Category Archives: Withdrawal Symptoms

DETOXIFICATION – PART TWO

Medical Drugs to Aid Addiction Recovery

Alternative Methods

These additional tools are useful, of which a search can be conducted online:

  • Acupuncture appears to be helpful in treating the withdrawal symptoms of some addictions, especially when relaxation is needed, but the benefits of acupuncture only last a day. It is theorized that bigger needles are more effective.

Acupuncture

Cranial Electrical Stimulant (CES)

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

  • A sauna aids in the detoxification of fat soluble drugs, such as marijuana or PCP, from the body.

Sauna

Medical Model

The medical model is the use of medical drugs as a means of recovery. Medical drugs can also be used for detoxification, as prescribed by a physician. Ask for specific information from the physician regarding the type of medical drugs available. For health and legal reasons, you must be in the care of a MD to use the medical model.

Medications: Some medications directly reduce negative symptoms, while others lower the potential of returning to your addiction. Ask about the addictive properties of these medications, which should only be taken when needed. Some people consider these medications to be just another crutch. That’s true only if you don’t really need them.

If, during drug detoxification, your physical symptoms become significant or prolonged, get medical help immediately. Seniors need to be extra careful.

When using medications that stimulate neurotransmitters, your nutritional intake must be good for them to work.

Detox Medications

The following medications will help stop withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. They are also used to treat chronic pain. Yet, it can be very difficult to stop taking them if they are used for more than a few months.

  • Benzodiazepines are commonly used in detoxification; they are effective but very addictive.
  • Methadone is the purest, most addicting opiate. It should only be used for a brief detox from other opiates.
  • Suboxone is a highly praised detox medication, but it contains an opiate that’s pure and very addicting.

Support Medications

  • Antabuse blocks the digestion of alcohol after it’s in an acid state, but it causes a lot of stomach pain.
  • Baclofen appears to reduce the brain’s “Go” response from being activated by triggers.
  • Campral is known to reduce the craving for alcohol.
  • Naltrexone blocks any “high” from opioids and alcohol that is above normal.
  • Vivatrol, an injection, is an extended release naltrexone.
  • Zyban (Wellbutrin) reduces the desire for nicotine.

Medications for Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms

Anxiety: Non-addicting anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications can help suppress racing thoughts. Benzodiazepines, also used as a detox medication, are potent, making them both effective and very addicting. The newer, shorter acting benzos are harder to get off than the older, longer acting formulas.

Depression: There are several groups of anti-depressants. Most increase the level of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain, but none work as well as promoted. They work for the long-term about one-third of the time, with minimal side effects, but the withdrawal symptoms from some can be severe

Physical and emotional pain: Benzodiazepines and opiates are effective, but very addicting. There are several non-addictive medicines for physical and emotional pain, but all medications have toxicity.

Note: Some research questions the benefits of anti-depressant medication and Tryptophan. Abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medications is common, monitor your use.

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DETOXIFICATION – PART ONE

Detoxification

The period of physical withdrawal from all substances – drugs, medications, and sugars – is called detoxification, or detox for short. If you have been putting an addictive substance into your body on a daily or reoccurring basis, abstaining from that substance will cause some level of physical withdrawal symptoms to occur.

Detox Safely

Your body (mainly your liver, lungs, and skin) will detox you naturally. Toxins leave the body at varying rates of speed, and depending on the type of toxin, can cause a range of physical complications. Commonly during a hard detox, symptoms vary from mild physical discomfort to those similar to a severe flu. It’s best to be under a physician’s care when detoxing, especially when abstaining from drugs like alcohol, barbiturates, opiates, and benzodiazepines, which due to their chemical properties, require monitoring by a medically trained professional. Detoxing is a necessary stage of recovery, but be careful to follow medical guidelines, especially if you’ve had a history of seizures, cardiac issues, or other complications related to detoxification. Get evaluated for conditions such as hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Most people detox at home or in a hospital. There are private programs or publicly funded detox centers that have medical backup. Contact your physician, local treatment program or hospital, or look for “Addiction. . .” “Alcoholism. . .” or “Drug Abuse. . .” in your phone book or on the Internet.

 Note: It can be dangerous to refrain from all drugs, especially if you’re on medications for a severe mental illness or a physical condition. Ask for advice from respected and informed professionals and follow it during early recovery.

Relief of Withdrawal Symptoms

All methods discussed below are effective in relieving physical withdrawal symptoms in the detox recovery stage. Each method can be used alone or together with other options.

Not all withdrawal symptoms are physical. There are also emotional withdrawal symptoms. Addicts build an attachment, or affection, to a particular substance or behavior. Letting go of the substance or behavior can prompt a sense of loss, causing emotional pain. Both emotional pain and physical withdrawal symptoms can be alleviated through the methods below.

Nutrition

Nutritional supplements are a prime option for relieving physical withdrawal symptoms due to their immediate and effective results, minimal side effects, and no potential for abuse. For optimal results, it’s best to work with a nutritionist, whose knowledge will be helpful and sometimes necessary. Many physicians do not have an extensive knowledge of nutritional supplements. If possible, talk to your physician regarding your desire to try alternative approaches, or at least keep him or her informed of the alternative approaches that you are taking.

Amino Acids

Most people can experience powerful symptom relief from basic amino acid supplements. An amino nutrient blend is even more effective, but costs more. Amino acids can relieve physical and emotional pain, and they can reduce or stop cravings, anxiety, and depression. They also stabilize blood sugar and promote the rebuilding of your brain and body to a healthier state. Amino acid supplements are sold over-the-counter; the higher the purity (in the mid 90% range), the better. But ensure your source for nutritional supplements are from a reliable supplier!

When it comes to the dosage, be cautious. Test with 1⁄4 of the suggested dose and wait 30 minutes to see how you feel. The only way of knowing the exact amount you need is with a blood test, which is expensive, trial and error should also work well to help you decide what dosage works best for you. The body’s response to amino acid supplements is rapid. Some people claim to have taken higher than recommended dosages of amino acids with no serious side effects, but to begin, do not exceed the recommended dosages listed on the package. Powdered Vitamin C can eliminate side effects.

An intravenous amino acid drip is known to be effective for extreme withdrawal of difficult substances, but at this time, there is limited documentation and availability of the procedure in the US.

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