Clonidine was synthesized in 1960s and was initially tested as a nasal decongestant. In the United States, clonidine was first used to treat hypertension although it has also been investigated for treatment of different neuropsychiatric disorders. Clonidine works on specific nerve cells in the brain that are responsible for lowering blood pressure, slowing heart rate, and decreasing the body's reaction to the withdrawal of chemicals like alcohol, opiates, cocaine, and nicotine. Because of this, clonidine is often used to treat the symptoms of drug, alcohol, and nicotine withdrawal.

If you stop using opiates after becoming dependent, you’ll likely experience extremely uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. In fact, many people continue abusing drugs to avoid the difficult symptoms that come with detoxification.

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