Addiction can turn into a physical dependence; thus, a person must first address their dependency and get through the withdrawal period stably as to not interrupt the detox. This first stage of recovery is referred to as detox or detoxification. It is the method of cleaning the bodies from dangerous substance contaminants, such as opium, Vicodin, methamphetamine, marijuana, alcohol and other dangerous substances, established by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Detox is a popular subject in society today. You may believe that detoxification is quick and simple without any ill effects or dangers due to the fact that people often “detox” as a dietary choice. However, substance detox is much different than a juice detox.
What is Detox?
The physical withdrawal signs related to avoiding drug usage can be controlled effectively through the process of detoxification. Clinical detoxification, though, is only the first step in the recovery and does not change necessarily end a person’s dependency.
While detoxification alone is not enough to help addicts maintain long-term abstinence, it is an essential step in the addiction recovery process.
Detox can be defined as the process of clearing toxins from an abusive person’s body; ridding their systems of drugs and/or alcohol. It is a process that is meant to treat withdrawal symptoms since they are at their more prominent a few hours after the last dose.
Who Needs Detox?
If a person uses drugs or alcohol for a lengthy period, the effect can on the brain can be extreme. Addiction manipulates a person’s brain into thinking they need a substance in order to function properly. This is just a lie that drugs/alcohol tell a person, substances do not help you function normally or efficiently.
Over time, a person can develop an immunity to the effects of substances. When this happens, the individual will feel the need to use drugs or alcohol in higher doses to get the desired effects. This is when addiction is set in stone.
When the person unintentionally or intentionally abstains from using a substance, the body reacts negatively which is where withdrawal symptoms come in. Some symptoms include headaches, fever, vomiting, and many more. When it does not receive them the body still continues to crave narcotics.
Importance of Detoxification
Removing current drugs or alcohol from your body is an important step towards initiating addiction treatment. The detoxification process is extremely focused on treating these withdrawal symptoms. During withdrawal, the symptoms a person can experience can cause them to use substances again. This is why detox is so important, it helps curb these symptoms to ensure a person does not relapse back into their old habits.
Some symptoms can be unbearable for individuals, this is why medical professionals monitor the patient during detox; to help when the person feels helpless. Medical professionals are used during this process not only to help with withdrawal symptoms, but also to be there in case of an emergency. Some people experience panic attacks or seizures during withdrawal if their addiction is severe enough.
Is Detoxing Enough?
The main goal of detox is to help a person rid toxins and deal with withdrawal. However, after drugs have been extracted from the body, the physiological and mental impact of drugs and alcohols still linger. This is why detox is not enough. Detox is not addiction recovery, it’s just the first step in the process. This is why the National Drug Abuse Center advises that rehab be part of any addiction treatment plan. Patients receive a minimum of 90 days of treatment that have been clinically confirmed to improve their chances of receiving treatment.
Risk Factors of Detoxing Alone
Detox is necessary, but it is not appropriate to detox alone. Based on the ugly nature of substance abuse and withdrawal symptoms, it is highly advised that a person does detox in a professional facility. Various symptoms can be generated from the withdrawal process such as:
- Difficulty in sleeping/ insomnia
- Gastrointestinal illnesses such as diarrhea
- Changes in appetite
- Easily gets irritated
- Anxiety and Depression arises
- Strong relapse and drug cravings
- Pain in the body
- Seizure and Coma
These kinds of symptoms can not be handled by oneself and should be treated with medical assistance. If you try this process on your own, you can wind up hurting yourself or even relapsing which could easily result in overdose or death. Most medical professionals do not recommend cutting substances out “cold-turkey”, but rather slowly weening off regular usage.
Benefits of a Detox Center?
The first detoxification process is physically and mentally taxing, having some serious issues that accompany it. Whether you’re detoxing from drugs or alcohol, medical detox is highly advisable. Your mind, body, and soul have become dependent on substances in order to feel good and only by removing toxins and fulfilling addiction recovery treatment can a person free themselves of addiction.
Upon detoxification, users can start to heal and realize that they do not need substances in order to feel happy. Proper brain chemistry will also start to return and substance abuse-related health problems will start to dwindle or at least lessen in severity.
Some of the main advantages of going through medically supervised detox are as follows:
- Higher success level
- A validated help program
- 24-hour care
Each type of dependence has different effects on the body. Heroin dependency is well known as one of the most strong drug addictions, for instance, and pain relief is severe. The addiction to cocaine and alcohol may also be extreme. But, no matter what addiction you are suffering from, medical detox can and will benefit your journey into sobriety.
What to Do After Detox?
The recovering addict still needs to undergo treatment to finalize his recovery after completing the detox program. Patients are typically required to develop a method of dealing with issues without turning to their addiction. They can develop healthy coping mechanisms through counseling and group support services. Such rehabilitation and counseling can be done in a private or ambulatory care center.
Detoxification is unlikely to produce permanent changes without follow-up counseling, so participants are prone to recur immediately following initial detoxification. It’s important to follow through the full addiction recovery treatment process and go through rehabilitation.
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