Are Detoxification Drugs Dangerous?
According to the Mayo Clinic, the point of going through a detox is to allow a drug to leave your system as quickly and easily as possible. Most drug assisted or medical detox procedures require a three to ten day inpatient stay depending on the type of dug you are detoxing from. Although for the most part these detoxification drugs are safe in moderated and controlled doses, each of them can have some very severe side effects that are extremely dangerous. This is why it is so important to go through a medical detox with a doctor’s supervision.
Methadone is an extremely popular opiate replacement and detoxification drug. It is also well known for being dangerous to those who misuse it. There are two very dangerous things about methadone that you should know about before using it to detox off opiates. These are:
- Addiction – methadone is extremely addictive itself. Although many people remain on methadone for years without a problem, coming off methadone is a tricky process. A doctor needs to taper the dose down to avoid the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that may cause a relapse.
- Overdose – methadone is very easy to overdose on. In both looking to get high and to treat chronic breakthrough pain, people will take too much or mix it with other drugs including other opiates.
Although there are additional dangers to using methadone, these are the two main ones. Most people who use it responsibly under a doctor’s care do well with it.
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Suboxone and Subutex
Suboxone and Subutex are both similar to methadone in that they treat opiate withdrawal and detox. The dangers are similar as well with one exception. It is possible for a hospital to accidentally overdose you on opiates if you are taking Suboxone.
If the doctor is not informed that you are taking Suboxone, they might give you increasingly high levels of opiates to treat a painful condition. This can easily cause an overdose and requires strict monitoring. It is important to inform anyone who is treating you that you are taking Suboxone or Subutex. Some people will go so far as to wear an ID bracelet identifying them as someone who is in treatment for opiate addiction using these drugs.
Doctors use benzodiazepines to treat the anxiety associated with detox off most known illegal drugs. Anxiety is a very common condition when detoxing from drugs and doctors use benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium to treat this anxiety. The dangers of benzodiazepines are well known. Not only are they highly addictive, withdrawal from them is sometimes deadly when not medically supervised. Stopping benzodiazepines suddenly may cause convulsions, delirium, heart complications, and death.
Other Detox Drugs
There are many other drugs that doctor’s use to help with detox. Some of the drugs for things like rapid detox are proprietary. Some clinics will not release the information to patients or other doctors. These clinics are dangerous and usually unregulated. It is important to make sure that you know what they are using, particularly in an rapid detox situation where they anesthetize you.
For more information on any of these drugs or to find a safe detox center, call us at 800-483-2193(Who Answers?). We can help you avoid the pitfalls and dangers of some of these drugs as well as help you decide which type of treatment is right for you.