Medication for Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a condition that causes people to abuse their consumption of alcohol, leading to a variety of physical and psychical symptoms. This inability to quit alcohol may easily affect a person’s lifestyle. In moments when willpower is not enough, certain medications can help people stay on the path to sobriety.
How to Tell Its Alcoholism?
Alcoholism comes with a variety of warning signs. If you see that you or your loved ones exhibit these symptoms, it may be a good moment to reach out to an alcohol detox center.
Occasional social drinking is one thing, but when a person starts drinking by themselves frequently, it may be a sign that they are struggling with alcoholism. It is even more of a warning sign if they drink until they get drunk.
Having a beer or a glass of wine now and again may not be too problematic, but once you start craving it, it may be a sign of addiction. These cravings happen once the body gets too used to consuming the substance.
A person who only drinks a beer or two on a Friday evening may only have a short-lived hangover in the morning. However, an alcoholic may experience withdrawal symptoms long after they stopped drinking.
Drinking Becomes a Priority
When drinking becomes a priority, this may also be a warning sign. An alcoholic may sneak in drinks in the morning, at work, during important events, or whenever they may have a chance.
The Signs You May Need Medication
Not every person struggling with alcohol addiction may need medication. If your condition does require medication, you will see the following signs:
- You Have Other Medical Conditions
If you’ve consumed alcohol for a long time, the substance may have taken a toll on your health, making the withdrawal process rather dangerous. If that is the case for you, then you may need to go for medical detox.
- You Fear the Withdrawal Symptoms
The withdrawal comes with a variety of symptoms that can be less than pleasant – especially if you are a heavy drinker. If you fear the withdrawal symptoms, then you might want to consider medical assistance during rehab.
- You Can’t Stop the Cravings
When alcoholism is strong, the cravings may also be very strong – strong enough to make you unable to stop. Medication can stop the cravings so that you may succeed in quitting your addiction.
- You’re Afraid of a Relapse
If you tried to quit alcohol before and always ended up relapsing, then you might need to try medical detox. This will reduce the cravings and keep you balanced enough to abstain from drinking.
Which Type of Medication Works for Alcoholism?
Alcohol detox can bring a fair number of negative side effects during the withdrawal stage. At the same time, the cravings may nearly make it next to impossible to quit. For that reason, the FDA approved three types of drugs that may be used to treat alcoholism.
Naltrexone is a type of medicine that is used in order to prevent heavy drinking. This medicine messes with the “reward system” of your brain so that even if you get drunk, you won’t feel that content. Regardless of how much you drink, you’ll no longer feel the satisfaction.
Acamprosate helps with the chemical aspect of withdrawal, triggering glutamine and GABA in the brain. It helps you deal with symptoms on a mental level, reducing restlessness, anxiety, and the overall sensation of “feeling blue” – symptoms that may last for months after you quit drinking.
Disulfiram is a medicine that is given when cravings are too difficult to handle. When consumed, it affects the way the alcohol is broken down in your body, preventing its metabolization. As a result, if you drink while taking Disulfiram, you’ll feel symptoms such as skin flushing, nausea, and other heightened symptoms you’d normally feel during a hangover. The effect of the medicine is psychological because the fear of feeling these symptoms will prevent you from consuming alcohol in the first place.
How To Find The Right Treatment
Depending on your medical condition as well as the stage of your alcoholism, you may need different medical approaches. Here are a couple of questions that you should ask yourself before deciding on a treatment course:
- Does this medication type have any health risks for me in particular?
- Are there any things that I’m expected to do during this treatment?
- What is the success rate for using this treatment?
- Is it tailored to my exact needs?
- Does the treatment course also manage addiction in the long run, preventing relapses?
Finding the right treatment depends on where you are on the addiction scale. In most cases, you will need to discuss matters with your doctor. They will analyze your physical health, determine your triggers – and based on that, will decide on the right treatment course.
Why Medication Treatment Can Be Important
Medication treatment is important because, in many cases, willpower is not enough to help the addict through their cravings. Around 60.5% of the people who receive no medical help end up going through relapse within the first 3 years of sobriety. The numbers are even higher in the first year, or even months of sobriety.
This is why medication treatment is essential. It keeps the symptoms under control, lowering the cravings and preventing the recovering people from going through a relapse. It helps with the addiction both in the short term and in the long term.
Real Deal Can Help
Getting the right help is essential when it comes to alcoholism, which is why Real Deal is here to help. We can offer a variety of treatment options for alcohol disorders, from inpatient to outpatient therapy.
A person with alcoholism must address the problem as soon as possible. If your symptoms are bad or find yourself unable to quit, you may need medication for alcoholism. Contact Real Deal so that we can help you!