Does Clonidine Help with Drug Detox?
Clonidine hydrochloride, a medication commonly used to treat several different conditions, including attention hyperactivity deficit disorder (ADHD) and high blood pressure. Clonidine is an alpha-agonist hypotensive agent. It was recently discovered that this medication has another use – the treatment of drug withdrawal, specifically when it comes to opioids. It has been repeatedly proven that this drug works to suppress the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, and it is now commonly used as part of many comprehensive drug detox programs. In some cases, opioid detox can take a total of between three and six months.
More severe, acute symptoms of withdrawal will begin to subside within the first couple of weeks, but post-acute withdrawal symptoms can last for quite some time after acute symptoms resolve. The use of clonidine as a major component of the medical detox process can reduce the length of time that all of these symptoms persist to two weeks (14 days). It is important to note that while clonidine is useful in speeding up the drug detox process, it is not a solution or a cure in and of itself. It is recommended that clonidine is taken in conjunction with an opioid antagonist, like naloxone. At Evoke Florida, we utilize clonidine when we deem it necessary as part of our overall program of medical drug detox. To learn more, give us a call today.
Clonidine and Opioid Detox
Numerous symptoms characterize drug detox (specifically opioid detox), including flu-like symptoms such as body aches, fever, cold sweats, headaches, insomnia, and gastrointestinal issues. The point of medical detox is to alleviate these symptoms while reducing cravings, eventually physically stabilizing the patient so that he or she can move onto the next appropriate level of care. In most cases, the next level of care will be residential (or inpatient) drug rehab. Those who attempt to detox on their own will experience these symptoms in full force, and they will usually return to using their drug of choice before the withdrawal process is complete.
For this reason, the withdrawal must be carried out in a professionally, medically run facility. It is also important that opioid withdrawal is overseen by a team of medical professionals because withdrawal symptoms can lead to serious complications when they are not being overseen and appropriately medicated.
Using Clonidine During Opiate Withdrawal
Clonidine has not technically been approved for the treatment of drug withdrawal by the Food and Drug Administration, though it is safe to use and has not been known to cause any serious side effects. The medication itself is mild and non-narcotic. Couple this with its effectiveness in treating the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, and you’ve got a widely used and trusted medication – one that can speed up the recovery process in the long-term. How does clonidine help with withdrawal, exactly? It affects the central nervous system and reduces physical symptoms like:
- Profuse sweating and night chills
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Body aches and pains, muscle cramping
- Abdominal pain
- Gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
Clonidine also works to reduce some psychological symptoms like agitation, insomnia, and anxiety/panic attacks.
The Evoke Florida Method
At Evoke Florida, we combine proven therapeutic methods with medication-assisted treatment and case management services, making for a comprehensive detox experience unlike any other. If you or someone close to you has been struggling with an addiction to opioids – or any other chemical substance – we are available to help. We utilize clonidine as an integral part of our integrated detox program, and we have seen great success so far. Of course, each case will be different. If we deem that a clonidine prescription would be beneficial for your unique case, our team of professionals will oversee the administering of the medication and will closely monitor personal progress. For more information on clonidine, give us a call today.