Implant 'fights alcohol abuse'


Health Check correspondent Damien McGuinness went to a clinic in the Latvian capital of Riga, to find out more about a surgical implant they offer to help people addicted to alcohol.

Upon arrival at the clinic, patients undergo a detoxification period which involves a three to four day 'drying out' under sedation. On the fourth day they receive a surgical implant, fitted under the lower abdomen, which slowly dissolves to release the drug Disulfiram, which blocks the body' s ability to break down alcohol.

If the patient starts drinking alcohol again, they may experience intense discomfort and sickness within ten minutes.

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