Many people face the struggle of overcoming drug addiction and they often feel that their drug dependence is stronger than they are. If you have tried to quit on your own with little or no success, perhaps it’s time to consider a drug detox.
Drug Detox: Highlights
- Detoxification is the process through which toxins are cleared from the system of a patient who suffers from substance abuse.
- A drug detox is designed to help a patient overcome chemical dependency while carefully managing the effects of withdrawal.
- At rehab centers an addiction specialist (who specializes in addiction medicine) will use medical interventions along with other techniques to address the complications of addiction.
- The duration of treatment at a detox center and the nature of substance abuse treatment will depend on the type of addiction, the personal history of the patient and what each facility has to offer.
- Remember, a medical detoxification is step one on your journey to recovery. It should be followed by education, behavioral therapy and other forms of long term supportive treatment.
Who Needs a Medical Detox?
Addiction is extremely complicated. It is an illness with physical as well as mental and psychosocial elements. Kicking an addiction comes at a high cost and it generally goes along with cravings, persistently seeking drugs and alcohol, and mental instability.
Much attention has gone to recreational drug use and people generally focus on things like the effects of heroin addiction, meth addiction and marijuana addiction. Alcohol addiction is also something that most people are familiar with. But, did you know that legal as well as illegal drugs can become addictive?
Whether the drug is legal or not, the point is that you should never depend on any type of substance to keep you going and YOU should always be the one who’s in control.
It’s not necessary for everyone who’s battling with drug dependence to part-take in a drug detox. However, if you feel like your dependence is taking over your life or if your personal efforts to quit using drugs and alcohol have failed, a medical detox could be ideal.
Why Do People Develop Drug Addiction?
Addictive substances like drugs and alcohol can affect your brain. Basically, your brain becomes dependent on these substances to achieve pleasure and this affects the reward system of your brain. Eventually, your body and mind start to depend on drugs to feel normal or in balance.
What Does a Detoxification Program Involve?
Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are available to help prevent the complications of drug detox, like withdrawal. American addiction centers provide a high quality level of care.
First off, the medical team will ask you or the person accompanying you about any mental health disorders, psychological symptoms or physical health issues you may have. Then medical professionals will do a drug test to measure the drug levels in your system.
Secondly, the patient needs to be stabilized. The health care team will use medical interventions along with psychological therapy to limit the risk for harm.
Also, in order to reduce withdrawal symptoms, your doctor may provide addiction medicine. Suboxone, for instance, is a type of medicine used to help people struggling with opiate abuse to slowly taper off the drug entirely. It is, however, still highly debatable if this course of action is a smart medical choice.
Finally, they will prepare you for your substance abuse treatment program. A medical professional should be available to explain the treatment process to you and inform you about what you can expect.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Drug Detox
When the drug leaves your system during detoxification, your body will begin to react to the change. This is where withdrawal symptoms can hit hard without warning. In fact, in severe cases, detoxification can be life-threatening if it is not done correctly.
For this reason, it’s never a good idea to stop “cold turkey” or to do a rapid detox. Detoxing without medical supervision can lead to serious health problems like severe dehydration and seizures.
Withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on several factors like the type of drug among other things. Opiate detox can have unique symptoms that may look a little different from the withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping benzodiazepine drugs. This is because opioid receptors are involved in opiate detox and other receptors in the brain and body are involved in benzodiazepine withdrawal.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with detoxification are chills, muscle aches, nausea or vomiting, insomnia, irritability, hallucinations, depression and anxiety.
Let’s face it, you need to get rid of the drug to figure out where your body is at. You’ve got to remember that everything is affected by drug overuse as well as the process of detoxification. Think heart, liver, blood vessels. Essentially, your whole body can take a beating.
The physical and mental health symptoms of withdrawal can be a real uphill battle. However, it’s not impossible to overcome the obstacles brought into your life by drug addiction.
What Happens Next?
Medical detoxification is the first step you need to take to get your detox process into action. Although, it does not end here.
The fact remains that many people suffering from addiction also have other things to worry about. They may have family problems or a mental health disorder on top of everything else. Think about it, a medical detox will not deal with behavioral problems or other things that may have lead to the addiction like genetics or environmental problems.
After a medical detoxification program, you need to move forward. You should seek follow-up care and support to help you learn healthy habits and new coping skills. Things like group therapy, mental health services and continued medication management can provide you with the tools you need to avoid a relapse and to improve your mental health.
During this time, you may have doubts about yourself and you may strongly feel that you are doubted by others. The key is to stay committed and to keep your focus on the bigger picture.
Write Your Own Success Story!
Like the mythical phoenix, you too can rise from the ashes. Taking the first step toward getting your life (and mental health) back from drug addiction is brave. Only you can choose to take that step and you should recognize that it is a worthy accomplishment.
Toll free helplines are available at any time during the day or night. You can call them for advice or if you have any questions concerning drug and alcohol detox, withdrawal, outpatient detox treatment and anything else related to substance abuse. Online resources are also just a click away.
Many people out there today are stuck with the consequences of drug addiction and like you they want to get clean more than anything. Your journey could inspire others and allow people to understand how much you’ve done to feel strong and confident again. You have a chance to write a success story, don’t stand in your own way!