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Does medication help with alcohol use disorder?

ANSWER

No medicine can cure alcohol use disorder. But some can help as you recover. They can make drinking less enjoyable so you don’t want to do it as much:

Drugs for other conditions -- like smoking, pain, or epilepsy -- also may help with alcohol use disorder. Talk to your doctor to see of one of those might be right for you.

  • Disulfiram (Antabuse) will make you feel sick or throw up if you drink.
  • Acamprosate (Campral) can help with cravings.
  • Naltrexone (Revia) blocks the high you get from drinking.

SOURCES:


National Institute on Drug Abuse: “Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.”

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: “Alcohol Use Disorder: A Comparison Between DSM–IV and DSM–5,” “Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help,” “Alcohol Use Disorder.”

National Institutes of Health : “Biology of Addiction.” NIH News in Health

Alcohol Rehab Guide: “Treating Alcoholism.”

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol Use Disorder,” “Support Groups: Make Connections, Get Help.”

UpToDate: “Patient education: Alcohol use -- when is drinking a problem? (Beyond the Basics).”

Harvard Health Publications: “Alcohol Withdrawal.”

Recovery.org: “Aftercare Programs for People in Addiction Recovery.”

American Psychological Association: “Psychotherapy: Understanding Group Therapy.”

Medscape: “Alcoholism Treatment & Management.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on August 05, 2017

SOURCES:


National Institute on Drug Abuse: “Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.”

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: “Alcohol Use Disorder: A Comparison Between DSM–IV and DSM–5,” “Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help,” “Alcohol Use Disorder.”

National Institutes of Health : “Biology of Addiction.” NIH News in Health

Alcohol Rehab Guide: “Treating Alcoholism.”

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol Use Disorder,” “Support Groups: Make Connections, Get Help.”

UpToDate: “Patient education: Alcohol use -- when is drinking a problem? (Beyond the Basics).”

Harvard Health Publications: “Alcohol Withdrawal.”

Recovery.org: “Aftercare Programs for People in Addiction Recovery.”

American Psychological Association: “Psychotherapy: Understanding Group Therapy.”

Medscape: “Alcoholism Treatment & Management.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on August 05, 2017

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Does joining a support group help with alcohol use disorder?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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