Alcohalics may have good news in waiting
Believe it or not, alcoholics psychological drink to get good sleep, but it actually keeps them away from getting good sleep throughout the night.
Clinically, they're highly likely to suffer from full-blown chronic insomnia that keeps them away from getting enough sleep night after night and the condition would cut their chances of getting sober as well.
The consulting physician would not in more likelihood prescribe them insomnia medications, because most sleeping pills can be habit-forming or have adverse effects due to an alcohol-damaged liver.
A small new pilot study from a team of University of Michigan alcoholism and sleep researchers offers some sign of a possible way out of this problem.
According to the study, the drug gabapentin, might be able to reduce insomnia in recovering alcoholics, and help them stay away from alcohol more successfully. The drug is often used to treat epilepsy and chronic pain, which is not habit-forming and is not processed by the liver.
During the study. 30 percent of the patients who received gabapentin during alcohol recovery relapsed to drinking, compared with 80 percent of those who received a placebo. Based on the results, the researchers have already launched additional studies of the potential role of gabapentin in alcohol recovery and sleep.
But the researchers caution that they did not observe differences in brain wave data collected during sleep studies conducted before and after patients received gabapentin. Neither did the drug appear to have a greater benefit for insomnia than placebo during the first 6 weeks of receiving study medication. Six weeks after stopping medication, however, those who had taken gabapentin reported worse insomnia than those on placebo.
According to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, alcohol problems, alone or in combination with illicit drug problems, account for 40 percent of admissions to addiction treatment programs each year. Nearly 14 million Americans are caught with alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
Tags: Alcohalic , Gabapentin , Sleep , Insomnia , Addiction
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