A new drug coming out of Europe is showing promise in the fight against alcoholism. Selincro is approved by European regulators to fight back against the disease of alcoholism. It is recommended for men who drink 60 grams of pure alcohol per day (approximately 1.5 bottles of wine) and for women who drink 40 grams. This drug is controversial but it blocks an opioid receptors in the brain that does not allow the alcohol to produce effects. The drug maker says in combination with counseling is the best recourse for this drug.
How it Works
Selincro interrupts the brain’s reward cycle, taking away most, if not all, pleasurable effects of alcohol. Selincro debuted in the United Kingdom as an ‘opioid receptor antagonist.’ in essence, it works on the brain’s reward mechanism. Selincro interrupts the brain’s reward cycle that takes pleasure away from drinking. This is supposed to end the urge to drink.
A New Focus
While a number of predecessors focused on alcohol abstinence, Selincro’s mission is to decrease the amount of alcohol someone drinks. Selincro can reduce heavy-drinking days experienced, along with decreasing total number of drinks consumed. It is taken on days when drinking is anticipated before consuming alcohol. This means people who take it are anticipating drinking. This reduction in alcohol consumption comes after not feeling well following use of the drug for some people, including nausea, dizziness, or insomnia.
The goal of abstinence is still the same. No drug or medication will change that. It is one way to help people cut down rather than quit cold turkey. This is also controversial because it looks at how people can still drink a little and yet have undesirable side effects. The reality is people in recovery should focus on total abstinence, not drinking here and there because they feel they can take a pill.
While people can take other medications to curb drinking, it is working with an entire program that includes counseling, therapy, and perhaps medication that will provide the best results for people who wish to quit drinking and start living their lives in sobriety.
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