Makers of At-Home Opioid Detox Kits Advised by FDA, FTC to Remove Deceptive Product Claims
Warning letters have been sent by the FDA and FTC to manufacturers of at-home opioid detox kits featuring baseless claims about their products on their labeling. The letters were sent to 11 companies that sell at-home drug detox kits — all of which have not been demonstrated to be safe or effective, and that may put consumers at risk for relapse, overdose, and death. The manufacturers have 15 working days to remove illegal claims about their products’ abilities to prevent, treat, and cure opioid addiction without facing seizure or injunction.
Eliminating At-Home Detox Health Fraud Scams
In its latest press announcement, the FDA says an increasing amount of fraudulent health products are hitting the market with claims to treat opioid dependence and addiction. The FTC is working closely with the FDA to prevent consumers from being victimized and taken advantage of by companies wanting to capitalize on the nation’s opioid crisis. The FDA says these health fraud scams may be preventing some patients from seeking FDA-approved opioid treatments, and are violating both the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and Federal Trade Commission Act.
Examples of claims being made by the 11 manufacturers include, “Relieve Your Symptoms…addiction, withdrawal, cravings,” “#1 Selling Opiate Withdrawal Brand,” and “Safe and effective natural supplements that work to ease many physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal.” However, the FDA says these unsubstantiated therapeutic claims have not been backed by scientific research, and may delay an opioid user’s path to recovery. In addition to sending warning letters to companies violating FTC laws, the FTC worked with SAMHSA to issue a fact sheet urging consumers to get real help for opioid withdrawal and addiction at treatment centers that use FDA-approved treatments.
Why At-Home Opioid Detox Kits Can Be Dangerous
Detoxing from opioids at home naturally or using an at-home detox kit is highly risky given the way opioids affect the brain and body and trigger physical dependence. Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be severe and painful to the point many will relapse and go back to using opioids just to avoid these symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, insomnia, and anxiety are just some opioid withdrawal symptoms you may face when quitting opioids cold turkey or using an at-home detox kit.
Plus, some opioid detox kits may help flush drugs from the body more quickly in the form of waste, but often do very little to relieve drug cravings and most withdrawal symptoms. At-home kits may partially treat opioid dependence, but do nothing to treat opioid addiction itself. Addiction of any type is defined as a chronic relapsing brain disease, and requires therapy to help you overcome triggers and tendencies that may be influencing you to use opioids in the first place.
Using at-home opioid detox kits increases your risk for a relapse, since these products have not been proven to help relieve cravings and other symptoms. A relapse increases your risk for an overdose, and an overdose increases your risk for coma and death.
How to Safely Treat Opioid Addiction
Withdrawing from opioids at a professional drug detox center is one of the safest ways to treat opioid addiction and lower your risk for relapse and death. Drug detox centers use FDA-approved treatments that can help you overcome both dependence and addiction to opioids. These detox centers use medications that actually relieve your opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms so you face better odds of staying clean and avoiding relapse.
Look for drug detox centers that offer a medical detox or medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. Both detox methods use medications like methadone and buprenorphine to relieve your symptoms, and are overseen by licensed medical staff to help you experience a safe, successful recovery. Therapy is also often available at drug detox centers to treat the underlying causes of your addiction and to help you overcome addiction psychologically.
If you need help fighting opioid addiction, call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-483-2193. Our experienced addiction specialists will answer all your questions about opioid detox treatments, and help you find the nearest drug detox center ready to help you achieve lifelong sobriety.