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Being Open Minded When Helping A Drinker
Whilst it is true that some of these haven't built up the type of track record in clinical trials that many alcohol experts would like to see, if a drinker is clearly going to die unless they receive effective treatment there can clearly be a case for throwing caution to the wind.
For example, The Ameisen Baclofen Programme has been producing staggering results and has so far not produced a single case of any side effects we are aware of that didn't revert fairly quickly.
When you consider that there are cases of people actually dying from consuming drugs like aspirin they can buy without prescription, it seems remarkable that some doctors still remain wary of this new form of treatment.
The really top alcohol experts, on the other hand, tend to agree with anything that works and are following these newer methods with great interest.
It's an interesting phenomenon that the followers are sometimes more dogmatic than the prophets but Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA, in fact had nothing against medications and said it would be wonderful if there were a medicine for alcoholics.
One of the few criticisms of any kind we would ever wish to make about those who work in any areas of combating alcohol addiction is that they tend to be blinkered towards the particular approach that they are using, and are often incapable of recognising that there can be any merit whatsoever in alternative methods.
But one quality we have noticed that distinguishes most of the really top addiction experts from the lesser lights in the field is that they are willing to consider virtually anything that could be effective - even if it doesn't necessarily suit their own commercial agenda.
They would never rule out the newer treatments and they follow them with interest, although they invariably point out that a lot needs to be found out about them before we have can confidence they will work.
They acknowledge that, because drinkers are so different, if professionals lump everything together and say one size fits all it just will not work.
We have virtually nothing but praise for AA and for the 12 Step approach as a whole - a version of which is used by most rehabilitation clinics - as they have made a huge difference to millions of people's lives and may well constitute the most appropriate starting point for attempting to overcome alcohol addiction in a great many cases.
Nevertheless, the 12 Step approach has changed little in the 75 years it has been in existence and, just because it clearly can prove effective, it doesn't mean that other more modern methods can't work as well.
Although the fact has never been terribly well publicised, Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA, at one time actually tried to introduce nutritional methods into the AA experience but his efforts were rejected by the membership.
So we feel that there is a very strong case for considering some of the newer treatments for combating alcohol addiction, such as The Ameisen Baclofen Program, The Sinclair Method and a nutritional approach known as The 101 Programme.
These could well prove life savers if the traditional methods such as traditional medications, residential rehabilitation, counselling with addiction therapists and self-help groups have failed.
Indeed, it is our considered opinion that any significant improvement in the treatment of alcohol addiction will result from new medical advances because they tend to be much less resource intensive than the traditional approaches and show the potential for producing consistently higher success rates.
If an approach like the Ameisen Baclofen Program fulfils the potential that it has demonstrated at the time of writing it could actually completely revolutionise the treatment of alcohol addiction worldwide.
So one of our key messages to you in your quest to find a solution to your loved one's problem is for you always to keep an open mind.