While techniques vary somewhat these is a general consensus amongst treatment professionals when it comes to which medications help best with opioid withdrawal. Opioids are a class of drugs from the poppy seed or are synthesized to produce similar effects. Examples of opioids derived naturally from the poppy seed include opium, heroin, morphine, and codeine. Some synthetic opioids include oxycodone, methadone, and hydrocodone.
Opioids attach to opioid receptors in the brain to block the pain signals in your body. They have a high affinity for abuse, severe physical, psychological dependence, limiting their clinical utility. It is always best to use opioids under a doctor’s prescription.
Apart from the health, financial, and social implications, you can get into legal trouble. The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies opioids as Schedule II drugs because they have dangerous and life-threatening effects. When determining which medications help best with opioid withdrawal in a patient, doctors take the individual's personal circumstances into account.
Opioid detox is a process of removing opioids in our body after abuse. Opioids are highly addictive and have severe withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, it is hard to detox on your own. You can easily relapse or overdose.
It would be best to detox and undergo withdrawal under professional and medical supervision. Research shows that long-acting opioids like methadone start experiencing withdrawal symptoms about 12 to 48 hours after their last use. Withdrawal symptoms on short-acting opioids like heroin start after about 8 to 24 hours.
Some common withdrawal symptoms include:
There are various ways to manage opioid detox, withdrawal, and addiction recovery. Some methods include therapies, inpatient rehab, intensive outpatient rehab, medically-assisted treatment, and holistic treatments.
Medications are used to offer rapid opioid detox or address severe cases of opioid abuse and addiction. However, medical professionals recommend using behavioral therapies and counselling to accompany the use of medical-assisted opioid treatment.
Some of the best medications that help with opioid withdrawal include:
Methadone is a long-acting opioid. It will attach to the same receptors as other opioids, including those you have abused or other addictive ones. Methadone does not have any intoxicating effects, unlike other opioids. It also helps to reduce cravings and ease other withdrawal symptoms.
However, medical professionals will use caution if you have:
Patients take Methadone orally. They usually start with low doses of about 10 to 20mg. Severe cases of opioid abuse call for a higher dose of Methadone. You will need to visit a treatment facility or clinic to receive your dose of methadone. It is because the dose and your progress need regular review to avoid abuse and overdose.
It usually takes about 5 to 7 days in an inpatient facility to taper opioid addiction using Methadone.
Buprenorphine is another long-acting opioid. It also attaches to the same receptors as the addictive opioids. However, it is not as intense. You can take it as a shot, tablet, skin patch, mouth film under the skin implant.
There is a risk of triggering the withdrawal symptoms if you use Buprenorphine too early. It would be best to use it about 12 hours after short-acting opioids and 36 hours after use for long-acting opioids. After these times, the withdrawal symptoms will have set in.
Should Buprenorphine worsen your symptoms, the doctor could recommend clonidine. Medical professionals will be cautious about using Buprenorphine if you have:
Medical professionals have used Clonidine for over two decades to ease opioid withdrawal in inpatient and outpatient treatment. Research shows it mainly helps to ease physical symptoms like:
However, Clonidine has some side effects like low blood pressure, dizziness, and drowsiness.
You do not need to add an analgesic because Clonidine has some analgesic properties.
Lofexidine is an excellent alternative to Clonidine. It does not have the same sedative or hypertension effects and still helps with opioid withdrawal. Research suggests you can also improve your time to relapse and retention symptoms if you combine Lofexidine with a low dosage of Naloxone.
Rapid opioid detox is another ideal medically assisted method to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms. The procedure relies on two types of medications, anaesthetics and the opioid antagonist or detox agent.
Anaesthetics help you to sleep through the withdrawal process to avoid the discomfort and pain of the symptoms. The detox agent, for example, Lofexidine, is administered as an intravenous (IV) drip. Rapid opioid detox occurs in a setting where you can get one-on-one medical attention like a hospital or inpatient rehab facility.
You will need to take a follow-up check-up after rapid detox. It helps to monitor your recovery progress.
According to the CDC, America is currently in the middle of an opioid epidemic. Studies show that between 1999 and 2018, there have been almost half a million deaths related to opioids.
Opioids are drugs that have natural components of the poppy seed or are synthesized to replicate similar effects. They have a high risk of abuse, physical or psychological dependence, and overdose. Opioid detox is necessary to help you get clean. However, people experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms once they stop using opioids.
Some of these withdrawal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, muscle cramps, and more.
There are medications available to help you ease withdrawal symptoms. Some of the best medications include Methadone, Buprenorphine, Clonidine, Lofexidine, and rapid opioid detox. It would be best to take these medications under professional supervision. Moreover, you will need therapy and other forms of treatment to help promote long term sobriety.
You can get medications for opioid detox and treatment at Coastline Behavioral Health in Orange County, CA. We also offer other forms of treatment, including inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, intensive outpatient rehab, executive rehab, luxury rehab, and various therapy forms. You can contact us today if you or a loved one struggles with an addiction or mental health issue. Call us today at (714)841-2260.