ACAMPROSTATE (also known as campral)
This is a drug being used to treat alcohol dependence and acts on the pathways of the brain related to alcohol abuse. It may help the alcohol abuser to maintain abstinence. Additionally, evidence has shown that acamprostate may even protect neurons in the brain from damage and death which can accompany alcohol withdrawal.
BUPROPION (also known as wellbutrin or zyban)
In this respect it is similar to cytisine and different from the nicotinic antagonist, bupropion, and nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) like nicotine patches and nicotine gum. As a partial agonist it both reduces cravings for and decreases the pleasurable effects of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Through these mechanisms it can assist some patients to quit smoking.
DISULFIRAM (also known as antabuse or antabus)
This drug is useful in treating chronic alcoholism and essentially creates a hypersensitivity to alcohol in the user. Disulfiram inhibits the enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase so the liver cannot break down alcohol as it would as a part of the normal metabolic process. When alcohol is consumed by a user also taking disulfiram the effects can be quite unpleasant.
Additionally, disulfiram is being studied as a treatment solution for cocaine addicts due to its ability to stop the body from breaking down dopamine. Excessive dopamine in the body can also produce unpleasant reactions.
GABAPENTIN (also known as neurontin)
This drug is an anticonvulsant analgesic. Originally used for treating patients with epilepsy, this drug is also used for the treatment of specific types of neuropathic pain conditions and may reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Gabapentin may also be used for treating anxiety disorders.
ORAL NALTREXONE (also known as revia or depade)
This drug is an opioid receptor antagonist and is most frequently taken orally. Naltrexone is essentially an opioid blocker that blocks the euphoric and pain-relieving effects of heroin and most other opioids. Naltrexone does not have addictive properties, does not produce physical dependence, and tolerance does not develop.
NRTs (Nicotine Replacement Therapies)
These include the nicotine patch (transdermal), nicotine lozenges and gums (oral), nicotine nasal sprays and inhalers. Different replacement therapies may work better for different nicotine addiction scenarios, with some being more appropriate for heavy smokers and others for lighter smokers. With each NRT, the initial goal should be to reduce withdrawal symptoms as nicotine intake is reduced in a controlled manner over time, with the ultimate goal being complete nicotine/tobacco cessation.
NOTE: We would also like to mention that many individuals are now using e-cigarettes in an effort to reduce and/or eliminate tobacco use. With e-cigarettes, no combustion is taking place as it does with tobacco smoking. However, the efficacy of using e-cigarettes as a tobacco cessation tool is a hotly debated topic in healthcare and addiction treatment. The reason why is simple: nicotine is still a highly addictive compound, which is classified as a poison, but complete detoxification does not occur.
You are indeed removing combustibles from the equation when using e-cigarettes (vaporization being the method) instead of smoking tobacco — but while nicotine is not known to cause cancer, the highly addictive nicotine compound still remains.
The ‘e-liquid’ used in e-cigarettes is typically pure nicotine suspended in a mixture of vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, and manufacturers have begun to market these e-liquids with different flavors. While it is common sense that eliminating tobacco combustion can be a net positive for the body and brain (over 400 compounds have been associated with tobacco smoke, some cancer-causing, some addictive, and some enhancing the addictive qualities of other compounds) the long-term effects of vaporizing nicotine are still unknown.
SUBOXONE (also known as buprenorphine)
This is a mixed agonist/antagonist opiate receptor modulator. As a medication-assisted treatment, suboxone suppresses withdrawal symptoms and cravings in those addicted to opioids and does not cause euphoria in the opioid-de¬pendent patient. It also blocks the effects of the other (problem) opioids. In addition to treating opiate addicted individuals, suboxone can be used to treat chronic pain conditions.
TOPIRAMATE (also known as topamax)
This is an anticonvusant drug that has many applications ranging from the treatment of epilepsy, migraine pain, and obesity to the treatment of cocaine addiction, methamphetamine addiction, and alcoholism. Recent clinical studies have suggested that topiramate may have a mood-stabilizing effect and may be appropriate for the treatment of yet other conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
VARENICLINE (also known as chantix)
is a medication often used to treat individuals who are addicted to nicotine. Varenicline moderately stimulates the nicotine receptors in the brain and does so less powerfully than actual nicotine stimulates the receptors. It is part of a class of drugs called nicotine partial antagonists and is useful in reducing the cravings and impulses towards tobacco use, as well as reducing pleasure from tobacco use.
VIVITROL (injectable formulation of naltrexone)
This drug is an opioid receptor antagonist. Extended release formulation of naltrexone. This is an opioid blocker that’s effective in preventing not only relapse to drug use following detoxification, but also in diminishing the cravings that often drive it. Vivitrol is the first non-narcotic, non-addictive, extended release medication approved for the treatment of opioid dependence & alcohol dependence.