For many people, going to rehab means getting help "drying out" and undergoing psychological treatment individually and in groups. These methods have been used for years, and, for some people, are quite effective. However, relapse rates for alcoholism are high, and many people need multiple efforts to kick the habit. One way to help them manage their addiction may be to add medications to the mix.  

Available Drugs

Currently, there are several drugs that may help alcoholics stop drinking. These medications can actually lessen your desire to drink. Naltrexone and acamprosate are used as treatments. Other drugs, nalmefene and topiramate, are used "off label" for this purpose, meaning that they are approved for other uses but are effective for alcoholics. However, only about 10% of those trying to control their drinking are given drugs to help their disorders. Despite information to the contrary, doctors often doubt if they will help and tend to rely on traditional rehab and support groups as the primary treatments. As a result, these drugs are probably underutilized. 

Traditional Rehabilitation

Medication alone, however, is not the answer. Most professionals believe that alcoholics need inpatient rehabilitation for several important reasons. First, detoxing without help is painful and extremely hard to do. You really need medical support to accomplish it safely. Also, a rehab facility will offer you education as well as group and individual therapy. Alcohol is a physical and emotional addiction, so all aspects of the problem need to be addressed in a safe environment. Often, family members will be part of the treatment because alcoholism is a "family disease." It affects all the people close to the sufferer. Twenty-eight days of in-house treatment is a good start, but is not sufficient by itself.

Follow-Up Treatment

Because relapse rates are so great, as high as 80% in the first year for groups such as AA, follow-up care is vital for the recovering alcoholic's success. Those who succeed need multiple avenues of support, including continuing therapy and possible medication. Make certain that your doctor is open to trying medication along with your other therapies. 

If you are suffering from an addiction, you should be aware that you can pursue various types of therapy for your problem. In-patient rehab combined with outpatient therapy and medication may be the answer for you. Anything that lessens your desire to drink in a healthy way can only help you be successful. Check with your medical professional, then get started by contacting a rehab company like Pacific Ridge.