One of the major reasons that people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol experience severe changes in mood, sleep, and more is due to one simple fact: booze affects serotonin. On that note, many people who abuse or become addicted to this drug report personality issues such as depression or anxiety. As a result, their primary doctors will frequently prescribe serotonin reuptake inhibitors (drugs that prevent serotonin deficiencies) to help people maintain the healthy balance for this neurotransmitter. In fact, William Dundon (a senior research investigator at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s psychiatry department) explains how SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are some of the most frequently prescribed variety of anti-depressant drugs. However, as it turns out, one drug called sertraline (better known as Zoloft) isn’t the best fit for alcoholics. Let’s take a closer look at the confusing nature of this drug and find out more.

The Severity of Type B Alcoholism

Based on the research of Thomas Babor (University of Connecticut), Type B alcoholism (what we can also refer to as high-risk alcoholism) seems to have a more dangerous effect on addicts than the Type A variety. As part of a recent study, a group of 100 alcoholics were split into two groups, one receiving a sertraline dose (200/mg per day) or placebo pills (including therapy equivalent to Alcoholics Anonymous programs). Later, the team spoke to 55 Type-A alcoholics and the 45 Type-B alcoholics.

Type-A vs. Type-B

During the study, the team discovered drastic differences between the two groups:

  • Type A-alcoholics exhibited positive results from the use of the sertraline and maintained their therapy and treatment (for 6 months)
  • Type-B alcoholics experienced no medicinal benefits from using the sertraline and, for some members, drinking habits continued following the treatment regimen.

No Medication for You

As Dundon explained, his team appears to have discovered that Type A alcoholics respond particularly well to sertraline as a medication-accompaniment treatment, but, on the flip side, he has emphasized how Type B alcoholics cannot use Zoloft whatsoever. As he explains, the Type B group would have continued with successful treatment had it not been for the integration of this serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder      

Alcohol is a dangerous drug that can and will eventually inflict tremendous damage on your mind, body, and social life. Despite what medical reports about alcohol’s benefits for heart health and stroke prevention (which are true), alcohol (like any drug) can potentially harm you. Nevertheless, you must still be careful with what type of treatment you pursue. If you are suffering from a severe case of alcohol abuse or alcoholism or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this terrible mental illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the rehabilitation process and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle.

If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to put a stop to your alcohol use disorder today.


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