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Baclofen Withdrawal & Treatment

Baclofen Withdrawal Symptoms

Baclofen is the generic name of the prescription medications sold under many brand names like Lioresal. Doctors prescribe it primarily for muscle spasticity, and it can be a very effective treatment for multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, and several other ailments and illnesses. It is also the main mode of treatment for off-label alcohol withdrawal syndrome. However, there is more research to be done in that area; but this practice is showing tremendous positive results. 

Baclofen acts on the GABA receptors and produces a relaxing effect on the nerve activity, which may be addictive to some people. You must also note that not only for people who abuse the drug but even for patients who take the exact dosage, baclofen addiction is a potential risk.

Your brain may get used to the drug’s presence in the system, particularly dependent on its effects on GABA receptors. Since baclofen soothes the central nervous system and induces a sense of well-being, relaxation, and pain relief, you may be more inclined to continue its usage. An addicted person may start more amounts of the medication than usual or more frequently. They may even use up someone else’s prescription to get their pills. Some combine baclofen with other CNS depressants for an increased effect, even without a prescription.  

As users try to quit the addiction or take a pause in its use, they start to show baclofen withdrawal signs and symptoms. It is crucial to notice these symptoms in the initial stages so that you can avoid potentially dangerous advanced symptoms. For this, you will need to take the help of a medical professional and not depend on yourself. 

Although baclofen is used to treat substance abuse disorders for alcohol and other drugs, it can change the chemical processes in the brain. Hence, you should make sure to wean the habit, but not quit it cold-turkey.

Baclofen Withdrawal Timeline

Baclofen withdrawal, like with many other drugs, mainly pain relievers, varies with individuals. It depends on how long you have been using and whether you have stopped suddenly or tapered the use. Besides, the type of baclofen administration also prolongs the withdrawal timeline and intensifies the symptoms. For instance, a person taking baclofen via spinal injections may have the most severe and advanced withdrawal.

While mild symptoms of baclofen withdrawal may include fever, muscle stiffness, mood changes, etc., sudden baclofen withdrawal may result in organ failure and even death. For the most part, these symptoms resemble that of alcohol withdrawal, as they are both CNS depressants that affect the brain’s GABA receptors. 

For many addicts, symptoms may start to show after a few hours of the last dosage or within 2 days, peaking after 3 days. In severe cases, withdrawal may persist for weeks, and psychological symptoms like depression or anxiety may last for months.

Initial Stage – 48 hours

 
  • Lightheadedness
  • Anxiety and confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Itching
 
  • Tingling sensations
  • Return of spasticity
  • Convulsions
  • Tachycardia
 
 

Peak Symptoms -72 hours

 
  • High temperature
  • Psychosis
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Loss of motor function 
 
  • Organ failure
  • Coma
  • Death
 
 

Some Shocking Statistics

  • In a 2012 study involving 100 patients with alcohol addiction, 92 of them stopped having cravings when baclofen was used. However, in cocaine-dependent men, the effects were the same as those of a placebo.
  • In 2017, 4,587,436 prescriptions were written for baclofen in the U.S.
  • From 2014-2017, 15,397 cases registered at the U.S. poison centers involved baclofen exposure in the form of suicide attempts, misuse, and abuse. 
  • Abusers usually combine baclofen with Xanax or other benzodiazepines, or with cocaine or opioids, to increase the level of intoxication.
  • Since painkillers and muscle relaxants like baclofen are easily accessible than prescription opioids, the number of people abusing these drugs have increased. Besides, baclofen is not a controlled substance.

Baclofen Addiction Treatment Options

Baclofen is a commonly used medicine to treat alcohol or drug addiction. However, when patients take higher doses or use it for a longer duration, it can produce a high that is quite addictive. 

Seeking medical care from specialized and licensed professionals at inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment centers and detox facilities can provide you the required individual attention and monitoring. 

Stages of treatment for baclofen addiction:

Detox 

Your body adapts to not having baclofen in its system. Once you stabilize and start to function normally, you go to the treatment stage.

