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What Medications Help Teen Withdrawal and Detox?

What Medications Help Teen Withdrawal and Detox?

When a young person has been abusing a particular substance over an extended period, the teen’s body becomes used to functioning with the presence of that substance. When the substance is removed, one’s body will respond accordingly. For many, this response manifests through withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms occur when a teenager goes through detox. Detox is the process of ridding one’s body of a foreign substance or substances. The severity of a teenager’s withdrawal symptoms and detox experience will depend on a combination of different factors, including the type of drug or drugs abused, the length of time a teen has used the drugs, the potency of the drugs, the frequency of use, as well as the teens personal health history. Every teenager is different and will experience a somewhat unique combination of withdrawal symptoms. Some withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe and in certain situations going through a medically assisted detox can be beneficial. There are several different types of medications used for a medically assisted detox, depending on each teen’s distinct needs. 

Medications Used in Detox

When a young person undergoes a medically assisted detox, various medications are utilized in conjunction with therapeutic modalities to assist in the detox process. Specifically, the medications that are administered during detox are used to help treat different withdrawal symptoms. Some examples of the medications prescribed by physicians that are used during the detox process include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Antidepressants: such as Zoloft and Prozac, to reduce anxiety 
  • Clonidine: primarily used to treat withdrawal symptoms from opiate and/ or alcohol withdrawal symptoms 
  • Benzodiazepines: can help to decrease anxiety and irritability 
  • Suboxone: used to moderate severe opiate addictions in people sixteen years old and older

Depending on the adolescent’s specific needs, medications to address psychosis, narcolepsy, and other co-morbid disorders may be prescribed during detox. Anti-nausea medications, mild pain medications (e.g., Tylenol), and anti-diarrhea medications can be prescribed to a teen going through detox. Certain vitamins, herbal supplements, and minerals may be recommended by a medical professional to help manage various withdrawal symptoms and promote overall healing. Medications can help a teen going through the detox process by reducing some of the adverse side effects and discomforts associated with specific withdrawal symptoms. 

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at

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