The Most Effective Treatments for Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol dependence is a serious condition that requires professional medical treatment. Fortunately, there are a number of FDA-approved medications and therapies available to help those struggling with alcohol addiction. Naltrexone (Trexan), Acamprosate (Campral), Gabapentin, and Disulfiram are all commonly used medications to treat alcohol use disorder (AUD). In addition, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mutual aid groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can provide invaluable support for those in recovery.

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the good feelings caused by alcohol, reducing cravings and preventing excessive drinking. It is available in pill form or as a monthly injection. Acamprosate helps reduce cravings by targeting different parts of the brain associated with the way you perceive alcohol. Unlike Disulfiram, Naltrexone and Acamprosate don't make you feel sick after drinking a drink.

Gabapentin, a drug used to treat pain and epilepsy, has been shown to increase withdrawal and reduce excessive alcohol consumption. Those who took the drug also reported less cravings for alcohol and improved mood and sleep. CBT is a solution-oriented approach to treatment that focuses less on diagnosis and more on constructive action, such as challenging harmful beliefs, coping with fears, playing roles to improve social interactions, and developing strategies to stop drinking alcohol or using drugs. CBT is usually effective with as few as five sessions.

The Sinclair Method is another treatment protocol for alcohol dependence that has been used in Europe for more than 20 years. It involves taking an anti-alcohol drug such as Revia or Vivitrol before drinking alcohol. At the end of four to six months of treatment with the Sinclair Method, 80 percent of people who had been consuming excessive alcohol drank moderately or abstained completely. Marriage and family counseling can also play an important role in repairing and improving family relationships.

This type of counseling incorporates spouses and other family members into the treatment process. Finally, community mutual aid groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can provide invaluable support for those in recovery. AA meetings are free and open to anyone who wants to stop drinking or using drugs. The information provided by Alcohol Rehab Guide is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.

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