Alcoholism may be regarded as a habit by most. But in medical science it is reputed to be a chronic medical condition. It is characterized by the affected person getting completely dependent on alcohol, willingly or unwillingly. The person may not be able to have a conscious mind on how much is he drinking in one session, or for how long. With time, if left untreated, the condition reaches such a stage wherein, the person relents to his drinking habit, even though he is aware of the problems that are being caused to him. Alcoholism is one of those medical problems where treatment does not come easily, without help. The treatment mainly includes counseling, self-help groups and medications.
Medicines to Stop Drinking
Medications that have been developed to help people shun the habit of drinking, consist of drugs that interfere with the effects that alcohol produce in the body after being ingested. Note that, these drugs are solely prescribed for people who are undergoing the treatment of their alcoholism, and have already stopped drinking. Equally essential is to be aware of the fact that these must not be attributed as any over-the-counter pills to stop drinking. The Food and Drug Administration approves the use of three kinds of oral pills to stop drinking, which include Disulfiram, Naltrexone and Acamprosate. A brief discussion on each of these oral pills has been provided below.
This drug is known to be the first medication that got manufactured and approved for the treatment of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. The usage of this drug, however, does not help in curing the condition. It also does not work towards reducing the craving to drink. All this medication does is, it causes the body to develop sensitivity to alcohol, which in turn causes a highly unpleasant reaction (also known as disulfiram-alcohol reaction) to even small amounts of alcohol when ingested. And this reaction occurs in the form of vomiting, nausea, headache and flushing. The person may also have a throbbing sensation in his neck, sweating, chest pain, palpitation, blurred vision and sometimes confusion. The severity of such symptoms vary from person to person. So given to the occurrence of these many side effects, it is highly unlikely that the person would attempt to resort to drinking again.
This prescription pill is administered with the purpose of inhibiting the 'high' or the 'pleasurable' feeling that people experience after drinking. So this helps the patient to build up a resistance against the urge of drinking. Another version of this medication known as Vivitrol is available. It is administered in the form of injections once a month.
This prescription drug is known to be the most recent product in helping people stop drinking. When alcohol is ingested, it causes a certain chemical imbalance in the brain. And this drug works to restore or stabilize this imbalance, and helps the person combat alcohol cravings. The advantage of using this drug over the two mentioned above is that, it does not trigger any uncomfortable feelings soon after taking a drink.
So, as I said, the treatment plan not only includes the usage of all such pills that help stop drinking, but counseling, methods to cope with the withdrawal symptoms, procedures for detoxification, and the treatment of other underlying medical conditions (common examples being hypertension, elevated blood sugar, liver disease, etc.) that the affected person may already be suffering from, as well. And at home, patients are recommended to follow a healthy diet, and get indulged in regular exercises. And more importantly, they are instructed and educated about ways to avoid situations that involve alcohol.