Monday, December 22, 2008

Adolescents, drink, and drugs therapy

Alcohol dependence is a common problem in adolescents with both regular and binge-drinking patterns occuring. Adults often have drug treatment, along with psychotherapy, for alcohol problems but little research has been done into drug therapy for adolescents with drink problems. An Indian study of 58 adolescents divided them into two groups. One group received disulfiram while the other group received naltrexone and the study lasted for six months. The adolescents who had a relapse lasted longer (84 days on average) before relapse when taking disulfiram, than when taking naltrexone (average 51 days). Nearly 80% of participants taking disulfiram remained abstinent compared to just over 50% of those taking naltrexone. However, those taking naltrexone had less cravings for alcohol than those taking disulfiram. The researchers concluded that more research needed to be done into the effectiveness of these drugs with larger samples of participants in a variety of settings.

De Sousa, Avinash and De Sousa, Alan - An open randomized trial comparing disulfiram and naltrexone in adolescents with alcohol dependence Journal of Substance Use December 2008, 13(6), 382-388

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