Certain medications can help recovering addicts continue on the path of recovery. Withdrawal symptoms can make it difficult for them to stay off drugs. Medications can be prescribed through an inpatient or outpatient rehab program and can relieve cravings and withdrawal symptoms. During the detox phase of treatment, the body must rid itself of the harmful drugs. Uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, nausea, depression, sweating, muscle aches, and seizures. Some of the many medications prescribed to aid in addiction recovery are:
Methadone is effective treatment for those suffering from addiction to opiates. When administered by a professional, methadone is safe and works similar to the way morphine does. It is taken in liquid, tablet, or powder form. Methadone will help you feel relief during the painful side effects of opioid withdrawal. It blocks the high that you feel when taking heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine.
Suboxone is a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine. It delivers small amounts of opioid doses to individuals who have long-term or stronger opiate addiction. Suboxone gives the patient the ability to wean off opiates while minimizing withdrawal symptoms slowly. It is usually taken as a strip that quickly dissolves under the tongue. Suboxone can be monitored and its levels reduced until the individual is no longer addicted.
This medication blocks the opioid receptors in the brain that cause us to feel pleasure from the effects of alcohol. Approved by the FDA, it can be injected once a month to treat alcoholism. It can reduce interest, cravings, and obsessive thoughts about drinking. Naltrexone can ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. VIVITROL® (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension): a non-addictive, once-monthly treatment used with counseling is becoming more commonly used for treatment of opioid addiction as well.
Also known as Antabuse, Disulfiram works by giving the user unpleasant reactions when drinking alcohol. These adverse reactions can be nausea, heart palpitations, and flushing. It has a high success rate when used in high-risk situations where alcohol may be readily available.
Admitting you have a problem and seeking out help is the first step when it comes to recovery. For greater success, these medications should be used in conjunction with a rehabilitation program. Whether you have an addiction or you know someone who does, feel free to contact ARCA!
NCBI Western Journal of Medicine
American Addiction Centers