When a person is ready to overcome an addiction, detox is usually the first step toward recovery. In medical detox programs, the patient is allowed to slowly withdraw from a drug, and the patient’s body is gradually rid of all traces of the substance. The withdrawal process from certain substances can be debilitating, but the medications available in medical detox programs can help make patients more comfortable.
Detox centers are staffed with medical professionals who make sure that all patients remain safe and stable as they withdraw from alcohol or drugs. For help finding the best medical detox programs to get you through the withdrawal process, contact Garland Drug Treatment Centers at (972) 536-2109.
Many addicted individuals mistakenly believe that they’re in control of their substance use and assume they can quit using any time they want. However, an abrupt approach to drug or alcohol withdrawal is usually unsuccessful and can even be deadly.
Medical detox is the opposite of a “cold turkey” withdrawal: The substance of addiction is tapered off slowly, and medications can help ease withdrawal symptoms and manage cravings. The medical supervision at residential detox centers also ensures that patients remain stable throughout the withdrawal process, and the drug-free environment of the centers help patients avoid temptation during their first days and weeks of recovery.
While detox plays an important role in an addicted individual’s recovery efforts, it doesn’t work on its own. Rehabilitation is necessary to help patients conquer the psychological aspects of addiction and develop the coping skills necessary to avoid a relapse once they leave the treatment centers. Addiction is a relapsing condition, and continued aftercare services can help lower the risk of relapse for people in recovery.
An individual’s withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on the substance of abuse. Multiple other factors also impact the withdrawal experience, including the extent of the addiction and the presence of any underlying mental health disorders. Although these circumstances can influence some symptoms of withdrawal, a few classic symptoms tend to occur during the withdrawal from any addictive substance. Moodiness, strong cravings and sleep disturbances are common during withdrawal. Many individuals also experience sweating, shaking, nausea and vomiting.
The initial hours of withdrawal can be difficult to handle, as patients sometimes experience dangerous physical or psychological symptoms. Some people experience suicidal thoughts or other psychotic behavior. If a patient displays violent behavior during this early period of withdrawal, they may need to be sedated or restrained. Once a patient is in a stable psychological state, the medical professionals at detox centers can focus on making the patient comfortable for the remainder of the withdrawal process.
During medical detox programs, treatment medications may be administered as a temporary replacement for the original drug of addiction. For patients who are being treated for opiate addiction, Suboxone and methadone serve as effective treatment medications. These drugs help block cravings for opiates such as heroin and prescription painkillers; they can be administered on a maintenance basis for weeks or months.
Patients who receive these medications are monitored closely by medical professionals and case managers to make sure that they’re taking the drugs as prescribed. Once a patient is ready to live a completely drug-free life, the treatment medication can be tapered off and eventually stopped.
Individuals who are in treatment for alcoholism often benefit from the use of Antabuse. This drug, whose generic name is disulfiram, blocks an enzyme used in the metabolism of alcohol. Users of the medication will experience unpleasant hangover-like symptoms if they drink alcohol while taking the drug. The unique effects of Antabuse can help individuals curb their urges to drink.