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Alcohol Addiction

Medical Detox for Alcohol and Daily Maintenance Medications to Help Prevent Continued Drinking

by Stuart Kloda, MD

ID-10043509OUTPATIENT ALCOHOL DETOXIFICATION: One part of my practice is the treatment of alcoholism. Outpatient medical detoxification from alcohol is not safe for everyone. There is always a risk of seizure, and/or development of hallucinations with unstable vital signs. If you are interested in outpatient detoxification from alcohol, Dr. Kloda will assess your safety for this type of treatment. Please note that you must stay with a responsible adult friend or family member for the first 24 to 48 hours of your detox. That person will be administering your medication to you.

STOP OR MODERATE YOUR DRINKING: There are now a different number of medications that are available to help people reduce or stop their drinking.

GABA DRUGS: Baclofen / Neurontin / Topamax.

Drugs that affect the GABA system in the brain can be very effective for the treatment of alcohol abuse. Another receptor that alcohol affects is the GABA-A receptor. Stimulating this receptor causes relief of anxiety, and a general sense of relaxation. There are many people that drink alcohol, in part, to relieve symptoms of anxiety. I also see a number of working professionals that are unable to control their drinking that starts after work. They describe an inability to relax after the stresses of the workday. However, instead of just having one or two drinks, every evening is an experience of uncontrollable compulsions to drink more alcohol. If a person that is addicted to alcohol stops drinking, their original anxiety will manifest itself, along with alcohol withdrawal anxiety. If the anxiety and irritability are treated in this group of people, it can be very effective as an alcohol abuse treatment.


Baclofen is an old muscle relaxant, and I have found it to be an extremely useful drug for the addiction to alcohol. Baclofen stimulates the GABA-B receptor. So in a way, it can be though of as acting as a parallel agonist to GABA-A receptors, with the same positive psychological effects. I have seen remarkable results with this medication when it is prescribed for the right person. In my personal experience in private practice, it has been the most effective medication I have seen in the treatment of alcoholism so far.


Topamax is a seizure medication that acts, in part, by stimulating the GABA-A receptor. It can relieve anxiety and irritability, and can be a good alcohol treatment option. Topamax is taken as a nightly or twice daily dose, and a steady level of medication builds up in the bloodstream. Topamax also modulates glutamate receptors. These receptors are increased in people addicted to alcohol. Glutamate receptors are responsible for irritability and dysphoria. Topamax can be thought of as blocking the effects of glutamate as well.


Neurontin acts as a GABA-A analogue. This means that it causes the same effects of GABA-A stimulation. Neurontin is a seizure medication as well. It can be used with scheduled dosing, or it can be used as needed for alcohol cravings. It can be a very effective medication in the treatment for alcoholics. Some patients find it to be effective for end of the workday cravings, or to prevent cravings before attending a social function.


One of the receptors that alcohol stimulates is the mu-opioid receptor. This is the same receptor that is stimulated by narcotic pain medications such as Percocet and Vicodin. Activating this receptor causes a release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of pleasure, reward, and euphoria. Naltrexone is a medication that is a mu-opioid receptor antagonist, meaning that it blocks the receptor. If a person drinks while taking this medication, the alcohol will have a much less pleasurable effect. So, naltrexone can be behaviorally reinforcing in that if the reward from drinking is not there, people are less likely to drink. In addition, if a person does have a lapse or a relapse while taking naltrexone, it can be used as a learning experience, and not as a punishment. Thoughts, feelings, and behaviors before, during, and after an episode of drinking can be analyzed and broken down. These things can then be used as a learning tool to prevent or decrease the chance of another episode of drinking.

If you would like more information about alcoholism treatment, call me directly for a phone consultation at (646) 713-6578. Thank-you.

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Success Stories

Recent Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Success Stories

  • Dr. Kloda has been treating me with Suboxone for the past six months. My addiction to Percocet was getting worse, and I was becoming scared. I tried 12-step AA and NA meetings, but they were definitely not for me. I was eventually referred to Dr. Kloda by a co-worker, who is also a current patient of his. He came highly recommended, and I have been delighted with my treatment. Most importantly, I have found him to be extremely competent. He is also a nice guy who seems to genuinely care about me. When he says that he is available by phone seven days per week, he really means it! I have zero complaints – praises only!

    M Pryce

  • Ok so some of the reviews are still skeptic and yes it is not cheap. But Dr Kloda is helping my wife. Her original dr who put her on the Rx drug did not know how to fix it and another Dr who had years of experience wanted to up her dose and give her more addictive drugs. Then there was the rehab places that wanted to take her out of state without her family. So that wasn’t working for us. We had serious trust issues with every Dr that we talked to.
    With lots of internet research she found Dr Kloda. After a few conversations with him she studied the Ashton method and found she wanted to go down this road.

    Jeffrey R, Brooklyn NY

  • As much as I tried to quit cigarette smoking on my own, I had always gone back to it. It’s a horrible habit and I know it has terrible health consequences so I finally decided to get some professional help from someone who knows how to deal with all sorts of addictions from both the medical and psychological standpoint. Dr. Kloda helped me finally kick the cigarette habit; without him, I would have still being smoking myself to death. I really liked the fact that he spends a lot of time with you during his visits; I never felt rushed.

    Helen A, New York NY

  • I do not usually write many online reviews but on occasion I find a retailer or service provider that really is exceptional or is horrible enough that I feel I need to write a review.

    The reason I am writing this particular review is because Dr. Kloda is an exceptional Doctor.

    My background as an addict is extensive , and for these reasons I feel that I have a certain level of authority when if comes to Doctors and recovery. I’ve been in recovery in one form or another on and off for almost 20 years and I have been on Suboxone for about five years, I spent most of this time in recovery directed by two other doctors that prescribe Suboxone.

    Thomas V, Fulton NY

  • I was surprised to see a two star review for Dr. Kloda, so I am writing a five star review in response. Dr. Kloda was recommended to me by another patient of his, and he has been treating me for the past two years. I have found him to be extremely competent, genuinely caring, and available for questions and concerns.

    His office charges are in line with many other physicians in Manhattan, and you definitely get your money’s worth. He does not just write prescriptions. In addition to meds, He talks to you and does addiction counseling, as well as give you general advice and support.

    Joseph B, New York NY

  • As a patient, I can attest to Dr. Kloda’s expertise and practice and excellence. He is a remarkable physician. He is attentive, supportive, and is at the cutting edge of addiction medicine. He is broad minded in his approach and treats each of his patients with understanding and concern. He is extremely thorough and appreciates differences, both physiological and psychological. I found him remarkably intuitive and he means it when he says he is available by phone–and boy sometimes you need that. I found out recently that he is sometimes called on to speak to other doctors and psychiatrists about all kinds of addictive treatments and meds, including benzo’s–which so few doctors know about. I was fortunate to find him. I highly recommend him. And no, I have no affiliation with him or his practice other than as a patient.

    Jon F, Manhattan NY