Scientists managed to block a part of the brain that creates the “high” after drinking alcohol. The same brain part has already been implicated in the regulation of eating.

The researchers are hoping that they will be after further investigation able to uncover drug targets in this part of the brain to treat both eating and drinking disorders.

In a study they conducted, rats were given the drugs that targeted the group of cells, known as the orexin system. After receiving the drugs, the rats lost interest in alcohol when given free access to it. In another study, the rats went through the detox program and were then injected with the orexin blocker. After the detox, they were brought back to the environment which they would associate with alcohol use but did not relapse.

Alcoholism is still a growing problem around the globe. Drinking causes as much if not even more deaths and disability as measles, malaria and tobacco.

Scientists will engage in further investigations to make sure that the potential orexin-blocking drugs would be safe in the long-term and they are hoping to be able to develop new medicines to fight the drinking problem.