When a person abuses drugs overtime they become dependent or addicted to them and when they stop using, withdrawal symptoms are experienced. Detoxification is the process the body goes through as the chemicals and toxins from substances abused are leaving the body.
During this time withdrawal symptoms are experienced and behavior based therapy or medications can be administered to manage the uncomfortable symptoms and cravings. Detoxification is the first step of drug treatment but requires follow-up treatment when detox is completed.
The mistake many people make is thinking that detoxification is all the treatment they need to overcome their dependency to drugs or alcohol. Detox helps with the physical addiction but does nothing for the psychological and emotional part of addiction. Without follow-up treatment for most people relapse is inevitable.
Medically Assisted Detox
Medically assisted detoxification is very successful when treating severe physical symptoms of withdrawal but should be followed up with treatment and therapy after detox has been completed. Methadone and buprenorphine are examples of medications that can be administered during detoxification for people addicted to heroin or other opiate drugs like morphine and painkillers.
Buprenorphine is much less addictive than methadone so there's less risk of an overdose and is much safer for the patient. Medications administered for treating withdrawal symptoms during detox are closely monitored and can be continued during treatment when necessary. It's important that individualized treatment plans are designed for the patient addressing their specific needs after detox is completed. The patient is safely monitored and weaned off the medications used in medically assisted detox when the time is appropriate for the individual.
Buprenorphine can also be administered in a physician's office. Again it's crucial for a successful recovery that the patient receives proper substance abuse treatment and therapy during their recovery process.
Another way of ridding toxins, poisons, and harmful chemicals throughout the body and bloodstream is through natural detox. There are many variations but they can include minerals, herbs, nutritional supplements, exercise, saunas and a healthy nutritional diet. This natural process eliminates harmful toxins and chemicals naturally and safely. Many Holistic treatment programs include massage therapy and acupuncture as well during natural detox.
This form of detoxification is done under general anesthesia and an anesthesiologist who specializes in rapid detox oversees the process. Medications are given to the patient that speeds up the withdrawal process while the patient is under anesthesia. When the rapid detoxification process is over the patient begins their recovery treatment program.
Detoxing On Your Own
Some people who just occasionally use drugs or alcohol detox on their own at home. Unfortunately people attempt to detox on their own and they're frequent heavy drug or alcohol users who have formed addictions and this isn't safe. Chemical addiction affects the individual psychologically, emotionally and physically taking a toll on the whole body. The brain and vital organs are affected during frequent and chronic use and the individual needs to be medically monitored during the detoxification process for their health and safety.
Even if the individual is an occasional drug or alcohol user detoxification just rids the body of toxins and chemicals relieving physical symptoms. Most drug users who detox at home go back to using substances before they have completed withdrawal because the depression, anxiety and cravings are more than they can handle on their own.
The Importance of Safe Detoxification
A huge percentage of people who suffer from addiction also suffer from co-occurring disorders such as depression disorder, anxiety disorder, attention deficit disorder or bipolar disorder. Many chronic addicts are unable to successfully recover from addiction if they're not properly diagnosed. Undergoing detoxification and treatment many times is unsuccessful if the individual has mental health issues as well as substance abuse problems.
The safest way to detox and recover from drug or alcohol dependency is to seek professional help. Always seek the help of your physician if you're a frequent drug user or if you abuse more than one substance. Make sure it's psychologically and physically safe to do this on your own. Follow up with counseling, therapy or a 12 Step program to help strengthen your recovery.
Anyone that's used drugs or alcohol for any length of time should have medical attention during their detoxification and withdrawal process and have a complete assessment done to rule out any co-occurring disorder. Full complete evaluations are done in most substance abuse treatment centers today because they know the importance of properly diagnosing mental health issues during addiction treatment.
Individualized treatment plans are designed based on the individual's evaluation results and addiction. If a co-occurring disorder is present both the drug addiction and mental health disorder are addressed during treatment to successfully treat the individual's needs. Some people may require outpatient treatment while others require inpatient treatment because they need a more restrictive one on one approach for a while.
Be smart and safe during your detoxification and treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. Make sure it's medically safe to detox on your own at home and if it is, follow-up with some form of individual or group therapy to avoid relapse.
If you're a frequent or chronic substance user seek professional help and guidance during detoxification and withdrawal for your own mental and physical safety. Find a treatment center that oversees safe detoxification, includes full psychological and physical assessments, and offers individualized therapy and treatment programs based on your personal needs. The easiest and safest way to make sure you get the right diagnosis and the proper treatment is to call 1-800-559-9503. Make your recovery from drug or alcohol addiction successful for the long term.