CNN posted a story at the end of last week about naltrexone, an anti-craving drug. Dr. Mark Willenbring had this quote: "There will be a 'Prozac moment', when primary care doctors start handling functional alcoholics."
Here's another quote, this the response from Hazelden's medical director: At Hazelden in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a small proportion of patients receive anti-addiction drugs, but medical director Dr. Kevin Clark says the traditional model -- based on intensive therapy and the 12 steps popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous -- is still best. "It is a disease of the brain, but it's a multifaceted disease. It has a spiritual component, a behavioral component to it," says Clark. "Our experience tells us that having the network of support and recovery is what really makes the difference."
I lean towards the Hazelden response- I am in recovery and I believe that simply taking medication without a sufficient support network would lead to an unhappy life. There's a difference between stopping drinking and actual recovery. Until we develop a medical treatment that can do something besides simply reducing craving, then we still need to work with addicts and alcoholics to find recovery through 12-step programs, therapy, and supportive rehabilitation centers. However, I do think this is huge medical progress- and I'm happy that we're making strides to find other solutions which may increase successful outcomes.
Here's a video about placing naltrexone under the skin of heroin addicts:
And here's something funny.
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