Can new drug stop binge-drinking?
A new pill that halts binge-drinking habits in a matter of days has been manufactured.
The drug, known as naltrexone, has been proven in studies to halve the amount people drink and reduce the number of heavy drinking sessions by 70% in 12 weeks.
The drug works by manipulating brain chemicals, reducing the need for alcohol and letting drinkers believe that they have had enough.
Naltrexone has been tested by researchers in America and is already used to aid people in rehabilitation who have an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
The drug apparently blocks the effects of any drugs users take. Addictive drugs stimulate brain receptors and produce euphoric feelings. Naltrexone is attracted to the same receptors and once it latches on, the drugs taken have no effect.
Dr Robert Leeman, who co-ordinated the research commented: ‘Naltrexone appears to be effective by making people less likely to consume a second or third beverage, rather than preventing them from having the first.’
Sceptics of the new drug discovery say this doesn’t get to the root problem of binge-drinking habits. Nick Heather, professor of alcohol and other drug studies at Northumbria University commented: ‘A better approach is to change behaviour by making alcohol less accessible, more expensive and less glamorous.’