Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page for your Smoking Cessation board: this page for your Substance Abuse board:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    luke211 posted:
    appreciate any experience you can share regarding using some of the prescription drugs that are suppose to reduce the alcoholics compulsion to drink ? There are 3 on the market ....thanks
    Taximan283 responded:
    Hi Luke,

    Which 3 drugs are you referring to? I don't personally have any experience with any drugs like you're referring to. I do know there are 1 or 2 that will cause you to become sick if you drink while taking them. But a drug that will reduce your desire to drink I am not even aware of. We certainly could use such a drug. We need a drug that can do for desiring alcohol what Subutex does for craving opiates. However, maybe they developed 1 and no one has discussed it yet. So name the 3 drugs you mean. Maybe someone here has tried them?
    Taximan283 responded:
    Hey Luke,

    Where'd you go? Are 2 of the drugs you mean Topamax and Naltrexone? I still don't have any personal experience to give you the benefit of, but I have just heard that these 2 drugs are being said to work. I don't think there's much harm in trying them. I know a little about Topamax. Mainly that it may make you very drowsy at first. I don't know about Naltrexone. If you need help in staying off the juice, then try them.

    I want to ask you something. I have written up and proposed a general Theory of Addiction. I've posted parts of it many times. My theory is full of open ended hypotheses, that I call on other people to prove or disprove. At this point in my life I'm more of a philosophical thinker than I am a scientist. That's what happens as one gets older (sometimes). Part of my theory says there are things wrong in the brains of us with this illness. I indicated, and pointed at 3 places in the brain to look for problems. One of them is what you're saying. Chemical differences. So I'm wondering where you got the information from that you've been posting? I'm not disagreeing with you. What you say is very interesting. It could be 1 of the reasons that we keep using our drugs once we start. This could answer the question as to why an alcoholic never knows when to quit. I'd just like to know where you got it from? I'd like to read it for myself. If I'm convinced, I'll incorporate it into my theory. Like I said, it's a general theory. It lacks specifics. Mainly because we know so little about the brain.

    Let me know.
    luke211 responded:
    The third Rx is Campral. I learned the brain info from medical professionals at Maple Grove Clinic in MI is part of the Henry Ford Medical System. It is an excellent clinic. The brain info is not theory but real. It is the main "physical/chemical" reason addicts keep using... good luck.
    kingdavidsbaby responded:
    have heard of campral. and the chemicals in our brains are deffinately different than 'normal'. i am an active alcoholic, my father and grandfather were as well. this is another fact. alcoholism is deffinatly hereditary. However, if you are smart, you dont ever start using or rather abusing anything. my daughter was able to turn off her drug abuse gene by smart thinking. believe me, i dont know how she did it but i admire her... she was twelve and she was having panic attacks before sleep...... twice i gave her half of a xanax... after the second one and on a different night she had an attack......i asked her if she would like a half a xanax, and this is what she said to me..'no mom, because i think i like them to much..' and she never touched another drug, and she does not drink or all.... know if that were me, and i was asked, i would say ..bring it on..... does it embarasse me about myself, sometimes, and sometimes when i stop drinking i feel so good... but of course all i need is one and the obsession comes roaring back.... but at least i can function.... sickly, but i function on all cylinders.... by the way my daughter is now thirty and i am fifty seven...... my daughter is my mother..... however, i am also ADDHD, diagnosed six months ago....... i have every single symptom... when i do something, i do it up right..LOL......
    jwalker71 responded:
    well luke i can only reply from my own experience and so here it is as far as a medication to reduce the desire the compulsion to drink ive never came across such a thing over the 26 yrs of experience of drinking and substance abuse the only solution to my problem was abstnance and knowledge and a support group. the compulsion we feel as it has been explained to me is actually a obsession of the mind if your are truelly looking for help with compulsion to drink i would highly suggest alcoholics anonomous it has helped me and millions of others around the world known fact.
    klinebonair responded:
    Hi luke211,

    I have a 22 year old daughter who is an alcoholic and drug addict. She has been through rehab twice, yet kept drinking and doing drugs. I happened to see an article in a local newspaper (online) that referenced one of the drugs you are talking about. I sent it to her and she actually went to her doctor and was prescribed with Naltrexone. She had an allergic reaction to this tried Campral. This one is working wonderfully for her. I asked her if she felt like she finally had control of the addiction, and she told me that she'd never have control of it. But with Campral it was more like the difference between thinking about drinking and going to the liquor store and buying the alcohol. She has been clean for 64 days....which is the longest she's been clean except during rehab. I have very high hopes that this is the ticket for her.

    Good luck to you and I hope this information is helpful.
    brosus responded:
    Hi Luke,

    This is less an answer of experience with craving-reducing medication and more of a bit of support from a recovering alcoholic (of 15 years one-day-at-a-time). This past year I was studying Behavior Therapy and came across some interesting information to add to my own recovery experience. These were the cognitive-behavioral methods of relapse prevention the framework of these theories are still used today. It helps to understand that stopping and staying stopped are separate parts of recovery.

