Medications for Alcohol Use Disorder

Medications used to treat alcohol addiction work in different ways. Disulfiram causes unpleasant reactions when combined with alcohol. Naltrexone reduces cravings for alcohol and prevents pleasurable effects caused by drinking. Often, an addiction to alcohol is confused with alcohol dependence.

What are 2 types of treatment options available for an individual who has a drinking problem?

  • Talk therapy. A licensed therapist can help people build coping strategies and skills to stop or reduce drinking.
  • Medications. A primary care clinician or a board-certified addiction doctor can prescribe non-addicting medications.

What is effective for one person may not be a good fit for someone else. The decision to get treatment is often more important than the type of treatment used. At North Jersey Recovery Center, we strive to make your addiction treatment experience as comfortable as possible. The studies found that individuals receiving any medication did much better than those who didn’t receive any medication at all. All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional. If other, or more severe, side effects manifest, you should reach out to a doctor.

Naltrexone (ReVia, Vivitrol)

Naltrexone, like Acamprosate, blocks the euphoric feelings one gets from consuming alcohol. Taking this regularly after detox can stop the “high” experience of alcohol if they relapse, disassociating the feelings of positivity and alcohol. This is a common first step after detox to prevent relapse. Alcohol has been shown to bind to opiate receptors in the brain. Studies show sober houses in Boston that blocking opiate receptors decreases cravings for alcohol. Dr. Paul R. Linde is a board certified psychiatrist with over 25 years in emergency psychiatric care and treatment of dual-diagnosis patients. He is a published author and researcher, Clinical Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry at UCSF School of Medicine, and Former Medical Director at the Stonewall Project.

  • Help your loved one by contacting a treatment provider today.
  • Treatment providers are available 24/7 to answer your questions about rehab, whether it’s for you or a loved one.
  • Due to the uncomfortable and even dangerous side effects of this medication, some alcohol rehab centers in West Palm Beach choose not to use this drug during MAT.
  • It’s available in generic form, which means that it’s quite inexpensive.
  • Because it is metabolized by the liver, hepatotoxicity is possible, although uncommon.

After the client receives personalized feedback, the counselor will work with him or her to set goals and provide ideas for helping to make a change. Below is a list of providers and the type of care they may offer. Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition that doctors diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm. The condition can range from mild to severe and is diagnosed when a patient answers “yes” to two or more of the following questions. Women for Sobriety is a nonprofit organization offering a self-help group program for women who want to overcome alcoholism and other addictions.

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Decreases number of drinking days but does not increase abstinence. Directly observed therapy might be more beneficial but has not been studied in a good randomized trial. Naltrexone blocks opiate receptors and works by decreasing the craving for alcohol, resulting in fewer relapses. It causes you to feel ill when you drink, motivating you to stay abstinent.

alcoholism treatment medication

Thanks to years of research, doctors and health professionals now have a full menu of options to treat alcohol use disorders. What works for one person may not work for another, but a professional can offer guidance.