Alternatives to Suboxone and Other Maintenance Medications
Although medication assisted withdrawal is extremely popular, you might want a more natural approach. Some people want to be free of medications entirely and this includes the maintenance medications that keep withdrawal at bay. There are some alternatives to Suboxone and other maintenance medications like methadone and buprenorphine.
Controlled withdrawal uses medications but not opioid medications and not for very long. During controlled withdrawal, doctors provide:
- anti-nausea medications for the stomach
- anti-emetics to stop the vomiting
- anti-diarrheal to stop the diarrhea
- medications for constipation and other stomach issues
- benzodiazepines for the anxiety
- antidepressants for depression and mood stabilization
- aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen for the pain
As withdrawal symptoms appear, doctors treat them. None of these are long term medications except for the antidepressants. If you are interested in treatment without maintenance medications, call 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) . We can help you find the treatment type you want.
During “cold turkey” withdrawal, an addict simply stops using and goes through the withdrawal without any medications at all. Inpatient treatment is usually necessary for this type of withdrawal. Cold turkey withdrawal is not recommended for those who cannot go into an inpatient facility due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms and the rate of relapse.
The symptoms of withdrawal are so severe that most people wind up relapsing. When they relapse they run the risk of overdose. This type of overdose happens because a recovering addict misjudges their tolerance to the drug.
Counseling should be part of any addiction program regardless of whether medication is being used or not. According to the Mayo Clinic, counseling can:
- uncover the things the lead up to the drug abuse such as stress and mental illness
- teach you what relapse is and what to do in the event of one
- help you repair and develop good relationships with those around you
- teach you how to engage in healthy productive activities without the drugs
- help you deal with triggers such as people, places, or things that cause you to do drugs
- teach you how to deal with cravings
- show you how to deal with the aftermath of your drug use
There are many forms of counseling to help you accomplish all of this conducted in both individual and group settings.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, alternative treatments consist of natural medicines and mind and body practices. Alternative treatments for opiate or opioid addiction are:
- acupuncture including electroacupuncture
- herbal remedies for withdrawal and withdrawal symptoms
- exercise and exercise therapy such as yoga
- meditation and hypnosis
- identifying and correcting vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- tai chi and qi gong
- movement therapy
- healing touch therapy
Many of these alternative techniques have been used for thousands of years in different cultures for a variety of illnesses including opiate addiction.