Pharmacotherapy In Drug Addiction Essay

1460 words - 6 pages

Addiction is a dependence on a substance where the individual who is affected feels defenseless and unable to stop the obsession to use a substance or prevent a particular behavior. Millions of Americans have addictions to drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and even to behaviors such as obsessive gambling. Pharmacotherapy is a treatment process in which a counselor can use a particular drug to counter act an addictive drug or behavior. Not all counselors agree with this type of treatment. However in order to provide a client with an ethical treatment and unbiased opinions they should be made aware of all scientific evidence of different treatment options. “Thus, attention to addiction pharmacotherapy is an ethical mandate no matter what prejudices a counselor may have” (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2008, p. 196). Some particular pharmacotherapy’s a counselor may use for the treatment of addiction are Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban), Disulfiram (Antabuse), Naltrexone (ReVia, Depade), Methadone (Dolophine), and Buprenorphine (Temgesic, Suboxone).
Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) is used in the Pharmacotherapy of Nicotine Addiction. Bupropion is an anti-depressant that stimulates a release of a chemical called dopamine in the reward center area of the brain that causes pleasure (Healthwise, 2009). When an individual smokes, dopamine is released. Therefore Bupropion has the same effect but without the nicotine drug. Bupropion removes the craving an individual has for a cigarette. A few common side effects are weight loss, nausea, and headaches. A more sever side effect is suicidal thoughts and seizures (Healthwise, 2009). Bupropion is a good use to help curb the appetite of a smoker. However when used in correlation with nicotine replacement therapy the pharmacotherapy success is much higher. Bupropion has also been used in treatment for the co-occurring disorder of depression and in children with ADHD.
One of the old school medicines used to defer the drinking of alcohol is Disulfiram (Antabuse). Disulfiram is a behavioral intervention in pill form taken on a daily basis that an individual takes to prevent the clearance of alcohol as it is broken down in an individual’s body after they drink. Disulfiram will prevent an individual from drinking because if they drink while taking the drug they will have such a bad reaction they will want to stop the negative behavior of drinking. Because of the alcohol element built up in their blood as it goes through their body the reactions an individual will experience are headache, nausea, vomiting, high, or low blood pressure, and palpitations(Arias & Kranzler, n.d). The individual can be quite sick for an extended period of time. In as much disulfiram will stay in an individuals system for One to two weeks. Therefore, if an individual decides they want to stop taking disulfiram the individual still would have to wait a period of time before drinking alcohol or the reactions will still occur. Disulfiram is a behavioral...

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