Using clonidine for opiate withdrawal is something that people often inquire about. The reason is that opiate withdrawal is described by most people that go through it as unbearable, and extremely unpleasant. As a matter of fact, this is so true, that a very large percentage of people that try to break their habit without the aid of something to curb the withdrawal symptoms end up failing.
Clonidine belongs to the family of drugs that is known as alpha-adrenergic agonists, and is generally available in one of three forms:
The drug itself wasn’t created for, or intended to be used for opiate withdrawal. Instead, originally clonidine was used to treat high blood pressure. Luckily, along the way, someone figured out that you could indeed use clonidine for opiate withdrawal, as well as in some cases alcohol withdrawal as well.
Because clonidine helps with some of the most common symptoms of opiate withdrawal such as watery eyes and nose, diarrhea, and irritability, the use of clonodine for opiate withdrawal has increased over the years. However, whether or not you will be prescribed the medicine to aid you in your efforts to not take your opiate of choice often times depends largely on whether or not your doctor thinks that the risks are greater than the benefits.
Are their risks associated with using clonidine for opiate withdrawal? Unfortunately, there are. The drug itself carries the risk of addiction to the person that uses it, and can often become a habit for some of the people that take it. If you understand the risks, and are willing to use the drug only the way it is prescribed, there are ways to use clonidine for opiate withdrawal successfully and mitigate the risks along the way.
Almost all doctors that see the benefits of and prescribe clonidine for opiate withdrawal, are sure that the person using it knows from the beginning that they will have to taper the use of the drug to ensure that they don’t suffer from addiction or withdrawal of it.
Basically, in the beginning the user would take a full dose, or whatever dose is deemed necessary to help with whatever symptoms that they are experiencing. As time goes on, and as the symptoms start to lessen, and become more manageable, the user takes less of the drug. Eventually, it gets to the point where such a small amount of clonidine is used that the risk of withdrawal is almost non-existent.
Personally, I feel as though there are better alternatives out there than using clonidine for something like opiate addiction. So, anyone considering it should most definitely weigh all of their options evenly, and take their doctor or counselors feedback into consideration when deciding if it is right for them or not. With so many other successful treatment methods in most cases, clonidine won’t even be something that is considered, but if it is something that you think could be beneficial, it is a viable option, and one that you can discuss with your health care professional.