New Drug Reduces Stress Induced Cravings in Alcoholics

A small study published on Science Express Thursday suggests a new drug can help alcoholics in recovery by reducing the anxiety that leads many of them to suffer irresistible cravings.

The drug appears to work by neutralizing one of the brain’s stress-response proteins, NK1R (short for neurokinin-1 receptor). As a result, situations are more manageable because they don’t seem as stressful and consequently they trigger fewer or less intense cravings.

“Alcohol is a particularly nasty drug because it actually makes you feel better,” said lead author Markus Heilig, clinical director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “But it pushes you to feel worse once you’re without alcohol.”

Future clinical trials will measure the drug’s effectiveness for alcoholics who do not suffer from anxiety problems.

Source: AFP
Date: Feb. 16, 2008

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