Types of Detox Drugs & What They Do

People with substance use disorders are usually fearful of starting detox due to the typically uncomfortable and sometimes painful nature of withdrawal symptoms. While withdrawal symptoms are often considered to be physical, many substances are also associated with psychological withdrawal, which can be just as distressing. Fortunately, numerous FDA-approved detox drugs are safe and effective in treating withdrawal symptoms and making patients feel as comfortable as possible during drug or alcohol detox. Keep reading for a list of common detox meds and how they’re used. 

What Is Medical Detox? 

Also known as detoxification, medically assisted detox refers to ridding the body of toxic substances like drugs or alcohol while under the supervision of a medical team. This team is usually headed by a physician and consists of nurses, clinical staff, and therapists. In most cases, detox is the first step in a client’s addiction treatment plan, as it helps them safely recover from withdrawals and reduces their risk of relapsing in the later stages of their treatment.   

The purpose of medical detox is to slowly flush drugs and alcohol out of the system, allowing the individual time to cope with withdrawals. Withdrawal symptoms are often uncomfortable and sometimes painful. They occur when a person with a physical drug or alcohol dependence suddenly cuts down on their use or quits cold turkey.   

Withdrawals are the body’s response to a sudden change in nerve activity and the chemical balance in the central nervous system. For instance, individuals with opioid addictions are accustomed to the depressant effects of these substances, so it’s natural for them to experience more agitating symptoms during detox when these once-depressed functions suddenly come back in full force.  

Medical detoxification is an important treatment method utilized at various facilities, including our luxury drug and alcohol rehab in South Florida. At Seaside Palm Beach, luxury detox is offered to patients with all types of substance use disorders to ensure a safer, more effective, and more stable withdrawal process. Following detox, they can then move on to the next phase of our inpatient or outpatient programs. 

Types of Drug Detox Medications  

Patients who choose to undergo medical detox are working to flush their bodies of toxic and addictive substances like drugs or alcohol from their systems. During this period, patients will experience withdrawal symptoms and will receive prescribed detox medication and round-the-clock care under the supervision of a medical team. Below are the main types of detox drugs used at rehab centers.  


Also known by its brand name Campral, acamprosate is an FDA-approved detox drug used to treat alcohol withdrawal. It’s one of three approved alcohol detox medications and reduces the brain’s dependence on alcohol by reacting with neurotransmitters. Acamprosate does not work in people who have not stopped drinking or in people who drink large amounts of alcohol and overuse or abuse other substances. The individual needs to be abstinent from drugs and alcohol for acamprosate to work.  


Also known by brand names like Belbuca, Probuphine, and Buprenex, buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist that produces similar side effects to illicit and prescription opioids, such as euphoria and sedation, in low doses. Buprenorphine is a detox medicine approved by the FDA to treat opioid use disorder. It’s a safe medication that helps to reduce the effects of opioid detox, like withdrawal symptoms and cravings, increases safety in cases of potential overdose, and reduces the potential for misuse or relapse in the future. Buprenorphine can be prescribed directly or as an ingredient in similar branded medications like Subutex.  


Also called Antabuse, disulfiram is another medication used for alcohol detox to reduce withdrawal symptoms. It interferes with how the body breaks down alcohol and is designed to produce negative and/or unpleasant physical effects if combined with alcohol. This further discourages patients from drinking, aiding in their recovery. 


Methadone is a narcotic/opioid that can be used as a prescription painkiller or used as a medication for detoxification from opioids. As a long-acting full opioid agonist, methadone is approved by the FDA to address opioid use disorder as a medication-assisted treatment (MAT). When taken as prescribed, methadone effectively and safely reduces opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms and blunts or blocks the effects of opioids. 

Naltrexone (Vivitrol) 

Also known by brand names like Vivitrol and Revia, naltrexone is another FDA-approved medication for treating both opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder as an MAT option. It works by blocking the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids like heroin, morphine, and codeine. Naltrexone binds and blocks opioid receptors, reducing and suppressing opioid cravings as well as the chance of experiencing a high in cases of use. No abuse or withdrawal can occur from naltrexone. 


The narcotic Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine/naloxone. Also sold under brand names Zubsolv and Bunavail, Suboxone is used to treat opioid use disorder by blocking the effects of opioids, including pain relief and feelings of well-being or euphoria.  


As we previously mentioned, Subutex contains buprenorphine and is used to treat pain as well as addiction to narcotic painkillers. The buprenorphine in Subutex acts as a partial opioid agonist, causing moderate receptor site activity, meaning it produces similar effects as other opioids except for feelings of euphoria or well-being. This medication is designed to reduce withdrawals and cravings as patients are slowly tapered off opioids. 

Finding Medical Detox Near Me 

Detox drugs can greatly diminish the discomfort, pain, and fear associated with detoxification. Many people with drug and alcohol use disorders hesitate to begin treatment due to fear of withdrawal. Despite the many horror stories that circulate concerning detox, our high-end rehab offers safe and effective drug detox in a comfortable environment. Knowing this, you can lay your fears to rest.  


If you’d like to learn more about our residential addiction treatment in Palm Beach or our other services, call Seaside Palm Beach today at 561-677-9374 or send us your contact information, and one of our team members will call you. 


Related Reading: 

Alcohol Poisoning Next-Day Symptoms 

What Is the Point of Non-Alcoholic Beer? 

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