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Drug detox is the first and largest hurdle a drug addict seeking sobriety will have to get over. Once the withdrawal symptoms have subsided and the former addict receives proper psychotherapy lasting sobriety can be achieved. This page is dedicated to informing about drug detox. We hope to completely answer this question with the following sections:
Addiction Detox Treatment, First Stage Of Drug Detox, Types Of Drug Detox , Methods Of Drug Detox, Duration Of Drug Detox and Finding The Right Drug Detox
Everyone likely knows that detox is the clinical process that removes harmful drugs from the body. Individuals also have an idea that detox comes with challenges. However, imagine the challenges ahead without clinical help and support. It is never recommended to detox alone because the risks of serious bodily harm, or even death, are too great. Drug addiction is a very complex issue, so there should be no surprise that the drug detoxification process is complex as well. Drugs that produce a significant physical withdrawal include alcohol, opiates and benzodiazepines.Drugs that produce a significant emotional withdrawal include cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy. No matter what an addict’s choice of drug, simply detoxing is not enough to beat chemical dependency. Addiction is a disease that is both physical and mental, and as such should be treated that way.
Building a successful life during and after recovery will take some effort—lots of effort. Drug detox is one the most crucial phases of recovery because it rids the body of harmful chemicals and prepares the individual for rehab treatments, physiological and mental, and helps the patient transition into a life of aftercare. Sobriety is fraught with temptations, and it may logical to assume that a recovering addict will never reach a point where challenges are completely eliminated. However, their drug detox program can reach a stage where they have developed the ability to deal effectively with any problems that arise.
Treating Physical And Mental Drug Dependency
Depending on the severity of the addiction, drug and alcohol detox will last anywhere from 5-7 days to a couple of weeks. During this process, medical professionals will safely remove all toxic substances from the body. Patients will experience symptoms of withdrawal which are uncomfortable and most times unbearable. Withdrawal symptoms will include irritability, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, mood swings, excessive sweating, changes in appetite, nausea, chills, muscle aches, seizures, heart attacks, tremors, difficulty breathing, hallucinations, paranoia, depression and suicidal thoughts. Medical professionals are equipped to administer medicinal and nutritional support in order to help ease the symptoms.
Natural Drug Detox is also known as the ‘cold turkey’ method. This method is very simple, a user just abruptly stops taking the drug. Dependant upon the substance being detoxed from withdrawal symptoms can begin in as little as a few hours. Severity of withdrawal symptoms also depends on how much of the substance is being abused in single dosage. For instance alcoholics report withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, heavy shaking, tremors and irritability within hours of their last drink. This method is typically most uncomfortable for the addict, but generally the quickest. An addict can be physically free of addiction within a few days or weeks. This drug addiction detox strategy also has the added benefit of being completely free.
This detox can be completed with or without medicinal or nutritional support. It is recommended for those with less severe addiction because it is a less extensive process. This is the most natural way to detox from a substance because it does not require medicinal support.
The rapid detox takes place while the patient is under a general anesthesia. Medical professionals administer reverse effect drugs intravenously to the patient in order to quickly remove the substance from the body. This is recommended for patients who are suffering from a severe addiction.
A medically managed drug detox is managed by a certified trained team of medical professionals. This strategy is intended to ease an addict of a drug either for life-and-death reasons or to increase the chances the addict will successfully detox and enter recovery.
If the addiction is rooted far enough in the brain, substances such as alcohol, benzodiazepines and opiates can all be fatal to withdraw from. This is why a medical drug detox is recommended for people who are in this sort of condition. Drug addiction detox centers are authorized to treat drug addiction withdrawal symptoms such as:
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved ‘methadone’ (Subutex) and ‘buprenorphine’ (Suboxone) to treat addictions to heroin, morphine, and pain meds such as Percocet and Oxycontin.
The US Food and Drug Administration has not approved any medications to counteract addictions to substances such as cocaine or crystal meth. Certain drug detox treatment centers will use benzodiazepines to mitigate withdrawal symptoms.Some treatment experts fear that the addict will trade one addiction for another.
