This is a blog for the Mental Health Policy Class at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

January 13, 2006

Harm Avoidance in the Treatment of Alcoholism

"The new concept, called harm avoidance, is gaining acceptance because of newer drugs such as acamprosate and naltrexone. Both acamprosate and naltrexone reduce craving for alcohol, and studies show that patients who relapse and fail to be totally abstinent while on these drugs still drink a lot less, which presumably means fewer adverse consequences."

1 comment:

jgilsinn said...

Harm reduction/avoidance models of treatment are very interesting to me. The fact that while AA works for some, the reality is the success rate is low, demands that alternatives exist. In England Harm Avoidance methods have become very popular alternatives. I believe that if AA helps one person it is a good thing, but the medical field cannot be directed by AA'S ideology. Research and education is the answer to changes in the field of substance abuse. As you say, behind all the numbers, there is a lot of pain, and substance abuse is no different. It is easy to blame the abusers, but society pays the price if we do not begin to address alternative interventions for this population. My final comment is this obvious statement that some people often overlook; No one ever said to themself, "You know what I want to be, an addict."