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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
This past Saturday marked the one year anniversary of the death of University student Jordan Shirey. The cause of his death: alcohol poisoning. It was his 21st birthday. The tragedy did not result in any change to University policy, but binge drinking still remains a hot button issue within the University community. “Our policy is….
For years, Virginia Tech had a complicated system for deciding when to let parents know about their underage children’s alcohol-related transgressions. Visits to the hospital or police station warranted immediate notification, but Mom and Dad didn’t have to know about less-serious offenses, such as sneaking a six-pack into the dorm, unless it happened more than….
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Those who suffer from alcohol addiction often continue to drink simply to forgo any withdrawal symptoms from occurring. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a potentially life threatening illness that can last for many days or even weeks following an individual’s decision to stop drinking but there is help. Many options are available for alcohol withdrawal symptoms treatment….
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