Limitations of Current AUD Therapies
Today the most common treatments for AUD are directed at achieving abstinence and typical treatments include psychological and social interventions. Most therapies actually require abstinence prior to initiating therapy. Abstinence requires dramatic lifestyle changes often with serious work and social consequences. Frequently, patients cannot attend family and social events in order to ensure compliance with abstinence, and patients often must suffer from the stigma of having been labelled an alcoholic. Significant side effects of current pharmacologic therapies include mental side effects such as psychiatric disorders and depressive symptoms and physical side effect such as nausea, dizziness, vomiting, abdominal pain, arthritis and joint fitness. In fact, according to peer reviewed studies referenced in the 2014 book The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry, by Dr. Lance Dodes, the former Director of the substance abuse treatment unit of Harvard’s McLean Hospital, 90% or more of patients that use current therapy solutions, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, do not achieve long-term abstinence.