Addiction medications are one of several treatment methods used to help people recover from alcohol dependence and maintain sobriety.
Three Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medicines are used for the treatment of alcohol dependence, including acamprosate, which is also known by the brand name Campral.
Campral is often used in combination with behavioral therapies to treat alcohol use disorders.
What Is Campral?
Campral (acamprosate) is a prescription drug that is used to help people who are being treated for alcohol abuse.
Campral has a chemical makeup similar to a natural neurotransmitter occurring in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which regulates the excitability of the central nervous system.
Due to their chemical similarities, Campral can help regulate a person’s brain chemistry when it has been negatively affected by alcohol abuse. These changes can reduce cravings and support long-term recovery.
What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a substance use treatment that includes the use of medication along with other supports such as counseling or therapy.
MAT has been proven to:
- relieve alcohol cravings
- normalize brain chemistry
- normalize physical function without the effects of alcohol withdrawal
- build healthy behaviors and support systems
- reduce the risk of diseases associated with serious alcohol abuse, such as alcoholic hepatitis and
As part of a comprehensive treatment plan, MAT provides a whole-patient approach that is tailored to each individual.
How Does Campral Support Addiction Recovery?
Campral is an FDA-approved medication that works by creating a balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters, glutamate, and GABA in the central nervous system.
As a result, Campral helps the brains of people who have engaged in heavy drinking return to normal.
Unfortunately, Campral doesn’t prevent withdrawal symptoms that an individual may experience when they stop drinking alcohol, so clients may require additional medications during detoxification.
In comparison with naltrexone and disulfiram, which are other FDA-approved treatments for alcohol
abuse, Campral is unique in the fact that the liver does not metabolize it, and it isn’t impacted by alcohol consumption.
Campral Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
Campral treatment programs are offered at Bedrock Recovery Center. The use of this medication is often combined with other therapies or supportive services we offer.
What Substance Use Disorders Is Campral Used For?
Campral is used in the treatment of alcoholism.
Due to the fact that Campral doesn’t cause any negative side effects when taken with alcohol, it is best used to treat those who are seeking to maintain alcohol abstinence.
Use of Campral only works as long as the medication is taken on a consistent basis as directed.
When Is Campral Prescribed At Bedrock?
Campral is prescribed at Bedrock as part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
While a drug like Antabuse is more useful for clients who are still struggling to stop drinking, Campral is better suited to clients who have already stopped drinking and want to maintain sobriety.
Bedrock Recovery Center offers a range of medication-assisted treatments (MAT) to support clients with alcohol use disorders and opioid use disorders based on each person’s individual needs.
MAT groups meet weekly for individuals in detoxification and residential programs.
How Long Does Campral Treatment Last?
There is no ideal duration of acamprosate treatment. However, studies show an individual doesn’t benefit from the use of acamprosate after one year.
What Are Common Side Effects Of Campral Treatment?
There are a variety of common side effects of acamprosate treatment options, including fear and irritability.
Other common side effects of acamprosate use include:
- extreme sadness
- severe depression
- lack of appetite
- loss of interest
- trouble concentrating
These side effects typically don’t require medical intervention and go away during treatment as your body adjusts to acamprosate.
Serious adverse side effects may occur with acamprosate use that may be life-threatening.
Serious side effects include:
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling or tingling feelings
- dry mouth
- excess gas or air in the stomach or intestines
- passing gas
- renal impairment
- intestinal cramping
- muscle weakness
- suicidal ideation
Other serious side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice other adverse side effects, consult with your healthcare provider.
Supportive Therapies For Campral Treatment At Bedrock
At Bedrock, we offer a variety of supportive therapies used in combination with Campral treatment to provide a well-rounded approach to addiction recovery.
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Motivational interviewing is performed at our addiction centers to help people who may be reticent to embrace treatment and recovery change addictive behaviors.
Motivational interviewing increases an individual’s sense of self through guided discussion, active listening, and individual empowerment.
Ultimately, motivational interviewing is designed to allow individuals to explore their motivations for sustained recovery, so that the choice to get better is their own, not something imposed on them.
Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA)
CRA is a comprehensive treatment approach centered on the belief that the community can play a powerful role in deterring an individual’s drug or alcohol use by reinforcing alternative positive behavior.
The goal of CRA is to identify positive supports, structures, and goals that individuals can use to prevent the risk of relapse during the early stages of recovery.
Family Psychoeducation Therapy
Family psychoeducational interventions have been found to impact families positively and reduce the risk of relapse.
At Bedrock Recovery Center, we use telehealth calls with family members to help them understand their loved one’s experience during detox and other stages of treatment.
We also discuss family support groups such as Al-Anon.
These sessions help the individual in treatment to practice communication within their support system and develop healthy boundaries.
Ask About MAT For Alcohol Abuse In Massachusetts
If you or a loved one are searching for substance abuse treatment and are interested in MAT in Massachusetts, we can help.
Contact our team at Bedrock Recovery Center to learn more about how we apply MAT in our treatment centers.
- American Family Physician https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2006/0815/p645.html/
- Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction https://www.ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2019-04/CCSA-Community-Reinforcement-Approach-Summary-2017-en.pdf/
- Drug and Alcohol Services Australia https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/b7823552-b611-44b2-b735-affbf96089c6/Acamprosate+in+alcohol+dependence+-+FINAL+2023.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE-b7823552-b611-44b2-b735-affbf96089c6-otJV8vk/
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/medications-development-program#:~:text=Acamprosate%20(Campral%C2%AE)&text=Acamprosate%20is%20thought%20to%20ease,treating%20acute%20alcohol%20withdrawal%20symptoms./
- Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/acamprosate-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20066802/ Medline Plus- https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a604028.html/
- National Library Of Medicine: Bookshelf https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64035/
- National Library Of Medicine: PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3277871/
- National Library Of Medicine: PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2247440/
- National Library Of Medicine: PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4014018/#:~:text=Predictably%2C%20renal%20impairment%20is%20related,advised%20in%20mild%20renal%20impairment./
- Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services https://mha.ohio.gov/get-help/treatment-services/medication-assisted-treatment#:~:text=Medication%2Dassisted%20treatment%20(MAT),best%20choice%20for%20opioid%20addiction./
- South Dakota Department of Social Services https://dss.sd.gov/formsandpubs/docs/BH/BHAO10_MAT_Brochure.pdf/
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/sma15-4907.pdf/