Alcoholism is a serious condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Once an alcoholic admits they have a problem, there are many ways they can go about curbing their addiction.
Some use medications prescribed specifically for that purpose, while in other cases people turn to natural remedies to help them stop drinking. Here are some of the most effective medications, and how they work to help keep addiction in check.
Medication for Controlling Alcoholism
While there’s no single pill that can make you stop drinking and get alcoholism under control, there are some medications that may be able to aid you in the fight against addiction. In most cases, these medications come in pill form, making them easy for people to take them without stigma.
Antabuse was the first drug on the market designed specifically to curb alcohol addiction, and has been notably effective.
Antabuse works by causing a severe adverse reaction when somebody consumes alcohol, effectively helping to condition them to think that alcohol will make them feel bad. This works to stem an alcoholic’s desire and help them to avoid it altogether.
Campral, also commonly known as Acamprosate, is the only medication in the U.S. designed to treat alcohol cravings – a common symptom for people who have alcoholism. By using Campral, many people claim that they feel less compelled to consume alcohol.
In some cases, Campral may also work to help the emotional discomfort and pain that they experience when they stop drinking suddenly. However, Campral should not be taken as an antidepressant or anxiety-suppressant medication.
Naltrexone is a completely different type of drug, which works by blocking the “good” feelings that drinkers feel when they consume alcohol. This effectively makes many drinkers want to stop drinking since they only experience the negatives without any of the perceived “positives” of consuming alcohol.
In many cases, doctors prescribe additional medications in combination with these to help reduce anxiety and curb physical pain related to alcohol withdrawal. However, these medications vary, and they need to be chosen carefully based on a person’s medical history, symptoms and according to what other medications they may be taking for alcoholism and otherwise.
Natural Remedies for Alcoholism
While natural remedies for controlling alcoholism are still being studied, proponents of natural remedies often refer to the benefits of B-complex treatment for people trying to quit drinking alcohol.
They claim that B-complex vitamins, particularly when taking in higher dosages than normal, but still within healthy levels, may help to reduce alcohol cravings. Many people that advocate natural remedies also claim that combing B-vitamins with amino acids and large doses of L-glutamine may help further reduce cravings.
Natural extracts like milk thistle and alpha lipoic acid may also help the liver recover from long-term alcohol use, which can cause severe damage over time. However, more research is needed before these extracts can be recommended for liver health in relation to alcoholism.
Ultimately it is a person’s will and drive to be free of their addiction that will help them reach that goal. When an alcoholic stops drinking they must make an active change in their lifestyle in order to support a clean way of life, but these medications and natural treatments can be a way to kick-start that journey to recovery.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in the Los Angeles area and founder of Gryffin Media. She has written on everything from marketing, real estate, technology, as well as a variety of health & wellness topics.
Guest Blog by Marcela De Vivo.
If you are interested in quitting alcohol then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about my six-week programme aimed at helping you create better habits surrounding your drinking.