Treating Alcoholism With Drugs?

Pills and capsules on white

There was a recent  Wall Street Journal article  about the new approach to treating alcoholism with drugs. Naltrexone: Kills the buzz some get from drinking; Acamprosate: Reduces irritability and other withdrawal symptoms; Disulfiram: Creates unpleasant symptoms after drinking, and so on.

Who comes up with the names for drugs?

Disulfiram presumably makes you feel a lot worse than a hangover because feeling like hell in the morning NEVER stopped me from drinking…

Anyway, the article says “There is also growing recognition that alcohol problems come in wide varieties, driven by a complex mix of genetics, life experiences and differences in how the brain handles stress and seeks rewards. As a result, experts say, the most effective treatments are highly individualized”. “The lonely person may respond differently than the party animal,” says neurobiologist George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

The above is what I’ve been saying for a year and a half now. It sounds more believable coming from the WSJ and Mr. Koob (even though his name is funny and rhymes with boob…). The article goes on to say that 12-Step programs and 28 day rehab may not work for everyone. Hence, the suggested pill popping.

I have had several people send me this article. Rosalind asked, “Is taking drugs to quit drinking a cop out?  Isn’t it better to quit cold turkey like you did?”

I don’t know. I think I think, that whatever gets you through the night (or the grocery shopping or the parent/teacher conference or the morning) is okay by me. My only question is how long is one dependent on the drug that stops the drinking and is there a withdrawal from it?

This is a great website if you’re on the fence about whether to stop drinking or not – lots of “fun” quizzes and such:


Logo: Rethinking Drinking - Alcohol and your health


Tomorrow, because it’s the holidays and because I am cruel and superiorly SOBER, we will discuss the brand new list of warning signs of alcoholism and how I stacked up…


Today I’m not drinking, because I don’t want to take pills to “cure” my alcoholism…

How come you’re not drinking?