A new study has it that a new drug has been found which may benefit people with alcohol addiction, particularly those who are experiencing high levels of stress.
The new study involved 144 people with alcohol use disorder, which is defined as drinking that causes them harm or distress, including problems at work and with relationships. At the start of the study, participants were consuming 10 alcohol drinks a day, on average.
“ABT-436 works by blocking the effects of a brain chemical called vasopressin, which is thought to play a role in regulating stress, anxiety and addictive behaviours.
The researchers randomly assigned participants to take either the new drug, called ABT-436, or a placebo (a “dummy pill”) every day for 12 weeks. The study was double blinded, meaning that neither the participants nor the researchers knew which people had received the drug, and which had received the placebo.
Participants who took the drug ended up having more alcohol-free days during the 12-week study, compared with those in the placebo group. On average, participants in the drug group were able to abstain from alcohol for 51 days over the course of the study, while people in the placebo group were able to abstain for 42 days.
The drug seemed to work better for participants who reported high levels of stress. Those who scored high on a test aimed at measuring their anxiety and tension reported 27 heavy drinking days, on average, if they were in the drug group, compared to 46 heavy drinking days if they were in the placebo group.
The researchers made it known that ABT-436 works by blocking the effects of a brain chemical called vasopressin, which is thought to play a role in regulating stress, anxiety and addictive behaviours.