Which Medications Will My Detox Center Provide Me for Opioid Withdrawal?
As a part of your opioid withdrawal treatment, your detox center is likely to provide medications that will help minimize your more severe and painful symptoms. Call 800-315-1376 (Who Answers?) now to find detox centers where you can recover from opioid dependence.
Why is Medication Necessary for Opioid Withdrawal?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “It is not recommended that clinicians attempt to manage significant opioid withdrawal symptoms without the [use of] effective detoxification agents.” This is necessary because:
- Withdrawal from opioids, though not life-threatening, is incredibly painful and can often lead to relapse in those who are not managed on medication.
- Patients in this situation often have a very low threshold for pain, either because they were abusing opioids, causing their dependence on these drugs, or because they are already struggling with painful symptoms that caused them to receive an opioid prescription in the first place.
- Expecting individuals to quit opioids cold turkey is not only dangerous, but it has also been proven to be less effective for most individuals than medically assisted detox or maintenance.
Clonidine is the most commonly used medication for the treatment of opioid withdrawal. It is most often utilized for those who have not been abusing opioids, but some individuals who have may also receive the drug. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Clonidine is used to help reduce:”
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
Because clonidine is an antihypertensive and not an opioid, it does not treat cravings. It also cannot minimize nausea and vomiting, as it causes these issues itself. Someone on clonidine will likely require another medication for these symptoms.
A strong opioid agonist, methadone can be taken as a detox medication. Patients are started on a dosage that minimizes their withdrawal symptoms and then slowly weaned off the medication until they no longer need it. However, a person can also be maintained on methadone for a long period of time, their withdrawal symptoms reduced so they can focus on their addiction treatment. They may or may not choose to one day be weaned off the drug.
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that is used much in the same way as methadone: as both a detox and a maintenance drug. Buprenorphine, though, is only a partial agonist, which makes it safer from abusers, and it is also marketed with naloxone, which precipitates withdrawal in anyone who attempts to crush and snort it. Buprenorphine is often a beneficial choice for someone who needs a safe, reliable medication for detox or maintenance but has a milder dependence on opioids.
Which Medication Will I Receive?
You will be able to discuss this with your doctor when you begin your detox treatment. Different programs utilize different medications, but the medication that is best for you will often depend on your particular situation and your needs as an individual. Call 800-315-1376 (Who Answers?) now to learn more about your detox options and to find a rehab center that will provide you with the best medication for your needs.