Video Transcript: “Hey! This is Matt Finch with Opiate Addiction Support and Elevation Recovery. And in this video, I’m going to teach you how to use clonidine for opioid withdrawal.
Table of Contents
The Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
So, one of the main things that happens during the opioid withdrawal is your central nervous system is extremely excited. Opioids are CNS depressants, so once your body needs opioids just to feel normal, as soon as you go through a cold-turkey detox, your central nervous system now goes not back to where it used to be, but in the opposite direction, way high, so you have CNS excitation.
Essentially what happens is you go into the fight-or-flight response to the severe severe degree. Worse so that most people in their entire lives will ever experience. And when that happens your brain floods your entire nervous system with adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol. So, you’re literally viewing life and your surroundings through the lenses of these stress hormones in massive amounts so you’ll get the anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, restless mind, restless body.
And it’s just impossible to calm down going through opioid withdrawal unless you have either the right medicine or combination of medicines, maybe the right supplements, although those are usually not as powerful as prescription medications or some of them are powerful natural drugs.
So, I realized that I’ve never done a video just on clonidine alone. Clonidine is actually a very helpful medication for opioid withdrawal for most people. Now, we have something called biochemical individuality which means that we’re all seven billion humans on the planet, but we’re all biochemically unique, so what works for one person may not necessarily work for another.
Now, I’ve used clonidine in the past for opioid withdrawal and it has worked very very very well, but I had to get the dosage right. And the dosage my doctor prescribed for me, which was 0.1 milligrams, which is what these are two to three times a day, coming off one to two grams of heroin a day on average – it just wasn’t strong enough for me.
How Clonidine Helped Me
But then I realized that if I would take 0.3 milligrams at three to four times a day that all of a sudden helped a lot more. It didn’t get rid of all the symptoms, but it lowered my blood pressure so much. It’s a blood pressure medicine. Clonidine, now the brand name for this is Catapres. But since it reduces your blood pressure so much that slows down your central nervous system, and that means that it offsets a lot of that fight-or-flight response, so this is not like…. If all you had was Clonidine, it probably wouldn’t be enough.
Other Opioid Withdrawal Remedies
I call clonidine a great add-on comfort med for opioid withdrawal. So, some of the more powerful ones are like Lyrica, gabapentin, baclofen, and a few other ones, but clonidine – sometimes people will take Kratom for opioid withdrawal and they find if that’s not quite enough but they use a little bit of clonidine with the kratom, all of a sudden they feel better, or maybe they’re doing the gabapentin protocol where they’re using, you know, gabapentin three to four times a day and it’s almost enough to make them feel comfortable but not quite. They add a little bit of this clonidine in there and all of a sudden, they realize it helps.
Now, since we’re all biochemically unique, like I said, what works for one person may not work for another. You always got to be careful when you’re taking comfort meds for opioid withdrawal and especially when you’re combining them with various other things. So, obviously I’m not a doctor. This is all for informational, educational use. Never use any medications without a prescription – under the supervision of your doctor.
Another thing that people do is there something called a clonidine patch. So, with the clonidine tablets you get rising and falling levels in your bloodstream. But there’s a clonidine patch you slap it right on your shoulder and then you’ve got continual support of this slow release the same good levels of the clonidine in there and so that’s actually a very effective way too. But you don’t often see doctors prescribing the patch unfortunately which really is probably the best way to go.
Stress Chemicals Overdrive
So, again when you’re detoxing from opioids cold turkey, that leads to the fight-or-flight response and you have lots of adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline which are the stress hormones.
When you have a cascade of stress hormones all flooding your system that’s going to lead to the fight-or-flight response symptoms which are anxiety, restlessness insomnia and all sorts of other symptoms like restless legs – you just literally cannot relax, and if you can’t relax or get close to it, how are you supposed to go to work?
How are you supposed to take care of kids? How are you supposed to function? That’s why I’m a firm believer that doctors should be a lot more sympathetic to people that are addicted to opioids when it comes to prescribing comfort meds like some of the powerful ones again are gabapentin, Lyrica, baclofen, I also loved clonidine, benzodiazepines… What else is there… There’s just so many different comfort meds and I’ve seen clonidine work really well for a lot of people.
There’s also a new blood pressure medicine out. It’s the first one actually an FDA approved for opioid withdrawal. I think it’s pronounced Lu-ce-myra. I could be wrong on the pronunciation but it essentially does a lot what clonidine does, but you don’t have the risk of making your blood pressure go too low.
So, that’s one that they like even more, but it’s really expensive and most doctors would just rather choose to get some cheap generic Catapres, just get some clonidine and you’re good to go. This isn’t going to cure your addiction. This probably is not going to make you… This medicine alone with no other treatments is probably not going to make you super comfortable. Maybe unless you’re coming off of like a teaspoon of kratom a day or, you know, one or two Vicodin a day for a few months – then this might be all you need.
Typically, what I find is that people need more support than just clonidine. Like I said, have a good doctor that’s sympathetic. And if you can’t find one, I totally relate to your struggle. I was in that same position many times and it led me to turning to drug dealers to find things like benzodiazepines, clonidine, and really anything that I felt like could help to reduce the withdrawal symptoms.
I don’t recommend other people do that. Of course, people do it all day, every day. But again, this is just for informational use. You might have already known about clonidine but you might have not known about some of the other medications I talked about.
Go ahead and smash that like button. If you have not already, make sure to subscribe and take care. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you on the next video.”