People who have drug or alcohol addiction are rarely sober. The only way true sobriety can begin is through medically-supervised detoxification.
Detoxification, or detox, is the process of letting the body remove the drugs or alcohol in it. Detox gives the body a chance to rid itself of all toxins in a safe way, creating a clear path to recovery.
Medical detox can be effective for a variety of addictions. Research indicates that over 41 percent of admissions to detox centers are for the treatment of alcohol abuse. Opiate drugs, including heroin and prescription painkillers, accounted for the most drug-related admissions, and marijuana was also responsible for a large number of cases.
The physical dependency that characterizes addiction is a result of chemical changes in the brain. These changes make it difficult and even dangerous for an individual to attempt to withdraw from a substance without help. Tapering off the substance of abuse can lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms, and some medications can reduce cravings and act as a temporary substitute for the original drug of addiction.
Different substances will cause different symptoms of withdrawal; a patient’s withdrawal symptoms will also vary depending on the extent and duration of the addiction.
Alcohol, for example, is a difficult substance to withdraw from. Sweating, anxiety, shaking and even seizures are common during the withdrawal process. For some individuals, a serious condition called delirium tremens may develop. The severe agitation, hallucination and confusion associated with this condition require prompt medical attention.
Alcohol Withdrawal Facts
Drugs are another substance to difficult withdraw from. Depending on the drugs that people use, withdrawal symptoms may be more physical or more mental. Cocaine withdrawal, for instance, is psychological. Detox involves managing initial cravings and anxiety. Opiate withdrawal can be an uncomfortable process, but it is rarely dangerous. Some common symptoms of opiate withdrawal are rapid heartbeat, insomnia, nausea and vomiting. Crystal meth can cause intense feelings of depression during withdrawal, and some people may suffer from hallucinations.
Drugs and Drug Withdrawal Symptoms
The early hours of withdrawal can be intense, and it’s not uncommon to experience psychotic episodes or suicidal thoughts. The medical professionals at a detox center are trained to handle the needs of patients during this difficult period, and their first priority is to keep patients stable. Once a patient has been stabilized, they can focus on making the patient comfortable as they work through the detox process.
Finding Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
As we’ve already mentioned, drug and alcohol detox plays a crucial role in recovery. People who choose medically-supervised detox take an important first step on the path to recovery and get a life that is free from addiction. Through diagnosis of any underlying mental health issues and various psychotherapies and holistic options, the person in recovery can get answers to why the addiction developed and how to prevent relapse.
The coordinators at Hathaway Recovery are available 24/7 to answer all your questions and help you find appropriate treatment. You are not alone. Call now at (909) 971-3333.
Hathaway Recovery Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center
Treatment Center, MD, LCSW, LMFT, ASAM
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (909) 971-3333
Fax (909) 498-9898
1042 East Belmont Abbey Lane, Claremont, CA 91711