Suboxone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, naloxone, vivitrol. These are the names of popular medications used to help adolescents, as well as adults, safely detox from drugs and alcohol. Using medications for withdrawal management is controversial. Many of these drugs contain trace elements of opioids in them, which is what makes them effective. Medications for withdrawal management help adolescents experience less of the gut-wrenching pain and psychologically trying side effects with can come from detox. Not all adolescents who enter treatment for a drug and/or alcohol addiction will need detox. If an adolescent does need detox, the severity of their substance abuse might not necessitate medical management of detoxification. Medical withdrawal management is determined by a team of doctors, physicians and psychiatrists and is dependent upon the substance of choice and how much of the substance was used on a daily basis, especially in recent days. The most common substances which need medical withdrawal management include opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and cocaine. New research published in JAMA Pediatrics analyzed over 21,000 records for patients with diagnosed opioid use disorder between the ages of 13 and 25. Researchers found that only 1 in 4 teenagers receive medication during their withdrawal management. Withdrawal from drugs and alcohol is one of the most challenging, dangerous, and high-risk for relapse time periods of the treatment process. When symptoms of withdrawal are severe they can pose physical health risks like seizure or heart failure. Intense hallucinations, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and delusional thinking are common as well. For adolescents addicted to opioids, there are about two weeks of feeling incredibly ill with severe flu-like symptoms and physical pain. As the body works tirelessly to clean itself of toxins and harmful chemicals, the mind endures the sensations of pain and cravings. Within the first ten days of the withdrawal process, cravings can be at their highest because the brain has been programmed to soothe aches, pains, and cravings, with another dose of drugs and/or alcohol. Problematically, should an adolescent relapse during the detox period, they face a high risk of potentially fatal overdose. Though the brain feels as though the last dose was recent and craves the same amount of “high” it was getting before, the body has greatly reduced its tolerance. Going back to the same amount of heroin, for example, is overload for the body and can shut it down completely. Medical withdrawal management is one of the safest ways to help adolescents detox from drugs and alcohol before beginning the treatment process.
Our family at Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center is here to guide your family through every step of the treatment process for your addicted adolescent male. Our unique programs for young males build strong foundations of recovery while creating life cleansing solutions for a new way of living. Call us today for information on our detox and residential treatment programs: 662-598-4214.