If you enjoy an alcoholic drink here and there, you likely don’t have a problem. However, when you can’t control your drinking and it begins to run your life, you may be dependent on alcohol. Alcohol dependence leads to a number of problems, not only with your health, but your personal life as well.
At Lori Scott Family Care, our team helps you when you’re not able to kick alcohol dependence on your own. Dr. Lori Scott is an addiction specialist, with the experience and knowledge to get you through using a medication known as naltrexone.
What's alcohol dependence?
Alcohol dependence is a disease that happens when your body continues to need more alcohol to get the same feeling. Many people can enjoy a drink on occasion, but don’t rely on it to make them happy. But when you go straight to alcohol before anything else, you may have a problem.
It can be hard to tell how much alcohol is affecting your life when you abuse it. But when you’re dependent on alcohol, sometimes you can’t see what it’s doing to you until it’s too late. These signs may be familiar if you’re dependent on alcohol:
- Craving alcohol and knowing it’s a problem
- Drinking to avoid going into withdrawal
- Needing to drink more for the same effect
- Drinking more and more, even when you try to cut back
Dependence on alcohol can also lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you try to cut back. You may experience mood swings or trouble sleeping, even if you’ve only gone a day or two without drinking.
Luckily, there are many types of therapies out there to help you overcome your dependence. One of the treatments that Dr. Scott uses is a medication known as naltrexone.
Naltrexone: How it works
Naltrexone is a drug that’s prescribed by Dr. Scott when you’re suffering from dependence on alcohol. It’s in a drug class known as opioid antagonists, meaning they prevent the effects of opioids and other substances on your brain and body.
This drug not only works on opioid addiction, but alcohol abuse as well. It’s used to help you get past your desire for alcohol and its effects. It works in several different ways, which include:
- Helps you avoid alcohol altogether
- Stops the good effects of alcohol use
- Reduces your urge to drink more
- Lowers the cravings for alcohol
- Reduces the amount that you drink
However, when taking naltrexone, it’s important to remember that you’ll still feel all of the effects of alcohol if you drink it while taking this medication. This means that you’ll be impaired, and still won’t be able to drive or do anything that you couldn’t do when drinking alcohol normally.
Naltrexone works best when it’s part of a multi-faceted treatment plan. Dr. Scott prescribes this medication in conjunction with counseling and other types of therapies to maximize your chances of defeating alcohol dependence.
Is Naltrexone for everyone?
Dr. Scott needs to evaluate your alcohol dependence before prescribing you naltrexone. You need to be committed to reducing your alcohol intake when using this medication, and stick to the treatment regimen that Dr. Scott prescribes.
Unfortunately, like any other medication, naltrexone doesn’t always work for everyone. Though it’s a useful tool, it’s not something you can rely on alone. It’s most effective when combined with other approaches to treating addiction, including a good support system and counseling.
If you’re dealing with alcohol addiction and haven’t had success with other types of treatment, naltrexone may be just what you need. Dr. Scott discusses specific dosing and when you need to take it before prescribing the medication.
If you’re truly committed to getting better, this medication has the ability to help you cut down your cravings for alcohol so you can get better.
If you're tired of being dependent on alcohol and need help, call our office today at 252-238-7079 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Scott, or you may book a consultation online.