Medications Used to Treat Substance Abuse

Medicines Used to Treat Substance Abuse

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Substance Abuse is defined as a form of substance usage that leads to important damage. Mistreating a substance can take to dependence. Addiction is identified by compulsive drug seeking and usage. Individual who are seeking to halt utilizing a substance may seek professional intervention. While in intervention medicine can be used to extinguish alcohol addiction and dependence. This paper will discourse the medicines that are used in opioid, intoxicant and nicotine dependence. Medications include, Methadone, Naltrexone ( ReVia ) , Disulfiram ( Antabuse ) , and Acamprosate ( Campral ) , and Nicotine-replacement therapy.

Medicines Used to Treat Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse has fascinated the mental wellness field for many old ages. Substance maltreatment affects work forces, adult females, male childs, and misss irrespective of their cultural background or socioeconomic position. Substance Abuse is defined as a form of substance usage that leads to important damage or hurt. Substance maltreatment can farther by defined as the usage of intoxicant and/or illegal drugs despite the happening of negative effects ( Keegan 2008 ) . Continuous usage of a substance changes an individual’s encephalon chemical science and this alteration may finally take to dependence. Addiction is the compulsive, physiological demand for and usage of a addictive substance ( Prentiss, 2007 ) . The users most frequently builds up tolerance to their substance of pick. In order to experience the same consequence after each usage, there is a demand to take an addition dosage of the substance. Individual who are seeking to halt utilizing a substance may seek professional intervention. Treatment can take topographic point in an inmate, outpatient scene or at times at a doctor’s office. Where of all time intervention received a medicine regiment is most likely necessary. This paper will ( 1 ) discuss medicines used in the intervention of opiate, intoxicant and nicotine dependence ( 2 ) discourse the history and development of the medicine and ( 3 ) any clinical tests and findings.

Opiate Addiction

Approximately one in four people who tries diacetylmorphine ends up run intoing standards for opiate dependance ( Kleber, 2003 ) . Medicine used to handle opiate dependence are categorized as agonist, partial agonist, and adversary. An agonist is a chemical that attaches to a receptor and activates the opioid receptors. Methadone is the chief agonist used in the intervention of opiate dependance. Methadone is an agonist that blocks the craving of diacetylmorphine. Methadone has been used since the 1960’s, nevertheless was non approved by the Federal Drug Administration ( FDA ) until 1973 ( Kleber, 2003 ) .

About 170,000 persons are maintained on dolophine hydrochloride in the United States ( Kleber 2003 ) . Methadone is the most effectual intervention in opiate dependance today. Methadone blocks the effects of the usual dosage of diacetylmorphine by cross-tolerance when the dolophine hydrochloride dosage is high plenty ( Kleber 2003 ) . Methadone is a really hard drug to retreat from. Therefore it is dispensed under the attention of a professional and normally in an outpatient scene. Many metropoliss in the United States have what is known as dolophine hydrochloride care clinics. The clinics are normally unfastened in the early forenoon which allows the single map throughout the twenty-four hours and to finish activities of day-to-day life. For illustration, while on dolophine hydrochloride one may go to work or school as the cravings and trailing the high behaviours have diminished ( Kleber 2003 ) . The path of admittance is unwritten and is administered one time a twenty-four hours.

Buprenorphone ( Saboxone )

The following drug that is effectual in the intervention of opiate dependance is Buprenorphine ( Saboxone ) . Saboxone is a partial agonist that besides activate opioid receptors but produces a smaller response. Saboxone is the newest opiate care medicine and is used to alleviate cravings without the unsafe side consequence or bring forthing a high ( NIDA, 2014 ) . It was approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 2002. As a partial agonist it stabilizes the degree of opiates in the blood stream and does non bring forth a high similar to heroin and therefore is less opportunity of dependence ( Keegan, 2008 ) . Saboxone is a controlled substance that has to be prescribed by a physician. The method of disposal is unwritten or beneath the lingua. Withdrawal from Saboxone is mild compared to methadone or heroin. Important to advert, this medicines serves double intent. This drug can be used as a care agent or as a passage agent to transition a client from an agonist to an adversary.

Naltrexone ( ReVia )

The concluding drug used in opiate dependence is Naltrexone ( ReVia ) . ReVia is an adversary that provides complete obstruction at the receptor citation and interfere with the honoring effects of opioids ( NIDA, 2014 ) . It was approved by the FDA for opiate dependence in 1984. The path of disposal is unwritten and the effects last between 24 and seventy- two hours. ReVia is non habit-forming and does non do physical dependance ( NIDA, 2014 ) . However, clients need to be off diacetylmorphine and other opiates for about a hebdomad and off dolophine hydrochloride from ten to fourteen yearss ( Kleber 2003 ) .

