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Pill May Help Alcoholics Drink Without Overdoing It

Pill May Help Alcoholics Drink Without Overdoing It

Dutch psychiatrist Wim van den Brink recently conducted a study on 604 people to examine the effectiveness of the drug nalmefene in curbing drinking. 


Nalmefene acts an alcohol antagonist, meaning “it binds to opiate receptors in the brain and reduces the rush of pleasure associated with alcohol,” writes Newsweek’s Peter Andrey-Smith (2014). Van den Brink’s double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was sponsored by the Danish pharmaceutical company than manufactures nalmefene. 


Over six months, van den Brink’s study found that the drug reduced the number of drinking days from nineteen to eight per month. The placebo group also had reduced alcohol consumption, but nalmefene amplified these effects. 


The drug is sold under the name “Selincro” in Europe and it is the first drug to be approved for the reduction of alcohol consumption. 





Andrey-Smith, P. (2014). A pill could help alcoholics, and let them drink in moderation. Newsweek. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/pill-could-help-alcoholics-and-let-them-drink-moderation-278112