What medications are normally used to help patients that want to detox at a detox center?
Detoxification, or detox, is the process of removing harmful substances from the body. Detox can be a challenging and uncomfortable experience, especially for people who struggle with substance use disorders. That’s why many people choose to detox at a professional detox center, where they can receive medical supervision and support.
One of the benefits of detoxing at a center is that you may be prescribed medications to help ease the withdrawal symptoms and cravings that can occur during detox. These medications can vary depending on the type of substance you are detoxing from, your medical history, and your individual needs. However, some of the most common medications used for detox at a detox center are:
– Benzodiazepines: These are sedatives that can help reduce anxiety, agitation, insomnia, and seizures that may occur during alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal. They can also prevent delirium tremens, a potentially life-threatening condition that can affect some people who stop drinking alcohol abruptly. Benzodiazepines are usually tapered off gradually to avoid dependence and withdrawal.
– Opioid agonists: These are medications that activate the same receptors in the brain as opioids, but with less intensity. They can help reduce the severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and lower the risk of relapse. Examples of opioid agonists include methadone and buprenorphine. These medications are usually taken long-term as part of a maintenance therapy program.
– Opioid antagonists: These are medications that block the effects of opioids in the brain, making them ineffective and unappealing. They can help prevent overdose and relapse by discouraging opioid use. Examples of opioid antagonists include naltrexone and naloxone. These medications are usually taken after the acute phase of detox is over, and may require abstinence from opioids for a period of time before starting.
– Antidepressants: These are medications that can help balance the mood and brain chemistry of people who suffer from depression or anxiety as a result of substance use or withdrawal. They can also help with some of the psychological symptoms of detox, such as low motivation, irritability, and hopelessness. Examples of antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). These medications may take several weeks to start working, and should be taken as prescribed by a doctor.
– Anticonvulsants: These are medications that can help prevent or treat seizures that may occur during alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal. They can also help stabilize the mood and nerve activity of people who have bipolar disorder or neuropathic pain as a result of substance use or withdrawal. Examples of anticonvulsants include gabapentin, pregabalin, carbamazepine, and valproate. These medications should be taken as prescribed by a doctor, and may have side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, or weight gain.
Other detox medications
These are some of the most common medications used for detox at a center, but they are not the only ones. Depending on your situation, you may also receive other medications to treat specific symptoms or conditions related to your substance use or withdrawal. For example, you may receive anti-nausea drugs, antihistamines, beta-blockers, clonidine, or vitamins.
The goal of using medications for detox is to make the process safer and more comfortable for you, while also preparing you for the next steps in your recovery journey. However, medications alone are not enough to overcome addiction. You will also need counseling, therapy, education, support groups, and aftercare services to address the underlying causes and consequences of your substance use disorder.
If you are considering detoxing from drugs or alcohol, we encourage you to seek professional help at a reputable detox center. There, you will receive personalized care and guidance from a team of experts who will help you achieve your recovery goals.
The Grove Recovery in Santa Ana and Orange County can help you detox and start a new life.