This Pill Might Just Eliminate Alcohol Withdrawal
The horrors of alcohol withdrawal are many and legion. They’re also the primary reason alcoholics keep drinking. The shakes, the sweats, the nausea. The anxiety, the agitation, the rack of the nerves. Your muscles ache to move but can’t. Your heart pleads to slow but won’t. And your eyes sigh to close on a night that refuses to end. Count yourself lucky though. At least in that small respect. Because even if you could sleep, the dreams that crept into your darkness could quite likely rip the life right out of you.
What if there were a magic pill that eliminated all these horrors? Would you take it? Of course you would. And so would everyone else who was suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). In fact, a pill like that would unquestionably revolutionize the field of addiction recovery. The world would more than likely also throw a party to boot! (Alcohol-free of course.)
Magic or Miracle?
Yep. Scientists are saying they’ve found a pill that will eliminate the horrors of alcohol withdrawal. We don’t know if it’s magic or miraculous. And they’re not exactly saying. We do know the drug significantly reduces withdrawal symptoms. It also consequently enhanced the chances of recovery!
The drug’s called prazosin. It was originally developed to treat high blood pressure. And it’s still used to treat prostate problems in men. Previous studies conducted at Yale have shown that the drug works on stress centers in the brain, which is why it’s also being used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here though the scientists were stoked by the drug’s capacity to curb anxiety and craving.
So they conducted a double-blind study. The subjects? 100 people who’d been diagnosed with AUD and were already exhibiting signs of alcohol withdrawal. Some were given prazosin. Others were given a placebo. All were carefully monitored.
Researchers say the more severely suffering subjects who received prazosin ended up doing a lot less heavy drinking to combat their jitters. In fact, the prazosin-takers ended up drinking a lot less overall. The drug had little effect on those with few or no withdrawal symptoms.
“There has been no treatment readily available for people who experience severe withdrawal symptoms,” said corresponding author Rajita Sinha. “And these are the people at highest risk of relapse and are most likely to end up in hospital emergency rooms.” Sinha is the Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry, a professor of neuroscience, and director of the Yale Stress Center. So she’s definitely got the bona fides to back up her study. Heck, we’d believe her if she was only one of the three!
The Good Dr. Sinha
Sinha’s got pedigree alright. She’s also backed by a crack team that includes Stephanie Wemm, Nia Fogelman, Verica Milivojevic, Peter M. Morgan, Gustavo A. Angarita, Gretchen Hermes, Helen C. Fox. Each and every one of the aforementioned lent their name to the study. And we’ve every reason to believe each and every one of them helped conduct the study as well.
About that study. It’s called Moderation of Prazosin’s Efficacy by Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms. It was conducted at the Yale Stress Center and the Connecticut Mental Health Center’s Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit. And it was supported by the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse at the National Institutes of Health and the Connecticut State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The results were published in American Journal of Psychiatry, originally written by Bill Hathaway, from materials provided by Yale University.
So yeah, top notch pedigree all around. But don’t let all that pedigree fool you. Many a lab coat has thrown their clipboard at the alcohol withdrawal issue and more than a few ended up on their own bender. What’s promising here though is the sober-sided research has yielded sobering results. The kind of results that put a skip in the step of the recovery brigade — and hope in the hearts of all those who suffer from AUD.
So what exactly did Sinha and co. discover? Well, pretty much what we already know. “That stress centers of the brain are severely disrupted early in recovery, especially for those with withdrawal symptoms and high cravings.” Indeed. “But that the disruption decreases the longer the person maintains sobriety.” Indeed again.
What we didn’t know was that “prazosin could help bridge that gap by moderating cravings and withdrawal symptoms earlier in recovery.” Nor did we know that doing so would “increase the chances that patients refrained from drinking.” Yes, there’s a drawback (isn’t there always?). And one significant drawback is that the drug needs to be administered three times daily in order to be effective. At least in its current form anyway. Nevertheless, the outcomes are more than promising.
Down the Rabbit Hole of Alcohol Withdrawal
If the sweating doesn’t get you, then the shaking will. And that’s too bad. Because the shaking helps distract you from the nausea. Well, at least you’re not suffering seizures. Oops. Too late! You’re outta there! Enjoy the darkness my friend. It’s gonna be around for awhile.
Yes, alcohol withdrawal is indeed an absolute nightmare — physically, mentally and emotionally. Want proof? Just watch The Lost Weekend or Under the Volcano. You’ll witness the horrors alright. Better yet, read the respective books those films were based upon. You may never want to drink again.
Even better still, hit an AA or Al-anon meeting. Listen to some of the stories. You’ll hear of horrors real and unimaginable. You’ll also hear of horrors shared by untold legions, both directly and indirectly.
Indeed, the NIAAA claims nearly 15 million Americans suffer from alcohol use disorder. That means nearly 15 million people regularly suffering some kind of alcohol withdrawal. It also means nearly 15 million families suffering its after effects.
Worse, those numbers are from 2018. Well before COVID struck the country. And long before isolation had a chance to set in across the land. Isolation is of course one of the driving forces of alcoholism and addiction. Consequently we dare not hazard what the next round of numbers might be.
They won’t be good though, That’s for sure. So anything that can help bring down those numbers is bound to be more than welcome — by everyone.
Are you suffering from alcohol use disorder? Have you experienced alcohol withdrawal? Once? Twice? Thrice? Even more? Would you like for them to end once and for all?
Healing Properties would too. In fact, we’ve dedicated our lives to helping men fight alcohol use disorder. Considering we’ve been around since 2002, that adds up to a whole lot of men. We don’t know exactly how many. And we don’t want to know either. Why? Because we’re not in the numbers racket. We’re in the help racket. And each and every one of those men is as important as the last — and the next.
We can tell you there have been thousands. We can also tell you more than a few have left Testimonials. Some have been written. Some have been taped. All of them have concurred — Healing Properties helped.
And that’s good enough for us. Make that great enough for us. Any day that we can do what we’ve set out to do is another great day — for everybody!
Please get in touch. It won’t take but a minute, And it could very well change your life forever. No foolin.’
(Image courtesy Pikrepo — with great gratitude.)