One of the most challenging parts of overcoming drug or alcohol dependency is managing withdrawal symptoms. The physical and emotional effects of withdrawal can be quite painful, leading many people to return to using their preferred substance. Professional rehabilitation facilities are equipped with expert medical personnel and staff to help make the process easier, allowing for higher recovery success rates. Here is some information about five medications that ease up the withdrawal symptoms to understand how medical detox might be beneficial to you.


There are various types of rehabilitation centers that can make your recovery more manageable. Whichever you choose should offer treatment for your specific issue. Those with opioid addiction can benefit from the partial opioid antagonist, Buprenorphine. You may have heard of it under its brand name of Subutex.

This medication is similar to methadone and is prescribed by a physician to ease withdrawal symptoms from opioid addiction. Often this addiction begins with prescription painkillers but can progress to heroin or other synthetic opiates. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain in the same way that drugs like heroin or hydrocodone do. It reduces cravings and eases withdrawal symptoms, but it doesn't give you the same high as opioid drugs.


Suboxone is a detox medication you can get at a luxury rehab or other facility. It's what is known as an opioid antagonist that combines buprenorphine and naloxone. As noted above, buprenorphine helps to ease your cravings and withdrawal symptoms to help you overcome your addiction to opioids. The naloxone provides added protection to stop any possibility of misusing or abusing buprenorphine, which can give users a high when taken in large amounts with supervision. The naloxone does not allow buprenorphine to bind to opioid receptors in the brain.


This medication is also an opioid antagonist used to assist medical detox from morphine, oxycodone, and heroin. It prevents the high from opiates by binding to the brain's opioid receptors. This drug isn't meant for tapering therapy because it blocks the medications used in those treatments from their proper interactions in the brain. Naltrexone is a detox medication that has been shown to also work in the treatment of alcohol addiction.


Clonidine is a prescription drug that is primarily given to treat high blood pressure. It works by reducing certain blood chemicals associated with high blood pressure and also regulates the heartbeat. It's been proven to have several other uses as well. One of these is in the reduction of alcohol and opiate withdrawal symptoms. It can also assist in smoking cessation. Clonidine lessens anxiety and agitation caused by withdrawal. It also eases physical symptoms such as muscle aches and cramps, cold or flu-like symptoms, and sweating.


Many drugs fall under this category and are used in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal. Long-acting ones are most adept at reducing delirium, seizures, and other such symptoms that often come when withdrawing from alcohol.

Some of the most commonly used benzodiazepines used in alcohol withdrawal detox are:

  • Chlordiazepoxide, brand name Librium
  • Diazepam, brand name Valium
  • Lorazepam, brand name Ativan

You may have heard of these medications before, as they're also prescribed for treating anxiety and panic disorders. However, they're quite effective in managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

There are some other ways professionals can aid in easing and managing withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. These may include treating specific symptoms with antidepressants or anti-nausea medications. Medical detox treatment can be paired with traditional approaches such as individual or group therapy as well.

Medical detox is extremely useful in overcoming addictions because it makes the process of withdrawal so much more manageable than attempting it independently.

This type of treatment is the first step to a more extensive process involving education on coping mechanisms, healthy living habits, and more. You don't have to go through this process alone. Getting help from trained, caring professionals will increase your chances of living life on your terms. Call us for more information and to learn how to get started on a path to wellness.

Author's Bio: 

Katie earned a BA in English from WWU and loves to write. She also adores hiking in redwood forests and photography. She feels happiest around a campfire surrounded by friends and family.