Prescription Drugs Detox - Managing Withdrawals & Treatments

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Call our local number 01603 513 091
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Call our local number 01603 513 091
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What Is Prescription Drug Addiction?

Prescription drug addiction refers to an addiction to prescription medication, such as opiate addiction, benzodiazepine, anti-depressants, etch. In most cases, a doctor may prescribe a specific drug for pain management which ends up being misused.

Detoxification is the safe process of eliminating harmful substances from your body. (1) These substances are then allowed to flush away from your body.

Detox from prescription drugs should only be done under medical supervision, as the process is likely to cause some severe withdrawal symptoms, as a result of the chemicals leaving your body. These symptoms can be life threatening, and you will need a professional to help you through the process.

The majority of prescription drugs misuses in the UK is comprised of:

  • Prescription painkillers
  • Co-codamol (Solpadol or Kapake)
  • Diazepam (Valium®).

Specific opioid withdrawal symptoms start within 12hours after the last dose. During the drug detox the following specific withdrawal symptoms will occur:

  • Heart beating too fast
  • Bone or Joint aches
  • Runny nose or tearing
  • Vomiting, diarrhoea
  • Tremor, especially hand tremor
  • Yawning
  • Gooseflesh skin

General Psychological Symptoms of Prescription Drug Withdrawal

Even as physical symptoms of withdrawal from prescription drugs vary, the pattern for psychological dependence is similar, no matter the type of drug abused.

These psychological signs of drug withdrawal are described below:

  • Needing a higher dose of the prescribed medicine to achieve its effects
  • Needing a daily dose “just to feel normal”; without the drug, the person would find it challenging to carry on with daily activities
  • The person takes more prescription medicine than originally intended.
  • The person plans daily activities around the use of the drugs.
  • Skipping previously enjoyed activities especially with family in order to spend more time procuring r taking the drug
  • Secretive behaviour surrounding the procurement of prescribed medicine
  • Anger and irritability when hindered from obtaining the drug

Prescription Drugs Withdrawal Timeline

The duration prescription medicine withdrawal depends on what kind of medication is taken. For example opioid withdrawal tends to take longer than others. But also, how much drug is taken and how long it has been taken must be considered.

The severity of the drug detox withdrawal symptoms will also depend on how severe the addiction was. This is also made worse when treatment is combined with alcohol withdrawal.

However, a general guide is provided below:

Day 1 to Day 3

Initial symptoms include cravings, flu-like symptoms, insomnia, and anxiety

Day 4 to 7

Usually withdrawal symptoms peak during this period. The following are common complaints:

  • Irritability/ anger
  • Low feelings including guilt, worthlessness, sadness
  • Persistent insomnia
  • Vomiting/nausea
  • Fever
  • Cravings for prescription drugs
  • Spaced out/ confused/easily distracted

Day 7 to 10

During these days, a person can feel better enough to transition from detox to the rehab therapy stage. Although still new to not having prescription medicine as a part of daily routine, if adequately supported, the individual is expected to come through with ease.

Finding help for addiction near Essex.

Prescription Drugs Treatment

Prescription drugs treatment has three distinct phases: detox (withdrawal), rehab, and aftercare.

What Is Prescription Drugs Detox?

Because most individuals use prescription medicines for legitimate health concerns, detox from these medications means professional help is needed.

It is crucial that the person is treated for the chief health care concern, but the misuse of a prescribed medicine is prevented. For example, if a person is suffering from severe pain, it would not be safe to stop pain medication. In a supportive setting such as a rehab clinic, there would be ways to address the needs of persons suffering from severe pain even as they are recovering from pain medication addiction.

Alternative medications and gradual scaling down of the substance misused can be part of the steps taken in prescription drugs detox. In both methods, professional supervision from an addictions specialist is crucial.

Other reasons why a detox done in a residential programme is valuable include:

  • Access to professional help 24/7
  • Help with alcohol withdrawal as well.
  • Empathic, dedicated, and experienced staff
  • A residential rehab programme is set up in such a way that detox is not the end-all be-all, but as part of a long-term recovery goal

Rehab for Prescription Drugs Addiction

After a successful detox, clients in a rehab centre can have individual or group therapy sessions. There are many approaches in rehab therapy, but the methods proven effective are:

  • Individual Addiction Keywork Sessions
  • Group Therapeutic Work (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
  • 12-Step Facilitation
  • Family Support Groups

Therapy in rehab is focused on probing deeper into motivations causing addiction to prescription medicines. These deeper reasons may emerge during treatment and are likely to cause emotional reactions. Hence, guidance from addiction specialists may be valuable in order to cope with the stress of changing a lifestyle pattern.

