France abuzz over alcoholic 'cure'

  peter99co 20:35 06 Dec 2008
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An eminent French cardiologist has triggered an impassioned debate in the medical world over his claim to have discovered a cure for alcoholism.

click here

"But even if it turns out to work, that does not mean a drug alone is the solution."

  bluto1 21:27 06 Dec 2008

We still need the odd bottle or two of red.:-))
I don't mean to be too flippant about it, but really will power, and the help to use it are potent weapons. I speak from the experience of helping a best friend fight his own demons.

  Forum Editor 00:34 07 Dec 2008

and the help to use it are potent weapons."

Indeed, but if it was that simple the problem would not be as serious as it is. Alcoholism is a highly complex form of addiction, and its treatment isn't helped by the 'pull yourself together' attitude that's displayed by many people .

  Chegs ®™ 01:47 07 Dec 2008

"The first effects were a magical muscular relaxation and baby-like sleep," he says.

Is this not also a result obtained by having an alcoholic drink? If the answer is yes,then all this drug is doing is creating a drug-induced effect that previously was obtained by drink.So its success will be on a par with nicotine replacement therapy.

  €dstowe 07:08 07 Dec 2008

This is not new. I can remember similar psychotherapeutic actions of Baclofen being researched when I was a student working in an addiction unit - quite a number of years ago, now. A quick Wiki can show this click here

  birdface 09:57 07 Dec 2008

Wow an Alcoholic heart specialist administering his own cure.I would not like to have been one of his patients.Unfortunately Alcoholics must want to give up drinking most are quite happy drowning their sorrows in a bottle with no thought of the damage that they are doing to themselves or their family.They normally have to hit a very low point in their lives before they seek help.It would be wonderful to think that there is such a simple cure.I have my doubts that it could be that easy but we live in hope.

  €dstowe 11:00 07 Dec 2008

It was 1994 (ish) when the addiction unit I was working in was doing the investigations. From what I recall, anyone taking the drug would have had to be in a quite desperate condition to be able to tolerate the multitude of unpleasant side effects in almost everyone who took it more than a few times.

  Forum Editor 11:11 07 Dec 2008

"most are quite happy drowning their sorrows in a bottle with no thought of the damage that they are doing to themselves or their family."

That's the kind of thinking that pervades society, and of course it's totally wrong - most alcoholics are very well aware of the damage they're doing to themselves and to their families. The problem is that their addiction is so strong that their thinking processes are warped to accommodate the drinking - alcoholics have a tendency to think "What a mess my life is in, I deserve a drink with the problems I've got". They think they drink because they have problems, when in fact they have the problems because they drink.

It isn't until the revelation occurs - the one that tells them 'stop drinking and you can begin to solve your problems' that recovery can start. Most people can't get to that point without help, although some can. The remarkable thing is how, once an alcoholic makes the mental leap (and it's the hardest leap of their lives)that starts the process he or she often demonstrates enormous strength of will.

Not all alcoholics can do this - many of them have a dreadful struggle with themselves, and sadly revert to drinking. Some never make it, either through a lack of motivation, or because the addiction is so strong they can't handle it. Those are the ones for whom some kind of wonder drug would be quite literally a life-saver.

Alcoholism is a cruel and dreadful addiction, and society hasn't yet come to terms with it - public attitudes have hardly advanced in 100 years. Anyone who has lived with an alcoholic in the family (and I have) knows only too well that feeling of utter helplessness that overwhelms you as you witness the destruction of a personality. There's little you can do unless the alcoholic will cooperate, and the false starts and failures are very depressing.

  Switcher 11:28 07 Dec 2008

" quite happy drowning their sorrows in a bottle"
I doubt if many alcoholics are happy especially when they discover that their sorrows can swim.
It is all too easy to condemn others with problems that we don't have, for non alcoholics to condemn alcoholics, for people with no weight problemns to simultaneously condemn obese people and those with anorexia nervosa. I think that many of us could do with a wee bit of contemplation, counting our blessings.

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