Medications for Substance Use Disorders

You can call us at (323) 522-2218 to talk confidentially with a member of our care team. Tell us your story and let’s explore your options.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and other behavioral therapies, to provide an integrated approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medications for the treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD).

While there is no FDA-approved medication to treat methamphetamine or cocaine use disorder like there is for alcohol, research has shown there are medications that may help reduce your cravings and treat common co-occurring conditions.

The following is a list of medications that our doctors have found to be helpful and effective in providing a support system to reduce drug/alcohol usage and feel better. Get in contact with us to learn more and discuss your options.

MedicationSummaryHow it works
NaltrexoneNaltrexone is an opioid antagonist and is commonly used to help treat a number of different substance use disorders.Naltrexone is often prescribed to help people manage drug and alcohol cravings and avoid relapse. Research studies have shown that it can reduce some of the effects of alcohol and stimulants, which in turn may help people reduce their usage.
AcamprosateAcamprosate is a compound that acts on the central nervous system.Acamprosate is thought to stabilize chemical signaling in the brain that would otherwise be disrupted by alcohol withdrawal. This can make it easier to avoid alcohol. Research has shown that it helps people reduce and eliminate alcohol usage.
BupropionBupropion is an antidepressant.Research has shown that it reduces both the high associated with drug usage as well as trigger-induced cravings. In combination with Naltrexone, studies have shown that it helps drive lower drug usage and better treatment program participation for some individuals.
MirtazapineMirtazapine is an antidepressant.Research studies have demonstrated that mirtazapine can increase abstinence and reduce risky behaviors associated with methamphetamine usage.
TopiramateTopiramate is an anti-convulsant used to help reduce seizures.Though not yet approved by the FDA for this purpose, topiramate shows promise for reducing drinking and cravings. More specifically, topiramate has been shown to reduce heavy drinking – meaning, the consumption of multiple drinks in a way that increase risk for harm.
BuspironeBuspirone is an anxiolytic agent used to treat anxiety. Unlike other medications used to treat anxiety, it has few side effects and is not addictive.Many individuals with substance use disorders suffer from anxiety, which buspirone helps address. Additionally, it blocks dopamine receptors in the brain, which can in turn reduce the high associated with drug use. Early studies have suggested this may be effective in helping people manage cravings, but more research remains to be done.
RamelteonRamelteon is a sedative used to treat insomnia.Many individuals suffering from substance use disorder have insomnia or struggle to develop consistent sleep habits. Ramelteon can help make you drowsy and encourage sleep.
GabapentinGabapentin is an anticonvulsant used to help reduce seizures and treat other conditions, such as restless legs syndrome (RLS).While the exact mechanism of gabapentin is not fully understood, it may help reduce excitatory brain signaling. It is most often used to treat alcohol use disorder, but some research has shown modest effectiveness in managing detox from other substances as well.