A New Frontier: Medications for Treating Alcohol Abuse
For decades the treatment options for alcoholism remained the same. This tried and true treatment is now coming under question. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are new ways to treat chronic alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Many people who suffer from alcoholism will benefit from these new treatments.
Traditional Treatments for Alcoholism
Traditional treatments for alcoholism include a variety of techniques to stop the addiction. Some of these treatments are:
- Detoxification – allowing an alcoholic to come off the alcohol with medical support for the majority of the withdrawal symptoms. This forces an alcoholic to go through the withdrawal symptoms with little or no help.
- Rehabilitation – this gives the alcoholic counseling and other treatment services so they can discover the reasons for the alcoholism and helps them deal with it. It gives those who suffer from alcoholism the skills that they need to deal with their alcoholism.
- Aftercare – aftercare is one of the more important aspects of traditional alcohol treatment. This involves community support and remaining sober. Aftercare can include continued counseling and sober living depending on your needs.
These traditional treatments work for many people but there are also many people who return to alcohol as soon as they stop traditional treatment.
Medications Available for Treatment of Alcoholism
Up until recently there were no medications available for the treatment of chronic reoccurring alcoholism. Now doctors are able to use several different medications in order to help alcoholics remain alcohol free. These medications are similar to those that treat other addictions. They are often used in conjunction with the new medications for alcohol addiction. These traditional medications are:
- Benzodiazepines – these drugs are addictive on their own. Many of them are a dangerous part of traditional alcohol treatment programs. People on benzodiazepines find symptoms similar to alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
- Seizure medications – these medications are a stopgap medication. They stop the seizures associated with alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Most people who suffer from alcohol withdrawal syndrome are at high risk of seizures.
- Blood pressure medications – blood pressure medications are often prescribed to stop the blood pressure spikes that a person in alcohol withdrawal suffers from. These spikes are potentially dangerous.
Due to recent progress in addiction science, new medications are now being put into use to help treat alcoholism. These medications are:
- Naltrexone – this drug stops people from receiving pleasure from drinking alcohol. Although it does not stop someone from drinking, it can help curb the cravings for alcohol and prevent someone from getting extremely drunk.
- Acamprosate – this drug can help stop or at least reduce the craving for alcohol. With reduced cravings, you may be able to withstand the alcohol addiction without relapsing.
- Disulfiram – this is a controversial medication that makes the person that takes it very ill when they try to drink alcohol. This is said to be a deterrent to drinking alcohol.
Each of these medications is available at many treatment centers across the United States. For more information or to find a treatment facility call us at 800-839-1686. We can help you find the treatment that you need for alcoholism.