There are two categories of anti craving medications used in drug treatment. Substitution style medications are commonly used for the treatment of opiate dependency, and these types of medications in drug treatment transfer addiction from a harmful abused drug, to a safer and less intoxicating drug.

The other types of medication used in drug treatment are medications that reduce the experienced cravings for drugs, reduce the pleasure of consumed drugs, or make the consumption of drugs very uncomfortable.

Opiate substitution drugs like Methadone, and much more recently Buprenorphine, are used as a substitute for an addiction to opiates. Addicts switch from harmful addictions to heroin or other pain killers to non intoxicating and safe opiate substitution medications and are able to better participate in society; they are gradually encouraged to reduce their dependence to these non intoxicating drugs.

The most common anti craving medication is the dopaminergic acting anti abuse drug Naltrexone, which reduces the effects of consumed drugs by blocking the effects of dopamine. This has been found to reduce cravings and improve sobriety rates. For alcohol abuse, the drugs Disulfiram and Acamprosate have also shown efficacy.

An alternative method for induced alcohol sobriety is use of the drug Antabuse, which reduces the temptation to abuse alcohol, as recovering addict know that if they consume alcohol concurrently with Antabuse, they will become violently ill.

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Page last updated Aug 05, 2010

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