What Medications are Prescribed for Addiction Treatment?

When it comes to treating addiction, there are a variety of medications available. The most common drugs used in addiction treatment are naltrexone, buprenorphine, vivitrol, suboxone, methadone, disulfiram, antabuse, acamprosate and campral. Naltrexone is effective for both opioid and alcohol addiction as it works by blocking the receptors in the brain that cause cravings for these substances. Stimulants such as dextroamphetamine, lisdexamphetamine, methylphenidate and Adderall are also prescribed to treat conditions such as ADHD, ADD, depression and narcolepsy.

Bupropion is commonly used to treat depression and can also reduce nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms in adult smokers. Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) such as patches, chewing gum, lozenges, nasal sprays and inhalers can also help smokers quit cigarettes by activating nicotine receptors in the brain. Opioid use disorder is treated with three FDA-approved drugs: naltrexone (Vivitrol or ReVia), buprenorphine (Suboxone) and methadone. Opioids are a group of medicines used to relieve pain but can become addictive due to their euphoric effects.

Methadone is an opioid drug that has been used for over three decades to treat opioid addiction. It works by filling the opioid receptors in the brain, alleviating the need for other opioid drugs and reducing the compulsions of addiction. Medications for addiction treatment may be prescribed as part of an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation program. The cost of these medications varies depending on the drug prescribed.

While opioid agonist treatment drugs may have some abuse liability on their own, their reinforcing properties are limited when used in accordance with a prescribed treatment schedule.