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Medications For Addiction Treatment

How Medications Can Help Addiction Treatment

During the detox, some people need to be given medications to counter or reduce the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms they experience which could cause them to go back to using drugs again. Medicine can make it painless for recovering addicts to keep in sobriety. Intensive and most severe withdrawal symptoms cause many to go back to taking drugs. A patient can be put on these medications for the relief of withdrawal symptoms either as an in or out patient. In order to provide the best possibility of accomplishing sobriety, doctors might adapt medication doses during the progress of treatment.

Some medicines can imitate the symptoms of habit-forming drugs, which alleviates withdrawal effects and cravings.

Detox And Drug Withdrawal

The body must detox in the first stages of rehab to allow the drug to leave the body completely. This stage is known as the detox period. It depends on the drug that how last the detox will be, for some days or some weeks.

The most difficult stage of detox is dealing with withdrawal side effects. The exact nature of the drug use will determine how severe the withdrawal symptoms will be. The ones that were using opiates in high dosages for a long-term have the worst side effects.

During the detox process, the former drug addicts pass through many painful side effects. They may include:

  • Stress
  • Gloominess
  • Sickness or feeling sick
  • Fits
  • Muscle pain
  • Sweating

Each type of a withdrawal symptom has a different treatment medicine. Many of the drugs that doctors use in detoxification are:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • These drugs decrease nervousness and irritability.
  • One of the common side effect of withdrawal from drugs is Anxiety.
  • Benzodiazepines can help ease these side effects during withdrawal.
  • Benzos are addictive so physicians are careful about prescribing those.
  • Antidepressants
  • Depression is common in withdrawal as the brain has problems producing the 'happy hormones' that are naturally produced.
  • Depression in detox in a common symptom as the patient is longer getting the happy feeling from the drug they have taken for a long time.
  • Until the brain get's back to producing dopamine on its own, the drug user will require antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft to relieve the feeling of depression.
  • Clonidine
  • Sweating, aches, muscle pains and nervousness can be reduced by using Clonidine in the treatment of alcohol and opiate withdrawals.
  • Clonidine is useful for controlling shivering and convulsions.

Detoxing can be a deadly business, especially if from alcohol, Valium or Xanax so addicts should never go cold turkey. Complications can arise while detoxing from other drugs although the withdrawal symptoms are rarely deadly. Detoxifying under medical supervision makes sure things are done right and raises the chances of beating the addiction.

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Medicines For Alcohol Addiction

Withdrawal symptoms of alcohol addiction can last from several weeks to a few months depending on the frequency and duration over which alcohol is abused. These symptoms that last a long time are also known as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).

Medications prescribed for PAWS are also active in stopping the urge to use and make the user unable to hold alcohol in their stomach. Patient take these tablets every day.

Such medications for treating alcohol dependency are:

  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
  • The brain receptors that produce pleasurable effects in the presence of alcohol are blocked by Naltrexone.
  • The craving for alcohol is also reduced by the drug.
  • There are side effects of using Naltrexone including headaches and nausea.
  • It can be given via injection once every four weeks.
  • Acamprosate (Campral)
  • The psychological and bodily stress emanating from alcohol abuse is relieved by taking Acamprosate (Campral).
  • Recovering alcoholics may begin taking Acamprosate once the detoxification is completed.
  • Acamprosate works by eliminating the worse feelings of nervousness and hopelessness that results in lessening the desire to drink.
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • This was the first approved medication for alcohol abuse.
  • When someone that is taking Disulfiram drinks alcohol, the medicine provokes effects like nausea and vomiting.
  • It was hoped that the fact that taking alcohol would make them sick would prevent the recovering addicts from drinking.

Familiarize yourself with available treatments for alcohol dependency.

Heroin And Opiate Medications

Heroin, Morphine and narcotic painkillers like Oxycontin are all Opiates. The cravings and withdrawal symptoms of recovering from opiate addiction can be eased by some medications. These medications are taken daily in the form of orally ingestible pills.

There withdrawal times are less than a week. Long- term withdrawal symptoms can be experienced by some people. In a few cases, withdrawal symptoms may last for several months or even years. PAWS and cravings can be stopped by long-term medications. Ex-patients can use these medicines as long as they want.

Medicines used to treat Heroin and pain relief addictions include:

  • Methadone
  • Prescriptions of Methadone are usually given to people suffering from moderate or severe addictions.
  • Methadone never get the addicts high and attaches to the similar receptors in the brain for working.
  • The urges to take drugs are contained, and withdrawal symptoms avoided.
  • Methadone can become addictive so it is used with caution.
  • Methadone clinics manage the drug on daily routine to avoid abuse.
  • More About Methadone.
  • Buprenorphine (Suboxone)
  • Buprenorphine works in a similar way to Methadone but does not need to be as closely regulated due to the possibility of addiction is far less.
  • Instead of having to go for the drug every day at the clinic, the recovering users can go home with the drug.
  • Naltrexone
  • Naltrexone works for both Opiate addiction and alcohol addiction.
  • It puts an end to cravings.
  • The same brain receptors are activated for both alcohol and Opiates.

Detoxing And Rehab

Some people pick detoxification on their own. Compared to medical detoxification, this has not only proven harder but also dangerous. You can become sober once again through medical detox in relaxed surroundings. Medical detoxification is necessary for people dependent on alcohol or Benzodiazepines.

Treatment for any substance addiction should start with medically supervised detoxification.

Health complications are avoided in a medical detox program. The patient's vital signs and fluid levels can be monitored by a doctor. The doctors keep the patient comfortable. Doctors adjust the medication for long-term program and as per the need of patients.

Other health problems can make detox more complex, therefore, medical detox should be sought. Problems such as high blood pressure can be worsened by detoxification. Doctors can spot impending problems and treat them early.

In residential rehabilitation, detoxification is always part of the program. In some circumstances, inpatient rehabilitation takes from 30 to 90 days. Constant supervision is given during the first week of detox. Rehab includes behavioural therapy to give the patient a better chance to understand how they can stay sober.

Look for a rehab centre offering medically supervised detox for your friend, relative or yourself call 0800 246 1509.