Alcoholics and abusers face a long and challenging road to recovery from their illness, but some may face a rockier path than others. Sometimes therapy and counseling are not enough to curb that thirst for beer or wine and prevent an individual from taking fatal leap into the habit they were attempting to break. In certain cases, doctors may take alternative action and prescribe drugs to help these individuals recover faster and more efficiently. While seemingly unusual (due to the sometimes addictive nature of these prescriptions), research has proven that certain drugs can help addicts and abusers recover. So, how is this possible? How can drugs help you break the thirst for alcohol?
Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol Use Disorders are defined as a variety of issues ranging from binge drinking to the most severe forms of alcoholism. Individuals suffering from a form of this illness may experience symptoms including:
- A continuous desire to drink alcoholic beverages
- No control over drinking habits
- Aggression or depression while not drinking alcohol
- Attempting to stop drinking with no success
- A complete change in social and familial relationships
Furthermore, people who suffer from an AUD can become physically dependent on alcohol to the point that they require professional intervention and rehabilitation. Likewise, some individuals may attempt to mix medications with alcohol, leading to disastrous consequences. On that note, you may wonder why doctors would even considering prescribing drugs for alcoholics or abusers in the first place.
How Drug Therapy Can Intervene
The good news is that drugs can in fact work, only under the direct supervision of a doctor. However, while doctors do argue in favor of this step, a scant 10% of people seek prescription medications as an option for long-term treatment. Overall, the FDA has approved the following drugs for use in treatment of alcohol use disorders:
- Antabuse (Disulfiram): This drug affects how your body reacts to alcohol. If you drink an alcoholic beverage after consuming Antabuse, you will start to feel sick.
- Naltrexone: This drug is specifically designed to for people who have stopped drinking within four days of initial treatment. After taking the drug, they will feel sick after consuming alcohol.
- Campral (Acamprosate): This drug clashes with GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and glutamate, two chemical messengers in the brain. Campral was specifically designed to ease withdrawal and detox symptoms.
Additional drugs include gabapentin and topirimate, two seizure medications which that also interact with the neurochemicals GABA and glutamate. Often, doctors prescribe these drugs to curb cravings for alcohol and avoid consuming drunks in the future.
Remember that there is always hope for you. Alcohol does not have control over your life. You do. If you are suffering from an alcohol use disorder or have a friend or family member suffering from this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery. Counselors and healthcare experts can walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and help guide you to a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While it might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to keep you and your unborn child safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol addiction troubles today.