This is a medical video about alcoholism and how to combat it.
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Jennifer Matthews: Chef John Bauhs is 10 months sober and counting. John Bauhs: It really came down to a life and death decision. I mean, I realized that if I had continued to drink as heavily as I was drinking that it would eventually result in my death or the death of somebody else." Jennifer Matthews: At his worst, John was drinking more than a case of beer a day. After several unsuccessful attempts to quit, he found the drug naltrexone. It targets the reward center of the brain. Dr. Helen Pettinati: That excessive pleasure is what causes the person to take the next drink and the next drink and basically close the bar down. Jennifer Matthews: Naltrexone has been around for 10 years but only in the pill form. Researchers are now studying injectable naltrexone. In a recent study, heavy drinkers came in once a month to get a shot. Dr. Helen Pettinati: Now, drinking heavily means, for men, drinking five or more drinks a day. For women, four or more drinks a day. By the end of the six months, they were only drinking, on average, about three heavy drinking days in 30. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Helen Pettinati says 88 percent of participants decided to stick with the injectable form over the old pill form. Dr. Helen Pettinati: This injectable, where they only have to come in once a month that last for 30 days is really going to be a boom for those people who have trouble taking pills." John Bauhs: I would say that my life has gotten so much easier. My relationships have gotten better, and my work has gotten better. So, I see a great future ahead of me. Jennifer Matthews: Thanks to therapy and naltrexone, John says he can now even cook with alcohol without being tempted. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.