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Frequently Asked Questions  

Q:  Are There Any Medications for Alcoholism?

Yes. Two different types of medications are commonly used to treat alcoholism. The first are tranquilizers called benzodiazepines
(e.g., Valium®, Librium®), which are used only during the first few days of treatment to help patients safely withdraw from alcohol.

A second type of medication is used to help people remain sober. A recently approved medicine for this purpose is naltrexone
(ReVia TM). When used together with counseling, this medication lessens the craving for alcohol in many people and helps prevent
a return to heavy drinking.

Another older medication is disulfiram (Antabuse®), which discourages drinking by causing nausea, vomiting, and other unpleasant
physical reactions when alcohol is used. (See also Media Advisory, Jan. 17, 1995: Naltrexone Approved for
Alcoholism Treatment
and "Publication",  Alcohol Alert No. 33: Neuroscience Research and Medications Development.)

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