Pill to Curb Binge Drinking

Las Vegas, NV is a city known for overindulgence in alcohol. But, for those looking to take less of a gamble with their drinking, there is a medication that may help you to limit the drinks during your night out.

Naltrexone Study

The American Journal of Psychiatry recently published a study that found taking Naltrexone before going out helped combat binge drinking.1 Naltrexone, which has been around since 1984, is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of opioid use disorders (OUD) and alcohol use disorders (AUD).2

The drug works by blocking endorphins and reducing the euphoria felt by consuming alcohol. The study used a double-blind approach, so neither the scientists nor the participants knew who received the naltrexone pill and who received a placebo (lookalike pill containing nothing).1 Participants, in the study, took the pill whenever “they felt a craving for alcohol or anticipated a period of heavy drinking.” At the end of the 12 weeks, subjects given naltrexone reported consuming less alcohol and bingeing less frequently than the others.1

The implications of this study are significant because naltrexone has historically only been used on people with sever addictions. However, if the results of the study can be replicated and proven scientifically significant, naltrexone may be a tool to curb alcohol use for those with moderate or mild alcohol disorders.1

That being said, the study does have some limitations. For example, all 120 participants were men, which raises the question on if the same results would be found for women. Furthermore, the study was relatively short with a small sample size. However, taking naltrexone on an as-needed basis has been “widely embraced” in Europe and approved since 2013. 1

What is Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is defined as “a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 percent – or 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter – or higher,” according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. For a typical adult (aged 21 or older) this would be around 5 or more drinks for a male or 4 or more drinks for a female in about 2 hours. 3

According to a U.S. government health survey, nearly half of American drinkers reported bingeing in the past month. Even more alarming, alcohol-related deaths in the U.S. have surpassed 140,000 a year. 3

Excessive drinking has led to deadly consequences in Las Vegas, NV. A report from the Department of Public Safety has found that fatalities and crashes are up since 2020. One reason, an increase in DUI related accidents.4 Unfortunately, increased DUIs are not the only danger of binge drinking.

Dangers of Binge Drinking

There are many dangers to the alcohol bingeing drinker and those around them. Dangers of binge drinking can include3:

  • Blackouts
  • Alcohol overdose
  • Unsafe sexual behavior (risk of STIs and unintentional pregnancy).
  • Falls, drownings, burns, and other acute harm.
  • Car crashes.
  • Lowered immune system.

Repeated episodes of binge drinking and alcohol misuse can over time contribute to chronic diseases including several types of cancer and damage to the liver. Fortunately, there is effective treatment available. With the right care, you can learn to identify and control alcohol misuse.

Treatment for Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol misuse, binge drinking, and other forms of unhealthy alcohol consumption can lead to alcohol addiction, also known as an alcohol use disorder (AUD). If you suspect you or someone you love may have a problem with alcohol, treatment options are available.

Desert Hope Treatment Center is an industry-accredited drug and alcohol rehab in Las Vegas, NV. Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan to fit their unique needs and is placed in one of Desert Hope’s levels of care.

Reach out to an admissions navigator available 24/7 at for more information on how to start rehab, how to pay for addiction treatment, or how to use insurance to pay for rehab.

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Desert Hope is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is easily accessible from most locations in the Southwest. We offer a full continuum of care that spans from inpatient medical detox and rehab to outpatient services and sober living. Take the next step toward recovery: learn more about our addiction treatment programs near Vegas or learn about how rehab is affordable for everyone.