ReVia for Treating Alcoholism
Even after years of sobriety, an alcoholic remains at a high risk of turning back to alcohol to numb emotional pain, relieve stress or fit in with peers. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, 80 to 90 percent of people who have received treatment for alcohol addiction will backslide. For some, the relapse will be a temporary slip. For others, going back to drinking will have permanent, devastating effects on their health, their personal lives and their careers. Naltrexone, which is marketed under the brand name ReVia, can provide pharmacological support to help prevent an alcoholic relapse.
What Is ReVia?
ReVia is an oral medication that is taken in tablet form to block the euphoric effects of alcohol or narcotic drugs. ReVia may be taken at home or under supervision at an addiction treatment facility. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that this medication may be right for you if you meet the following criteria:
- You have a firm personal commitment to staying clean and sober.
- You’ve stopped using alcohol and narcotic drugs for one week to 10 days.
- You are actively participating in individual counseling or group therapy.
- You are not pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant.
- You have a reliable system for remembering to take ReVia.
- You have no allergies to naltrexone and you don’t have any medical conditions that could prevent you from taking ReVia.
ReVia is not used to prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal can produce life-threatening side effects and must be medically supervised.
Is ReVia Hard to Take?
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Because ReVia makes alcohol less appealing, this drug can be an effective way to support a recovery program if it’s taken as directed. Failing to take ReVia as prescribed is one of the main reasons that this treatment tool doesn’t work, reports the journal Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. If you take the medication at home, your doctor may direct you to take one tablet every day. If you take naltrexone at a top luxury addiction treatment facility or clinic, you may take the tablet according to a different schedule.
ReVia is easy to take, but when you’re getting your life together in sobriety, it can be difficult to remember to take a daily pill. Work with your therapist, sponsor or supportive friends to develop a system that will help you stay on track with your treatment plan.
*Side Effects to Watch Out For
When taken in oral form, naltrexone/ReVia can have a wide range of side effects, notes the NIH. If you take too much of this drug, it may cause liver damage. Let your doctor know immediately if you experience:
- Severe vomiting or diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Vision problems
Taking narcotic drugs or drinking large quantities of alcohol while you’re on ReVia can be extremely dangerous. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to ensure safety.
Will ReVia Keep Me Sober?
ReVia is not a cure for alcohol addiction. If you want to stay sober, you’ll still have to deal with the pain, stress, anger and fear that fueled your alcohol dependence. ReVia can make the recovery process smoother by taking away the powerful appeal of alcohol. While you’re taking ReVia, you may not have the physical cravings that make sobriety so tough. However, you may still have to deal with social pressure from friends or family, and your subconscious mind may try to convince you that can drink “like a normal person.” That’s why it’s critical to have an empathetic therapist, a medical doctor, a sponsor and a network of friends who support your desire to start a healthy new life in sobriety.