Sunday, 30 December 2007

Alcoholism Pill

An acoholism pill would be a wonderful thing and fit in to our modern "instant satisfaction" way of life. Recent research, apparently, has discovered a link between a genetic mutation in humans which creates the impulsive behavior characteristic of people who drink to excess and become alcoholics. This would lead the way to a pill that might be able to control the impulsiveness and slow down the rate of drinking and thereby prevent alcoholism taking hold.

This would be a pro-active or preventative measure to against alcoholism. The current modus operandi is reactive and an alcoholism pill I know about it called "Antabuse". The chemical name is Disulfiram.

The idea is that if you take this pill once a day, if you then drink you become violently sick. The Pavlovian dog training is reversed. Rather than drinking bringing the reward of pleasure albeit transient, drinking now brings pain and so the brain is gradually retrained and in the interim the alcoholic cannot drink provided he believes that Antabuse works.

Obviously, most often the alcoholic who uses Antabuse does not drink when taking this pill and therefore has never tested it.

If, however, a drinker does combine Antabuse and alcohol and finds that nothing happens the effect is lost.

Has anyone out there tried this pill and found it that it is in fact a placebo or is it real? Jane, my alcoholic partner uses it and she believes that it works so the pill stops her drinking. The big downside of this pill is that the alcoholic must voluntarily take the pill. If she really wants a drink than you cannot make them take a pill.

Antabuse is best given by someone supervising i.e. by someone else. I have done this but when she wants to drink she hold it under her tongue and spits it out when I've gone so it is not the answer really.

Alternatively, you can mash it up as a suspension in water and give that, but if she doesn't want to cooperate there is nothing you can do. So it requires a willingness by the alcoholic to take this pill. If she is about to drink and binge drinkers plan their drinking than she might not cooperate.

My research indicates that it is real and that there is an actual chemical reaction between this alcoholism pill and alcohol.

Disulfiram plus even small amounts of alcohol results in a wide range of symptoms such as very bad headache, vomiting, breathing difficulty, hyperventilation, weakness and confusion (and more symptoms potentially).

Jane has not suffered these symptoms and as far as I can remember she has mixed Antabuse and booze on one or two occasions - any comments from users would be most welcome.

Photo reproduced under creative commons copyright Shmaktyc

from alcoholism pill to genetics depression alcoholism

1 comment:

  1. Hi. nice blog.I've actually never tried drugs and don't plan on it. I've had an uncle that was addicted to marijuana and he lost part of his one leg in a car accident due to drugs. It's scary and I don't understand why someone would want to waste their life doing drugs. drug treament


I'd like to hear the experiences of both alcoholics and the victims of alcoholics, please.