Naltrexone (also known as hydrochloride sale or naltexone hydrochloride and under the trade names Revia and Depade) is a medication used to treat and reduce alcohol addiction by antagonizing opioid receptors in the brain. By preventing the release of endorphins associated with alcohol consumption, it reduces the pleasure experienced from consuming alcohol. While it is a relatively safe and effective treatment, there are a number of alternatives to naltrexone that may be used in its place. These depend on a variety of factors, notably the severity of the subject’s addiction and their potential reaction to other medications.
Treatment and Abstinence
The most natural alternative to any medical treatment for alcoholism is a treatment program such as Alcoholics Anonymous (or AA) and abstinence from any alcohol intake. During detoxification, withdrawal and post-withdrawal periods, an alcoholic will need both the supervision and support that a peer or peer group can provide, making support groups the ideal social environment in which to overcome an addiction. The presence and guidance of an experienced role model (or sponsor, as they are known in AA) can be an invaluable source of moral support for individuals intent on overcoming their addiction.
Rationing and Moderation
In some cases of alcoholism it may be possible to combat the addiction through rationing and moderation. The outcome of this alternative will be highly dependent on a number of individual characteristics of both the addiction and the subject of treatment. Those suffering from an addiction in its early stages, or those who have exhibited especially strong willpower, will more likely to benefit from a regiment of moderation, leading to a gradual reduction of intake until no further alcohol is consumed.
There are a number of commercially available medical alternatives to Naltrexone. Disulfiram (also known by the trade name Antabuse) inhibits the body’s ability to break down ethanol, resulting in severe discomfort when alcohol is ingested that feels remarkably like an instantaneous and long-lasting hangover. While disulfram is effective, it can pose a slight risk of hepatotoxicity and drowsiness in some subjects. It is created in the lab as a combination of an organic sulfur compound and iodine. Citrate salt produces the same reaction to alcohol as disulfram, but without the risk of its side effects.
References and ResourcesMayo Clinic: Alcoholism Treatments and Drugs
Learn About Alcoholism: Alcoholism Addiction Treatment
Alcoholics Anonymous: Is A.A. Right for You?