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Medication For Addiction Treatment

Treating Addiction With Medicines


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. Using additional medication can help the patient stay sober. Many recovering addicts are unable to bear the severity of withdrawal symptoms and this makes many of them relapse. Prescribed medication can be given to the patient as part of both inpatient and outpatient programs. 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.


Drug Withdrawal And Detoxification

The body has to get rid of the last remnants of the drug in the first stage of recovery. This stage is known as the detox period. Depending on what drug one has been taking and for how long, the rehab process can take many days to many weeks.

The real challenge for the patient is coping with the terrible withdrawal symptoms. The intensity of withdrawal symptoms differs according to the history of drug abuse. Long-time drug users who took massive doses experience the most severe withdrawal symptoms.


There are many uncomfortable symptoms that may be experienced during this stage of recovery. Some of these are:

  • Stress
  • Gloominess
  • Feeling Nauseous
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Muscle pain
  • Excessive perspiration

Different withdrawal symptoms are treated with different medications. The doctor might recommend a patient to take some of the following:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Anxiety and crabbiness can be decrease by these medicines.
  • One of the common side effect of withdrawal from drugs is Anxiety.
  • The soothing impact which controls liquor withdrawals is Benzos.
  • Doctors are careful when it comes about prescribing benzos since they are habit-forming.
  • Antidepressants
  • An addict's brain is usually accustomed to producing dopamine only in the presence of a drug.
  • 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 can produce happiness inducing chemicals the patient is given antidepressants during the rehab program.
  • Clonidine
  • For relief of sweating, aching muscles, cramps and paranoia in alcohol and opiate withdrawal Clonidine is used.
  • Clonidine is useful for controlling shivering and convulsions.

People who are detoxing from alcohol or Benzodiazepines for instance Valium or Xanax must never leave "cold turkey" in middle as their withdrawal sign can be fatal. Other drugs withdrawal symptoms are less deadly, but it is good to take caution as there are always risks. Detox should be carried out with medical help from professionals.

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Alcohol Addiction Medications

Making wrong use of alcohol on a normal basis for a long-term can extend withdrawal side effects, which could last from weeks to months. This occurrence is known as prolong or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).

Maintenance treatment can alleviate PAWS and can curb cravings or make the addict incapable to take alcohol. These medicines frequently come as a capsule that patients take every day.


Alcohol addiction medication includes:

  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol) stops the brain from producing pleasure chemicals in reaction to alcohol intake.
  • The urge to drink can be reduced.
  • Nausea or headaches can be caused by Naltrexone.
  • Naltrexone is given in the form of a injection.
  • Acamprosate (Campral)
  • Acamprosate has the ability to comfort from the effects of alcohol obsession that includes emotional and physical suffering.
  • Once alcohol detox is complete the patient can begin to take Acamprosate.
  • Acamprosate decreases the craving to drink by avoiding negative sensations, such as nervousness and depression.
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • Alcohol addicts were first given the medication of Disulfiram.
  • Disulfiram causes sickness and vomiting if alcohol is consumed at the same time.
  • Recovering users do not want to take alcohol when they are on disulfiram because they feel sick if they do.

You can find out more about medication used in treating alcohol addiction.


Heroin And Opiate Medications

Drugs in the opiate group are Heroin, Morphine and narcotic painkillers like Oxycontin. Opiate and Heroin medications helps the person in fighting against hunger and withdrawal signs. Opiate and Heroin are available in tablet forms.

Some people may pass through Heroin and Opiate withdrawal for about a week. Long-term withdrawal symptoms may also be experienced by others. In some cases the withdrawals side effects can last for months or years. Extended replacement medicines can put an end to strong desires and PAWS. Medications are usually prescribed to recovering addicts for as long as is necessary.

Opiate addiction is usually treated using medications such as:

  • Methadone
  • Methadone is for normal to high Opiate addictions.
  • It works by fusing to the same receptors in the brain as Heroin and painkillers, however Methadone does not get the addict high.
  • This assists curb strong desires and withdrawal side effects.
  • Discretion and care are needed because some people have been known to develop an addiction to Methadone.
  • Every day, many doses of Methadone are dispensed by Methadone clinics.
  • More About Methadone.
  • Buprenorphine (Suboxone)
  • Buprenorphine works in the same way as Methadone but has a less potential to cause addiction and isn't regulated as much.
  • 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 helps to reduce cravings.
  • Since alcohol and opiates work on the same brain nerve endings, Naltrexone can stop both the same way.

Medical Detox And Rehabilitation

A few people detox all alone. Choosing detox on your own is not only difficult but also more hazardous than detoxing with physician. You can become sober once again through medical detox in relaxed surroundings. For the ones who are addicted to alcohol or benzos, medical detoxification is a must.

For addicts to gain the control they want, detox is needed.

Many health problems can be dealt with in a medically supervised detox. The treating therapist monitors a rehab patient's vital signs like pulse, temperature, breathing rate and fluid levels in a medically supervised treatment. Doctors assist alleviate any pain the patient can be passing through. Depending on what the patient needs, the doses for their medication can be changed accordingly and plans can also be made for long term treatment.

Other health problems can make detox more complex, therefore, medical detox should be sought. Hypertension is a risk complication for patients going through detox, and the medical profession best handles it. Any sudden complications can be handled by a doctor.

In residential rehabilitation, detoxification is always part of the program. A person typically requires one to three months to go through detox. In treatment, the first week usually involves detoxification during which the patient must be closely monitored. Treatment in rehab centres also incorporates psychological counselling for an all round recovery.

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