Study: Treating Alcoholism With Medication

alcohol and medication

Though alcohol is legal, culturally acceptable and easily obtainable, that does not make it safe to consume. Tragically, alcoholism is a leading cause of disability, illness and death in America, costing billions of dollars per year. Organ damage such as cirrhosis is one potential health complication associated with alcohol abuse, but one recent study published in JAMA Network Open found a promising link between drugs used to treat addiction and the reduced progression of alcohol-associated liver disease in patients.

What Does the Study Tell Us?

Researchers conducting the extensive study spent an average of nine years following more than 9,600 patients receiving attention for alcohol use disorder at the Mass General Brigham Biobank. They investigated medical addiction treatment with FDA-approved and off-label medications, finding a decreased incidence of alcohol-associated liver disease with drugs like gabapentin, topiramate and baclofen.

Even for patients who started medical addiction treatment after receiving a diagnosis of cirrhosis, the study still showed decreased progression of their condition. That’s good news for heavy drinkers who have relied on alcohol for years – and for their treatment providers.

Do You Need an Alcohol Treatment Program?

Addictive substances like alcohol have the power to change the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. For that reason, people who abuse alcohol rely on drinking to relax, regulate their moods and feel good about themselves. When you try to quit, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and strong cravings make it challenging to stay on track with your goals, no matter how motivated you might feel. That’s why you may need a formal treatment program to get sober and lead a healthier lifestyle.

There are several evidence-based methods for treating and managing alcohol use disorder, including individual therapy and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. These approaches aim to teach people how to stay sober, stay aware of their triggers, improve their self-esteem and identify the underlying psychological issues that drive addiction. The findings from this recent study suggest combining these different practices with specific medications can help you heal even further by reducing the development of organ damage.

Addiction Treatment Designed for Professionals

At Providence Treatment, we understand how stressful it can be to fulfill the demands of a fast-paced professional career while balancing other aspects of your life. That’s why we’ve designed a customized substance abuse program catering to the needs of career-minded people.

Our outpatient addiction treatment programs, active alumni activities and aftercare program ensure long-term success and sustained sobriety so you can regain the energy and motivation you need to perform to a high standard in your chosen profession. Our evidence-based addiction treatment programs provide the individualized tools you need to live a sober lifestyle while avoiding a relapse. To learn more about starting your road to recovery at our accredited Pennsylvania addiction center, please reach out to us today.

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