The process of ridding the body of drugs, alcohol or any other addictive substance is known as detoxification, or detox for short. When that process is carried out with medical intervention it is referred to as medical detox.
Medical detox is normally undertaken in specialist drug treatment centers. Medical intervention is the best way for addicts to get clean. Without the support and supervision of experienced medical detox experts, addicts who try to quit will almost inevitably relapse during withdrawal.
Drug treatment programs involving drug medical detox and other methods are available near you. Call Chesapeake Drug Treatment Centers at (757) 447-9507 today for more information.
When people take drugs or alcohol on a daily basis, the effect of those substances within the brain is to change the chemical balance. The substances also bring about physical changes at the cellular level. These changes occur gradually, and the brain and body have time to adjust, and to reset the chemical balance. However, that balance is now based on the presence of the drugs or alcohol a person has been taking.
When addicts let the level of drugs or alcohol in their systems fall, the brain reacts by creating sensations of craving for the addictive substance. Addicts feel a tremendous and urgent desire to take the substance again. If addicts resist the cravings, or if they suddenly stop drinking or taking addictive drugs, the brain registers the absence and puts the body into a type of defense mode. It is as if it were being attacked by harmful viruses, for example.
The result is that addicts will experience very uncomfortable symptoms for some days after giving up the addictive substance. Symptoms include severe headaches, and muscular pain and spasms. As a rule, the higher the dosage of the addictive substance that an addict has been taking, the more extreme will be the withdrawal symptoms.
The intensity of withdrawal symptoms can be significantly diminished during detox. Detox is best done in a residential treatment center. During detox, people can become seriously ill, so home detox is not recommended.
It is possible to find detox programs that are specifically designed to treat particular addictions. For example, a program to wean somebody off an addiction to Hydrocodone would be different in some ways to one designed to get an alcoholic sober. On top of that, every program must be adjusted to suit an individual patient's needs.
The primary purpose of detox is to help an addicted person get through withdrawal without relapsing. Patients will receive appropriate medication to reduce the strength and severity of withdrawal symptoms. Alcoholics will receive quite high levels of a tranquilizing benzodiazepine drug such as Valium. This depresses central nervous system function, thereby reducing the agony of withdrawal. Dosages are phased out as the symptoms recede.
Patients who are addicted to prescription tranquilizers or painkillers will be weaned off them. They may receive a different drug to the one they are taking, especially if the latter is one of the more addictive tranquilizers or narcotics.
Highly addictive drugs will be replaced with less addictive ones. Thus, heroin addicts may be given Suboxone because the latter is much less addictive than heroin. Secondly, it is a slower acting, longer lasting drug, so addicts can significantly reduce the number of dosages they need each day.
Medical detox is provided to residential patients in drug treatment centers. Patients are placed under full-time supervision and supported throughout the withdrawal process. Their progress is continually evaluated, and medication is adjusted as necessary. To learn more about available drug and alcohol treatment programs, call Chesapeake Drug Treatment Centers at (757) 447-9507.