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Scientists Discover Brain Protein that Could Stop Binge Drinking

alcohol binge drinking

Many people who drink too much wish they could simply drink less without giving up drinking altogether. A recent scientific study revealed a tool that might be capable of allowing a person to do just that.

Scientists Find Protein Reduces Desire to Binge Drink

Scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found a brain protein that could be used to keep people from drinking too much or experiencing strong cravings for alcohol. When used on mice, the brain protein kept the mice from drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

The protein worked by blocking another protein in the brain that is associated with binge drinking and the desire to drink more. If this treatment is adapted to humans, researchers hope that it could stop people from becoming alcohol dependent by keeping them from building an alcohol tolerance.

Questions Remain About Human Trials to Reduce Alcoholism

Among other questions (like how they turned mice into alcoholics), the researchers have yet to answer how this treatment could be used on humans.

This experiment was not the first to look for a way to keep problem drinkers from drinking too much or becoming alcoholics. There are currently a number of drugs on the market designed to suppress risky drinkers’ desires to drink. Naltrexone and acamprosate are two other drugs that are currently being used to block the good feelings that come from drinking too much and the cravings that fuel relapse, respectively.

While each of these drugs have a clinical use—many rehab facilities across the country use them as a part of treatment—they aren’t capable of treating the core causes of addiction. Because addiction is a bigger disease than just substance abuse, addictive behaviors may continue even if the substance abuse stops (the “dry drunk” phenomenon). For instance, if people stop drinking, they may turn to binge eating, sex, or exercise as other ways to satisfy their needs.

The “Magic Pill” to Stop Alcoholism May be Too Good to be True

If taking a pill to cure addiction sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. Meaningful lifelong recovery starts with comprehensive addiction treatment. The best treatment for addiction is individualized and takes into account all the aspects that interact with addiction, including:

  • Behaviors
  • Relationships
  • Brain chemistry
  • Mental health
  • History of trauma

Banyan Treatment Center specializes in treating all of these elements in a welcoming and supportive community environment. At Banyan, you will be given the most advanced evidence-based treatment while also experiencing the advantages of personalized treatment. If you are looking for comprehensive addiction treatment, call Banyan today.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Scientists Discover Brain Protein that Could Stop Binge Drinking
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