    First and foremost - if recovery is your aim - you need to stop drinking. If the drugs help you do that, use them. Then you have to decide how to live without drinking (living meaning enjoying life), and living the rest of your life on medication isn't it. Disease and genetic theories notwithstanding, alcoholism/substance abuse is a problem that an individual can overcome with lifestyle education.

    You will want to develop coping skills, build self esteem, find other activities to replace drinking. Exercise is a good start, both as a distraction and biologically for its anti-depressant qualities. Getting counseling will help to overcome the triggers that keep you cycling in substance (self) abuse, and of course, AA is free, take what you need and leave the rest.

    Good luck to you in your recovery, I'm not sure if this post allows for personal responses, but feel free to ask if you have any questions.
    Yooper23 responded:
    Hi Luke and others This July 7, I will have 20 years of a one-day-at-a-time life. I know nothing about meds to curb the urge to drink; if they're used along with counseling, AA, etc., they might work. In my case, I was in a very abusive marriage (for 20+ years) in which I drank to feel sorry for myself and to forget the times I was beaten. In treatment, I also realized I stayed in the relationship so I'd have an excuse to drink. I had become a "maintenance" drinker in order to have some semblance of "normal" where our 4 kids were concerned. I am not surprised my two sons have struggled with alcoholism and my two daughters have abandonment issues. I got into treatment through a family intervention and thank my parents, my eight siblings and my children every day for what they did FOR me (not TO me as I had first thought). In therapy several years later, it was suggested that I had had "situational alcoholism," meaning I may not have become an alcoholic if my marriage had not been abusive! Has anyone ever heard of that phrase? I didn't give it much credence then nor do I today or else I might believe I could have just one drink today because I'm at a very calm and peaceful place in my life. I absolutely believe that if I picked up again, "One drink would be too many and a thousand wouldn't be enough." Good luck, Luke, and anyone else reading this who might be struggling. By the way, a year after I had my last drink, I had my last cigarette! Yesssssss!
    doggielover216 responded:
    Hi Luke,

    I have tried all the three I believe you are talking about. I have tried Naltraxzon, (not sure about the spelling) and it did not sit with my system. Got an upset stomach after giving it a good try. Then I tried Topamax (not sure again about spelling), and it made me sick too. Then I did not wanted to give up and tried Campral and that did not do anything for me.


    OSU_Nut responded:
    Hi Luke.

    I've been on campral for a little over a month and recently started vivitrol. The vivitrol made me slightly tired the first day, but overall, so far so good .. no adverse reactions. On most days the drugs have allowed me to continue hanging out with my drinking friends and still be abstinent without losing my mind. The drugs don't seem to have much effect when I'm having a really crappy day though .. the thought of drinking still crosses my mind so it's a mental battle on those days. Hope this helps.
    dian05 responded:
    Have been in rehab twice this year for alcoholism. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. This was one of the reasons I began taking a drink to calm my nerves. It developed over 15 years to where I am now. I believe I would be able to stay off alcohol if my panic and anxiety levels were not off the chart. Does anyone have any advice? I attend AA and am looking for a job at the moment. Dian
    Kellynnb responded:
    Hi I'm Kelly. New to this bulletin. I am a recovering alcoholic. I have been drinking alcoholically for about 10-15 yrs. I have been to 9 different rehabs, over 15 detox centers and in the hospital numerous times. I have attempted to quick drinking time and time again. I have tried all of the drugs mentioned. Topamax, naltrexone and Campral. None of them worked for me without some type of program. I do believe that without commitment, honesty, support, vulnerability, willingness and a strong reserve abstinence is not possible. AA has been a wonderful asset to my recovery. Following their program consistently, going to meetings, reaching out, getting a sponsor and working the steps, a life without alcohol then becomes a reality. If there was a drug or a pill that would keep us from drinking we would have been sober a long time ago And on that note we also would not have experienced the love and support that comes from AA and other types of therapy a/o groups. I do agree that some medications are good for the symtoms a/o disorders perhaps that have resulted from drinking i.e. anxiety, seizures, depression, mania and other types of mental and physical ilnesses..... I invite any type of feedback on or about my post. I welcome all opinions and experiences that you and others might have. Without other alcoholics either struggling, still drinking or have been sober for some time I might feel even more crazy and alone.... Thank you for allowing me to share..... Kelly
    gailb54 responded:
    Hi Kelly, I'm Gail. I'm an alcoholic. I've been sober since 2-14-97. I thought your post was smart. I agree about the importance of AA to recovery, at least it sure was for mine. I haven't read this board much lately but glad I did today and hope you're doing well. Nice post!

    Take care, gail

    Featuring Experts from Betty Ford Center

    Harry L. Haroutunian, MD., is an internationally known speaker on the topics of Addictive Disease and its treatment. He is Board Certified in Family M...More

    Helpful Tips

    How Family Member Can Deter Addiction In Adolescents
    Families are the people who know teens the best. It is important that teens know that their families will always provide them with ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    1 of 1 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.