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Old 8 January 2018, 20:15
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Purple36 Purple36 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
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So I was reading someone's positive account of using Baclofen to reduce/eliminate desire for alcohol. I am not familiar with Baclofen so decided to research it.

What I found interesting was the site's description of the process of addiction:

"Addictions to drugs such as alcohol take hold progressively, in three stages. The first stage is the first experiences of the drug where its use is festive and feels liberating. The dopaminergic systems are critically important in this phase: the person is at liberty to stop at any time.

The second phase is one of transition towards dependence. The need to take the drug becomes more insistent and the dose needed increases. The person is no longer as capable of stopping taking the drug if desired. Neurobiologically, the activity of the dopaminergic systems changes toward another way of acting and other systems in the brain become important. These are the systems involved in the memories of pleasurable experiences which form a link between the experience of pleasure itself and the pursuit to procure the drug. The systems which form these memories are found in another area of the brain called the limbic system.

In the third phase of addiction, the pursuit of the drug becomes a compulsion and the person loses any possibility of avoiding the need to procure the drug and is thereby rendered a slave to it. Neurobiologically, this corresponds to a set of marked changes in the brain in a region called the dorsal striatum which plays a central role in the compulsion to repeat behaviours. Now the dependence is a true biological illness. The addiction is no longer a pleasure but a source of suffering.


The hypothesis on the way baclofen acts in the brain:

Baclofen treatment produces a state of indifference towards alcohol. This is obtained by progressively increasing the dose until the indifference appears. There is therefore the concept of a threshold, meaning that above a certain level of activation of the GABA B receptors, the systems involved in addiction are inactivated. These systems may be the dopaminergic systems which we think are responsible for cravings but also the memory setting actions of the limbic system which we think are responsible for the link between an environmental stimulus, eg seeing a bottle of alcohol, and the desire to drink. There are also the systems involved in the compulsion to drink situated in the dorsal striatum. We don’t yet understand the links between GABA B receptors and the suppression of craving, indifference to alcohol and the suppression of compulsions.

What have we learned from the clinical use of baclofen in alcoholism?

"We don’t generally ask patients treated with baclofen to stop drinking when they start the treatment. This means that amongst those patients who respond well to baclofen, the cessation of alcohol intake happens when they become indifferent to alcohol. But I’ve never seen these patients go into alcohol withdrawal ie they don’t have the symptoms normally seen with rapid cessation (anxiety, tremors, sweats, feeling unwell). "
- Faith involves believing in the veracity of the unprovable and unobservable, whether that consists of religion or theoretical physics, which at the very subatomic level start looking rather similar. -ET1/SS Nuke
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