Different Medications For Different Addictions

Knoxville, TN (PressExposure) July 27, 2009 -- Addiction is one of the many major concerns that every society all over the world faces. Although some addiction such as addiction to shopping, video game addiction, computer addiction, as well as with pornography addiction, don't cause severe effects to a person and the environment around that person, addiction to psychoactive substances such as alcohol and drugs are known to cause severe and fatal side effects. Due to the growing concerns of psychoactive substance addiction, dependence, and abuse around the world, several methods of treatments have been used to deal with these addictions. One of which is the use of medications.

Medications for psychoactive substance addiction

Treatments for substance addiction vary widely according to the types of drugs involved, amount of drugs used, duration of the drug addiction, medical complications and the social needs of the individual. Determining the best type of recovery program for an addicted person depends on a number of factors, including: personality, drug(s) of addiction, concept of spirituality or religion, mental or physical illness, and local availability and affordability of programs.

Medications used for psychoactive substance addiction depends on the type of substance the patient is addicted to. This is because some medications are known to cause severe and fatal effects when administered to the wrong type of substance such as using benzodiazepines to those addicted to barbiturates. Here are some of the common medications currently used today to treat specific substance addictions.

Medications for Opioid Addiction

Drugs such as methadone or buprenorphine, used as a substitute for illicit opiate drugs. Although these drugs are themselves addictive, opioid dependency is so severe that a way to stabilize opioid use is required. Once stabilized, treatment enters maintenance or tapering phases. According to several therapists, buprenorphine as an adult and adolescent addiction treatment, is much more successful than the use of methadone in terms of efficiency, duration of action, and convenience.

In some countries, other opioid derivatives such as levomethadyl acetate, dihydrocodeine, dihydroetorphine and even heroin are used as substitute drugs for illegal street opiates, with different drugs being used depending on the needs of the individual patient.

Medications for Alcoholism

Drugs like naltrexone, disulfiram, acamprosate and topiramate are used to treat alcoholism. However, rather than substituting for alcohol, these drugs are intended to reduce the desire to drink, either by directly reducing cravings as with acamprosate and topiramate, or by producing unpleasant effects when alcohol is consumed, as with disulfiram. These drugs, as methods of adult and adolescent addiction treatment, can be effective if treatment is maintained, but compliance can be an issue as alcoholic patients often forget to take their medication, or discontinue use because of excessive side effects.

Medication for Stimulant Addiction

Treatment of stimulant addiction can often be difficult, with substitute drugs often being ineffective, although newer drugs such as nocaine, vanoxerine and modafinil may have more promise in this area, as well as the GABAB agonist baclofen. Another strategy that has recently been successfully trialled used a combination of the benzodiazepine antagonist flumazenil with hydroxyzine and gabapentin as an adult and adolescent addiction treatment of methamphetamine addiction.

About Donna Sparks

Donna Sparks is a Professor and a Consultant Physician. Other than her clinical and local teaching commitments, she also continues to enjoy the privileges of research, writing and lecturing.

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Press Release Submitted On: July 26, 2009 at 10:42 pm
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