Many people with alcohol abuse experience an intense activation of the brain’s reward system when consuming alcohol. Here it has been shown that the medication called Naltrexone, which has virtually no side effects, can block the alcohol-released euphoria and can thus significantly reduce the need for alcohol. This treatment is frequently used in other countries, but very few Danish treatment centers make use of it.
The patients to whom we offer Naltrexone at Ulrichsen’s Clinic describe an intense euphoria when drinking alcohol. The typically drink to lift their spirits rather than to neutralize anxiety. There is also a family history of alcoholism, and alcohol is the only substance that is abused, because nothing else can match the positive effect of alcohol. The medication Selincro (Nalmafene), which was launched in Denmark in 2013, has an effect similar to that of Naltrexone.