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Medication Options for Treating Alcoholism

Medication Options for Treating Alcoholism drug rehabilitation and alcohol rehabilitation

Treatment for alcoholism is much more effective today because there are medications available to help a person avoid a relapse. Medications like Acamprosate and Naltrexone are both effective drugs for treating alcohol dependence and fortunately neither one of them are addictive.


If a person is dependent on alcohol and wants to quit drinking, combining a medication like Acamprosate or Naltrexone with other forms of treatment, education and support may be a good option for them after they have stopped.

Consuming large amounts of alcohol over an extended period of time affects the brain in various ways. Many areas of the brain are very vulnerable to alcohol and if a person is a heavy drinker, the brain becomes injured (damaged) and can no longer function normally. Heavy consumption of alcohol can have a negative effect on each person's brain a little differently.

Acamprosate is a medication that can help a person suffering from alcoholism once they have stopped drinking, avoid drinking again and help their brains to function normal again.

Acamprosate helps to quiet down and stabilize brain activity that has been negatively affected due to heavy alcohol consumption. Acamprosate isn't a medication that prevents symptoms of alcohol withdrawal though, and doesn't appear to work for individuals that haven't stopped drinking or consuming large amounts of alcohol either. Unlike Naltrexone, Acamprosate doesn't appear to be beneficial in treating individuals addicted to medications or street drugs though.

Acamprosate comes in a timed-released tablet form and should never be crushed or chewed, this medication should be taken whole and swallowed and taken exactly as your physician has directed. Campral is the brand name for Acamprosate which is a non-addictive drug that's commonly used to treat people suffering from alcoholism while in different stages of their recovery.

Acamprosate Side Effects

As with any medication, there are possible side effects associated with the drug's use. Acamprosate may cause side effects such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, gas, stomach upset, dry mouth, dizziness, itching and weakness. Naltrexone is another drug that's often used to treat alcoholism once a person has stopped drinking but can also be a beneficial medication for treating individuals that have stopped using drugs also. Naltrexone helps to decrease alcohol cravings but also blocks the effects of opiate medications and opioid street drugs.

Naltrexone comes in tablet form and helps a person avoid drinking or using drugs but doesn't help to prevent symptoms of withdrawal or even relieve these symptoms. This medication is beneficial for individuals that have already gone through alcohol or opiate withdrawal otherwise symptoms may worsen.

Naltrexone Side Effects

Symptoms may include upset stomach (nausea), vomiting, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, decreased appetite, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, irritability, nervousness, anxiety, sleep problems, energy levels may increase or decrease, pain in muscles or joints, and rash.

References
PubMed Health
Medline Plus

Post Discussion

  1. Addict

    I don't understand why replacing one addiction with another is a good idea. I overcame my alcohol addiction by addressing and taking ownership of the deep hidden pain and trauma that I was running away from.

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