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Medication For Treating Addiction

How Addiction Treatment Has Improved Due To Medication


There are many drugs which are used in addiction treatment programs to relieve withdrawal side effects and decrease the chances of relapse. Staying sober can be much easier for a recovering addict with the help of medication. 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. For the best chance of becoming sober and staying sober the medication dose may be altered.


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


Detoxing And Withdrawal

The user need to get free themselves from the drug in the early stage of recovery. This is cleansing or detox. Based on the drug, the detoxification process can last from several days to several weeks.

The real challenge for the patient is coping with the terrible withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the patient's past drug or alcohol use the withdrawal symptoms will vary. For those addicts of long term, high dose drug or alcohol abuse the withdrawal symptoms will be more severe.


The patient may experience horrible symptoms during detox. These are some side effects:

  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling depressed
  • Feeling Nauseous
  • Convulsive attack
  • Body pain
  • Sweating

There are a list of different medications that can be used during detox. The medicines which are given by doctors in detox are:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Anxiousness and irritability are usually treated using these drugs.
  • One of the common side effect of withdrawal from drugs is Anxiety.
  • The recommended Benzos give a soothing feeling that helps withdrawal also from alcohol.
  • Since the benzos are potentially addictive too, doctors prescribe them with care.
  • 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 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.
  • Seizures and tremors can also be treated using Clonidine.

The withdrawal symptoms from Benzodiazepines such as Valium or Xanax can be extremely dangerous and can result in death; one should never try to detox abruptly on their own. Other drugs withdrawal symptoms are less deadly, but it is good to take caution as there are always risks. Medical assistance guarantees protection and accomplishment in detoxification.

Get in touch with an addiction specialist if you know someone who is struggling with addiction.


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Alcohol Addiction Medications

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. This occurrence is known as prolong or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).

With treatments such as maintenance therapy, the PAWS can be relieved as well as the cravings and they may also make the user unable to stomach alcohol. Patient take these tablets every day.


Recovery from alcohol addiction involves medication such as:

  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
  • Naltrexone prevent receptors in the brain that generate alcohol's satisfying side effects.
  • In addition, it keeps in control the craving to drink.
  • Naltrexone might provoke some sickness in stomach or headaches.
  • It can be administered by injection every four weeks.
  • Acamprosate (Campral)
  • The physical and emotional distress caused by alcohol dependency can be eased using this drug.
  • It helps those who have gone through detox to stay sober.
  • 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.
  • Disulfiram can result into some side effects of vomiting and sickness if anyone takes Disulfiram drinks.
  • This medication has been very successful as it deters alcoholics from drinking.

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


Heroin And Opiate Medications

Heroin, Morphine and sedative painkillers such as Oxycontin are included in Opiates. Medication for Opiates and Heroin can ease the urges and craving and other withdrawal symptoms during detox. Recommended dosage is a tablet a day.

Some recovering addicts only go through withdrawal from Heroin and Opiate drugs for just a week. Long- term withdrawal symptoms can be experienced by some people. In some circumstances, the withdrawal side effects may last for months or years. PAWS and cravings can be stopped by long-term medications. Medication can be taken for as long as is required by the patient.

Medication for Heroin and painkillers are as follows:

  • Methadone
  • Prescriptions of Methadone are usually given to people suffering from moderate or severe addictions.
  • It works just like the Heroin and pain relievers by connecting itself to the sensory nerves of the brain, but it does not cause dependence on the user.
  • This assists curb strong desires and withdrawal side effects.
  • People become addict of Methadone in place of Heroin and painkillers if it is not use carefully.
  • It also prevents abuse so it is dispensed daily by clinics..
  • Find out more information 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.
  • This medication can often be taken at home without having to go to the centre each day.
  • Naltrexone
  • In treating either opiate or alcohol addiction, Naltrexone works in the same manner.
  • It helps to reduce cravings.
  • Alcohol and Opiate turns on the similar receptors in the brain so it is for both.

Detoxing And Rehab

It is possible to detox at home. This isn't just more difficult, it is also more risky than a medical detoxing. A safe and comfortable location such as a rehab centre is the best way to gain sobriety. For the ones who are addicted to alcohol or benzos, medical detoxification is a must.

Detox in a safe and comfortable environment if the first step to sobriety.

Health complications are avoided in a medical detox program. Doctors record the patient's heart scale, body heat, breathing rate and fluid levels. The doctors keep the patient comfortable. Another advantage is that doctors will adjust dosages as the patient response dictates and can advise on long-term treatment schedules.

Other health problems can make detox more complex, therefore, medical detox should be sought. Blood pressure can be problematic during detox. Any type of issue is solved by the doctor.

Treatment centres offering inpatient treatment often include detox in the program. 30 to 90 days of rehab is the average time it takes. The patient is placed under consistent monitoring and observation the first week of rehab which is very crucial. Rehab includes behavioural therapy to give the patient a better chance to understand how they can stay sober.

Medical rehab is the best choice for helping a loved one gain sobriety call 0800 246 1509.