Are Medications For Treating Drug Addiction A Necessary Evil?
Going through the withdrawals from a opioid addiction are extremely uncomfortable, to say the least. Some have described getting off of heroin as they felt like they were going to die. The reason why someone should never try to detox on their own is because the withdrawals feel so bad and the chance of simply doing the drugs again and relapsing in order to make the pain go away is so high. Detox centers are places filled with people who are skilled in helping others get through the withdrawals of a substance abuse problem, be it hard drugs, prescription drugs or alcohol.
Withdrawals from opiates are painful, yes, but not in any way lethal. They just feel like they are. Now, when it comes to alcohol, detoxing off it can actually be lethal if done alone because of things like delirium tremens and seizures. But people in detox facilities are well acquainted with the issue and know exactly what to do, keeping the patient as comfortable as possible and, of course, alive.
One issue that has arisen over the past few years, ever since certain drugs like Methadone, suboxone and Subutex have started to be used in the detoxification process, is that people become addicted to the drugs that are helping them get off of other drugs. Drugs like Methadone give the brain “what it needs” to think that it is, but does not produce the same kind of high that things like Vicodin or heroin produce. These drugs are designed to reduce or eliminate cravings while someone is going through the detoxification process.
At the same time, Methadone itself has started to seep its way into the scene of street drugs. People claim that it is a cheaper and “safer” high than heroin or Vicodin, yet do not understand that it can be dangerous as well. Addicts are not known for being sparing or conservative with their use, and when taken in high dosages or mixed with other substances, it can cause problems that can lead to death.
The same goes with Suboxone. When taking Suboxone, which is also used as a replacement drug for opioids, people can experience trouble breathing, abdominal pain, dizziness and drowsiness, constipation, nausea, depression, headache and mood swings. Depending on it’s usage, some people even need to detox off of Suboxone as well after they are done using it to detox off of something else.
Is it Worth It?
At this point you might start to wonder if it is even worth it. The process of detoxing off of one thing onto another, and then getting more problems from there, seems kind of vein. Is there a better way? Well, there are several different types of detox centers across the country, including ones that are holistic, meaning they use natural remedies like herbs and spice, massaging, yoga, meditation, counseling, so on and so forth. They are made to try and avoid using any other types of substances for people who are trying to get off of substances in the first place.
Depending on who you are, this could work, but it has been found to be a lot less effective when it comes to dealing with biological addictions. Holistic treatment has been found to be effective after detox, in treatment facilities… but when it comes to detoxing itself, the aforementioned medications and the methods associated with them seem to be the most effective.
So, using powerful medications to help people detox off of drugs causes problems, yes, but it seems to be a necessary evil at this point. As long as people are informed as to what is going on, that further addictions may ensue from their detox, then it would be easier for them to help themselves to get off of the drugs, that helped them get off of the drugs.