Medication Prescribed for the Treatment of Alcohol and Drug Addictions

Illegal substancesDrug and alcohol addiction is, unfortunately, a widespread condition. Addiction is a chronic condition which changes your brain function causing multiple adverse emotional and physical effects. Treatment of alcohol and drug addiction is difficult since it is a relapsing disease.

One of the modalities used to effectively treat addiction at a rehabilitation center, such as Acqua Recovery in Salt Lake City, is medication. Medications are used to manage cravings, withdrawal symptoms and mental health conditions associated with drug and alcohol use.

The medications also minimize the risk of relapse. Here are the various medications used for tobacco, alcohol and opioid addiction treatment.


These include heroin and prescription medication such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. For opioid addiction, the doctor will prescribe buprenorphine, naltrexone or methadone.

These drugs act on the same brain receptors as those affected by opioids to efficiently suppress an addict’s withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. Suboxone is also a popular sublingual drug used in opioid addiction treatment. It contains naloxone and buprenorphine.


Treatment for tobacco addicts involves nicotine replacement therapies. These come in various forms including gums, lozenges, patches, and sprays. They contain bupropion and varenicline, which work on several brain centers and prevent relapse. Varenicline is also used in tobacco addiction treatment.


Naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram are the FDA-approved medications for alcohol addiction. Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors in the brain hence decreasing the satisfying effects of alcohol and reducing craving.

Acamprosate reduces withdrawal symptoms and is mostly used in patients with severe alcohol addiction. Disulfiram hinders the body’s breakdown of alcohol causing unpleasant reactions, including flushing, irregular heartbeat, and nausea.

The frequency and dosage of the above medications should be strictly followed to prevent adverse effects and deliver the desired results.

Used in conjunction with other treatment modalities, these drugs are very efficient in addiction treatment. They are however not a one-size-fits-all solution, and your doctor will tailor your medication to suit your specific needs.