Drug Detox Medication

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Using medication during drug detox offers you relief from withdrawal symptoms as you break through your physical dependence on legal or prescription drugs. Abusing drugs affects your brain, body and emotional state and quitting them can cause withdrawal symptoms that need to be managed for your own safety. Withdrawal is your brain’s attempt to stabilize and regulate itself without your drug of choice as it tries to achieve homeostasis and supervision is the safest way to monitor a medicated drug detox. Medication reduces drug cravings and regulates your body functions so that you are stronger to tackle your addiction. Our tailored approach to detoxing ensures you have access to the most appropriate medications to make your withdrawal safer and more comfortable.

Why Use Medication during Drug Detox

Withdrawing from opiates, benzodiazepines and other prescription drugs can be dangerous. Substitute medications that mimic the effects of addictive drugs can make withdrawal symptoms and cravings easier to manage. Withdrawal affects different people in different ways, and can produce a range of physical symptoms that need relief. Seizures are an ever-present risk of narcotic and prescription drug detox that can be managed with substitute medication.

Without the addictive substance in your body, a person who is detoxing doesn’t have enough of the chemicals that result in a stable brain chemistry and depression is common, especially if you have been abusing a substance for a long time. Withdrawing from stimulants like cocaine, Ritalin and Adderall can cause depression. Antidepressants can be used until such time as your brain starts producing its own happiness chemicals again.

Symptomatic relief is used to help with physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms of illegal and prescription drugs. Sleep problems, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, anxiety, depression and mood swings will be treated in a medicated drug detox.

What Medication to Use for Withdrawal Symptoms?

Substitute medication is commonly prescribed for opiates and opioids like heroin, codeine, hydrocodone and oxycodone in order to stop drug cravings and manage Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). Substitute medication usually replaces short-acting opioids with longer acting alternatives with low addiction potential that are safe to use over the long term. Methadone is used in the treatment of moderate to severe opiate addictions as it manages cravings and withdrawal symptoms without getting you high. Methadone is a longer-acting opioid that is dispensed daily. Buprenorphine or Suboxone has similar effects to methadone but has a lower addiction potential.

Flu-like opiate withdrawal symptoms can be managed using over-the-counter medication for diarrhea, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-nausea medication, topical analgesics and supplements to facilitate better sleep. Naltrexone is commonly used for opiate addiction in order to suppress cravings. Patients who have abstained from opiate use for at least seven days may be given Vivitrol, an injectable form of Naltrexone.

Commonly abused benzos include Xanax, Valium, Klonopin and Ativan. Benzodiazepine addictions can be managed by substituting short-acting benzos for longer-acting equivalents. This gives your brain a chance to adjust as your medical team creates a taper schedule to gently wean you off the addictive substance. Patients with a history of seizures may be administered anticonvulsants, and SSRI antidepressants are frequently used to treat anxiety. Physical symptoms like tremors may be treated with beta-blockers. Clonidine may also be used to keep high blood pressure within a safe range. Vomiting and nausea during withdrawal can be treated with Ondansetron.

Prescription drugs such as muscle relaxants and sleeping tablets can also cause withdrawal symptoms. Clonidine is a commonly used medication in prescription drug withdrawal as it provides relief from a number of distressing symptoms like muscle aches, cramps, sweating and anxiety. It can also be used to manage tremors and seizures.

How Medicines Will Help You

Using medication to assist with drug detox makes the experience safer and more comfortable. It also gives you the opportunity to relate to treatment in a positive way and can help you to avoid relapse and medical complications during detox. For many patients withdrawal symptoms (including cravings) last a few days but for others, they can last for a protracted period. Using medication can help you to avoid relapse and medical complications.

Pre-existing mental health conditions

People who have mental illness are more likely to develop substance use disorders than those who do not. The presence of a mental health disorder can complicate drug detox and cause your symptoms to worsen. Rebound mental health symptoms are common in patients who are using prescription medication like Xanax and Valium, and these need to be treated. Some of the most commonly noted mental health disorders that benefit from medication during drug withdrawal include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Pre-existing physiological conditions

People who develop substance use disorders are at increased risk for other physiological conditions which need to be managed during withdrawal treatment. It is also fairly common for withdrawal to cause previously managed conditions to flare up and cause medical complications. During a medical detox, you will receive 24-hour a day monitoring and observation, which includes your temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and fluid levels. Should there be any sudden changes, the clinical team is on standby to manage any complications efficiently.

