One of the biggest challenges that the United States faces today is addiction to various substances and prescription drugs. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), nearly 6.3 million people aged 18 years or older experienced alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2014. Finding a treatment for this problem, be it in the form of medication or psychotherapy, is important keeping in mind the deadly effects of drinking.
A recent study offers a ray of hope to those who want to get free of alcohol addiction. The study by the Queensland University of Technology suggested that a medicine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can help alcoholics give up drinking. Drug pindolol, an oral medication used for treating high blood pressure, has been found to be a cost-effective option for relieving alcoholic symptoms.
Published in the journal Addiction Biology in April 2016, the study highlighted the role of the drug in treating chronic alcoholism. Though clinical trials in humans are awaited, the drug is already used for a range of other diseases related to the heart and circulatory system.
Drug has potential to reduce alcohol consumption in heavy drinkers
According to the researchers, drugs that are currently used to cure alcohol-related illnesses aren’t efficacious enough to treat the typical symptoms associated with AUD. But with the new drug in the offing, AUD treatment is surely going to get a boost as the drug has an immense potential to reduce alcohol consumption in heavy drinkers, said the researchers. Experiments on animal models also suggested that the drug can effectively reduce the level of alcohol intake in animals.
Lead researcher Omkar Patkar said, “More research is required but we believe the results from our study show that pindolol represents a novel, safe and ready to test treatment therapy option for managing alcohol dependence in humans.”
Who is at risk?
Many people believe that alcoholism runs in the family. But there are many more factors that may trigger drinking habit. Though the exact reason for developing drinking habit is not known, the following risk factors can’t be ignored:
• Genetic exposure: Alcohol runs in the family, with many people, especially kids, picking up the habit from a family member involved in drinking. According to the NIAAA, specific genes are involved in developing alcoholism, yet not everyone who has an alcoholic family member becomes an alcoholic.
• Influence of other substances: A lot of people who use other addictive substances such as tobacco, illicit drugs or prescription medications can easily be tempted to use alcohol to get a similar high.
• Social factors: Use of alcohol is more prevalent in certain groups than others; for example, college students are found to be more involved in binge drinking than non-college goers. Many children reveal that their first drink is mostly a result of peer pressure or their own inclination to get a high.
• Psychological factors: A person who faces psychological issues is more susceptible to embrace alcohol. Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at some point of time in life, but those who can’t overcome such ill-feelings normally tend to self-medicate with alcoholic drinks.
Be it any reason, alcohol addiction is certainly bad and can become a life-long challenge. It is important to understand that even if a person decides to quit drinking, he or she is not equipped enough to take up the challenge all alone; an external help in the form of a supportive family or a caregiver is absolutely necessary.
Path to recovery
According to studies, approximately 17 million American adults are addicted to alcohol. However, the good news is that about one-third of those suffering from alcohol addiction do not show any symptom after treatment at various alcohol addiction treatment centers in California. It is not difficult to lead a sober life.
Any kind of alcohol intake is harmful as it can turn into an addiction and create havoc. The Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California strives to help people get rid of alcohol. If you or your loved one is battling addiction, call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online for further information about alcohol treatment centers in California.Continue reading