8 Oct 2013

Scotland to authorise drug to reduce alcohol craving

4:56 pm on 8 October 2013

Scotland has become the first country in Europe to prescribe a new drug that reduces cravings for alcohol.

The country's publicly-funded health service has given the go-ahead to doctors to prescribe Nalmafene, which costs about $6 a tablet.

Scotland's been blighted by alcohol-related crime and health problems for decades, with consumption outstripping that of all European Union nations, as well as Russia.

Nalmafene lessens the 'buzz' or reward sensation which alcohol can give by reducing the release of dopamine in the brain.

In trials, men who normally drank eight units of alcohol a day and woman who drank six units cut their consumption by half when they took the drug.

Nalmafene would be prescribed alongside psychological support.

The drug is designed to help heavy drinkers in time to prevent them suffering serious health damage.