Chronic alcohol or opiate abuse can cause long-lasting changes in the brain, and both cognitive and behavioral changes that result in the need to drink/use more to keep cravings and or withdrawal effects at bay. Did you know that there are medications to help balance brain chemistry, reduce cravings and block the euphoric effects of alcohol or opiates?
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to create a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research shows that when treating substance-use disorders, this type of adjunct therapy is most successful. MAT is clinically driven with a focus on individualized patient care.
Medications used in MAT include:
Naltrexone: A synthetic drug that blocks opiate receptors in the nervous system and is used chiefly in the treatment of opiate and alcohol addiction.
Vivitrol®: A form of injectable naltrexone used to treat alcohol and opioid use disorder. This medication is ideal for those who have had a history of relapses, as Vivitrol® remains in the body for 30 days, thus eliminating the need to take naltrexone daily.
Campral®: (Acamprosate) affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced in a person who is addicted to alcohol. Acamprosate works by restoring this chemical balance in the brain in an alcohol-dependent person who has recently quit drinking.
Librium®: (Chlordiazepoxide) is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and tremor.