Alcohol, Opiate, Stimulant and Marijuana Addictions

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MEDICATIONS FOR TREATING DRUG AND ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE
Sedative/Stimulant Medication FDA-Approved Action
Alcohol Disufiram (Antabuse) Approved 1949 Inhibits intermediate metabolism of alcohol, causing a build-up of acetaldelhyde and a reaction of flushing, sweating, nausea, and chest pain if a patient drinks alcohol.
Naltrexone (ReVia, Vivitrol, Depade) Approved 1994 (Vivitrol was approved in 2005) Blocks opiod receptors, resulting in reduced craving and reward in response to drinking alcohol.
Acamprosate (Campral) Approved 2004 Appears to modulate/normalize alcohol-disrupted brain activity, particularly in the GABA and glutamate neurotransmitter systems. Acamprosate has not been shown to work in people who have not stopped drinking alcohol.
Topiramate (Topamax)* In clinical trials Anti-epileptic medication that works through multiple brain systems, including GABA and glutamate. In clinical trials, found to reduce alcohol cravings.
Benzodiazepine (BZD, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin) There are no medications available to treat benzodiazepine addiction. Behavioral treatments are the most effective  
*Topiramate is not yet FDA-approved for alcohol treatment    
 
Stimulants Medication FDA-Approved Action
Cocaine There are currently no medications approved to treat stimulant addiction. Promising new medications are in clinical trials. Behavioral treatments are the most effective.  
Methamphetamine There are currently no medications approved to treat stimulant addiction. Promising new medications are in clinical trials. Behavioral treatments are the most effective.  
Amphetamines There are currently no medications approved to treat stimulant addiction. Promising new medications are in clinical trials. Behavioral treatments are the most effective.  
Methylphenidate (Ritalin) There are currently no medications approved to treat stimulant addiction. Promising new medications are in clinical trials. Behavioral treatments are the most effective.  
 
Opiates Medication FDA-Approved Action
Heroin, prescription painkillers (oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan) Methadone Approved 1973 A synthetic opiate that stabilizes the level of opiates in the bloodstream (prevents withdrawal and craving), but doesn't produce a comparable euphoria or high.
Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex) Approved 2002 Opioid partial-agonist that, like methadone, stabilizes the level of opiates in the bloodstream, but doesn't produce a comparable high. There is less risk of addiction, overdose, and can be prescribed in the privacy of a doctor's office.
Naltrexone (ReVia, Depade) Approved 1985 Provides complete blockade of opioid receptors. Provides no narcotic effect. Cravings for narcotics may continue during treatment.
 
Inhalants Medication FDA-Approved Action
Aerosols, plastic cement, nail polish remover, lighter fluid, hair spray, insecticides, and cleaning solvents There are no medications available to treat inhalant addiction. Behavioral treatments are the most effective.  
 
Hallucinogens Medication FDA-Approved Action
LSD There are no medications available to treat LSD abuse. Behavioral treatments are the mosteffective.  
MDMA (Ecstasy) There are no medications available to treat MDMA abuse. Behavioral treatments are the most effective.  
Ketamine Hydrochloride There are no medications available to treat ketamine abuse. Behavioral treatments are the most effective.  
Phencyclidine (PCP) There are no medications available to treat phencyclidine abuse. Behavioral treatments are the most effective.  
 
Cannabis Medication FDA-Approved Action
Marijuana There are no medications available to treat marijuana addiction. Behavioral treatments are the most effective.  
 









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