PEOPLE’S PHARMACY: Unique alcoholism treatment doesn’t focus on abstinence

Q: Is there any way to make passing a kidney stone less painful? I went from uncomfortable to unbearable pain within a couple of hours.

The emergency room doctors gave me narcotic pain relievers, but nothing to speed the stone out. If this ever happens again, I’d like something to help move the stone along.

A: If surgery is not necessary to remove the stone, there is one treatment that may be helpful. The same drug that is used to ease symptoms of prostate enlargement, Flomax (tamsulosin), may facilitate passage of kidney stones. Shock-wave treatment (lithotripsy) is sometimes used to break kidney stones into smaller pieces. Flomax has been used in combination with lithotripsy to help smaller stones move.

Could the key to battling alcoholism successfully be to not require abstinence from alcohol? Photo by LOUIE FAVORITE/AJC Special.

Could the key to battling alcoholism successfully be to not require abstinence from alcohol? Photo by LOUIE FAVORITE/AJC Special.

Q: I am a 62-year-old with a history of drinking six to eight alcoholic drinks a day for the past 30 years. I have no desire to stop drinking, but I realize that if I continue at my present rate, I will eventually suffer health problems. I heard your radio show about naltrexone as a treatment and started taking it in January. In the three weeks that I have been taking it, I’m down to about two drinks a day and have suffered absolutely no side effects.

A: There is more information about naltrexone in “The Cure for Alcoholism: Drink Your Way Sober Without Willpower, Abstinence or Discomfort” by Roy Eskapa.

Editor’s note: A deeper discussion about the pros and cons of naltrexone can be found in the entry linked above on the Better Health blog.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. 
E-mail them via their 
Web site: www.peoples
pharmacy.com. They can be reached at peoplespharmacy
@gmail.com.

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4 comments Add your comment

[...] week’s People’s Pharmacy column mentions an alternative treatment for alcoholism that has had great success in other parts of the [...]

[...] week’s People’s Pharmacy column mentions an alternative treatment for alcoholism that has had great success in other parts of the [...]

adela

March 2nd, 2010
9:39 pm

how can can I get this medicine, is it sold at pharmacies in mexico? do you need a doctor’s prescription?

alabama web design

March 3rd, 2010
7:10 pm

You can take control of your addiction, without shame, without blame
Despite what the 12-step philosophy will tell you, you have options for taking control of your addiction. You can look at the differences in your options through the eyes of a ship’s captain.

* Ideally, you are the captain of your ship. It is your hand on the wheel. You decide how to address the perils of the sea.
* With addiction, your control is lost. Your elixir steers your ship.
* The 12 step path tells you to take your hand off the rudder and leave the steering to a “higher power.”
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