Nalmefene approved by NICE for use to check heavy drinking
Although I have been aware of “The Sinclair Method” for some time, I have realised I have not given it the importance that it deserves on this blog, which is actually read by a lot of people who are looking for solutions to their alcohol problems, as well as those, who are moving on, from traditional addiction solutions, such as AA. There is a growing awareness about medication, that can help alcohol problems in the UK, and I feel it is important to write about this, especially in the lead up to Christmas and New Year, when people are brought to their knees, after a month of binge drinking, and attempt to do something about it in the new year. They sadly, often do not do well.
I came across this piece ,that is typical of the articles being written, and it mentions “Nalmefene” which is very similar to “Naltraxone” and is an opiate blocker, which can help extinguish the cravings to drink alcohol over time, if used by people who are drinking. This can really help those who find abstinence style solutions such as AA (which only has around a 5% success rate), impossible to stick to. Once they have their drinking under more control they can be helped by counselling etc, which rarely helps much, if a person is still a drunk. Here is the link again http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/228062973
I think attitudes to treatment for alcohol problems needs to change, although it does take time for new ideas to take a hold in the medical world. Many of the methods pushed by rehabs , such as the 12 step solution, are just not effective for the majority of people seeking help.
Here is what it says:
LONDON -In a bid to check alcoholism in the country, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved the use of nalmefene, a once-daily drug that reduces the urge to drink more.
Nalmefene, also called Selincro, is taken on an as-needed basis once a day. The drug helps those people who want to stop drinking by cutting down the urge for alcohol.
The drug is licensed for use alongside psychosocial support to help people reduce their alcohol consumption and give them the encouragement they need to continue with their treatment.
In 2012-13, there were around 1.2 million hospital admissions in England due to an alcohol-related condition or injury. Estimates suggest alcohol-related harm costs the National Health Service (NHS) in England 3.5 billion pounds a year.
The use of nalmefene is recommended for men who drink more than 7.5 units per day and for women who drink 5 units a day, says NICE in a statement. According to the manufacturer’s submission, 35,000 people are expected to be given nalmefene whilst receiving a psychosocial intervention.
Nalmefene costs 42.42 pounds for a 14-tablet pack. Assuming it is used for approximately 60 per cent of the time, as used in studies, the cost of a 28-day supply is estimated to be 48.48.pounds.
“Many people have a difficult relationship with alcohol even though they have a very stable lifestyle, maintain jobs and a social life and would not automatically assume they have a problem. But regularly drinking over the recommended daily amount of alcohol can seriously damage your health,” said Professor Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director.
“Those who could be prescribed nalmefene have already taken the first big steps by visiting their doctor, engaging with support services and taking part in therapy programmes. We are pleased to be able to recommend the use of namelfene to support people further in their efforts to fight alcohol dependence.
“When used alongside psychosocial support nalmefene is clinically and cost effective for the NHS compared with psychosocial support alone.”
The NICE said that doctors would be “legally obliged” to prescribe the pill to those who require it. Clinical trials have proved that using the drug helped to reduce “heavy drinking days” by 42 per cent with a placebo including counseling, while there was a 55 per cent reduction with the pill and counseling.
Total alcohol consumption was also noted to have been reduced by 50 per cent with placebo and counseling and the number was cut by 61 per cent with pill and counseling.
Nalmefene has been shown to cut alcohol consumption down by 61 per cent after six months alongside regular counseling sessions
One Little Pill
I recently put up a review of the film by Claudia Christian called “One Little Pill” which is about the advantages of using the “Sinclair method” and would urge people to watch it if they are interested in this type of solution, which may suit a lot of people. Here is a link to it http://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/pill/ I was interested in Claudia Christian’s background, and I came across this interview from about a year ago, before the film was finished. It is an online interview with Shira Goldberg who interviews some interesting people, and has done a lot of shows. I have included it below, but you can also visit Claudia Christian’s site here for more information. http://www.cthreefoundation.org