ClickCease

Acamprosate

Authored by Granite Recovery Centers    Reviewed by James Gamache    Last Updated: August 27th, 2021


James Gamache Medical Reviewer
Jim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Licensed Masters Level Addictions Counselor (MLADC). He has been working in the field of mental health/addiction treatment since 1995. Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Springfield College in 2000, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University in 2002. In 2002 Jim was hired by the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester holding the position of Clinical Case Manager. From 2004-2019, Jim was employed at WestBridge Inc. During his time at WestBridge, Jim held the following positions; Clinician, Team Leader, Director, & Chief Operations Officer. In 2019 Jim transitioned employment to GateHouse Treatment Center as the Clinical Director for 10 months. In October of 2020 Jim transitioned to Granite Recovery Centers and is currently serving as the Senior VP of Clinical Services and Quality Assurance.

Alcohol use disorder treatment has experienced a renaissance in recent years due to discoveries in brain imaging technology, genetics, and other scientific fields. There is so much information, in fact, that you can easily become confused by its complexity and overwhelmed by the sheer number of options now available. Alcohol use disorder is still cunning, baffling, and powerful, but experts are unraveling this horrendous beast more and more every day with advancements in medication and recovery treatment.

 

Look Your Best Without Alcohol Use Disorder

If you or a loved one has engaged in the overuse of alcohol for any length of time, you know the truth about alcohol. Alcohol drains your finances, pushes loved ones away, and makes you feel regret. You are capable to have a life that looks so much better for you and your loved ones.
Alcohol use disorder leads to dehydration and is linked to a whole host of health issues. It is no wonder, then, that alcohol use disorder can make you look sallow, sap your energy, and leave you feeling altogether unwell. You owe it to yourself to address your alcohol use disorder and start feeling more like you have the capacity to feel.

 

All of You

Alcohol’s crusade against you doesn’t stop with your outward appearance or the way you interact with the outside world. Alcohol use disorder prematurely ages your brain, too. This early aging of your brain means that you’re operating on fewer of the amazing resources that still can be reclaimed.

 

Problems Now

Since the brain drives everything, any changes in it have a significant impact on your everyday life. Mood swings and changes that alcohol use can cause can change the way you react and interact with others. Alcohol use disorder can also toss your naturally occurring, protective inhibitions out the window, so you end up saying and doing things that aren’t in line with the real you.

 

More Later

Alcohol use disorder isn’t just keeping you from your life now. It is a roadblock keeping you from the life you might have in the future. Addiction science researchers have found that alcohol use disorder is linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s dementia later on.

 

Brain Changes

Most learning and memory activities happen in a part of the brain called the hippocampus. Normally, your brain can produce new cells. A study on alcohol use disorder showed that it reduces daily production of new brain cells by up to 58%.
While that study is true, it should be noted that it was conducted on rhesus monkeys. Since findings from these primates have proven true in humans, the findings of this study would probably also be proven in humans.
It’s also important to note that the study was conducted in 2009. There has been quite a bit of scientific progress since then. In fact, scientists have shown that alcohol abstinence can restore brain cell production. This time, the research was conducted on humans.

 

Where Do You Go From Here?

Being able to restore so much of your brain and your life is wonderful news. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy all of these benefits? If, however, you’re wondering how to make this possible for you, you are definitely not alone.

 

Abstinence Works, But What Approaches Work to Achieve It?

At Granite Recovery Centers, we know that abstinence works to save lives. We’ve been privileged to help so many people achieve abstinence and live in its splendor over the years. We know how to help move you toward a new life, too.
We’re pleased to offer the latest in research-based therapies and treatments at our facilities. Since no one approach works for everyone, we’re committed to working with you until we find a good fit for you. Over the years, we’ve seen it all. We continue to closely follow the development of new medications that may be helpful in treating alcohol use disorder.

 

One Caveat

If there is one thing that we want everyone to understand, it is that there is no “magic pill” you can swallow to cure your alcohol use disorder. If we knew of one that worked for everyone all the time, we would have offered it to the public by now. However, there are several medication options that can be incorporated into a treatment program. At Granite Recovery Centers, we call this form of treatment medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

 

What MAT Can Do For Addiction

We’ve seen marvelous results and many successful attempts at abstinence when using medications to help with recovery. Just as antidepressants can help a new mother overcome postpartum depression or stimulant medications can help those with attention deficit disorder meet their goals, medications can help those recovering from alcohol use disorder with recovery.

 

When MAT Is Most Helpful

MAT can be most helpful during two distinct phases of the recovery process. One of these is during withdrawal, and the other is during abstinence.

