Good News For Alcoholics

Good news for alcoholicsThanks to scientific research and the modern capabilities of medicine, there’s good news for alcoholics in early recovery. First of all, research has shown that a certain receptor, mGluR5 , in the brain related to craving alcohol actually reduces in number after a heavy drinking bout — researchers believe the brain is trying to adapt to the damage caused by the receptor which is creating the craving for alcohol.

Research shows that this receptor in some alcoholics returns significantly after detox from alcohol, and this is what’s causing the intense craving and relapse for these alcoholics. Below is an excerpt:

Alcohol abuse disorder is a devastating and complicated disease affecting millions of people worldwide. A study presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) reveals how brain receptors involved in the compulsion to drink, adapt to alcohol-dependency by reducing their bioavailability, but return to their normal availability after a modest period of detoxification. Receptor availability at the outset of sobriety could also serve as a predictor of long-term success.

If they can devise a medicine that reduces the brain receptor, this is indeed good news for alcoholics. This will significantly reduce the compulsion to drink after a short period of sobriety. Science gets closer and closer to discovering what creates the insane craving for alcohol that has confounded so many doctors, family members, friends and the alcoholic who continues to drink in spite of negative consequences. Another excerpt:

These results could be used to further investigate mGluR5 downregulation and other biomarkers for molecular imaging and the evaluation of novel therapies that could increase an alcoholic’s ability to achieve long-term sobriety.

Yes, the language is difficult to understand for a lay person, but if you read the article, you’ll understand that this is definitely good news for alcoholics. The problem with treatment often is that when the person is out of treatment, the alcoholic brain often still craves alcohol, and, if the receptors causing the craving return to full force, it makes it difficult for some alcoholics to stay sober — the craving and triggers just wear the person down mentally and emotionally. It takes a long time for the brain to rewire itself and recover. If medicines are discovered which can reduce the craving long-term, then the person has a better chance of staying in a support group, working on a recovery management plan and achieving long-term sobriety.

Here is the article:

Society of Nuclear Medicine. “Neuro-receptor PET could provide an early warning for alcoholic relapse.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2017. .
Society of Nuclear Medicine. (2017, June 12). Neuro-receptor PET could provide an early warning for alcoholic relapse. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 13, 2017 from
Society of Nuclear Medicine. “Neuro-receptor PET could provide an early warning for alcoholic relapse.” ScienceDaily. (accessed June 13, 2017).

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