Can Medications Be Used to Treat Alcoholism?

If you are struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the Tampa, Florida, area, certain medications used to treat alcoholism can help stabilize the individual on a psychological and physical level. Many people do not realize that there is, in fact, medication available to help individuals better manage their alcoholism or alcohol use order. Keep reading to learn more about medications used to treat alcoholism.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help.

Medication for Alcohol Use Disorder

There are several medications available for those struggling with alcohol use disorder. The FDA has approved a few drugs that have proven to help those struggling with alcohol use disorder. The proper medication for you will be determined once a patient assessment has been completed. Each mediation works differently depending on the symptoms and gravity of your disease.

Disulfiram (Antabuse)

This drug alters the way that your body breaks down and metabolizes alcohol. When patients are given disulfiram for their alcohol use disorder, it has adverse effects if they attempt to drink. Because of this, patients are less likely to consume alcohol because of the unfavorable side effects experienced when they do. If patients do decide to drink while taking disulfiram, they may experience:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea 
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting 


Naltrexone, sold under the name ReVia, is a drug that has been approved by the FDA and has proven to be effective in helping those who struggle with alcoholism. The drug works by reducing cravings and the desire to drink, and it works by interrupting the feel-good response that the brain experiences when alcohol is consumed. While on the medication, the individual may notice that they simply don’t have the urge, cravings, or desire to consume alcohol and drink less. The drug can be taken for several months, but dosages and length of time should be discussed with your doctor. 


Acamprosate (Campral) can help mitigate the withdrawal symptoms that alcoholics struggle with. Some of the most common side effects experienced when an individual stops drinking are:

  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety 
  • Feeling ‘down’ or depressed 

The medication interacts with the messenger part of the brain and can aid in controlling anxiety, nervousness, and restlessness. When taken as prescribed, the drug effectively stabilizes the individual, so they do not experience withdrawal symptoms. The prescription medication is best used for those seeking therapeutic support in tandem. 

Other Medications for Alcoholism

Other medications available on the market, such as gabapentin, and topiramate, can help patients who struggle with alcohol abuse. When taken as directed, these medications have shown to be effective in lessening the amount of alcohol an individual consumes. 

Is Medication Alone Enough to Treat Alcohol Use Disorder

No, medication alone will not treat alcohol use disorder. Just as other diseases require a total life change, so does the disease of addiction. If you are not genuinely invested in your sobriety and rely on medication to help you, you are not all that dedicated because relapse will be imminent. 

Motivation, commitment, and dedication to a life of sobriety is hard work, but it is necessary if you want to sustain your abstinence from substances on a life-long basis. The most effective way to overcome alcohol dependency is through an all-inclusive addiction treatment program at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab.

Alcohol Detox and Rehab at WhiteSands

For those struggling with alcoholism, WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab offers alcohol detox at our rehab facility near Tampa. During medically assisted detox, patients will be gradually and effectively weaned off of alcohol in a controlled and monitored environment. Depending on the severity of the alcohol addiction, a longer or shorter period in detox will be recommended. Once alcohol detox is complete, the patient will move on to attend a 30-day, 60-day, or 90-day inpatient alcohol rehab. Here, patients will attend therapy and counseling to work toward lasting recovery.

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction or alcoholism in the Tampa area, contact the intake team at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today. With commitment and dedication to sobriety, along with the tools and resources to sustain it, recovery is possible. Alcoholism is a disease that requires treatment to overcome and manage. While there is no cure for alcoholism, it can be effectively treated, and there is no better time to get help than now. 

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.