Medical Detox: Medications and Programs to Overcome Addiction

You could hear the word “detox” used daily to rid the body of bad foods. But some ways make food detox different from a medical detox.

Medical drug detox programs aid in getting rid of toxic and addictive substances. The drug detox programs are done under the guidance of medical practitioners. Trained health professionals lead the medical detox programs.

Addiction is a chronic illness. However, it can be treated. Medical drug detox programs play a role in addiction treatment. In addition, medical detox methods help in curbing chronic substance abuse.

Medical detoxification usually occurs at the beginning of treatment for most addicts seeking further drug therapy. However, medical detox is not the final addiction treatment in itself. Patients undergoing detoxification are more likely to stay in treatment longer and have more extended recovery periods.

When is medical detox necessary for patients?

So how can you know when a treatment like a detox is necessary? How can we tell an addict needs to undergo medical drug detox?

Addicts for medical detox include those who have developed physical and physiological dependence on a substance. It’s most likely that you have physical reliance on a substance if you:

  • Abusing drugs frequently and heavily
  • Abusing addictive substances for a long time
  • Noticing lesser effects of medicines with time
  • Increasing amounts of drugs to feel the effects
  • Frequently craving addictive substances
  • Failing to stop using the substance

People with substance use problems frequently seek medical detox treatment when they feel their withdrawal symptoms worsening. The occurrence of withdrawal symptoms and tolerance (the requirement for greater doses of a medication to have a specific effect) suggests that the body has developed a physical dependence on a substance. In addition, each substance has a unique set of withdrawal symptoms brought on by physiological changes that occur when intake is curtailed or discontinued entirely.

Drugs Requiring Medical Drug Detox Programs

Following are the substances that need medical detox for withdrawal symptoms:

Alcohol: Alcohol hinders the central nervous system’s function in the body. It affects automated bodily processes, including controlling body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and motor motions. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include a rise in body temperature, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, anxiety, and tremors. In addition, seizures and hallucinations can indicate alcohol withdrawal. These symptoms can be life-threatening in their most extreme forms. Without treatment, the most potent type of alcohol withdrawal can occur.

Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are sedative drugs used to treat anxiety or uncontrollable seizures. They are also referred to as “benzos.” Because benzodiazepines and alcohol have a similar chemical effect on the body, their withdrawal symptoms are also similar. Alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), and clonazepam are benzodiazepines (Klonopin).

Opioids: Opioids are drugs derived from the poppy plant to relieve pain. Opiates are the name given to the plant’s direct derivatives, including morphine, heroin, and codeine. Opioids are synthetic medications, like oxycodone or hydromorphone, that behave similarly to opiates.

Opioids act like endorphins, the body’s natural opioids. Regular opioid use causes endorphin production to stop, leaving the body dependent on external opioids. Withdrawal symptoms can include cold and clammy skin, aching muscles, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms are frequently linked to the flu. Even though opioid withdrawal does not usually result in death, its symptoms might be distressing.

Prescription drugs: Many prescription drugs can be abused to get high or relieve tension. Prescription substances, such as muscle relaxants, sleeping pills, and gabapentin, can be used for addiction. Each prescription drug class may have its distinct withdrawal syndrome. Gabapentin, muscle relaxants, and sleeping pills all function as central nervous system depressants, similar to benzodiazepines and alcohol.

Stimulants: MDMA, cocaine, and methamphetamine are some commonly used stimulants. Although stimulants do not cause physiologically lethal withdrawal symptoms, many frequently resemble severe depression.

Synthetic Drugs: The most notorious synthetic drug is the prescription opioid fentanyl. Synthetic drugs can cause severe withdrawal symptoms that can be successfully treated with medical detoxes.

Medications Used In Detox

Addiction detox drugs help some patients in reducing cravings or lessen withdrawal symptoms. However, it’s crucial to remember that these medications are only given to specific patients with the approval of a medical practitioner.

Some of the medications most commonly used during medical drug detox include:

Methadone: Methadone has been a cornerstone of addiction treatment since it was first used to combat opiate withdrawal in the 1950s. Although methadone detox is a fully activated opioid, it is especially efficacious in reducing opioid withdrawal symptoms. Methadone withdrawal in patients is made gradually. Since methadone is an opioid, treatment facilities that prescribe it to treat opioid use disorder must hold a federal license.

Naltrexone: A long-acting opioid-blocking medication, naltrexone treats both alcohol and opioid use disorders. Anyone who has recently used opioids may experience early opioid withdrawal due to this action. Because of this, patients must avoid opioids for seven days before taking naltrexone.

Vivitrol: The naltrexone injectable Vivitrol is highly effective in treating alcohol and narcotic use disorders. While naltrexone needs oral administration twice daily, Vivitrol’s effects can last up to one month after a single injection. However, patients can only get Vivitrol if they have not abused it for a minimum of 7 to 10 days.

Suboxone: Suboxone has been accepted as a therapy for opioid use disorder since 2002. When used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, it works just as well as methadone. It is a partial opioid receptor activator, and its active component, buprenorphine, carries a lower risk of addiction. Also, it is harder to overdose on Suboxone than methadone.

Sublocade: A long-acting injectable version of buprenorphine, Sublocade is one of the most recent drugs for treating addiction. Although buprenorphine (Suboxone) taken orally has addiction potential, it can help treat withdrawal symptoms. In addition, the way of Sublocade usage reduces the possibility of abuse. However, it’s crucial to remember that Sublocade can only be given to those who have already received a steady dose of Suboxone for at least seven days.

How Long Does Medical Detox Last?

The length and intensity of detox depend on many factors, including:

Substance used: The withdrawal syndrome’s characteristics depend on the substance consumed. For instance, alcohol withdrawal might occur just a few hours after the last drink and may necessitate a tapering of replacement medication over days.

Duration and frequency of usage: Physical dependence is more likely to develop due to prolonged substance use. Similarly, a person is more prone to acquire physical dependence on a substance the more regularly they use it. For example, a physical dependence can set in for medicines like benzodiazepines and opioids in as little as six to eight weeks of consistent, frequent use.

The amount of drug taken affects how quickly tolerance develops since more drug use forces the body to adapt more rapidly to the presence of a lot of drugs.

Body chemistry, weight, metabolic rate, and genetic makeup are all personal aspects that affect when substance withdrawal starts and how it responds to treatment.

Medical detox typically lasts five to seven days.

Is Medical Detox Safe?

Medical drug detox programs are a safe and effective way to overcome chronic addiction and control substance withdrawal. A trained medical team of skilled nurses and clinical professionals oversees each procedure step. The nursing staff regularly monitors the vital indicators of heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. So it is because withdrawal from various substances might induce changes in these parameters. In addition, a certified detox facility’s trained and compassionate personnel provide medical supervision while you safely detox there.

If you or your loved ones are battling addiction, worry not. Buprenorphine doctors have several medical drug detox programs to help patients overcome addiction.

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWConsidering Recovery? Talk to a Treatment Specialist: 888-844-3455Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?
Buprenorphine Doctors

Who Answers this Call?

This phone line is answered by Compass Hotline, which is sponsored by Compass Detox, our drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility sponsor.

To discover alternative addiction treatment options, please visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Treatment Locator the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Alcohol Treatment Navigator.