There are a number of alcohol abuse medications that may be used as part of an alcohol addiction treatment program, but how effective are these? If every drug worked every time then alcohol addiction would be easy to beat, but each person is different and unique. Some of the medications are designed to prevent or minimize withdrawal symptoms, others help during recovery by prevent further alcohol abuse. For many patients these medications can be highly effective, and they can make the difference between getting and staying sober or falling off the wagon and requiring additional rounds of substance abuse treatment in the future. There are treatment programs that provide medical supervision and use alcohol abuse medications but this is not true with every program or facility.
Some of the most common alcohol abuse medications used for alcohol addiction treatment include:
- Antianxiety drugs like valium and ativan. These drugs can help treat delirium tremens and will help make any withdrawal symptoms less uncomfortable.
- Medications to prevent seizures can be used during alcohol withdrawal to make any withdrawal symptoms less severe and lower the risk of a seizure occurring because alcohol use is stopped.
- Disulfiram, also called Antabuse, causes severe nausea when alcohol is used while this drug is in the system.
- Naltrexone, which has more than one brand name, will usually interfere with the pleasure that alcohol use can cause.
- Topiramate, also called Topamax, can help treat alcohol addiction as well as preventing seizures during the withdrawal period.
- Acamprosate, also commonly prescribed under the brand name Campral, has been shown to reduce alcohol cravings in those recovering from alcohol addiction.