Are there any Alcoholism Drug Options that Reduce Cravings?

Are there any Alcoholism Drug Options that Reduce Cravings?

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Is there an alcoholism drug that can help people who are struggling to stop drinking?  There are a few of them so let’s take a look.

Campral is a popular drug that is used to treat alcohol cravings in the recovering alcoholic. The idea is that you get sober first, start taking Campral on a daily basis, and the medication is designed to help fight your cravings and help prevent you from relapsing.  It is not a narcotic or addictive in any way.

Another medication that can help is Naltrexone. This too is designed to help fight alcohol cravings, with the same idea as Campral.  People take it while sober to help them stay sober.

A third medication is Antabuse. This is a bit of a mind game for the recovering alcoholic, as the medication is designed to make the alcoholic get violently sick if they drink while taking it.  It is not designed to help with cravings or anything.  It is simply used as a preventative measure based on the side effects.

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Now having tried taking a drug to help with alcoholism myself, I can say that these drugs can not, and should not, be used as a first line of defense against alcoholism.  They are not that type of medication and they are not going to make that big of a difference.  Quite frankly, these medications did not work for me, though I did eventually get sober without using them at all.

Now I also work in a treatment center and so I see many people who use these medications in order to try and stay sober.  Just based on my subjective opinion, an awful lot of the people who are taking medication to help them with their addiction end up relapsing and coming back to rehab in order to dry out again.

This is true not only of anti-alcoholism drugs, but also with other medications that are designed to help opiate addicts and so on.  It is just a small thing that I have noticed in my own experience: people who try using medications to supplement their recovery tend to relapse frequently.  Now to be fair, everyone in early recovery tends to relapse frequently, not just those who are using medications to help them.  But it was sort of noticeable for me in the beginning because I guess I was expecting people to do better when they had this advantage going for them.  Apparently not.

Take this as a lesson and do not use these medications as your primary strategy for recovery.  They might help, but they will not keep you sober on their own.

 

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