Drug Treatment for Alcoholism Addiction

If you are addicted to alcohol and cannot withdraw without life-threatening symptoms then the rehab medical professionals at a detox center or rehab may prescribe the following medications –

TOPIRIMATE (TOPOMAX)
This drug is a mood-stabilizer and anti-convulsant that helps reduce the brains production of dopamine. Dopamine is what is produced when alcoholics get high from drinking. This drug not only decreased the desire for a drink but people who take it also lower their blood pressure, liver enzyme production, cholesterol levels and body mass index. They also become less obsessed about alcohol.

NEFAZODONE (SERZONE)
This is an antidepressant that helps cut cravings for nicotine and alcohol. It may cause liver problems so it is not available in Canada but it is still available in the U.S. It is also used for weight loss.

BACLOFEN or LIORESAL
This is a muscle relaxant that reduces alcohol cravings. It also increases the amount of GABA in your brain. This drug treatment may cause nausea, fatigue, weakness and drowsiness.

ONDANSETRON (ZOFRAN)
This drug treatment used to treat the nausea and vomiting caused by certain chemo-therapies. However in drug treatment it has been found to reduce cravings in alcoholics.

NALTREXONE
This drug treatment lessens the high from alcohol and narcotics. It blocks the parts of your brain that get pleasure from using these substances. Side effects can include headache, dizziness, vomiting, fatigue and dizziness and some people are unable to tolerate it.

Studies have shown that Naltrexone is most effective with alcoholics that also attend addiction counseling, group therapy, residential rehab treatment and Twelve Step Therapy. Studies showed a reduction in heavy drinking if this drug treatment was used daily over a six month period. Injections of the drug were found to be the most effective.

In general drug treatment cannot “do it all” for the recovering addict. No magic bullet in the world will work if the addict is also not willing to go into drug rehab and address what makes him or her drink in the first place.