Fringe approaches

There's much talk around herbal medicines (like kudzu or ibogaine) that are supposed to stop your cravings or protect your liver.

They're not licensed and there's no approved body of evidence to support them, so I would advise you not to risk taking them.

There are people advocating various existing drugs - like baclofen (read more here) - used legitimately as a muscle relaxant - to 'cure alcoholism'. Again, using drugs like this isn't licensed or approved, and I wouldn't take the risk. There's been talk in the press recently (March 2012) about trials from the 60s and 70s where LSD was used: read why the evidence is manifestly unreliable here

Occasionally people ask me about reputable looking clinics they've found on the internet that offer new cures for addictions using electric frequency therapy or special healing pebbles. They all look like snake oil to me.

As Dr Nicholas Pace, a clinical professor of medicine at New York University told ABC news in America: "There is no single magic bullet. This is a complex disease (sic), and you can't just flip one switch." 1

Apply the same rule as you use to filter out scam emails: 'If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.'



Further reading (external sites)

Bad Science

The Quackometer