Detox treatment, also commonly called simply detoxification or detox, is the process of removing toxic substances from the body. Detoxification in humans is used for addictions to both drugs and alcohol. Often mistaken as a comprehensive treatment, alcohol or drug detox is the first step in an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program. In order for a rehabilitation program to have a reasonable chance of success, the first step is getting the individual struggling with addiction physically stable through detox treatment. When addiction is more pronounced, a medical detox approach may be undertaken to better manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Voluntary detox treatment is generally provided through inpatient programs at alcohol and drug rehabilitation facilities. These facilities have varying approaches depending upon the scope of one’s addiction, how long one has been struggling with drugs or alcohol as well as the facility’s capabilities.
Anyone who will be experiencing severe or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of drug or alcohol use should use a medical detox facility. This is because withdrawal symptoms can be so terrible, that users often relapse or experience extreme anxiety and/or depression. These feelings can lead to suicidal ideations.
the substances we detox
Alcohol includes any alcohol-based substance. These include beer, wine, or liquor. It is a central nervous system depressant, and withdrawal symptoms often include opposite effects – increased heart and respiratory rate, anxiety, and in extreme cases, delusions and tremors. It can be life-threatening, and is commonly known as “alcohol withdrawal syndrome”.
Prescription Opioid Medications
Prescription opioid or opiates include medications such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Norco), Percocet, Fentanyl, Opana, Vicodin, methadone, or any number of narcotic painkillers.
Opioid withdrawals are not usually life-threatening, but result in anxiety, general aches and pains, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Heroin is an opioid, just like OxyContin, except for it is an illicit substance. Withdrawal from heroin is colloquially known as being “dope sick”. Withdrawals are similar to prescription opioids, but depending on the severity of the addiction, may be more extreme or longer-lasting.
Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety medications. They include Xanax, Ativan, Clonipin, and Valium, among others. They are central nervous system depressants, so some symptoms of withdrawal are similar to those of alcohol. They include insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, and possibly seizures, which are life-threatening.
Cocaine is a nervous system stimulant. It’s withdrawal effects are the opposite, and include irritability, fatigue, and lack of energy. Withdrawal is not typically deadly, but like other substance, extreme depression and suicidal thoughts may occur.
Amphetamines include both prescription drugs, such as Adderall or Ritalin, or methamphetamine. Adderall and Ritalin are indicated to treat ADHD, but are often used a recreational manner to increase alertness and energy. Withdrawal effects are similar to those of cocaine.
If you are addicted to any of these substances, or any combination there of, you should strongly consider using a medical detox facility as opposed to trying to do it alone. Medical supervision and medication-assisted detox can greatly relieve the more unpleasant symptoms of detox, as well as ensure that the patient is safe.
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