Treating opiate addiction is a crucial and sometimes painful experience. Many users failed to avoid drugs because they cannot handle withdrawal symptoms.
Some drugs can help relieved withdrawal symptoms. It can aid users during detox. Some drugs can imitate the effect of addictive drugs. The result can eases both drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These medications can mimic opiates without the addictive properties.
A medical practitioner can prescribe medications specified for addiction treatment. These treatments can take place in either inpatient or outpatient rehab program.
These experts can adjust the medication dosages in the course of the treatment. This will ensure the care and safety of the users. In a proper medical supervision, users have a higher chance in recovering from addiction.
Detoxification process serves as the first step in treating addiction. This will eliminate all traces of the drug from the user’s body. The ultimate goal is to clean the body from the toxins of the drugs.
However, during the detoxification, users may experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the severity of the drug abuse, this experience can be painful for the user. Users who abuse drugs for an extended time in higher doses experience the worst symptoms. Medication plays a big role in helping users get through the detoxification process.
Doctors use specific medication to treat different withdrawal symptoms. Some of the medications to relieve withdrawal symptoms from opiates include:
Drugs can alter the physical structure of the brain. Users may no longer produce enough natural dopamine and another chemical in the brain. These chemicals can produce feelings of pleasure and happiness. It is common for users undergoing detox to experience depression. Antidepressants such as Zoloft and Prozac can help with the depression. These drugs can help users handle depression. It helps the body until the brain is capable of producing enough dopamine and other pleasure-inducing chemicals in the brain.
Benzodiazepines or benzos can help to reduce irritability and anxiety. Opiates, cocaine, and heroin produce these symptoms. The drugs can assist users in the symptoms. However, doctors are still cautious in using benzos because they can also generate addiction.
This is a combination of a new drug that helps with opiates withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine activates receptors that can suppressed cravings. It can also prevent intense withdrawal symptoms.
The mixture of the drug with naloxone can prevent abusive behavior towards medication. Meanwhile, subutex commonly used for chronic opiate detox. To treat severe withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapses doctors use the drug Suboxone.
Clonidine is a medication use to blood pressure that works on the brain. This drug can reduce cramps, sweating, anxiety and muscle aches. Clonidine can also stop tremors and seizures. It also reduces the effects of the “fight or flight” reaction. Drugs usually over stimulate this reaction in the brain during opiate withdrawals. Unfortunately, clonidine does not help in reducing the drug cravings. The drug is also less effective when used alone.
This drug can eliminate withdrawal symptoms. It activates the same opioid receptors in the brain as what other narcotics do. Doctors give the correct dosages of methadone to prevent opiate withdrawal symptoms. It can also ease the user’s experience of drug cravings. Methadone does not produce any feelings of euphoria.
Doctors can slowly reduce methadone in the user’s body. This can result to opiate treatment management. It can also lessen physical dependence and without withdrawal symptoms. Presently, methadone is a proven treatment for opiate addiction.
Detoxification reduces the physical dependence and tolerance of opiate addiction. However, addiction experts claimed that the social and psychological factors need to be addressed as well. This will ensure the success of the addiction treatment. Stress and other stimuli that trigger the brain to use drugs are a common event or a relapse.
It is important to address the other reasons that user to take drugs, to maintain a sober life. It can also lessen relapse from happening. When users experience drug cravings it is difficult to resist. Most users may succumb to relapse, thus repeating the whole cycle of addiction again.
According to studies, opiate addiction can enjoy long-term maintenance treatment. Methadone or buprenorphine combined with naloxone can help users maintaining a sober life. Doctors often prescribe these drugs as maintenance of treatment.
Meanwhile, methadone remains as the most effective method of recovery. Studies around methadone use can testify with its beneficial effects. Even a newer drug, Suboxone already gained wide support as a maintenance opiate drug.
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Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D, is the CEO of Detox of South Florida, Inc and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.
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