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Campral: What Is It and How It Can Help

by Landmark Recovery

October 14, 2019
Opioid FAQ

When it comes to alcohol addiction and alcoholism, treatment is always an option and medications such as acamprosate, brand name Campral can assist in this. Acamprosate is used alongside counseling and other treatment features to help people who have stopped drinking large amounts of alcohol avoid relapses.

Alcoholism is a serious and debilitating problem that can lead to social, professional, and personal problems that affect nearly every aspect of someone’s life. Despite how problematic this problem can be, alcoholism is something that can be treated and treatment is something that should be sought out if you or a loved one is suffering from this problem.

One of the major aspects of drug and alcohol treatment is the use and administration of medication-assisted treatment. There are many forms of medication-assisted treatment to help with numerous different types of substance abuse problems.

Campral is one of form of medication-assisted treatment that can be used to help with alcohol addiction. But what exactly is Campral.

Let’s take a look at this type of treatment.

What Is Campral?

Alcoholism is one of the most prevalent substance abuse disorders across the world. Alcohol abuse will actually change the way that the brain works for individuals who drink excessive amounts of alcohol. These brain changes can also affect behavior and not only lead to health problems, but risky and unsafe behavior in attempts to continue alcohol use.

Essentially, acamprosate, or Campral, works by helping the brains of people who have drunk large amounts of alcohol to work normally again. According to one study, acamprosate is a medication that has been studied in numerous clinical trials around the world. It has been used to help over 1.5 million people suffering from alcoholism, since it first started being used in Europe in 1989 and more recently in the United States.

Acamprosate was first approved by the FDA, along with psychosocial support in 2004. It is one of the three FDA-approved treatments for alcohol dependence, along with disulfiram and naltrexone.

While acamprosate and Campral do not prevent withdrawal symptoms, it has been shown to work on people who have stopped drinking and also overused or abused other substances such as prescription or illicit drugs.

Now that we know a little bit more about Campral, you may be wondering how effective this form of treatment is and how it can help.

Let’s take a bit of a closer look at Campral and how it can be used to help those in recovery.

How Campral Can Help

Campral, or acamprosate is a tablet that is taken by mouth usually three times a day.

Essentially, Campral works by decreasing the cravings and urges that people feel to use alcohol. It helps the people who take the medication control their urges and avoid relapses.

It should be noted that before acamprosate administration can start, patients will have to be abstinent from alcohol for a set period of time. This is why Campral use normally begins following the initial medically assisted detox portion of treatment.

Overall, there is overwhelming evidence that the use of Campral can help people who are suffering from alcoholism. An analysis of 12 studies found that acamprosate increased the continuous abstinence rate and doubled the continuous abstinence duration compared to a placebo.

According to various studies Campral can be incredibly effective at helping patients overcome their addiction problems by dealing with the cravings and urges that are common with early sobriety.

While Campral and acamprosate offer patients a number of benefits, they are not the only forms of MAT available to help patients who are suffering from drug or alcohol abuse.

Let’s take a look at some of the other common and effective forms of medication-assisted treatment that may be used in a facility if you or a loved one are looking for treatment.

Other Forms of MAT

Along with Campral, there are a number of other forms of medication-assisted treatment that can be helpful for patients who are suffering from different types of substance abuse problems.

Medication-assisted treatment is still somewhat of a debated topic in the addiction community. Some argue that patients are essentially replacing one substance with another. However, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration say that his is a common misconception and that MAT can be incredibly helpful for those suffering from some type of substance abuse disorder.

These medications are used to relieve withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that can cause imbalances in the body. These MAT programs are meant to provide a safe level of medication to help patients overcome the problems that opioids, illicit drugs, or alcohol have left behind.


Vivitrol is one of the most effective forms of MAT and one that will likely spark the least amount of controversy as it has no psychoactive effects on the patient. Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist that can help patients overcome and reduce urges and cravings to use again. Moreover, if patients do use, they are unable to feel the desired effects of the drugs as Vivitrol effectively blocks the

One six-month study on Vivitrol found that patients who were given the medication reported 90 percent opioid-free weeks compared to 35 percent receiving the placebo. Moreover, 55 percent of those receiving Vivitrol reported having decreased cravings while only 3 percent receiving the placebo reported decreased cravings.

Overall, Vivitrol was found to be incredibly effective and can help patients avoid relapse.


Disulfiram is one of the three MAT options available for people with an alcohol use problem. Like acamprosate, it is used to help people who have already gone through detoxification or are in the early stages of abstinence.

