Medication-Assisted Treatment: The Drugs That Help Addiction Part 2

This is the conclusion of a two-part series listing the drugs that help addiction and are used in Medication-Assisted Treatment.

DISCLAIMER:

This list is presented for educational purposes only. Before taking ANY drugs that help addiction, talk to your doctor about your substance abuse history. Together, you can decide the best MAT options for you.

  • Haloperidol (Haldol) – Treats the psychosis and hallucinations presenting during alcohol withdrawal.
  • Imipramine (Tofranil) – Boosts serotonin and norepinephrine levels, thereby easing depression.
  • Methadone (Methadose) – Replaces of more dangerous opioids of abuse—such as heroin.
  • Methocarbamol (Robaxin) – Reduces withdrawal-related spasms.
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) – A single dose of this ADHD med normalizes brain pathways previously affected by long-term cocaine abuse.
  • Mirtazapine (Remeron) – When given “off-label”, this antidepressant significantly reduces amphetamine abuse. Reduces meth-seeking behaviors by 50% and curbs risky sexual behaviors typically found among meth addicts.
  • Modafinil (Provigil) – Approved for use by the US Air Force, this fatigue management drug reduces cocaine cravings and increases the number of abstinent days.
  • Nalmefene (Selincro) – This opioid overdose drug reduces alcohol consumption. Unlike other MAT drugs, it may be taken “as needed”, particularly on days when the patient feels the urge to drink.
  • Naloxone (Narcan) – This opioid overdose emergency reversal drug is NOT for treatment. However, an overdose is often a traumatic “wake-up call” that pushes an addict into seeking help.
  • Naltrexone (ReVia, Vivitrol) – Treats dependence on opioids, alcohol, and cocaine. Whether given orally or by injection, it totally blocks the effects of opioids and alcohol, meaning users cannot get high or drunk. Significantly, Vivitrol is a once-monthly injection.
  • Nicotine (Nicoderm CQ, Nicorette)—Gradual nicotine tapering is the most common smoking cessation strategy.
  • Phenobarbital (Luminal) – Alleviates anxiety during alcohol or benzodiazepine detox and reduces the severity of the dangerous convulsions associated with withdrawal from these substances.
  • Pregabalin (Lyrica) – Lessens the anxiety and seizures that occur during alcohol withdrawal.
  • Propranolol (Inderal) – This high blood pressure medication helps with alcohol and cocaine addiction by altering the emotional memories linked to cue-related triggers that compel substance-seeking behaviors. It also reduces performance anxiety and PTSD. These findings are still in the research phase.
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) – Restores normal neurotransmitter function.
  • Rivatigmine (Exelon) – This dementia medication reduces the “positive” pleasurable effects of methamphetamine.
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1) – Long-term alcohol abuse leads to thiamine deficiency. This is a possibly life-threatening medical condition. Replacement therapy is a necessary first-line treatment.
  • Tiagabine (Gabitril) – At higher doses, this epilepsy drug reduces cocaine use.
  • Topiramate (Topamax) – Topiramate patients achieve 26% more alcohol-free days and three times as many cocaine-free days.
  • Varenicline (Chantix, Champix) – Varenicline is the most-effective and most-prescribed anti-smoking medication. Patients also reduce “heavy” drinking days by over 20%.

What’s the Bottom Line About Drugs That Help Addiction?

The combination of counseling, medication, and other evidence-based strategies is considered the “gold standard” of addiction treatment. In term of successful recovery from addiction, MAT is far more effective than detox alone.

As one of the most reputable rehab programs in Orange County, Chapman House Treatment Centers utilizes evidence-based treatment options such as MAT. If you are ready to reclaim your sobriety and your life, contact Chapman House TODAY.

by Albert Fontenot