An alcohol or drug medical detox takes place in a treatment center and is medically supervised. The process removes any illicit substances from the body using prescribed medications. In this safe and sanitary environment, the medications decrease painful withdrawal symptoms and keep health complications to a minimum.
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Breaking the connection between physical dependence and substances is safely done in a medical detox. Using prescribed medications to slowly eliminate illicit substances from the body, by replacing the illicit substances and imitating their effects, makes a detox effective. Physical drug cravings cease once the detox is in progress.
Medications are also given to decrease or eliminate any withdrawal symptoms. The process is slow and controlled to avoid any shock to the body that occurs with an abrupt stop. Minimizing health complications, reducing pain and decreasing the chances of medical emergencies are all advantages of a medical detoxification.
Unpredictable circumstances and medical emergencies can occur rapidly that are dangerous and possibly lethal. It is dangerous to detox at home as these medical emergencies will have no trained staff to handle them. In addition, prescribed medications to decrease and control withdrawal symptoms would not be available when detoxing at home.
Here are some examples of withdrawal symptoms that can occur:
The main types of medical detox programs are for alcohol and drug treatment. Each type of detoxification uses different medications to control symptoms. Each type of drug has a unique set of withdrawal symptoms. Medications are administered to clean the body out safely, depending on what substances are present and the severity of past use. Nutrition given intravenously is another phase of a detoxification to help the body heal.
There are a number of medications that may be used during the detox process. These can include the following:
If detoxification alone occurs, it can lead to relapse. The psychological component to addiction will still exist despite the physical break from substances. The addict must receive therapy, counseling and relapse prevention services as relapse prevention measures. It is suggested that following detox, patients immediately enter a full-time drug treatment program to address the mental aspects of their addiction.
Residential treatment is a 24/7 addiction program that allows addicts to stay in a substance-free environment while they receive therapy. This environment keeps the patient focused on their sobriety without the temptations and stresses that exist outside of the facility. The goal is to give each patient a number of coping mechanisms and a more detailed understanding of their addiction so that they can maintain their sobriety in the future.
It is recommended entering a residential treatment center for a detox for round the clock medical supervision. Health and safety must be the top priorities at this critical time. These centers also have the prescribed medications needed and the medical staff to assess and administer medications based on the person’s changing circumstances. It is difficult to predict what a person will need during detoxing. A residential treatment center has the tools to respond to any circumstances arising during a medical detox.