A new drug coming out of Europe is showing some promise in the fight against alcoholism. It’s called Selincro and was approved by European regulators last week.
The drug is being recommended for males who drink 60 grams of pure alcohol per day (about 1.5 bottles of wine) and for females who drink 40 grams. The drug is somewhat controversial, but the drug blocks an opioid receptor in the brain that doesn’t allow the alcohol to produce its normal effect. However, the drug maker, Lundbeck, says the drug is to be used in combination with counseling and a gradual reduction in the amount of alcohol consumed.
Tests have proven that the drug does make a significant impact on the drinking habits of those in the trial. One person cut back the daily intake from 75 grams to 14 grams per day following treatment for one year. Side effects include nausea and sleeping problems, but the severity of each reduced as the test went on.
Alcohol is the best selling, most popular drug in America with about three-quarters of the population imbibing and spending close to $200 million per day. There are an estimated 12 million alcoholics in the United States., many of whom had their first drink before age 15. People who drink get into a lot of trouble. Nearly 75 of child abuse cases and all felonies are occurring when the perpetrator is drunk. More than 80 percent of wife batteries and homicides involve drinking. Any time someone is stabbed, there is a 72 chance that booze was involved.
While there are 12 million people suffering from alcoholism, about four times that many people are affected by the drinking those alcoholics do and the actions they take while intoxicated. Therapies can often be assisted with medication, and Selincro will be watched closely as European doctors monitor the drug’s results.