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Medication-Assisted Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

an addiction specialist sits with a patient and discusses how medication-assisted treatment for alcohol can help her

In the realm of alcohol addiction treatment, a promising and effective approach is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT combines the use of medication with behavioral therapies to treat alcohol addiction. This approach has been shown to be more effective than either medication or therapy alone.

At our treatment center, we utilize medication-assisted treatment for alcohol addiction to provide our patients with the best chance for recovery. Our team of professionals, including medical professionals and therapists, work together to create a personalized MAT plan for each patient. Call us today at 662.222.2989 to discuss any concerns and to find out if medication-assisted treatment for alcohol addiction is a suitable option for you or a loved one.

Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic brain condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences. The impacts of AUD extend beyond the individual, affecting families, communities, and social systems. Despite the widespread prevalence and profound impact of AUD, there is a lifeline available in the form of widely accessible treatment options, including medication-assisted treatment for alcohol. These interventions can offer solace and support to people with this condition.

Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder

There are a variety of signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of an alcohol use disorder. These signs can include:

  • Cravings or a strong desire to drink
  • Difficulty controlling the amount or frequency of drinking
  • Continuing to drink despite negative consequences
  • Spending a significant amount of time obtaining, using, or recovering from alcohol use
  • Developing tolerance to alcohol, requiring more to achieve the desired effects
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop or reduce drinking

If you or someone you know is exhibiting these signs, it may be time to consider seeking treatment for AUD.

What to Expect from Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Alcohol Use Disorder?

Medication-assisted treatment for alcohol use disorder combines the use of FDA-approved medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a “whole-patient” approach to treatment. It’s not simply about taking medication—it’s a comprehensive treatment plan designed to address the individual’s specific needs.

You can expect MAT to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, making it easier to avoid drinking. It also helps restore balance to brain circuits affected by prolonged alcohol use, allowing you to focus better on lifestyle changes.

The types of medications used and the duration of treatment can vary based on individual factors, from the severity of your AUD to personal health considerations. Medication-assisted treatment for alcohol use disorder has been proven to increase patient survival rates, retain patients in treatment, and decrease substance use.

Types of Medications Used for MAT for Alcohol Use Disorder

There are a few FDA-approved medications commonly used in MAT for alcohol use disorder, including:

Disulfiram (Antabuse)

Disulfiram works by producing severe adverse effects when alcohol is consumed, counteracting the urge to drink. It’s most effective for individuals who have already completed detox and are motivated to maintain abstinence.

Naltrexone (Vivitrol)

Naltrexone blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of alcohol, reducing cravings and the desire to drink. It can be taken orally or through monthly injections.

Acamprosate (Campral)

Acamprosate helps restore the chemical balance in the brain altered by alcohol abuse. It can help alleviate some of the long-term withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness, thus facilitating sustained abstinence.

Each of these medications serves a different purpose and is most effective when combined with counseling and behavioral therapies. It’s important to remember that medication-assisted treatment for alcohol use disorder is not a one-size-fits-all solution but rather a personalized treatment plan tailored to each individual’s unique circumstances.

Call Us to Begin MAT for Alcohol Addiction

If you or a loved one is showing signs of alcohol addiction, our team is here to help. Our compassionate and knowledgeable experts can guide you through the process of starting medication-assisted treatment for alcohol use disorder. Call us today at 662.222.2989 or contact us online to learn how we can support you on your path to recovery and an alcohol-free future.