Researchers have long been trying to find a solution to the growing number of people suffering from alcohol addiction and according to reports we could be on the verge of a breakthrough thanks to trials at UCLA in California.
Drug and alcohol addiction centre care is the only real option for people at present, and while it can be a huge success, it’s very much down to the patient wanting professional help, rather than being cured by a single drug.
It’s a drug that is needed more than ever at present, with the pandemic increasing the number of people abusing alcohol, and indeed drugs, significantly, particularly among young women.
There was a staggering 41% rise in women binge drinking over the period and that is continuing through to present day, and with the increased risks of health problems, it’s having not only an impact on the number of people entering rehab centres, but also hospitals too for medical care.
Due to the increase in people abusing alcohol, there’s a 15% increase on waiting lists for liver transplants, while it’s also having a knock on effect due to the increased risk of breast cancer, brain damage, heart disease and even in accident and emergency wards, due to the increased risk of accidents amongst those under the influence.
The new trials, which is testing a neuromodulator ibudilast called topiramate, has found that it can reduce the odds of heavy drinking and prevent cravings by up to 45%, with one person undertaking the trial stating:
“In the first two days, I was upset in the stomach, but by the third day I was on it, I was off of alcohol, which is pretty amazing I thought.”
However, there were also signs of some strong side effects too with it potentially affecting cognition and memory, which would be of harm to many.
Additional studies will be required to see if those benefits can be true of a larger proportion of people, and should that be the case, there’s a big decision to make as to whether they can be effective and hit the market to accompany the work being done in rehab centres right across the globe.
Until then, it’s the likes of the 12 step programme and cognitive behavioural therapy that is leading the way in alcohol addiction treatment. It has worked for millions of people globally, and it’s encouraged that anyone suffering should seek such treatment – it could save their life.
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