Narcotic Withdrawal Treatment
Narcotic withdrawal takes many forms and depends on the severity of the addiction, the amount of drug that has been used in the past, the health of the user, whether or not there has been a past case or instance of withdrawal and what type of narcotic the individual is addicted to. Most of the time, narcotic withdrawal treatment will simply take time to allow the drug to run its course and to allow the user’s body to gradually return to normal but in some cases of narcotic abuse, medications may be necessary in order to fully prepare the user for the recovery journey that’s ahead.
Managing withdrawal symptoms can be a difficult process. Too much medication can make the process drawn out and may lead to further addictions while a lack of medication can make it nearly impossible for the recovering addict to cope. There’s a balance that treatment professionals must find if they truly want to help their patients to effectively cope with withdrawal symptoms, without risking further addiction or relapse.
The two most commonly used narcotic classes include stimulants such as cocaine and opiates such as prescription painkillers. Each of these has their own set of symptoms associated with withdrawal and will require different methods of treatment during detoxification. For instance, an individual who is addicted to cocaine will not take methadone or suboxone to curb cravings as this protocol simply won’t work. Likewise, an individual addicted to opiates will not respond well to antidepressants as part of the withdrawal treatment as the real problem will be nausea, vomiting and severe body pain which need to be treated.
A detailed look at the protocol for each type of narcotic withdrawal treatment for cocaine and opiates is found below:
Cocaine Withdrawal Treatment
Stimulants such as cocaine require a specialized approach to the treatment when it comes to withdrawal symptoms. Patients who undergo withdrawal from cocaine or similar stimulants should be monitored for instances of severe depression or suicidal thoughts which could pose a serious threat to the recovering addict. Medications such as diazepam may be provided to reduce anxiety and stress levels allowing the patient to relax. The most common symptoms of cocaine withdrawal that require treatment are depression, anxiety, fear, nightmares and insomnia. All of these symptoms are treatable with antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
Opiate Withdrawal Treatment
For those who become addicted to opiates, the narcotic withdrawal treatment that will take place is much different than for a cocaine addict. Opiates cause extreme withdrawal symptoms that resemble the flu and include nausea and vomiting, headache and muscle pain, bone pain and extreme irritability. These symptoms are best treated using methadone, suboxone, naltrexone, clonidine or a combination of these drugs which work to reduce symptoms or reduce cravings. Certain medications, such as Suboxone, work to alleviate both the withdrawal symptoms and the cravings allowing the recovering addict to live a semi-normal lifestyle even during the early phases of narcotic addiction treatment.