Scientists in Sweden are currently working on a theory that reducing dopamine levels in the brain can lessen the desire to drink alcohol and therefore help to overcome addiction.
An experimental drug is being trialled on both humans and rats and it works by normalising dopamine levels in an alcoholic’s brain. So far the study claims to have found that it does in fact reduce an addict’s desire to drink although it’s still uncertain as to whether or not it will actually stop them from going on to drink less.
In the human trial, participants were asked to abstain from alcohol for one week - during this time some were given a placebo whilst other received a dose of the dopamine stabiliser. Over the following two weeks, participants were told that they can drink as much as they like. On the 15th day of the experiment, every participant was given a glass of their favourite alcoholic drink.
The study found that those who were given the dopamine stabiliser didn’t enjoy the first sip while those who were given the placebo did. The participants who had taken the stabiliser also reported an overall reduced craving for alcohol.
Although the results of the study are promising, the author of the study has said there is still a long way to go before the drug will be marketable. Do you think a dopamine-reducing drug could help alcoholics to overcome their addiction or do you think medication is pointless unless the person is fully committed and ready to receive help? Feel free to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page.
If you think that you or someone you know may have a problem with alcohol, please feel free to visit our Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments available.