Helping stop the cravings
Anti-addiction medicines are important for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction for your loved one for many reasons. Since drug and alcohol addiction is a chronic disease that begins in the brain, Enterhealth Ranch and Enterhealth Outpatient Center of Excellence utilize anti addiction drugs as a critical element of a comprehensive treatment plan personalized for each patient. Due to the powerful chemical changes that occur in the brain as the result of the injury from alcohol or drugs, cravings from deep inside the center of the brain drive each person to use, often overwhelming even the strongest logic and desire to quit.
Fortunately, amazing breakthroughs in drug and alcohol addiction treatment and medical scientific research have greatly facilitated long-term, successful sobriety by utilizing specific FDA-approved medications to shut down cravings in the brain.
A critical element in supporting recovery
As part of a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan, anti addiction drugs can help with the unpleasant drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms and stop the cravings in order to promote healing.
The FDA approved Vivitrol in June 2006 for the treatment of alcohol dependence or alcoholism (as well as for the treatment of opioid addiction, heroin addiction and pain pill addiction in 2010). Vivitrol is an injection that is received in the gluteal (buttock) muscle once a month. During that one-month period, a medication called naltrexone is slowly released into the bloodstream.
Overview of Vivitrol and its benefits:
Vivitrol (naltrexone) is a safe and effective medication that helps prevent relapse to alcohol and opioids by doing three main things:
- It decreases cravings by as much as 90%.
- In those who do drink or use opiates on Vivitrol, it effectively prevents them from getting drunk or high.
- It provides an uninterrupted dose for a month at a time thanks to its long-acting formulation.
Suboxone is the first opioid (narcotic) medication approved for the treatment of opioid addiction in an office-based setting. Suboxone also can be dispensed for “at-home” use, just as any other medicine for other medical conditions. The primary active ingredient in Suboxone is buprenorphine. Initially developed to treat pain, buprenorphine was adapted for use in treating opioid addiction in cooperation with the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and was approved by the FDA in October 2002.
Overview of Suboxone and its Benefits:
Suboxone (Buprenorphine) is used to reduce illegal opioid use and to help patients stay in treatment by blocking the effects of opioids, decreasing cravings, and suppressing any major symptoms of withdrawal. Most narcotic addicts seem to benefit from Suboxone regardless of their histories of opiate addiction.
Suboxone is safe, effective, and is a revolutionary step in the treatment of narcotic addiction. It can be easily used in both the withdrawal stabilization (detoxification) and maintenance phases of opiate addiction treatment. Also, because of its ease of use and excellent safety profile, its use by the growing number of primary care physicians who are screening for and recognizing narcotic addiction in their practice populations should make a very positive impact in the treatment success rates for narcotic addicts.
Campral (generic name: acamprosate), is a medication widely used in Europe since the late 1980s to reduce alcohol cravings and stabilize brain chemicals in alcoholics who have quit drinking. Campral was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2004 to treat patients with alcohol dependence.
Overview of Campral and its benefits:
Acamprosate is thought to help stabilize chemical signaling in the brain of those who have recently quit drinking alcohol after a period of dependence.
As a result, patients who take Campral for 4 to 6 weeks report:
- reduced alcohol cravings and urges to drink
- decreased feelings of anxiety, excitability
- increased ability to manage stress
- increased concentration and focus
Antabuse (generic name: disulfiram) is an anti-addiction drug that was approved by the FDA for the treatment of alcoholism in 1951. It has been used as an aid in managing chronic alcoholic patients who want to remain in a state of enforced sobriety so that they can participate in residential, outpatient treatment and 12-step programs more effectively.
Overview of Antabuse and its benefits:
Disulfiram is a sensitizing or deterrent agent that causes a highly unpleasant physical reaction when patients drink alcohol while taking the medication, even in very small amounts.
This reaction includes feelings of intense nausea, vomiting, sweating, flushed skin, throbbing headache, respiratory difficulties, blurred vision, and confusion.
While Antabuse isn’t usually the first choice of medication to treat alcohol dependence, it can be an effective component of a comprehensive treatment plan for patients who have been unable to maintain abstinence with other medications.