When it comes to addiction treatment, detox or detoxification is the first process done by any addiction treatment centers. Detoxification treatment will be based on the type of substance abuse and the severity of the addiction. Detox can help an addicted person abstinent from drugs. The ultimate goal of any detox treatment is to remove the harmful toxins from the body and stabilize the patient. It is important to note that detoxification is not a complete treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.
What is Detox Treatment?
Detoxification or detox is the process of removing the toxic substances stored in the system due to long-term drug abuse. A detox treatment would help the patient stop drug abuse in the short term but follow-up treatments including therapies are essential for complete recovery. A substance abuse can be difficult to break and this addiction makes chemical changes in the human brain and body. Therefore detoxification should be given as a primary treatment process and should be medically supervised.
There is two main detox approaches one is natural and the other is medical detox. Both can be administered in an inpatient or outpatient facility center. A natural approach to detoxification does not include any medications. While a medical detox makes use of pharmaceuticals. A detox process can sometimes be difficult due to the withdrawal symptoms. There are many types of medications used in the detox process namely:
- Opioid agonists
- Non-opioid agonists
- Partial agonists and antagonists
- Opioid antagonists
The type of medications used in the detox process is based on the severity of addiction and type of substance abused.
Detox withdrawal symptoms
A detox is accompanied by drug withdrawal symptoms. This withdrawal symptom can be irksome as the addict reduces or discontinues drug use. Although the withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, they can be unpleasant and the person needs to get utmost care from a detox treating professional. A number of physical and psychological symptoms arises during the first few hours of detox.
- Cold or hot flashes
- Body cramps
- Social withdrawal
The symptoms experienced will vary from person to person and different types of drugs will tend to show different kinds of withdrawal symptoms. However, there are several factors that contribute to the withdrawal symptoms:
The span of addiction: The long-term abuse of drugs can cause severe withdrawal symptoms and high tolerance
The dose of the drug: Addicted people use high doses of drugs to achieve the desired feeling. The more the dose of the drug in the body, the more the withdrawal symptoms are.
A physical and mental state of the person: If a person already has physical and mental issues due to long-term use of the drug, the withdrawal symptoms will be more aggravated.
Detoxification is just the beginning
Detox is the first step towards an effective drug treatment plan. Comprehensive treatment is essential after detoxification to overcome addiction and attain a sober life. Be noted that, multiple attempts will be made after a detox for a complete recovery. Relapses may occur but constant trying will help overcome addiction.