Treating alcoholism with an anti-booze drug seems like chaos waiting to happen


It’s not hard to admit our culture is rather drug-dependent. Almost every sickness, from seasonal allergies to depression, wants to be treated with prescribed pills, making the medical industry boom with a vast range of drugs. But this new “anti-alcoholism” drug seems the most counter-intuitive of all. With alcohol considered a drug in itself, treating drugs with drugs sounds like a lot of medicine overload.

French health authorities approved the drug Baclofen today which has shown to provide “clinical benefits in some patients” on a case-by-case basis. The results came from a testing trial for Baclofen which included 132 heavy drinkers who were given high doses of the drug over a span of one year. By the end of the trial period, 80 percent of the test subjects reportedly became abstinent or “moderate” drinkers. Comparatively, previous drugs that have been produced to fight alcoholism yielded results ranging in the 20 to 25 percent spectrum, reports Medical Xpress. The trial has been approved to continue in a second testing with 320 subjects divided into two groups and it is expected to begin in May. One group will receive the Baclofen treatment while the other gets a placebo to test the true efficiency of Baclofen.

Like all medical trials, the cost isn’t going to come cheap. France’s health department is forking up is paying 750,000 euros from the sum of 1.2 million to fund the trial while an unidentified donor supports the rest. That’s about a total of $1,585,560 in U.S. currency.

Baclofen was originally created to treat nervous spasms, and hasn’t been proven to effectively cure alcohol dependency. It’s also got side effects such as fatigue, drowsiness, insomnia, dizziness, and indigestion… symptoms that pretty much sound like what you get when you are drunk. But even if alcoholism can be cured by a miracle pill, the marketing campaign for the drug will still seem weird. If you need drugs to help with your drug addiction, you might as well sign yourself up for a lifelong therapy or put yourself in a permanent rehabilitation center. While it is a longer and more difficult route, the healthiest way to cope with your addiction is as naturally as possible without the added help of chemicals in your body.

There’s no easy way out of alcoholism, but if you or someone you know is seeking help, contact your local addictive helpline and get some support from your loved ones to fight your way to recovery.

Image Credit: Flickr / Cambridge Brewing Co.

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