Naltrexone ( Vivitrol )

Harmonizing to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction ( NIAA ) , The FDA has approved Vivitrol. Vivitrol an injectable long-acting preparation of Naltrexone. Because naltrexone causes acute backdown symptoms from opiates. Clients are recommended to be drug free for at least seven yearss before get downing intervention with Vivitrol. The NIAA 2013, states that it is of import to warn clients that utilizing opiates while being treated with naltrexone may do decease. This is because naltrexone reduces tolerance to opiates and as a consequence put them at hazard for overdose due to trailing the high.

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol is a cardinal nervous system sedative. As a sedative it has a restful consequence and impairs judgement ( Stevens 2013 ) . When the organic structure is affected by intoxicant the person is likely to lose focal point on school, work, and other activities of day-to-day life. An person may even go baffled or disorganized where so inpatient intervention may be required. Withdrawing from intoxicant is recommended under the attention of professional. This is due to the possibility of alcoholic hallucinosis, spasmodic ictuss, or craze tremens ( Stevens 2013 ) . Alcohol dependance is a upset that can be treated by professionals with the usage of medicines. The current medicines that are used to handle persons who are dependent on intoxicant are Disulfiram ( Antabuse ) , Naltrexone ( ReVia ) , and Acamprosate ( Campral ) .


Disulfiram ( Antabuse ) has been used to handle alcohol addiction since the 1940’s. Antabuse stops the dislocation of intoxicant within the organic structure. When a individual is taking Antabuse continues to imbibe intoxicant it causes a buildup of a toxic by-product called ethanal ( NIAA 2008 ) . The person will see an unpleasant feelings similar to backdowns. The path of disposal is unwritten.

Naltrexone ( ReVia )

Naltrexone is besides used in the intervention of intoxicant dependance. Naltrexone blocks the opioid receptors, the molecules that are responsible for transporting messages in the encephalon. Naltrexone cut down cravings and reduces the hazard of backsliding in heavy drinkers ( NIAA 2013 ) . The path of disposal is unwritten and the effects last between 24 and seventy- two hours.

Acamprosate ( Campral )

Campral is used in intoxicant dependence and was approved by the FDA in 2004. Campral reduces the irritability that happens in the encephalon during backdown from intoxicant ( Sarin, 2014 ) . Steven 2013, reports that a survey was done on Campral and the writers reports that people who were addicted to alcohol and took acamprosate were more likely to abstinent than those who took the placebo.

Nicotine Addiction

Approximately one in three people who have smoked at least one coffin nail in their life-time ends up run intoing standards for Nicotine Dependence ( Kleber, 2003 ) . Smoker have been utilizing baccy for over two thousand old ages. Sailor who visited the New World and began smoking carried their wont to the United States ( Stevens 2013 ) . Nicotine comes from baccy and is one of the most habit-forming drugs today. Nicotine is an agonist at the nicotinic cholinergic receptors and helps in surcease of smoke by replacing the nicotine taken in by smoking coffin nails ( Brokowski 2014 ) . In 1928, German chemists Posselt and Reimamm considered nicotine to be a toxicant ( Henningfield 2005 ) . Smoke was popular in Europe and Asia nevertheless, was non accepted by their church and authorities ( Stevens 2013 ) . Over the old ages smoking easy became recognized into society.

Due to the habit-forming nature of nicotine, in 1964 the sawbones general of the United States acknowledged nicotine as a wellness jeopardy ( Stevens 2013 ) . It was around this clip that malignant neoplastic disease was linked to smoking coffin nails. As a consequence of surveies and the Surgeon General many metropoliss, provinces, infirmaries, eating house and other public topographic points has banned smoke. Television commercial of coffin nails has besides been eliminated.

Nicotine-replacement Therapy

Nicotine-replacement therapy ( NRT ) is recommended for nicotine dependance. In 1984, the FDA approved the first NRT, the polacrilex gum, followed by the spot ( Brokowski, 2014 ) . The gum is taken orally and the spot is placed on the tegument. The spot delivers a steady sum of nicotine into the organic structure for the full clip that the spot is on the tegument. The spot normally in topographic point for 20 four hours and has to be removed before a new spot is placed on the tegument. Current intervention in the surcease of nicotine dependance includes, lozenges, unwritten inhalator, or a rhinal spray.


Substance maltreatment has fascinated the mental wellness field for many old ages. Continuous usage of a substance changes an individual’s encephalon chemical science and this alteration may finally take to dependence. Addictive upsets has in the past and is presently a major wellness attention issue. Research workers are continuously researching the substance usage, maltreatment and dependence. There is no “magic pill” to bring around dependence, nevertheless I hope that this paper has shed some visible radiation on the history of medicines, intervention of dependence every bit good as medicine that aid with the swerving the craving of a substance.


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