A new pill designed to help alcoholics drink less apparently does the trick: Nalmefene, which is currently in the clinical-trial stage, is designed to be taken before a person heads into a situation in which they feel they'll have a hard time saying no to alcohol. In a six-month, 600-person study, those taking the drug, in tandem with counseling, reduced the amount of booze they drank daily by more than half (from the equivalent of a bottle of wine down to a big glass of wine), and cut down on binges (from 19 to seven heavy days).
Nalmefene is supposed to work by interrupting the brain mechanisms that make alcoholics feel pleasure when they drink. As with many drugs, it's not all pleasurable, though: Dizziness, nausea, insomnia, vomiting, and excessive sweating are reported side effects. Still, it could be a big win for alcoholics, whose current pharmaceutical options are limited to drugs that intentionally make them ill if they drink, reports the Telegraph. (Read more alcoholism stories.)