Menu Close

Medications for Addiction Recovery

Medications that Aid in Addiction Recovery

There are many different medications that help with addiction recovery. Their use depends on the type of addiction you have, and your need for them. There are even some instances when medication treatment isn't recommended.

Still, a growing number of addicts do benefit from prescriptions used for addiction. Medications that are prescribed for addiction can help with withdrawal symptoms during the detox process.

If you are a drug addict, or an alcoholic, this is information that you might find interesting. You need to know that there are many ways that you can recover from your addiction. There are many prescriptions used for detox, and it is one of the most common methods of recovery.

List of Medications That Aid in Addiction Recovery

A lot of the drugs used for addiction recovery are anti-craving drugs, or anti-alcohol drugs. Without them, so many people wouldn't be able to recover successfully from their addictions.

Some of the different prescriptions used for withdrawal and recovery are:

These drugs, as well as others, have been instrumental for so many people during recovery. In this section, you'll find excellent information on each one of them.

When it comes to drug and alcohol addiction, medications prescribed for withdrawal can help you tremendously. Typically, addicts often feel as though they're on their own. This isn't something you need to be concerned about. The right medication assistance is available for you, if you need it.

Are There Prescriptions That Help with Addiction to Prescription Drugs?

Prescription drug addiction is actually one of the more common types of addictions. In fact, some have even said that the problem has risen to the status of being an epidemic. It might seem odd to think that there are prescription drugs that help with this type of addiction. However, several of them have proven to be effective.

Some of these medications are anti-craving drugs, while others specifically deal with withdrawal symptoms. The following drugs are used to help with prescription drug addiction recovery:

  • Suboxone
  • Subutex
  • Narcan
  • Baclofen
  • Naloxone

What is Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT)?

Opioid drugs are prescription painkillers that can easily lead to addiction. When people become addicted to opioids, they develop an opioid use disorder. In the event of this problem, opioid replacement therapy, or ORT is generally recommended.

ORT works by giving patients certain opiate medications to help them. The supplementary opioid drugs don't have as high of an addictive potential. They are longer-acting drugs, with less euphoric effects. Methadone and buprenorphine are typical choices for opioid replacement therapy.

Some types of ORT will actually negate the effects of any opioids if someone takes them. For example, someone who takes buprenorphine might experience relief from opioid withdrawal. If that person decides to take an opiate drug like OxyContin, the euphoric effects should be blocked.

The Benefits of Medical Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction

There are several benefits of medical treatment approaches for drug addicts. For one, people often fail to recognize how serious the physical component of the addiction is. There is so much emphasis placed on willpower, and the need to have a desire to quit using. Quitting drugs or alcohol can require much more, which is why medications have their place in recovery.

In a perfect world, willpower would be enough. The reality is that drug withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult to deal with. More often than not, they drive people back to using long after they thought they had stopped. Medical treatment approaches help with this problem.

Medical treatment approaches also give people the chance to learn how to live without drugs or alcohol. Many times, drug addicts and alcoholics can't imagine life without their substances of choice. This can make it extremely hard for them to quit using. Medications prescribed for detox allows them the ability to re-learn what living without substances is like. In turn, this makes it much easier for them to quit long-term.

What Medications Help With Alcohol Cravings and Alcoholism?

Many people don't realize that it can actually be quite dangerous for alcoholics to stop drinking. Many try to stop cold turkey, and end up with severe medical complications as a result. This is why this method of alcohol cessation is never recommended.

Fortunately, there are several prescriptions used for addiction to alcohol. These medications all address different issues. They include:

  • Antabuse
  • Naltrexone
  • Campral
  • Topamax

These anti-alcohol drugs are very useful for alcoholics who want to quit drinking. They help them stop using safely, with less of a risk for dangerous side effects.

What Medications Help With Heroin Addiction?

There are several different medications that can assist with heroin addiction recovery. These drugs are actually quite similar to those used for prescription opiate addicts. They include:

  • Methadone
  • Subutex
  • Suboxone
  • Naltrexone
  • Vivitrol

These drugs work by addressing the same opioid receptors that heroin affects. However, they are much safer than heroin, and result in fewer euphoric effects. Many people who use these medications find them to be very effective at treating heroin addiction.

Can Medication Help Reduce Drug or Alcohol Cravings and Urges to Use?

Many medications prescribed for withdrawal symptoms and addiction actually can reduce cravings. This is an excellent addition to these drugs because it addresses a very real problem for addicts and alcoholics.

An alcoholic or an addict can have all the right intentions to stop drinking. It's even possible for them to do fairly well for a few days. However, once their initial willpower wears out, they just want to sooth their cravings.

Research has shown that opioid receptors are affected when someone takes an opiate drug. In addition, alcohol has also been shown to affect these receptors as well. These medications block these and other receptors in the body. This makes prescription opiates and alcohol not as appealing. It can also curb the urges to use these dangerous drugs.

Are ORT and Detox with Medications Dangerous or Risky?

It would be wonderful if detoxing with prescription drugs had no dangers or risks attached to it at all. People could use their medications, and experience excellent results with no worries. Unfortunately, there are some dangers and risks that go along with medications for recovery from addiction.

The biggest risk that people often run into is the risk of secondary addiction. Many of these medications used to treat addiction are actually opiate drugs. They may not be as strong as drugs like Vicodin and Percocet, but they are still opiates. If they are taken in excess, or for too long, they can become addictive themselves. Also, if they are combined with alcohol, snorted, or injected, the risk of using them increases even further.

It's not surprising that so many drug and alcohol detox centers have moved away from medical detox. This is the reason why. Even though using medications prescribed for detox can be helpful, it's not always the right option for everyone.

Are Opioid Replacement Therapy and Anti-Craving Drugs Enough for Recovery?

Unfortunately, there are those who believe that they only need to take prescriptions for detox. They don't consider the fact that they need any other additional type of treatment to recover. This simply isn't the case. Opioid replacement therapy and anti-craving drugs are wonderful. However, they should never be thought of as the only means to recover from addiction.

Alcoholics and drug addicts need to participate in behavioral therapy while they're taking detox medications. This is essential. Those old behaviors have to be addressed, and they have to change. Otherwise, the active addiction is going to return. After detox is over, going on to a drug rehab or alcohol rehab is highly recommended.

Medications can help to reduce drug or alcohol cravings and urges to use. They can address withdrawal symptoms from drugs or alcohol. However, they're not enough to maintain long-term abstinence and sobriety.

Your Options for Medical Detox

It's possible that you are someone who would benefit greatly from medical detox. As you have gone over this information, you can see where an anti-alcohol drug, or an anti-craving drug could assist you. It's important for you to get all of your questions answered, and here at Northpoint Seattle, we want to help.

Regardless of what your addiction is, you need to know that you're not in this alone. There are so many different ways that you can get assistance. You could be a great candidate for opioid replacement therapy, or medical detox. Or, you could be someone who would benefit from a more holistic addiction treatment approach. No matter what, you need a professional to assess you and recommend treatment.

Are you interested in learning more about medical treatment approaches to addiction and alcoholism? If so, we'd like the opportunity to help you learn. Please contact us today.