What Medications Are Used During Detox?

Anyone who has been there themselves will attest that breaking the cycle of addiction is no easy feat. And there are numerous reasons why so many people who were able to put addiction behind them and better their lives share this sentiment. One of those reasons has to do with getting through detox. For those not already in the know, detox is the first step toward achieving sobriety and reclaiming control over one’s life after months or even years of battling addiction. It is also a process whereby the body begins to naturally rid itself of drugs and other contaminants once an individual has stopped using. However, this same process, unfortunately, also opens the door to withdrawal symptoms that are sometimes severe enough to cause many people to relapse.

What Are the Most Common Withdrawal Symptoms Associated With Detox?

While the withdrawal symptoms brought on from going through detox can vary depending on an individual’s drug of choice, some are pretty much standard across the board. And they include the following:

  • Aching muscles
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in mood
  • Congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Tremors and feelings of restlessness

It is worth pointing out that some individuals going through detox to overcome an alcohol use disorder, specifically, may also find themselves struggling with hallucinations and even delirium tremens, a condition characterized by severe and life-threatening seizures.

Drug and Alcohol Relapse in America: What You May Not Have Known but Probably Should

When it comes to successfully getting through a rehab program, very few people ever get it right on the first go-round, meaning that many will have to seek help for a second time after they have relapsed. To further put this into perspective, we needn’t look any further than a study published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). According to researchers involved in the study, the overall rate of relapse associated with nearly all substance use disorders is between 40 and 60 percent.

And in the majority of these cases, the inability to cope with severe withdrawal symptoms during detox was a factor. The same study also detailed the rate of relapse associated with specific types of drug use, which were as follows:

  • 78.2 percent among those struggling with a heroin use disorder
  • 68.4 percent among those struggling with an alcohol use disorder
  • 61.9 percent among those struggling with a cocaine use disorder
  • 52.2 percent among those struggling with a methamphetamine use disorder

Why Many Rehab Facilities Offer Medication-Assisted Detox

The staff working in nearly every rehab facility in the U.S. are well aware of the numerous unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that most individuals encounter on their detox journey. Furthermore, they are acutely aware that these same symptoms are often more than enough to motivate many to start using again. For these reasons, most facilities offer medication-assisted detox. This type of treatment involves using FDA-approved drugs clinically proven to ease severe withdrawal symptoms, which, in turn, improves an individual’s chances of achieving long-term sobriety.

What Medications Are Used During Detox?

Most rehab facilities will provide specific medications based on the nature of an individual’s addiction and the unique withdrawal symptoms they are experiencing. For example, two go-to drugs that physicians in rehab facilities across the U.S. often prescribe to individuals going through detox to overcome an alcohol use disorder and simultaneously struggling with withdrawal symptoms include Acamprosate and Disulfiram. Many of these same practitioners will also prescribe the following medications to combat severe withdrawal symptoms related to the abrupt cessation of opioids:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone

Other medications that many rehab facilities provide include Trazodone and similar non-addictive SSRI antidepressant drugs that can help combat insomnia, which is not uncommon when detoxing from most illicit substances.

Bottom Line

All in all, multiple things can preclude some people from breaking the cycle of addiction. However, the withdrawal symptoms, which are often part and parcel of starting and completing detox, should not be one of them. For more information on how medication-assisted detox can be an ally in breaking the cycle of addiction, consider speaking with one of our associates today at 833-497-3812.