Would you like to become indifferent to alcohol?
Would you like to reduce your anxiety?
Sydney Detox and Rehab is excited to be offering Baclofen as a treatment option to our clients. Baclofen is a medication that research suggests can:
• Make some people indifferent to alcohol
• Dramatically reduce anxiety for some patients.
It’s something we feel could change the lives of some of those struggling with alcohol addiction
What is Baclofen?
Baclofen is a muscle relaxant and antispasmodic medication that has been used to treat patients with multiple sclerosis and paraplegia for over 40 years. In the early 2000’s a new use for Baclofen was discovered…
The story of Baclofen for addiction treatment:
French cardiologist Dr Oliver Ameisen struggled with severe alcoholism and had tried every treatment route, including months in rehabs, thousands of AA meetings, years of therapy and a wide range of medications such as antibuse. In his desperation Dr Ameisen branched out of the treatment norms and put himself on Baclofen. Over time, he found that his anxiety greatly reduced and eventually disappeared and that he no longer had any interest in alcohol. That was 2004. Since then there have been numerous studies have shown the usefulness of Baclofen in treating alcohol addiction and numerous patients have benefited from Baclofen treatment. We highly recommend reading Dr Oliver Ameisen’s book The End of My Addiction to get an in-depth account of his journey with addiction and Baclofen.
Dr Amanda Stafford, who works at one of the Perth’s hospitals as an emergency department doctor, talks about the usefulness of Baclofen in alcohol addiction treatment.
How does it work?
Baclofen is thought to work on the GABA receptors in the brain to reduce cravings & anxiety. People who have used Baclofen say that this medication helps make feel them “indifferent” to alcohol. They can stop caring about drinking and no longer feel so anxious. Many people addicted to alcohol tell us that they drink because it reduces their anxiety and that they can’t control their impulses.
Could you benefit from Baclofen?
Baclofen reduces or stops cravings for alcohol in some people. This means that some people addicted to alcohol can begin to have a choice about whether or not they drink and they are no longer ruled by their cravings. It can also reduce anxiety.
How do you take Baclofen?
Baclofen comes in tablet form and is taken 3-4 times daily at the same time each day. It is a medication that needs to be increased very slowly until the optimal dose is reached. The optimal dose is the dose that will make you feel indifferent to alcohol. The dose that switches off cravings will be different for each individual and there’s no way to predict how much you’ll need.
Would it work for me?
Possibly, yes. There are few people who can’t try Baclofen treatment. Baclofen has far less risks involved when compared to the negative effects of alcohol addiction.
Please note your doctor will need to take extra care and caution if you have the following health conditions:
• Bipolar disorder
• Kidney issues
• Renal failure
Your doctor will help you decide if Baclofen is a good treatment option for you.
What do I need to know about taking Baclofen?
The most important thing to know about Baclofen is that it will take several weeks to reach a dose that could suppress your alcohol cravings. This is because the dose needs to be increased slowly and under medical supervision.
You need to be able to take Baclofen consistently, because stopping this medication suddenly can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as seizures.
What are the side effects?
Baclofen can cause a range of side effects. Side effects normally occur at the start of treatment and when the dose is increased. These typically settle down after a couple of days and most people say that they’d rather have the side effects than the alcoholism. Main side effects include tiredness, nausea, headaches and dizziness.
How long would I need to take Baclofen for?
Most people find that they need to take Baclofen for at least one year. We recommend you take it as long as required, for some people this may be several years.
The “sad and lonely” life
Alcohol addiction can take over your life and disrupt relationships, work, sense of purpose and wellbeing. Although Baclofen may reduce or eliminate alcohol cravings, it is not a cure-all. For many addicts, alcohol has become a steadfast companion and you may be faced with a considerable void when you no longer need to drink. It will be important to rebuild connections, sense of purpose & belonging, health and self-esteem in order to get the most out of life without alcohol.
Where can I find out more?
Please do not hesitate to get contact us to find out more. This page is an introduction to Baclofen and we are happy to discuss whether this treatment could be right for you and direct you to more comprehensive information.