Alcohol/drug medical detox is the process of ridding the body of its physical addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Medical detox programs are supervised means of withdrawing from a substance to break free of addiction that can affect your relationships and your health.
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Medical detox works by slowly taking smaller amounts of a drug or stopping taking the drug altogether. The body will withdraw from its chief physical dependencies, which is when the drug rehabilitation process can begin. Detox can be difficult. People who have spent years taking a drug or drinking alcohol cannot undo this impact to the body in a day. However, detox is the first step to a life free from the control of drugs and alcohol.
To minimize the withdrawal symptoms associated with ceasing to abuse drugs and alcohol, doctors at a treatment center can prescribe medications for certain drugs abused, such as heroin.
Drug treatment centers see many people who have attempted to detox at home with poor and potentially dangerous results. Detoxing at home or self-detox can cause painful and sometimes serious withdrawal symptoms. With no professional medical help to assist you, you are more likely to relapse.
While you should not fear the detox process, detoxing without medical supervision can be of concern, especially if you are addicted to alcohol or methamphetamines. Alcohol withdrawals can include hallucinations and seizures if not medically managed while methamphetamine withdrawals can cause severe depression that may cause a person to feel suicidal.
Drug detox programs are available for those who struggle from drug, alcohol abuse or both. Examples of detox programs include those for cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, marijuana, opiates and alcohol.
Detoxing from drugs or alcohol has two phases. The first phase is known as the acute phase and is when most of the potential physical withdrawal symptoms occur. While these symptoms do not always happen, a medical detox program is prepared for all possibilities. Examples of symptoms associated with detox include:
At treatment centers doctors can administer medications to help reduce symptoms and cravings associated with drug and alcohol withdrawals.
Residential drug and alcohol treatment centers can involve a 30- or 90-day stay at an inpatient facility. The advantages of this residential facility are that you have someone available 24 hours a day to assist you through any symptoms and cravings that you may experience.
Detox is a life-changing experience that helps your body and brain return to your life before addiction. However, this process takes time investments to ensure you can succeed for a lifetime. Inpatient residential treatment offers the medically and personally supportive experience to achieve sobriety.