This health video focuses on the new treatment available for those sufferers of alcoholism.
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Jennifer Matthews: A day at the lake is a perfect day for tom. He's finally able to enjoy time alone after battling alcoholism for six years. The addiction destroyed everything that once mattered. Tom: I lost a career because of that. I broke up, it helped break up my marriage." Jennifer Matthews: Tom would drink up to 10 glasses of whisky like this a day! Tom: It's miserable. Basically, your life doesn't belong to you anymore. You're consumed with consuming alcohol. Jennifer Matthews: But today, Tom can focus on other things -- like fishing -- thanks to a new drug called topiramate. Doctor Bankole Johnson says the drug is one of the first that targets the brain in alcoholics. Dr. Bankole Johnson: What we are trying to show is that alcohol dependence is actually a brain disease in the same way other brain diseases are ... like migraine or epilepsy. Jennifer Matthews: Topiramate works by slowing the effects of dopamine -- a chemical in the brain. In a 12-week study, those who took the drug were 6-times more likely to stop drinking than those who took a placebo pill. Dr. Bankole Johnson: I think this is very exciting. Jennifer Matthews: Another exciting -- but accidental -- finding was the drug also helped smokers reduce their cravings. Since the study, Tom has been sober for more than 9 months! Tom: It was like a miracle to me. I'm getting my life back, and it feels great. Jennifer Matthews: And looking forward to the future! This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.