Alcoholism cure? France abuzz over alcoholic 'cure' (Health)
France abuzz over alcoholic 'cure'
By Hugh Schofield
An eminent French cardiologist has triggered an impassioned debate in the medical world over his claim to have discovered a cure for alcoholism.
Dr Olivier Ameisen, 55, one of France's top heart specialists, says he overcame his own addiction to alcohol by self-administering doses of a muscle-relaxant called baclofen.
He has now written a book about his experience - Le Dernier Verre (The Last Glass) - in which he calls for clinical trials to test his theory that baclofen suppresses the craving for drink.
Widespread media coverage of his book in France has led to a rush of demands from alcoholics for similar treatment, and some doctors have reported unexpected successes after prescribing it.
But many other specialists are sceptical, warning of the dangers of so-called miracle cures.
Dr Ameisen was associate professor of cardiology at New York's Cornell University, and in 1994 he opened a profitable private practice in Manhattan.
But, stricken by an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy - he says he felt like "an impostor waiting to be unmasked" - he found relief in large quantities of whisky and gin.
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