Medications that can help you stop drinking

Published on November 9th, 2012

Do you need help with your drinking problem?

hungoverAre you trying to quit drinking, but feel like you cannot do it on your own? Then you may want to consider getting help. There are various medications on the market today that can help you quit quit drinking. Theses medications are not cures for alcoholism, but they can assist you while you stay sober. Medications should be used along with other treatments and programs to work effectively. Alcoholism affects both the body and mind so the best way to recover is by seeking help for both the mind and body. Counseling, twelve step programs, treatment centers and other treatments can assist with healing the mind while medications work with your body to overcome alcoholism.

Disulfiram

Disulfiram, or antabuse, was the first medication approved to treat addiction to alcohol and alcohol abuse. It works by blocking the oxidation of alcohol in the body which prevents people from drinking by causing severe and unpleasant side effects when alcohol is consumed. The effects occur about ten minutes after alcohol enters a person’s system and they include headache, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, weakness, mental confusion, sweating, flushing of the face, breathing difficulties, blurred vision and anxiety.

Disulfiram does not cure alcoholism, but it discourages people from wanting to drink. It is likely to cause unpleasant side effects in people even if they consume only small quantities of alcohol. People taking it should avoid consuming any products that contain alcohol like mouthwashes, tonics, drugs, cough or cold medications, sauces, and vinegars. They should also avoid contact with perfumes, colognes, lacquers, paint thinners, solvents and antiseptics because they could lead to varying side effects.

Naltrexone

Naltrexone works in a different manner than Disulfiram. It works by blocking the “high” that people experience when they consume alcohol. Naltrexone reduces the urge to drink by blocking the parts of the brain that feel pleasure when alcohol is consumed. Many people drink because they enjoy the intoxication or “high” that alcohol consumption induces. Losing that “high” makes it less desirable to drink. It does not cure alcoholism, but it can help people stop drinking especially with the use of other treatments.

Naltrexone does not make people sick when they drink like Disulfiram, but there may be some side effects. These side effects may include dizziness, insomnia, nervousness, headache, drowsiness, constipation and anxiety but they were reported as mild in most people.

Studies show that people who used Naltrexone as part of their treatment had increased abstinence rates over people who were not treated by twenty percent. Vivitrol is naltrexone for extended-release suspension and it is an injectable medicine used to treat alcohol dependence. It is injected periodically by a physician and it remains in your system and slowly helps you will alcohol abstinence and until your next dose.

Acamprosate

Acamprosate is the most recent medication approved to treat alcohol dependency. It assists people in abstaining from alcohol by reducing the emotional discomfort and physical distress that is commonly experienced when people quit drinking. Alcoholism changes the way your brain works and Acamprosate works by assisting your brain in working normally again. It restores a chemical balance in the brain that becomes disrupted after constant alcohol consumption. It can reduce the anxiety, sleep disturbances and sweating that commonly occur in the beginning stages of abstaining from alcohol use. This can be very helpful for heavy drinkers who have developed a physical dependence for alcohol.

Sobrexa

Sobrexa is a liquid herbal solution that aids people in drinking less or quitting drinking all together. It aids your body by getting in back into balance chemically. It is part of the Last Call program, an eight week program designed to help people with alcohol cessation. The two main components of the Last Call program are liquid herbal solutions that you mix with water and consume periodically throughout the day. Sobrexa works over time and slowly helps people lose their desire to drink.  Sobrexa as an eighty-four percent success rate and about a third of Sobrexa users quit drinking entirely while others using it lose their drive to drink excessively anymore.

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