If you want to stop drinking alcohol completely, you may be considering a stay at an Acamprosate treatment center. Both inpatient and outpatient facilities incorporate Acamprosate into their attempts to help substance users stay sober. However, this drug, and other medication assisted treatment drugs (MAT) like it, may actually prevent these patients from achieving their ultimate goals.
Changing your substance use habits can seem like a difficult process, so we understand why some people decide to rely on drugs that are supposed to make it easier. However, rather than facilitating genuine and long-term growth, Acamprosate, and MAT drugs like it, actually do the following:
Drug manufacturers and health care professionals claim that Acamprosate works because it decreases the desire to drink. However, desire is a complicated human emotion that can have many different triggers and outcomes, and it's important to understand the factors that affect your specific circumstances. By suppressing the feeling of desire, you push it to the side rather than evaluating it and leaving it behind you. Using MAT drugs like Acamprosate long term removes your ability to deal with that desire in a productive and healthy way.
As with any prescription medicine, Acamprosate sometimes has unwanted effects that have nothing to do with suppressing drinking. These are mostly mild, but be aware of these side effects as you make your decision about MAT by using Acamprosate. Possible side effects may include:
A few side effects are more severe. If you notice a rash, feel numbness in your extremities, or experience a burning or tingling sensation, it's important to contact your prescribing physician right away.
Apart from the physical effects of withdrawal, you've never been truly dependent on alcohol. Heavy drinkers don't relinquish control to their substance of choice, but they do adopt a habit of choosing self-destructive options and avoiding their problems by drinking, rather than facing them. If you want to make a permanent change that you control, it's essential that you learn how to do this yourself, rather than relying on any external force or chemical to control your behavior.
According to the pharmacological programs that incorporate Acamprosate, patients should not stop taking it without telling their doctor first. That's because they learn to depend on the drug's daily presence in their body. They transfer the control of their drinking to the drug, instead of themselves. Without taking personal responsibility for their drinking habit, they are more likely to have issues maintaining sobriety as long as it is through external controls. This simply creates a new dependency, this time to a pharmaceutical instead of alcohol.
Saint Jude Retreats doesn't administer or allow Acamprosate or other medication assisted treatment drugs (MAT) at our retreats, because we don't believe in using pharmaceuticals intended to take control of drinking for you. We can refer you to our partner facility for a safe, medically assisted detox, but afterwards, you'll be responsible for controlling your own choices and behavior because youâ€™re the only one who can.
Over the years, we've learned that guests who fully commit to taking responsibility for their choices and habits are able to make long-term changes that actually stick. Contact us for more information about changing your relationship with alcohol and other substances. Our caring and knowledgeable Family Consultants can help you decide if Saint Jude Retreats is a good program fit for you. Weâ€™re here to listen and help and every call is confidential. Help us help you — call now.