 

A Focus on Abstinence

While we have a lot to say about alcohol withdrawal, we’ll spend our time here focusing on abstinence, where the exciting brain and life changes that begin with the decision to stop disordered alcohol use exponentially increase.

 

Considering Campral?

Campral is the brand name for acamprosate. This medication was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004. It is primarily used to reduce cravings for alcohol.
In order to use Campral at all, you must first be abstinent from alcohol. We know that must sound frustrating, especially if friends or family members have told you that it was what finally worked for them.

Recovery Is a Time of Several Beginnings

Alcohol use disorder doesn’t develop overnight; the treatment process will take time. In fact, recovery really comprises many beginnings. From the beginning of withdrawal to the first day of year 10 and beyond in abstinence, each day is filled with meaning, hope, and its own special kind of joy.

 

Still Interested in Campral?

If you’re still interested in trying Campral someday or you’re someone who is currently abstinent from alcohol, you’re in luck. Even if Campral isn’t eventually part of your recovery program, knowing this information can only give you additional insight to help yourself and possibly help others.

 

How Campral Works

Campral helps reduce alcohol cravings by restoring the chemical balance of the brain. Long-term exposure to alcohol actually changes brain chemistry and can make quitting more difficult. The good news is that, once normal brain chemistry is restored, cravings for alcohol are significantly reduced. The medication is taken in time-release tablets and builds up its strength in the first week to take full effect. It’s gentle on the liver but is not recommended if you suffer from kidney problems.

 

Everything Has Side Effects

Campral, like any other medication, has side effects. The most common of these is diarrhea. Some other side effects include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Chest pain
  • Vision changes

 

Why You Don’t Want to Go It Alone

If you’re thinking of using Campral to reduce your alcohol cravings, you may be tempted to call your doctor and get a prescription. While this might seem like an easy way to do it, it is not a sensible plan. Campral can sometimes increase depression and suicidal thoughts.

 

We’re Here to Help

Since there never has been nor will there ever be another one of you in the history of the world, going it alone is a risk you can’t take. At Granite Recovery Centers, we can offer you a comprehensive plan of recovery that includes complete supervision. In addition to taking medication, such as Campral, emotional and psychological support is crucial to fighting addiction. At our facilities, we’re there when you need us with the resources you need for a successful recovery.

 

A Whole-Person Approach

We know that no one’s alcohol use disorder happened in a vacuum. There were family skirmishes and drinking buddies along the way. Humans are naturally very social creatures.
As with any other aspect of humanity, we use this to our advantage during your recovery. Many of our compassionate, knowledgeable staff members know what recovery is like because they’ve been there. Many others have devoted their careers to gain this wisdom.
In terms of our program, we offer a 12-step approach. Through experience, we have learned that these established programs result in long-term success. A major portion of this success is due to the fact that these programs put you at the center and leave your recovery to your own direction.

 

You’re Always at the Center

Whether you’re seeing one of our doctors or attending a support group, we put you in the middle of our safe, secure network of recovery. We want to know your life goals so that we can develop a treatment plan that fits with your life. If a medication or therapy isn’t delivering the results you want, we also want to know it. After all, your recovery is all about you.

 

Your Rebuilt Life Starts With You

Abstaining from alcohol restores your brain’s ability to produce new brain cells every day. Recovery quite literally begins with you. From these small beginnings, you gradually grow your life, deciding who is in your long-term community and what you do with your time. Recovery is back-breaking, heart-mending work, and you need to pursue it constantly.

 

Our Program Has Been Made for You

Over the years, we’ve built our medication-assisted treatment and other proven programs one staff member at a time. At Granite Recovery Centers, we’ve carefully considered every option before we’ve acted. We’ve taken the time to hire people with a demonstrated commitment to the recovery process, and we’ve trained them in the latest research-based techniques.

In addition to training, we constantly review what is going on in the world of alcohol use disorder treatment. We’re always up to date on the latest information and breakthroughs when it comes to diagnosing, withdrawal support, and long-term abstinence. This has been our approach, and we’re committed to continuing to do things according to the high standards we’ve set for ourselves.

 

Take the Next Steps

If you’re looking for some support during your recovery journey, we first encourage you to learn as much as possible. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism offers information about alcohol use disorder. If you’d like to explore Campral, read about it on Medline, the federal government’s medical information clearinghouse. When you’re ready for more from yourself, contact us at Granite Recovery Centers. We specialize in helping people get into recovery and get more out of life.

At Granite Recovery Centers, we want to provide accurate information about health and addiction so that our readers can make informed decisions.

We have credentialed medical doctors & clinicians who specialize in addiction treatment review the information on our website before it is published. We use credible sources such as government websites and journal articles when citing statistics or other medically related topics.