In the U.S., medicines for the treatment of alcohol use disorder date back to at least the 1920s. In recent decades, according to numerous studies, patient outcomes improve dramatically when medicine is part of the treatment plan. This article from VeryWellMind lays out the details.
According to Dr. Barbara Mason of the Scripps Research Institute—and this merits some emphasis—less than one percent of those seeking help with alcohol use disorder are prescribed medication. And as the article in which she’s cited makes clear, this is a shame.
Evidence from multiple large, peer-reviewed studies makes it clear that medicines such as naltrexone (Vivitrol, Revia, Depade) and disulfiram (Antabuse) can reduce alcohol use dramatically when combined with medical management or specialized counseling. But for various reasons (including the long dominance of abstinence-based programs), medicine remains an underutilized part of treatment. This is especially true in the United States.
The VeryWellMind article is a real eye-opener, so have a look. The bottom line is simple: for those with alcohol use disorder, medicine could be a highly effective component of treatment.