What is a Drug Detox? - Programs to Help Recovery
What is a Drug Detox?
Drug detox programs help cleanse and recover bodies that have suffered from long-term drug abuse. Detox from drugs helps the body get rid of harmful chemicals. It then stabilizes the user for an easier transition to the next treatment steps. The main goal is to remove toxins and heal the body from addiction.
Drug detoxification takes place in outpatient or inpatient facilities. In general, people with severe addiction usually need an inpatient detox program. This is because detoxing at home is often unsupervised, dangerous, and may (in severe cases) lead to death. In this article, we will help you understand the process of detoxification.
What Is Detoxification?
What is a detox? Detoxification is the process of removing harmful drugs from the body. When an addict stops using drugs, detoxes may ease the withdrawal symptoms and progress healing.
The type of drug abuse and length of addiction will determine a person’s drug detox experience. Long-term addicts usually experience the cleansing process more dramatically because they have stronger withdrawal symptoms. Various medications or detox drugs help the former users feel comfortable as their body cleanses from harmful chemicals.
Can I Detox At Home?
For many users, detoxing at home can be harmful or even deadly. Simply put, quitting drugs without medical supervision is dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms may include severe dehydration, seizures, and other serious issues. Therefore, it's best to visit a local drug detox center than to quit "cold turkey."
Instead, inpatient detox should be the first choice for people with severe addictions. There are many detox programs specifically created to help prevent fatal complications. These programs include 24-hour monitoring and continuous professional support to treat withdrawal symptoms.
The Process of Detoxification
If you're wondering how to detox from drugs, you should know that the process contains three steps:
- Evaluation: A medical team examines the former drug user for any health issues, both physical and mental. The patient takes blood tests that measure the level of drugs in their system.
- Stabilization: To reduce withdrawal symptoms and to prevent any dangerous complications, doctors stabilize the former user with medical therapy and psychological treatments.
- Preparing for Treatment: The final step includes preparations for a further treatment program. Doctors inform the patient on what to expect as they continue their journey to recovery.
Side Effects of Detox
Detox for drugs can be dangerous and painful which is why it's very important to seek medical help. A professional team supports and provides a comfortable, safe environment throughout rehabilitation. Whereas, detoxing at home is experienced alone.
While medical detox eases or limits the withdrawal symptoms, some are difficult to avoid, even with doctors on guard. The often-inevitable side effects include the following:
- Mood swings
- Body discomfort
- Lack of concentration
Detox by Drug Type
Depending on the drug type, detox can be more difficult for some users. The withdrawal symptoms vary between drugs. For instance, an alcohol user’s detox experience is uniquely different from that of a cocaine user. Withdrawal symptoms for cocaine users are mostly psychological. However, alcohol users undergo severe physical symptoms that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and potentially death.
Often, detox includes medications whose role is to mimic the effects of the drugs the person has been using. People receive different treatments depending on the type of drugs used.
Rapid and Ultra-Rapid Detox and Risks
Rapid detox is an unhealthy detox method that is experienced in a shorter amount of time. Many rapid detox advocates argue that it is a faster way to cleanse your body from drugs. Not to mention, patients avoid painful withdrawals while doing it.
While there are few success stories, this method is not recommended. In reality, it's very dangerous, expensive, and ineffective.
During rapid detox, the former user is heavily sedated and infused with medications that replace the drugs in their system. By far, the risks and side effects of rapid detox outweigh its benefits. This method can cause heart attacks, infection, nausea, choking, vomiting, paranoia, high body temperature, and death.
Life After Detox
Although it's a three-step process, drug detox does not “cure” an addiction. It is only the beginning and an essential step towards recovery.
Addicts have to pay attention to the psychological aspect of their addiction to sustain improvement. With professional detox programs, former users get help understanding their triggers and how to respond adequately to various tempting situations.
People who decide to detox on their own usually relapse. Unfortunately, they lack the psychological support necessary during and after detoxification. Whereas, medical detox often includes support groups, behavioral therapies, community support, and educational services.
At Countrywide Testing, we can help with any drug testing concerns you may have. Feel free to contact our team of specialists today if you have any further questions.