Somewhere out there may be a martini with your name on it. That’s not such a bad thing if you drink occasionally and know when enough is enough. But if you drink too much – particularly if you’re inclined to get behind the wheel afterwards – a martini with your name on it can be like a bullet with your name on it. In that case, the best defense against downing a shot could turn out to be getting a shot; that, at least, is the thinking behind a new study of monthly injections to battle alcohol abuse.
Drinking too much is a deadly game any time of year, but it’s particularly so during the holidays, when alcohol-fueled parties abound and even moderate social drinkers may indulge too heavily. That’s the reason 40% of all road deaths during the Christmas and New Years season involve at least one alcohol-impaired driver, compared to 28% the rest of the year. Those numbers ought literally to be sobering, but for some drinkers – full-blown alcoholics in particular – they’re not.
One answer for those trying to kick the habit is naltrexone, a once-a-day prescription medication that works in the brain to curb the urge to drink and reduce the amount consumed if drinkers do give into the craving. But there’s one difficulty with naltrexone: In order for the pill to work, you have to take it – essentially making a chemical commitment to sobriety every day. That’s not so easy for people who deny they have a problem or who know they do but are nonetheless looking forward to the annual office bash. “Part of the traditional problem with naltrexone has been that people just don’t take it,” says David Rosenbloom, a substance abuse specialist at the Boston School of Public Health and director of the addiction prevention and policy group Join Together.
So what do you do if you can’t remember to take a daily pill? Find out about the new treatment, and read the rest of the article here.