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Potential Drug Treatment for Alcoholism
A drug currently approved to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia may play a role in the treatment of alcoholism. The drug is called aripiprazole (Abilify); researchers say more research is needed, but this first study found the drug helps lessen the euphoric effects of alcohol.
Aripiprazole is a dopamine partial agonist, so it works differently in the body than other dopamine drugs. Study authors say the drug has different effects at different dose levels, so it is important to give the right amount of the drug to achieve the right results.
For the study, researchers recruited 18 social drinkers — nine men and nine women. Each participant completed three sessions in which they were given no medication, or 2.5 milligrams or 10 milligrams of aripiprazole. Then they were given three drinks and researchers measured their breath alcohol concentrations, heart rate, blood pressure, body sway and other subjective effects.
“Findings show that aripiprazole made the drinkers sleepier and they experienced less pleasure from alcohol than they might have without it,” says Henry Kranzler, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Study authors say this is just preliminary research but one benefit might be that aripiprazole may be more tolerated than other drugs, causing fewer side effects. But researchers say that is still not proven and additional studies need to happen to determine if aripiprazole is a potential treatment for alcoholism.
_________ source: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 2008;32:573-578
Tasmanian parents are being warned against allowing their children to drink alcohol. The warning follows a national health insurers’ survey of 1200 adults earlier this year. More than half the Tasmanians interviewed thought it was acceptable for 15 to 17-year-olds to drink at home supervised by their parents. The Director of the Brain and Mind….
New Zealand needs to address its serious alcohol problem, says an Otago University professor who is holding a public meeting on the Shore. Doug Sellman, a professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine, says at least 700,000 Kiwis are heavy drinkers. “New Zealand is paying a heavy price through deaths, injuries, chronic diseases, police apprehensions and overburdened emergency departments,….
A friend sent me the following reflection from one of his parishioners, who asked not to have his name attached. Well worth reading: I am an alcoholic. I can say that now and know what it means- that was not always the case. When I first started coming to the rooms of AA I couldn’t….
New research has shown for the first time that portrayals of alcohol in films and TV advertisements have an immediate effect on the amount of alcohol that people drink. The research, published online in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, found that people who watched films and commercials in which alcohol drinking featured prominently immediately reached….
1. Alcohol Withdrawal Can Be Deadly. While some experience mild alcohol withdrawal, others go through “a severe form of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens” (NLM). Its symptoms can include seizures, hallucinations, and fever, and a person experiencing it should be taken to the hospital immediately. In treatment, these symptoms can be controlled. 2. It Can….