Does Clonidine Help With Opioid Detox?

Many people who abuse drugs want to stop but don’t even get past the first couple of hours because of the painful withdrawal symptoms that come along with quitting. So after experiencing these painful withdrawal symptoms, the thought of intense drug cravings and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can be intimidating for people with opioid addiction. The fear of withdrawal can be the reason for the addiction cycle to continue.

There is always an ever-increasing need for effective and accepted methods for opioid detoxification. The combination of sublingual buprenorphine and oral clonidine has been effective in opioid detoxification.

Does Clonidine Help With Opioid Detox?

What is Clonidine?

Originally intended to treat high blood pressure or symptoms associated with ADHD, Clonidine has found to have many other uses. It is also used in the treatment of severe menstrual cramps, Tourette’s syndrome, menopausal hot flashes, and opiate withdrawal.

Opiate withdrawal can be debilitating and very uncomfortable. The withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a week to months. This is enough to drive people to relapse, which often leads to overdose and death.

Some withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Goosebumps
  • Dilated pupils
  • Uncontrollable yawning
  • Flu symptoms
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

To help with these withdrawal symptoms, people who enter treatment usually take meds to help them and one of them may be clonidine. When we enter into a detox, we want the experiencing to be as comfortable as possible with little to no withdrawal symptoms. This can help determine whether or not someone decides to enter treatment. Knowing that detox won’t be painful is very often a deciding factor. Also, having little to no withdrawal symptoms helps people move on to treatment more quickly.

The withdrawal symptoms that Clonidine helps suppress are:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating

According to The National Library of Medicine (NIH), Clonidine does not help to reduce cravings. It also does not help with insomnia associated with detox, or the intense drug cravings. However, other medications can be used alongside Clonidine to help those symptoms.

Also, because Clonidine helps to control impulses, which is why it is so helpful with ADHD, It helps similarly with detox, since it helps control a patient’s impulsiveness to obtain drugs while experiencing a craving.

Forms of Clonidine

There are a couple of ways that Clonidine can be administered, in tablet form and patch form. What form you get depends on your addiction, medical history, and your individual need, the medical staff at the drug treatment facility will be able to determine which one is right for you.

Tablet Form

When taken in a tablet form, it is initially administered every few hours for the first few days. This is because withdrawal symptoms peak during this time, and it is important to stay ahead of them. Throughout the first week of treatment, the dosage level will be adjusted accordingly until you are eventually tapered off and free of withdrawal symptoms.

Patch Form

The patch form of Clonidine is usually placed on the upper body. There are many forms of the patch with different strengths of Clonidine depending on the size and weight of the client. Clonidine patches offer a steady stream of medication without having to take a pill every few hours.

Get Help With Opioid Detox

The best way to go about getting this treatment for opioid withdrawals is through a detox facility that does medical detox and At Allure Detox we can help. When it comes to Allure Detox, we provide much more than the bare minimum.  Of course, we help clients stop using safely – that’s just a given.  Almost as important as that, though, is that we offer clients the foundation for a lifetime of relief and recovery.

That’s the Allure Detox promise: that patients leave our care with more than good health at their disposal. Our focus is on minimizing your withdrawal symptoms to a comfortable level while beginning the comprehensive treatment process that will keep you sober.