Knoxville, TN (PressExposure) July 17, 2009 -- Alcoholism is one of the many forms of addiction that therapists have had difficulties to cure. This is because unlike illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines, alcohol is available for purchase from any kind of store, which is why it is considered as one of the most wide spread addiction in almost all societies. To prevent tolerance that usually leads to addiction, several alcohol companies have put up advertisements on the moderation of consuming alcohol. However, there are many people who develop tolerance to alcohol, thus leading to alcoholism.
There are several methods on how therapists treat alcoholism. There are therapy sessions that are mainly founded for the treatment of alcoholism like the 12-Step Program. Group therapy and psychotherapies are also popular treatments for alcoholism. Other than therapies or group therapies, there are also medications used for adult and adolescent alcohol treatment. Popular medications currently available for alcoholism treatment today are as follows:
* Disulfiram - A medication commonly known as antabuse, is a medication that prevents the elimination of acetaldehyde, a chemical the body produces when breaking down ethanol. Acetaldehyde itself is the cause of many hangover symptoms from alcohol use, thus by eliminating acetaldehyde, an extremely fast-acting and long-lasting uncomfortable hangover will occur when alcohol is ingested. This discourages an alcoholic from drinking in significant amounts while they take the medicine.
* Naltrexone - A medication popularly used for opioid addiction, naltrexone has been found to cure alcoholism. The mechanism of action involves blocking the release of endorphins, a common trait of using opioid drugs and alcohol. By blocking the endorphins, drinkers no longer get any pleasure from consuming alcohol. Naltrexone as adult and adolescent alcohol treatment is used in two very different forms of treatment. The first treatment uses naltrexone to decrease cravings for alcohol and encourage abstinence. The other treatment, called pharmacological extinction, combines naltrexone with normal drinking habits in order to reverse the endorphin conditioning that causes alcohol addiction.
* Topiramate - A derivative of the naturally occurring sugar monosaccharide D-fructose, has been found effective in helping alcoholics quit or cut back on the amount they drink. Evidence suggests that topiramate antagonizes excitatory glutamate receptors, inhibits dopamine release, and enhances inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid function. A 2008 review of the effectiVity of topiramate concluded that the results of published trials are promising. However at this time, data are insufficient to support using topiramate in conjunction with brief weekly compliance counseling as a first-line agent for alcohol dependence.
* Acamprosate - This adult and adolescent alcohol treatment is thought to stabilize the chemical balance of the brain that would otherwise be disrupted by alcoholism. The FDA or Food and Drug Administration approved the use of this drug in 2004 stating that while its mechanism of action is not fully understood, Campral is thought to act on the brain pathways related to alcohol abuse. Campral proved superior to placebo in maintaining abstinence for a short period of time.