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Drug Detox

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Drug Detox: Signs, Withdrawal & Treatment

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a chronic, progressive, and relapsing disease of the brain that causes a person to continually seek and use their drug of choice despite all of the health risks and personal consequences.

It wasn’t until 2013 that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) officially coined the term “Substance Use Disorder”, recognizing that “addiction” is an actual diagnosis that chemically alters brain function over time. Typically, it takes twelve months of behavior that meets that meets the criteria to fall into this category. However, it doesn’t take a doctor diagnosing a patient as an addict for a person to realize that their life is spiraling out of control and either becoming or is already at the point of being unmanageable.

THE SYMPTOMS OF DRUG ABUSE: DO I HAVE A DRUG PROBLEM?

Mixed-race teenager struggling with alcohol addiction talking to

Have you or a loved one ever woken up in the morning and felt nauseous, weak, and sweaty until you take your “meds”, then feel like a whole new person? Have you ever lost a job because of being under the influence of any drug? Do you ever take more than your prescribed dose of medication or more often than you are supposed to?

Is your drug of choice the first thing on your mind every day? Have you lost interest in hobbies that you used to love? Do you ever hide your drug use from family or friends? Have you ever risked your safety or committed any crimes in order to obtain your drug of choice? Is your health in rough condition due to drug use?

Do you ever find yourself wishing that you could go a day without using, but you get too sick? Have you noticed that you need more and more of your favorite substance in order to feel the effects? Have you burned any bridges or lost friendships because of your drug use?

Did you answer yes to any of these questions? If yeskeep reading.

Quality Care For a Better Quality of Life

WHAT HAPPENS DURING A DRUG DETOX PROGRAM?

Drug addiction detox programs take place before the addicted person actually enters treatment. It is necessary to get the patient medically stable prior to the treatment process, yet it is one of the most important steps to recovery as a whole. Detox is required in many situations when addiction has crossed the line into physical dependence, and when the substances abused can cause potentially dangerous symptoms from the abrupt cessation.

Certain drugs, like stimulants or hallucinogens, do not require medical intervention when getting clean, as they do not cause physical withdrawal symptoms. However, many depressants like opiates, benzodiazepines, and alcohol, require a medical detoxification to ensure the safety of the addict.

THE BENEFITS OF A DRUG DETOX PROGRAM

Alcohol and drug withdrawal syndrome can often be described as the worst feeling anyone has ever felt. Because of this, many addicts and alcoholics are reluctant to quit drinking and using. By entering a drug detox program, the addicted person will be under the constant medical care and be administered medication to ease withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the level of addiction, the patient may not feel any withdrawal symptoms at all under quality medical care.

Many drug treatment centers require that all new clients go through a detox process prior to checking in. Withdrawals from certain drugs, like benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, etc.) are known to cause serious health concerns, such as seizures or strokes if not tapered down at a safe speed.

Besides of the risks associated with withdrawal syndrome, it can be difficult to concentrate on recovery when you are feeling terrible. There are typically very few, if any, mandatory groups or meetings while in detox so you can focus on getting well physically in order to absorb every moment of the actual treatment process.

Psychiatrist interviewing patient

WHAT TO EXPECT AT A DETOX PROGRAM

Entering an addiction detox program can be an overwhelming experience in the beginning, as emotions are normally heightened during this period. The best medical detox programs will work to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. Your body will now begin to go into physical withdrawal.

The symptoms of withdrawal syndrome vary depending on the drug your body is physically dependent on. While stimulants and hallucinogens only produce psychological withdrawals, many depressants can cause convulsions, abnormalities in blood pressure and heart rate, abdominal upset, and flu-like symptoms as well. While residing in a medical detox, you will have access to a team of doctors, nurses, and medication to make this process easier. Most detox programs utilize a taper system to wean you off the drugs that your body is addicted to, starting with a high dose of the medications prescribed and lowering the dose each day.

Detox typically takes 3 to 10 days, depending on your drug of choice, length of addiction, how much you would use on a daily basis, and the risks involved. However, certain drugs can take longer to rid your system when taken long-term. For example, methadone detox can take up to one month, due to the way it binds to bone marrow.

Upon arrival, you will meet with the detox team, including doctors, nurses, and support staff. You will be asked a series of questions, some of which will be quite personal. It is extremely important to answer these questions honestly, to ensure that the doctors can put together the best-individualized treatment for you and put you on the proper dose of the right medications to get you feeling well.

In certain cases, detox can even be performed on an outpatient basis. While this method isn’t right for everyone, it can be a literal life-saver for those who cannot leave their responsibilities — like children or work — for an extended period.

Talking to insurance agent

LET INSPIRE HEALTH CENTERS BE THE DRUG DETOX PROGRAM FOR YOU

Entering a quality detox program puts many people at ease during the withdrawal phase. However, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, detox alone does not qualify as a form of addiction treatment. It is highly encouraged to follow up with some kind of treatment once the detox phase is complete, as the causes of addiction and psychological issues typically are not addressed before the person is medically stable. Without addressing the mental side of addiction, relapse is far more likely.

In addition to getting you well, the staff in detox facilities also work to put together the next step in treatment. Inspire Health Centers highly recommends entering the drug and alcohol treatment program,  

Sometimes, going to an inpatient drug treatment center is not an option following detox, due to financial and familial responsibilities. In such cases, our staff will work tirelessly to assist you or your loved one in finding outpatient programs, 12-step meetings, and halfway houses or sober-living homes in your area. Whatever you decide is right for you and your family, it’s never recommended to combat the disease of addiction on your own. Call us now at 1-855-989-9383 to get started on your recovery journey.

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