Can Medicine Help With Alcohol Use Disorder?

Few people know that medications are available to treat alcohol use disorder,
the term for the condition that's been called alcoholism and alcohol abuse.

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While some of these medications have been around for decades, fewer than 10% of the people who could benefit from them use them. “You don't have commercials talking about [these drugs],” says Stephen Holt, MD, who co-directs the Addiction Recovery Clinic at Yale-New Haven Hospital St. Raphael Campus in Connecticut. “And primary care doctors tend to shy away from these meds because they weren't trained to use them in med school.”

Yet medications for alcohol use disorder can work well for people who want to stop drinking or drink a lot less.


In 1951, this was the first drug that the FDA approved for alcohol use disorder. Disulfiram (Antabuse) changes the way your body breaks down alcohol. If you drink while taking it, you get sick. And because you do, you're probably not going to drink as much. You can buy Antabuse online here.


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