MEDICATIONS FOR TREATING ALCOHOLISM
There are several medications used to treat the physical effects of alcoholism, such as cravings and withdrawal.
Medications used to treat alcoholism include:
This drug, taken as a tablet three times a day, helps relieve cravings for alcohol. Acamprosate works by helping the addicted brain function normally without alcohol. It does not relieve withdrawal symptoms.
Similar to acamprosate, naltrexone helps relieve cravings for alcohol. It is a tablet typically taken once a day. Naltrexone is not recommended for people with liver problems.
such as Valium and Klonopin may be used to moderate withdrawal symptoms. These drugs can reduce anxiety and irritability during detox. Benzodiazepines work particularly well for those detoxing from alcohol because both substances act on the GABA receptors in the brain.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
SSRIs such as Prozac and Zoloft are non-habit-forming drugs that could help treat depression, a common problem for those recovering from heavy alcohol use.
Those with severe alcohol addictions experience the most dangerous withdrawal symptoms, including tremors and seizures. Baclofen, an anticonvulsant medication, has shown some success in reducing muscle spasms and could even mitigate cravings.
COUNSELING FOR ALCOHOLISM
In addition to medical treatments, most professionals agree alcoholism must be treated through counseling and a strong support structure. Therapy attempts to address the feelings and thoughts that led to chronic alcohol abuse in the first place. With the help of a counselor, individuals with an alcohol addiction can learn how to cope with cravings and other difficulties in life.
In the beginning of recovery, counseling may take place daily. As time goes on, counseling sessions will likely be less frequent; continued visits can help those in recovery prevent relapse.
ALCOHOL RELAPSE PREVENTION TIPS
Recovery is a process, and staying sober takes motivation, determination and self-control. To help stick to your recovery, check out the following tips for avoiding a relapse:
Keep going to therapy.
Many alcoholics drink to cope with difficult thoughts and feelings. These are the same issues that therapy can help address. Now many people think therapy is unnecessary once they get out of rehab or make it a few months without alcohol. But problems can unexpectedly arise, and therapy can be a good buffer in those situations.