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The Good and Bad of Medications Used in Addiction Treatment

One of the aspects of drug addiction treatment that addicts dread most is detox where they must go through withdrawal as they stop using the drug. Some doctors prescribe medications to help with the withdrawal symptoms. Like any other treatment, these medications come with risks as well as benefits.

The Good Side of Medications Used in Drug Addiction Treatment

The reason doctors prescribe these medicines for withdrawal is to help reduce the symptoms which can lead to relapse. The drugs not only help with physical symptoms like cramps and muscle spasms, they improve mental and emotional side effects as well.

Benzodiazepines are drugs given to help reduce anxiety, which is one of the most common symptoms of withdrawal. Doctors may also prescribe anti-depressants to help with depression. This symptoms often occurs because the brain doesn’t produce the hormones for happiness since the drugs have been filling that job.

In many cases, the medications are prescribed on a sliding scale. The dosage is adjusted as the person’s symptoms lessen. In time, the person will no longer need the medication at all.

The Dangers of Drug-Assisted Treatment

Doctors must monitor the medications given because they are often addictive on their own. This is one reason the dosage will be reduced until the body no longer needs it. Many times, the person must be in an inpatient program to receive this medication. Some outpatient programs do also provide drug-assisted programs. However, the patient may need to go to a facility at specific times to receive the medication.

If you are abusing drugs and looking for a treatment center, you may want to consider a facility that offers drug-assisted treatment. However, be aware of the dangers and don’t hesitate to ask questions so you feel comfortable about any program you choose.

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