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Medical Detox

Medical Detox

Medical detox is the medically supervised process of withdrawing from addicting drugs. The medial detox process is designed to break the body’s physical dependence on the drug, at the same time as reducing the severity of any withdrawal symptoms that may emerge.

Withdrawal Symptoms Associated with Medical Detox

Stopping drug or alcohol intake suddenly after an extended period of heavy abuse can cause the user to experience withdrawal symptoms. Using any psychoactive substance for a prolonged period of time causes significant changes within the brain’s chemistry.

When the user stops taking the substance, the brain is unable to adapt quickly, causing it to go into a state of hyper-excitement, which results in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Without proper treatment medications and medical supervision, some withdrawal symptoms can also be potentially life-threatening.

Meth Withdrawal: detoxing from methamphetamine, or crystal meth, can produce intense psychological withdrawal symptoms that require round-the-clock supervision to ensure the person’s safety. Symptoms can include fierce cravings to take more meth, irritability, anxiety, nightmares, inability to feel any pleasure, deep depression, and suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

Heroin Withdrawal: detoxing from heroin can cause severe physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Heroin is a powerful painkiller, so a heroin addict’s natural pain receptors have been switched off. Stopping heroin use suddenly reactivates every pain receptor, causing the user to experience severe abdominal cramps, bone aches, and painful muscle cramps. Other withdrawal symptoms include intense cravings to take more heroin, heavy sweating, fever, shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, runny nose, agitation, anxiety, and depression.

OxyContin Withdrawal: detoxing from OxyContin (oxycodone) is almost identical to detoxing from heroin. However, the withdrawal process can last much longer than detoxing from heroin, as OxyContin has a longer half-life, so it takes longer to complete the detox process.

Alcohol Withdrawal: detoxing from severe alcohol addiction can produce potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms that require emergency medical attention. It’s important that the detox process is conducted under proper medical supervision. Withdrawal symptoms can include tremors, nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating, headache, anxiety, irritability, agitation, depression, hallucinations, seizures, and delirium tremens (DTs).

Why Is It Dangerous to Detox at Home?

It’s common for many people to attempt to detox from drugs or alcohol at home, thinking they can simply brace themselves for a couple of days of withdrawal symptoms and they’ll somehow be cured. What those people often don’t recognize is how severe the withdrawal symptoms can be.

Detoxing without proper supervision can trigger relapse in a large majority of people. As the brain struggles to adapt to the lack of the substance in the body, the user experiences such strong compulsions to take more of the substance that they’ll do almost anything to get another hit or another drink.

Types of Detox Programs

The type of detox program used will vary, depending on the type of drug being taken and the severity of the addiction. Some detox program options include:

Natural Detox: stopping drug use abruptly is often also called ‘going cold turkey’. The process begins when the user stops taking the substance. It’s strongly recommended that the natural detox process is conducted under medical supervision.

Medicated Detox: detoxing from some types of drugs can produce such severe withdrawal symptoms that medical staff may administer prescription medications to treat the symptoms. For example, a person detoxing from cocaine or crystal meth may require medicated detox. Prescription medications can include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, or anti-psychotic medications.

Medically-supervised Detox: Withdrawing from some sedative/hypnotic drugs, such as benzodiazepines, may require a medically-supervised detox. The dosage levels are carefully tapered down over a period of time to wean the person off the drug of addition. It’s crucial that an addict doesn’t try to stop taking sedative/hypnotic tranquilizer drugs suddenly, as it could cause potentially life-threatening symptoms.

Medical Detox: Medical detox is often used to assist with the detox process for opiate drugs, such as heroin or OxyContin. Replacement medications, such as methadone or Suboxone, are administered under strict medical supervision to replace the opioid drug of addiction. Over time, the dosage levels are tapered down so the person is weaned off the drug gradually, avoiding the emergence of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Rapid Detox: rapid detox is the term used when the person is admitted into a hospital or inpatient facility and given a general anesthetic. Prescription opioid blocker medications are given intravenously, which beings the rapid detox process while the person is sleeping.

Why Seek Treatment in a Residential Treatment Facility for Detox?

Reaching out and asking for professional help from a residential rehab treatment is the first step to recovery. Medical staff can administer prescription medications and provide proper medical supervision and monitoring to ensure the detox process is as safe and pain-free as possible. Take the first step to a brighter future. Dial an addiction specialist now.