Dealing with alcohol addiction is a very frustrating, demoralizing and challenging experience for the individual and their families. Assisting clients in finding interventions that will help attain recovery is crucial. Addiction is known to be impacted by the biological, psychological, social and spiritual levels. The interconnectedness of the body and mind can create challenges for individuals seeking recovery from addiction. While holistic approaches are necessary in addressing addiction, pharmaceutical companies have been diligent in working on a biological modality that will assist in breaking the addiction on a physiological level. Dr. Nauert, cited new research that proposes that a medication originally developed to enhance wakefulness may assist some people in reducing their drinking by improving their impulse control. Research indicated that poor impulse control can lead to a person’s inability to moderate any pleasurable behaviors including the consumption of substances such as food, alcohol and drugs. Consequently, lack of impulse-control can serve as a catalyst for addictive behaviors. Various existing FDA approved medications for alcoholism include: naltrexone (Revia) and disulfiram (Antabuse). These medications are believed to decrease alcohol consumption by curbing cravings and creating aversive reactions to alcohol. A new study suggests a third medication — modafinil (Provigil) — may also help some people to reduce drinking by targeting and consequently, improving their impulse control.
Provigil is singularly approved for the treatment of several sleep disorders. Nevertheless, it has been demonstrated to enhance a person’s ability to think more clearly. These benefits have been empirically observed in healthy individuals and in patients with various psychiatric conditions that include schizophrenia and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. It will be interesting to track the possible benefits of Provigil in treating alcohol addiction. It may show great promise for those seeking relief from addiction. However, as addiction has many reinforcing components and is considered a brain-based condition, interventions designed to treat alcohol addiction will need to be multifaceted. While enhancing impulse control is essential; other components of addiction must be addressed as well.
A.C.T. will provide free resource information for individuals and families to help promote education. For more information, please contact Dr. Drecun at Dr.Drecun@a4ct.com or (858) 792-3541. You may also visit us online at www.a4ct.com. ACT serves the Del Mar 92014 and Rancho Santa Fe 92067 area.