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Anti-craving drug and counseling lower alcohol harm in homeless, without sobriety demands
Date:5/15/2014

c or hospital setting where the patient can receive medical support. Even when alcohol withdrawal is achieved under the direct care of health professionals, many homeless clients start drinking again when they return to the streets. A cycle of going on and off the wagon can produce what Collins said is a "kindling effect" that makes the symptoms of each subsequent withdrawal more intense.

To test what they hope is a better way to help alcohol dependent homeless clients, the researchers approached 45 clients at two community agencies in the Pacific Northwest; 43 said they were interested. A first injection of naltrexone was received by 31 of them, and 24 participated in all study procedures. The participants said that they found the treatment acceptable. The outcomes of the treatment reported or measured among the participants included decreases in alcohol craving (33%), drops in amount of alcohol consumed on typical and peak drinking days (25% and 34%, respectively), decrease in frequency of alcohol use (17%) and decrease in problems associated with alcohol use (60%). Participants' use of alcohol during the 12-week program was also assessed through regular blood and urine testing, which confirmed participants' self-reports.

The study participants were a median age of 50 years and were mostly men. American Indian/Alaska Native/First Nation participants made up 35.5% of the study group and Caucasians, 38.7%, and another 12.9% identified themselves as multi-racial. The percentage of African Americans was 9.7%, and of Hawaiian Natives/Pacific Islanders, 3.2%. There were no Asian participants in the study.

Researchers were careful to say that the results of the program may reflect the specific culture and demographics of the homeless population in Seattle. Conclusions can't yet be fully drawn for homeless populations in other parts of the country. The researchers plan to test this therapeutic approach in locations outside of the Seattle a
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Contact: Leila Gray
leilag@uw.edu
206-685-0381
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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Anti-craving drug and counseling lower alcohol harm in homeless, without sobriety demands
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