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Medications for Alcoholism Treatment

Types of replacement medication you might be offered when entering a treatment program?

Medications for Alcoholism TreatmentThere are a number of medications that are sometimes used in an effort to treat alcoholism, including Disulfiram, Campral, Naltrexone, Topamax, Antabuse, Vivitrol, Suboxone, Subutex, Serax, and Methadone.

Disulfiram and Antabuse

Disulfiram, also known as Antabuse, was created specifically to treat alcoholism. It is effective in that it prevents the body from processing alcohol. Taking this drug and then consuming alcohol will lead to a highly negative physical reaction.

Campral and Acamprosate

A medication sometimes used for alcoholism treatment, Campral, is also known as Acamprosate. One of the warning label's conditions is that it cannot be taken if the patient is still a drinker.

Naltrexone (Revia and Vivitrol)

Used to prevent drug addiction, naltrexone (Revia and Vivitrol), has also been used in in an effort to treat alcoholism. However the warning label advises that this medication cannot be taken by individuals who have liver disease or liver problems. Doctors recommend a full liver panel screening before naltrexone is given to patient to prevent further complications.


Developed to be used as a seizure preventative in epilepsy, Topamax has an additional benefit of preventing migraine headaches and has been used as a medication for alcoholism treatment to help control withdrawal symptoms such as headaches. However, Topamax can cause kidney stones and other complications.


Methadone is another medication that is used for alcoholism treatment. The use of Methadone is often criticized because of the lack of regulation governing its use and also for the high risk it carries for dependency. In addition to dependency, Methadone can cause respiratory problems, heart rate problems, and death.

Subutex and Suboxone

Subutex and Suboxone have been used primarily in drug addiction; however they have also been used in alcoholism treatment. These drugs are effective by preventing withdrawal symptoms, but they also hold a high risk for physical dependency.


Used primarily in the treatment of bipolar disorder, Serax is also used in alcoholism treatment to relieve the psychological withdrawal symptoms that often accompany alcohol detox especially depression, confusion, hallucinations and anxiety. Serax has the potential for dependency when it is used by individuals who are prone to dependent behavior.

A Safe and Effective Alternative

The highly effective Cognitive Behavioral Education methodology provided only at Saint Jude Retreats involves no medication and no risk of additional physical dependency on a replacement drug, overdose, or other problems. It also benefits individuals in that it enables them to become alcohol and drug free without living off medication. Our friendly staff can help you find the safest detox that can accommodate your needs and help you detox from alcohol. Saint Jude's is recommended as one of the leading non 12 step programs today.


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