Ireland will be next to join the UK, America, Russia and Australia in offering the innovative ‘pellet’ treatment to alcoholics to help curb the patient's addiction. The ‘pellet’ is actually a drug called Naltrexone which is inserted into the patient’s lower abdomen for a three month period. The pill is designed to release a controlled amount of the drug into the bloodstream which will in turn suppress the ‘high’ feeling drinkers get from consuming alcohol.
In the meantime, Irish alcoholics continue to venture to the UK to give sobriety a try with the help of this special ‘pellet.’
Brendon Quinn, commerical director of the Abstinence Centre in London which offers the pellets, told the Irish Independent.
"We have quite a lot of people travelling over from Ireland," and added, "for many people, it's an affordable intervention."
The success rate of the pellet has been estimated between 30 and 40. If necessary, a patient can keep a pellet in for a maximum period of 18 months. Mr. Quinn went on to explain that the pellet is best used in conjunction with other methods.
"While it's a very good product, it should not be viewed as a magic cure...Ongoing psychological support is crucial, as well as follow-up consultations,” adding that, "This treatment should be seen as a spoke in the wheel - and not viewed as a cure."
“Much like Nicorette patches are not for everybody, we must also be sure of a patient's suitability before inserting a pellet."
Dr. Hugh Gallagher of the One Step Clinic in the Healthy Living Centre in Dublin City College will be first to give out the pellets to private patients in Ireland. Dr. Gallagher shed some light on more of the process that goes along with administering the pellets.
He explained that, "The people seeking this procedure have a high dependency on alcohol so it's a very good aid to treating addiction,” adding, "Patients will also be assessed for any physical and mental problems they may have from their years of heavy drinking.
"Blood tests will also be carried out. Ideally, patients will get four implants every three months, but that will vary depending on the patient."