Alcohol and Drug Detoxification

Alcohol and drug detoxification is an essential process that you have to go through when you decide to overcome your substance abuse and addiction. However, you need to realize that the process can be dangerous. As such, it is essential that you consider enrolling in a medically supervised detox program so that you reduce your chances of suffering from adverse drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms as well as ensure your health, safety, and wellness.

About Detoxification

Also simply known as detox, detoxification refers to the process by which you will let your body remove all the drugs and other intoxicating substances that are still lodged in it. The goal of this process would be to manage your withdrawal symptoms safely when you stop taking alcohol and drugs.

Everyone who is addicted to these substances will have a different experience when they get started on the detox process. The types of drugs that you were taking as well as the duration of your substance abuse will all have an effect on the experience that you will go through.

Luckily, most medically supervised detox centers will use medications to help keep you comfortable as the drugs and alcohol leave the system. However, you still need to keep in mind that it might take months, weeks, or days to go through the withdrawal symptoms that arise.

Some of the factors that will affect the duration and severity of your withdrawal process include but are not limited to:

  • Any other medical conditions that you may also be struggling with
  • The duration and extent of your addiction
  • The existence of any other underlying mental illnesses
  • The method of drug abuse, including swallowing, injection, smoking, and snorting
  • The severity of your substance use disorder
  • The types of drugs that you were addicted to
  • The volume of drugs and alcohol that you were taking at any given time
  • Your family history
  • Your genetic makeup

At Home Detox

It is dangerous to detox at home - since the process can turn out to be deadly. Known as quitting cold turkey, this means that you will not have any medical supervision or care. As a result, there is a high probability that you may suffer serious issues like severe hydration and seizures.

Luckily, there are some medically supervised detox programs - both inpatient and outpatient programs - that can help you go through this process. These programs can also help you reduce and manage the dangerous complications that arise during the detox process.

If you are severely addicted to drugs or alcohol, you should consider going for inpatient detox services since the withdrawal might turn out to be fatal. In such a program, you will receive round the clock monitoring and support.

The Detoxification Process

Your needs for detox will be different from those of other people. Through the detox process, you will get the help that you need to ensure that you have personalized and individualized treatment. In many cases, you can expect the process to involve the following steps:

1. Evaluation

During evaluation, the medical team at the medically supervised detox program will screen you for mental health and physical issues. Doctors, for instance, will use blood tests to determine the volume of drugs that are currently in your system so that they can decide the level of medications that will be needed.

During evaluation, the medical professionals will also perform a comprehensive review of your psychiatric, medical, and drug histories. The goal of this process is to help them create an individualized treatment plan for you.

2. Stabilization

After evaluation, the medically supervised detox program professionals will stabilize you using psychological and medical therapy. The primary goal will be to ensure that you do not come to any harm - either physically or psychologically. The doctors might even prescribe certain medications to reduce your withdrawal symptoms as well as prevent any other complications from arising.

3. Preparation for Further Treatment

The important thing to keep in mind is that even medically supervised detox cannot fully help you overcome your substance use disorder. You will still need additional help to ensure that you are fully recovered.

To this end, the detox center will help you prepare for further treatment in an addiction rehabilitation program. Your doctor will also familiarize you with the long term treatment process, let you know what you can expect, as well as ensure that you choose a center that can offer you the best chances of achieving success in the long term.

Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the main reasons why it is recommended that you go through medically supervised detox is to manage any withdrawal symptoms that might arise when drugs and alcohol leave your system. Some of these symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Aspiration
  • Body discomfort
  • Choking
  • Death
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Heart attack
  • High body temperature
  • Infection
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Paranoia
  • Poor sleep
  • Vomiting

Apart from these symptoms, it is also highly likely that you may also experience a spate of other additional drug cravings. This is because your brain and body would still be used to the presence of particular substances of abuse in the system - meaning that even after removing them you may still feel the urge to continue taking them.

Getting Help

The important thing to keep in mind is that medically supervised detox can help you overcome your withdrawal symptoms as well as manage any other cravings for alcohol and drugs that you may experience particularly during the early days of your recovery.

Even after this process, however, you will not be fully recovery. This is why it is essential that you realize that medically supervised detox is only the first part in a longer term addiction recovery journey. You still, to this end, need to follow it up with treatment and rehabilitation services and programs offered either on an inpatient or an outpatient basis to ensure that you are able to achieve health, wellness, recovery, and sobriety.

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