Heavy social drinkers who took the addiction-treatment drug naltrexone were more likely to cut down on their smoking as well as drinking, according to researchers from the University of Chicago.
Reuters reported March 26 that a study of 78 nonalcoholic social drinkers found that 80 percent of those who drank more heavily and who received naltrexone quit smoking during the eight-week study period, compared to 52 percent in a placebo group.
The effect was less pronounced among lighter drinkers, according to lead researcher Andrea C. King. “Since alcohol drinking may increase urges to smoke and precipitate smoking lapses, it would follow that naltrexone might be beneficial for drinker-smokers,” she said, adding that if the findings are confirmed, “use of naltrexone could be expanded to drinkers-smokers who are trying to quit smoking.”
The study appears online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and will be published in the June 2009 issue.