Alcoholism is a disease and like any other disease it can be treated with medication. We say very strongly the word “treated”, like many diseases there is no cure.
What exactly needs treating and how do we go about it? Alcohol abuse is no simple matter to fix.
Many alcoholics need counselling, they have deeper issues that have lead them to drink, very often including emotional issues and financial issues. Not everyone of course. This is a stereotype. Sometimes alcoholism just happens and before you know it you are an alcoholic. It takes a long way down the road before an alcoholic is ready to admit they need help. Many support groups like Alcohol Anonymous exists and there are 1,000’s of online forums for more private people who are not quite ready to admit that their little drink problem is not about to go away by itself or with minimal effort.
Now there is also a prescription medication that can help alcoholics reduce alcohol consumption by up to 61% over six months. It’s called Selincro.
Selincro can be used to treat alcoholism, what this means is that it helps treat the addiction and reduce alcohol consumption. It cannot take away the underlying problems that led to alcohol abuse but by default, the once a day tablet does help to reduce depression and physiological issues related to the high consumption of alcohol and the process of consuming less. The active ingredient is called Nalmefene and it works to influence the brain on how it sees and tolerates alcohol. Ultimately it cuts down the craving alcoholics feel for alcohol so it makes drinking less enjoyable. One of the main things alcoholics say is that when they start drinking it can be impulsive and once they start they cannot find a way to stop.
If you are finding it hard to reduce alcohol intake or have “fallen off the wagon” then taking Selincro daily it gives you a bit of a fall-back. There is more chance that you will stop rather than continue along the destructive path. Nalmefene is essentially an opioid receptor modulator. This means that it is a class of medication that affects the opioid receptors in our brains, the ones that control highs and pleasures. If you are taking Selincro it blocks the opioid receptors from giving out the sense of craving, pleasure and enjoyment so drink becomes less appealing and not as rewarding. If you can’t get numb or high from drinking then what’s the point in drinking. Right?!
Selincro is a wonderful step forward in medicine and has the ability to help millions of people affected by alcoholism…. BUT….. Is using a drug to curb alcoholism a slippery slope to drug abuse? For addictive personalities is it a wise idea to replace one addiction with another? While Selincro does not have the same addictiveness as opioid pain killers you are still using prescription medication as a replacement. When an alcoholic feels like they have hit rock bottom and needs a lift to stop them from returning to drink or dealing in other drugs surely they will just turn to using more Selincro and risk overdosing?
Most doctors say that using medication to cure and stop illnesses developing further is not a modern day luxury anymore. It’s needed and it works and we’re mostly all at it. Selincro is just another drug that can stop a condition from getting worse and in best cases it can improve it drastically.
We think it is a great drug and one that can help millions of alcoholics around the world so it should be prescribed, but it should be prescribed with caution and progress and abuse should be closely monitored. What do you think?
Now, if they could just develop a drug to do the same thing for opioid abuse then we would be able to free up lots of hospital and doctor resources from drug abuse hospitalization and deaths. Something that many communities across the US are working tirelessly for.