Today’s post deals with how to stop drinking using medications. These medications are used to reduce the craving for alcohol after you have already stopped drinking. According to the Alcoholism page at About.com, there are only three medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat alcohol dependence and alcohol addiction.
The main options are:
- Antabuse (disulfiram): This makes a person sick if they drink any alcohol. There has been research showing long-term use of these tablets lead to former drinkers, developing a “habit” of not drinking. This is the ultimate aim, no matter the approach taken.
- Naltrexone (Revia): This reduces the craving for alcohol by changing how alcohol normally affects the brain. It stops the feelings of pleasure you normally have when drinking alcohol. It is also used for dealing with drug addictions.
- Acamprosate (Campral): This option relieves the distress and discomfort caused by alcohol. Campral was approved by the FDA in 2004 and has been used by 1.5 million people worldwide. It reduces both cravings for alcohol and starts to resolve the chemical balance in the brain which years of heavy drinking have misaligned. Please note that Campral is not a magic pill. It does not work for everyone and needs to be used as part of an overall recovery program, including therapy and group work as needed.