Anti-addiction pill blunts craving

Seems to block release of certain brain chemicals

I don’t think naltrexone is a news to most of the people who read here… Here’s the article. 

And this is an enormous surprise:

Despite studies showing effectiveness, established rehab programs have been slow to adopt the use of medication. 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.”

John Schwarzlose, executive director of the Betty Ford Center, echoes that but takes a more stringent approach. No patients at Betty Ford receive anti-addiction drugs as part of treatment, although a handful of long-time addicts may be referred to a prescribing physician once their stay is over. “Where we battle with [the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse] is when they say we have trials of a new drug, and then proclaim this is a treatment for alcoholism,” says Schwarzlose. “They’re smart people, but they’re missing how complex this disease is.” Schwarzlose argues that Willenbring and Johnson are using the wrong measure of success. He says abstinence is the only true measuring stick — that an alcoholic who is drinking less is just at a way station on the road to relapse. “Naltrexone has reduced drinking, but once you’re addicted, there is no such thing as ‘OK’ drinking. This is one of those cases where there’s a real schism between the research and actual practice.”

This attitude frustrates Willenbring, who estimates that in the United States only one addict in 10 has even heard about medication options. “In most cases, the treatment is entirely nonmedical. Most people are not even told about the medications that are available for treating alcohol dependence, and I think that’s a crime.”

Now, I’m not a big cheerleader for pharma — companies that invent maladies that you never hear about, didn’t even know you had, until you hear about the brand new pill that will change your life.  But I find the unwillingness to explore, examine, and re-think approaches to addiction that have not been working, by self-righteous, 12-stepping know-it-alls, who utterly dismiss other options, discourage innovation, and withhold information from their clients, to be motivated by exactly the same kind of greed.

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