Written by: Lee Spinks
Medically Reviewed by: Dr Mateen Durrani – MBBS, DPM, MSc, BCPsych
Last Updated: January 2nd, 2023
Prescription drug detox
Prescription drug detox is a crucial first step in overcoming an addiction to prescription drugs. It clears your body of drugs and helps to break your physical dependence. Detox can be a difficult and uncomfortable process, but it will allow you to begin the next stages of treatment in the best shape possible. At Primrose Lodge, we have years of experience helping people detox from prescription drugs, and we can help you too.
What is prescription drug detox?
Prescription drug detox is the process of cleansing your system of all traces of prescription drugs through a professionally supervised and managed detox programme. This is the best way to detox from prescription drugs because it is the safest and most effective method. Prescription drug detox can be potentially dangerous due to the withdrawal symptoms that can occur, so it is important to detox under the care of professionals who can keep you safe and comfortable.
What to expect from prescription drug detox
The process of detoxing from prescription drugs varies depending on the type of drug you are dependent on. However, your time in detox will look something like this:
|UNDERGO A FULL MEDICAL ASSESSMENT|
|This is to ascertain your general health and to identify any potential detox risks. For example, if you have been excessively using prescription drugs for a long time, your chances of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms are increased.|
|RECEIVE DETOX PLAN|
|This plan will be tailored to your individual needs and will take into account any health concerns that have been identified. If you are deemed to be at particular risk of health complications, you may be prescribed detox medication (depending on the type of prescription drugs you are detoxing from.)|
|The exact timeline of your detox for prescription drugs will differ from substance to substance but the first few days of detox will usually be the hardest as your body starts to adjust to being without the drug. This is when the support and guidance you will receive from the prescription drug detox professionals is most important.|
The benefits of prescription drug detox
Anyone who is addicted to prescription drugs can benefit from detox as it provides the best chance of success in overcoming physical dependence on the drugs. In addition, you will also experience physical and mental health improvements as the prescription drugs are cleared from your system. These may include:
- Improved sleep
- Increased energy levels
- Improved appetite
- Reduced anxiety and depression symptoms
- Improved concentration and memory
Friends and family who have been affected by their loved one’s prescription drug abuse can also reap the awards of prescription drug detox. This is because it will help their loved ones get on the right track to long-term sobriety and provide the foundations for repairing any damage done to their relationships. The support of friends and family can be crucial during detox and beyond, so it is important to involve them in the process as much as possible.
What happens when you stop taking prescription drugs?
Different prescription drugs have different effects on your body, but all of them can cause some sort of physical dependence. This means that your body becomes used to having the drug in its system and starts to rely on it. When you stop taking the drug, your body can go into shock and you can experience withdrawal symptoms.
These symptoms can be mild, like headaches and nausea, or they can be severe, like seizures and hallucinations. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the drug you are addicted to, how long you have been taking it, and the amount you usually take. Common physical and psychological prescription drug withdrawal symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Elevated blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Memory loss
- Anxiety disorder
- Drug cravings
Common prescription drug detox programmes
At Primrose Lodge, we help people detox for all kinds of different prescription drugs but the most common include:
Including substances like Xanax, Valium and Ativan, benzos can take months to leave your system so a longer detox programme is often advised.
For prescription drugs like codeine, morphine and temazepam. Opiate detox is crucial to stop you from taking prescription opiates and to prevent you from moving on to illegal opiates such as heroin.
This includes substances like Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine. These are often used to treat conditions like ADHD but their use can quickly result in physical dependence.
This includes Valium, Ambien and Lunesta. An increasing number of people are becoming dependent on sleeping pills as they are being overprescribed for sleep-related conditions.
How to undergo detox for prescription drugs safely
The safest way to detox from prescription drugs is always at a professional prescription drug detox centre such as Primrose Lodge. The benefits of this include:
- 24/hour care from experienced and qualified staff
- A safe and comfortable environment
- Medical support to manage withdrawal symptoms
- A natural route into prescription drug therapy once detox is complete
- Consultation with your GP if you need further detox support at home (usually for prescription drugs such as Benzos which have a particularly long withdrawal timeline
Attempting to detox from prescription drugs at home alone is not only dangerous but is also unlikely to be successful. This is because withdrawal symptoms can be severe and without professional help, the chances of relapse are high. Relapse itself can be very dangerous because if you have been detoxing from prescription drugs for a while, your tolerance will have dropped. If you then start taking the same amount of prescription drugs as you were when your tolerance was far higher, there is a greatly increased chance of overdose which could be fatal. At a professional detox centre, you will have no access to prescription drugs so relapse will not be possible.
Common fears about prescription drug detox
There are a number of common fears about prescription drug detox which can prevent people from getting the help they need. It is important to understand the truth about these fears in order to make the best decision for your health and well-being. Some of the concerns we hear most from our clients include:
Prescription drug detox will be too painful and I won’t be able to manage it…
While it is true that some prescription drug withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, at a professional detox centre such as Primrose Lodge, you will have access to 24/hour care from experienced staff who can help you manage these symptoms. In addition, you may also be prescribed medication to help with specific withdrawal symptoms. For example, if you are suffering from nausea or vomiting, there are various medications to help relieve this which will make you more comfortable during the detox process.
I could get into legal trouble for acquiring prescription drugs illegally…
Anything you tell our staff at Primrose Lodge will be completely confidential and you will not get into any legal trouble for acquiring prescription drugs illegally. The important thing is that you are now getting the help you need to detox safely. We meet clients who have acquired prescription drugs in a variety of ways but our job is to be understanding and help you overcome your dependence not punish you for past actions.
I will just relapse as soon as I leave the prescription drug detox centre…
It is important to try and have a positive attitude towards detox and prescription drug recovery in general. We understand that this can be particularly difficult if you have been through the process before but our staff are experienced in helping clients overcome relapses. The best way to reduce the risk of relapse is to follow detox with a comprehensive prescription drug recovery programme. This will help to address the other aspects of your condition once you have broken your physical dependence on prescription drugs.
What to do next
If you or someone you know is looking to undergo prescription drug detox, there is no time like the present. The quicker you get started, the sooner you or your loved one can start on the road to recovery. Primrose Lodge is one of the UK’s top prescription drug detox centres and we can give you all the support you need to overcome your dependence and turn your life around.
Get in touch with us today so we can tell you more about our prescription drug programmes and help you through the admissions programme.