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A Pill to Help Alcoholics is Being Tested

Jan. 13, 2015 – Drug company Pfizer thinks it is on to something with a pill to help alcoholics beat their addiction.  Working with the National Institutes of Health they are setting up tests in the form of fake bars that replicate a real bar environment but serve colored water.  The hypothesis is that many alcoholics are tempted by the sight and smell of alcohol.

In the fake bar environment, alcoholics will be asked to sniff their favorite drink then their level of ghrelin will be tested for response.  According to WebMD, ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite.  It is one of the “hunger hormones” the other being leptin which decreases appetite.

The scientists behind this study believe that if the drug works, an alcoholic’s ghrelin levels will be less effective even when exposed to the temptations of smell and the environment associated with drinking.