Detoxification, also known as detox, is the elimination of drugs and harmful substances from the body. This process can seem scary for people who have tried the “cold turkey” approach, or for those who have been abusing substances for many years, but it doesn’t need to be. Treatment experts aim to provide a reliable and clinically supervised procedure, ensuring that detox is both safe and tailored to the needs of each patient.
Detox is not a cure for addiction, but for many it is an essential first step on the road to recovery. To speak to a detox specialist today, call us at 405-583-4319.
The two methods most often used in detox centers are medically supervised withdrawal and social detoxification. Addiction specialists decide which to use based on:
- The type of drug being abused
- Duration of use
- Age, mental state, and physical health of the patient
Experts recommend medically supervised withdrawal for people addicted to depressants such as:
- Barbiturates or sedatives
- Opioids (heroin, morphine, codeine)
All of these cause withdrawal symptoms that may be serious or even fatal. Thus, a large part of supervised withdrawal is using medication to ease these symptoms, especially for serious alcoholics and those who may have been abusing multiple substances. Experts also strongly recommend medically supervised withdrawal for anyone who has experienced hallucinations or seizures, as well as anyone who has had a serious physical illness or certain mental disorders.
Social detoxification, by contrast, is for patients likely to experience milder withdrawal symptoms from occasional use of alcohol or opioids, or from such drugs as:
Under this method, treatment professionals help patients through their withdrawals and cravings without medication, but the process is still monitored by nurses and counselors. And as the name implies, social detoxification allows patients to interact with each other in a group setting as they detox.
Whichever method professionals decide to use, by the end of detox the addict should be ready to enter a longer-term treatment program. Here they will work toward permanent sobriety while living alongside other recovering addicts.
Our Detox and Moderated Withdrawal Methods
There are many types of drugs and therefore many types of withdrawals. Any effective detox program will take this into account. For users of depressants, experts recommend that the patient stop substance use gradually while taking medication to help with possible:
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure and/or body temperature
Stimulants (like amphetamines, cocaine and Ritalin) typically have mild withdrawal symptoms, so some users are able to detox with nothing more than emotional support from family, friends and counselors. However, more severe cases also occur, resulting in a condition called stimulant psychosis. Symptoms include:
- Suicidal thoughts and urges
- Paranoid delusions
Opioids have their own set of withdrawal symptoms that range from mild to potentially life-threatening. Some of these are:
- Rapid pulse and breathing
- Digestive upset
Taking the First Step
Detox doesn’t replace a rehabilitation plan, but if used in combination with rehabilitation and other drug and alcohol abuse therapy strategies, it is a vital first step toward recovery. Knowledgeable recovery specialists are available 24/7 to address concerns regarding detox, rehabilitation and treatment, so call 405-583-4319 today.