Can a cure for alcoholism become a reality? We don't know that yet, but recently an eminent French doctor identified drugs as his savior from alcoholism.
In his book titled, Le Dernier Verre [The Last Glass], Dr Olivier Ameisen, claims that he got rid of his habit with the help of drugs, although experts and anti-alcoholism campaigners are skeptical about his claims.
AdvertisementCiting his own case as an example, Dr Ameisen insists that Baclofen drug, commonly used by cystic fibrosis patients or people who are partly or wholly paralyzed can effectively help cure excruciating craving for alcohol.
"Mine is the first case in which a course of medicine has completely suppressed alcohol addiction," The Independent quoted Ameisen as saying.
"Now I can have a glass and it has no effect. Above all, I no longer have that irrepressible need to drink," he added.
Dr Renaud de Beaurepaire of the Paul-Guiraud hospital at Villejuif near Paris supports Ameisen claims and insists it does work.
"I prescribed it to two alcoholics who were at the end of the road," he said.
"It was pretty miraculous," he added.
An article from the New York Times sent to Ameisen by his friend also read how a course of baclofen, given to a patient with muscle problems, had cured his addiction to cocaine.
In March 2002 he prescribed small daily doses of 5mg of baclofen to himself.
"The first effects were a magical muscular relaxation and baby-like sleep," Ameisen said.
He also found that he was no longer racked by a compelling necessity to drink.
He later increased the dose to 270mg a day and declared himself "cured". Ameisen still takes 50mg a day.
Xavier Laqueille, head of the St Anne hospital in Paris, which treats addicts, said: "Alcoholism is a complex disease, in which both neuro-biological and psychosocial factors are entwined."
"Encouraging people to think there is a miracle molecule is to completely misunderstand the nature of alcoholism and extremely irresponsible," said Dr Michel Reynaud of the Paul-Brousse hospital in Paris.