Pharmaceutical Treatment In Addiction Treatment Programs

by Hype Williams

There are many more people who could benefit from attending an addiction treatment program in their area than most people realize. The evolution of knowledge regarding different treatment methods and medications that are used to assist with physical symptoms of addiction and withdrawal symptoms is progressive, but many people remain unaware that there are such medications for this reason. In the past, detoxification included suffering from terrible withdrawal symptoms that sometimes were so serious that people would not want to go through detox just because of those withdrawal symptoms.

There have been so many advancements that have been made in treatment now that allow people to be detoxified from alcohol and opioids safely and as comfortably as possible, even on an outpatient basis. At the best substance abuse treatment programs, participants spend a day or two at their designated facility to receive oral medication and to be monitored by medical staff. At the same time, they are going to participate in an outpatient rehabilitation program. At the end of their day at the facility, they return home with a limited amount of medication for the evening.

There is a different medication that is used for detox from alcohol at the best addiction treatment programs, which are classified as benzodiazepines. These medications quickly relieve symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and tremors. Not only that, but they can also prevent very serious withdrawal symptoms including delirium tremens and grand mal seizures. Librium is the oldest of the benzodiazepines, and it is long acting and provides a smooth transaction to abstinence than do other shorter acting benzodiazepines. It is also less likely to cause cross addiction. Librium is given for two to three days usually, and the body will then slowly eliminate it over a period of weeks.

Some of the substance abuse treatment programs include using medications such as Neurontin and Tegretol for mild or moderate withdrawal, which were originally developed as anticonvulsants. These have the advantage of not being sedating, and there really is no potential for cross addiction. For detoxification of opioids (prescription narcotics and heroin), buprenorphine, which is marketed as Suboxone, has dramatically improved the ability to relieve the discomfort of withdrawal. This medication is placed under the tongue, and often within an hour, the patient may experience a reduction of symptoms. It takes careful control of the dosing to prevent unpleasant sedating effects. Buprenorphine is also successful with detoxification of people from tranquilizers like Xanax and Ativan, as well as other sedative medications. Stimulants like amphetamines and cocaine do not require formal detoxification.

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