Naltrexone is a drug used to treat people with alcohol problems. Alcohol and nicotine stimulate the same reward pathways in the brain and a study of 78 people by researchers at the University of Chicago has found that it can also help heavy social drinkers who smoke give up tobacco and cut down on their drinking. The participants in the study had a range of drinking behaviour from total abstinence to heavy social drinking; half of them were given naltrexone and half were given a placebo. The study found that 50mg of naltrexone daily, together with a nicotine patch and counselling, significantly decreased heavy drinking rates and the participants who drank the most were most likely to quit smoking as well.
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