JUNEAU - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will host three community presentations in May with Dr. Robert Robin to present findings from a recent study where the Yale University School of Medicine and SEARHC partnered to test the effectiveness of two medications to treat alcohol dependence in Alaskans.
The presentation times and locations are as follows:
In Sitka, at 2:30 p.m. May 5 at the SEARHC Mount Edgecumbe Hospital, fourth floor conference room.
In Sitka, at 4 p.m. May 9 at the Haines public library.
In Juneau, at 2 p.m. May 12 in the Ethel Lund Medical Center conference rooms.
This was the first study of its kind to be conducted in a rural setting, and it examined how well naltrexone worked by itself and in combination with the anti-depressant drug sertraline (Zoloft) to treat alcohol dependence. Naltrexone is an FDA-approved drug to treat alcoholism, and since 1996 it has been researched with other populations groups in the United States, but not in Alaska or with Alaska Natives or American Indians.
Between 2002 and 2006, this unique study enrolled and treated 101 Alaskans who were dependent on alcohol, including both Native and non-Native individuals. Those enrolled in the study received naltrexone, naltrexone and sertraline in combination, or a placebo. They also received medical management and counseling during the four months they participated in the study.
Robin will present the study findings and then lead a discussion about the role of naltrexone in alcohol treatment. He is a research scientist and psychologist who served as the co-principal investigator for Yale during the study, and he is a former resident of Sitka and Juneau.
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