The costs of alcoholism are high — aside from the lives alcoholism can claim, it can cost $223.5 billion per year in terms of lost workplace productivity, health care expenses, and law enforcement fees. In terms of job performance, alcoholism can lead to lateness, absenteeism, unproductive or hostile behaviors, employee theft, low morale, high turnover, and even workplace injuries.
Clearly, it’s key for those with alcohol problems to receive the treatment they need. A new study has found that the most effective alcoholism treatment is a more personalized approach, and hopefully this information will help medical professionals develop and implement even better programs for alcoholism treatment.
New Breakthroughs in Alcoholism Treatment
The research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Health System found that an anticonvulsant medication called topiramate was helpful in alcoholism treatment for patients who want to limit their alcohol consumption. Previously, topiramate was thought effective for alcoholism treatment when a patient wished to stop drinking altogether, so this new information could be beneficial for those who intend to make gradual lifestyle changes.
With findings published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the study looked at 138 heavy drinkers. In the first one-week phase, the participants received counseling designed to decrease periods of drinking and increase their days of abstinence. Following counseling, half the patients received 12 weeks of alcoholism treatment using topiramate at 200 mg/day and the other half received a placebo. Following their alcoholism treatment, the topiramate and placebo participants were tapered off their medications over a 9-day period.
The results? Participants receiving topiramate during alcoholism treatment engaged in fewer heavy drinking days compared to those receiving the placebo. At the end of treatment, the placebo group was 5 times more likely to have a heavy drinking day over the topiramate participants, and overall the topiramate patients reported more days of abstinence from drinking.
So What Does This Mean For Alcoholism Treatment?
The research also uncovered that there is a specific genotype that relates to the success of topiramate in alcoholism treatment, suggesting that a more personalized approach is necessary for treatment to truly work. Participants with this genotype, which is only present in 40% of European-Americans, benefited the most from the medication used in alcoholism treatment because they possess a very specific form of the kainate receptor. As a result, scientists know what receptors to target as they develop new pharmaceutical therapies for alcoholism treatment.Need Alcoholism Treatment? The First Step is Confronting the Problem.If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, the first step toward alcoholism treatment is admitting that the problem exists. Sometimes, friends, family, and employees need a push in the right direction before they can pursue alcoholism treatment.
For those moments, ARCpoint Labs is here to provide quick, confidential alcohol testing. From pre-employment to reasonable suspicion to post-accident alcohol tests, we can provide the confirmation you need before helping your employee to get alcoholism treatment.
Find your local ARCpoint Labs today to learn more about our alcohol testing services!