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A Review of Current Medications Used to Treat Alcoholism

pharmacist ready to discuss medications used to treat alcoholism

Alcohol addiction is a severe problem that affects millions of people around the world. It affects the individual, their family, and the community. Fortunately, there are medications available that can aid in alcohol addiction treatment. Exploring the medications used to treat alcoholism can help you understand their benefits and drawbacks.

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, we encourage you to reach out to Northpoint Seattle today. Our team is here to support you every step of the way on your road to recovery. Call 888.483.6031 today to get started in our alcohol addiction treatment program.

Medications Used to Treat Alcoholism

Alcohol addiction is a debilitating disease that impacts millions of people around the world. It is marked by an uncontrollable urge to drink alcohol that can wreak havoc on a person’s life and relationships.

Today, there are a variety of medications used to treat alcoholism, each with its unique benefits and drawbacks. The following are some of the most effective medications used for alcohol addiction treatment.

  • Disulfiram – Disulfiram, also known as Antabuse, is one of the oldest and most widely used drugs used to deter alcoholism. It works by causing severe nausea, vomiting, and other unpleasant side effects when an individual consumes alcohol. This creates an aversion to the substance and motivates the individual to avoid alcohol consumption.
  • Naltrexone – Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the euphoric effects of alcohol. By doing so, it reduces the urge to drink and lowers the risk of relapse. However, it may cause liver damage in some cases, and it is not appropriate for individuals taking opioids for pain management.
  • Acamprosate – Acamprosate (Campral) stabilizes the brain chemistry of individuals who have recently quit drinking. This lessens the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and cravings that often occur during alcohol addiction treatment.
  • Baclofen – Baclofen is a muscle relaxant that has recently been found to be effective in the treatment of alcohol addiction. It acts on the GABA receptors in the brain, which in turn reduces the craving for alcohol. However, it can cause drowsiness and dizziness and should only be prescribed under medical supervision.

Another alcoholism medication is topiramate.  An anticonvulsant, it works by regulating the levels of glutamate in the brain, which in turn reduces the cravings for alcohol.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Medications Used for Alcohol Addiction

The benefits of using medications for alcohol addiction treatment are that they can aid in reducing the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and cravings that often occur in the initial stages of treatment. This, in turn, can help reduce the likelihood of relapse, which is a significant concern for people in recovery.

However, medications used to treat alcoholism also have some drawbacks. For instance, some medications can cause unpleasant side effects, which can range from mild to severe. Additionally, not every medication is effective for every individual, and choosing the proper medication requires careful evaluation by a trained healthcare professional.

How Can Northpoint Seattle Help?

At Northpoint Seattle, we offer a range of services to help individuals struggling with alcohol addiction. Our trained professionals can provide support and guidance throughout the treatment process. We offer customized treatment plans tailored to the individual’s needs and circumstances.

We understand that every individual’s journey toward recovery is different, and we work closely with our patients to find the proper medication or combination of medications that will work best for them. Our primary mental health program, the Promise Program, can also help address any underlying mental health conditions that may be contributing to alcohol addiction.

Call Northpoint Seattle Today to Start Alcohol Addiction Treatment

At Northpoint Seattle, we understand that every person’s journey to recovery is unique. Our programs and services are tailored to meet individual needs, and we specialize in addiction and mental health treatment outpatient.

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction treatment, do not hesitate to contact us for support by calling 888.483.6031 or completing our online form. We are here to help.