Your Guide to Safe Detox Medications

Published On: March 23, 20223.7 min read740 wordsCategories: Detox

The first few days and weeks of recovery offer a unique challenge that requires unique treatment. The symptoms of withdrawal can be painful and drive people to relapse, so finding effective ways to bear through the toughest days is essential for your recovery.

Medication-assisted treatment can give you a leg-up in your journey toward sobriety. When combined with psychotherapy and holistic support, detox medications could be the key to overcoming drugs and alcohol.

What is medication-assisted treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of approved drugs in the treatment of substance use disorders. There are three medications that are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose. 

These medications are administered in order to help with withdrawal and long-term recovery by reducing cravings and preventing euphoric effects in the case that a person uses addictive drugs again. While these medications are beneficial, they should always be used in combination with behavioral or talk therapy.

These drugs have been studied for risks and effectiveness and been found to be helpful in the treatment of addiction. According to Mayo Clinic Proceedings, there is ample evidence that MAT improves outcomes for those with substance use disorders

An article in the Journal of Addictive Diseases also states that those who participate in MAT have higher rates of treatment retention than those who received no medication or placebo.

Further, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health states that increasing MAT utilization can reduce the outcomes associated with HIV and increase access to coordinated care, assisting those most in need of other mental or physical health services.

MAT programs are generally for those who are struggling with opioid use and alcohol addiction. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, MAT can also be used to prevent opioid overdose.

What detox medications are available?

According to the FDA, there are three drugs that are currently approved to assist in the treatment of substance use disorders. The substances are listed along with the brand names of the drug.

Buprenorphine: Bunavail, Cassipa, Probuphine, Sublocade, Suboxone, Subutex, Zubsolv

Methadone: Dolophine, Methadose

Naltrexone: Vivitrol

These substances all have pros and cons, so when you’re getting started with MAT, talk to your care provider about your health history and any other medications you may be taking.

How does medication-assisted treatment work?

No two of these substances work in the same way, but what you need to know about these drugs is that they assist with recovery because they reverse the effects of addictive drugs, helping your brain chemistry return to a normal baseline and block opioids from resulting in a euphoric feeling.

Critics argue that MAT is simply substituting one addiction for another. While addiction to these substances is possible, the substances are administered in closely regulated settings, reducing the risk of addiction. Moreover, the end goal of MAT is always to achieve substance-free living.

This is usually achieved after months or years, when triggers have subsided and urges are infrequent and able to be managed. Slowly, an individual is tapered off the MAT drugs and is able to live a self-directed life.

When participating in a MAT program, there is no one-size-fits-all timeline. Each individual will have unique needs and require MAT for a different length of time. For some, this treatment may last a few months. For others, treatment may last indefinitely in order to protect progress towards sobriety.

What are the benefits of detox medication?

According to SAMHSA, there are many pros to adding medication to your treatment plan:

  • Higher rate of survival
  • Higher treatment retention rates
  • Decrease in the use of illegal substances and criminal activity
  • Improved chances of obtaining and maintaining employment
  • Decreased risk of sexually transmitted diseases and infections
  • Better outcomes for unborn babies of mothers with substance use disorders

These benefits are significant and could offer you the change you need in your life. Aside from these perks, you’ll also have an easier time managing the pain of withdrawal, have access to resources through a detox facility and have emotional support from the center’s staff.

Where do I get detox medication?

Starting medication-assisted treatment requires that you find a detox facility that meets your needs. At Freedom Detox, you’ll find everything you’ve been looking for, from compassionate staff and medical supervision to family services and a comfortable place to heal.

Find hope and healing with Freedom Detox and call now.

Related articles