There are many detox medications on the market, and choosing the right one for you can be a daunting task. For most people with an opiate addiction, using a detox medication is a much more appropriate and effective way to transition into the demanding work of active rehabilitation.
More About Detox Medication-Assisted Treatment
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.
MAT is an evidence-based practice that has been proven to be effective in treating substance use disorders. It helps patients reduce or quit their use of opioids and other drugs, while also managing any related health problems.
Medications used in detox and rehab have two particular goals:
- Controlling cravings that can lead to relapse
- Managing problems that contribute to the addictions (such as anxiety)
Not every rehab center uses the words “detox medication” in exactly the same way. Be sure to ask how drugs are used in any detox center that you are considering.
Medications Used During Detox
Medications that are used to control cravings, such as naltrexone, are generally begun after the detox period. Naltrexone is a medication that blocks the effects of opioids. It is usually given as a pill or an injection.
Buprenorphine is used early, in order to shorten detox. Buprenorphine is a medication that can be administered in a number of ways, including as a pill, filmstrip, or injection. Like methadone, it helps to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine can also be taken at home, which makes it a more convenient treatment option.
For others, methadone is considered a long-term way to detox from opiate drugs. Methadone is a long-acting opioid medication that helps to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It is usually taken once a day in a clinic setting.
For anxiety and depression, a variety of drugs may be used during detox. Ideally, as therapy begins to help uncover the underlying reasons for these emotions, a person will learn strategies to manage these feelings and medication is no longer needed. Short-term medication management is not true for all mental illnesses. Some conditions, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia require life-time medication management.
MAT is a safe and effective way to treat substance use disorders. It can help patients reduce their use of drugs, manage any related health problems, and improve their overall quality of life.
Can I Detox Without Drugs?
Some people actually can detox without drugs. However, that’s not the story for others. For those who have been abusing drugs for years, particularly heroin, using medication during detox is necessary in order to manage painful withdrawal symptoms.
Always remember that quitting drugs “cold turkey” can be incredibly difficult, and in some cases dangerous. That’s why it’s important to consult with a medical professional to ensure that you’re getting the best possible care during detox.
Ultimately the decision about whether or not to involve medication during detox must be made by the treatment team and the client involved, by weighing the pros and cons for each approach. Some detox centers insist that detox be managed in a completely non-drug supported manner.
At New Start Recovery, we believe that medication-assisted detox will help certain clients transition more effectively into their rehab treatment program. Feeling better physically allows our clients to begin focusing on their mental, emotional and spiritual recovery.
Don’t let addiction continue unabated. Please contact us at 833.433.0448 for more information about detox medication management.