To this day, many people still assume that alcoholism or alcohol addiction is a problem of willpower. They think alcoholics can really quit if only they want to. What everyone should know is that addiction is a disease, something that cannot be overcome with just the willingness to stop. Just like any disease, alcoholism requires treatment, which usually involves the use of certain medications. There are three drugs that offer significant alcoholism help: naltrexone, disulfiram and acamprosate.
Naltrexone as Alcoholism Help
According to the National Institutes of Health, naltrexone belongs to a class of drugs known as opiate antagonists. It is effective as alcoholism help because it blocks the pleasurable effects of drinking; as a result, it reduces feelings of intoxication as well as cravings. Naltrexone is considered as probably the best anti-craving medication out there, an important aid in relapse prevention. However, the intake of this drug is not enough to completely treat alcohol addiction; the medication should be used along with counseling and strong support for best results.
Disulfiram as Alcoholism Help
The American Family Physician points out that disulfiram has been used for alcoholism treatment for decades. It blocks the metabolism of acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and causes unpleasant reactions when even a small amount of alcohol is consumed. The U.S. National Library of Medicine enumerates the following as effects induced by the drug if alcohol is consumed: flushing, nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, sweating and chest pain, among others. These effects can occur as soon as ten minutes after alcohol enters the system. Indeed, it is very effective in discouraging people from drinking.
Acamprosate as Alcoholism Help
Acamprosate is the latest medication to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, behind the two aforementioned drugs. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this drug offers tremendous alcoholism help by restoring normal brain activity, specifically in the glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter systems. The brain’s neurotransmitter systems adapt to the presence of alcohol, so when the consumption of alcohol is ceased, these systems become unbalanced. Acamprosate has also been found to decrease protracted withdrawal symptoms.
If you are struggling with alcoholism and you decide to enter a rehab program, you might be given these medications as part of your treatment. We can help you find the treatment that offers you the best chance for a healthier, alcohol-free life.