I’m not, in any way, against efforts to develop pharmaceutical treatments for addiction. However, I’m of the opinion that there is a culture problem among researchers and some members of their universe.
Does any serious, knowledgeable person with an eye toward practice believe that a stimulant drug is going to be an effective treatment for alcoholism?
Yet, researchers are toiling away on this, finding that it actually worsened outcomes for some subjects and calling for more research:
Modafinil significantly improved self-report measures of state impulsivity, but had no effect on percentage of abstinent days or percentage of heavy drinking days, nor on the behavioral measures of impulsivity. However, subgroup analysis revealed that modafinil prolonged the time to relapse (p=.022) and tended to increase the percentage of abstinent days (p=.066) in ADP with poor response inhibition at baseline, whereas modafinil increased the percentage of heavy drinking days (p=.003) and reduced the percentage of abstinent days (p=.002) in patients with better baseline response inhibition. Overall results do not favor the use of modafinil in order to reduce relapse or relapse severity in ADP, and caution is required in prescribing modafinil to a non-selected sample of ADP. Further research on the effect of modafinil in ADP with poor baseline response inhibition is warranted.
All for a drug that no practitioner could believe will provide real treatment utility. Why? And, why do we have so much deference to them in our culture?
- New drug found ‘every week’ in EU (independent.ie)