Medical detox is a form of addiction treatment that aims to ease the pain of withdrawal by providing patients with continuous medical supervision and the appropriate medications, should they be needed.
When drug addicts or alcoholics eventually realize they have an addiction, they will often try to deal with their problem by cutting back on their consumption. Since this never works, they will attempt to quit completely, and rarely succeed. Most will not get through the withdrawal process successfully without the aid of a professional medical detox program.
At drug rehabs, medical detox experts provide patients with the quality care and support they need to get through this difficult part of the recovery process.
As a result of their drug taking or their alcoholism, addicts' bodies have adjusted physically and chemically, and now need the addictive substance. When the addictive substance is removed, the ensuing physical upheaval can make addicts very ill. Medical detox programs use medication to counteract the most serious physical reactions during withdrawal.
The intensity and variety of withdrawal symptoms is a reflection of the level of dependency, and will vary from one person to the next. Generally, the longer a person has been abusing, the worse the withdrawal symptoms will be. Furthermore, those who tend to take very high doses of alcohol or drugs are likely to suffer the most severe withdrawal symptoms.
There are detox programs aimed at treating specific addictions. The program for alcoholics will differ than the one for heroin addicts, for example, although there will be many areas of similarity. Additionally, every alcoholic or addict who signs up for treatment will be individually assessed, and a detox plan tailored to that person's individual needs will be drawn up.
The treatment used to help alcoholics through the withdrawal crisis will include sedatives such as diazepam and anticonvulsants. The latter are used because there is a risk of seizures during withdrawal. Heroin addicts will be given alternative opioid drugs to help them get through withdrawal. Suboxone is a popular choice. It is also an opioid, but it is less addictive than heroin, and its "highs" last longer than those of heroin.
In order to quit taking alcohol or drugs, an addict has to go through the withdrawal process. In nearly every individual, this will cause unpleasant physical reactions. During this phase, addicts may suffer fatal convulsions. A very small portion of people with addictions may be able to get through withdrawal without medical detox, but the vast majority will yield to the urge to relapse. In their haste to offset the withdrawal symptoms, some addicts will overdose, and can end up dead or seriously ill. Therefore, medical detox is highly recommended.
Specialized drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs allow patients to undergo detox in a safe and comfortable environment, while under the care and supervision of medical professionals. They provide state-of –the-art residential facilities, and effective drug addiction rehab therapies to give patients the best chance for recovery.