Monthly Injections of Anti-Abuse Drug Help Homeless Alcoholics Reduce Drinking

Monthly injections of the anti-abuse drug naltrexone, coupled with counseling, can help homeless alcoholics reduce their drinking, a new study suggests.

The researchers found 33 percent of study participants had decreases in alcohol craving; 25 percent reduced the amount of alcohol consumed on a typical day; 34 percent reduced the amount they drank on a peak drinking day; 17 percent had a decrease in frequency of alcohol use; and 60 percent had a decrease in problems associated with alcohol use.

Naltrexone “acts as a pacifier to quiet brain receptors that are crying out for more alcohol,” said lead researcher Susan Collins, PhD of the University of Washington. “Abstinence-based alcohol treatment has not been effective for or desirable to many homeless people with alcohol dependence,” she added.

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Will Savage

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