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville said he was unsure if the coffee and nicotine were associated with whether these people are able to stay in recovery.
Drinking coffee helps alcoholics in their recovery process, Martin said, but nicotine actually hinders the process.