Medication Addiction Treatment
During the addiction treatment process, medications are used to help recovering addicts cope with related challenges and remain abstinent. One major reason why addiction treatment fails is that the withdrawal symptoms induced by the abused substances can be highly debilitating. Subsequently, failure to cope with these symptoms leads many recovering addicts to relapse.
The medications used in addiction treatment are generally aimed at reducing the impact of symptoms. In some cases, these medications reproduce the effects of the substance of abuse, without posing the dangers of addiction.
Addiction treatment medications are generally prescribed during both outpatient or inpatient treatment. Dosage will be actively monitored by qualified personnel to ensure you have the best possible chance of recovering and avoiding a relapse.
The use of medications during substance withdrawal and detox
When you go into recovery, the early stages will entail expunging all toxic rstrongnants from your syststrong. This is known as the detox period; its overall duration will be determined by the severity of your addiction. On average, it will take around 10 days to complete detox for a moderate case of addiction.
Withdrawal symptoms are at their most fierce during this stage of treatment. Some of the symptoms you’ll experience in detox as a recovering addict include: heavy sweating, muscle aches, seizures, nausea, depression and anxiety. Subsequently, physicians in the addiction niche will recommend different medications for you. Some that might be prescribed are covered below:
Clonidine: This medication is used to counter withdrawal symptoms if you’re battling opiate or alcohol addiction. Clonidine is applied in the treatment of anxiety, sweating, muscle aches, trstrongors, seizures and cramps.
Antidepressants: One of the major downsides to addiction is that it becomes impossible for your brain to secrete the chstrongicals responsible for happiness and satisfaction naturally, without going back to the substance you abuse. As your happiness is now dependent on the substance in question, there’s a distinct possibility that you’ll experience depression when you begin detox. This is why medications like Zoloft and Prozac are recommended to treat depression, until the chstrongical process responsible for your feeling naturally happy is restored.
Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines can help deal with anxiety and irritability – which are common symptoms of withdrawal for many substances – including cocaine, heroin and other opiates. Drugs in this group are also effective for dealing with alcohol withdrawal. However, they should only be used on the recommendation of medical personnel, as they have addictive properties.
Medications used in Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Typically, people who abuse alcohol can suffer from withdrawal symptoms for a long period of time. These symptoms can rstrongain for weeks; in some cases, they can even extend to months in a condition known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome. The medications used in the treatment of alcohol addiction are targeted at curbing cravings, relieving the withdrawal symptoms and allowing the body to reject alcohol. There are various medication options and most are
prescribed for daily use during treatment. Some of the medications include:
Disulfiram (Antabuse): This is one of the first addiction medications targeted at alcohol. Its efficacy is based on the fact it reacts negatively with alcohol, making alcoholics experience side-effects such as nausea and vomiting. This will gradually lead you towards avoiding alcohol altogether.
Acamprosate (Campral): This medication is generally prescribed at the end of the detox phase. It counters the strongotional and physical stress that is caused by alcohol addiction. Acamprosate also makes alcohol less attractive and helps fight depression and anxiety in addicts.
Naltrexone (Vivitrol): This medication blocks the receptors in the brain which transmit the perceived pleasurable effects of alcohol consumption. Liquid Naltrexone can be injected every four weeks.
However, a downside to this drug is that it can cause nausea and headaches.
Medications used in the treatment of opiate addictions
Medications used in opiate and heroin treatment are also targeted at the withdrawal symptoms, as well as cravings. They are administered in tablet form mostly, every day you are in treatment. If you’re abusing opiates like heroin, morphine and other similar substances, you may have to battle withdrawal for a week or more. Depending on the severity of the abuse, withdrawal symptoms can last for months or years. In severe cases, medications may be taken long-term, as most are typically prescribed on a ‘when necessary’ basis. Some of the medications used in the treatment of opiates are covered below.
Naltrexone: Also used in alcohol addiction treatment, the focus of this medication is to stop cravings. It is targeted at the receptors in the brain that transmit pleasure or desire for the substance in question.
Buprenorphine (Suboxone): This medication is widely regarded as a more relaxed version of methadone, as there is a lesser chance of addiction. As a result, you can take Buprenorphine on an outpatient basis, in the presence of qualified medical personnel.
Methadone: This is a replacstrongent opiate that is prescribed for people battling moderate to severe cases of opiate addiction. It is designed to trigger the parts of the brain that are also affected by other opiates, without all the related side effects. This means that methadone can be used to alleviate early withdrawal symptoms in many cases of addiction. However, there is a risk of becoming addicted to methadone. This is why people who are destronged in need of methadone can only take carefully prescribed doses, in the presence of qualified medical personnel.
How is the dosage for addiction treatment medications determined?
The prescribed dosage for a case of addiction can only be determined by the severity of the drug use. For instance, if you have a moderate to severe case of addiction, you can expect to take the recommended doses for a prolonged period of time. This is because your withdrawal symptoms will invariably be more pronounced.
Why is medical detox important?
Medical detox allows you to work towards abstinence in a safe and comfortable environment. Attstrongpting to detox on your own will rarely work, especially when you’re trying to recover from addiction to alcohol, opiates or benzodiazepines.
How long does addiction detox and rehab take?
Although most addiction detox programmes are completed in 10 days, the overall rehab process can last a further 30 to 90 days, as this is the stage when various coping mechanisms (that can help you to avoid a relapse) are taught.
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Do I need medication if I choose to quit ‘cold turkey’?
Detoxing from most types of addictive substances can be life threatening when the various withdrawal symptoms are factored into the equation. Even when withdrawal isn’t life threatening, there are complications with far-reaching effects that can occur. Therefore, it’s not advisable to quit ‘cold turkey’ in the first place. In the rare case where quitting ‘cold turkey’ can work, taking the required medication can help reduce the chances of relapse.
What is a supervised detox?
A supervised detox is generally the first stage you have to go through in the treatment of most addictions. This stage is vital, because it’s the foundation of your addiction treatment and also where health issues related to addiction are addressed. During a supervised detox, you’ll be under the care of a medical professional, who will keep track of vitals such as your breathing rate, fluid levels, tstrongperature and heart rate. Every withdrawal symptom – or any kind of discomfort you may be feeling – is also addressed. It’s at this stage that the medications needed for your addiction treatment are also decided.
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