1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP
  1. Kinetic
    [IMGr=grey]http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00330/alcohol_330727t.jpg[/IMGr]Now drink addiction is a middle-class affliction, drugs giants are seeking treatments

    The millions of people across the developed world who drink a few glasses of wine every night after work or look forward to repeated shots with chasers at the weekends may today be adding up to a major health and social problem. Could there be a pill to help them?


    A reassessment of the nature of addiction, particularly to alcohol, is starting to pique the interest of the major pharmaceutical firms. For years the industry has been lukewarm, assuming either that finding a cure for alcoholism is impossible, or else that the target market would not make for great returns. Now changing Western attitudes and cheap supermarket-supplied alcohol have made excessive drinking more widespread, including among the middle classes.

    Just as with depression treatment 30 years ago, alcoholism research could be approaching a "Prozac moment" when it will become more acceptable, for doctors to prescribe a pill to help people through a bad patch, says Dr Mark Willenbring, a US addiction expert.

    Data from Thomson Pharma, a company that monitors the drug industry, shows there are 24 drugs in development for alcoholism, including at least 10 in mid-stage trials.

    The US drug giants Merck and Eli Lilly are pursuing two possible drugs through human trials, and the biotech firm Alkermes has three drugs in development. The race to find more effective drugs is among the hottest areas in alcoholism research. Some are looking at compounds that hit dopamine receptors – the "reward" pathway in the brain. Another possibility showing early promise is topiramate, a medicine which hits multiple sites in the brain and is used in epilepsy and migraine treatment. It has shown some ability to cut alcohol intake in heavy drinkers.

    Other scientists, such as Dr Colin Drummond at the UK's National Addiction Centre, are focusing on the brain's stress pathways. Dr Drummond is about to start an experiment with mifepristone, which he hopes may reduce the extreme levels of the stress hormone cortisol released in the brain when alcoholics stop drinking.

    By Kate Kelland
    Sunday, 28 February 2010
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/a-pill-to-cure-social-drinkers-1913217.html

Comments

To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!