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What Meds Help With Opiate Withdrawal?

Mark Halsey
Chief Editor of - Cleanbreak Recovery

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands...Read more

Opiate addiction is a serious and growing problem in the United States, with millions of people struggling with this potentially life-threatening disorder. Withdrawal from opiates can be an uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous process, but fortunately, there are medications that can help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal and make it easier to stay on the path to recovery. In this article, we’ll explore what medications are available to help with opiate withdrawal and what their benefits are.

What Meds Help With Opiate Withdrawal?

What Medications Help With Opiate Withdrawal?

Opiate withdrawal refers to the range of symptoms experienced by people when they stop taking opiate drugs, such as heroin and prescription painkillers. This can include severe physical and psychological symptoms, such as muscle aches, anxiety and nausea. Fortunately, there are medications available that can help people manage their withdrawal symptoms and make the process of quitting opiates easier.

Methadone

Methadone is a long-acting opioid medication used to manage opiate withdrawal. It works by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain, reducing cravings and relieving withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is typically taken orally, in liquid or tablet form. The dose is slowly increased over time, allowing the body to adjust to the drug and the withdrawal symptoms to subside.

Benefits of Methadone

Methadone is an effective treatment for opiate withdrawal and has been used for many years. It is generally considered safe and there are few side effects. It is also relatively affordable, as it is available in generic form. Another benefit of methadone is that it can be taken on a long-term basis, allowing people to manage their withdrawal symptoms over the long-term.

Risks of Methadone

Methadone can be habit-forming, and there is a risk of abuse and addiction. It is also associated with a number of potentially serious side effects, such as constipation, dizziness, drowsiness and nausea. It is important to be monitored closely by a doctor while taking methadone, as the dosage may need to be adjusted over time.

Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is a medication used to treat opiate withdrawal. It is similar to methadone in that it helps to relieve withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. It is available in tablet form, and is typically taken once or twice a day. Buprenorphine is considered to be less addictive than other opiate medications and is less likely to cause overdose.

Benefits of Buprenorphine

The main benefit of buprenorphine is that it is considered to be safer than other opiate medications. It is less likely to lead to dependence or addiction, and it is less likely to cause overdose. It is also relatively inexpensive, as it is available in generic form.

Risks of Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine can still be habit-forming, and it carries the risk of abuse and addiction. There are also a number of potential side effects, such as headache, nausea, constipation and dizziness. It is important to be monitored closely by a doctor while taking buprenorphine, as the dosage may need to be adjusted over time.

Clonidine

Clonidine is a medication used to treat opiate withdrawal. It works by reducing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the physical symptoms of withdrawal. Clonidine is typically taken orally, in tablet form. The dose is slowly increased over time, allowing the body to adjust to the drug and the withdrawal symptoms to subside.

Benefits of Clonidine

Clonidine is an effective treatment for opiate withdrawal and has been used for many years. It is relatively inexpensive, as it is available in generic form. It is also relatively safe, with few side effects.

Risks of Clonidine

Clonidine can be habit-forming, and there is a risk of abuse and addiction. It is also associated with a number of potentially serious side effects, such as dizziness, drowsiness and dry mouth. It is important to be monitored closely by a doctor while taking clonidine, as the dosage may need to be adjusted over time.

Top 6 Frequently Asked Questions

What Meds Help With Opiate Withdrawal?

Answer: Several medications can be used to help with opiate withdrawal symptoms. These medications can be used either alone or in combination with other treatments. The most commonly prescribed medications are buprenorphine, clonidine, methadone, and lofexidine.

How Does Buprenorphine Help With Opiate Withdrawal?

Answer: Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist that can be used to help with opiate withdrawal symptoms. It works by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain as other opiates, but it has a much weaker effect. This can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings while avoiding the risk of overdose associated with full agonists such as heroin or oxycodone.

How Does Clonidine Help With Opiate Withdrawal?

Answer: Clonidine is a prescription medication that is used to help reduce the physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal. It works by decreasing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which helps to reduce the severity of physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and muscle aches.

What Is Methadone Used For in Opiate Withdrawal?

Answer: Methadone is an opioid agonist that is often used to help with opiate withdrawal symptoms. It works by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain as other opiates, but its effects last much longer than other opiates. This can help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms while avoiding the risk of overdose associated with full agonists such as heroin or oxycodone.

How Does Lofexidine Help With Opiate Withdrawal?

Answer: Lofexidine is a prescription medication that is used to help reduce the physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal. It works by blocking the release of norepinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter involved in the stress response. By reducing the amount of norepinephrine released in the body, lofexidine can help to reduce the severity of physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and muscle aches.

What Other Treatments Can Help With Opiate Withdrawal?

Answer: In addition to medications, other treatments can also be used to help with opiate withdrawal symptoms. These treatments can include psychotherapy, support groups, lifestyle changes, and alternative treatments such as yoga and meditation. These treatments can help to reduce cravings, manage stress, and improve overall mental and physical health.

Ultimately, the best way to treat opiate withdrawal is to seek help from a professional. They can help you find the right medication and provide support to help you manage the withdrawal process. With the right medical help, it is possible to successfully manage opiate withdrawal and start your journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands the complex needs of those struggling with addiction and utilizes a comprehensive and holistic approach to address them. He is well-versed in traditional and innovative therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions.

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