Acamprosate is a drug that is used to treat dependence on alcohol which also helps reduce relapse. Alcohol cravings can be decreased by supporting brain activity. People who used acamprosate in clinical trials may lose interest in alcohol. The use of the drug may not work for every person. Let’s explore how it is used and why it may or may not be beneficial for addiction recovery.
How it is Used
The drug Acamprosate is a newer prescription medication prescribed to help people who are dependent on alcohol. It is used to help lessen cravings and may be prescribed for up to a year after a person stops drinking. It is most effective as part of a management program which includes psychosocial support. The drug is helpful for people who have liver issues because is goes through the kidneys intact, which impacts the liver less for people who are chronic alcoholics.
Impact for Alcoholism
When a person stops drinking alcohol, the brain enters what is called a state of hyperexcitability. Acamprosate helps the brain regain balance. Bodies seek balance and equilibrium. When someone drinks, the impact is to decrease glutamate, thereby increasing the process of inhibition to counter the nature of alcohol’s sedative properties. During the time a person drinks, the brain tries to keep up by increasing the number of receptors and balances in the brain. Physical dependence on alcohol can cause withdrawal when use is stopped. This results in hyperactivity in the central nervous system. This drug works to inhibit NMDA receptors while activating GABA receptors. Withdrawal symptoms are reduced when the release of glutamate is inhibited. The main effects include:
- Decreased cravings
- Lower anxiety
- Better sleep patterns
- Balanced chemistry in the brain
Some signs the drug is working typically include a person’s lowered interest in drinking, lower anxiety, and less overall symptoms associated with Acamprosate use.
A recovery and rehab facility should be able to monitor use of this drug for overall effectiveness. Not every individual is going to find hope and healing from drinking with the use of this drug. Medication should be closely monitored for safety, including any mental health issues which arise from the use of the drug. Some barriers to it being effective may be relapse, increased anxiety or depression, and lack of willingness to take it regularly. This challenge can be overcome with the right support and oversight by treating physicians who understand the individual’s circumstances and condition.
The goal of Oceanfront is to support your journey of healing and recovery. There is hope for your journey of recovery with the use of medications, therapy, and other methods, we can offer lots of ways to help you detox and enter recovery feeling stronger than ever. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295