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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Alcohol abuse continues to be in the news...

Here is another drug for what is a very large market, if you can get past side effects and related possible long term risks. It would be hard to tell because it will be pushed by drug reps before any long term large sample size studies are completed. I guess more of a search for guinea pigs.

On the other hand here is my approach to the issue with herbs, proven in actual studies on campus at a big party school.

New Herbal Remedy Developed for College Binge Drinking Can Help Reduce Campus Drinking and Associated Fatalities.

Well known natural health educator and consultant, Dr. Gayle Eversole, Founder and Director of Creating Health Institute of Pullman, Washington, has taken an active role to prevent binge drinking and other risky alcohol related behavior for those away at college.

November 1, 2004 “ Concerned about college drinking, Dr. Gayle Eversole developed an herbal treatment to help binge drinking and other risky behavior on campus.

In September, N22 Nutrition contacted Dr. Eversole to develop a formula to reduce muscle cramping and improve recovery rates for use in extreme athletic endeavors like Motocross racing. This formula, PUMPX, has resulted in greater than expected results,
as well as showing benefits for recovery in related sports injuries.

During development discussions the idea to create a formula to address the problems of campus drinking, in the wake of repeated incidents of campus deaths reported nationwide. 'Chalmer's Choice' Booze-Bust Balancer was developed based on remedies used in Oriental Medicine and traditional folk medicine for centuries.

Dr. Eversole has extensive experience in addiction treatment. She stated that "the pressures are great on campus and there is a great need to respond to the power of the college subculture in order to understand and respond to the dangers of college drinking behavior." Washington State University and the University of Idaho are located in the area of Pullman, WA. These two schools have recently experienced serious alcohol related incidents.

A recent study shows that excessive alcohol use is epidemic on campuses across America. Nationally, 1,400 college students die each year from alcohol-related
unintentional injuries, according to Harvard University.

The Harvard study also said two out of five students binge drink at least once a week and that besides the deaths, another 500,000 are injured while 600,000 are assaulted by someone who is drinking. According to the nonprofit group Drug Strategies, college students spend $5.5 billion a year on alcohol, more than they spend on non-alcoholic beverages and books combined. CNN reported that parents of college kids ranked binge
drinking as their greatest fear as far back as 2001.

College drinking is usually associated with random acts of stupidity and/or peer bonding, and it can sometimes be life altering when it challenges judgment. It can interfere with the body's ability to function properly and affect the heart, liver, lungs or brain, and can be life threatening.

College students often have a poor sense of self and identity, who may encounter the possibility of substance use in the family or mental health problem, are more vulnerable to binge drinking and associated behavior.

Dr. Eversole is a health writer and educator, medical herbalist, homeopath and nurse practitioner. Dr. Eversole has served as a consultant to business, governments and organizations. She has been a faculty member at several institutions of higher learning. She is also a consultant in legal and forensic nursing and a certified mediator and registered arbitrator. Eversole is a published author and presents a Natural Health program on net radio.

Dr. Gayle Eversole is available for commentary and interviews on this and many subjects pertaining to natural health and bridging the gap with mainstream medicine.

As far as my experience in community mental health, chemical dependency, psychiatric nursing and related areas, I believe that this is more of a spiritual issue. Working Step 12 in the AA model is they key to resolution of major portions of this problem. Current treatment, from my perspective maintains people at Step 3-4, serving the system not the client.

It might take a long time before we see change.

New drug can treat alcoholism: Sat Feb 16

A new drug can help alcoholics overcome their addiction by reducing stress-induced cravings, a study released Thursday has found.

There is already a drug on the market, Revia, which treats alcoholism by reducing the body's ability to enjoy its effects.

This new drug cuts cravings by taking the edge off of stressful situations which might push recovering alcoholics to pick up the bottle again.

Behavioral stress is a major factor in extending the "vicious cycle" of alcoholism, said lead author Markus Heilig, clinical director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

That's because alcohol deprivation causes depression and increased sensitivity to stressful situations such as an argument with a spouse or tension at work.

"Alcohol is a particularly nasty drug because it actually makes you feel better, but it pushes you to feel worse once you're without alcohol," he told AFP.

The drug Heilig and his team tested targets an area of the brain, the neurokinin 1 receptor, which mediates responses to behavioral stress. It had previously been shown to reduce social anxiety but did not enter the market because results were inconsistent.

Helig and his team first tested its effectiveness on mice and then on a group of 50 alcoholics with anxiety problems who had been through detox and remained hospitalized for the four weeks of the trial.

Half were given a placebo and the other half were given the drug.

Cravings declined over time for all patients in the protected inpatient environment and were minimal in the majority of patients by the end of the study period.

However, those who had been drug showed a more marked improvement in the severity of their cravings when measured by self-reporting questionnaires, the assessment of their clinicians, and tests where they were exposed to socially stressful situations and then told to touch a bottle and smell their favorite alcohol.

Interestingly, there was no impact on anxious or depressive psychopathology which suggests that "the improvements observed might be specific for brain processes related to alcoholism," the study published online in Science Express concluded.

The drug also led to increased brain responses to positive imagery and lessened responses to negative imagery, something which a recent study showed predicts less alcohol consumption over the next six months, tests using MRI mapping showed.

The next step is larger clinical trials to see if the drug can be of assistance to alcoholics who do not suffer from anxiety problems.

Copyright © 2008 Agence France Presse.


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