What is Medication-Assisted Detox?

What is Medication-Assisted Detox?

A lot of people are scared to go to rehab because they don’t want to go into drug or alcohol withdrawal. While this is understandable, the fear of detoxing should never hold someone back from getting the help that they deserve. Fortunately, medication-assisted detox programs in Champaign, Illinois have the tools and resources needed to keep patients safe and comfortable during withdrawal.

What is Detoxification?

Detoxification is the natural process the body goes through to cleanse itself of substances and toxins. In the case of medication-assisted detox, it refers to using medications to help people detox from drugs and alcohol specifically.

Detoxing without medications can happen in two ways, however, both have their pros and cons. The first is the tapering method.

Tapering involves gradually reducing the dose of a substance that a person is addicted to to slowly wean their bodies off of the drug. This can minimize withdrawal symptoms, but it also extends the amount of time needed to detox fully. Some tapering schedules can last for weeks or even months, whereas medication-assisted programs will allow people to detox completely in a matter of days.

Another non-medicinal method for detox is best known as “cold-turkey.” Cold-turkey detox is when a person abruptly stops using a drug or drinking alcohol all at once after being addicted to said substance. This method is fast, but it is also dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Cold-turkey detox can produce withdrawal symptoms like seizures, hallucinations, or paranoia – all of which are best managed with the help of pharmaceuticals.

The Benefits of Medication-Assisted Detox for Drugs and Alcohol

Medical detox programs in Illinois offer the safest way to detox from drugs and alcohol. These programs are run by clinical directors with years of experience in the addiction industry. They employ doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, and other addiction specialists to keep patients safe and comfortable while they detox.

First and foremost, medications that are administered during detox can save your life by reducing your withdrawal symptoms and preventing life-threatening ones. This also makes the entire detox process easier because medications help patients cope with discomfort during withdrawal. And, since withdrawal is easier, patients who are on medications while detoxing may be less likely to relapse because these medications can also help with cravings.

Detoxing alone can be dangerous because people never know what symptoms they will experience. It can also be difficult to tell when symptoms become too severe. Plus, detoxing alone can increase the risk of relapse because there is no support around.

An additional advantage of medication-assisted detox is that patients have access to on-site medical care all hours of the day. Whether a person needs more medication, needs emotional support, or is in need of life-saving medical care, medical detox centers are prepared to handle it all. With 24/7 support and monitoring, the staff makes sure that nothing goes wrong.

Lastly, medical detox programs will work with patients to create tailored treatment plans that are unique to their needs. They will also help set patients up with aftercare plans and treatment referrals. All of these benefits help provide patients with a solid foundation to begin their sobriety.

Medications Used for Drug and Alcohol Detox

The type of medications used varies from one person to the next depending on which substance they are detoxing from.

People who are detoxing from opioids like heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, or morphine may be prescribed methadone or buprenorphine to help reduce their cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Some medications prescribed to treat opioid withdrawal include:

  • Methadone
  • Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone)
  • Cassipia (buprenorphine/naloxone)
  • Subutex (buprenorphine)

People who are detoxing from alcohol may be prescribed several different medications depending on their symptoms. These include:

  • Benzodiazepines for seizures and panic attacks
  • Anticonvulsants for seizures
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Antipsychotics
  • Clonidine (blood pressure medication)

Lastly, people who are addicted to benzodiazepines may be prescribed longer-lasting benzos to help taper themselves off of the drug they are addicted to.

While there are no FDA-approved medical detox treatments for stimulant abuse, some medications like sleep aids or antipsychotics may be prescribed to help make patients more comfortable.

Start Medication-Assisted Detox in Champaign, Illinois Today

Here at Navis Health, our intensive inpatient program in Champaign, Illinois is dedicated to providing on-site medical care, comprehensive clinical treatment, and the recovery resources you need to begin your recovery journey.

Detox is scary and it can definitely be painful – especially if you try to do it alone. The good news is that you never have to detox alone. Whether you’re addicted to opioids, alcohol, or any other substance, our medical detox team can help.

Pick up the phone and call today to get started or to learn more about our medical detox services.

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