As with any illness or disease we all wish for a cure, or even better preventative measures that will ensure we never have a life threatening disease. Alcoholism is no different and should there be a means of preventing someone from becoming addicted to alcohol, I’m sure we would all avail of it. A new drug has been associated with the treatment of alcohol abuse and addiction. The drug is topiramate and has been shown to reduce the level of drinking in patients. Researchers also believe that the drug can prove helpful in treating problem drinkers who have an aim to curb their consumption or abstain from alcohol.
Research that has been carried out shows the drug to be a valid option for people who wish to limit their drinking as opposed to stop drinking completely. In this case there have been arguments made that the drug can serve to intervene at an early stage of someone’s drinking and assist them in reducing the levels they consume, in turn saving them from elevated levels of consumption and potentially alcohol addiction. Findings suggest the drug cannot be used to eliminate someone’s drinking but it can assist in reducing it. With a renewed focus on harm reduction, topiramate could be a significant player in addressing alcohol abuse or addiction. In terms of preventing consumption completely in order to embark on long term recovery, such a drug may not yield as much weight. This is because being dependent on alcohol means that the desire to drink is overwhelmingly strong, therefore one drink is never enough and an addict who intends to recover fully cannot take the risk of having that one drink.
This piece is concerned with prevention and addressing the addiction before it actually starts. Research suggests there are several factors to addiction, some believe that people have a genetic disposition to become addicts; others feel it is social, personal and behavioural influences that determine ones susceptibility to addiction. The belief that addiction can be stopped before it starts gives many hope, but if it’s that simple why are so many people addicted to so many things. When an individual sees their consumption of alcohol impacting negatively on their life would they not immediately take measures to address this? Evidence shows that we don’t and unfortunately for many the end result is a full blown addiction to a substance that destroys individuals and families every day. There are no hard and fast rules and the situation is dependent on each individual person. Too much of anything is bad for us and this is particularly true of a substance that has the potential to be addictive; therefore continuing use despite negative effects is going to depend on the person, the society and the circumstances.
Some maybe lucky enough to have the support, clarity, determination and awareness to stop the addiction before it starts but unfortunately the majority have been consumed by this dark addiction before they have the time to realise what a significant problem and threat it actually is. Sadly 1 in every 12 adults in the United States abuse alcohol or is alcohol dependant. The reality is that it is not until an individual is dependent on alcohol and consumed by their addiction that they realise there is a problem, one significant enough to stop their drinking completely. Denial is also a huge barrier when it comes to alcohol abuse or dependence, making the potential for stopping the addiction before it starts very unlikely.