How Is Clonidine Used During Drug Detox?

With the rampant increase of drug addiction among young people, there’s a need to look for better ways of addressing the issue before it gets out of hand. Apart from setting up more addiction counselling centres, most countries are taking a step further to establish addiction treatment facilities. While behavioural therapy is central when it comes to overcoming addictive behaviour, much needs to be done to help drug addicts recover from the psychological and physical effects of substance abuse. Therefore, it’s advisable to seek professional help when it comes to dealing with drug addiction.

However, for most addicts, this is a nightmare. Most of them aren’t always willing to open up about their drug problem. Some of them are afraid of the stigma, and, therefore, choose not to visit a rehab facility to get addiction treatment. While this is quite a common problem with most addicts, they need to be encouraged and supported so that they enrol for addiction treatment before it’s too late. You can let a professional talk to them about the importance of addiction treatment and encourage them to enrol into a treatment program.

When you visit any treatment facility for addiction treatment, don’t expect to start your behavioural therapy and counselling sessions right away. As part of the addiction treatment, you’ll have to go through drug detox. This is the first step of the recovery process.

But what do we mean by drug detox? This is the process of eliminating toxins from the body using some special medication. The most commonly known type of detox treatment is medically-supervised detox. For addiction treatment, it’s the most preferred form of detox. As the name denotes, this type of detox treatment is done under the care of a medical professional to ensure high safety and comfort levels during the recovery process.


Who needs Detox Treatment?

If you’re struggling with drug addiction, you need detoxification treatment to free your system from the drug. Even if you’ve only used the drug for countable days, you still need to flush out the few toxins from your body. However, detox medication varies depending on the type of substance you’re addicted to. Therefore, you may get different treatment from your friend.


Why you Need Drug Detox

Stopping the use of a drug isn’t all that easy. For most addicts, it’s the most difficult part of the treatment process. Dealing with the withdrawal symptoms that result from ending the substance use is quite challenging. Sometimes the symptoms can be very painful and may result in serious medical complications. To go through this process safely, it’s important to seek detox treatment. With detox medication, your body can safely and comfortably flush out the unwanted substance completely.

Apart from clearing the toxins from your body, detox medication can lead to the discovery and treatment of co-occurring disorders. Sometimes due to substance abuse, the patient may not be aware of the underlying health problems caused by the drug. However, during detox treatment, the doctor can bring such conditions to light, and offer the necessary treatment.


Which Medications are used for Drug Detox?

There’s a wide variety of medication used to treat addiction. We have drugs like methadone, mirtazapine, and clonidine, which are quite common in most rehab clinics. Don’t expect to get a prescription for all these drugs. Each of them is used to treat a different condition. Therefore, depending on the substance you’ve been abusing, your doctor can either give you doses of mirtazapine, clonidine, or methadone. For instance, if you’re addicted to heroin, you’ll get a dosage of methadone.


Detoxification with Clonidine

Clonidine belongs to a class of medicines known as antihypertensive. The drug was initially designed to treat conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), high blood pressure, and anxiety disorders. Later, it was discovered that clonidine could help with substance withdrawal leading to its inclusion in detox treatment. Nowadays, clonidine is widely used to treat opioids addiction, alcohol addiction, and nicotine addiction. Almost all rehab clinics now offer clonidine medication as part of their detox treatment.


How does clonidine work?

Clonidine blocks the substances in the brain that trigger the activities of the sympathetic nervous system. This lowers the highs of the addictive substance and reduces uncomfortable symptoms. Again, clonidine acts as a substitute for the original drug, and, therefore, successfully eliminates the toxins from your system. For alcohol addiction treatment, clonidine is combined with benzodiazepine, to boost its efficiency.


How is Clonidine administered?

You can get clonidine medication in the form of a tablet or a patch. When you visit a rehab clinic your doctor will be able to examine your condition and help you choose the form of administration that best suits you. If you’re taking clonidine in tablet form, expect to swallow the tablets after every few hours depending on the doctor’s prescription. Usually, this only lasts for a few days. Depending on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms you’re experiencing, your doses may be adjusted for the remaining days.

If your treatment plan requires a clonidine patch, the drug is placed on your skin. Usually, it’s done in an area with little hair such as the upper, outer arm, or the chest. Once the patch is applied to the designated area, it will deliver constant medication for some days. Clonidine patch reaction is a bit slow during the first days, and, therefore, a patient may have to take some tablets alongside patch application.


Uses and Side Effects of Clonidine

Compared to other opioid medication, clonidine is much more reliable when it comes to calming down opioid withdrawals. Unlike other medication, it doesn’t produce the same excitement that the opioids produce. This means your need for the drug will reduce, and soon you’ll overcome the drug dependency.

Like any other drug, clonidine also has some side effects. If you’re on clonidine medication, expect side effects such as vomiting, general body weakness, headache, and constipation. However, the symptoms become milder as you get used to the drug. So, just hold on to the treatment until the end.

Whether you’re addicted to opioids, heroin, alcohol, or nicotine, clonidine treatment will help you survive the withdrawal symptoms, and eventually set you free from the drug dependency. For better results, ensure you take the medication under the supervision of a medical specialist.