Fear of the unknown is a major deterrent for those looking to start recovery. If you’re ready to stop abusing alcohol or any other substance that’s been causing you progressive harm, knowing what to expect during rehab can make it infinitely easier to commit to professional care. In medical detox, people are able to safely and successfully complete the first and often most-challenging stage of recovery.
The drugs prescribed in medical detox alleviate both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. In fact, certain medications may even prevent severe withdrawal symptoms entirely. In medically assisted addiction treatment, the overarching goal is to ensure optimum patient outcomes without setting the stage for all-new forms of dependency. Fortunately, there are a number of FDA-approved medications that have statistically high rates of success in:
- Preventing mental, emotional, and physical discomfort
- Lowering the risk of physical injury
- Shortening detox times
- Reducing the likelihood of relapse
In rehab, each person’s detox plan is tailored to suit their unique needs and circumstances. During intake, all clients undergo comprehensive medical and mental health evaluations. These assessments help rehab professionals devise and implement detox plans that allow for the safest, shortest, and most comfortable journey to good health and substance-free living possible.
Different Medications Frequently Used in Medical Detox
Several factors are consistently used to determine which medications professionals will leverage in medically assisted treatment. These are:
- A person’s general health
- The existence of co-occurring mental health issues
- The type of substance use disorder the individual is receiving treatment for
- The length of addiction
- Prior relapse events
The drugs that are issued during medically assisted treatment are also dependent upon the type of detox that a person will be completing. For instance, some people:
- Gradually wean off of the drugs they’re currently taking or use similar drugs for weaning purposes
- Complete withdrawal using replacement medications
- Abstain from drugs entirely but use medications for mental health support and for the minimization of physical withdrawal symptoms
Anti-psychotic medications, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications are frequently provided to patients with co-occurring disorders.
If you have or believe that you have general anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or any other mental health issue that simultaneously exists with your substance use disorder, you may receive one or more of these medications as needed. Mood stabilizing drugs are also offered to people who don’t have co-occurring disorders but still have a highly likelihood of experiencing extreme mental or emotional distress as a consequence of withdrawal.
When prescribing these products, rehab professionals take extreme care to avoid options that are habit-forming including benzodiazepine drugs. Medications like Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, and Lexapro may be offered for those with depressive disorders or extreme, withdrawal-related depression. Naltrexone and disulfiram are two drugs that are frequently used in the treatment of alcohol use disorder. Naltrexone and disulfiram make alcohol detox far less intense and challenging by interfering with the way in which the body reacts to and breaks down alcohol.
These medications can effectively block the narcotic effects of alcohol use or cause a negative reaction. When paired with other forms of addiction treatment, they empower people to safely and comfortably abstain from alcohol use over time. Replacement medications are frequently used for people detoxing from opiates and opioids.
These include methadone, suboxone, subutex, and buprenorphine. These drugs make it possible to implement safe weaning programs in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and they are often also offered as part of partial hospitalization programs (PHPs). Many of these drugs block the pleasurable feelings that come from opioid use while additionally minimizing withdrawal symptoms.
Given that nausea is a withdrawal symptom that’s common across multiple substance types, many patients additionally receive anti-nausea medications and other drugs for preventing or alleviating gastric distress. Other common symptoms in detox include insomnia, hypersomnia, disturbing dreams, and other sleep troubles. Thus, many rehab centers offer various options in medical sleep support. With such a vast range of medical interventions at their disposal, rehab centers are able to minimize the discomfort and distress that detoxing normally causes. If you’re ready to start the recovery process and want to know more about the tools that might be used to streamline your treatment for safety and success, call us today at 833-610-1174.