There is no treatment for alcoholism. At this moment prevention is the only cure. Specific problems such as cravings, associated with alcohol use can be handled with the aid of drug therapy. Research is underway to develop new drugs that address other symptoms of alcoholism. Presently, there are three primary drug therapies used to combat alcoholism. Antabuse causes a severe negative reaction in individuals who drink. When mixed with alcohol, antabuse can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from sweating to convulsions. The idea is to associate drinking with these adverse reactions so the individual is less interested in drinking. Antabuse does not address the actual physical craving an alcohol experiences. Antabuse has significant risk to the user and should only be used by individuals serious about not drinking.
Treatment for Alcoholism
Unlike Antabuse, Naltrexone actually reduces the physical cravings associated with alcohol dependency. This drug therapy is available in an extended release formula. Generally the pill is prescribed for a specific period of time, such as ten to twelve weeks, as assistance when someone completely stops drinking. This is to prevent relapse which is likely during the early stages of recovery. Naltrexone is also available as an injection. As with any drug therapy, there are possible side effects with this drug. Side effects include joint pain, nausea, vomiting, and anxiety. Campral is the third drug available. Campral helps reestablish chemical balance in the brain. Extended alcohol use causes chemical imbalance that allows addiction to occur. Campral is not for use by individuals who still drink. The side effects with Campral range from headache to chest pains. Suicidal thoughts have been associated with the use of this drug.
Each of these drugs is used for different purposes and at different stages of recovery. While none of these drugs cure alcoholism, they can help address specific barriers to sobriety. All drug therapies should be administered and monitored closely by medical personnel. Your physician will decide how long your drug therapy will last. Researchers continue to search for an alcoholism cure. Current research focuses on brain chemistry. A cure for them does not mean the ability to stop drinking. The FDA has not approved supposed "cures" for alcoholism. You can drink alcohol without developing a desire or dependency on alcohol and this is called as cure.