Author: John Carter

Detoxing from Prescription Drugs

detox prescription drugs

Inpatient detox facilities have licensed and qualified medical staff that can provide around-the-clock monitoring and care. Prescription drugs—especially opioids such as Oxycontin—can have withdrawal symptoms that can be excruciating and painful. You can develop withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia, nausea, and a lack of appetite.

Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. When in doubt, talk to your doctor or an addiction specialist about the best choice for you.

  1. According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health report, 52 million people ages 12 and up have used prescription drugs for reasons other than medical.
  2. A wide array of prescription medicines is available to patients, ranging from pain killers derived from opium to stimulants and depressants for the brain and spinal cord.
  3. The opium poppy medicine class consists of hydromorphone, methadone, codeine, morphine, and oxycodone, among other prescription drugs made from opium poppies.
  4. In order to avoid alcohol withdrawal side effects and combat cravings, medically assisted detox is often necessary.

Drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, depending on the severity of the addiction. During a prescription drug detox program, medical professionals will monitor your vital signs and administer medication as needed to manage drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient treatment is widely seen as the most ideal method regarding detox from prescription drugs.

How Can Prescription Drug Use Lead to Addiction?

Other options are buprenorphine products such as Suboxone and Subutex, which are prescription sublingual dissolvable strips approved by the U.S. Subutex contains only buprenorphine, and it is generally used during the initial detox period. Buprenorphine products have a ceiling effect as well, meaning that at a certain point no matter how much you take, you won’t get the desired “high,” thus reducing the potential for abuse.

detox prescription drugs

This type of program is controversial and not recommended by most addiction treatment experts. A medical detox for prescription drugs involves a person discontinuing the use of a prescribed drug so that all traces of the substance are purged from the system under close medical supervision. There are several prescription medications that medical professionals may administer as drug withdrawal treatments, to help minimize a patient’s discomfort during detox. When a person stops using a drug and discontinues the other or decreases the drug quantities, the withdrawal will occur. The onset of withdrawal symptoms might take several weeks before they are no longer severe enough to harm someone without proper treatment and prescription drugs.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Detoxification is often the first step in drug or alcohol treatment programs, and it involves the removal of toxins from the bloodstream. To find a treatment program, browse the top-rated addiction treatment facilities in each state by visiting our homepage, or by viewing the SAMHSA Treatment Services Locator. We do not receive any compensation or commission for referrals to other treatment facilities. Trying to detox from a prescription drug alone can be highly uncomfortable at best, and dangerous at worst—particularly if you’ve been taking this drug for a very long time. Taking multiple drugs, or having co-occurring health issues, may affect the symptoms experienced during withdrawal, as well as how long they last.

detox prescription drugs

Outpatient care, also called ambulatory care, might include medication-assisted withdrawal to make the process easier. If you’re quitting alcohol, you might get anti-seizure medication or benzodiazepines to help with the withdrawal, and naltrexone or other medications to help you stop drinking. Specific withdrawal symptoms and their severity vary depending on the class of drug used and other factors; however, some symptoms can be highly uncomfortable or even dangerous. Addictive substances cause an unnaturally high surge of “feel good” chemicals, which powerfully reinforces your desire to continue taking the medication. DTs is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that, according to the Annals of General Psychiatry, affects between 5 and 24 percent of those battling an alcohol use disorder. In order to avoid alcohol withdrawal side effects and combat cravings, medically assisted detox is often necessary.

Medically assisted detox is accomplished in a controlled environment supervised by medical personnel around the clock. Some drugs require a slow and controlled weaning, or tapering schedule, in order to reduce the amount of drugs in the system down to zero over a period of time. Others may require the use of medications during detox in order to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Seeking out a drug detox program can help prevent severe withdrawal and may offer a referral for further treatment if you’re demonstrating signs of a substance use disorder. ✔️ Many prescription medications that are legally prescribed for medical and mental health conditions can cause dependence and withdrawal.

Side Effects And Symptoms Of Prescription Drug Detox

The drugs used during detox are designed to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. People who consider addiction treatment prescription-drugs often avoid them because of unpleasant and frequently dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Choosing a medically controlled detox eliminates the complications and allows for the most simple detox. Medical detoxification does not cure dependence; prescription drugs are required for long-term sobriety. Counselling, medication, nutrition, and aftercare programs can help people maintain long-term sobriety after their bodies have been cleansed of addictive drugs.

More on Substance Abuse and Addiction

Most adults can relate to these hangover symptoms that may include nausea, drowsiness, fatigue, vomiting, dehydration, mental fog, headache, insomnia, rapid heart rate, sweating, short-term memory lapses, and muscle aches. Regular drinkers who have an alcohol use disorder will also experience emotional side effects during withdrawal, such as depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, trouble concentrating, nightmares, and jumpiness. Benzodiazepine medications work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, receptors in the brain and increase feelings of pleasure while decreasing your “fight or flight” response. Over time, you can develop a tolerance and dependency to these pharmaceuticals even when taking them as directed. Medical professionals recommend slowly lowering your dosage overtime during medically-assisted detox in order to avoid difficult withdrawal side effects.

For those addicted, finding detox services for prescription drugs is an important first step in recovery. There are several options for detox from prescription drugs; however, a great deal of consideration needs to be taken in choosing the best detox program. Mental illness can lead many people to turn to drugs as a form of escapism, and those who misuse prescription drugs may experience worsened symptoms. Dual diagnosis treatment is required when a person’s drug abuse and mental illness simultaneously occur.

Suboxone’s main ingredient is buprenorphine, but it also contains naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal agent. Suboxone may only be used once a person no longer has opioids in their system. Although the symptoms in the above list are common withdrawal symptoms, not every person going through detox will have them. Many people believe that since these medicines are being dispensed by doctors and are kept in the same place rather than provided by patients on the streets, they are safe. Prescription drugs can be abused when used for a purpose other than that prescribed for the patient. At-home detox may be OK if you’re otherwise healthy and haven’t been using drugs for very long.

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Prescription Drugs?

Inpatient medically monitored programs tend to be the most expensive option. But, if you don’t have insurance or the money to pay for this type of care, some inpatient detox programs serve people who can’t pay. If you are addicted to alcohol, pills, or illegal drugs, the first step toward recovery is detox. Also called detoxification or withdrawal treatment, detox is the process of clearing the substance from your body.