It should be noted that side effects from disulfiram may occur, including nausea, headache, vomiting, chest pains, and breathing problems


Suboxone is the brand name for a prescription medication that uses buprenorphine and naloxone to help patients overcome an opioid addiction.

Suboxone is considered a partial agonist. This means that Suboxone doesn’t fully activate the receptors in the brain. This results in the ceiling effect that doesn’t allow patients to experience the full effects of these drugs.

Other Aspects Of Alcohol Treatment

While you may understand what MAT is and how it can work, you may be curious about the other aspects of alcohol treatment and what else your or your loved one will experience if they go through an alcohol treatment program.

One of the most important aspects of alcohol addiction treatment is medical detox.

Medical Detox

The reason that medical detoxification is important for those who are seeking alcohol treatment is due to the harmful, and even life-threatening side effects associated with alcohol withdrawal.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms will first appear between six and 48 hours after alcohol consumption ends or decreases. Some of the initial symptoms include headache, tremor, sweating, agitation, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, increased light sensitivity, and more. However, as time goes by, alcohol withdrawal symptoms will become worse before eventually diminishing over a one to two day period.

Some of the more serious side effects associated with this problem include severe agitation, disorientation, hallucinations, and delirium tremens.

Delirium tremens is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that involves sudden and severe changes mentally and in the nervous system.

Overall, medical detox is one of the most important parts of alcohol treatment and is one of the steps necessary before undergoing most forms of medication-assisted treatment. MAT and detox will allow patients to prepare and focus more closely on their sobriety and various parts of treatment like individual and group therapies.

Individual and Group Therapy

One of the most prevalent parts of drug and alcohol treatment is the psychotherapy associated with recovery. These types of therapies happen in both one-on-one and group settings. During these forms of therapy, patients will learn about themselves and about addiction in general as they work with clinicians and other patients to develop coping methods and strategies that they can employ to avoid relapse.

One of the most common forms of individual therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy. During this type of counseling, clinicians will speak with patients to identify the things that trigger that causes them to think about and use substances that they abuse. From there, patients and clinicians will work together to help alter the patient’s thought processes and replace their self-destructive thoughts with others that are more conducive to long-term sobriety.

Along with this form of individual therapy, there are group counseling sessions that occur as well. Group counseling can be immensely beneficial as it allows patients to learn from other patients. It can also provide motivation as many patients will look at others and see their recovery before their eyes which can provide them all the encouragement they need for their own recovery.


Following a stay in a residential facility, treatment facilities will likely set patients up with a discharge plan that normally includes ways to stay in the recovery community, such as admission to an intensive outpatient program.

At these IOP programs, patients will continue their treatment through therapy and counseling sessions while also being administered certain forms of MAT if clinicians believe that it is necessary.

Overall, IOP programs are in place to help patients commit full to their new sober lifestyle while beginning independent living. This stage in recovery can be very difficult as it is normally the time when urges and cravings are the highest and many patients have more freedom as they are no longer in a residential facility. IOP can provide a great benefit for those who are dedicated to getting sober.

Overall, there are a lot of aspects of treatment that you can continue to learn about and should understand before you or your loved one enters a treatment facility.

Luckily, there are a number of facilities around the country that can help patients with whatever substance abuse problem that they need. Finding the right facility is another big step to getting treatment.

Next Step

Landmark Recovery is a premier drug and alcohol rehab facility that is dedicated to treating as many patients as possible and to providing the highest quality of care and service for each and every patient. Landmark has a new state-of-the-art drug treatment facility in Carmel, Indiana and has other facilities in Kentucky. At Landmark, we saw what the opioid crisis and drug epidemic was doing to our nation and are working to become a solution to this problem and to save as many lives as possible.

Along with Campral, there are a number of other medication-assisted treatment options that are available to help patients with their respective substance abuse problems. Landmark Recovery is one drug and alcohol rehab facility that believes in evidence-based, holistic treatment. We offer patients access to effect psychotherapy sessions and administer medication-assisted treatment programs as fit. If you or a loved one is looking for a treatment center that can help, please visit our website or and reach out to our admissions team today.

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About the Author

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery was founded with a determination to make addiction treatment accessible for all. Through our integrated treatment programs, we've helped thousands of people choose recovery over addiction and get back to life on their own terms. We're on a mission to save one million lives over the next century. We encourage all those struggling with substance use to seek professional help.