Five-minute surgery implants chip in Chinese man to help alcohol addiction
A 36-year-old man has apparently managed to get rid of his alcohol addiction with the help of a surgery that lasted for just five minutes, South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday (April 25).
The man, whose surname was mentioned in the report as Liu, became the first person in China to receive a surgically implanted chip designed to remove his craving for a drink.
The report mentioned that the man underwent the procedure on April 12 at the Hunan Brain Hospital in central China. The procedure was part of a clinical trial led by Hao Wei, who is a former vice president of the United Nation's International Narcotics Control Board.
The report also highlighted how the chip works. The surgically implanted chip releases naltrexone which gets absorbed by the body and targets receptors in the brain. Naltrexone is a substance commonly used in addiction treatment to prevent relapse.
What happened to Liu?
The SCMP report detailed the issues faced by Liu, who is from Hunan province in central China, and has been an alcoholic for 15 years. He reportedly used to get violent quite often after drinking about half a litre of Chinese liquor on an average day. His daily routine included drinking a bottle of Chinese liquor before breakfast. He often drank alcohol throughout the day at work and often continue the same into the evening until he passed out.
As quoted, he said, "Whenever I didn't have a bottle on me, I felt very anxious" and as reported by Xiaoxiang Herald, Liu said that he hopes he can now enjoy a life free from alcohol.
People across the globe suffer from the ill effects of alcohol addiction and find ways to attain sobriety. Researchers are also coming up with various plans to help people reduce alcohol addiction and neutralise the tendency of binge drinking.
The American Journal of Psychiatry published a study earlier this year, which revealed that taking a dose of the medication naltrexone before consuming alcohol can help in reducing binge-drinking scenarios. The study was published by the New York Times.
Binge drinking has become a common issue globally. According to a US government health survey, nearly half of American drinkers reported bingeing. Experts have even noted that some may view binge drinking as harmless because the habit is widespread and a low percentage of binge drinkers are dependent on alcohol.
But one must remember that alcoholism is a major risk factor for alcohol-related illness and injuries.