Injectable Drug, Combined with Counseling, Shows Promise in Treating Alcohol Dependence
Alcohol dependence is a major public health problem, ranking as the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization's Global Burden of Disease project. In the United States, it is believed to contribute to more than 100,000 preventable deaths a year. Now, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, in conjunction with 23 other sites nationwide, have found that long-acting injections of the drug naltrexone, when added to counseling, significantly reduced heavy drinking in patients being treated for alcohol dependence.
Study results show that the median number of heavy-drinking days was reduced from 19 days in the month prior to the study to three days per month over the six months of treatment. The results