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Addicted to the alcohol and smoking. Treatment to get rid of this?

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Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 2190 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 1 Feb 2013 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Question: I am addicted to the alcohal (i.e beer in some times vodka)and smoking from past 7 years.

.I tryed to quit but i could not do it, please suggest any medicine or a doctor in bangalore.
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Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 38 minutes later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic.

Firstly, I appreciate you for taking the initiative to seek help. This is half the road to success. Second half is that you should take treatment regularly and stay motivated.

Now, treatment for your addiction problems will be in two phases. The first phase is called "de-toxification". In this phase, the aim is to get the body out of the effects of alcohol and smoking. This will include treatment of withdrawal symptoms (if any), improving your nutritional status and treating medical complications. The second phase is called "de-addiction". The main goal of this treatment is to prevent you from relapsing i.e. going back to your drinking and smoking. For the alcohol addiction, there are medications called anti-craving agents like Acamprosate and Naltrexone. which can help reduce the urges or impulses to drink. There are other medication called detterent medication, like Disulfiram, which can also help you stay away from alcohol. Also, certain mood-stabilizing medication like Carbamazepine and Valproate can help in reducing your impulsivity and mood fluctuations, which may be causing you to have this kind of fluctuating drinking pattern.
Similarly, for smoking, there are medication like Bupropion which can reduce the urge for smoking. Usually, in order to avoid the withdrawal effects of smoking and to facilitate quitting, people are put on Nicotine Replacement Therapy – with nicotine chewing gums, patches, nasal sprays, etc.

Along with medication, counselling is also essential to improve your motivation and confidence levels. There are many forms of psychotherapy which can be used for de-addiction - like motivational enhancement therapy, aversion therapy, hypnotism, etc. A combination of medication plus psychotherapy has been found to yield the best results for de-addiction. So, please see a psychiatrist in person so that he can assess you in detail and plan which treatment option is appropriate for you.
The deaddiction department at NIMHANS and St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore has good facilities as well as dedicated doctors. So, you can consider these options.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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