The principles behind treating alcohol dependency have vastly improved and become varied over the past few years. Not judging the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous, but there are more treatment options for primary care providers to look toward. One of those involve prescribing efficacious medications for alcohol dependency.
For some readers who are not medical professionals, there is a difference between efficacy and effectiveness. In short, a drug’s efficacy is a measure of its ability to treat the condition for which it is intended; and if not related to its tolerability or ease of use. Effectiveness, on the other hand, is a measure of how well the drug works along with its tolerability and ease of use. So a certain compound may have excellent efficacy but has limited usage. In the case of alcohol abuse, a primary care provider may determine that the efficacious medication is worth prescribing.
Many primary care providers are accustomed to writing scripts for various illnesses but may be unfamiliar with medications to treat alcohol addictions.
Some of the drugs, according to WebMD.com are Antabuse (works by interfering with the body’s ability to absorb alcohol), Naltrexone (helps to both reduce the pleasure that alcoholics receive from drinking and the cravings), and Campral (which reduces the withdrawal symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, and changes in mood).
Of course, the most productive results occur when these meds are paired with ongoing counseling and support from a community or center.