Should You Use Meds to Detox Off Alcohol?

Conflict - Woman on sofa with husband walking away on her

Did you know that there are a number of medications – not just one or two options – that have been proven to be effective in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal symptoms in clinical trials? If so, you’re in the minority. Very few people know the depth and breadth of their options when it comes to alcohol detox, and those patients who have utilized them successfully often stop taking their medications due to pressure from the sober community, according to The Fix.

Why would anyone suggest that it’s important to stop taking a medication that is helping someone to effectively manage the symptoms of a chronic disease? In general, so-called “detox meds” of any ilk are not viewed favorably by most people who take part in 12-step groups and other support organizations for people in recovery.

In fact, a survey published in the Journal of Alcohol Studies found that about 29 percent of the 277 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) members polled said that they had experienced “direct pressure” from other members to stop taking their medication. Similarly, the poll found that the more often a person attended 12-step meetings, the less inclined they were to view pharmacology as a positive solution for issues related to recovery from addiction.

The underlying philosophy of many of these groups is that dependence – psychological or physical – upon any medication that impacts your ability to avoid relapse in recovery is a threat. What if something happens to your prescription and you’re unable to get more of the pills that helped you to minimize cravings and your cravings return with a vengeance? Will you have the tools to deal with those cravings without relapse, they ask?

Many people in these recovery support groups say that, if possible, the ideal way to live your life after addiction is to avoid anything – even medications – that could cause you to relapse. Learning to find stability on your own without medication is the goal, according to their philosophy, so they believe that if you can get off the meds without relapse, then you should go for it.

What You Need to Heal

Regardless of anyone’s opinion about what is best in the long-term, what each person needs during detox is determined on a case-by-case basis. For many people, medications are a lifesaver – the only way they can stop using their drug of choice and stabilize in recovery. For some, continuing to take these meds for a period of weeks or months is an essential part of their growth process.

To talk to someone about your choices in detox medication and explore the pros and cons as they pertain to your unique experience, contact us at Palm Beach Detox now. We’re here to take your call any time of the day or night.