A new drug that has been released claims to reduce the urge to drink in people who regularly consume large amounts of alcohol. The drug is called Nalmefene and is designed to work for those who consume a half bottle of wine or more per day, or three 20 ounce beers or more per day.
The creators of the drug say that along with another form of alcohol treatment, like counseling or rehab, the drug can effectively help someone overcome the urge to drink.
Nalmefene works over a period of time by gradually reducing the urge to drink until it has all but disappeared. The drug is not recommended for anyone who has an immediate need to stop drinking. In these cases, other methods should be used in order to protect the health and life of the individual. Nalmafene should be taken once a day and should be used by an individual who can gradually cut down on their drinking levels.
The creators of Nalfamene have compared to drug to a nicotine patch worn by smokers who want a little extra support while they make an effort to work. Nalfamene will work much in the same way as a supplement to traditional alcohol treatment methods.
With the number of alcoholics worldwide on the rise, Nalfamene could find itself a market. The drug was approved for use in the U.K. in October 2013, but was only prescribed to 53 people. This year, an estimated 35,000 people are to be prescribed Nalfamene to treat their alcohol addiction.
This same group of people are expected to also receive psychological treatment for alcoholism along with the drug. Nalfamene creators are aware of the fact that many are not convinced that a drug for alcoholism will help and won't be willing to try a prescription.
Nalfamene creators have stated that the ideal Nalfamene user is someone who is aware of the fact that they may have an alcohol problem and yet are still able to maintain their life, career, and relationships. The drug is intended for someone whose alcohol use has not yet spun out of control, but whose daily consumption has risen up way over the average.
Nalfamene users have ideally already begun to seek other forms of treatment for their alcoholism, such as talking to a doctor, seeing a therapist, or entering a treatment program. The drug is intended to provide extra support during the course of a conventional treatment program.
Makers of the drug say it works exceptionally well when taken consistently during treatment so that recovery efforts are more successful and a patient has an increased chance of staying sober.
The drug is designed to work best for men who drink 21 or more units per week and women who drink 14 or more units a week. These people have tried to stop or cut down on their drinking and have been unsuccessful. Repeated unsuccessful attempts to stop drinking are usually a sign that damage to the brain has already been caused by heavy alcohol consumption over a long period of time.
The effect of alcohol on the frontal lobe of the brain has been shown by recent studies involving advanced brain imaging technology. The frontal lobe, or white matter, of the brain is what regulates behavior modification, judgement, and impulse control. Damage to this area, ironically, makes it more difficult for an alcoholic to quit drinking for good.