A new drug has been approved which has been shown to reduce alcohol consumption by 61% after six months when combined with counselling.
Selincro (nalmefene) is the first medicine specifically approved to help problem drinkers at an earlier stage before alcoholism becomes acute.
The pill can be taken before a night out and begins working within an hour. It does not have to be taken every day.
It works by interfering with how the brain detects the 'reward system' of drinking alcohol, reducing the urge to drink.
The government recommends no more than 14 units a week for women and 21 units for men.
However, experts said the drug is not suitable for "binge drinkers" or those who are suffering withdrawal or who require immediate detoxification.
Scotland has the highest alcohol-related death rate in the UK.
An estimated 189,000 people are alcohol dependent.
The NHS cost for nalmefene is £42.42 for a two-week supply. Doctors say the drug has the potential to make significant savings for the NHS, such as a reduction in hospital admissions.
Dr Steve Conroy, of the Lanarkshire Drug Treatment and Testing Order Team, said: "It's really good news and will possibly encourage people to seek help at an earlier stage. It's going to be applicable to people with a lesser degree of alcoholism.
"One of the benefits is that it does not have to be taken every day unlike other medicines of this type. You could take it before a night out.
"We have huge problems and it's well recognised."