Prescription Drugs Rehab Aftercare

At Abbeycare detox clinic, aftercare is treated as one of the most critical aspects of long-term recovery from prescription drug addiction.

A person recovering from active addiction would need to depend on a strong social support system, composed of family and friends. In addition, to be pro-active, rehab aftercare involves formulating a detailed plan.

In the aftercare plan, these elements are explicitly spelled out:

  • What activities the person will do whilst in recovery
  • How life in recovery is foreseen to be
  • Practical considerations during recovery (who to call, where to go for meetings, etc.)
  • How to deal with emotional concerns during recovery (triggers, prevention plan, etc.)
  • Arrangements with a personal sponsor

 In a rehab centre like Abbeycare, a dedicated case manager is responsible for anticipating a client’s needs during and after rehab. Because addiction can be characterised as chaotic, having a solid plan can bolster a person’s chances of kicking prescription medication addiction for good.


Is it safe to detox from prescription drugs at home by myself?

Not really, this is not recommended. It is not a safe practice to detox alone at home, because withdrawal management is vital.

Most people who take prescription medicines do so to alleviate symptoms form a health concern. The chances of serious harm are exacerbated if the person tries to detox in a sudden manner. A&E incidents from detox without professional guidance are usually because of:

  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heart beat (too slow or too fast)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations/ Disorientation
  • Suicide attempts

How is outpatient detox different from inpatient?

Outpatient detox is done from home, while inpatient is done from a rehab facility. Most public outpatient programs, are facilitated by NHS Drop-in clinics. The drop-in clinic is a form of community-based treatment option which any UK citizen can access for free.

Outpatient clinics by the NHS mean:

  • The individual can live at home and continue with normal activities whilst recovering from drug addiction.
  • Methadone or buprenorphine treatment as a primary means of treating prescription medicine addiction
  • Having a keyworker to monitor progress
  • Training in naloxone administration (in case of overdose)
  • Training in the safe use/procurement/disposal of injecting equipment
  • Completion of drug use/treatment diaries
  • Urine and oral fluid samples for monitoring progress

 Choosing a private inpatient rehab means a client stays at a clinic with a structured programme in place. The duration of the stay is 28 days, on average. The goal is to have a predictable, controlled environment where a client is supported by experts in addiction rehab.

The NHS does provide public inpatient rehab, but the long waiting times can deter individuals from enquiring about the process. For ease of admissions and high quality care, dial Abbeycare direct.

Can I use the prescription drugs again after rehab?

No. As an abstinence-based centre, Abbeycare believes in discontinuing prescriptive drug use permanently after completing the rehab process. Health care practitioners would be able to provide suitable substitutes to treat the health care concern that prompted the use of the prescribed medicine in the first place.

Knowledgeable specialists usually consult a list of safe medications especially intended for persons in addiction recovery. These medications, combined with comprehensive rehab aftercare support bolster long-term recovery for prescription medication addiction.

 How much does prescription medicine detox/rehab treatment cost?

This depends on the clinic you choose to use for your detox withdrawal management and rehab. To get an answer instantly, use the Abbeybot below.

Or contact us directly for specific enquiries.

The price for treatment is subject to agreement from Abbeycare’s admissions and clinical teams, following the initial conversation.

Nearer Manchester? Explore the full range of rehab options available.

How long does prescription medicine detox/rehab treatment last?

It depends. Typically, detox can last from 2-12 weeks. Rehab usually can take up to 28 days.

However, the duration of a person’s stay depends on:

  • What type of prescription drug(s) taken
  • Dosage of the drug(s) taken
  • How much of the substance was taken
  • Symptoms that cause most concern
  • Other health or emotional concerns that the person may experience alongside prescription medication misuse


If you want more questions answered about presctiontion dugs, read our prescription drugs FAQ page.

How To Book

To book into Abbeycare for Prescription Drugs help, call our enquiry line direct on 01603 513 091.


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