Does Clonidine Help with Opioid Withdrawal?

Clonidine is a medication that is most commonly used to treat high blood pressure. Recently, Clonidine has been recognized as an effective treatment for some symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Clonidine blocks certain chemicals from entering the brain by interfering with the central nervous system. This will help to minimize some of the more uncomfortable symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

It has been proven that Clonidine cuts down the time of the detox process significantly. It is commonly prescribed in medical detox centers and utilized as a part of a comprehensive detox program, which includes therapeutic intervention and relapse prevention therapy.

It is important to note that while Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is often very beneficial as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, it is not – in and of itself – a “cure” for addiction. It is also important to note that Clonidine will not be a beneficial component of medical detox for everyone. Some individuals will benefit from MAT and others will not. Our team of medical professionals will assess every individual client upon their admission, and during this process, it will be determined whether or not MAT is a viable treatment option.

Does Clonidine Help with Opioid Withdrawal?

What is Opioid Withdrawal? 

Opioids are a class of drugs that come in several different forms – most commonly, however, those that abuse opioids will suffer from prescription painkiller addiction. Prescription painkillers that are commonly abused include oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and morphine. When administered in a medical setting or taken as prescribed, prescription opioids can be extremely effective in the short-term treatment of moderate or severe pain.

However, they are highly habit-forming, and should never be taken long-term. When an individual abuses opioids of any kind for an extended period and quits use suddenly, withdrawal symptoms will begin to occur. Symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:

  • Muscle aches and severe muscle cramping
  • Restlessness
  • An inability to focus/lack of concentration
  • Excessive sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat and heart palpitations
  • An inability to sleep/insomnia
  • Abdominal cramping, nausea, and vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms, like runny nose, fever, and chills

Clonidine and Opioid Withdrawal

Certain medications help with the uncomfortable symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. Individuals who have been struggling with opioid addiction, including an addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers, will need to undergo withdrawal in a medical detox facility. In many instances, certain medications like Clonidine will be administered to help alleviate symptoms like night sweats, tremors, cravings, and muscle cramping.

Those who are taking Clonidine will not experience such severe symptoms, and because cravings will be so dramatically minimized the risk for relapse will also be reduced. This specific medication is generally administered in pill form, but it can also be administered in the form of a patch that is applied directly to the skin.

Someone who has prescribed the medication in a medical detox setting will take it several times a day, and each time the medication is taken it will be directly administered by a licensed physician. The dosage must be monitored so that it can be effectively adjusted if need be.

Allure Detox and Medication-Assisted Treatment 

We at Allure Detox begin every admission with a detailed and in-depth assessment, which will help our team of medical professionals determines the right treatment program for each client. In some cases, we utilize Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for individuals who have been struggling with opioid addiction. MAT helps to alleviate the more uncomfortable symptoms of opioid withdrawal while reducing cravings and providing more protection against relapse.

This method of treatment only works in combination with other modalities, such as intensive group and individual therapy and the installation of healthy coping skills and relapse prevention techniques. At Allure Detox, we strongly believe in a comprehensive detoxification program, one that focuses on individualized care in a safe and supportive environment. To learn more about our program of medically monitored detox or about Clonidine and opioid withdrawal, please feel free to give us a call at any time.