A new award-winning and cost-effective treatment
for alcohol dependence is available, and your service
can sign up for an introductory trial
t’s not often that something
completely different comes
along in the field of alcohol
treatment. However, in
October 2019 a British company
won the ‘Breaking the Mould’
Future Enterprise award from Keele
University for a new treatment
system. If you were designing a
new system from scratch, at the
very least you would want it to be
effective, time saving, easy to use
and to offer significant cost savings.
For people who are really struggling
to break free from addiction
perhaps you’d also like it to improve
adherence to medication and offer
psychological support, every day,
wherever that person happens to
be. Welcome to the Zenalyser®.
We’re looking for clinics to try out
the Zenalyser® system at a reduced
rate so that we can gather feedback
from as many services as possible.
The cost advantages of the system
are huge – three months of daily
Zenalyser® treatment cost just £600,
including medication and staff time.
Compare that to a single one-hour
consultant review, which costs the
NHS more than £200, plus over £90
for a nurse and travel fares for the
client. Residential rehabilitation,
meanwhile, costs around £1,000 per
week – much more in private units.
HAS ANYONE USED IT?
The Zenalyser® has been successfully
used in clinics in Shropshire,
Gloucestershire and in some parts of
the US, and it really shines in high-
risk situations. Mothers have been
able to prove to the courts that they
are both abstinent and complying
with treatment, and so have been
able to keep their children, while
military personnel in locations far
from treatment centres and family
help have been supported remotely.
It has also been possible for alcohol-
dependent medical and nursing
staff under formal regulatory
procedures to remain in their jobs
by using the Zenalyser® every day.
For people using the system, NHS
post-detoxification abstinence rates
were 90 per cent over a one-year
follow up period, with 100 per cent
relapse free 1 .
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS A
A Zenalyser® is a dual sensor
hand-held breathalyser that detects
disulfiram (Antabuse) metabolites
and alcohol on a breath sample 2 . It
connects to a small computer tablet
that sends the sample result to a
central database. The result is then
analysed and automated feedback
is given immediately to the client,
for example a smiley emoji and the
message: ‘Well done, good result’.
If a daily breath sample has not
been provided a reminder is sent,
twice if necessary. Once the patient
has blown into the Zenalyser® the
result is sent to the clinician by
email or SMS, and the clinician is
also informed if a test sample has
not been given. At any time the
treatment team can access the
database, view a photo of the client
blowing into the Zenalyser®, and
send a personalised message back
– tips, encouragement, education,
appointment review, whatever is
WHY MIGHT YOU WANT ONE?
This new system can maintain
abstinence from alcohol at an
all-in cost of less than £50 per
week. For the alcohol dependent
client this can be achieved from
the comfort of their home, while
looking after children, or at work.
The Zenalyser® system provides this
mix of feedback, psychotherapeutic
support, monitoring, and
supervision of medication in a
process that takes less than one
minute per day for the user. The
time required for the treating team
to view results and provide personal
messages of support, information
and advice, is about 5-10 minutes
a week. The system’s ability to work
remotely also greatly reduces the
need for face-to-face reviews, so
taking more pressure off busy staff.
The Zenalyser® has
used in clinics
and in some parts
of the US, and it
really shines in
1 Fletcher K, Disulfiram and the
Zenalyser: teaching an old
dog new tricks. Alcohol and
2 Fletcher K, Stone E, Mohammad
MW et al. A breath test to assess
compliance with disulfiram.
WANT TO GIVE IT A GO?
If you would like to sign up for a trial, receive
more information, or have a demonstration of the
Zenalyser®, then please contact ZenaMed Ltd via
their website www.zenamed.co.uk. For the trial the
Zenalyser equipment will be loaned free of charge
and you will simply pay £400 for 100 breath tests.
DEC 2019-JAN 2020 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • 19