Detoxification, or the process of eliminating a drug from the body and pushing through withdrawal symptoms, is one of the most difficult and most crucial elements of recovery from an addiction. The medical detox process can be dangerous if attempted at home. The most severe withdrawal symptoms can lead to serious medical complications or even death. When performed under the supervision of qualified medical professionals, however, medical detox can be safe and provide the best results.
The first thing to understand about medical detox is that it is not the only part of addiction treatment. In fact, detoxing without further treatment can trigger a relapse, as detox only treats the physical problem of addiction without addressing the mental problems behind the addiction. The medical detox process can be tailored to each addict’s specific needs, depending on the drug used and the severity of the addiction, to help them get ready for the next stages of treatment. To find out more about the treatment options and services, Drug Rehab New York NY, can help! Call us at (347) 923-8761.
Often, an addict will receive a prescription that will reduce the symptoms of withdrawal and make the detox process more comfortable. Over the course of several weeks or even months, depending on the addiction, the addict will be slowly weaned off of the prescription until they are able to function normally without any medication at all. Some of the most commonly used medications for detox include methadone and suboxone for opiate addiction (heroin, OxyContin), and antidepressants for alcoholism and addiction to stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamines.
Medication is not the only thing that can make the medical detox process more comfortable. A clean, quiet, and relaxing environment is beneficial, and support from family and friends is vital. Some addicts find that light exercise such as walking or yoga can help ease the discomfort of withdrawal, while others prefer to lay in bed and read. Avoiding stressors is essential, as stress will almost inevitably increase an addict’s desire to use.
Withdrawal from a drug during detox is both a physical and mental process. While every person responds to medical detox differently, many withdrawal symptoms are possible. Opiates and alcohol often produce the most severe and intense withdrawal symptoms, like:
In addition, opiate withdrawal can include abdominal cramps, muscle cramps, and bone pain, while the most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms may include hallucinations and even grand mal seizures.
Withdrawal from stimulants usually involves difficulty sleeping, depression, and irritability. Marijuana withdrawal is physically mild, including difficulty sleeping and loss of appetite, while hallucinogens like PCP, LSD, and ecstasy do not create physical dependence at all. However, the mental addiction to these drugs can be just as powerful as a physical addiction.
Medical detox can range in intensity from mildly uncomfortable to downright painful, and is often more mentally difficult than physically. However, it is an essential step on the road to recovery. No matter how hard detox may be, along with follow-up treatment it can lead to a fuller, happier life that is free from addiction.