Medication-Assisted Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorders

  • Antoine Douiahy, MD

    The most recent study of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that over 15 million individuals in the United States. meet criteria for an alcohol use disorder (AUD). The rates of AUDs are twice as high for AUDs compared to all drug use disorders combined. Many individuals with an AUD have a more serious level of this disorder and are more prone to relapse than others. Currently, there are several medications with proven efficacy that can support recovery from an AUD and reduce the rates and severity of relapses. Despite this, these medications are underutilized by practitioners. This program will review the medications available for more serious AUDs, their mechanisms of action, and evidence of their efficacy. It will also review strategies to influence patients to use MAT as one of the tools to their recovery.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Review prevalence and adverse effects of alcohol use disorders (AUDs).
    2. Discuss current medication-assisted-treatments (MATs) for AUDs: disulfiram (Antabuse), naltrexone (Revia, Vivitrol), and Acamprosate (Campral).
    3. Report research findings to support the efficacy of MATs for AUDs.
    4. Illustrate benefits of a comprehensive treatment plan for AUDs that includes MAT and counseling.
    5. Distinguish ways to present and discuss MAT options for patients with an AUD.

    Target Audience: Clinical personnel, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, educators, criminal justice professionals, health care professionals.

    Intermediate level. CE credits offered = 1.5 contact hours.