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Alcoholism And Medication

Are there specific drugs that can help an alcoholic get better? According to scientific studies, there are a number of such medications that can help a person with a drinking problem weed out the habit. A brief discussion about these drugs is presented here.

Making One Hate Alcohol

There are certain drugs that are specifically formulated to make alcohol-drinking an unpleasant experience. Medications such as disulfiram and calcium carbamide are prescribed to heavy drinkers to discourage them from taking another swig.

These drugs create a feeling of having a hangover for long periods of time. Patients prescribed with these drugs often experience nausea when they have a drink while under the effects of the medication.

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The drugs are meant to discourage patients from drinking by creating discomfort whenever they consume alcohol. Such drugs have been proven to be highly effective in terms of curing severe alcohol dependence.

Ending the Craving

Another type of anti-alcoholism drug is naltrexone. This medication works by lessening an alcoholic's craving for alcohol. However, its efficacy still depends upon other factors, such as family support and the strength of the patient's will. Most likely, the drug will not work on its own, and it is highly suggested that it is used along with other treatment methods like counseling.

Sleeping the Temptation Away

Another method used to cure a person of his or her alcohol dependence is sleep. Tranquilizers are often used on patients housed in treatment facilities for alcoholics. However, these sleeping medications are only administered during the first few days of a long treatment session to make it easier for patients to withdraw from alcoholic drinks.

Stabilizing the Mind

More recently, another drug has been added to the list of medications used to cure alcoholism. Acamprosate is a drug formulated to stabilize brain chemistry by working on the neurotransmitter that becomes hyperactive when a person enters the withdrawal phase. It supposedly works by maintaining the balance of neurotransmitter systems.

No Single Medication will Do

Despite the numerous studies supporting the efficacy of most of these drugs, health experts are not suggesting that they alone will cure a person of his or her dependence on alcohol. These medications are only recommended as part of a full program that should include counseling, promotion of physical health and family support.

Although most of them are widely used in the fight against alcohol abuse, it is highly recommended that a thorough discussion with a doctor is first conducted before using any of these options. Medication can be necessary to detox someone from alcohol safely but there is no medication that will replace intensive counseling and good treatment for alcoholism.


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Sylvain Fournier

Sylvain Fournier | Bio

Across Canada, there are many different treatment options to choose from, private, government-funded, inpatient, and outpatient. See More