Detoxing from a drug is the process of breaking a drug’s physical and mental hold over your body. Depending on the drug in question and the severity of dependence or addiction, it can take a few days to weeks or even months. While it may sound counterintuitive, some detox procedures use detox medications to ease the transition away from drug use. Drug detox medications are most often used in treating opioid, stimulant, and alcohol addiction.
When Detox Medications are Used
Detox medications are not used in every scenario. A few distinct substance abuse disorder treatment protocols implement detox medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and help people establish a firm footing in their recovery journey.
Without the intervention of drug detox medications, some withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and even severe. Some people may even avoid detox because they fear the withdrawal symptoms they will experience. Detox medications help keep symptoms in check and reduce cravings. The symptoms they most often address across a range of substance abuse disorders are:
- Muscle pains
Common Detox Medications
The range of detox medications mainly falls into one of three categories: alcohol or benzo detox medications and opioid detox medications. These categories are detailed below.
Alcohol and Benzo Detox Medications
Alcohol and benzos are classified as depressants. That means they suppress central nervous system function. In cases of severe abuse, stopping alcohol or benzo use cold turkey can be dangerous. The safest way to detox from alcohol and benzos is with medical support.
Benzos are one of the most common alcohol detox medications. It may sound strange, but benzos are also used as a benzo detox medication. Why is that the case? First, many different types of benzos exist. The benzo someone is addicted to will not be the same benzo detox medication used in their treatment.
Since benzos occupy the same family of drugs, they can help taper someone off the benzo they are addicted to. This is not simply replacing one addiction with another. Instead, it allows the body to wean itself off its addiction as it is tricked by the presence of a lower dose, less addictive benzo.
Opioid Detox Medications
The other major category is opioid detox medications. Opioid detox is rarely life-threatening. Yet withdrawal symptoms can be extreme enough that they drive someone back to opioid use if they do not have the proper support. One key intervention during detox from prescription drugs is the use of medications to ease the process.
Common opioid detox medications include methadone, suboxone, and buprenorphine. Each of these detox medications for opiates occupies the brain’s opioid receptors without triggering an addictive euphoria. This decreases withdrawal symptoms and helps the body adjust slowly to life without opioids.
How to Detox Your Body From Medications
Figuring out how to detox your body from medications is not something you need to do alone. In most cases, it is not recommended to undergo detox on your own. Negative withdrawal symptoms, if left unchecked, may become a setback to achieving your recovery goals.
You may be wondering what the detox process involves beyond the use of medications. Detox typically takes people through three steps: evaluation, stabilization, and treatment preparation. The evaluation goes over medical history and figures out the best plan of attack. Stabilization removes dependence and supports people in functioning without drug use. And ultimately, detox prepares people to engage in long-term treatment.
Midwest Detox Center is ready to help you navigate detox successfully. We have decades of experience helping people detox from prescription medications and alcohol. You deserve support and help during detox. Discover the benefits of detoxing in a safe, supportive environment by calling 833.647.0392.