New strategies in the treatment of alcohol dependence

Written by: Dra. Almudena Reneses Sacristán
Published: | Updated: 18/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®


Advances in the treatment of alcoholism

Alcholismo With the emergence of a new drug for the treatment of alcohol dependence comes a new strategy for addressing this problem. The initial focus is no longer absolute abstinence, but we will focus on metered decrease alcohol consumption in both frequency and quantity. This new intervention strategy is similar to that already used in the treatment of nicotine dependence, which is yielding good results.

The drug used is nalmefene, a molecule that blocks opioid receptors in the brain causing a reduction of the satisfaction you get to consume alcohol. Thanks to him the possibility to control the intake is increased. In early stages, take a daily dose orally and in subsequent phases the patient manage his administration in situations that provide high risk. Thus the subject will have a sense of independence and self-control that will make it stimulating the decrease or disappearance of alcohol.


Which patients should attend alcohol treatment

This treatment is recommended alcohol dependent adults, whose consumption is high risk, abuse or dependence. We define high risk when the male patient consumed 60 grams per day (about six glasses of alcohol) or female patient consumed 40 grams per day (about four cups).

When you start treating the patient by the psychiatrist design a plan to reduce daily intake, weekly or monthly alcohol. This approach makes it more accessible abandoning the idea of ​​dependence, it will focus in a more simple and therefore greater therapeutic success and a higher level of adherence to treatment is obtained. In addition, close monitoring between professional, family and the subject is required, it is a good psychosocial support is needed.


Family and alcohol treatment

The family is crucial to address the problem. The attitude adopted the couple or people close to the person with alcohol dependence, can be crucial to encourage you to carry out properly the treatment. Interviews with the family have proved effective: increasing engagement of patients with treatment programs, increase adherence to treatment, reduce the risk of relapse after treatment and, above all, very important and sometimes forgotten, improve performance family and promote standardized patients in their social inclusion. In addition, another aspect that serves the need of the family to talk and share what they are experiencing in their homes.

Another is to send you the new plan of intervention, as the couple or family come to the consultation with the thought that the subject completely abandon alcohol from day one. It is common to describe the new approach, it awakens mistrust. Family sessions will alternate with the individual so that each family member to share and confront their experiences and feelings.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dra. Almudena Reneses Sacristán

Madrid prominent psychiatrist, a specialist in family therapy and family orientation. I formed continuously through various masters and specialty courses, conducted a stay at the Mont Sinai Hospital in New York. He has participated as a speaker at numerous national and international conferences, and is collaborating member of the Spanish Society of Legal and Forensic Psychiatry and Psychiatric Association Private Spanish.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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