Today, a large number of Americans are addicted to heroin and painkillers. And fortunately, for them, when they go through drug detox, there are medications available that assist in the drug withdrawal treatment process.
When physicians work with those addicted to heroin or painkillers, they can prescribe methadone, naltrexone, and suboxone to treat opiate addiction.
These federally approved treatment drugs help reduce the side effects of withdrawal and curb cravings which can lead to relapse.
However, for those who are addicted to cocaine and methamphetamine, there aren’t medications that can serve as antagonists. An antagonist is defined as a substance that interferes with or inhibits the physiological action of another.
In other words, in drug detox a medication can be prescribed that can inhibit the effects of withdrawal. For many years, cocaine and methamphetamine addicts have been prescribed benzodiazepine tranquilizers to help minimize the discomfort of drug detox. But tranquilizers are also addictive and in many cases, addicts are simply ending one addiction to begin another.
Tranquilizers are still frequently used in cocaine and methamphetamine detox, but only because there are not better options available.