Is Baclofen the New Alcoholism Treatment?
Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : November 10,
2020 | 4 Sources
Experts are always on the lookout for a new alcoholism treatment, because alcohol use disorder is connected with high cases of morbidity and mortality globally. Baclofen, a selective gamma-aminobutyric acid-B (GABA-B) receptor agonist, has become known as a promising drug for alcohol use disorder.
Baclofen, odorless white to off-white crystalline powder, is a drug that has been on the market for many years.
It is prescribed and licensed for the treatment of various neurological disorders and as a muscle relaxant.
However, over the past ten years or so it has come to light that this rather unassuming little pill has another side; it seems to be effective at treating alcoholism. Studies showed that Baclofen results in an effortless suppression or decrease of alcohol craving when it’s prescribed without superior dose limit.
Baclofen is now touted by a vocal minority as a new alcoholism treatment, and not only this but that the search for an alcoholism cure is at an end.
One Man's Discovery
Baclofen and its potential as a new treatment for alcoholism first came to light with the publication of a book by a French cardiologist, Dr. Olivier Ameisen.
In his book, "La Dernier Verre", he writes of his lifelong battle with alcohol addiction
, an addiction he developed as a result of the intense anxiety he constantly experienced.
Alcohol became the only way he could cope with it and so began his alcoholism
. An addiction that would push him to the very limits.
Then he heard about how baclofen had been shown to reduce the cravings for cocaine in rats. Thinking that it might also work for alcoholism cravings, he began to self-medicate with the drug. Almost overnight
he felt much more at ease with himself and the world; at the same time he also felt less of a compulsion to drink.
After further experimenting with the drug, he no longer needed to drink
His experiences led him to the conclusion that it was his anxiety that led him to drink and this in turn resulted in alcohol dependency developing. His resulting book chronicles his years of alcohol abuse and demonstrates to others how to quit drinking by using Baclofen
How You Can Use Baclofen to Treat Your Alcoholism
Baclofen seems to delay a relapse into drinking and help maintain abstinence, specifically in people who at baseline drink excessively. Nonetheless, Baclofen is not licensed
for the treatment of alcoholism
. You use it at your own risk, all the information you find on this page is just that, information. Anybody who believes they have a problem with alcohol should visit their health care provider for advice.
Baclofen is not approved for the treatment of alcoholism, why this is so is open to debate. However all drugs need to go through a period of testing before they can be licensed to ensure their safety. Others might say it is due to vested interests in the alcoholism treatment industry. There is no money to be made from baclofen; the same cannot be said of 12 step programs
and other newer (and thus more expensive) alcoholism medications
Currently Baclofen is licensed for
the treatment of...
- injuries to the spinal cord,
- multiple sclerosis,
- cerebral palsy,
- and other conditions of the neurological system that cause patients to experience painful muscle spasms
The only way to obtain baclofen
for non-licensed use is to either:
- buy it from the web; this is not advised as many online medications are counterfeit and contain very little, or none, of the active ingredient they purport to.
- Another, and safer option, is to find a sympathetic doctor/physician who will prescribe it to you, and give you advice on how to take it etc.
Many who have tried Baclofen alcohol treatment and found it to be effective state that the dosage is individual dependent
. Dr. Ameisen started with 5 mg and found it most effective (that is stopping the cravings for alcohol) at doses of 270mg. He still takes a daily dose of 50mg and is good as cured. Some have to take more to get rid of the urge to drink, others less. You should speak to a qualified doctor for dosage guidelines.
Baclofen Alcohol Treatment - A Non-Abstinent Method
One of the great attractions of this new alcoholism treatment is that it doesn't require abstinence. Much like the Sinclair Method
you actually have to continue drinking
in order for it to work. As time goes by and you work out the optimum dose for you, your cravings for alcohol decrease and that old bugbear of alcoholics everywhere, loss of control, fails to be an issue.
Imagine, you can have one beer and just stop!
Don't get your hopes up too high though, Baclofen alcohol treatment doesn't work for everybody, so when starting this new alcoholism treatment be realistic.
The 'There is no Cure for Alcoholism!' Party Poopers
Many in the addiction field deride the idea
of an alcoholism cure
or 'magic pill'. They believe that alcohol dependency is more than just a physical ailment that can be righted with medication. It is a complex disease
and genetic factors
. There are far too many variables involved for it to be sorted out by baclofen alcohol treatment.
They may well be right, but you can't argue with the miraculous results
some seem to be getting from this new alcoholism treatment. It may well not be a universal cure, however, it does seem to be helping many alcohol dependents, who have tried other treatments, beat their addiction; for that we should be grateful.
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Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl
Licensed Medical Health Professional
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More
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