What Types of Addiction Can Be Treated with Medicine?

Addiction medicine in Malibu, CA is prescribed by many rehab centers in the state as part of the medical detox program. Using addiction medicine is a relatively recent development in addiction treatment.

When you visit an addiction medicine specialist, they will explain how medicines can be used to help treat substance abuse disorder. They have extensive knowledge of how chemicals and addictions intersect in the human brain.

Addiction medicines typically work by making the patient repulsive to the substance they are abusing. That way, in time they will become averse to the substance even without the medicine.

The medicines can also be used to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms in patients. Symptoms such as anxiety, depression, nausea, vomiting, seizures, muscle aches, and sweating can be very severe during the withdrawal stage.

Addiction medicine will only address the chemical factors influencing the addiction. It is up to other treatment options to address the behavioral issues surrounding the addiction.

Due to the high number of addiction cases in the United States, addiction medicine has not received the coverage it deserves. The cases simply overwhelm the capacity of addiction medicine despite their effectiveness.

The good news is that more research is being done into addiction medicines which means that their use will continue to increase. Addiction medicine is used to treat several types of addictions including:

Tobacco Addiction

Tobacco is one of the most addictive substances on the planet. The prevalent smoking of cigarettes is an adequate example.

As with all other addictions, the doctor or addiction medicine specialist will first diagnose the problem. They will then evaluate the severity of the problem and offer a medicinal treatment solution.

Though there are other treatment options for tobacco abuse such as cognitive behavioral therapy and nicotine replacement therapy, medication is also quite effective. Medicines used include varenicline and bupropion.

Alcohol Addiction

Long term alcohol abuse can make the withdrawal symptoms last longer; up to weeks in some cases. Medication can be used to shorten the withdrawal period and reduce the severity of the symptoms.

Drugs used include Naltrexone which blocks the receptors in the brain that are responsible for alcohol’s pleasurable effects and minimizes the affinity for drinking.

Another common alcohol addiction medicine is Acamprosate (Campral) which alleviates both the physical and emotional stress of alcohol addiction. It is usually consumed after the addict has completed detox.

Disulfiram was the very first medicine approved for alcohol addiction. It makes you sick when you drink alcohol, hence discouraging the behavior.

Heroin and Opiate Addiction

Opiates include all manner of drugs such as heroin, morphine, and narcotic painkillers. The medicine is consumed daily in pill form.

Methadone is a medication used to treat several types of opioid addiction. It attaches itself to the same brain cell receptors that heroin and opiates do without getting the user high. However, methadone can also be abused.

Buprenorphine (Suboxone) works the same way as methadone but it has lower addiction potential. Therefore, recovering addicts can even take the medicine home without risk of addiction.

Naltrexone is also used for heroin and opiate addiction in the same way as it is for alcohol addiction.

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