What is the Best Alcohol Medication UK?

What is the Best Alcohol Medication UK?


If you are addicted to alcohol you should not try to stop drinking without medication. Having medication can keep you safe from adverse effects caused by quitting alcohol while also reducing withdrawal effects


There are also prescribed drugs that can make staying sober either, by either reducing your desire for alcohol, or by causing adverse effects if you drink.


But what is the best alcohol medication UK? In this blog, we will tell you exactly which are the most effective to help you stop drinking.


Remember that no medication is a magic pill to cease alcohol use, and you will also need support in your recovery from alcohol. Contact Sobriety and Wellbeing to find out more about how we can help you.


The Best Alcohol Medications in the UK

These are considered the most effective medications to use if you want to quit drinking in the UK.


Chlordiazepoxide

Chlordiazepoxide is a benzodiazepine. It helps to relieve alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, tremors, and seizures. It works by calming the central nervous system, which can be strongly activated during alcohol withdrawal. You should only use chlordiazepoxide under close medical supervision due to the potential for dependence.


Diazepam

Similar to chlordiazepoxide, diazepam is another benzodiazepine used to manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The controlled dosage and gradual tapering of diazepam can allow people in alcohol withdrawal to taper down slowly, further reducing your risk of experiencing withdrawals.


Benzodiazepines are addictive. There is a serious risk of cross-addiction if you try using these medicines to stop drinking.


Disulfiram

When someone drinks alcohol the body metabolizes it into acetaldehyde, a toxic substance. Disulfiram works by inhibiting an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase, which is responsible for breaking down acetaldehyde into a non-toxic substance.


By blocking the breakdown of acetaldehyde, Disulfiram causes an accumulation of acetaldehyde. This produces a range of unpleasant physical effects, such as nausea, flushing, and palpitations.


The discomfort caused by these effects acts as a deterrent to alcohol consumption. People who take Disulfiram and then drink alcohol experience an unpleasant reaction, creating a negative reinforcement loop that can discourage further drinking.


Disulfiram can be an effective tool to support abstinence by creating an aversion to alcohol. This aversive conditioning helps people resist the temptation to drink, as they associate drinking alcohol with unpleasant symptoms.


Due to the potential severity of the reaction, Disulfiram is typically used under close medical supervision. People taking Disulfiram are advised to avoid all forms of alcohol.


Acamprosate

Acamprosate works by helping to balance the levels of a neurotransmitter called glutamate in the brain. Glutamate is involved in the communication between nerve cells.


When someone quits drinking after a period of heavy alcohol consumption, there can be an imbalance in neurotransmitters in the brain, including an increase in glutamate activity. This heightened glutamate activity may contribute to withdrawal symptoms and cravings for alcohol.


Acamprosate interacts with glutamate receptors and modulates glutamate activity, helping to stabilize the brain's chemistry. By doing so, it may reduce some of the unpleasant effects of alcohol withdrawal and cravings that can make it challenging for people newly sober to remain abstinent.


Acamprosate is not a cure for alcoholism, but it may help you maintain abstinence by reducing your desire to drink. It can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and support.


Naltrexone

Naltrexone is another medication used in the treatment of alcohol dependence, but its mechanism of action differs from that of Acamprosate.


Naltrexone works by blocking the effects of opioids, including endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters in the brain that are involved in the pleasure and reward pathways.


When someone drinks alcohol, it causes the release of endorphins in the brain, which contribute to the pleasurable feelings associated with drinking.


Naltrexone works by blocking the opioid receptors, which dampens the reinforcing effects of alcohol. This means that even if someone drinks, they may experience less pleasure and reward, making alcohol less appealing.


By reducing the rewarding effects of alcohol, Naltrexone may also help reduce cravings for alcohol. But as with acamprosate, it is not a cure.


Where Can I buy Alcohol Medication in the UK?

It is not possible to buy any of the medications featured in this list in the UK. These are only available if you have a prescription. Doctors are not allowed to give you these medications without prescription as administering them to yourself can be dangerous.


Rehabs and detox centres frequently dispense these medications, though usually only while you are on site. Most facilities consider it too dangerous to allow people to leave their site while they are going through alcohol withdrawal.


It is also possible to have the best alcohol medication UK sent through the post using home detox services like Sobriety and Wellbeing. Doing this is significantly more affordable than attending a treatment facility, and allows you to detox from the comfort of your own home. For more information, contact Sobriety and Wellbeing on 0800 002 5397.