Medication May Improve Odds of Alcohol Addiction Recovery

By Staff Writer

Alcohol addiction in families can have major consequences for all members. It can make living together as a unit extremely difficult. However, a new study has found that adding a pill to substance abuse help programs can greatly increase an individual’s chances of recovery.

The medication is known as naltrexone. It works by blocking the pleasurable experience of drinking alcohol. After examining the results of 50 previous studies, a team of researchers from the University of Munich found that the medication can have major benefits for alcoholics.

Individuals who combined the treatment with drug rehab were 17 percent less likely to return to heavy drinking following the completion of their program. Additionally, the number of alcoholics who were able to stay abstinent for the long-term improved by 4 percent.

Researchers said that many medications have been tried for relapse prevention. However, most show only limited success. Naltrexone seems to offer alcoholics the greatest chances of recovery.

Despite these benefits, the researchers said that the medication is seldom used in substance abuse treatment programs. Broader adoption of the treatment may improve the odds of recovery of many alcoholics.