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Drug Detox

What is a Drug Detox?

Detox is short for “detoxification,” and it is generally used to refer to a situation where people are trying to eradicate harmful substances from their body. You will hear about people nowadays who are going on a special diet detox where they abstain from certain types of food. A drug detox is another type of detoxification process, and it refers to a situation where the individual stops using alcohol or drugs because they are addicted to them. As the person moves through this period of detoxification from addictive substances, they will usually experience some unpleasant symptoms, which are collectively referred to as withdrawals.

What Causes the Withdrawals Associated with Drug Detox?

The actual mechanisms associated with drug withdrawals are quite complex, but it is possible to understand this process by using simple explanations. Drugs are toxic substances in the body. When a person ingests these substances regularly it interferes with normal functioning, so the body has to learn to adapt to them. The human body has a wonderful ability to adapt to dangers, and this is what happens in the case of drug addiction. The individual develops a tolerance to these substances – it will be causing them increasing levels of harm, but the body manages to function in spite of this, at least in the short term.

It takes a period of time for the body to adjust to the substance abuse. Once it has adjusted, it will act as if the toxic effects were almost normal. This means that when the person attempts to quit these substances the body is caught off guard. It will have to change things around in order to be able to go back to functioning without alcohol or drugs in the system. This adjustment process accounts for many of the withdrawal symptoms that people will experience during detox.

The Symptoms of Withdrawal

The exact symptoms that people experience during the withdrawal process can vary a great deal depending on a number of factors:

  • The type of drug that the person is addicted to
  • The length of time they have been addicted to this drug
  • The amount of this drug they use – heaviness of their addiction
  • Their current health status
  • Their previous experience with withdrawals
  • A history of conclusions/ fits
  • The person’s own perceptions in regards to discomfort

In the majority of cases, the individual will experience fairly mild symptoms that are unlikely to be any worse than the common flu. The things that make these symptoms feel worse than the flu though, is the knowledge the person has that they can stop them at any time. This means that the individual can feel a great temptation to just give up so that they can escape their discomfort.

There will be some people who are at risk of a particularly nasty form of drug withdrawals, known as delirium tremens (DTs). This mostly just applies to those who are addicted to alcohol or barbiturates. Those people who have been heavily using these substances for a long time may be at high risk of developing the DTs. If people have a history of convulsions, they may also be considered to be in the high-risk category. When there is any chance that the individual might experience the DTs, they will need to have their detox medically supervised.

The Need for a Supervised Detox

Most substance abusers will have had experience of dealing with withdrawal symptoms without any help. There are some good reasons for choosing a supervised drug or alcohol detox including:

  • If there is any risk of serious withdrawal symptoms, the individual will need to have this process medically supervised.
  • It is during this detox stage that the person is most likely to give up. By having their symptoms supervised, the individual is going to be more likely to see it through. It is not all downhill after detox, but the chances of achieving long-term recovery will increase when the individual makes it beyond this stage.
  • If the individual enters a supervised detox, they will be able to benefit from treatments that will make the process easier. This will include certain drugs that can reduce symptoms to more manageable levels.
  • When the person goes through this type of detox, they will usually be surrounded by other people going through the same process. This can be a huge boost to their morale, and the other clients can be a great source of support and encouragement.

Options for a Supervised Drug Detox

When it comes to a supervised drug detox, there are a number of different options including:

  • It may be possible to enter a hospital ward for the detox
  • There are special units that have been created just for clients who are going through detox
  • There are now many drug rehabs that offer rehab beds
  • It is possible to have a supervised detox as an outpatient. This is where a suitable profession monitors the individual at home.

One of the best options available is when the individual has detox in rehab. This means that the individual will be able to move seamlessly from the detox stage to the drug or alcohol rehab stage. It also means that they can begin work on the recovery programme while still going through detox.

We Will Help You Find an Appropriate Detox

We will be happy to help you find an appropriate detox facility in your area or further afield. We are highly knowledgeable in this area and our team will be able to make some concrete suggestions. In order to increase your chances of breaking away from addiction, you will need an appropriate treatment plan.

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