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Detox Medicine Options for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Just the anticipation of the detox and withdrawal process can deter many people from ever considering getting help for a drug or alcohol problem. Detox is the necessary first step in the journey of recovery, so it’s not like it can be skipped. It is necessary for the client to enter into active treatment with a clear head and a body cleansed of the toxins related to the substance of abuse.
Fortunately, there are medications that can substantially reduce the withdrawal symptoms associated with the detoxification process. Detox medicine can come in a variety of forms, some over-the-counter and some prescription drugs. Together, these medications combined with a skilled detox support team can provide significant relief from the discomforts of the detox process.
What to Expect in Detox
It is best to enter detox with a fighter’s attitude. Understand that there will be some level of pain involved, but vow to gut it out knowing your medical detox team has your back throughout. The detox and withdrawal period lasts roughly one week, so set your mind to getting through it and to the other side where you can start your new life.
In most cases, withdrawal symptoms begin to show up within hours of your last drink or drug dosing. The withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on the substance of abuse.
These symptoms may include:
Heroin/Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
- Night sweats
- Los of appetite
- Slowed movements
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
- Loss of appetite
- Increased heart rate
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Poor concentration
- Sensory distortions
Cocaine/Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms
- Disturbing dreams
- Extreme fatigue
- Slowed movements
- Repetitive movements
- Night sweats
- Mental confusion
- Slowed cognition
- Increased appetite
- Excessive sleep or insomnia
- Suicidal ideation or behavior
How Detox Medicine Works
During the detox process the detox nurse will be monitoring your vital signs and making adjustments in medications as the withdrawal symptoms emerge and intensify. These detox professionals not only provide detox medicines to help reduce unpleasant symptoms, but they also offer emotional support throughout the process.
For helping with nausea and vomiting, muscle and joint pain, headache, and fever the detox team can use OTC medications that are effective in relieving these symptoms. Ativan or Valium are detox medicines often prescribed to assist with insomnia and anxiety during detox. Drugs such as Suboxone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone may be prescribed during detox to help reduce the intense drug and alcohol cravings. These medications may be prescribed for a period of several months before a tapering schedule begins once there is stability in recovery.
Next Steps After Detox
Once you have gutted out detox and withdrawal you will be segued into the next step of recovery—inpatient or outpatient treatment. Generally, an inpatient addiction treatment program will offer a higher level of care and the best option for a moderate to severe drug or alcohol addiction. Inpatient treatment involves residing at the treatment facility for one to six months for 24-hour support. An outpatient treatment program is best suited for a mild to moderate addiction and allows the individual to reside at home outside of treatment hours.
Whether it is an inpatient or outpatient program, most addiction treatment consists of a combination of treatment elements. These might include individual therapy, group counseling, addiction education, family therapy, relapse prevention planning, and participation in a 12-step or other type of recovery support group. Following the treatment program, continuing care helps to reinforce recovery and includes sober living housing for a few months and weekly outpatient therapy.
Solutions 4 Recovery Utilizes Detox Medicine to Aid in Withdrawals
Solutions 4 Recovery is a residential drug and alcohol treatment program that uses a variety of treatment elements that can be customized to address each individual’s specific treatment needs. Solutions 4 Recovery is located in San Juan Capistrano, California and offers beautiful high-end facilities that provide a comfortable, supportive environment for healing. For more information about our program, please contact Solutions 4 Recovery at (888) 417-1874.