What Drugs are Used During Medical Detox?

When a person is addicted to alcohol or drugs, part of the recovery process will include detox and symptoms of withdrawal.  Depending on several factors, these can sometimes be severe, and at a minimum, uncomfortable. There are several treatment and recovery protocols that can help people during alcohol detox and drug detox. One of these methods is to use one of a number of detox medications, which help with the effects of opioids, alcohol, stimulants, and many other substances during withdrawal so that an individual can move forward with their addiction recovery. 

At TruPath We know that getting started on the road to recovery can be a tough decision.  We’re here to help.  If you or one of your loved ones is struggling with addiction, call us today to find out more about the levels of care and types of treatment we offer. 

Why are Medications Used During Medical Detox?

Drug abuse and substance abuse in general can be very damaging to many areas of a person’s life.  Addiction affects an individual’s mind, body, and spirit and it’s important to address all of these areas during treatment programs.  Although symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and drug withdrawal are often thought of as physical, substance abuse and mental health as well as emotional well-being are all connected. At the beginning of the drug or alcohol detox process, each patient is evaluated both physically and mentally to determine the treatment plans that will work for them.  Medical professionals determine if addiction medications are appropriate, and which one should be used for a particular patient.  Each of the addiction medications acts in a different way and is prescribed based on the needs of the individual patient.  Overall, the goal is to mitigate symptoms of withdrawal and curb cravings during this initial phase of addiction recovery. 

Different Medications Used During Drug and Alcohol Detox Treatment

There are many prescription medications used to treat drug addiction and alcohol addiction withdrawal symptoms.  Some work to modify how the brain is reacting to the absence of the abused substance and some act directly on particular side effects.  Here are a few examples of commonly used detox medications: 

  • Acamprosate is used in the treatment of alcoholism. This medication treats alcohol use disorder by acting on the brain’s neurotransmitter systems and reducing the need for alcohol. 
  • Anti-Nausea medications to treat stomach issues are often prescribed or administered over the counter as gastrointestinal issues are a common withdrawal side effect for people going through alcohol or drug detox. 
  • Methadone is a medication that has been used for decades for treating opioid addiction.  It is a replacement drug that takes the place of opioids and is slowly reduced to wean an individual off of all addictive substances they have been using.
  • Suboxone is sometimes considered the next generation of medication for treating opioid use disorder.  It acts on opioid receptors in the brain but is only a partial agonist so it doesn’t have the same addictive qualities as other replacement drugs like Methadone.  It is also a combination of drugs that were specifically developed to help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms. 

What are Common Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Although each substance has specific withdrawal and detox symptoms and side effects that can occur, there are many that are common across different types of drugs and alcohol. Substance use disorders affect everyone differently and that goes for cravings and withdrawal symptoms during detox.  Here are some common drug and alcohol detox side effects an individual may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Night sweats
  • Shakiness
  • Clammy skin
  • Feeling cold or sweating
  • Agitation
  • Crying
  • Excitability
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Self-harm
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Disorientation
  • Mental confusion

Alcohol and Drug Detox at TruPath

If you would like to know more about the medications used during drug detox or alcohol detox to help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms, give TruPath a call today. Our counselors will review our treatment approaches with you and go over any questions about addiction and abuse you may have before you begin alcohol rehab or drug rehab.

Leave a Comment