Aversive therapy

What is aversive therapy?

Aversive or sensitizing therapy is one of the most effective and unique methods to treat alcoholism.

Drinking alcohol is the easiest and most legal way to achieve a state of euphoria and get so-called pleasure. If a person regularly drinks alcoholic drinks, he becomes addicted. The body adapts to taking drugs, and then requires a constant increase in dosage. As addiction develops, a person’s personality changes, problems arise in relationships with family members, friends, and colleagues. Control over the course of life is lost.

Physical health is significantly impaired. This primarily affects the function of the kidneys, liver, vascular and nervous systems. The risk of serious chronic diseases requiring expensive and prolonged treatment increases.

Treatment process

Aversive therapy helps developing an aversion to alcohol at the subconscious level. The effect is achieved due to the formation of a negative reflex to taste, smell, and alcohol-containing products in general.

The treatment also includes medication (for example, disulfiram) that causes alcohol intolerance at the physical level. The result is achieved due to metabolic disturbances, during which toxins are formed. Due to this, after taking even a small dose of alcohol, there is a sharp deterioration in the state instead of the previously experienced pleasure.

After completing the procedures, the person has no desire to drink. To consolidate the effect, psychotherapy is conducted.

To reduce the need for alcohol intake and increase the anti-craving effect (“craving” – a strong desire for anything), specialists can prescribe an opiate receptor blocker – Naltrexone. This approach is especially relevant if, in addition to addiction, a person has characteristic mental disorders.

After the treatment, the patient is simulated his usual environment. However, contact with alcohol in the patient no longer causes the expected effect. On the contrary, the addict feels discomfort in the form of weakness, nausea, dizziness, and possibly fainting.

In cocaine addiction, the aversive therapy method also gives a positive result. Disulfiram dulls the need for constant drug use by changing the nature of drug intoxication. As a result, the psychostimulant no longer causes sensations familiar to a person.

The first, most difficult step towards recovery is the patient’s conscious desire to regain control and return to normal life.

Aversive therapy in MedicoMente:

  1. A single dealcoholization, in most cases, does not give the desired result. It leads to meaningless material costs and a lack of hope for getting rid of addiction. We offer comprehensive treatment.
  2. The initial consultation and complete diagnosis provide with the most accurate information about the patient’s health to make a diagnosis and choose an effective therapy to get a long-term result.
  3. Detoxification in the intensive care unit with constant monitoring of functional and vital signs is a mandatory measure on the way to recovery. After the patient’s condition stabilizes and toxins are removed from the body (takes at least 5 days), the recovery phase begins, preceding the aversive therapy. The patient stays in a hotel-type ward. He undergoes lymphatic drainage, blood ultraviolet radiation, plasmapheresis (extracorporeal procedures), and massage.

    The key task at this stage of treatment is to normalize the hepatic, digestive, and cardiovascular systems, restore the ionic and acid-base compositions of the blood, ensure a sufficient number of trace elements and vitamins. We especially focus on the normalization of hormonal levels, sleep patterns, and the functioning of the immune system.

  4. To bolster aversive therapy, a pharmacological blockade using tablets, the installation of special implants (drugs are delivered gradually), and depot injections are carried out. We use exclusively certified original medications.
  5. Throughout the year, the patient undergoes outpatient follow-up. Medical control of the results of therapy is carried out, psychotherapeutic treatment is carried out, psychological support is provided not only for the addicted but also for their relatives. If necessary, the implants are replaced with new ones. A sufficiently high level of patient motivation adds a chance to get rid of his addiction.


We provide effective assistance to everyone who can’t cope with the negative consequences caused by alcoholism, help establish relationships with loved ones, and return to normal life in society.


For help in MedicoMente contact by phone, or leave a request on our website.

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