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Medication For Treating Addiction

Why Additional Medication Is Used


There are many drugs which are used in addiction treatment programs to relieve withdrawal side effects and decrease the chances of relapse. In some cases, use of medicine assists users to keep away from the addictive substances. Many recovering addicts are unable to bear the severity of withdrawal symptoms and this makes many of them relapse. Medicines for addiction medical care can be prescribed as a segment of an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation program. In order to provide the best possibility of accomplishing sobriety, doctors might adapt medication doses during the progress of treatment.


Withdrawal symptoms and cravings can be eased with the help of medication that mimic the effect of the addictive substances.


Detoxification And Withdrawal From Drugs

The user need to get free themselves from the drug in the early stage of recovery. This process is known as detox or cleansing Depending on the drug in question, the detoxification period may be as long as several weeks or just a few days.

Dealing with withdrawal side effects is frequently the hardest part of detoxification. Depending on the patient's past drug or alcohol use the withdrawal symptoms will vary. The worst symptoms will be felt by those who have been taking high doses of the drug for a long duration.


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

  • Anxiety
  • Gloominess
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsive attack
  • Body pains
  • Excessive perspiration

To deal with these withdrawal side effects, many medicines are available for this. The doctor might recommend a patient to take some of the following:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • For stress and irritability reduction.
  • One of the common side effect of withdrawal from drugs is Anxiety.
  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can also be eased by the sedative effect of Benzodiazepines.
  • Benzos are addictive so physicians are careful about prescribing those.
  • Antidepressants
  • Depression is common in withdrawal as the brain has problems producing the 'happy hormones' that are naturally produced.
  • 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
  • Clonidine is prescribed for treating alcohol and opiate-related withdrawal symptoms; it gives relief by reducing the intense perspiring, muscle spasms, body pains and stress.
  • Tremors and fits can also be reduced with the use of Clonidine.

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. The fact is there are always some difficulties associated with drug withdrawal but every withdrawal is not so deadly. Detox should be carried out with medical help from professionals.

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Medicines For Treating Alcohol Addiction

Regular abusers of alcohol can suffer prolonged withdrawal symptoms that can last for weeks or even months. This event is known as post-acute or prolonged 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. In most cases the patient has to take these drugs every day and they come in form of pills.


Medicines for alcohol addiction are:

  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol) stops the brain from producing pleasure chemicals in reaction to alcohol intake.
  • The urge to drink can be reduced.
  • In some cases, Naltrexone is known to cause vomiting and migraines.
  • It is also available as a single dose given once a month in the form of an injection.
  • Acamprosate (Campral)
  • The physical and emotional distress caused by alcohol dependency can be eased using this drug.
  • This medication is usually taken by recovering alcoholics after the detoxification period is over.
  • By hindering unhappy thoughts that cause stress and unhappiness, Acamprosate stops the users from wanting to take alcohol.
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • Disulfiram was the primary medicine authorized for alcoholism.
  • Disulfiram can result into some side effects of vomiting and sickness if anyone takes Disulfiram drinks.
  • Recovering users do not want to take alcohol when they are on disulfiram because they feel sick if they do.

Get more information about medical help for alcohol addiction.


Medications For Opiate And Heroin Addiction

Drugs in the opiate group are Heroin, Morphine and narcotic painkillers like Oxycontin. Opiate and Heroin medicines comfort urges and withdrawal side effects. These medications are usually taken daily in tablet form.

Everyone has a different withdrawal experience and for some it may only last as little as a week. Some have long-term withdrawal side effects. In some cases the withdrawals side effects can last for months or years. PAWS and desires can be controlled by long-term replacement medicines. A recovering addict should take these medicines until they are completely free.

Opiate addiction is usually treated using medications such as:

  • Methadone
  • Methadone is a drug used for mild to serious addictions.
  • It works by fusing to the same receptors in the brain as Heroin and painkillers, however Methadone does not get the addict high.
  • Withdrawal symptoms and the urge to use are reduced by this.
  • Methadone is prescribed with attention since some patients have become addicted to it instead of Heroin and painkillers.
  • Every day, many doses of Methadone are dispensed by Methadone clinics.
  • You can find out more about Methadone.
  • Buprenorphine (Suboxone)
  • The addiction potential is less in Buprenorphine yet it works like a Methadone.
  • Those on Buprenorphine are allowed to take their prescription home instead of visiting the treatment centre daily.
  • Naltrexone
  • The effect of Naltrexone on opiate addiction is the same as its effect on 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 Rehab

A few people detox all alone. Compared to medical detoxification, this has not only proven harder but also dangerous. Medical detoxification is the ideal method to accomplish sobriety in a secure and comfortable atmosphere. For the ones who are addicted to alcohol or benzos, medical detoxification is a must.

A monitored detox is the primary stage to treat any kind of addiction.

Many health problems can be dealt with in a medically supervised detox. Doctors record the patient's heart scale, body heat, breathing rate and fluid levels. Doctors assist alleviate any pain the patient can be passing through. Doctors adjust the medication for long-term program and as per the need of patients.

Medically supervised detoxification is also important for people with other health problems. Withdrawals can make situations difficult such as high blood pressure. Any complications can either be prevented or sorted out quickly during a medical detox.

Inpatient rehabs include Detox, most often. A person typically requires one to three months to go through detox. The initial week comprised of closely observed detox. Behavioural therapy is one of the rehab treatment for making recuperation fruitful.

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