How Medication Is Administered

Medication Assisted Therapy is regulated and supervised by our team of medical personnel and addiction specialists. Methadone for drug detox can only be administered by a medical professional in an approved medical facility and cannot be prescribed for home use. Methadone and buprenorphine are usually administered daily and based on your personal assessment, you will be given the lowest dose to manage your cravings and relieve your withdrawal symptoms.
Patients who are withdrawing from drug use are monitored 24-hours a day to establish your comfort levels in respect of withdrawal symptoms. Medication can be administered on a fixed schedule or as your symptoms worsen.

Why Choose United Recovery California for Drug Detox?

We offer a safe and stable environment that facilitates your detox and long term recovery from drug addiction. Our rehab center will use the relevant substitute medication to manage your withdrawal symptoms safely during detox and create a taper schedule if required.

We offer a customized detox plan on admission, to ensure you meet your recovery goals. United Recovery California specializes in dual diagnosis and treatment for co-occurring disorders so that you can prevent relapse and medical complications. Our medical team has vast experience with different substance detoxes and can offer you the insight and emotional support you need to complete your drug detox successfully.

Why Choose United Recovery CA for Drug Detox and Withdrawal?

Our medical detox and rehabilitation center has been designed for comfort and safety. We enable our patients to retreat into a luxurious and non-judgmental space where you receive 24-hour medical supervision and clinical interventions to help you forge your long term recovery path. Once your drug detox is complete you can enroll for in-patient or out-patient rehab in a familiar setting as you learn the tools and coping skills required to address the underlying triggers that resulted in your drug dependency. Aftercare, support groups and sober living homes provide you with extended care programs that facilitate long term sobriety in an understanding community.

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Is a Detox Enough to Tackle Addiction?

Your drug detox is the first step on your journey towards recovery. It performs the function of breaking your physical dependence on a substance, but your physical dependence is symptomatic of a deeper-seated problem that needs more focused therapy and attention. Detox will help you to get physically stronger but the psycho-emotional aspects of your addiction will need to be addressed through a comprehensive rehab program that allows you to reflect within yourself and to understand why you developed the addiction.

Once you have understood why you became addicted, you can start to learn healthy coping mechanisms to replace your addictive behaviors with. If you do not follow the process systematically and address your psychological needs, you are at risk of relapse in the future. Some drugs cause protracted withdrawal symptoms that last for months, and without the support of a rehab program you are at risk moving forward.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What if I am addicted to my prescribed medication?

If you have developed an addiction to your prescription medication our medical team may recommend switching your medication to something less addictive or following a tapering schedule that allows you to gently wean yourself off, over a protracted period of time. Detoxing from prescription medications follows a similar route to detoxing from illegal substances and needs to be managed professionally for a safe outcome. What is important to remember is that it is possible to live a life free of addiction, and our team will help you to create that path.

Can we switch substitute medications if I don’t feel right?

While some level of discomfort is to be expected during detox and withdrawal, there are options when it comes to substitute medication. The amount of leeway available will depend on the drug of abuse, its potency and how long you have been using it for. An assessment of your physical and mental health will inform our medical team and help them to make safe decisions on your behalf.

What is opioid replacement therapy?

In opioid replacement therapy, clients’ medication is substituted from short-acting opioids to long-acting opioids. This is frequently done using methadone or buprenorphine, which have lower addiction potential. These medications manage your withdrawal symptoms and cravings comfortably without getting you high. They can be used safely over the long term and improve your quality of life while you address the underlying causes of your addiction in a rehab program.

Can my GP come with me so they can observe?

Our drug detox program is facilitated by our medical team of doctors and addiction specialists. They will oversee your progress and ensure you are well looked after, using clinical guidelines and evidence-based approaches. With your consent, we can communicate your progress to your GP to ensure continuity of care and to ensure you have continued support once you leave the program.

What are the meds you use during detox?

Medications that can be used during detox include antidepressants, anticonvulsants and medications for anxiety. Some patients may benefit from medication that reduces cravings. Symptomatic medication may be required to treat nausea, diarrhea or sleep problems. Detox medications are tailored to your needs, and to manage your specific symptoms effectively.

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