Ask the average person how to treat alcoholism, and theyll probably describe an AA meeting or maybe a 30-day stint in a fancy rehab center. What wont leap to mind, even for most experts, is medication.
Thats a missed opportunity, according to an analysis of more than 120 research studies that found that prescription medication helps addicts reduce their drinking and the associated harms.
Taken together, the studies involved 22,803 patients who abused alcohol. The bulk of the papers looked at the medications naltrexone or acamprosate. Both made addicts less likely to drink again and reduced the number of drinking days when they did relapse.