Drug addiction rehab programs that do utilize this type of medical detox typically will use ‘diazepam’ (Valium) to help the patient come down a stimulant high. Antidepressants such as ‘fluoxetine’ (Prozac) can be used to treat depression contributing to an individual's drug seeking behavior.
Drug detox centers will use decreasing amounts of benzodiazepines to wean the addict of the drug. Different benzodiazepines can be used as they mimic the same brain-drug interaction.
What is the difference between inpatient drug detox and outpatient drug detox? Inpatient treatment refers to round the clock treatment administered by trained medical professionals during a stay in a rehab center. Outpatient treatment refers to the patient undergoing treatment while at their home. Enduring a drug abuse detox will be challenging and can be very painful. A lot of times people need encouragement to overcome. It would be terribly sad for an individual to be close to fully detoxing only to give up and go back to using. Also, starting treatment off on the right foot. When the patient has a sounding board and medical support, this greatly increases the effectiveness of an individual’s addiction detox.
Outpatient drug detox centers, are facilities where addiction professionals offer guidance to people who do the detoxing from home. This treatment must be prescribed by a doctor, and is rarely recommended.
It is reserved for people detoxing from opiates.
Treatment will usually consist of:
Long term methadone maintenance in which the patient has to check in with a physician or case manager frequently to make sure dosage is correct.
Benefits Of Undergoing Substance Abuse Detox
Drug treatment centers offering drug abuse detox options in an investment in an addict and will benefit them.
Psychiatric Care: There is a high proportion of addiction cases in which the addict is also suffering from a mental disorder such as bipolar, depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. A first rate drug rehab facility will have experience in treating these conditions.
Individualized Treatment Plans: Addiction is a complex issue that affects people differently. As such having a team put together an action plan to find sobriety greatly increases the chances of achieving sobriety.
Medical Maintenance: Treatment facilities offering a medical drug detox can run interference against withdrawal symptoms by administering small amounts of approved substances to wean the addict off of their chemical dependency.
Aftercare Planning: It is common for an addict to lack positive coping skills and instead has learned to turn to drugs when faced with adverse situations. Therapy will help these people address the root cause of their addiction and how to cope with life in a positive way.
Group Counseling: It is also common for addicts to feel isolated and ostracized due to our culture's view on drug use.
Hearing others who struggle with similar problems typically empowers those fighting addiction by making them feel like they are not alone and that people have overcome the same mountain.
Life Skill Classes: Once a person has detoxed and recovered they still have the rest of their lives to be sober.
Life skill classes teach those in post recovery how to become self-sufficient functional members of society.
Withstanding a drug addiction detox is something an addict will have to go through only once. This directory is meant to serve as a launch point for you or a loved one to find the right addiction treatment, recover, and become a happy, functional member of society.
No matter how bleak the situation might seem, there are those who can help.
Why Challenges Are Important
Though trying, challenges are important because they help patients to define their own growth. They are much like exams. When the individual passes, they can move forward to the next step. The individual constantly has a chance to put their coping skills to the test. In this manner, challenges can actually be seen as a friend, and not an enemy. How often do people realize in hindsight, that greater progress is made during times of tribulation, rather than in times of peace? Being able to meet life’s challenges head on can bring about a sense of peace and accomplishment.
When Challenges Cause Relapse
On the other side of the “challenge” coin are those times when a person can become stuck in their recovery. The obstacles may seem to overwhelming, and the patient experiences a relapse. When people refuse, or are unable, to mount the courage to overcome those challenges, the process of drug detox may likely have to be repeated. Life can once again appear to be on shaky ground, and the individual will again try to rely on ineffective coping mechanisms. Drug detox treatment will then take the individual through the same initial stages to rid their body of harmful chemicals.
Sometime relapse and withdrawal can be more challenging each time around. Cognitive therapy and counseling plays an important role in the patient’s recovery process. Patients learn to reexamine their thought processes and link how their thoughts are influencing their actions. Patients are always encouraged to get right back up if they fall and forge right ahead. Drug detox treatment works. The patient has to be willing to go the distance in spite of the challenges that are sure to be always just ahead.