Baclofen – the future
So, what of the future?
There is not the slightest doubt that, through Dr Ameisen’s brave report of his own self-medication with Baclofen, the future for many sufferers of alcoholism and other addictions looks better than it has ever done.
As detailed on this web site, there is now an ever-growing body of evidence that most, if not all, of these afflictions are the result of a genuine physical abnomality(s) in the sufferer’s brain.
What is needed right now, as a matter of some urgency, are properly controlled medical trials of the use of Baclofen.
Some have already been undertaken. However, in our opinion, it is vitally important that such trials utilise doses of Baclofen that have been reported by sufferers as having ‘functionally cured’ or significantly helped them – i.e. they simply MUST investigate the use of High-Dose Baclofen.
Further, these trials must be designed to investigate the use of High-Dose Baclofen in all the various sub-types of alcoholics.
It is also our opinion that it is probably unlikely that there will be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to all people afflicted with alcohol-related problems. We feel that it is probable that High-Dose Baclofen will work fantastically well in some; very well in others; and not at all in some. These groups need to be identified, and proper management protocols designed for each.
Irrespective of the results of any such trials, it is clear that a huge number of people have benefitted from High-Dose Baclofen, and will continue to take it even if the results of trials are inconclusive or even negative.
It is of paramount importance that family doctors (rather than alcoholism specialists) become open-minded and considerably more interested in the use of High-Dose Baclofen. In our opinion, alcoholism does NOT need to be treated in specialist centres with very intensive behavioural therapies.
The future is locally-based management; with drug therapy (of which Baclofen is one but probably the most exciting) running alongside a basic support Programme – best undertaken for 12 weeks in the first instance. This support could readily be undertaken by sufficiently motivated General Practitioners.
Unfortunately, Baclofen is several decades out of its patent. Consequently, there is little or no incentive for drug companies to fund any such trials. We hope, and believe, that Bclofen is only the start, and that other new, (hopefully) better ‘second generation’ GABAb agonists are developed and properly trialled.
As things stand, these new drugs WILL be the future for people afflicted by alcoholism and other addictions.
They cannot come quickly enough.