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Going Beyond AA

“The Alcoholics Anonymous model has worked for drinkers and drug addicts for decades. But there are other options too,” says Lisa Lombardi, author of “Beyond the 12 Steps” for TIME Magazine’s Special Edition: The Science of Addiction. In her article, Lombardi focuses on methods aside from Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and other similar 12-Step programs. “Every day, more than 130 people in the U.S. die from opioids,” says Lombardi. These 130 people are 130 too many. Lombardi also says that “85% to 90% of people who kick opioids start using again (officially known as the “recidivism rate”) within one year.” Because of this, there has been a shift in how we think about addiction and treatment. Could people stop using their drug of choice but continue to take medication for underlying issues? Could the abstinence-only program alienate people who need help? 


Drugs for drug problems?

Naltrexone is a drug that was approved in the 1980s by the FDA. It was recognized to treat opioid addiction and alcohol-use disorder. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks opiate receptors in the brain. Essentially, it is impossible to get high while Naltrexone is in a person’s system. Individuals who are going to use Naltrexone must first detox from opioids entirely to escape extreme withdrawal symptoms. There are a few ways to take Naltrexone: an injection or an implanted pellet. “‘If done correctly, it’s virtually impossible to relapse,’” says William Nelson, a naturopathic medical doctor. 


Rx for booze

Naltrexone pills and shots are also useful in helping alcoholics. “But it actually seems to work better when the person continues to drink,” says Lombardi. This method — continuing to drink while taking a drug to help you stop drinking — is referred to as the Sinclair method. It’s been found that “taking Naltrexone one hour before drinking chemically disrupts the body’s reward system, taking away the desire for alcohol.”


Cognitive therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on changing both behaviors and thought processes. The goal is to reframe the need to drink, and adjust the central role alcohol plays in a drinker’s life.” Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps to start new behaviors while changing their patterns of thinking, which sets them up for future success. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also beneficial for those people who have co-occurring disorders, such as depression or anxiety. 


Villa Tranquil Recovery is here for you. Call us today at 214-799-3080. We can’t wait to speak with you and help treat your addiction. We want to hear from you. Call now.