A new treatment for alcoholism has been discovered in the form of a drug currently being used to curb smoking known as Varenicline. The drug, currently marketed by Pfizer, is also known as Chantix.
Research has shown that not only will Varnicline curb smoking urges, but it can dramatically lower drinking by those suffering from alcoholism. The drug originates from a cytosine compound which can be found in a Eurpean Labumum tree. This compound combined with an alkaloid from the poppy plant makes up the synthetic drug Varenicline.
Scientists say the drug can have a dramatic effect of most people because nearly 85 percent of all alcoholics are also cigarette smokers. With a dual addiction such as this one, Varenicline might just be the next wonder drug. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has already approved the drug for human use, so drug companies such as Pfizer are likely to be able to add the new indication very quickly. Some of the other FDA approved drugs for alcoholism right now are Campral, Revia, and Antabuse.
How does the drug work? The neuronal of the brain is disrupted by the drug. Dopamine is prevented from releasing and reaching the receptors involved in arousal and attention. This happens because Varenicline binds to certain acetycholine receptors.
Many health professionals believe that since alcoholism is a disease, it needs to be treated just like any other disease with treatments and cures.