Drugs to help alcoholics becoming more available

Medications that can help alcoholics stay sober are becoming more easily available in Manitoba.

Ginette Poulin, the medical director of the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, tells 680 CJOB some first-step programs don’t work for everyone but new drugs that are now available have proven to have some success.

Naltrexone helps alcoholics by cutting off the pleasure sensations associated with alcohol use while Acamprosate, sold under the brand name Campral, eases withdrawal symptoms like insomnia and anxiety.

Poulin says about 20 percent of Canadians fall in the category of heavy drinkers, while 30 percent of Manitobans have had an indication of alcohol disorder in the past year.

But Poulin says many people face hurdles in getting the drugs.

Doctors have to submit a prescription order to the province and there is a time period before it’s approved on top of the cost involved.


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