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Alcoholism Drugs 'Not Miracle Cures'

Meds Don't Reduce Cravings for Everyone

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Updated September 20, 2005

The Caron Foundation's medical director warns that newly approved medications for the treatment of alcoholism are not a miracle cure and should only be used in conjunction with a complete recovery program.

According to a recent article that ran across the Associated Press Newswires on September 14, 2005 - New Drugs Trying to Carve Out Niche as Treatments for Alcoholism by Mark Jewell -newly approved drugs, in addition to counseling and 12-Step programs, are looking to become the new standard treatment for alcohol abuse.

Currently, there are only a few federally approved drugs to treat alcoholism, with a few more expected to hit the market in the very near future.

Caron Foundation's medical director, Joseph Troncale, M.D., stresses that, "It is important for the message to be that these drugs are not miracle cures for most alcoholics or addicts. There are some individuals who get dramatic results from using them, but the majority of people taking these federally approved drugs notice a slight decrease in cravings; some not at all." Caron is currently using naltrexone and acamproate as an adjunct to the overall 12-Step program of recovery.

Caron's medical staff agrees with Dr. Litten's comments in the article. They feel that while drug companies will try to portray these new medications as panaceas, the truth is that they may be helpful to some people, but only as part of their overall recovery strategy.

Long-Term Sobriety

According to Dr. Troncale, "The ultimate message is that these drugs need to be used in conjunction with 12-Step recovery programs or other ongoing support or therapy in order for an alcoholic to achieve long-term sobriety."

Caron operates a residential treatment center in Wernersville, in southeastern Pennsylvania and Renaissance Institute of Palm Beach, an extended care treatment center in Boca Raton, Florida.

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