This phase is known as detoxification, where your body learns to adjust to normal functioning in the absence of baclofen in the system. There may be some risks associated with baclofen withdrawal, especially when the person has severe addiction issues. Furthermore, if they are using other drugs or alcohol, or have previous or underlying substance abuse issues, high-risk complications like seizures, hallucinations, or organ failure may occur. Hence, it is always recommended that you go for a professional baclofen detox.

A majority of severe baclofen withdrawal symptoms mentioned above can be avoided when you have professionals attending to your wellness needs. Under strict medical supervision, you will remain closely monitored every second of the day to ensure that you are safe and healthy. Additionally, you will have access to professionals of a variety of departments, such as counselors, psychologists, behavioral therapists, psychiatrists, etc. They can diagnose undetected emotional and mental health issues that may impact your treatment. 

By formulating the appropriate baclofen withdrawal treatment plan for each situation, they can help you get rid of the habit. After this detox step, you will ready to get the training required to go back to your life unhindered by addiction. 

Treatment

Here you have 3 options – inpatient, residential, and outpatient programs, depending on the severity of your addiction. 

Inpatient treatment

You may be required to stay for several weeks at an inpatient treatment facility, and throughout your program, you receive intensive treatment consisting of individual therapy, group counseling, medication management, and other therapies. This option provides you with the highest level of medical care and supervision needed for your recovery and continued sobriety. For patients with co-occurring substance abuse disorders, healthcare providers at inpatient rehabs can address these problems along with baclofen abuse issues.

Residential treatment

Residential treatment programs for baclofen withdrawal comprise of several models like sober living homes or halfway homes and therapeutic communities. Typically, a sober living home collects rent and other charges from the persons residing there and getting help from these recovery support services.

The treatment length also varies with each individual, the facility, and the programs offered. Usually, the duration is between 1-12 months. You will be living in a stable home environment after you have been through an inpatient program, or when your addiction is severe. This brief stint prepares you for your re-entry into work or education, as it equips you with useful resources and training. 

They have tiered and structured recovery programming, rooming options, recovery support services, and other benefits like: 

 
  • Employment assistance
  • Vocational planning
  • Educational programs
 
  • Frequent drug and alcohol testing
  • Volunteer placement, and more
 
 

Outpatient

With outpatient treatment, you can remain at your home and continue to attend rehab and counseling sessions regularly. This is a good move if you have obligations like work, family, kids, pets, or school.

After-Care

To maintain sobriety even after your treatment schedule is up, your medical program details a lasting recovery plan. It is crucial that you have a plan in place before starting treatment for your addiction to baclofen.

It supports sober people that have successfully completed their detox and rehab programs and re-entered society. Aftercare is useful for individuals looking for continued support to stay sober, ward off the triggers of baclofen addiction, and prevent relapse. In a clinical environment and controlled group setting, you will receive sobriety strategies form a licensed therapist or counselor to deal with the struggles and challenges you encounter after recovery. 

Support Groups

12-step programs, group counseling, and other therapeutic methods that can connect you with people who are going through the same issues as you. You can support and assist each other on your way to long-term sobriety.

Find The Nearest Baclofen Addiction Treatment Center 

In some situations, these baclofen dependence issues can be quite deadly. So, when you stop taking baclofen, it should be done gradually. Medical detox can help your body get accustomed to the fact that it won’t be supplied with the drug anymore. 

Baclofen addiction treatment programs do not follow a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Rather, you should join a treatment plan that fits your exact needs. 

Choosing from the various available options may be confusing, but here are some factors to consider: time of use, your addiction intensity, the severity of withdrawal symptoms, other abuse issues, facility type to receive the treatment, and others. Depending on these, you may enroll at the right baclofen addiction treatment center. 

You should also look for the pricing, amenities provided, location, and convenience. Also, you may not be aware of several rehab facilities around you that can cater to your requirements. 

Use our website to locate the best drug rehab to get rid of baclofen addiction today.

 

  • https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00597701
  • https://www.science.gov/topicpages/b/baclofen

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