By: Shannon Persad
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Brain Surgery to Cure Alcohol Addiction? One Man Finds Success
Alcohol addiction has serious consequences, but can it be cured with brain surgery?
One man in Canada says it has been the last resort that is working so far for him.
Dr. Frank Plummer is allegedly the first person to undergo brain surgery for alcohol addiction. Dr. Plummer is a world-renowned specialist in Canada, having influenced international and public health policies.
However, he suffered from alcohol addiction, drinking 20 ounces of whiskey a night. In 2012, his liver started to fail, requiring surgery. Unfortunately, he continued with his drinking, causing the new liver to get sick. As a last resort, he tried brain surgery which he says is helping him curb his cravings and feel happier.
Deep Brain Stimulation for Alcohol Addiction
Dr. Plummer underwent surgery with a neurosurgeon in Sunnybrook, Canada. The neurosurgeon drilled holes into his skull, inserting electrodes to stimulate his brain to curb his cravings for whiskey.
Rewriting the brain is part of the process. According to the report, “The electrodes are attached to a pacemaker-like device that stimulates part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens which is linked to dopamine, the feel-good chemical involved in pleasure, desire, and addiction.
The doctor who conducted the surgery, Dr. Lipsman, says the surgery is not for everyone, and it’s just the beginning of the process. It is not a cure, he says and is more of a harm-reduction strategy, possible for those who have “exhausted” all possibilities. After the surgery, the patient is still monitored and must follow the doctor’s orders to ensure the procedure eliminates cravings. Dr. Plummer is believed to be the first person to do deep brain stimulation to curb his alcohol addiction.
According to the National Institution on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 15 million people suffer with alcohol use disorder.
If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, or any other substance disorder, contact ATSI at 1-(855)-498-2121 for a confidential consultation.