Medical detox describes the process and experience of drug withdrawal using medications. Drugs that produce a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome often require a medical detox period, with medical personnel on hand at all times to observe patients and administer drugs when they are needed. While drugs are not always used during medical detox, they are typically prescribed to alleviate symptoms and speed up the recovery process.
Medical detox often takes place at dedicated clinics, with some large rehabilitation facilities also allowing patients to go through detox and rehab. If you are interested in help finding rehab centers, call Drug Treatment Boca Raton at (561) 962-0348.
The process of detox is based around drug discontinuation and medical support. Patients are given the time and space to stop using drugs, and provided with an opportunity to go through the withdrawal syndrome in a safe and supportive environment. While detox is somewhat of a misnomer in the context of drug treatment, because additional toxic substances are often introduced, it does allow patients to cease use of the primary problematic substance.
Detox may also be required in the case of drug overdose, where medications are used to support immediate recovery. While the process of detox does not necessarily address the precedents of drug addiction, it does provide patients with a chance to break the bonds of addiction and start fresh.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms happen when a drinker tries to decrease or stop their amount of alcohol consumption. Convulsions, seizures, tremors and confusion are among all the withdrawal symptoms that appear. In extreme cases, hallucinations can occur.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms happen when a person tries to stop taking the substance with no maintenance drugs in place. It is an extremely uncomfortable situation and can be fatal. Heroin withdrawal symptoms include sweating, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, goose bumps (hence the name "cold turkey"), abdominal cramping and sometimes death.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there are three stages in the detox process.
The first stage is known as evaluation, with various physical and mental tests performed before medication treatment is applied. Blood tests are generally performed to check for the existence of currently circulating substances, with urine tests also used in some situations. This is an incredibly important part of the detox process, with doctors and clinicians needing to be very careful in order to avoid negative drug interactions. The evaluation phase of detox will also test patients for co-existing mental health disorders, with certain mental problems known to influence the drug treatment process.
The second stage of detox is known as stabilization, with drugs often used during this phase to alleviate symptoms and support recovery. The stabilization phase of detox also involves consultation, with clinicians telling patients what to expect from the remainder of the recovery process. Family support may play a role in stabilizing patients, with the initial stages of behavioral therapy also initiated during some detox regimes.
The last stage of detox involves directing patients towards further treatment, with psychotherapy and counseling required to address the underlying causes of drug addiction. While the psychological aspects of addiction are not normally addressed during detox, patients may be enrolled in appropriate rehabilitation programs.
It is important to seek out reputable, modernized rehabilitation treatment centers that base their programs on the most recent research and techniques. More importantly, seeking treatment is the most important step in an addict's efforts to overcome their substance abuse problems.